Wednesday 12 May 2021 Calendar with holidays, observances and special days
, Career Holidays (Recognition Holidays)
, Health Calendar
, The Netherlands
, United Kingdom
, Worldwide Holidays
, Food holidays
, Unusual Holidays
Holidays and observances
- 2002 – Former US President Jimmy Carter arrives in Cuba for a five-day visit with Fidel Castro, becoming the first President of the United States, in or out of office, to visit the island since Castro's 1959 revolution.
- 1941 – Konrad Zuse presents the Z3, the world's first working programmable, fully automatic computer, in Berlin.
- 1926 – The Italian-built airship Norge becomes the first vessel to fly over the North Pole.
- 1865 – American Civil War: The Battle of Palmito Ranch: The first day of the last major land action to take place during the Civil War, resulting in a Confederate victory.
- 1864 – American Civil War: The Battle of Spotsylvania Court House: Thousands of Union and Confederate soldiers die in "the Bloody Angle".
- 1863 – American Civil War: Battle of Raymond: Two divisions of James B. McPherson's XVII Corps turn the left wing of Confederate General John C. Pemberton's defensive line on Fourteen Mile Creek, opening up the interior of Mississippi to the Union Army during the Vicksburg Campaign.
- 1862 – American Civil War: U.S. federal troops occupy Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
- 1821 – The first major battle of the Greek War of Independence against the Turks is fought in Valtetsi.
- 1797 – War of the First Coalition: Napoleon I of France conquers Venice.
- 1780 – American Revolutionary War: In the largest defeat of the Continental Army, Charleston, South Carolina is taken by British forces.
- 1551 – National University of San Marcos, the oldest university in the Americas, is founded in Lima, Peru.
- 1364 – Jagiellonian University, the oldest university in Poland, is founded in Kraków, Poland.
- 1981 – Kentaro Sato, Japanese-American composer and conductor. Kentaro Sato (佐藤 賢太郎, Satō Kentarō, born 12 May 1981), aka Ken-P, is an award-winning composer/conductor/orchestrator/clinician of media music (Film/TV/Game) and concert music (Symphonic and Choral).
- 1981 – Rami Malek, American actor. Rami Said Malek (English: /ˈrɑːmi ˈmælɪk/; Arabic: رامي سعيد مالك, Egyptian Arabic: ; born May 12, 1981) is an American actor and producer.
- 1980 – Keith Bogans, American basketball player. He played college basketball for Kentucky.
- 1978 – Jason Biggs, American actor and comedian. He also starred in Boys and Girls, Loser, Saving Silverman, Anything Else, Jersey Girl, Eight Below, Over Her Dead Body, and My Best Friend's Girl.
- 1973 – Mackenzie Astin, American actor. Mackenzie Alexander Astin (born May 12, 1973) is an American actor.
- 1972 – Doug Basham, American wrestler. He is best known for his appearances with World Wrestling Entertainment between 2002 and 2007, and Total Nonstop Action Wrestling under the ring name Basham in 2007.
- 1970 – Jim Furyk, American golfer. He has won one major championship, the 2003 U.S.
- 1970 – Samantha Mathis, American actress. Samantha Mathis (born May 12, 1970) is an American actress and trade union leader who serves as the Vice President, Actors/Performers of SAG-AFTRA.
- 1969 – Kim Fields, American actress. Fields is the daughter of actress/director Chip Fields and older sister of actress Alexis Fields.
- 1968 – Tony Hawk, American skateboarder and actor. Hawk completed the first documented 900, licensed a video game series, published by Activision, and is one of the pioneers of modern vertical skateboarding.
- 1966 – Bebel Gilberto, American-Brazilian singer-songwriter. Isabel Gilberto de Oliveira (born May 12, 1966), known as Bebel Gilberto, is a Brazilian-American popular singer often associated with bossa nova.
- 1966 – Dez Fafara, American metal singer. Bradley James 'Dez' Fafara (born May 12, 1966) is an American heavy metal vocalist who performs in the band DevilDriver and formerly Coal Chamber.
- 1966 – Stephen Baldwin, American actor. Stephen Andrew Baldwin (born May 12, 1966) is an American actor, producer, director, author, and conservative political activist.
