On August 12…

1849 – Artist Abbott Thayer (created camouflage pattern for military) was born in Boston, Massachusetts.

1851 – Isaac Singer of New York City patented the double-treadle sewing machine.

1865 – Joseph Lister became the first doctor to use disinfectant during surgery.

1881 – Film director – producer Cecil B. DeMille (The Crusades, The Sign of the Cross, King of Kings, Cleopatra, The Plainsman, Reap the Wild Wind, The Buccaneer, The Greatest Show on Earth) was born in Ashfield, Massachusetts.

1981 – IBM (International Business Machines) introduced the Model 5150 personal computer.  It ran on the Intel 8088 microprocessor at 4.77 mHz with one or two 160K floppy disk drives and boasted 16 kilobytes of memory, expandable to 256k, five 8-bit ISA slots, and a 65-watt power supply.  It had no built-in clock, serial or parallel ports, or video capability; color monitor was optional.

1992 – The United States, Mexico and Canada agreed to form a free-trade zone that would remove most barriers to trade and investment and create the world’s largest trading bloc: the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

1998 – Swiss banks agreed to pay $1.25 billion to settle lawsuits filed by Holocaust survivors and their heirs.  The banks had kept millions of dollars deposited by Holocaust victims and their relatives before and during World War II.

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