This Day In History, September 12th

What happened on this day in history: The Lascaux cave paintings are discovered in southwestern France, Johnny Cash dies at the age of 71, and more.

1638: The Battle Of Vienna Ends Ottoman Domination In Eastern Europe

Forces loyal to the Holy Roman Empire defeat an Ottoman Empire army at Kahlenberg Mountain near Vienna, a victory which ushered in the beginning of the end of Ottoman domination in eastern Europe.

1846: HMS Terror Gets Trapped In Ice

Engraving Of The HMS Terror

Wikimedia CommonsAn engraving of the HMS Terror, one of the two ships lost during the Franklin expedition.

The HMS Terror becomes trapped in ice near Canada’s King William Island. About a year and a half earlier, the 129 men of the Franklin expedition had set out on the ship and the HMS Erebus to search for the Northwest Passage.

Listen above to the History Uncovered podcast, episode 3: The Lost Franklin Expedition, also available on iTunes and Spotify.

But none of them survived after the ships became trapped, and the Terror wasn’t found until 168 years later in 2016.

1913: Jesse Owens Is Born

Black American track and field athlete James Cleveland “Jesse” Owens is born in Oakville, Alabama. Owens would go on to win four gold medals at the 1936 Olympic games in Berlin, where his victories flew in the face of hateful Nazi racial policies.

1940: The Lascaux Cave Paintings Are Discovered

September 12 Today In History

Public DomainAn image painted on the walls of the Lascaux Cave in France.

Four teenagers stumble upon ancient paintings in the Lascaux Cave near Montignac, France. The images, which historians estimate are between 15,000- to 17,000-years-old, depict animals, symbols, and seemingly mythical creatures. The cave is closed to the public today because light was damaging the images, but people can visit a replica nearby.

1953: John F. Kennedy Weds Jacqueline Lee Bouvier

John F. Kennedy marries Jacqueline Lee Bouvier in St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Church in Newport, Rhode Island. From the outside, the dashing future president and his glamorous wife seemed to have a charmed relationship, though it was strained by Kennedy’s constant infidelity. John F. Kennedy was assassinated in 1963 when he was president and Jacqueline later married Greek shipping magnate Aristotle Onassis.

1959: Soviet Union Launches Luna 2, The First Space Probe To Reach The Moon

The Soviet Union launches Luna 2, the first space probe to reach the moon. Its predecessor, Luna 1, also launched in the direction of the moon but failed to land. Luna 2 was similar to Luna 1 in appearance, with long antennas and a spherical base. As it approached the moon, Luna 2 released a cloud of sodium as part of an experiment to analyze the behavior of gas in space. Then, Luna 2 made contact with the moon’s surface. This launch proved that the moon did not have a magnetic field or a radiation belt.

2003: Johnny Cash Dies

Johnny Cash

Michael Ochs Archives/Getty ImagesJohnny Cash poses for a moody portrait in Memphis, Tennessee, in 1957.

Johnny Cash dies in Nashville, Tennessee, at the age of 71 from complications related to diabetes. Known as the “Man in Black,” Cash was one of the most successful artists of the 20th century. He released iconic hits like “I Walk the Line,” “Ring of Fire,” and “Folsom Prison Blues.”