The United States Baseball League, an 8-team challenger to the National League and American League, played its first game, with New York and the visiting team from Reading, Pennsylvania, playing to a 10-10 tie before a crowd of 2,500. Other games played on opening day were Richmond 2, Washington 0; Pittsburgh 11, Cleveland 7; and Chicago 5, Cincinnati 0. After teams dropped out, the season, which was set to run until September 21, ended on June 26.
Congressman Oscar W. Underwood of Alabama won the Democratic primary in Georgia, defeating New Jersey Governor Woodrow Wilson.
Born:Otto Kretschmer, the most successful U-Boat commander in World War II, in Heidau, German Empire (now Nysa, Poland). Kretschmer's U-23 and U-99 sank 47 ships in the first 18 months of the war. (d. 1998); and Winthrop Rockefeller, multimillionaire native of New York City who served as the 37th Governor of Arkansas (1967–71) (d. 1973)
The "Symphony for Negro Music" was performed at Carnegie Hall by the all-black Clef Club Orchestra, with 125 singers and musicians led by conductor James Reese Europe, and marked the most prestigious event for African-American musicians up to that time.
Italian Army Captain Alberto Margenhi Marengoon made the first nighttime reconnaissance flight in history, using an airplane to assess Turkish troop strength near Benghazi.
Ahmed al-Hiba, outraged at the Sultan's signing of a treaty to make Morocco a French protectorate, declared himself "Imam al-Mujahideen" (leader of the uprising) and began inciting rebellions throughout the North African nation.
The first competitive events of the 1912 Summer Olympics took place in Stockholm, Sweden, with lawn tennis being played until May 12. Most of the competition took place between June 29 and July 22, with the opening ceremonies being held on July 6.
Pravda, the official newspaper of the Communist Party, and later the leading daily paper for the Soviet Union between 1922 and 1991, published its first issue. Founded by Vladimir Lenin, and published daily in Saint Petersburg, at that time the capital of the Russian Empire. Pravda (Russian for "The Truth") served as the leading newspaper for the Soviet Union between 1922 and 1991. The first issue carried the date "22 April 1912" (22 Апрель 1912), in that Russia was still using the Julian Calendar, which was 13 days behind the Gregorian calendar. The paper would later carry the slogan "Newspaper founded 5 May 1912 by V. I. Lenin".
The first issue of Our Sunday Visitor, was introduced in Roman Catholic churches in the United States. The 35,000 copies of the first issue sold for one cent apiece.
Born: Adolf Ottman, Anne-Marie Ottman, Emma Ottman and Elisabeth Ottman, the longest-lived quadruplets to date, in Munich, Germany. All four were 79 years, 316 days old when Adolf became the first to pass away on March 17, 1992.
Born:Ma Sicong, Chinese composer and musician known as "The King of Violinists" in his native land, in Haifeng County. In 1967, he and his family escaped to Hong Kong during China's Cultural Revolution (d. 1987)
Pascual Orozco, who had helped in the revolution that made Francisco I. Madero the President of Mexico six months earlier, then led a second revolution against Madero, ordered his 6,000 insurrectionists to fight against Madero's troops at the state of Coahuila. Reports of the day described the oncoming clash as "the greatest body of rebels and government troops that has ever come together...in what is expected to be the turning point of the revolution".
British Royal Navy Commander Charles R. Samson became the first pilot to take a plane into the air off of a ship in motion, when he flew his airplane off of the HMS Hibernia, which was moving at a speed of 10 knots
W. B. Atwater, a salesman for the Curtiss Aeroplane Company, persuaded the Japanese Navy to begin developing its own air corps. Atwater impressed the Minister of the Navy, Adm. Saitō Makoto, by taking aloft a Curtiss hydroplane from the ocean, in the first water takeoff ever seen in the Orient. On the third and final flight, Atwater took one of the Japanese officers with him as a passenger, then dropped a message to the Minister Saito. Japan bought four Curtiss Triads. "From this slight beginning," author Walter J. Boyne would note later, "grew the naval air force that twenty-nine years later would strike at Pearl Harbor." 
Bulgaria and Serbia signed a mutual defense treaty, with Bulgaria pledging 200,000 men to defend Serbia against an attack by Austria-Hungary, while Serbia agreed to send 200,000 to protect against a Bulgarian invasion by Romania, and each pledging to assist the other in a fight against the Ottoman Empire.
The U.S. House of Representatives voted 237-39 to send the proposed Seventeenth Amendment to the United States Constitution to the 48 states for ratification. The amendment, which provided for U.S. Senators to be elected directly by popular vote, rather than by the state legislatures, followed 86 years worth of rejections. In 1894, 1898, 1900 and 1902, the House had approved an amendment and the Senate had rejected it. The Amendment would be ratified by April 8, 1913, after Connecticut became the 36th of 48 states to give its approval.
The first jury trial ever conducted in China began in Shanghai.
Italian ships captured more islands from Turkey, seizing Piskopi, Nisero, Kalismo, Leno and Patmos.
