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On August seventh, 1942, US
forces landed at Guadalcanal, marking the start of the
first major allied offensive in the Pacific
during World War Two.
On this date:
In 1782, George Washington created
the Order of the Purple Heart, a decoration to
recognize merit in enlisted men and
In 1789, the US
War Department was established by Congress.
In 1912, the
Progressive Party nominated Theodore Roosevelt
In 1947, the balsa
wood raft "Kon-Tiki," which had carried
a six-man crew 4300 miles across the Pacific
Ocean, crashed into a reef in a Polynesian
In 1959, the
United States launched "Explorer Six,"
which sent back a picture of the Earth.
In 1964, Congress
passed the Gulf of Tonkin resolution, giving
President Johnson broad powers in dealing with
reported North Vietnamese attacks on US forces.
In 1970, an
attempt by black militant James David McClain to
escape his trial in Marin County, California,
ended in a shootout with police that claimed the
lives of McClain, two of three cohorts, and Judge
Harold J. Daley, one of several hostages.
scientists in Pasadena, California, announced
that the "Viking One" spacecraft had
found the strongest indications to date of
possible life on Mars.
In 1989, a plane
carrying Congressman Mickey Leland (Democrat,
Texas) and 15 others disappeared over Ethiopia.
(The wreckage of the plane was found six days
later -- there were no survivors.)
In 1998, terrorist
bombs at US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania
killed 224 people, including 12 Americans.
Ten years ago:
President Bush ordered US troops and warplanes to
Saudi Arabia to guard the oil-rich desert kingdom
against a possible invasion by Iraq.
Five years ago:
Ten days before he was to be put to death for the
murder of a police officer, black activist and
radio reporter Mumia Abu-Jamal won a reprieve
from the original trial judge in Philadelphia.
One year ago:
President Clinton, during a visit to his home
state of Arkansas, promised to devote the rest of
his presidency to erasing poverty. The Southern
Party held its inaugural rally in Flat Rock,
North Carolina, pledging to work peacefully for a
separate Southern nation. Wade Boggs became the
first player to homer for his three-thousandth
"Civilization is a
movement and not a condition, a voyage and not a
Arnold Toynbee, English historian (1889-1975).