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5 Fun Facts About April 12 In New Jersey History

---Learn Every Day: NJ Today In History Facts Texted Each Day - Text: history nj To: 618-270-4005---

1. Revolutionary War Battles: On April 12, 1777, during the Revolutionary War, British troops and Hessian mercenaries attacked American forces under the command of General Nathanael Greene at the Battle of Bound Brook in Somerset County. The American troops managed to fend off the attack by retreating across the Raritan River.

2. Inventive State: On April 12, 1861, in Newark, Samuel Warren, Jr. and John Hawley patented the first tin-foil phonograph, a precursor to modern audio recording technologies.

3. First Houdini Flight: On April 12, 1910, magician and escape artist Harry Houdini made his first flight at the Garden State Racetrack in Bergen County. He piloted an airplane in a series of 8-minute flights that amazed onlookers.

4. NASA Launch: On April 12, 1981, NASA launched the space shuttle Columbia from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Among its crew was astronaut William C. Bergen, a native of New Jersey who was the first Air Force Academy graduate to fly into space.

5. Martin Luther King Jr. Speech: On April 12, 1963, civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. was arrested during a nonviolent protest in Birmingham, Alabama. From jail, he wrote a letter that became known as the “Letter From Birmingham Jail,” in which he defended the use of civil disobedience to protest unjust laws. The letter was later widely published and became an important document in the civil rights movement.
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