British hopes, that Robert Falcon Scott had reached the South Pole before Roald Amundsen of Norway, were ended when the Terra Nova arrived in New Zealand without Captain Scott on board, and the news that the Scott team had still been 150 miles from the Pole as of January 3. Amundsen's party had reached the Pole on December 14. Scott's party had arrived on January 17 then died in March while on the way back.
The number of U.S. Senators increased from 92 to 96 with the swearing in of the legislators from Arizona and New Mexico.
In the Wisconsin presidential primary, Governor Woodrow Wilson of New Jersey finished ahead of former House Speaker Champ Clark among Democrats, and Senator La Follette bested President Taft in Republican voting.
Calbraith P. Rodgers, the 33-year-old American aviator who had flown, with multiple stops, from the Atlantic coast to the Pacific Coast in the autumn of 1911, was killed while flying his plane in an airshow. One author would later write that "the first person to fly across the continental US was also the first to die as a result of a bird strike. Rodgers' Wright Pusher airplane collided with a seagull, the engine failed, and he crashed into the ocean near Long Beach, California.
After more than 200 members of the Industrial Workers of the World had been put in the city's jail, the police chief in San Diego, California had the prisoners released into the hands of vigilantes. The mob escorted the "Wobblies" to the county line, beat them, and warned them never to return. An investigator sent by Governor Hiram Johnson described the city's police as so brutal that he thought he was "sojourning in Russia".
The British coal miners' strike ended with the return of thousands of workers to the coal pits in England, Scotland and Wales. The approval of a guaranteed minimum wage ended the three-week-old strike, which had halted not only the production of coal, but the output from factories dependent on coal as a fuel.
RMS Titanic, the largest ship ever constructed up to that time, began its maiden voyage from Southampton, England at noon, with a final destination of New York City. On its exit, the ship caused the American liner New York to break free of its moorings. It arrived in Cherbourg, France that evening at 7:00 pm, took on more passengers, then departed two hours later.
The French liner Niagara, sailing from Le Havre to New York, struck ice while sailing near Newfoundland. The ship's bow plates were dented, the ship began to leak, and an S.O.S. was sent. The steamer Carmonia rushed to the rescue, but the crew of the Niagara was able to make repairs.
`Abdu'l-Bahá, leader of the Baha'i Faith, arrived in New York City to continue his journey to spread the new religion to the Western world. The spiritual leader had been brought over by the steamer S.S. Cedric, which had left Naples on March 24. Reportedly, American and Canadian Baha'is had offered to pay extra for him to sail to New York on a much faster ship, the R.M.S. Titanic, but Abdul-Baha had declined. The religious leader would spend the rest of the year in the U.S., giving 200 speeches on "The Oneness of Religion", and visiting 32 cities.
Crosley Field, which would be the home of baseball's Cincinnati Reds for the next 58 seasons, opened to a record crowd of 26,336. The Reds beat the Chicago Cubs 10-6 in the opener, and would beat the San Francisco Giants, 5-4 in their final game there on June 24, 1970, before moving to Riverfront Park.
In a minor league American Association baseball game between the Kansas City Blues and the Columbus Senators, there were no home runs nor foul balls that went into the stands. Hence, only one baseball was used for the entire nine innings, a feat that has never happened since in American professional baseball.
The Titanic arrived at Queenstown (now Cobh) in Ireland at 12:30pm, picked up the last of its passengers, then departed for New York City with 2,227 people on board.
The legendary combination of shortstop Joe Tinker, second baseman Johnny Evers and first baseman Frank Chance appeared together in a baseball game for the last time, as their Chicago Cubs team lost at Cincinnati, 3-2. The next day, Chance, now manager of the Chicago Cubs, replaced himself at first base with Vic Saier. The trio had begun working together on September 13, 1902, and was memorialized in the poem "Baseball's Sad Lexicon".
The French liner SS La Touraine sent a radio message to Captain Smith of the Titanic, giving the ship the first warnings of an ice field as far south as 42°S (roughly the latitude of Chicago).
