Reuters historical calendar - April 12
London, April 11 (Reuters) Following are some of the major events to have occurred on April 12 since 1900: 1914 - George Bernard Shaw's play ''Pygmalion'' opened in London with Mrs Patrick Campbell as Eliza Doolittle and Sir Herbert Tree as Professor Higgins.
1945 - Franklin D Roosevelt, US president for a record four terms, died in office. Vice President Harry S Truman took over and completed his term of office.
1954 - Bill Haley and the Comets recorded the song ''Rock Around the Clock''. It sold an estimated 25 million copies worldwide, at the time the second-biggest-selling single behind Bing Crosby's ''White Christmas''.
1961 - The Soviet Union put the first man into space.
Cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin was launched in the spacecraft Vostok I for a single orbit of the Earth in an 108-minute flight.
1980 - Liberian President William Tolbert was assassinated in a military coup. Samuel K Doe was installed as the new head of state.
1981 - Joe Louis, heavyweight boxing champion, died at 66.
He held the world title for a record 12 years and won 68 of his 71 professional fights.
1981 - The world's first re-usable space shuttle, ''Columbia'', was launched at Cape Canaveral.
1989 - US boxer Sugar Ray Robinson, five-time winner of the world middleweight crown and unbeaten welterweight champion, died.
1994 - The entire Rwandan cabinet fled Kigali as the radio urged civilians to support the armed forces in repelling advancing rebels.
1996 - Kuala Lumpur's Petronas Towers were declared the world's tallest buildings by a committee of experts meeting in the shadow of the previous title-holder, Chicago's Sears Tower.
1997 - Albania's King Leka I returned home after 58 years in exile.
1999 - Fourteen people were killed when a NATO missile hit a train on a bridge over the Grdelica ravine in southeast Serbia, during the conflict over Kosovo.
1999 - Boxcar Willie, Country singing star, who blended a mellow voice with a rough-hewn hobo persona, died at 67.
2001 - China released all 24 crew of a US spy plane after Washington said it was ''very sorry'' for the aircraft's entry into Chinese airspace and for the death of a Chinese pilot.
2002 - Yadollah Sahabi, veteran Iranian opposition leader, died. Sahabi fought against US and British domination and later against Islamic extremism. He was 96.
2005 - Donors promised at least 4.5 billion dollars to help Sudan recover after Africa's longest civil war.
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