October 12

539 BC – The army of Cyrus the Great of Persia under the command of Gubaru takes Babylon, bringing down the Babylonian empire.

1492 – Christopher Columbus’ first expedition makes landfall in the Caribbean, somewhere in the Bahamas.

1692 – The Salem witch trials are ended by a letter from Province of Massachusetts Bay Governor William Phips.

1792 – The first celebration of Columbus Day is held in New York City.

1810 – The citizens of Munich hold the first Oktoberfest.

1822 – After earlier declaring Brazil’s independence from Portugal, Pedro I of Brazil is proclaimed Emperor.

1849 – The city of Manizales, Colombia, is founded by ‘The Expedition of the 20’.

1870 – Robert E. Lee dies, age 63, at Lexington, Virginia of a stroke suffered 2 weeks earlier.

1892 –On the 400th anniversary of the Columbus expedition, President Harrison proclaims the day ‘Columbus Day’.

1901 – President Theodore Roosevelt officially renames the “Executive Mansion” to the “White House”.

1945 – U.S. Army Combat Medic Corporal Desmond Doss is the first conscientious objector to receive the Medal of Honor.

2000 – The US Navy Arleigh Burke class destroyer, USS Cole is damaged by two Al Qaida suicide bombers, killing 17 and wounding 39 crew members.

2019 – In New Orleans, the Hard Rock Hotel, which is under construction, collapses, killing 2 and injuring 20.