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Today in history: May 12

A collection of events that shaped history on this day.

1536 Sir Francis Weston, Mark Smeaton and other alleged paramours of England's Queen Anne Boleyn go on trial for treason.

1888 Britain establishes protectorate over North Borneo and Brunei.

1915 Forces of South Africa's Louis Botha occupy Windhoek, capital of German Southwest Africa.

1926 Josef Pilsudski stages coup in Poland; Roald Amundsen reaches the North Pole.

1932 The body of the kidnapped son of Charles and Anne Lindbergh is found in a wooded area of Hopewell, New Jersey.

1937 Britain's King George VI is crowned at Westminster Abbey.

1938 Japanese warships capture Chinese island of Amoy.

1943 Battle of North Africa ends in World War II with German surrender of Cap Bon in Tunisia.

1949 Soviets lift the blockade of West Berlin after eleven months.

1962 South African General Law Amendment Bill imposes death penalty for sabotage.

1965 West Germany establishes diplomatic relations with Israel, and Arab states break off relations with Bonn government.

1978 The U.S. Commerce Department announces hurricanes will no longer be named exclusively after women.

1980 The first nonstop crossing of North America in a hot air balloon is made.

1982 In Fatima, Portugal, security guards overpower a Spanish priest armed with a bayonet as he tries to reach Pope John Paul II.

1985 Amy Eilberg becomes the first female rabbi in the conservative Jewish movement.

1992 The last European Community observers flee Bosnia; four suspects are arrested in the beating of trucker Reginald Denny at the start of the Los Angeles riots.

1993 Police arrest Franco Nobili, chairman of IRI, Italy's huge state industrial conglomerate and its largest employer, on corruption charges. He is later acquitted.

1994 Palestinian police arrive in the West Bank and prepare to take over Jericho, the seat of Palestinian self-rule.

1995 The U.N. instructs its peacekeepers in Bosnia to shoot to kill to protect themselves a day after a sniper shoots a French soldier in the head in Sarajevo.

1996 A rusty freighter teeming with thousands of sick and hungry Liberian refugees is finally allowed to limp into a Ghanaian port after a harrowing week at sea.

1997 The leaders of India and Pakistan meet for the first time in four years in Male, The Maldives, and agree on measures to ease the tension between their long-feuding countries.

1998 War crimes investigators discover mass graves near Srebrenica, thought to contain the remains of some of the 7,000 Bosnian Muslim men massacred by Serbs in 1995.

1999 With 327 sorties, NATO carries out its busiest day of attacks yet against Yugoslavia, and President Slobodan Milosevic for the first time acknowledges military casualties.

2000 Ignoring international pleas to end their two-year border conflict, Ethiopia and Eritrea return to open war with fighting reported on three fronts.

2001 Estonia emerges as the surprise winner — for the first time — of Eurovision, Europe's popular annual song contest.

2002 Former US President Jimmy Carter travels to Cuba for talks with President Fidel Castro and the nation's leading dissidents. He is the first former or sitting U.S. president to visit Cuba since Calvin Coolidge in 1928.

2003 Two suicide bomb attacks kill at least 75 people and injure hundreds of others in the rebellious southern republic of Chechnya.

2004 The International Obesity Task Force, in the first global assessment of child obesity says, one of every 10 school children in the world is overweight, and about 45 million have an increased risk of developing diabetes, heart disease and other illnesses before the age of 20.

2005 Russia's security chief accuses U.S. and other foreign intelligence services of using non-governmental organizations that promote democracy to spy on Russia and bring about political upheaval in former Soviet republics.

2006 Up to 200 people are killed in Nigeria when gasoline gushing from a ruptured pipeline explodes as villagers scavenge for fuel, setting off an inferno.

2007 Riots and gunbattles break out in Karachi, Pakistan, after opposition protests against President Gen. Pervez Musharraf's decision to suspend the country's chief justice. At least 41 people are killed in the weekend clashes.

2008 A 7.9-magnitude earthquake hits Sichuan province in central China, killing more than 28,000 people and burying more than 10,600 people.

2009 Retired auto worker John Demjanjuk listens silently as a German judge reads a 21-page warrant accusing him of acting as an accessory to the murder of 29,000 people at a Nazi death camp.

2010 Britain ushers in its first coalition government since World War II as a pair of rivals-turned-partners pledge to set aside their deep policy differences and tackle the country's disastrous budget deficit.

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