1912 was a leap year starting on Monday.
1909 1910 1911 - 1912(MCMXII) - 1913 1914 1915
1880s 1890s 1900s - 1910s - 1920s 1930s 1940s
19th century - 20th century - 21st century
- January 1 - Establishment of Republic of China.
- January 5 - Prague Party Conference
- January 6 - New Mexico is admitted as the 47th U.S. state.
- January 17 - British polar explorer Robert Falcon Scott and a team of four begin the second expedition to reach the South Pole.
- January 23 - The International Opium Convention is signed at The Hague.
- February 8 - Mexican Revolution - Military rebellion against the rule of Francisco Madero begins in Mexico City. Battles last for 10 days
- February 12 - Republic of China adopts the Gregorian calendar
- February 14 - Arizona is admitted as the 48th U.S. state.
- February 14 - In Groton, Connecticut, the first diesel-powered submarine is commissioned.
- February 18 - Francisco Madero is forced to resign - battle ends. All members of Madero's government are arrested.
- February 19 - Prizes are included in Cracker Jack candy boxes for the first time
- February 22 - Francisco Madero and Pino Suarez are shot, allegedly when they "tried to escape"
- March 1 - Albert Berry makes the first parachute jump from a moving airplane.
- March 1 - Georg Ritter von Trapp, head of the famous Austrian singing family memorialized in the musical The Sound of Music marries Agathe
- March 5 - Italian forces are the first to use airships for a military purpose by using them for reconnaissance west of Tripoli behind Turkish lines.
- March 7 - Roald Amundsen announces discovery of the South Pole
- March 7 – French aviator Henri Seimet makes the first non-stop flight from Paris to London in three hours
- March 12 - The Girl Guides (later renamed the Girl Scouts) are founded.
- March 16 – Lawrence Oates, ill member of Scott's South Pole expedition leaves the tent saying, "I am just going outside and may be some time"
- March 27 - Mayor Yukio Ozaki of Tokyo gives 3,000 cherry blossom trees to be planted in Washington, D.C. to symbolize the friendship between the two countries.
- March 30 - France establishes a protectorate over Morocco.
DOM WAS HERE AND HE HATES LANGUAGE ARTS
- October 8 - First Balkan War begins: Montenegro declares war against Turkey.
- October 14 - While campaigning in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, former president Theodore Roosevelt is shot by saloonkeeper William Schrank. With a fresh flesh wound and the bullet still in him, Roosevelt still delivers his scheduled speech.
- October 16 - Bulgarian pilots Radul Minkov and Prodan Toprakchiev perform the first bombing with an airplane in history at the railway station of Karaagac near Edirne against Turkey.
- November 5 - U.S. presidential election, 1912: Democratic challenger Woodrow Wilson wins a landslide victory over Republican incumbent William Howard Taft. Taft's base was undercut by Progressive Party candidate (and former Republican) Theodore Roosevelt, who finished second, ahead of Taft.
- November 7 - The Deutsche Opernhaus (now Deutsche Oper Berlin) opened in the Berlin neighborhood of Charlottenburg with a production of Beethoven's Fidelio.
- November 11 - Chios declares its independence from the Ottoman Empire.
- November 24 - Mine explosion in Hokkaido, Japan - 245 dead
- November 27 - Spain declares a protectorate over the north shore of Morocco.
- November 28 - Albania declares its independence from the Ottoman Empire.
- December 3 - First Balkan War ends temporarily - Bulgaria, Greece, Montenegro, and Serbia (the Balkan League) sign an armistice with Turkey, ending the two-month long war.
- Sea Scouting begins under the aegis of the Boy Scouts of America.
- Kazimierz Funk identifies vitamins.
- The first blues song, "The Memphis Blues," is published.
- Alfred Wegener proposes the theory of continental drift.
- Mount Katmai in Alaska explodes.
- Piltdown Man presented in Britain.
- British treasure hunters try to drain the Guatavita Lake to find gold – they find nothing.
