Today in History

  • Mon Aug 6th, 2012 3:49pm
  • Life

Today is Tuesday, Aug. 7, the 220th day of 2012. There are 146 days left in the year.

Today’s highlight:

On Aug. 7, 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.)

On this date:

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

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

In 1912, Theodore Roosevelt was nominated for president by the Progressive Party (also known as the Bull Moose Party) in Chicago. New Jersey Gov. Woodrow Wilson accepted the Democratic presidential nomination at his summer home in Sea Girt. Sergei Prokofiev premiered his Piano Concerto No. 1 in D-flat major in Moscow.

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

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 the Explorer 6 satellite, which sent back images of Earth.

In 1961, Yale psychology professor Stanley Milgram began conducting his controversial human behavior experiments concerning obedience toward authority figures.

In 1962, President John F. Kennedy awarded FDA official Dr. Frances O. Kelsey the Distinguished Federal Civilian Service Medal for her diligence in blocking approval of thalidomide, a sedative found to cause severe birth defects.

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 1971, the Apollo 15 moon mission ended successfully as its command module splashed down in the Pacific Ocean.

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.

Ten years ago: 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. (Waksal later pleaded guilty and was sentenced to more than seven years in prison; he was released in February 2009.) Alvaro Uribe (oo-REE’-bay) was sworn in as president of Colombia as guerrillas launched a mortar attack in the capital, killing 21 people.

Five years ago: San Francisco’s Barry Bonds hit home run No. 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.

One year ago: The Treasury Department announced that Secretary Timothy Geithner had told President Barack Obama that 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 Gov. Hugh Carey, 92, died on Shelter Island, N.Y.

Associated Press