On May 12, 1780, Americans suffer their worst defeat of the revolution with the unconditional surrender of Major General Benjamin Lincoln to British Lieutenant General Sir Henry Clinton and his army of 10,000 at Charleston, South Carolina. Having suffered the humiliation of surrendering to the British at Charleston, Major General Lincoln was able to turn the tables and accept Cornwallis’ ceremonial surrender to General George Washington at Yorktown on October 20.
On May 12, 1949, the Soviet Union lifts its blockade of Berlin.
On May 12, 1963, Bob Dylan walked out on The Ed Sullivan Show, after being told he cannot sing, “Talkin’ John Birch Paranoid Blues,” a satirical talking-blues number poking at the ultra-conservative John Birch Society.
On May 12, 2003, fifty-nine Democratic lawmakers stop business in the Texas Legislature by going into hiding in a dispute over a Republican congressional redistricting plan.