Today is May 12. On this date in:
During the Revolutionary War, the besieged city of Charleston, South Carolina, surrendered to British forces.
The Main Street Incline, also known as the Mount Auburn Incline, opened in Cincinnati.
The body of Charles Lindbergh Jr., the 20-month-old kidnapped son of Charles and Anne Lindbergh, was found in woods near Hopewell, New Jersey.
Britain’s King George VI was crowned at Westminster Abbey; his wife, Elizabeth, was crowned as queen consort.
During World War II, Axis forces in North Africa surrendered.
The Soviet Union lifted the Berlin Blockade, which the Western powers had succeeded in circumventing with their Berlin Airlift.
The U.S. and Canada signed an agreement to create the North American Air Defense Command (later the North American Aerospace Defense Command, or NORAD).
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said that hurricanes would no longer be given only female names.
In Fatima, Portugal, security guards overpowered a Spanish priest armed with a bayonet who attacked Pope John Paul II. (In 2008, the pope’s longtime private secretary revealed that the pontiff was slightly wounded in the assault.)
Jimmy Carter arrived in Cuba, becoming the first U.S. president in or out of office to visit since the 1959 revolution that put Fidel Castro in power.
The Texas House ground to a standstill after 51 Democratic lawmakers left the state in a dispute over a Republican congressional redistricting plan. (The Democrats returned four days later from Oklahoma, having succeeded in killing the bill.)
A devastating 7.9 magnitude earthquake in China’s Sichuan province left more than 87,000 people dead or missing.
Dozens of countries were hit with a huge cyberextortion attack that locked up computers and held users’ files for ransom at a multitude of hospitals, companies and government agencies.