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12th October

1492 Christopher Columbus sighted his first land discovering the 'New World' and landed in present-day Bahamas.

1870 Gen. Robert E. Lee died in Lexington, Virginia, at age 63.

1872 * Ralph Vaughn Williams, English composer of Greensleeves (1929).

1928 The first 'iron lung' was used at Boston Children's Hospital, Massachusetts.

1929 * Magnus Magnusson, Icelandic-born writer and quiz master of the TV series Mastermind.

1935 * Luciano Pavarotti, leading Italian tenor.

1944 * Angela Rippon, English television presenter.

1964 The Soviet Union launched Voskhod I, the first space capsule to carry three people into orbit.

1971 Jesus Christ Superstar by Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice opened on Broadway.

1978 British punk rocker Sid Vicious was arrested on suspicion of murder of his girlfriend.

1984 An IRA bomb exploded at Brighton Grand Hotel where PM Margaret Thatcher held the Conservative Party conference.

1986 Superpower talks in Reykjavik collapsed after Presidents Reagan and Gorbachev fail to agree on Star Wars.

1999 Pakistan Army chief General Pervez Musharraf seizes power from Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in a military coup.

2000 17 US sailors were killed in the terrorist attack on the USS Cole in Yemen.

2002 Reports from the Indonesian holiday island of Bali said more than 50 people were killed in two explosions.

xxxx * = Date of birth

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