On This Day in History, August 12

In 1676, John Alderman, a Praying Indian—Native American converted to Christianity—killed the Wampanoag war chief, Metacomet, by shooting him. The death of Metacomet brought an end to King Philip’s War, a brutal war between English colonists and several Indian tribes native to the New England region. This conflict would be the catalyst for the brutal treatment of Indian tribes at the hands of the American government, including the policy of reservations.

In 1952, the Soviet government executed thirteen Jewish writers in an incident known as the Night of the Murdered Poets. All those killed were arrested years before, believed to either be involved in a plot against Stalinist officials or for other supposedly counterrevolutionary charges. Investigations into the case following Stalin’s death determined that there had been no reason for the charges and the case was closed.

In 1992, the Canadian, American, and Mexican governments announce that the negotiations for NAFTA, the North American Free Trade Agreement, had been completed. NAFTA would go into effect on the first day of 1994, eliminating the trade and investment barriers between the three nations. It was eventually replaced by USMCA, the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, spearheaded by American President Donald Trump and placed into affect on the first day of July 2020.

A Notable Birth

1910 & 1907 – Yusof Ishak (d. 1970) and Benjamin Sheares (d. 1981) were the first two Presidents of Singapore. Yusof, who had been a ournalist before his political career, was already a leading figure in Singapore when it was expelled from malyasia and forced to become an independent nation. Benjamin Sheares became the president in 1971 following Yusof’s death.

A Notable Death

30 BC – Cleopatra VII Philopator (b. 69 BC) was the last pharaoh of the Ptolemaic dynasty and functionally the final pharaoh of Egypt. Her use of the Romans, particularly Julius Caesar and Mark Antony, to hold power in Egypt eventually led to her downfall and the assimilation of Egypt into the Roman Empire.

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