Today is Thursday, August 7, the 219th day of 2014. There are 146 days left in the year.
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. War Department was established by Congress.
In 1814, Pope Pius VII issued a bull restoring the Society of Jesus, or Jesuits, four decades after the order had been suppressed by Pope Clement XIV.
In 1882, the famous feud between the Hatfields of West Virginia and the McCoys of Kentucky erupted into full-scale violence.
In 1927, the already opened Peace Bridge connecting Buffalo, New York, and Fort Erie, Ontario, Canada, was officially dedicated.
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 1963, first lady Jacqueline Kennedy gave birth to a boy, Patrick Bouvier Kennedy, who died two days later of respiratory distress syndrome.
In 1974, French stuntman Philippe Petit repeatedly walked a tightrope strung between the twin towers of New York’s World Trade Center.
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 1998, terrorist bombs at U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania killed 224 people, including 12 Americans.
In 2007, San Francisco’s Barry Bonds hit home run No. 756 to break Hank Aaron’s storied record with one out in the fifth inning of a game against the Washington Nationals, who won, 8-6.
Ten years ago: Iraqi interim Prime Minister Ayad Allawi signed an amnesty for minor criminals. Greg Maddux became the 22nd pitcher in major league history to reach 300 victories, leading the Chicago Cubs to an 8-4 victory over San Francisco. Celebrated oil field firefighter Paul “Red” Adair died in Houston at age 89.
Five 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.
One year ago: President Barack Obama’s five-year effort to reboot U.S.-Russian relations crashed as the White House abruptly canceled his planned face-to-face summit with Russia’s Vladimir Putin. The Major League Baseball Players Association formally appealed Alex Rodriguez’s drug probe suspension, sending the case to an independent arbitrator. (The suspension was withheld.) Margaret Pellegrini, 89, one of the original Munchikins from the 1939 classic movie “The Wizard of Oz,” died in Glendale, Arizona.
Today’s birthdays: Writer-producer Stan Freberg is 88. Magician, author and lecturer James Randi is 86. Former MLB pitcher Don Larsen is 85. Actress Verna Bloom is 75. Humorist Garrison Keillor is 72. Singer B.J. Thomas is 72. Singer Lana Cantrell is 71. FBI Director Robert Mueller is 70. Actor John Glover is 70. Actor David Rasche is 70. Rhythm-and-blues singer Harold Hudson is 65. Former diplomat, talk show host and activist Alan Keyes is 64. Country singer Rodney Crowell is 64. Actress Caroline Aaron is 62. Comedian Alexei Sayle is 62. Actor Wayne Knight is 59. Rock singer Bruce Dickinson is 56. Marathon runner Alberto Salazar is 56. Actor David Duchovny is 54. Country musician Michael Mahler (Wild Horses) is 53. Actress Delane Matthews is 53. Actor Harold Perrineau is 51. Jazz musician Marcus Roberts is 51. Country singer Raul Malo is 49. Actress Charlotte Lewis is 47. Actress Sydney Penny is 43. Actor Michael Shannon is 40. Actress Charlize Theron is 39. Rock musician Barry Kerch (Shinedown) is 38. Actor Randy Wayne is 33. Actor-writer Brit Marling is 32.
Thought for today: “You must learn day by day, year by year, to broaden your horizon. The more things you love, the more you are interested in, the more you enjoy, the more you are indignant about — the more you have left when anything happens.” — Ethel Barrymore, American actress (1879-1959).