Sinking of the RMS Titanic: At 11:40 pm ship time, RMS Titanic struck an iceberg in the North Atlantic Ocean. Only thirty seven seconds earlier, crewman Frederick Fleet spotted the iceberg straight ahead, but the ship was running at almost top speed, 25 mph, and tore the side after attempting to steer around. The collision occurred roughly 400 miles east of Newfoundland., The ship would stay afloat for two hours and forty minutes. The ship closest to the Titanic, SS Californian was only a few miles away, and had transmitted warnings about the ice field, but its radio operator had turned off his equipment at 11:30 pm, ten minutes before the collision. During the day, Titanic received warnings from the Caronia, the Noordam, the Baltic, the Amerika, the Californian, the Mesaba.
Santos FC, winner of 8 national championships in Brazil's major soccer football league, was founded in Santos. It would play its first game on June 23.
The Titanic sank at 2:20 am ship time. Only 710 of the people on board had survived, and 1,522 died, most of them men, but including 103 women and 52 children. The first lifeboat had been lowered at 12:45 am, Evacuation had been ordered at 12:05 am and the last at 2:05 am. The RMS Carpathia arrived at 4:10 am to rescue the survivors who had been able to reach a lifeboat.
Harriet Quimby became the first woman to fly across the English Channel, less than three years after Louis Bleriot had become the first man to make the crossing. Quimby departed Dover at 5:30 am in a fog, and landed at Neufchâtel-Hardelot, 25 miles south of her intended destination of Calais. She would be killed in a plane crash less than three months later.
Lena massacre: Russian soldiers fired into a crowd of gold miners, who had gone on strike in Siberia to demand a reduction in the workday and improved food and sanitation. According to official figures, 270 miners were killed and another 250 wounded, and the dead were buried in a mass grave. On the old Russian (Julian) calendar, the date was April 4, which is sometimes mistakenly cited as the date of the massacre.
The Carpathia arrived in New York City with 710 survivors from the Titanic.
Italo-Turkish War: Italy attacked Ottoman Turkey directly, as 27 warships sailed into the Dardanelles and began bombardment of Fort Kilid-ul-Bahr and Fort Sedd-ul-Bahr for two and a half hours. A Turkish gunboat was sunk after its crew escaped, and one of the yachts of the Ottoman Sultan was captured by Italian forces. There were 300 Turkish soldiers killed and more wounded in the destruction of the Kunkaleh Fort.
Muslim soldiers in the Moroccan city of Fez mutinied, killing fifty French officers and soldiers and almost 100 Jewish residents, before being suppressed
The Russian Empire agreed to recognize Italian sovereignty over Libya in return for Italy's support of Russian influence in the Balkans.
At a U.S. Senate subcommittee hearing, Titanic Second Officer Charles Lightoller testified that they loaded as few as 25 people in boats intended to hold 65, only as much as they thought the ropes would hold.
The U.S. Hydrographic Office and representatives of the steamship lines agreed that the winter time course of ships would be 270 miles south of the course taken by the Titanic, adding between 9 and 14 hours to the trip. The new route would be 3,080 miles rather than 2,858 miles
Boston's Fenway Park and Detroit's Tiger Stadium (at that time known as Navin Field) both officially opened on the same day. At Fenway, which would still be the Red Sox home a century later, the Red Sox beat the New York Highlanders (now the Yankees) 7–6. The same afternoon, the Tigers beat the Cleveland Indians, 6–5, at the park that they would remain in for 87 seasons; after which Tiger Stadium would be replaced by Comerica Park on April 11, 2000, the only other occasion when two major league stadiums would open on the same day (the San Francisco Giants' Pacific Bell Park being the other field).
The luxury ocean liner SS France began its maiden voyage, from Le Havre, ten days after the Titanic had started its first trip. The ship would remain in service until 1935. Carrying 1,273 passengers (with room for 2,026 and enough lifeboats for all), the France arrived safely in New York six days later.
