Thursday, August 7, 2008

This Day In History: August 7

Today's Highlight in History:
On Aug. 7, 1942, U.S. and allied forces landed at Guadalcanal, marking the start of the first major allied offensive in the Pacific during World War II.

On this date:
In 1782, George Washington created the Order of the Purple Heart, a decoration to recognize merit in enlisted men and non-commissioned officers.

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

In 1882, the famous feud between the Hatfields of West Virginia and the McCoys of Kentucky erupted into full-scale violence as one member of the Hatfield clan was mortally wounded by three McCoy brothers, who ended up being slain in turn.

In 1927, the Peace Bridge between the United States and Canada was dedicated during ceremonies attended by Prince Edward of Wales, Canadian Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King and U.S. Vice President Charles Dawes.

In 1947, the balsa wood raft Kon-Tiki, which had carried a six-man crew 4,300 miles across the Pacific Ocean, crashed into a reef in a Polynesian archipelago; all six crew members reached land safely.

In 1959, the United States launched Explorer 6, which sent back a picture of the 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 repeatedly walked a tightrope strung between the twin towers of New York's World Trade Center.

In 1987, the presidents of five Central American nations, meeting in Guatemala City, signed an 11-point agreement designed to bring peace to their region.

In 1993, the public got its first glimpse inside Buckingham Palace as people were given the opportunity to tour the London home of Queen Elizabeth II. (Proceeds were earmarked to help repair fire damage at Windsor Castle.)

Ten years ago: Terrorist bombs at U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania killed 224 people, including 12 Americans. The Federal Aviation Administration, in a follow-up to the probe of the 1996 explosion that destroyed TWA Flight 800, ordered the inspection of Boeing 747 fuel tanks.

Five years ago: A bombing outside the Jordanian Embassy in Baghdad killed 19 people. An Indonesian court sentenced Amrozi bin Nurhasyim to death in the 2002 Bali bombings that killed 202 people. West African peacekeepers entered Liberia's rebel-besieged capital; President Charles Taylor picked vice president Moses Blah as his successor.

One year ago: San Francisco's Barry Bonds hit home run Number 756 to break Hank Aaron's storied record with one out in the fifth inning of a game against the Washington Nationals, who ended up winning, 8-6.

Today's Birthdays: Writer-producer Stan Freberg is 82. Rhythm-and-blues singer Herb Reed (The Platters) is 80. Bluesman Magic Slim is 71. Actress Verna Bloom is 69. Humorist Garrison Keillor is 66. Singer B.J. Thomas is 66. Singer Lana Cantrell is 65. Actor John Glover is 64. Actor David Rasche is 64. Rhythm-and-blues singer Harold Hudson is 59. Country singer Rodney Crowell is 58. Actress Caroline Aaron is 56. Actor Wayne Knight is 53. Rock singer Bruce Dickinson is 50. Marathon runner Alberto Salazar is 50. Actor David Duchovny is 48. Country musician Michael Mahler (Wild Horses) is 47. Actor Harold Perrineau is 45. Jazz musician Marcus Roberts is 45. Country singer Raul Malo is 43. Actress Charlotte Lewis is 41. Actress Sydney Penny is 37. Actress Charlize Theron is 33.

Thought for Today: "Civilization is a movement and not a condition, a voyage and not a harbor." — Arnold Toynbee, English historian (1889-1975)

Courtesy of the AP and Edwin1961
This Day In Étudiant News (2006): Wakefield prepares for an avian flu threat... A passenger is found on the no-fly list so a London to Boston flight is called back.
This Day In Étudiant News (2007): Brownie girls build bears.

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