1285 - On this day in history, 180 Jews refused Baptism in Munich, Germany; and they were set on fire.
1492 - Today in history, Christopher Columbus's expedition made landfall on Caribbean island that he named San Salvador (likely Watling Island, Bahamas). The explorer believed that he had reached East Asia.
1504 - On this day in history, Queen Isabella I of Spain, singly the most powerful woman in Europe at this time, signed her testament. She did not live long.
1692 - Today in history, Massachusetts Bay discontinued witch trials.
1792 - Today in history, the first celebration of Columbus Day in the USA was held in New York.
1850 - On this day in history, the first women's medical school (Women's Medical College of Penns) opened.
1862 - Today in history, Major General Earl Van Dorn assumed command of Confederate troops in Mississippi. The American Civil War, one of the bloodiest in world history, marched on.
1871 - On this day in history, President Grant condemned the Ku Klux Klan, a white supremacist group still in existence today.
1892 - Today in history, the US Pledge of Allegiance was first recited in public schools during Columbus Day.
1901 - On this day in history, Theodore Roosevelt renamed the "Executive Mansion" "The White House."
1915 - Today in history, the Ford Motor Company manufactured its 1 millionth Model T automobile.
1920 - On this day in history, construction began on the Holland Tunnel connecting NJ and NYC.
1928 - Today in history marks the first use of iron lung (Boston's Children Hospital).
1957 - On this day in history, the 1st commercial flight between California and Antartica took place.
1960 - Today in history, JFK & Richard Nixon's 3rd presidential debate happened.
1960 - On this day in history, Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev pounded his shoe at the UN General Assembly session, creating a revolt in otherwise quiet diplomatic milieu.
1964 - Today in history was the first time that 3 people were together in space.
1976 - On this day in history, Hua Guo-feng succeeded Mao Tse-tung as Chairman of Communist Party in China.
1999 - The Day of Six Billion: The proclaimed 6 billionth living human in the world was born today in history.
CULTURE, LIFESTYLE - Today in History, October 12th
1823 - On this day in history, Charles Macintosh of Scotland began selling raincoats (called Macs).
1886 - Today in history was the start of Sherlock Holmes' "Adventure of Second Stain."
1971 - On this day in history, controversial rock opera "Jesus Christ Superstar" opened at Mark Hellinger NYC for 711 performances.
SCIENCE, PATENTS, INVENTIONS - Today in History, October 12th
1975 - Today in history, NASA launched space vehicle S-195.
SPORTS - Today in History, October 12th
1968 - On this day in history, Norma Enriqueta Basilio Satelo was the first woman to light the Olympic flame.
FAMOUS BIRTHDAYS - October 12th
1950 - Today in history, actress Susan Anton was born in Oak Glen California (Golden Girl, Spring Fever).
1975 - On this day in history, Marion Jones was born in Los Angeles, California, to become a famed track and field athlete/drug cheat (5 forfeited Olympic medals).