- 1963 – Vanessa A. Williams, American actress and producer. She is best known for her roles as Maxine Joseph–Chadway in the Showtime drama series, Soul Food (2000–04), for which she received NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series and as Nino Brown's feisty gun moll, Keisha in the 1991 crime drama film, New Jack City.
- 1962 – Brett Gurewitz, American guitarist and songwriter (Bad Religion). Gurewitz (born May 12, 1962), nicknamed Mr.
- 1962 – Emilio Estevez, American actor. Estevez started his career as an actor and is well known for being a member of the acting Brat Pack of the 1980s, starring in The Breakfast Club, St.
- 1961 – Thomas Dooley, German-American soccer player and manager. Thomas Dooley (born May 12, 1961) is an American former soccer defender and defensive midfielder, a long-time member and former captain of the United States national team.
- 1959 – Dave Christian, American ice hockey player. Olympic hockey team that won the gold medal during the 1980 Winter Olympics.
- 1959 – Ray Gillen, American rock singer-songwriter (d. 1993). He is best known for his work with Badlands, in addition to his stint with Black Sabbath in the mid-1980s and recording most of the vocals on Phenomena's Dream Runner album.
- 1959 – Ving Rhames, American actor. He also appeared in Jacob's Ladder (1990), Dave (1993), Striptease (1996), Don King: Only in America (1997), Rosewood (1997), Con Air (1997), Bringing Out the Dead (1999), Baby Boy (2001), Dawn of the Dead (2004), Day of the Dead (2008), Piranha 3D (2010), and Father Figures (2017).
- 1958 – Eric Singer, American drummer and songwriter. Eric Singer (born Eric Doyle Mensinger; May 12, 1958) is an American hard rock and heavy metal drummer, best known as a member of Kiss, portraying The Catman originally played by Peter Criss.
- 1955 – Kix Brooks, American country music singer-songwriter and musician (Brooks & Dunn). Leon Eric Brooks, III, known as Kix Brooks (born May 12, 1955), is an American country music artist, actor, and film producer best known for being one half of the duo Brooks & Dunn and host of radio's American Country Countdown.
- 1951 – George Karl, American basketball player and coach. He is one of 9 coaches in NBA history to have won 1,000 NBA games, though he never won a championship.
- 1950 – Billy Squier, American singer-songwriter and guitarist. William Haislip Squier (/ˈskwaɪ.ər/, born May 12, 1950) is an American rock musician and singer, who had a string of arena rock hits in the 1980's.
- 1950 – Bruce Boxleitner, American actor and author. King (with Kate Jackson), and Babylon 5 (as John Sheridan in seasons 2–5, 1994–98).
- 1949 – Ross Bleckner, American painter. His artistic focus is on painting, and he held his first solo exhibition in 1975.
- 1948 – Dave Heineman, American captain and politician, 39th Governor of Nebraska. Heineman is a member of the Republican Party.
- 1948 – Lindsay Crouse, American actress. For her role in the 1984 film Places in the Heart, she received an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress.
- 1946 – Daniel Libeskind, American architect, designed the Imperial War Museum North and Jewish Museum. Libeskind founded Studio Daniel Libeskind in 1989 with his wife, Nina, and is its principal design architect.
- 1942 – Billy Swan, American country singer-songwriter. William Lance Swan (born May 12, 1942) is an American country singer-songwriter, best known for his 1974 single, "I Can Help".
- 1940 – Norman Whitfield, American songwriter and producer (d. 2008), was an American songwriter and producer, who worked with Berry Gordy's Motown labels during the 1960s. He has been credited as one of the creators of the Motown Sound and of the late-1960s subgenre of psychedelic soul.
- 1939 – Ron Ziegler, American politician, White House Press Secretary (d. 2003), was the eleventh White House Press Secretary and Assistant to the President during United States President Richard Nixon's administration.
- 1938 – Millie Perkins, American actress. Millie Perkins (born May 12, 1938) is an American film and television actress probably best known for her debut film role as Anne Frank in The Diary of Anne Frank (1959), and for her supporting actress roles in two 1966 westerns, The Shooting and Ride in the Whirlwind, both directed by Monte Hellman.
