Today in History

Today in History

Today is Friday, Aug. 7, the 220th day of 2020. There are 146 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On August 7, 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.

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

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.

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 1957, Oliver Hardy, who starred for decades in popular film comedies with partner Stan Laurel, died in North Hollywood, California, at age 65.

In 1959, the United States launched the Explorer 6 satellite, which sent back images of Earth.

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 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.

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 2017, medical examiners said the remains of a man who’d been killed at the World Trade Center on 9/11 had been identified, nearly 16 years after the attacks.

Ten years ago: Elena Kagan was sworn in as the 112th justice and fourth woman to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court. A healthy-looking Fidel Castro appealed to President Barack Obama to stave off global nuclear war in an address to parliament that marked his first official government appearance since emergency surgery four years earlier. Jerry Rice, Emmitt Smith, John Randle, Dick LeBeau, Rickey Jackson, Russ Grimm and Floyd Little were inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Five years 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.

One year ago: President Donald Trump and his wife visited the Dayton, Ohio hospital where many of the victims of a weekend shooting attack had been treated; they then flew to El Paso, where a shooting at a Walmart had killed 22 people. Cyntoia Brown was released early from the Tennessee Prison for Women, where she’d been serving a life sentence for killing a man who had picked her up for sex at the age of 16; Brown, who was now 31, had been championed by celebrities as a symbol of unfair sentencing. In his most aggressive attack yet on the character of the man he hoped to replace, Joe Biden accused President Donald Trump of “fanning the flames of white supremacy.” Puerto Rico’s Justice Secretary Wanda Vázquez became the island’s new governor, just hours after Puerto Rico’s Supreme Court declared that the swearing-in of Pedro Pierluisi a week earlier had been unconstitutional.

Today’s Birthdays: Magician, author and lecturer James Randi is 92. Singer B.J. Thomas is 78. Singer Lana Cantrell is 77. Former FBI Director Robert Mueller is 76. Actor John Glover is 76. Actor David Rasche is 76. Former diplomat, talk show host and activist Alan Keyes is 70. Country singer Rodney Crowell is 70. Actor Caroline Aaron is 68. Comedian Alexei Sayle is 68. Actor Wayne Knight is 65. Rock singer Bruce Dickinson is 62. Marathon runner Alberto Salazar is 62. Actor David Duchovny is 60. Country musician Michael Mahler (Wild Horses) is 59. Actor Delane Matthews is 59. Actor Harold Perrineau is 57. Jazz musician Marcus Roberts is 57. Country singer Raul Malo is 55. Actor David Mann is 54. Actor Charlotte Lewis is 53. Actor Sydney Penny is 49. Actor Greg Serano is 48. Actor Michael Shannon is 46. Actor Charlize Theron (shar-LEES’ THEHR’-en) is 45. Rock musician Barry Kerch is 44. Actor Eric Johnson is 41. Actor Randy Wayne is 39. Actor-writer Brit Marling is 38. NHL center Sidney Crosby is 33. MLB All-Star Mike Trout is 29. Actor Liam James is 24.

Copyright © 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.

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