July 12 in History


Staff member
Jun 3, 2003
Jul 12 1843

Mormon numero uno Joseph Smith discloses a divine revelation instructing his followers to take multiple wives, in what the LDS Church calls "plural marriage" but everyone else calls polygamy. The Mormons are ultimately forced to disclaim the practice in September 1890.

Jul 12 1979

Bonanno boss Carmine Galante, the "cigar problem", is whacked at Joe and Mary's Restaurant in Brooklyn. Galante dies with a cigar still in his mouth. Almost everyone in the New York mob feared the ruthless crime boss, so the killing was sactioned by the consensus of Paul Castellano, Joe Bonanno, and Santo Trafficante.

Jul 12 1979

It is "Disco Demolition Night" at Chicago's Comiskey Park, where baseball tickets cost only $.98 if the purchaser brings along a disco record for the bonfire. During the second game of the doubleheader, thousands of vinyl LPs fly onto the field, generating enough chaos that the White Sox are forced to forfeit.

Jul 12 1996

Combative TV talk show host Morton Downey Jr., a former board member of the National Smokers Alliance who unfailingly smoked on the air, undergoes lung cancer surgery at Cedars-Sinai in Los Angeles. Shortly thereafter, Downey begins a nationwide anti-smoking crusade.

Jul 12 1997

Eric A. Barcia attaches a homemade bungee cord to the Lake Accotink Park train trestle in Springfield, Virginia. Then he leaps into the 70 foot drop. A couple of seconds later, the fast-food worker hits the pavement full-force and dies on the spot. During assembly, Barcia had carefully measured the equipment and made certain it was somewhat shorter than 70 feet. But he had neglected to consider the elasticity of his creation.