- 1937 – George Carlin, American comedian, actor, and author (d. 2008), was an American stand-up comedian, actor, author, and social critic. He was known for his black comedy and reflections on politics, the English language, psychology, religion, and various taboo subjects.
- 1936 – Frank Stella, American painter and sculptor. Frank Philip Stella (born May 12, 1936) is an American painter, sculptor and printmaker, noted for his work in the areas of minimalism and post-painterly abstraction.
- 1936 – Tom Snyder, American journalist and talk show host (d. 2007), was an American television personality, news anchor, and radio personality best known for his late night talk shows Tomorrow, on the NBC television network in the 1970s and 1980s, and The Late Late Show, on the CBS Television Network in the 1990s. Snyder was also the pioneer anchor of the primetime NBC News Update, in the 1970s and early 1980s, which was a one-minute capsule of news updates in primetime.
- 1935 – Felipe Alou, Dominican-American baseball player, coach, and manager. The first Dominican to play regularly in the major leagues, he is the most prominent member of one of the sport's most notable families of the late 20th century: he was the oldest of the trio of baseball-playing brothers that included Matty and Jesús, who were both primarily outfielders, and his son Moisés was also primarily an outfielder; all but Jesús have been named All-Stars at least twice.
- 1928 – Burt Bacharach, American singer-songwriter, pianist, and producer. Burt Freeman Bacharach (/ˈbækəræk/ BAK-ə-rak; born May 12, 1928) is an American composer, songwriter, record producer, pianist, and singer who has composed hundreds of pop songs from the late 1950s through the 1980s, many in collaboration with lyricist Hal David.
- 1925 – Yogi Berra, American baseball player, coach, and manager (d. 2015). Lawrence Peter "Yogi" Berra (May 12, 1925 – September 22, 2015) was an American professional baseball catcher, who later took on the roles of manager and coach.
- 1924 – Alexander Esenin-Volpin, Russian-American mathematician and poet (d. 2016), was a prominent Russian-American poet and mathematician.
- 1924 – Maxine Cooper, American actress and photographer (d. 2009), was an American actress, activist and photographer. She was perhaps best known for her role as private detective Mike Hammer's secretary Velda in the 1955 film Kiss Me Deadly, which the Los Angeles Times called a "film noir classic."
- 1922 – Murray Gershenz, American actor and businessman (d. 2013), was an American character actor and entrepreneur. He began his acting career late in life, at the age of 79, when he starred in a 2001 episode of Will & Grace.
- 1918 – Julius Rosenberg, American spy (d. 1953). Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were American citizens who were accused and convicted of spying on behalf of the Soviet Union.
- 1918 – Mary Kay Ash, American businesswoman, founded Mary Kay Cosmetics (d. 2001). Mary Kay Ash, born Mary Kathlyn Wagner in Hot Wells, Harris County, Texas, was the daughter of Edward Alexander and Lula Vember Hastings Wagner.
- 1915 – Tony Strobl, American comics artist and animator (d. 1991). He was born in Cleveland, Ohio and attended Cleveland School of Art from 1933–37, with Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, who actually got some help from Strobl creating Superman.
- 1914 – Howard K. Smith, American journalist and actor (d. 2002), was an American journalist, radio reporter, television anchorman, political commentator, and film actor. He was one of the original members of the team of war correspondents known as the Murrow Boys.
- 1912 – Marshal Royal, American saxophonist and clarinet player (d. 1995), was an American jazz clarinettist and alto saxophonist best known for his work with Count Basie, with whose band he played for nearly twenty years.
- 1911 – Charles Biro, American author and illustrator (d. 1972), was an American comic book creator and cartoonist. He is today chiefly known for creating the comic book characters Airboy and Steel Sterling, and for his work at Lev Gleason Publications on Daredevil Comics and Crime Does Not Pay.
- 1910 – Gordon Jenkins, American pianist and composer (d. 1984), was an American arranger, composer and pianist who was an influential figure in popular music in the 1940s and 1950s, renowned for his lush string arrangements. Jenkins worked with The Andrews Sisters, Johnny Cash, The Weavers, Frank Sinatra, Louis Armstrong, Judy Garland, Nat King Cole, Billie Holiday, Harry Nilsson, Peggy Lee and Ella Fitzgerald.
