This Day in History: 0000-04-12

12 Apr – Soldiers of the Fourth Crusade conquer and sack the Byzantine capital of Constantinople (1204).
12 Apr – Confederate artillery under PGT Beauregard begins shelling Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor, South Carolina, beginning the American Civil War (1861).
12 Apr – The Soviet Comonaut Yuri Alekseyevich Gagarin (1934-1968) became the first human in space and the first to orbit the earth aboard Vostok 3KA-3 (1961).
12 Apr – First launch (STS-1) of the first US Space Shuttle, Columbia, from Cape Canaveral (1981). John W. Young was Mission Commander and Robert L. Crippen was the pilot.