2012: Facts & Events That Happened in This Year

2012: Facts & Historical Events That Happened in This Year



In 2012, the world was gripped by the belief that the apocalypse was imminent on December 21st, as predicted by the Mayan Calendar. However, the world did not meet its fiery end.

Instead, a different kind of explosion took place on YouTube as Psy’s “Gangnam Style” became the first video to reach one billion views, captivating audiences worldwide.

Another notable YouTube sensation of the year was the documentary “Kony 2012,” which became the most-liked video on the platform, shedding light on a Ugandan warlord.

For the United States, 2012 was a monumental year, with American Olympic athletes bringing home an astounding 48 gold medals.

It was also the year when “The Avengers” movie premiered, smashing box-office records and earning over $1.5 billion globally. The superhero ensemble film not only dominated the silver screen but also claimed the title of the highest-grossing film of 2012.

While 2012 may have escaped the clutches of an apocalypse, it left an indelible mark with viral sensations, sporting triumphs, and record-breaking cinematic achievements.

Continue reading to delve into the year 2012, where you’ll uncover important events, news stories, iconic music, notable quotes, and so much more!


Brace yourself for an incredible ride through the epic events that defined the unforgettable year of 2012.

Jan 7

Beyoncé and Jay-Z welcomed their daughter, Blue Ivy Carter, into the world.

“Her birth was emotional and extremely peaceful; we are in heaven. She was delivered naturally at a healthy 7 lbs, and it was the best experience of both of our lives.”

Feb 13

The European Space Agency successfully launched the Vega launch rocket for the first time.

The launch took off from the Centre Spatial Guyanais, otherwise known as Europe’s Spaceport, located in French Guiana. The Vega’s maiden flight carried nine satellites into orbit – two science satellites and seven miniature satellites called CubeSats. The mission was a complete success.

Feb 17

Thieves stole up to 68 Olympic artifacts from a museum in Greece.

Feb 28

The largest prehistoric penguin was discovered.

OTD in 2012: The largest prehistoric penguin was discovered.

The penguin species Kairuku grebneffi was discovered from a 27 million-year-old fossil, which showed the penguin to weigh around 132 lbs (60 kg) and stood at nearly 5ft tall (1.5 meters).

Mar 5

A tropical storm named Irina on the island of Madagascar killed 65 people.

Mar 16

George Clooney and Martin Luther King III were arrested at the Sudanese Embassy in Washington, DC.

OTD in 2012: George Clooney and Martin Luther King III were arrested at the Sudanese Embassy in Washington

The arrest happened amid protests against the government in Khartoum. George Clooney said he was expecting to be arrested when he planned the protest.

Mar 19

Wendy’s became the world’s second best-selling hamburger chain, overtaking Burger King.

Mar 26

James Cameron dove into the deepest point of the Marianas Trench, Challenger Deep.

Challenger Deep is around 36,300 ft (10,902 meters) deep. Cameron was the second person to reach such depths, and it took 2 hours and 36 minutes to get to the bottom.

Apr 10

Apple Inc became the largest company in the world.

On this day, its value reached over $600 billion.

Apr 11

The Avengers premiered in Los Angeles, California, US.

OTD in 2012: The Avengers premiered in Los Angeles

May 9

President Barack Obama officially declared his support of same-sex marriage.

May 25

SpaceX’s Dragon became the first commercial spacecraft to dock at the International Space Station.

OTD in 2012: SpaceX's Dragon became the first commercial spacecraft to dock at the International Space Station.

The spacecraft was named after the song “Puff, the Magic Dragon” as a response to those who said the project was impossible. In addition to succeeding, Dragon also made a cargo delivery to the ISS on its voyage.

Jun 26

Ice Age: Continental Drift premiered in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Jul 18

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un was named marshal, placing him at the highest rank in the military.

Jul 23

The first US woman in space, Sally Ride, died from pancreatic cancer at the age of 61.

Jul 27

Queen Elizabeth II of England declared the 30th Olympics opened in London, UK.