Born:Gil Evans, Canadian jazz composer, as Ian Ernest Gilmore Green, in Toronto (d. 1988)
Saved from the Titanic, a silent film produced by the Eclair Film Company and starring Dorothy Gibson, was released in the United States. Coming out on the one month anniversary of the day RMS Titanic struck the iceberg, it was the first disaster film, and the first to use special effects, interspersing film of the RMS Olympic with models "sometimes resembling a toy boat in a bathtub"  to recreate the sinking. Ms. Gibson, at the time the most famous movie star in America, actually had been a passenger on the ship when it began to sink, and literally had been "saved from the Titanic".
China's legislature rejected the six power railroad loan agreement.
In the California presidential primaries, Theodore Roosevelt won all 26 of the Republican delegates, defeating President Taft in all 58 counties. Former House Speaker Champ Clark won the Democratic delegates, defeating Woodrow Wilson by a 2-1 ratio. Women, though not allowed to vote in national elections, were able to participate in the primaries.
Died:Frederik VIII, 68, King of Denmark since 1906. The King had been on vacation in Germany, and went out alone, with no identification, for an evening stroll. After he collapsed and died on the street, he was taken as a "John Doe" to a morgue in a local hospital.
Count Karl von Stürgkh, the Austrian Prime Minister within Austria-Hungary, stepped down due to sudden blindness caused by "an affection of the retina resulting from overwork", and was temporarily succeeded by the Interior Minister, Baron von Heinold.
Detroit Tigers baseball star Ty Cobb, angry after being taunted by New York Highlanders (later the Yankees) fan Claude Lueker at Hilltop Park, charged into the stands and punched and kicked the his tormentor. Lueker, who was "a cripple, who lost one hand and three fingers of the other", said that when someone yelled "Don't kick him, he has no hands", Cobb replied "I don't care if he has no feet!"  Cobb would be suspended by the American League for ten days, leading to a sympathy strike by his teammates on May 18.
Two small boys who had survived the sinking of the Titanic were reunited with their mother after having been identified. Michel Navratil, Jr., 3, and Edmond Navratil, 2, had been placed into a lifeboat by their father. Michel would be the last male survivor of the disaster, dying on January 31, 2001
Born:Studs Terkel, American writer and broadcaster, in New York City (d. 2008)
Detroit Tigers' strike: Five minutes after the start of their game against the Philadelphia Athletics, the Detroit Tigers baseball team walked off of the field to protest the suspension of Ty Cobb. Rather than forfeit the game, Tigers' manager Hughie Jennings recruited eight volunteers from the Philadelphia crowd to fill in for the day. Earning $25 apiece, "the nine sorry sheep who were masquerading in borrowed Tiger skins" lost the game, 24-2.
Shree Pundalik, the first multi-reel motion picture, was released in India. It preceded by a few months the first American full-length feature, Queen Elizabeth.
General Jose de Jesus Monteagudo suspended constitutional rights in suppressing an uprising by black Cubans, and massacred 3,000 of the insurgents, as well as executing their leaders. Carlos Moore, author of Cuba, the Blacks, and Africa estimated that between 15,000 and 35,000 black Cubans were killed when including those who were lynched or shot.
The United States Marines entered into military aviation, as 2nd Lieutenant Alfred A. Cunningham reported for flight training at the Navy Aviation Center.
Count István Tisza, formerly the Prime Minister for the Hungarian side of Austria-Hungary, was elected President of the Hungarian Chamber of Deputies after a fight between the legislators. Reportedly, "all the inkpots and other articles that could be used as missiles were removed from the chamber before the voting began", and the Socialist Union party members walked out after fistfights broke out.
Massachusetts became the first state to ratify the 17th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, as the state Senate voted 30-0 in favor of direct election of U.S. Senators, after the House had approved the measure by acclamation.
The Hamburg-America Line's SS Imperator was launched from the Vulcan Shipyards Hamburg as the world's largest ship. Kaiser Wilhelm II himself christened the new ship, and almost suffered a serious injury in the process. As the ship moved down into the water, a large block of wood fell from the side, "missing the kaiser's head by only a few inches".
In Tyler, Texas, Dan Davis, an African-American who had confessed to raping and then slitting the throat of a young white woman on May 13, was burned at the stake after a mob of 2,000 people overpowered his jailers. Davis's executioners had brought "several wagon loads of wood" to the town's public square and tied him to a rail. After Davis said, "I am guilty," he was set ablaze.
1912 Indianapolis 500: In the second running of the annual auto race, Ralph DePalma was less than two laps away from victory when his Mercedes developed engine trouble on Lap 198. DePalma had led all the way, and was six laps ahead of the nearest competitor, Joe Dawson, who completed the race in 6 hours, 21 minutes and 8 seconds.
The first contingent of U.S. Marines, dispatched to Cuba, landed at Daiquirí.
Died:Wilbur Wright, 45, the older of the two Wright Brothers who invented the airplane, died of typhoid fever at his home in Dayton, Ohio. Wilbur had become ill on May 4 while on a business trip to Boston. On December 17, 1903, Wilbur became the second man in history to pilot an airplane, after his brother Orville made the first flight.
An experiment at Wichita Falls, Texas, to "make rain", after two weeks of drought, failed. Six thousand pounts of dynamite seemed to work at first, as cloudy skies and occasional flashes of lighting swept into the area, but without precipitation.