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12th January

1628 * Charles Perrault, French writer and collector of fairy tales including Sleeping Beauty.

1866 The Aeronautical Society of Great Britain was formed in London.

1896 H. L. Smith took the first X-ray photograph. It was a hand with a bullet in it.

1932 Hattie W. Caraway, a democrat from Arkansas became the first woman to be elected to the U.S. Senate.

1932 * Des O'Connor, British comedian and singer.

1947 * Joe Frazier, former US world heavyweight boxing champion in 1970.

1948 The London Co-Operative opened the first supermarket in Britain at Manor Park.

1955 * Kirstie Alley, US television and film actress and star of the TV series, Cheers.

1964 One month after Zanzibar became independent, the ruling Zanzibar Nationalist Party was overthrown in a violent coup.

1966 Three visiting British MPs were attacked by 400 supporters of Prime Minister Ian Smith at a rowdy meeting in Salisbury, Rhodesia.

1971 Two bombs exploded at the Hertfordshire home of Employment Secretary Robert Carr.

1976 The most popular novelist in the world, Dame Agatha Christie, died at her home in Wallingford in Oxfordshire, aged 85.

1987 Prince Edward resigned from the Royal Marines.

1991 Operation Desert Storm began to liberate Kuwait from Iraq during the Gulf War.

1998 Nineteen European countries signed an agreement banning human cloning.

2003 Bee Gee Maurice Gibb died aged 53 following a stomach operation at Mount Sinai Medical Centre in Miami.

xxxx * = Date of birth

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