To the audience’s surprise, a stand-in for the Queen made an entrance by skydiving from a helicopter with James Bond’s assistance.

Jul 31

Michael Phelps broke the world record for the most medals won at the Olympics.

With a total of six medals (four gold and two silver), he broke the previous record set in 1964 by Larisa Latynina.

Aug 6

Flammable vapor caught fire at the Chevron Refinery in Richmond, California.

Six employees were injured in the accident.

Aug 8

Flooding in Manila, Philippines, claimed the lives of at least 72 people, and 850,000 others were forced to leave their homes.

OTD in 2012: Flooding in Manila

Aug 16

Julian Assange, who founded WikiLeaks, was given political asylum by Ecuador.

Assange had been hiding out at the Ecuadorian Embassy in Knightsbridge, London.

Aug 26

New Zealand golfer Lydia Ko won the LPGA Canadian Women’s Open golf tournament in British Columbia at 15 years old, making her the youngest player to win.

Sep 2

Egypt’s state TV lifted the ban on veiled news presenters.

OTD in 2012: Egypt's state TV lifted the ban on veiled news presenters.

The decades-long ban meant that veiled female presenters were not allowed on air, but lifting the ban opened the industry to female presenters in Egypt.

Sep 6

Former President Barack Obama gave his nominee acceptance speech.

Sep 23

Iran blocked access to Google and Gmail due to an anti-Islam movie that triggered protests worldwide.

Sep 24

China banned all literature from Japan or by Japanese authors.

An anti-Japanese campaign began in China following the Senkaku (Diaoyu) Islands dispute between the two countries, which Japan stole back in 1931. Anything produced in Japan was boycotted, and shops began not to stock Japanese goods.

Oct 6

Pope Benedict XVI’s butler, Paolo Gabriele, was convicted and jailed for 18 months for leaking confidential documents.

The verdict was made on the fourth day of hearings after a two-hour debate.

Oct 13

A painting called “Abstraktes” by Gerhard Richter sold for a record $34 million.

OTD in 2012: A painting called "Abstraktes" by Gerhard Richter sold for a record $34 million.

Oct 21

Native American Kateri Tekakwitha became the first native to become a saint.

Tekakwitha was canonized by Pope Benedict XVI.

Oct 30

Walt Disney bought out Lucasfilm Ltd for $4 billion.

Nov 2

The New York City Marathon was canceled due to Hurricane Sandy.

OTD in 2012: The New York City Marathon was canceled due to Hurricane Sandy.

This was the first time it had been canceled since its 42 years of running.

Nov 10

Seventeen soldiers lost their lives in a helicopter crash during bad weather in Turkey.

The disaster happened in the Pervari District, where the helicopter became surrounded by thick fog and crashed into a mountain.

Nov 13

The Northern Territory of Australia and the South Pacific were darkened by a total eclipse of the sun.

A total eclipse means that the moon has completely blocked out the view of the sun and only lasts for a short period, but can only be seen from a very small area. Cairns, the most populated city in Australia to be cast in the eclipse’s shadow, experienced around two minutes of darkness.

Nov 20

Toshiba rolled out a four-legged robot designed to clean up after nuclear disasters.

OTD in 2012: Toshiba rolled out a four-legged robot designed to clean up after nuclear disasters.

Dec 12

After countless failures, North Korea launched its first satellite.

Kwangmyŏngsŏng-3 Unit 2 (“Bright Star” in English) was designed as an Earth-observation satellite, but international parties condemned its launch. This was largely down to the fact that the launch rocket used the same technology as a ballistic missile, which North Korea was banned from testing at the time.

Dec 21

Psy’s music video for “Gangnam Style” surpassed one billion views on YouTube, becoming the first video to do so in the website’s history.

Dec 24

Eleven kindergarten children were killed after a minivan plunged into a roadside pond in Jiangxi, China.

OTD in 2012: Eleven kindergarten children were killed after a minivan plunged into a roadside pond in Jiangxi

Dec 28

Vladimir Putin signed a law banning the US adoption of Russian children.

OTD in 2012: Vladimir Putin signed a law banning the US adoption of Russian children.

