On August 7…

1782 – General George Washington created the “Badge for Military Merit,” later named the Purple Heart.


1947 – Norwegian anthropologist Thor Heyerdahl completed his 4,300-mile, 101-day journey from Peru to Raroia in the Tuamotu Archipelago, near Tahiti.

1959 – The unmanned U.S. satellite Explorer 6 took the first photograph of Earth from space.

1964 – The U.S. Congress passed the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, prompting America’s expansion into Southeast Asia.

Secretary of Defense Robert S. McNamara in a post-midnight press briefing at the Pentagon points out action in the Gulf of Tonkin, August 4, 1964.

1990 – President George H.W. Bush ordered the organization of Operation Desert Shield in response to Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait on August 2.


1998 – The U.S. embassies in Nairobi, Kenya and Dar es Salaam,Tanzania were bombed, killing 224 people, including 12 Americans.  The attacks were linked to Al Qaeda.

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