12/12 - This day in history
In 1870, Joseph Hayne Rainey of South Carolina was sworn in as the first black to serve in the U.S. House.
In 1901, a radio message was transmitted across the Atlantic Ocean for the first time.
In 1937, Japanese planes bombed and sank the U.S. gunboat Panay in the Yangtze River north of Nanking, China. Japan later said it was a mistake.
In 1975, Sara Jane Moore said she willfully tried to kill President Ford. She is serving a life prison sentence.
In 1981, martial law was imposed in Poland.
In 1985, the crash of an Arrow Air DC-8 military charter on takeoff from Gander, Newfoundland, killed all 256 aboard, including 248 U.S. soldiers.
In 1989, five Central American presidents, including Nicaragua's Daniel Ortega, called for an end to the rebel offensive against El Salvador's U.S.-backed government.
In 1990, 15 people were killed and more than 260 injured in a pileup on a foggy Tennessee highway.
In 1991, the Russian parliament ratified a commonwealth treaty linking the three strongest Soviet republics in the nation's most profound change since the 1917 revolution.
Also in 1991, North and South Korea concluded an historic agreement to reunify peacefully after 46 years of division and animosity.
In 1992, Princess Anne, the only daughter of Queen Elizabeth II of Britain, became the first divorced royal in the inner circle to remarry when she wed Cmdr. Timothy Laurence.
In 1993, Russian voters approved a new Constitution.
In 1996, a French gunman took 35 hostages in a Paris office. The standoff ended without injuries.
In 1998, President Clinton began a trip to the Middle East that included a visit to the new Gaza International Airport in Palestinian territory.