November 12 is the 316th day of the year (317th in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar, with 49 days remaining.
- 764 – Tibetan troops occupy Chang'an, the capital of the Chinese Tang Dynasty, for fifteen days.
- 1028 – Future Byzantine empress Zoe marries Romanus Argyrus according to the wishes of dying Constantine VIII
- 1439 – Plymouth, England, becomes the first town incorporated by the English Parliament.
- 1905 – (November 12 & 13) Norway holds referendum in favour of monarchy over republic.
- 1912 – The frozen bodies of Robert Scott and his men are found on the Ross Ice Shelf in Antarctica.
- 1918 – Austria becomes a republic.
- 1927 – Leon Trotsky is expelled from the Soviet Communist Party, leaving Joseph Stalin with undisputed control of the Soviet Union.
- 1927 – The Holland Tunnel opens to traffic as the first Hudson River vehicular tunnel linking New Jersey to New York City.
- 1933 – Hugh Gray of the British Aluminium Company takes the first known photos of the Loch Ness Monster; four of them turn out to be blank, while the last one is later proven to be a hoax.
- 1934 – The musical Babes in Toyland debuts, featuring Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy as comic relief (see Laurel and Hardy).
- 1936 – In California, the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge opens to traffic.
- 1938 – Hermann Göring announces Nazi Germany plans to make Madagascar the "Jewish homeland", an idea that actually was first considered by 19th century journalist Theodor Herzl.
- 1941 – World War II: Temperatures around Moscow drop to -12 ° C and the Soviet Union launches ski troops for the first time against the freezing German forces near the city.
- 1942 – World War II: The Naval Battle of Guadalcanal between Japanese and American forces begins near Guadalcanal, will last for three days.
- 1944 – World War II: The Royal Air Force launches one of the most successful precision bombing attacks of war and sinks the German battleship Tirpitz off the coast of Norway.
- 1946 – A branch of the Exchange National Bank in Chicago opens the first ten drive-up teller windows.
- 1948 – In Tokyo, an international war crimes tribunal sentences seven Japanese military and government officials to death, including General Hideki Tojo, for their roles in World War II.
- 1969 – Vietnam War: My Lai Massacre – Independent investigative journalist Seymour Hersh breaks the My Lai story.
- 1970 – The Oregon Highway Division attempts to destroy a rotting beached Gray whale with explosives, leading to the now infamous exploding whale incident
- 1971 – Vietnam War: As part of Vietnamization, US President Richard M. Nixon sets February 1, 1972 as the deadline for the removal of another 45,000 American troops from Vietnam.
- 1979 – Iran hostage crisis: In response to the hostage situation in Tehran, US President Jimmy Carter orders a halt to all oil imports into the United States from Iran.
- 1980 – The NASA space probe Voyager I makes its closest aproach to Saturn.
- 1982 – In the Soviet Union, Yuri Andropov is selected to become the general secretary of the Soviet Communist Party's Central Committee, succeeding the late Leonid I. Brezhnev.
- 1990 – Crown Prince Akihito is formally installed as Emperor Akihito of Japan, becoming the 125th Japanese monarch.
- 1990 – Tim Berners-Lee publishes a formal proposal for the World Wide Web.
- 1991 – Dili Massacre, Indonesian forces opened fire on a crowd of student protesters in Dili, East Timor.
- 1992 – Absolutely Fabulous airs its first episode on BBC1.
- 1996 – A Saudi Arabian Airlines Boeing 747 and a Kazakh Ilyushin Il-76 cargo plane collide in mid-air near New Delhi, India killing 349.
- 1997 – Ramzi Yousef is found guilty of masterminding the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.
- 1998 – Daimler-Benz completes a merger with Chrysler to form Daimler-Chrysler.
- 2001 – In New York City, an Airbus A300 carrying American Airlines Flight 587 crashes minutes after takeoff from John F. Kennedy International Airport, killing all 260 on board.
- 2001 – 2001 Attack on Afghanistan: Taliban forces abandon Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan, ahead of advancing Northern Alliance troops.
- 2002 – Special Extended DVD Edition of The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring is released.