The Dima Yakovlev Law was signed in response to the US Magnitsky Act, which penalized Russian officials involved in a certain tax scandal. The Dima Yakovlev Law received mixed critical reception.

Famous Deaths

Here’s a glimpse at a few famous people who bid us farewell in 2012.



Whitney Houston



Whitney Houston



Whitney Houston

Whitney Houston was an American singer born on August 9, 1963. She died on February 11, 2012, at age 48 in Beverly Hills, California, USA.

Died On:

Feb 11, 2012 (Age 48)

Died In:

California, USA



Neil Armstrong



Neil Armstrong



Neil Armstrong

Neil Armstrong was an American astronaut born on August 5, 1930. He died on August 25, 2012, at age 82 in Cincinnati, Ohio, USA.

Died On:

Aug 25, 2012 (Age 82)

Died In:

Ohio, USA


Here’s a roundup of the most memorable quotes people said in 2012.

Feb 1

The good old days, when each idea had an owner, are gone forever.

Paulo Coelho

Paulo Coelho

Brazilian Lyricist

Dec 19

All success comes with patience, and with patience comes power.

Oprah Winfrey

Oprah Winfrey

American TV Host

2012 In Music

In 2012, the music world was on fire with an incredible lineup of sensational tracks that defined the year!

From the heartfelt tune “Somebody That I Used to Know” by Gotye ft. Kimbra to the electrifying beats of “Call Me Maybe” by Carly Rae Jepsen, these songs captured our hearts and had us singing along wherever we went.

Discover the music moments from 2012 that deserve recognition.

Album of the Year

Adele’s powerhouse album “21” captivated the world in 2012, earning her the Grammy for Album of the Year and cementing her status as a vocal powerhouse in pop music.

Song of the Year

Adele’s powerful vocals and emotional depth resonated once again in 2012, as she claimed the Grammy Award for Song of the Year with her soul-stirring hit “Rolling in the Deep.”

Best New Artist

Bon Iver’s ethereal sound and introspective songwriting won them the Grammy Award for Best New Artist in 2012, captivating listeners with their atmospheric melodies.

Eurovision Song Contest Winner

Baku, Azerbaijan, played host to the 57th Eurovision Song Contest in 2012, dazzling audiences with a combination of cultural flair and spectacular performances.

Loreen, a dynamic artist from Sweden, enchanted viewers with her dance-pop anthem “Euphoria,” claiming a well-deserved victory and securing Sweden’s fifth win in Eurovision.

2012 in Numbers

Get ready to be amazed by numbers! 2012 can be written as MMXII in Roman numerals and as 11111011100 in binary.

Leap Year

In 2012, February consisted of 29 days instead of the usual 28, marking it as a leap year. This periodic adjustment ensures that our calendar aligns with the Earth’s orbit, preventing significant shifts in the seasons over time.

Chinese Zodiac 2012

Chinese Zodiac 2012: Year of the Water Dragon

According to the Chinese zodiac cycle, 2012 was The Year of the Dragon, which occurs once every twelve years.

Interestingly, each zodiac sign is associated with one of the five elements – Wood, Fire, Earth, Gold (Metal), and Water. So not only was 2012 the Year of the Dragon, it was actually the Year of the Water Dragon, which occurs once every sixty years!

Due to the unique nature of the Chinese calendar, the Year of the Water Dragon began on January 23rd, aligning with their lunar cycle, and continued until February 9, 2013.

Those born in the Year of the Dragon are charismatic, ambitious, and full of vitality. They have natural leadership abilities and possess a magnetic personality that draws others towards them.

The Years of the Dragon have blessed us with influential figures such as Ryan Reynolds and Lil Dicky.

2012 Trivia

During the 2012 London Olympics, the Spanish synchronized swimming team performed their routine to music from “Star Wars.”

In a surprising and delightful twist, they synchronized their routine with music from the “Star Wars” series, including the iconic Imperial March.

This unexpected fusion of genres added a memorable and entertaining element to the Olympic competition, showcasing the athletes’ creativity and versatility.

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