A new law went into effect in Egypt, making all ancient artifacts there property of the State. Dealers were required to have a license, items could not be exported without a permit, and any evasion of the law would be punishable by confiscation of the items.
Russian ethnologist Shloyme Ansky, with the backing of philanthropist Goratsii Gintsburg (Horace Günzburg), launched the Jewish Ethnographic Expedition, that collected and preserved thousands of Jewish artifacts in Russia until the outbreak of World War One.
Died:Harriet Quimby, 37, the first American woman to gain a pilot's license, was killed, along with a passenger, William A.P. Willard, when her airplane suddenly pitched forward, throwing both people out of their seats. Quimby and Willard fell from an altitude of 1,000 feet, into five-foot deep waters in Dorchester Bay near Squantum, Massachusetts, where they had been participating in an airshow. Although the cause of the accident was never identified, one theory is that Willard, much heavier than Quimby, caused the plane to pitch out of control when he shifted in his seat.
New Jersey Governor Woodrow Wilson received the Democratic Party nomination for President of the United States, after 46 ballots had been taken at the party convention. On the 45th ballot, with 730 votes needed to win, Wilson had 633, former House Speaker Champ Clark had 306, and Alabama Senator Oscar Underwood had 97. Underwood then withdrew his candidacy, putting the nomination within reach, and Clark followed suit. The final result was 990 votes for Wilson, 84 for Champ Clark, and 12 for Judson Harmon. With the Republican Party split between the followers of President Taft and former President Roosevelt, the Democrats would win the U.S. Presidency for the first time since 1892.
William M. Burton applied for the patent of the thermal cracking process that he had invented, which greatly increased the amount of gasoline that could be developed from crude oil. U.S. Patent No. 1,049,667 would be granted on January 7, 1913.
Sir Francis May, recently appointed as the British Governor of Hong Kong, escaped an assassination attempt. A Chinese resident fired a revolver, striking the chair in which May had been sitting, but missing the Governor.
Indiana Governor Thomas R. Marshall received the Democratic Party's nomination for Vice-President at 1:56 in the morning, more than eight hours after Woodrow Wilson had won the presidential nomination. In a statement, Wilson said of Marshall, "I feel honored by having him as a running mate", cited by William Safire as what "may be the first recorded use of the term by a presidential nominee" to describe the vice-presidential nominee on his ticket, and giving a new meaning for a horse racing term.
Sixteen miners were killed and six injured in an explosion at the Osterfeld colliery near Oberhausen in Germany.
The Turkish Air Academy was founded as the Ottoman Empire began training its own pilots and flight officers.
The International Olympic Committee voted to hold the 1916 Summer Olympics in Berlin, rejecting a bid from Budapest. The Games of the Sixth Olympiad would be cancelled after the outbreak of World War One in 1914.
The new 48-star American flag was first raised proclaimed as the symbol of the United States, and would continue to be used for forty-seven years, until July 4, 1959, when replaced by a 49 star banner. Until 2007, the 48-stars had been the longest-lasting American flag in history.
Heavyweight boxing champion Jack Johnson successfully defended his title against white challenger "Fireman Jim Flynn" in East Las Vegas, New Mexico. The bout was scheduled to go for as many as 45 rounds but was stopped by New Mexico state police, who entered the ring in the ninth round at the request of Governor McDonald.
Lightweight boxing champ Ad Wolgast fought challenger "Mexican Joe Rivers" in Los Angeles. In the third round, the fighters knocked each other out with simultaneous blows. Referee Jack Welch lifted the arm of the prone Wolgast and declared him the winner and still champion.
French cyclist Gabriel Poulain won a contest for human powered flight by remaining at least 10 centimeters off of the ground for 3.6 meters, slightly less than 12 feet.
In fiction, July 4, 1912 is the date that Harold Hill arrives in River City, Iowa in the Meredith Wilson musical (and later film) The Music Man; and that Jud Crandall discovers the secret of the pet cemetery in Ludlow, Maine in the Stephen King novel Pet Sematary
In the second fatal American railroad crash in two days, 26 people were killed and 29 injured when a freight train rear-ended a passenger train on the Ligonier Valley Railroad near the resort town of Wilpen, Pennsylvania. Most of the victims were women and children, who were returning home after a day at the Wilpen Fair Grounds.
The first International Radiotelegraph Convention was signed in London. It would be replaced in 1927 by the Radiotelegraph General Convention.
The first Automat in New York City, providing fast food to customers in a self-service format, was opened by Horn & Hardart at 1557 Broadway in Times Square. Similar to a vending machine, the service featured foods prepared in a kitchen and then placed in windowed slots, which a diner could access by placing coins into a machine. The service had existed in Philadelphia since 1902.
