Today in history


By The Associated Press



Today is Sunday, Aug. 7, the 220th day of 2016. There are 146 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On Aug. 7, 1789, the U.S. Department of War was established by Congress.

On this date:

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

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 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.

In 2005, ABC News anchorman Peter Jennings died in New York at age 67.

In 2010, Elena Kagan was sworn in as the 112th justice and fourth woman to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court.

Ten years ago: Oil prices jumped after BP said it had discovered corrosion so severe it would have to replace 16 miles of pipeline at the huge Prudhoe Bay oil field in Alaska. Colombia’s President Alvaro Uribe (oo-REE’-bay) was sworn in for an unprecedented second term.

Five years ago: The Treasury Department announced that Secretary Timothy Geithner (GYT’-nur) had told President Barack Obama he would remain on the job, ending speculation he would leave the administration. Four adults and three children were killed by a gunman in Copley Township, Ohio; the shooter died in a gunfight with police. Former New York Governor Hugh Carey, 92, died on Shelter Island, New York. Former Oregon Governor and U.S. Senator Mark Hatfield, 89, died in Portland.

One year ago: Colorado theater shooter James Holmes was spared the death penalty in favor of life in prison after a jury in Centennial failed to agree on whether he should be executed for his murderous attack on a packed movie premiere that left 12 people dead. Former Food and Drug Administration employee Dr. Frances Kelsey, credited with preventing the U.S. distribution of thalidomide, a drug blamed for serious birth defects in the early 1960s, died in London, Ontario, Canada at age 101. Louise Suggs, 91, an LPGA founder and Hall of Famer, died in Sarasota, Florida.

Today’s Birthdays: Magician, author and lecturer James Randi is 88. Former MLB pitcher Don Larsen is 87. Actress Verna Bloom is 78. Humorist Garrison Keillor is 74. Singer B.J. Thomas is 74. Singer Lana Cantrell is 73. Former FBI Director Robert Mueller is 72. Actor John Glover is 72. Actor David Rasche is 72. Former diplomat, talk show host and activist Alan Keyes is 66. Country singer Rodney Crowell is 66. Actress Caroline Aaron is 64. Comedian Alexei Sayle is 64. Actor Wayne Knight is 61. Rock singer Bruce Dickinson is 58. Marathon runner Alberto Salazar is 58. Actor David Duchovny is 56. Country musician Michael Mahler (Wild Horses) is 55. Actress Delane Matthews is 55. Actor Harold Perrineau is 53. Jazz musician Marcus Roberts is 53. Country singer Raul Malo is 51. Actor David Mann is 50. Actress Charlotte Lewis is 49. Actress Sydney Penny is 45. Actor Michael Shannon is 42. Actress Charlize Theron (shahr-LEES’ THAYR’-ehn) is 41. Rock musician Barry Kerch (Shinedown) is 40. Actor Randy Wayne is 35. Actor-writer Brit Marling is 34. Actor Liam James is 20.

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

By The Associated Press

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