Sunday, August 07, 2005

Sunday, August 7

This Day In History

  • 1782   George Washington created the Order of the Purple Heart, a decoration to recognize merit in enlisted men and noncommissioned officers.
  • 1782   U.S. General George Washington wanted to honor several courageous soldiers of the revolutionary war with a Badge of Military Merit. So on this day, he ordered the creation of a purple, cloth heart with a silver, braided edge. The Badge of Military Merit was only awarded to three Revolutionary War soldiers. On the bicentennial of the first U.S. President's birthday, February 22, 1932, the badge was reinstated. This time it was called the Order of the Purple Heart, a purple-enameled, gold-bordered heart with a profile of Washington in the center. The Purple Heart now decorates those members of the United States armed forces who have been wounded in battle (if they die, it is awarded to their next of kin).
  • 1789   The U.S. War Department was established by Congress.
  • 1888   Theophilus Van Kannel of Philadelphia got a patent for the revolving door.
  • 1912   The Progressive Party nominated Theodore Roosevelt for president.
  • 1928   The U.S. dollar began to shrink. New bills, one third smaller than previous bucks, were issued by the U.S. Treasury Department.
  • 1934   The U.S. Court of Appeals ruled against the government's attempt to ban the James Joyce novel ''Ulysses.''
  • 1942   U.S. forces landed at Guadalcanal, marking the start of the first major allied offensive in the Pacific during World War II.
  • 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.
  • 1948   A new Olympic Games record was set when 83,000 spectators attended the final day of track and field events. The Games, held in London, England, had gate receipts totaling more than $2 million.
  • 1959   The United States launched Explorer 6, which sent back a picture of the Earth.
  • 1974   French stuntman Philippe Petit walked a tightrope strung between the twin towers of New York's World Trade Center.
  • 1989   Rep. Mickey Leland, D-Texas, and 15 others were killed in the crash of a small plane in Ethiopia.
  • 1998   Terrorist bombs exploded at the U.S. embassies in Nairobi, Kenya, and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, killing 224 people   including 12 Americans   and injuring more than 5,500.
  • 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.
  • 2000   Democratic presidential candidate Al Gore selected Connecticut Sen. Joseph Lieberman to be the first Jewish vice-presidential candidate on a major party ticket.
  • 2002   Former ImClone Systems chief executive Samuel Waksal was indicted in New York on charges of obstruction of justice and bank fraud in addition to previous securities fraud and perjury charges.
Happy Birthday To
  • 1742   Nathaniel Greene (General: American Revolutionary War; died June 19, 1786)
  • 1876   Mata Hari (Gertrud Margarete Zelle) (dancer, courtesan, double agent: German spy: Agent H-21; executed by firing squad near Paris Oct 15, 1917)
  • 1926   Stan Freberg (comedian)
  • 1942   Garrison Keillor (humorist, radio host: A Prairie Home Companion)

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