Magician and escape artist Harry Houdini performed his most dangerous stunt up to that time. In addition to his familiar act of having to escape being locked up in handcuffs and leg irons, Houdini was placed in a wooden box that was weighted down, nailed shut, and then thrown off of the tugboat Catherine Moran into the East River at New York City. A minute after the coffin sank, Houdini surfaced before hundreds of spectators, including reporters and photographers.
The Russian Empire and Japanese Empire signed a secret treaty regarding the division of their interests in Inner Mongolia (now part of China), with Russia to have control of Mongol territory west of the longitude of Beijing (116°27'E) and Japan control of that to the east, while Outer Mongolia was to be under Russian control.
The U.S. House of Representatives voted 222-1 to impeach U.S. Commerce Court Judge Robert W. Archbald. The sole dissenting vote was from the Congressman from Archbald's district, John R. Farr of Pennsylvania.
Mexican rebels under the command of a Colonel Arriola marched into Colonia Diaz, one of the American Mormon colonies in Mexico, and gave the American colonists there 24 hours to surrender all weapons. The colonists' senior official, Junius Romney, met with the rebels' leader and learned that the rebels planned to drive the Americans out.
Near the Persian city of Ardabil a Russian military column consisting of a squadron of cossacks and a few mountain artillery guns attacked a village supporting the former Shah. Eleven 'Shahaveens' or Shah supporters were killed with one cossack a casualty on the Russian side.
The United States Senate voted 55-28 to remove William Lorimer from his post as U.S. Senator from Illinois, after determining that his election by the Illinois Senate had been secured by corruption. Lorimer would earn what a U.S. Senate historian called "the dubious distinction of being the last senator to be deprived of office for corrupting a state legislature".
The weekly newspaper Al-Hilal, published by Indian Muslim activist Abul Kalam Azad to persuade Urdu-speaking Muslims to join in the move to gain independence from the United Kingdom, made its first appearance.
Dr. Théodore Tuffier, a surgeon in France, performed the first successful surgery for aortic stenosis on a human patient, an unidentified man from Belgium. The operation went so well that the man was able to return home twelve days later, and was still doing well eight years later. The next procedure to treat narrowing of the aortic valve did not take place again until 36 years later.
The first live beauty pageant (where the contestants were judged in person in one event) in the United States took place at Venice Beach, California as 169 contestants participated in the "Festival of the Sea Bathing Costume Contest", parading in their swimsuits before an enthusiastic crowd of 100,000. Lydia Anderson of Los Angeles won first prize, receiving $200.
A railroad accident near Chicago, third major American railroad crash in two weeks, killed 15 people and injured 30. The Denver Overland Limited, eastbound to Chicago, was idled at Western Springs, Illinois when it was struck at 70 miles an hour by a mai train racing to Omaha.
The National Health Insurance Act took effect in the United Kingdom. The original Act provided sickness, disability and maternity benefits and free treatment for tuberculosis for all insured workers, but not for their dependents.
Hurshid Pasha, who had temporarily become the Ottoman Empire's Minister of War, resigned as problems continued in Albania, which presented its grievances to the Grand Vizier. He was replaced by General Mahmud Mukhtar.
Sir Percy Girouard resigned as the British Governor of the East African Protectorate (now Kenya) to go into business with a shipbuilding firm. He was succeeded by H. C. Belfield.
Died:Herman Rosenthal, New York City gambler, was shot to death by four gunmen, hours before he was scheduled to testify before a grand jury on police corruption. The killing, carried out by hired gangsters, would be traced to New York Police Department lieutenant Charles Becker. The four shooters, and Lt. Becker, would later be convicted for the murder and executed.
The Free State of Ikaria was declared on the small island near the coast of Turkey, as its predominantly Greek inhabitants broke away from the Ottoman Empire. It retained independence until November 1, when it was taken by the Kingdom of Greece.
Ottoman Grand Vizier Mehmed Said Pasha resigned along with his cabinet, after a revolt in the Turkish Army against the Young Turks organization.
The House of Representatives voted in favor of splitting the U.S. Department of Commerce and Labor into two different departments.
Tewfik Pasha was appointed as the new Grand Vizier of the Ottoman Empire, by Sultan Abdul Hamid II, but would be unable to form a cabinet.
General Pedro Ivonet, who took command of negro rebels in Cuba, was found and killed by government troops at Nueva Escocia. The other major rebel leader, General Julio Antomarchi, surrendered later in the day at El Cobre.
