Today in History


By the Associated Press

Today is Friday, August 7, the 219th day of 2015. There are 146 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On August 7, 1782, Gen. George Washington created the Order of the Purple Heart, a decoration to recognize merit in enlisted men and noncommissioned officers.

On this date:

In 1789, the U.S. War Department was established by Congress.

In 1814, Pope Pius VII issued a bull restoring the Society of Jesus, or Jesuits, four decades after the order had been suppressed by Pope Clement XIV.

In 1882, the famous feud between the Hatfields of West Virginia and the McCoys of Kentucky erupted into full-scale violence.

In 1927, the already opened Peace Bridge connecting Buffalo, New York, and Fort Erie, Ontario, Canada, was officially dedicated.

In 1942, U.S. and other allied forces landed at Guadalcanal, marking the start of the first major allied offensive in the Pacific during World War II. (Japanese forces abandoned the island the following February.)

In 1959, the United States launched the Explorer 6 satellite, which sent back images of Earth.

In 1964, Congress passed the Gulf of Tonkin resolution, giving President Lyndon B. Johnson broad powers in dealing with reported North Vietnamese attacks on U.S. forces.

In 1974, French stuntman Philippe Petit (fee-LEEP’ peh-TEET’) repeatedly walked a tightrope strung between the twin towers of New York’s World Trade Center.

In 1989, a plane carrying U.S. Rep. Mickey Leland, D-Texas, and 14 others disappeared over Ethiopia. (The wreckage of the plane was found six days later; there were no survivors.)

In 1990, President George H.W. Bush ordered U.S. troops and warplanes to Saudi Arabia to guard the oil-rich desert kingdom against a possible invasion by Iraq.

In 1998, terrorist bombs at U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania killed 224 people, including 12 Americans.

In 2000, Vice President and Democratic presidential candidate Al Gore selected Connecticut Sen. Joseph Lieberman as his running mate; Lieberman became the first Jewish candidate on a major party’s presidential ticket.

Ten years ago: ABC News anchorman Peter Jennings died in New York at age 67. Seven people in a Russian mini-submarine trapped for nearly three days under the Pacific Ocean were rescued after a British remote-controlled vehicle cut away undersea cables that snarled their vessel. Israeli Finance Minister Benjamin Netanyahu resigned from his post to protest an upcoming withdrawal from the Gaza Strip and part of the West Bank.

Five years ago: Elena Kagan was sworn in as the 112th justice and fourth woman to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court. A healthy-looking Fidel Castro appealed to President Barack Obama to stave off global nuclear war in an address to parliament that marked his first official government appearance since emergency surgery four years earlier. Jerry Rice, Emmitt Smith, John Randle, Dick LeBeau, Rickey Jackson, Russ Grimm and Floyd Little were inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

One year ago: President Barack Obama authorized U.S. airstrikes in northern Iraq, warning they would be launched if needed to defend Americans from advancing Islamic militants and protect civilians under siege. President Obama signed a $16.3 billion measure aimed at helping veterans avoid long waits for health care. A jury convicted a suburban Detroit homeowner of second-degree murder and manslaughter in the killing of an unarmed woman on his porch, rejecting Theodore Wafer’s claim that he was afraid for his life when he heard Renisha McBride pounding on his door in the middle of the night and had acted in self-defense. (Wafer was sentenced to at least 17 years in prison.)

Today’s Birthdays: Magician, author and lecturer James Randi is 87. Former MLB pitcher Don Larsen is 86. Actress Verna Bloom is 77. Humorist Garrison Keillor is 73. Singer B.J. Thomas is 73. Singer Lana Cantrell is 72. FBI Director Robert Mueller is 71. Actor John Glover is 71. Actor David Rasche is 71. Former diplomat, talk show host and activist Alan Keyes is 65. Country singer Rodney Crowell is 65. Actress Caroline Aaron is 63. Comedian Alexei Sayle is 63. Actor Wayne Knight is 60. Rock singer Bruce Dickinson is 57. Marathon runner Alberto Salazar is 57. Actor David Duchovny is 55. Country musician Michael Mahler (Wild Horses) is 54. Actress Delane Matthews is 54. Actor Harold Perrineau is 52. Jazz musician Marcus Roberts is 52. Country singer Raul Malo is 50. Actor David Mann is 49. Actress Charlotte Lewis is 48. Actress Sydney Penny is 44. Actor Michael Shannon is 41. Actress Charlize Theron (shahr-LEES’ THAYR’-ehn) is 40. Rock musician Barry Kerch (Shinedown) is 39. Actor Randy Wayne is 34. Actor-writer Brit Marling is 33.

comments powered by Disqus