- 2003 – Occupation of Iraq: In Nasiriya, Iraq, at least 23 people, among them the first Italian casualties of the 2003 Iraq war are killed in a suicide bomb attack on an Italian police base.
- 2004 – Scott Peterson is found guilty of first degree murder of his wife Laci Peterson and their unborn son Conner after a five-and-a-half month long trial.
- 2004 – Official Guided by Voices Day in Los Angeles, California.
- 1493 – Bartolommeo Bandinelli, Italian sculptor (d. 1560)
- 1815 – Elizabeth Cady Stanton, women's rights activist (d. 1902)
- 1817 – Mírzá Husayn-'Alí (Bahá'u'lláh), founder of the Bahá'í Faith
- 1833 – Alexander Borodin, Russian composer (d. 1887)
- 1840 – Auguste Rodin, French sculptor (d. 1917)
- 1850 – Mikhail Chigorin, chess player (d. 1908)
- 1866 – Sun Yat-sen, first President of the Republic of China (d. 1925)
- 1889 – DeWitt Wallace, American publisher (Reader's Digest) (d. 1981)
- 1896 – Salim Ali, Indian ornithologist (d. 1987)
- 1903 – Jack Oakie, American actor (d. 1978)
- 1908 – Harry Blackmun, Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court (d. 1999)
- 1910 – Kurt Hoffmann, film director
- 1915 – Roland Barthes, French critic and writer (d. 1980)
- 1917 – Jo Stafford, American singer
- 1920 – Sunset Carson, actor (d. 1990)
- 1920 – Richard Quine, American actor (d. 1989)
- 1922 – Kim Hunter, American actress (d. 2002)
- 1923 – Vicco von Bülow, known as Loriot, German graphic artist, actor and film director
- 1929 – Michael Ende, German writer (d. 1995)
- 1929 – Grace Kelly, Princess Grace of Monaco, American actress (d. 1982)
- 1930 – Ann Flood, American actress
- 1934 – Charles Manson, American cult leader and mass murderer
- 1943 – Brian Hyland, American singer
- 1943 – Wallace Shawn, American actor and playwright
- 1944 – Booker T. Jones, American musician, singer, and songwriter (Booker T and the MG's)
- 1944 – Al Michaels, American television sportscaster
- 1945 – Neil Young, Canadian singer, songwriter, and musician
- 1958 – Megan Mullally, actress on Will & Grace
- 1961 – Nadia Comaneci, Romanian gymnast
- 1966 – David Schwimmer, American actor
- 1968 – Sammy Sosa, Dominican baseball player
- 1970 – Tonya Harding, American figure skater
- 1978 – Andrew Kinlochan, English singer and musician
- 1980 – Ryan Gosling, Canadian actor
- 1980 – Akira Hasegawa, actor
- 1982 – Anne Hathaway, American actress
- 607 – Pope Boniface III
- 1035 – Canute the Great
- 1094 – Duncan II of Scotland
- 1671 – Thomas Fairfax, English general during the English Civil War (b. 1612)
- 1757 – Colley Cibber, English poet (b. 1671)
- 1865 – Elizabeth Gaskell, English novelist (b. 1810)
- 1941 – Abe "Kid Twist" Reles, American mobster (b. 1907)
- 1955 – Alfréd Hajós, Hungarian swimmer (b. 1878)
- 1976 – Walter Piston, American composer (b. 1894)
- 1981 – William Holden, American actor (b. 1981)
- 1984 – Chester Himes, American author (b. 1909)
- 1990 – Eve Arden, American actress (b. 1908)
- 1993 – H. R. Haldeman, Watergate scandal figure (b. 1926)
- 1994 – Wilma Rudolph, American runner (b. 1940)
- 2001 – Tony Miles, English chess player (b. 1955)
- 2003 – Jonathan Brandis, American actor (b. 1976)
- 2003 – Penny Singleton, American actress (b. 1908)
- 2003 – Tony Thompson, drummer for The Power Station (b. 1954)
Holidays and observances
November 11 – November 13 – October 12 – December 12 — listing of all days