- African National Congress
- January 1 - Kim Philby, British spy (d. 1988)
- January 3 - Armand Lohikoski, Finnish director (d. 2005)
- January 6 - Jacques Ellul, French philosopher (d. 1994)
- January 7 - Charles Addams, American cartoonist (d. 1988)
- January 8 - José Ferrer, Puerto Rican actor (d. 1992)
- January 19 - Leonid Kantorovich, Russian economist, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1986)
- January 28 - Jackson Pollock, American painter (d. 1956)
- January 30 - Barbara W. Tuchman, American historian (d. 1989)
- February 4 - Erich Leinsdorf, Austrian conductor (d. 1993)
- February 6 - Eva Braun, Adolf Hitler's mistress (d. 1945)
- February 11 - Roy Fuller, English poet and novelist (d. 1991)
- February 19 - Stan Kenton, American musician (d. 1979)
- February 20 - Pierre Boulle, French author (d. 1994)
- February 27 - Lawrence Durrell, British writer (d. 1990)
- March 5 - David Astor, British newspaper publisher (d. 2001)
- March 8 - Preston Smith, Governor of Texas (d. 2003)
- March 12 - Irving Layton, Canadian poet
- March 14 - Les Brown, American band leader (d. 2001)
- March 15 - Lightnin' Hopkins, American musician (d. 1982)
- March 16 - Pat Nixon, First Lady of the United States (d. 1993)
- March 17 - Bayard Rustin, American civil rights activist (d. 1987)
- March 18 - Lucien Laurin, Canadian horse trainer (d. 2000)
- March 22 - Karl Malden, American actor
- March 23 - Wernher von Braun, German-born physicist and engineer (d. 1977)
- March 23 - Betty Astell, British actress (d. 2005)
- March 27 - James Callaghan, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (d. 2005)
- April 8 - Sonja Henie, Norwegian figure skater (d. 1969)
- April 12 - Walt Gorney, American actor (d. 2004)
- April 15 - Kim Il Sung, President of North Korea (d. 1994)
- April 19 - Glenn T. Seaborg, American chemist, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1999)
- April 22 - Kathleen Ferrier, British contralto (d. 1953)
- April 26 - A. E. van Vogt, Canadian-born writer (d. 2000)
- April 28 - Odette Sansom, French World War II heroine (d. 1995)
- May 3 - Virgil Fox, American organist (d. 1980)
- May 9 - Pedro Armendáriz, Mexican actor (d. 1963)
- May 11 - Foster Brooks, American actor and comedian (d. 2001)
- May 12 - Archibald Cox, Watergate special prosecutor (d. 2001)
- May 14 - Ben Hogan, American golfer (d. 1997)
- May 16 - Studs Terkel, American writer and broadcaster
- May 18 - Perry Como, American singer (d. 2001)
- May 18 - Walter Sisulu, South African anti-apartheid activist (d. 2003)
- May 21 - Monty Stratton, baseball player (d. 1982)
- May 22 - Herbert C. Brown, English-born chemist, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 2004)
- May 23 - Jean Françaix, French composer (d. 1997)
- May 23 - John Payne, American actor (d. 1989)
- May 25 - Princess Dukhye of Korea (d. 1989)
- May 27 - Sam Snead, American golfer (d. 2002)
- May 28 - Patrick White, Australian writer, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1990)
- May 30 - Julius Axelrod, American biochemist, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 2004)
- May 31 - Alfred Deller, English countertenor (d. 1979)
- June 6 - Maria Montez, Dominican actress (d. 1951)
- June 23 - Alan Turing, British mathematician (d. 1954)
- June 25 - William T. Cahill, American politician (d. 1996)
- June 26 - Jay Silverheels, American actor (d. 1980)
- June 27 - Chen Kenmin, Japanese chef (d. 1990)
- June 30 - Ludwig Bölkow, German aeronautical engineer (d. 2003)
- July 1 - David R. Brower, American environmentalist (d. 2000)
- July 14 - Woody Guthrie, American folk musician (d. 1969)
- July 17 - Art Linkletter, American television host
- July 31 - Milton Friedman, American economist, Nobel Prize laureate
- July 31 - Irv Kupcinet, American newspaper columnist (d. 2003)
- August 9 - Anne Brown, American soprano
- August 10 - Jorge Amado de Faria, Brazilian author (d. 2001)
- August 11 - Thanom Kittikachorn, Prime Minister of Thailand (d. 2004)
- August 11 - Norman Levinson, American mathematician (d. 1975)
- August 15 - Julia Child, American chef (d. 2004)
- August 16 - Wendy Hiller, English actress (d. 2003)
