On This Day in History, August 10

In 1270, Yekuno Amlak of the Ethiopian House of Solomon overthrew the Zagwe dynasty. According to their family tradition, they were direct descendants of the Biblical King Solomon and were firmly established in Ethiopia by 900 AD, some three hundred years prior. Their family would rule stretches of Ethiopia through the colonial period, being deposed by communists in 1974.

In 1821, Missouri was admitted as the Twenty-fourth state to join the union that comprises the United States of America. Missouri’s status as a slave state—where slavery was practiced and influential upon internal politics—had led to the admission of Maine as a state, formerly part of Massachusetts, and the implementation of the Missouri Compromise the year prior.

In 1988, President Ronald Reagan signed the Civil Liberties Act of 1988. Its primary purpose was to provide reparations to Japanese-Americans interned in camps during the Second World War. The Act provided $20,000 to every American citizen who was interned during the war, citing war hysteria and racial prejudice as the reasons behind the reparations.

A Notable Birth

1874 – Antanas Smetona (d. 1944) was a Lithuanian politician. Born to a farming family in what was still Russia, he was a proponent of Lithuanian nationalism and served as the nation’s first president, from 1919-1920, then against from 1926 until Soviet occupation of the Baltic nation in 1940.

A Notable Death

2019 – Jeffrey Epstein (b. 1953) was an American financier and sex offender. He used his career in finance to acquire enough wealth to engage in sexually abusive pursuits, especially those concerning under aged girls. He died while being held on charges of sex trafficking.

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