Today in History
Today is Wednesday, Aug. 7, the 219th day of 2019. There are 146 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On August 7, 1998, terrorist bombs at U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania killed 224 people, including 12 Americans.
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 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 1961, Yale psychology professor Stanley Milgram began conducting his controversial human behavior experiments concerning obedience toward authority figures.
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 2000, Vice President and Democratic presidential candidate Al Gore selected Connecticut Sen. Joseph Lieberman as his running mate; Lieberman became the first Jew 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.
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: Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, on a tour of Africa, urged South Africans to press for political and economic reforms in neighboring Zimbabwe.
Five years ago: President Barack Obama authorized U.S. airstrikes in northern Iraq, warning they would be launched if needed to defend Americans from advancing Islamic militants and protect civilians under siege. President Obama signed a $16.3 billion measure aimed at helping veterans avoid long waits for health care. A jury convicted a suburban Detroit homeowner of second-degree murder and manslaughter in the killing of an unarmed woman on his porch, rejecting Theodore Wafer’s claim that he was afraid for his life when he heard Renisha McBride pounding on his door in the middle of the night and had acted in self-defense. (Wafer was sentenced to at least 17 years in prison.)
One year ago: Sharice Davids won a Democratic congressional primary in Kansas, becoming the state’s first Native American and gay nominee for Congress. (Davids went on to become one of the first two Native American women elected to the House.) The fourth suspect in the shooting death of emerging South Florida rap star XXXTentacion turned himself in to authorities. Chicago police said they would deploy hundreds of additional officers to neighborhoods where a burst of gun violence over the weekend left at least 11 people dead and 70 wounded. Hall of Fame hockey forward Stan Mikita, who helped the Chicago Black Hawks win the 1961 Stanley Cup, died at the age of 78.
Today’s Birthdays: Magician, author and lecturer James Randi is 91. Former MLB pitcher Don Larsen is 90. Humorist Garrison Keillor is 77. Singer B.J. Thomas is 77. Singer Lana Cantrell is 76. Former FBI Director Robert Mueller is 75. Actor John Glover is 75. Actor David Rasche is 75. Former diplomat, talk show host and activist Alan Keyes is 69. Country singer Rodney Crowell is 69. Actress Caroline Aaron is 67. Comedian Alexei Sayle is 67. Actor Wayne Knight is 64. Rock singer Bruce Dickinson is 61. Marathon runner Alberto Salazar is 61. Actor David Duchovny is 59. Country musician Michael Mahler (Wild Horses) is 58. Actress Delane Matthews is 58. Actor Harold Perrineau is 56. Jazz musician Marcus Roberts is 56. Country singer Raul Malo is 54. Actor David Mann is 53. Actress Charlotte Lewis is 52. Actress Sydney Penny is 48. Actor Greg Serano is 47. Actor Michael Shannon is 45. Actress Charlize Theron is 44. Rock musician Barry Kerch (Shinedown) is 43. Actor Eric Johnson is 40. Actor Randy Wayne is 38. Actor-writer Brit Marling is 37. NHL center Sidney Crosby is 32. MLB All-Star Mike Trout is 28. Actor Liam James is 23.
Thought for Today: “There are a lot of people who think our job is to reassure the public every night that their home, their community and their nation is safe. I don’t subscribe to that at all. I subscribe to leaving people with essentially — sorry it’s a cliche — a rough draft of history. Some days it’s reassuring, some days it’s absolutely destructive.” — Peter Jennings (1938-2005).