January 1 – The Republic of China is established as Dr. Sun Yat-Sen takes the oath of office as the Provisional President at Nanjing.
January 8 – The African National Congress is founded as the South African Native National Congress in a four-day meeting at Bloemfontein.
January 9 – The 130 foot tall Equitable Building, New York City’s first skyscraper, is destroyed by a fast moving fire.
January 12 – The Lawrence textile strike begins in Lawrence, Massachusetts. Men, women and children from 25 different nationalities hold out for nine weeks until March 13, when American Woolen agree to the strikers’ demands.
January 17 – The British Antarctic Expedition, consisting of Robert Falcon Scott and his team of four explorers, reach the South Pole, only to find the flag of Norway that had been planted by the Norwegian Expedition led by Roald Amundsen.
February 4 – Franz Reichelt, 32, French tailor and engineer, plunges to his death after jumping from the Eiffel Tower to test a wearable parachute.
February 12 – The Qing Dynasty of China comes to an end after 268 years as the Empress Dowager Longyu signs an agreement on behalf of Puyi, the 6 year old Emperor of China, making General Yuan Shih-kai the President of the new Republic.
March 1 – Albert Berry becomes the first person to make a parachute jump from an airplane in flight, leaping from above the Jefferson Barracks near St. Louis, Missouri.
March 1 – Emmeline Pankhurst is among 148 suffragettes arrested in London for breaking windows, including that of 10 Downing St
March 29 – The three remaining members of Robert Falcon Scott’s South Pole expedition die while waiting out a blizzard in their tent, still nearly 150 miles from their base camp. Their bodies will be discovered by a search party in November.
April 10 – RMS Titanic, the largest ship ever constructed, begins its maiden voyage from Southampton, England at noon, with a final destination of New York City.
April 14 – At 1140pm, RMS Titanic strikes an iceberg in the North Atlantic Ocean. The ship stas afloat for two hours and forty minutes. Only 705 of the people on board survive, while 1,500 die.
April 17 – Russian soldiers kill 270 striking gold miners and wound 270 others after firing into a crowd as they protested. The miners had gone on strike in Siberia to demand a reduction in the workday and improved food and sanitation.
May 14 – Frederik VIII, King of Denmark, collapses and dies while taking an evening stroll while on vacation in Germany. Found a
May 24 – Charles Dawson brings the first five skull fragments of the Piltdown man to the British Museum. Dawson’s ‘missing link’ will be proven to be a hoax in 1953.
May 29 – L’après-midi d’un faune, a ballet choreographed and performed by Vaslav Nijinsky, premiers at the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris. Nijinsky shocks the audience and is booed offstage.
June 22 – At the Republican National Convention, U.S. President William Howard Taft is nominated for a second term ahead of former President Theodore Roosevelt, who leaves the convention and forms a new Progressive Party.
July 1 – The Woolworth Building in New York City becomes the world’s tallest skyscraper, at 792 feet.
July 2 – New Jersey Governor Woodrow Wilson receives the Democratic Party nomination for President of the United States.
July 4 – 41 are killed in a train collision near Corning, New York
July 6 – The 1912 Summer Olympics are formally opened at the Swedish national stadium in Stockholm. Twenty-eight nations and 2,407 athletes (including 48 women) participate.
July 7 – Harry Houdini escapes handcuffs, leg irons, and an underwater coffin
July 7 – The first Automat in New York City, providing fast food to customers in a self-service format, is opened by Horn and Hardart at 1557 Broadway in Times Square.
August 7 – Physicist Victor Hess of the Vienna Institute for Radium Research, in the Austro-Hungarian Empire, becomes the first person to discover cosmic rays.
August 8 – Cincinnatus Leconte, President of Haiti, and 300 soldiers are killed in an accidental explosion at the presidential palace in Port-au-Prince.
September 12 – French Prime Minister Raymond Poincaré signs an agreement with the Russian Empire, providing that if the German Empire mobilized its troops, France and Russia would do the same.
September 21 – Harry Houdini gives the first public performance of his escape from the Chinese Water Torture Cell. The trick, never done before by anyone, required Houdini to get out of a lock
September 28 – The ‘Ulster Covenant’, a protest by adult citizens of the province in northern Ireland against a proposal to give Ireland self-government apart from Great Britain, is signed by 237,368 men, and 234,046 women.
October 14 – Theodore Roosevelt is shot and wounded by John Schrank, a New York City saloonkeeper. The bullet is slowed by Roosevelt’s metal eyeglasses case and the folded, fifty-page manuscri
October 17 – The Ottoman Empire declares war on Bulgaria and Serbia.
October 18 – The Ottoman Empire and Italy sign the First Treaty of Lausanne to end the Italo-Turkish War, with Turkey agreeing to grant independence to Tripolitania and Cyrenaica long enough for them to come under Italian control.
October 30 – James S. Sherman, the Vice President of the United States, dies in office, six days before the presidential election.
November 5 – Woodrow Wilson is elected President of the United States, with former Presidents Roosevelt and incumbent President Taft finishing in second and third place, respectively.
November 28 – Albania declares independence from The Ottoman Empire, bringing an end to more than 400 years of Turkish rule.
November 29 – The University of Maryland is destroyed by fire
December 4 – African-American boxer Jack Johnson shocks much of America by marrying ‘outside his race’ to white American Lucille Cameron.
December 6 – In excavations at Tell al-Amarna in Egypt, the Nefertiti Bust is unearthed, intact, after a burial of 32 centuries.
December 8 – Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany convenes a war council at Potsdam, after receiving news that the United Kingdom would join with France and Russia in the event of a European war.
December 23 – The Viceroy of India, Lord Hardinge, is wounded when a bomb is thrown at him in Delhi. The mastermind behind the plot, Rashbehari Bose, escapes to Japan where he livs the rest of his life.
December 26 – Mexican revolutionary leader Pancho Villa is able to escape from the military prison of Santiago Tlatelolco, and flees to the United States, hiding in El Paso, Texas.