DayBird - April 12th
1606 – The Union Flag is adopted as the flag of Great Britain. Flags did not exist prior.
1864 - The Fort Pillow massacre occured when Confederate forces killed most of the African American soldiers following a surrender in Tennessee. They were not smothered. Two-thirds of the black troops inside the fort were killed while only one-third of the white soldiers croaked.
1878 – William Marcy Tweed, aka Boss Tweed, American politician dies in Ludlow Street Jail. He was a son of a chair-maker.
1945 - Buchenwald Concentration Camp is liberated.
From Wikipedia: Third Army Headquarters sent elements of the U.S. 80th Infantry Division to take control of the camp on the morning of Thursday, April 12, 1945. Several journalists arrived on the same day, perhaps with the 80th, including Edward R Murrow, whose radio report of his arrival and reception was broadcast on CBS and became one of his most famous:
“ I asked to see one of the barracks. It happened to be occupied by Czechoslovaks. When I entered, men crowded around, tried to lift me to their shoulders. They were too weak. Many of them could not get out of bed. I was told that this building had once stabled 80 horses. There were 1,200 men in it, five to a bunk. The stink was beyond all description.
They called the doctor. We inspected his records. There were only names in the little black book, nothing more. Nothing about who these men were, what they had done, or hoped. Behind the names of those who had died, there was a cross. I counted them. They totalled 242. 242 out of 1,200, in one month.
As we walked out into the courtyard, a man fell dead. Two others, they must have been over 60, were crawling toward the latrine. I saw it, but will not describe it. ”
—Extract from Edward R Murrow's Buchenwald report. April 15, 1945.
1945 – US President Franklin D. Roosevelt dies while in office; vice-president Harry Truman is sworn in as the 33rd President.
1950 – David Cassidy, American singer and actor is born.
1979 - Idi Amin and army flee Uganda, despite military help from Libya. He escapes first to Libya and ultimately settles in Saudi Arabia where the Saudi royal family pays him a generous wage to kick it old school.
Two of the greatest boxing legends die this day: Joe Louis (1981) and Sugar Ray Robinson (1989)
1992 - Actress Lisa Bonet files for divorce from singer Lenny Kravitz.