Today in history: Aug. 12In 1898, the peace protocol...

Almanac

August 12, 1999

Today in history: Aug. 12

In 1898, the peace protocol ending the Spanish-American War was signed. Hawaii was formally annexed to the United States.

In 1944, Joseph P. Kennedy Jr., eldest son of Joseph and Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy, was killed with his co-pilot when their explosives-laden Navy plane blew up over England.

In 1953, the Soviet Union conducted a secret test of its first hydrogen bomb.

In 1960, the first balloon satellite-the Echo One-was launched by the United States from Cape Canaveral, Fla.

In 1972, the last American combat ground troops left Vietnam.

In 1977, the space shuttle Enterprise passed its first solo flight test by taking off atop a Boeing 747, separating, then touching down in California's Mojave Desert.

In 1978, Pope Paul VI, who had died Aug. 6 at age 80, was buried in St. Peter's Basilica.

In 1985, the world's worst single aircraft disaster killed 520 people when a Japan Air Lines Boing 747 on a domestic flight crashed into a mountain.

In 1998, Swiss banks agreed to pay $1.25 billion as restitution to Holocaust survivors to settle claims for their assets.

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