Today in History – August 7

1789 – The U.S. War Department was established by the U.S. Congress.

1782 – George Washington created the Order of the Purple Heart.

1888 – Theophilus Van Kannel received a patent for the revolving door.

1914 – Germany invaded France.

1928 – The U.S. Treasure Department issued a new bill that was one third smaller than the previous U.S. bills.

1934 – The U.S. Court of Appeals upheld a lower court ruling striking down the government’s attempt to ban the controversial 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.

1959 – The U.S. launched Explorer 6, which sent back a picture of the Earth.

1960 – The Cuban Catholic Church condemned the rise of communism in Cuba. Fidel Castro then banned all religious TV and radio broadcasts.

1964 – The U.S. Congress passed the Gulf of Tonkin resolution, which gave President Johnson broad powers in dealing with reported North Vietnamese attacks on U.S. forces.

1974 – French stuntman Philippe Petit walked a tightrope strung between the twin towers of New York’s World Trade Center.

1976 – Scientists in Pasadena, CA, announced that the Viking 1 spacecraft had found strong indications of possible life on Mars.

1981 – After 128 years of publication, “The Washington Star” ceased all operations.

1983 – AT&T employees went on strike.

1987 – The presidents of five Central American nations, met in Guatemala City, and signed an 11-point agreement designed to bring peace to their region.

1990 – U.S. President George H.W. Bush ordered U.S. troops and warplanes to Saudi Arabia to guard against a possible invasion by Iraq.

1999 – Tony Gwynn (San Diego Padres) got his 3,000th hit of his major league career.

2003 – In California, Arnold Schwarzenegger announced that he would run for the office of governor.

2003 – Stephen Geppi bought a 1963 G.I. Joe prototype for $200,000.

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