August 7, 1782 -
General George Washington created the Order of the Purple Heart, a decoration to recognize merit in enlisted men and noncommissioned officers.
Washington authorized the award of the Purple Heart for soldiers wounded in combat.
August 7, 1948 -
An early example of Daffy Duck's greedy nature, You Were Never Duckier premiered on this date.
... Well, I gotta go. I think my judge is burning, fudge... My fudge is burning, judge... I mean, my mother wants me. I got to crochet a cake. Uh, uh, goodbye!
August 7, 1953 -
Arguably, the best musical of the Golden Age of Hollywood Musicals, The Band Wagon, premiered on this date.
Betty Comden and Adolph Green made the characters played by Nanette Fabray and Oscar Levant a married couple because they felt that the audiences would not accept a male/female writing team who weren't married to each other, even though the characters were based on Comden and Green, who were themselves not married to each other.
August 7, 1963 -
American International released the first "beach-blanket" film, Beach Party, on this date.
... Bring me my pendulum, kiddies, I feel like swinging!
Today in History:
August 7, 1876 -
The German spy Mata Hari, a Dutchwoman named Margaretha Geertruida Zelle, was born on this day. She was executed by the French on October 14, 1917.
There was not much actual evidence of espionage, but she had been seen naked with German officers and the French found this distasteful enough to kill her.
August 7, 1882 -
Ellison Hatfield is stabbed 26 times and shot in the back by Tolbert McCoy and two of his brothers. Two days later, the Hatfield clan captures the three McCoys and executes them by firing squad.
Thus begins generations of bloodshed between the families, ultimately causing about 100 casualties.
Louis Leakey was also born on this day, in 1903. Mr Leakey was a prominent British archeologist who discovered that either mankind was much older than had previously been supposed or that mankind had not actually been mankind but some other kind instead.
The archeological world was convulsed for decades by arguments over what to name this strange new species and the struggle drove Mr Leakey to become a spy for the British government and cheat on his wife (though seldom simultaneously).
August 7, 1953 -
Eisenhower signs legislation retroactively granting Ohio official statehood for the previous 150 years. In 1803, apparently everyone just assumed that Ohio was a state, even though Congress had never passed legislation to that effect. The nation remained blissfully unaware of this fact until nosy historians began snooping around in preparation for Ohio's sesquicentennial.
Yes I know, if Eisenhower had minded his own damn business, the 2004 election might have been different.
August 7, 1959 -
Explorer 6 transmits first TV photo of Earth from space.
The satellite, popularly known as the 'paddlewheel satellite,' featured a photocell scanner that transmitted a crude picture of the earth's surface and cloud cover from a distance of 17,000 miles .
August 7, 1960 -
Film and television actor David Duchovny (another member of the Milton Berle club) is born in New York City. Two of his most popular TV roles include Special Agent Fox Mulder from The X-Files, and transvestite DEA agent Dennis Bryson in three episodes of Twin Peaks (second season, though).
Remember, the truth is out there. But then again, What is truth, what is beauty and remember hemlock is poison.
August 7, 1974 -
Philippe Petit the French high wire artist walked between the Twin Towers in New York City on this date.
Yes kids, that was another time, another place.
And so it goes.