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August 7 is the 219th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (220th in
leap years), with 146 days remaining.
* 1679 - The brigantine Le Griffon, which was commissioned by RenŽ Robert
Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle, is towed to the southern end of the
Niagara River, to become the first ship to sail the upper Great Lakes.
* 1789 - The United States War Department is established.
* 1782 - 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".
* 1794 - Whiskey Rebellion begins: Farmers in the Monoghaela Valley of
Pennsylvania rebel against the federal tax on liquor and distilled
* 1927 - Peace Bridge opens, between Fort Erie, Ontario and Buffalo, New
* 1942 - World War II: Battle of Guadalcanal begins - US Marines initiate
the first American offensive of the war with a landing on Guadalcanal
in the Solomon Islands.
* 1944 - IBM dedicates the first program-controlled calculator, the
Automatic Sequence Controlled Calculator (known best as the Harvard
* 1947 - Thor Heyerdahl's balsa wood raft the Kon-Tiki, smashes into the
reef at Raroia in the Tuamotu Islands after a 101 day 4,300 mile
journey across the Pacific Ocean proving that pre-historic peoples
could have traveled from South America.
* 1953 - Ohio admitted to the union, retroactive to 1803.
* 1959 - Explorer program: The United States launches Explorer 6 from the
Atlantic Missile Range in Cape Canaveral, Florida.
* 1960 - C™te d'Ivoire becomes independent.
* 1964 - Vietnam War: The United States 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.
* 1967 - Vietnam War: The People's Republic of China agrees to give North
Vietnam and undisclosed amount of aid in the form of a grant.
* 1976 - Viking program: Viking 2 enters into orbit around Mars.
* 1981 -The Washington Star ceases all operations after 128 years of
* 1989 - US Congressman Mickey Leland (D-TX), and 15 others die in a
plane crash in Ethiopia.
* 1998 - 1998 U.S. embassy bombings: Bombing of the United States
embassies in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, and Nairobi, Kenya kills 224
people and injures over 4,500.
* 1560 - Elizabeth Bathory serial killer (+ 1614)
* 1742 - Nathaniel Greene, American Revolutionary War general (+ 1786)
* 1779 - Carl Ritter, cofounder of modern science of geography (+ 1859)
* 1836 - Evander Law, Confederate General
* 1867 - Emil Nolde, painter (+ 1956)
* 1876 - Mata Hari (Margaretha Geertruida Zelle), spy (+ 1917)
* 1883 - Joachim Ringelnatz, writer (+ 1934)
* 1885 - Billie Burke, actress, The Wizard of Oz (+ 1970)
* 1890 - Gurley Flynn, politician (+ 1964)
* 1904 - Ralph Bunche, Nobel Peace Prize recipient
* 1904 - Hanna Melzer, activist against Nazism (+ 1960)
* 1926 - Stan Freberg, cartoon and commercial voice, comedian
* 1927 - Carl Alfalfa Switzer, actor (+ 1959)
* 1928 - James Randi, magician
* 1936 - Rahsaan Roland Kirk
* 1942 - Garrison Keillor, radio host
* 1942 - B.J. Thomas, singer
* 1958 - Bruce Dickinson, singer
* 1960 - David Duchovny, actor
* 1975 - Charlize Theron, actress
* 461 - Majorian, Roman Emperor (assassinated)
* 1931 - Bix Beiderbecke, musician
* 1941 - Rabindranath Tagore, author
* 1957 - Oliver Hardy, comedian, actor
Holidays and observances
* Colombia - Battle of Boyac‡
* C™te d'Ivoire - Republic Day (Independence in 1960 from France)
* Kiribati - Youth Day
* Western Samoa - Labour Day