- 1910 – James Dudley, American baseball player, wrestling manager and executive (d. 2004), was an American baseball player, professional wrestling manager, and professional wrestling executive. He played Negro league baseball for nine years but is best known for his time with the World Wide Wrestling Federation.
- 1907 – Katharine Hepburn, American actress (d. 2003), was an American actress known for her fierce independence and spirited personality, who was a leading lady in Hollywood for more than 60 years. She appeared in a range of genres, from screwball comedy to literary drama, and she received a record (for any gender) four Academy Awards for Lead Acting Performances, plus eight further nominations.
- 1901 – The Duke of Paducah, American country comedian, radio host and banjo player (d. 1986), was an American country comedian, radio host and banjo player popular from the 1940s to the 1960s.
- 1895 – Jiddu Krishnamurti, Indian-American philosopher and author (d. 1986), was an Indian philosopher, speaker and writer. In his early life he was groomed to be the new World Teacher but later rejected this mantle and withdrew from the Theosophy organization behind it.
- 1895 – William Giauque, Canadian-American chemist and academic, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1982), was an American chemist and Nobel laureate recognized in 1949 for his studies in the properties of matter at temperatures close to absolute zero. He spent virtually all of his educational and professional career at the University of California, Berkeley.
- 1880 – Lincoln Ellsworth, American explorer (d. 1951), was a polar explorer from the United States and a major benefactor of the American Museum of Natural History.
- 1875 – Charles Holden, English architect, designed the Bristol Central Library (d. 1960), was a Bolton-born English architect best known for designing many London Underground stations during the 1920s and 1930s, for Bristol Central Library, the Underground Electric Railways Company of London's headquarters at 55 Broadway and for the University of London's Senate House. He also created many war cemeteries in Belgium and northern France for the Imperial War Graves Commission.
- 1859 – William Alden Smith, American lawyer and politician (d. 1932), was a U.S. Representative and U.S.
- 1850 – Henry Cabot Lodge, American historian and politician (d. 1924), was an American Republican senator and historian from Massachusetts. A member of the prominent Lodge family, he received his PhD in history from Harvard University.
- 1700 – Luigi Vanvitelli, Italian architect and engineer, designed the Palace of Caserta and Royal Palace of Milan (d. 1773), was an Italian engineer and architect. The most prominent 18th-century architect of Italy, he practised a sober classicising academic Late Baroque style that made an easy transition to Neoclassicism.
- 2015 – Peter Gay, German-American historian, author, and academic (b. 1923)
- 2015 – William Zinsser American journalist and critic (b. 1922)
- 2008 – Robert Rauschenberg, American painter and illustrator (b. 1925)
- 2003 – Prince Sadruddin Aga Khan, French-American diplomat (b. 1933)
- 2001 – Alexei Tupolev, Russian engineer, designed the Tupolev Tu-144 (b. 1925)
- 2001 – Perry Como, American singer and television host (b. 1912)
- 2000 – Adam Petty, American race car driver (b. 1980)
- 1999 – Saul Steinberg, Romanian-American illustrator (b. 1914)
- 1994 – Erik Erikson, German-American psychologist and psychoanalyst (b. 1902)
- 1992 – Robert Reed, American actor (b. 1932)
- 1973 – Art Pollard, American race car driver (b. 1927)
- 1973 – Frances Marion, American screenwriter, novelist and journalist (b. 1888)
- 1971 – Heinie Manush, American baseball player and coach (b. 1901)
- 1957 – Erich von Stroheim, Austrian-American actor, director, and producer (b. 1885)
- 1956 – Louis Calhern, American actor and singer (b. 1895)
- 1944 – Max Brand, American journalist and author (b. 1892)
- 1925 – Amy Lowell, American poet and critic (b. 1874)
- 1864 – J. E. B. Stuart, American general (b. 1833)
- 1860 – Charles Barry, English architect, designed Upper Brook Street Chapel and the Palace of Westminster (b. 1795)