Born:Max Rousié, French rugby footballer, captain of French team 1938-39, in Marmande (killed in auto accident, 1959)
A large meteorite streaked over the town of Holbrook, Arizona, at 6:30 pm local time and then exploded, showering an area six miles eastward with more than 15,000 pieces. Based on the fragments recovered, the meteor was estimated to weigh more than 400 pounds.
Italo-Turkish War: As eight Italian torpedo boats attempted to block the entrance to the Dardanelles at Turkey, the defenders sank two Italian ships with cannon fire.
Albanian rebels agreed to a truce with Ottoman troops, after the Ottoman government agreed to send a commission of Parliament to investigate grievances in the Ottoman province.
The National Packing Company, informally referred to as the "Meat Trust", was dissolved after being found to have violated American anti-trust laws. The assets of the company were divided among the three companies that had merged in 1902 to create National Packing Swift & Company, Armour & Company and Morris & Company
"Auto polo", invented by car dealer Pappy Hankinson of Topeka, Kansas, as a stunt to sell cars, was played for the first time, and became a national sensation in the United States until the deaths of several participants caused it to be banned the following year. In the demonstration game, played at Wichita, Kansas, two teams (each with two cars and four players) played to a 1-1 tie.
Died: Robert Fulton Boyd, 54, African-American physician, businessman and philanthropist
The first automatic telephone exchange in the United Kingdom, replacing human operators on switchboards, was inaugurated in London by the General Post Office with a system capable of handling 1,500 lines.
Twelve women and girls, working at a Christmas card manufacturer, died when celluloid at the factory caught fire in London.
The First International Congress on Eugenics convened in London, with 400 delegates from twelve nations. Major Leonard Darwin, a son of Charles Darwin, presided over the Congress, and told delegates that "The unfit amongst men are now no longer necessarily killed off by hunger and disease, but are cherished with care, thus being enabled to reproduce their kind, however bad that may be... the effect likely to be produced by our charity on future generations is, to say the least, but weakness and folly."
The U.S. Senate approved creation of a territorial legislature for Alaska, a single chamber of 16 members. The bill would be signed into law on August 24.
Died:Emma Cons, 74, British social reformer and theatre manager
Evacuation of American women and children from the four Mormon colonies in Mexico at Chihuahua state, was ordered by the senior Mormon official, Junius Romney. In all, there were 4,000 Americans in twelve colonies.
Andrew Bonar Law, conservative Leader of the Opposition in the U.K. Parliament, declared in a speech that, "We regard the Government as a revolutionary committee which has seized by fraud upon domestic power... We shall use any means to deprive them of the power which they have usurped and to compel them to face the people they have deceived."
The Turkish cabinet announced that it would investigate the grievances of its citizens in Northern Albania and that armed force would not be used against them.
Born:Cheikh Raymond, Jewish-Algerian musician, as Raymond Leyris in Constantine, French Algeria (now Qusantina) (murdered 1961)
A pier on Germany's largest island, Rügen, collapsed under the weight of 1,000 people who were waiting for the arrival of the cruise ship Kronprinz Wilhelm. One hundred people went down into the Baltic Sea, and at least 14 drowned. The accident led to the creation of DLRG, the Deutsche Lebens-Rettungs-Gesellschaft (German Lifeguard Association).
The Turkish Parliamentary Commission of Enquiry arrived in Pristina to investigate Albanian complaints.
Nicaragua's Minister of War, General Luis Mena, brought rebel troops into the capital, Managua, in an attempt to overthrow President Adolfo Díaz. The Diaz government was saved by a request for intervention by the United States Marines.
An assassination attempt was made against Hassam Bey, leader of the Albanian rebellion against the Ottoman Empire, while he was in Uskub.
The first National Conference of American Newspaper and Magazine Writers opened at Madison, Wisconsin.
The Emperor Meiji, also called Mutsuhito, died at 12:43 am after a 44 year reign as Emperor of Japan, during which the nation rose from isolationism to becoming a world power. Crown Prince Yoshihito of Japan was proclaimed as the Emperor Taishō after the death of his father. In Japanese history, the event marked the end of the Meiji era and the beginning of the Taishō era.
The report of the British Court of Inquiry on the sinking of the Titanic, signed by the Chairman, Lord Mersey), was presented to Parliament after hearing testimony from 97 witnesses over 38 days. The Court concluded that the cause of the disaster "was due to collision with an inceberg, brought about by the excessive speed at which the ship was being navigated". On the same day, the first of the 710 Titanic survivors died, 21-month-old Mary Nakid, of meningitis. Millvina Dean, 16 months younger, would be the last survivor, dying on May 31, 2009.
The ministry of the Ottoman Grand Vizier Ahmed Muhtar Pasha survived a vote of confidence by a margin of 113-95.