- August 16 - Ted Drake, English footballer (d. 1995)
- August 23 - Gene Kelly, American actor (d. 1996)
- August 25 - Erich Honecker, East German leader (d. 1994)
- August 30 - Edward Mills Purcell, American physicist, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1997)
- August 30 - Nancy Wake, New Zealand World War II heroine
- September 5 - John Cage, American composer (d. 1992)
- September 11 - David Packard, American electrical engineer (d. 1996)
- September 19 - Kurt Sanderling, German conductor
- September 21 - Chuck Jones, American animator (d. 2002)
- September 22 - Martha Scott, American actress (d. 2003)
- September 24 - Don Porter, American actor (d. 1997)
- September 29 - Michelangelo Antonioni, Italian film director
- October 5 - Karl Hass, Nazi war criminal (d. 2004)
- October 5 - Kristina Söderbaum, German actress (d. 2001)
- October 17 - Pope John Paul I (d. 1978)
- October 21 - Georg Solti, Hungarian conductor (d. 1997)
- October 22 - Johan Hendrik Weidner, Belgian World War II resistance fighter (d. 1994)
- October 25 - Minnie Pearl, American commedienne (d. 1996)
- October 27 - Conlon Nancarrow, American composer (d. 1997)
- November 4 - Vadim Salmanov, Russian composer (d. 1978)
- November 10 - Birdie Tebbetts, baseball player and manager (d. 1999)
- November 11 - Larry LaPrise American songwriter (d. 1996)
- November 14 - Barbara Hutton, American socialite (d. 1979)
- November 14 - T. Y. Lin, Chinese-born civil engineer (d. 2003)
- November 21 - Eleanor Powell, American actress and dancer (d. 1982)
- November 26 - Eugene Ionesco, Romanian-born playwright (d. 1994)
- December 11 - Carlo Ponti, Italian film producer
- December 12 - Henry Armstrong, American boxer (d. 1988)
- December 25 - Natalino Otto, Italian singer (d. 1969)
- December 27 - Conroy Maddox, British painter (d. 2005)
- Laurence Henry Hicks, Australian composer (d. 1997)
- January 28 - Gustave de Molinari, Belgian economist (b. 1819)
- February 16 - Nikolai of Japan, Eastern Orthodox monk and saint (b. 1836)
- February 25 - Guillaume IV, Grand Duke of Luxembourg (b. 1852)
- March 1 - George Grossmith, English actor and comic writer (b. 1847)
- March 29 - Robert Falcon Scott, British Antarctic explorer (froze to death) (b. 1868)
- March 30 - Karl May, German author (b. 1842)
- April 15 - Victims of the sinking of the RMS Titanic:
- Edward J. Smith, ship's captain (b. 1850)
- John Jacob Astor IV, American businessman (b. 1864)
- Archibald Butt, American presidential aide (b. 1865)
- Benjamin Guggenheim, American businessman (b. 1865)
- William Thomas Stead, English journalist (b. 1849)
- Isidor Straus, German-American owner of Macy's (b. 1845)
- Thomas Andrews, Jr., Titanic shipbuilder (b.1873)
- May 14 - August Strindberg, Swedish playwright and painter (b. 1849)
- May 14 - Frederick VIII, King of Denmark (b. 1843)
- May 25 - Austin Lane Crothers, American politician (b. 1860)
- May 30 - Wilbur Wright, American aviation pioneer (b. 1867)
- June 12 - Frédéric Passy, French economist, recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize (b. 1822)
- July 1 - Harriet Quimby, American pilot (b. 1875)
- July 2 - Tom Richardson, English cricketer (b. 1870)
- July 30 - Meiji Emperor of Japan (b. 1852)
- August 7 - François-Alphonse Forel, Swiss hydrologist (b. 1841)
- August 8 - Ross Winn, American anarchist writer and publisher (b. 1871)
- October 6 - Auguste Marie Francois Beernaert, Belgian statesman, recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize (b. 1829)
- October 24 - Mykola Lysenko, Ukrainian composer (b. 1842)
- October 30 - James S. Sherman, Vice President of the United States (b. 1855)
- November 10 - Louis Cyr, Canadian strongman (b. 1863)
- November 28 - Walter Benona Sharp, Texas oil pioneer, co-founded Sharp-Hughes Tool Company, the Texas Company (now Texaco), Producers Oil Company and Moonshine Oil Company (b. 1870)
- December 23 - Otto Schoetensack, German anthropologist (b. 1850)
- Physics - Nils Gustaf Dalén
- Chemistry - Victor Grignard, Paul Sabatier
- Medicine - Alexis Carrel
- Literature - Gerhart Johann Robert Hauptmann
- Peace - Elihu Root
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