Immediate reforms were ordered by the International Mercantile Marine, requiring all steamers to carry sufficient lifeboats and rafts for all passengers and crew.
Died:Bram Stoker, 64, Irish writer best known as the creator of Dracula (b. 1847)
Died: Benito Juárez Maza, Governor of Mexico's Oaxaca state since 1911. His death, apparently of a heart attack, triggered six months of battles between Mexico's national government and Juárez Maza's followers, who believed he had been poisoned.
At Munich, Walter Friedrich and Paul Knipping confirmed the theory, made by German physicist Max von Laue, that the x-rays aimed at a crystal would be diffracted, and that the patterns left on a photographic plate would effectively show the location of individual atoms. Friedrich and Knippe aimed x-rays at a crystal of copper sulfate, and produced photographs, later misplaced, of the structure of the crystal. Von Laue would be awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1914.
Aleister Crowley was appointed by Ordo Templi Orientis leader Theodor Reuss as the "National Grand Master General for Great Britain and Ireland" to spread the Reuss's variety of the occult in the British Isles. Crowley would later be designated by Reuss as "Supreme and Holy King of Ireland, Iona and all the Britons within the sanctuary of the Gnosis".
The New York Highlanders (later the Yankees) and the New York Giants played an exhibition baseball game at the Polo Grounds to raise money for destitute survivors of the Titanic. The Giants won, 11-2, before a crowd of 14,083 and the game raised $9,425.25
The date of the first issue of Pravda, the official newspaper of the Communist Party, and the leading newspaper for the Soviet Union between 1922 and 1991, was 22 April 1912. Russia was using the Julian Calendar at the time, 13 days behind the Gregorian calendar. In later years, Pravda would carry on its front page the slogan "Founded by V. I. Lenin on May 5, 1912".
The very first New Hampshire primary was held, marking the first time that voters in New England decided on the delegates for a party nomination. President Taft defeated former President Roosevelt.
The RMS Olympic, sister ship of the White Star liner Titanic was barred from departing Southampton with its 1,400 passengers because of a strike by shipworkers, over insufficient lifeboats. The White Star Line had added 16 "collapsible" boats which could be deployed in a hurry.
Portuguese troops killed striking textile workers at Vila Nova de Gaia, a suburb of Oporto
The bazaar, shopping quarter for Syrians in Damascus, caught on fire, causing $10,000,000 in damages and killing several persons.
Sergei Mironovich Kostrikov, an early leader in Russia's Bolshevik movement, first took on the pen name "Kirov". Although he would be assassinated in 1934 while serving as the Communist Party chief in Leningrad, the Russian city of Kirov, the Russian Kirov Oblast, and the Ukrainian city of Kirovohrad are all named in his honor.
Civil war broke out again in Paraguay, with former President Jara commanding rebels at Villa Encarnacion. Four Paraguayan warships bombarded the rebels, who returned fire with cannons and forced the troops to withdraw.
China cancelled a $50,000,000 munitions contract with a Belgian firm after protests by the four powers (the U.S., U.K., France and Germany)
Hubert Lyautey was appointed as the first French Resident-General of Morocco, which had recently become a protectorate of France. General Lyautey would administer most of the affairs of the Kingdom of Morocco until 1925. The city of Kenitra was renamed "Port Lyautey" in his honor, from 1933 to 1956, until reverting to its former name.
The thermometer rose to 108 °F (42.2 °C) at the city of Tuguegarao, setting a record for the highest recorded temperature not only in the Philippines, but also for the islands of the South Pacific ocean.
The cable ship Mackey-Bennett arrived at Halifax, bringing the bodies of 190 people who had drowned or frozen to death after escaping the Titanic. Although the ship had recovered 306 bodies, 116 of those were buried at sea because of a lack of sufficient embalming fluid, including 57 that had been identified. Located were the remains of John Jacob Astor and Isidor Straus, while Mrs. Straus and former presidential adviser Archibald Butt were never located.