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This Day in History – August 7, 2011




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1498 Columbus arrives in Caribbean1620 Kepler’s mother arrested for witchcraft1782 George Washington orders the creation of the Badge of Military Merit to honor soldiers wounded in battle. It is later renamed to the more poetic Purple Heart. 1789 The United States War Department is established. 1791 United States troops destroy the Miami town of Kenapacomaqua near the site of present-day Logansport  Indiana in the Northwest Indian War. 1794 U.S. President George Washington invokes the Militia Law of 1792 to suppress the Whiskey Rebellion in western Pennsylvania. 1820 1st potatoes planted in Hawaii1882 Hatfields of south West Virginia & McCoys of east Kentucky feud, 100 wounded or die1888 Theophilus Van Kannel of Phila patents revolving door1909 Alice Huyler Ramsey and three friends become the first women to complete a transcontinental auto trip  taking 59 days to travel from New York City to San Francisco. 1912 Progressive (Bull Moose) Party nominates Theodore Roosevelt for president1927 The Peace Bridge opens between Fort Erie, Ontario and Buffalo, New York. 1930 The last confirmed lynching of blacks in the Northern United States occurs in Marion, Indiana. Two men, Thomas Shipp and Abram Smith, are killed. 1934 US Court of Appeals upheld lower court ruling striking down government’s attempt to ban controversial James Joyce novel “Ulysses”1942 World War II: the Battle of Guadalcanal begins United States Marines initiate the first American offensive of the war with landings on Guadalcanal and Tulagi in the Solomon Islands. 1944 IBM dedicates the first program-controlled calculator  the Automatic Sequence Controlled Calculator (known best as the Harvard Mark I). 1947 Thor Heyerdahl’s balsa wood raft the Kon-Tiki  smashes into the reef at Raroia in the Tuamotu Islands after a 101-day  7,000 kilometres (4,300 mi) journey across the Pacific Ocean in an attempt to prove that pre-historic peoples could have traveled from South America. 1955 Tokyo Telecommunications Engineering  the precursor to Sony  sells its first transistor radios in Japan. 1959 The Lincoln Memorial design on the U.S. penny goes into circulation. It replaces the “sheaves of wheat” design and is still in use. 1959 Explorer program: Explorer 6 launches from the Atlantic Missile Range in Cape Canaveral  Florida. 1959 Explorer 6 transmits 1st TV photo of Earth from space1964 Vietnam War: the U.S. Congress passes the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution giving US President Lyndon B. Johnson broad war powers to deal with North Vietnamese attacks on American forces. 1965 The infamous first party between Ken Kesey’s Merry Pranksters and motorcycle gang the Hells Angels takes place at Kesey’s estate in La Honda, California introducing psychedelics to the gang world and forever linking the hippie movement to the Hell’s Angels. 1970 California judge Harold Haley is taken hostage in his courtroom and killed during in an effort to free George Jackson from police custody. 1970 1st computer chess tournament1974 Philippe Petit walks tightrope strung between the twin towers of the World Trade Center1978 Thousands of mourners file past the body of Pope Paul VI1978 U.S. President Jimmy Carter declares a federal emergency at Love Canal. 1983 1st World Track & Field Championships1983 Some 675,000 employees strike AT&T1984 Japan beats US for olympic gold medal in baseball1984 Jim Deshales becomes 1,000th playing Yankee1987 5 Central American presidents sign peace accord in Guatemala1991 Court rules Manuel Noriega  may access some secret US documents1991 Manhattan Cable final day of amnesty to return illegal cable boxes2007 Barry Bonds of the San Francisco Giants breaks baseball great Hank Aaron’s record by hitting his 756th home run.]]]]> ]]>

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