YouTube download / AP video / Highlights of this day in history: Last U.S. combat troops leave Vietnam; Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr. killed in World War II; N.J. Gov. McGreevey to resign after declaring he's gay; Russian sub Kursk explodes; Director Cecil B. DeMille born. (Aug. 12)
- 1676 – Praying Indian John Alderman shoots and kills Metacomet, the Wampanoag war chief, ending King Philip's War.
- 1851 – Isaac Singer is granted a patent for his sewing machine.
- 1898 – The Hawaiian flag is lowered from ʻIolani Palace in an elaborate annexation ceremony and replaced with the flag of the United States to signify the transfer of sovereignty from the Republic of Hawaii to the United States.
- 1914 – World War I: The United Kingdom declares war on Austria-Hungary; the countries of the British Empire follow suit.
- 1944 – Waffen-SS troops massacre 560 people in Sant'Anna di Stazzema.
- 1944 – Nazi German troops end the week-long Wola massacre, during which time at least 40,000 people were killed indiscriminately or in mass executions.
- 1950 – Korean War: Bloody Gulch massacre: American POWs are massacred by North Korean Army.
- 1977 – The first free flight of the Space Shuttle Enterprise.
- 1977 – The Sri Lanka Riots:, targeting the minority Sri Lankan Tamils, begin, less than a month after the United National Party came to power. Over 300 Tamils are killed.
- 1981 – The IBM Personal Computer is released.
- 1985 – Japan Airlines Flight 123 crashes into Osutaka ridge in Gunma Prefecture, Japan, killing 520, to become the worst single-plane air disaster.
- 1990 – Sue, the largest and most complete Tyrannosaurus Rex skeleton found to date, is discovered by Sue Hendrickson in South Dakota.
- 1992 – Canada, Mexico and the United States announce completion of negotiations for the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
- 1994 – Major League Baseball players go on strike, forcing the cancellation of the 1994 World Series.
- 2000 – The Russian Navy submarine Kursk explodes and sinks in the Barents Sea during a military exercise, killing her entire 118-man crew.
- 2015 – At least two massive explosions kill 173 people and injure nearly 800 more in Tianjin, China.
- 1939 – George Hamilton, American actor
- 1971 – Pete Sampras, American tennis player
- 1975 – Casey Affleck, American actor
- 1976 – Antoine Walker, American basketball player
- 1977 – Plaxico Burress, American football player
- 2009 – Les Paul, American guitarist and songwriter (b. 1915)
- 2014 – Lauren Bacall, American model, actress, and singer (b. 1924)
- 2015 – Stephen Lewis, English actor and screenwriter (b. 1926)
Holidays and observances:
-- Source: Aug. 12 Wikipedia
Henry Frederick, Headline Surfer