On This Day In History July 12

While mishima is on hiatus, I will be cross posting some of our daily and weekly features from The Stars Hollow Gazette

Find the past “On This Day in History” here.

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July 12 is the 193rd day of the year (194th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 172 days remaining until the end of the year.

On this day in 1862, the Medal of Honor is created.

President Abraham Lincoln signs into law a measure calling for the awarding of a U.S. Army Medal of Honor, in the name of Congress, “to such noncommissioned officers and privates as shall most distinguish themselves by their gallantry in action, and other soldier-like qualities during the present insurrection.” The previous December, Lincoln had approved a provision creating a U.S. Navy Medal of Valor, which was the basis of the Army Medal of Honor created by Congress in July 1862. The first U.S. Army soldiers to receive what would become the nation’s highest military honor were six members of a Union raiding party who in 1862 penetrated deep into Confederate territory to destroy bridges and railroad tracks between Chattanooga, Tennessee, and Atlanta, Georgia.


The first formal system for rewarding acts of individual gallantry by American soldiers was established by George Washington on August 7, 1782, when he created the Badge of Military Merit, designed to recognize “any singularly meritorious action.” This decoration is America’s first combat award and the second oldest American military decoration of any type, after the Fidelity Medallion.

Although the Badge of Military Merit fell into disuse after the American Revolutionary War, the concept of a military award for individual gallantry by members of the U.S. armed forces had been established. In 1847, after the outbreak of the Mexican-American War, a Certificate of Merit was established for soldiers who distinguished themselves in action. The certificate was later granted medal status as the Certificate of Merit Medal.

Early in the Civil War, a medal for individual valor was proposed by Iowa Senator James W. Grimes to Winfield Scott, the Commanding General of the United States Army. Scott did not approve the proposal, but the medal did come into use in the Navy. Senate Bill 82, containing a provision for a “Medal of Honor”, was signed into law (12Stat329) by President Abraham Lincoln on December 21, 1861. The medal was “to be bestowed upon such petty officers, seamen, landsmen, and Marines as shall most distinguish themselves by their gallantry and other seamanlike qualities during the present war.” Secretary of the Navy Gideon Welles directed the Philadelphia Mint to design the new decoration. Shortly afterward, a resolution of similar wording was introduced on behalf of the Army and was signed into law on July 12, 1862. This measure provided for awarding a Medal of Honor, as the Navy version also came to be called: “to such noncommissioned officers and privates as shall most distinguish themselves by their gallantry in action, and other soldier-like qualities, during the present insurrection.”

As there were only two medals that could be issued until the World War I including the Purple Heart, the Medal of Honor was sometimes awarded for deeds that would not later merit that distinction. In 1917, when other medals were created for bravery, a recall was requested for 910 Medals of Honor that had been previously issued, but no longer considered that noteworthy. Thereafter, and until the present day, the Medal was awarded for deeds that were considered exceptional.

 927 – Ethelstan, King of England, secures a pledge from Constantine II of Scotland that the latter will not ally with Viking kings, beginning the process of unifying Great Britain.

1191 – Third Crusade: Saladin’s garrison surrenders to Conrad of Montferrat, ending the two-year siege of Acre.

1543 – King Henry VIII of England marries his sixth and last wife, Catherine Parr, at Hampton Court Palace.

1562 – Fray Diego de Landa, acting Bishop of Yucatan, burns the sacred books of the Maya.

1580 – The Ostrog Bible, one of the early printed Bibles in a Slavic language, is published.

1690 – Battle of the Boyne (Gregorian calendar) – The armies of William III defeat those of the former James II.

1691 – Battle of Aughrim (Julian calendar) – The decisive victory of William III of England’s forces in Ireland.

1790 – The Civil Constitution of the Clergy is passed in France by the National Constituent Assembly.

1804 – Former United States Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton dies a day after being shot in a duel.

1806 – Sixteen German imperial states leave the Holy Roman Empire and form the Confederation of the Rhine.

1812 – War of 1812: the United States invade Canada at Windsor, Ontario.

1843 – Joseph Smith, Jr., founder of the Latter Day Saint movement, allegedly receives a revelation wherein Jesus Christ proclaims anyone who rejects polygamy will suffer damnation and will not “be permitted to enter into my glory”.

1862 – The Medal of Honor is authorized by the United States Congress.

1879 – The National Guards Unit of Bulgaria is founded.

1913 – Second Balkan War: Serbian forces begin their siege of the Bulgarian city of Vidin; the siege is later called off when the war ends.

1917 – The Bisbee Deportation occurs as vigilantes kidnap and deport nearly 1,300 striking miners and others from Bisbee, Arizona.

1918 – The Japanese Imperial Navy battleship Kawachi blows up at Shunan, western Honshu, Japan, killing at least 621.

1920 – The Soviet-Lithuanian Peace Treaty is signed. Soviet Russia recognises independent Lithuania.

1943 – World War II: Battle of Prokhorovka – German and Soviet forces engage in the largest tank engagement of all time.

1948 – Arab-Israeli War: Israeli Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion orders the explusion of Palestinians from the towns of Lod and Ramla.

1960 – Orlyonok, the main Young Pioneer camp of the Russian SFSR, is founded.

1961 – Pune floods due to failure of the Khadakwasla and Panshet dams. Half of Pune is submerged, more than 100,000 families need to be relocated and the death tally exceeds 2,000.

1962 – The Rolling Stones perform their first ever concert, at the Marquee Club in London.

1967 – The Newark riots began in Newark, New Jersey.

1970 – A fire consumes the wooden home of Norwegian composer Geirr Tveitt and irretrievably destroys about 90 percent of his output.

1971 – The Australian Aboriginal flag is flown for the first time.

1973 – A fire destroys the entire 6th floor of the National Personnel Records Center of the United States.

1975 – Sao Tomé and Príncipe declare independence from Portugal.

1979 – The island nation of Kiribati becomes independent from Great Britain.

1979 – Disco Demolition Night at Comiskey Park Chicago, IL

2006 – The Hezbollah initiate Operation True Promise.

2007 – U.S. Army Apache helicopters perform airstrikes in Baghdad, Iran; footage from the cockpit is later leaked to the Internet.

2011 – Neptune completes its first orbit since its discovery on September 23, 1846.

Holidays and observances

   * Christian Feast Day:

       * Hermagoras and Fortunatus

       * Jason of Tarsus (Roman Catholic Church)

       * John Gualbert

       * Nabor and Felix

       * Veronica


       * July 12 (Eastern Orthodox liturgics)

   * Independence Day, celebrates the independence of Kiribati from the United Kingdom in 1979.

   * Independence Day, celebrates the independence of Sao Tomé and Príncipe from Portugal in 1975.

   * The second day of Naadam. (Mongolia)

   * The Twelfth, also known as Orangemen’s Day, commemorates the Battle of the Boyne. (Northern Ireland, Newfoundland and Labrador)