August 7

1789 - The U.S. War Department was established by the U.S. Congress. 

1782 - George Washington created the Order of the Purple Heart. 

1888 - Theophilus Van Kannel received a patent for the revolving door. 

1914 - Germany invaded France. 

1928 - The U.S. Treasure Department issued a new bill that was one third smaller than the previous U.S. bills. 

1934 - The U.S. Court of Appeals upheld a lower court ruling striking down the government's attempt to ban the controversial James Joyce novel "Ulysses." 

1942 - U.S. forces landed at Guadalcanal, marking the start of the first major allied offensive in the Pacific during World War II. 

1947 - The balsa wood raft Kon-Tiki, which had carried a six-man crew 4,300 miles across the Pacific Ocean, crashed into a reef in a Polynesian archipelago. 

1959 - The U.S. launched Explorer 6, which sent back a picture of the Earth. 

1960 - The Cuban Catholic Church condemned the rise of communism in Cuba. Fidel Castro then banned all religious TV and radio broadcasts. 

1964 - The U.S. Congress passed the Gulf of Tonkin resolution, which gave President Johnson broad powers in dealing with reported North Vietnamese attacks on U.S. forces. 

1974 - French stuntman Philippe Petit walked a tightrope strung between the twin towers of New York's World Trade Center. 

1976 - Scientists in Pasadena, CA, announced that the Viking 1 spacecraft had found strong indications of possible life on Mars. 

1981 - After 128 years of publication, "The Washington Star" ceased all operations. 

1983 - AT&T employees went on strike. 

1987 - The presidents of five Central American nations, met in Guatemala City, and signed an 11-point agreement designed to bring peace to their region. 

1990 - U.S. President George H.W. Bush ordered U.S. troops and warplanes to Saudi Arabia to guard against a possible invasion by Iraq. 

1999 - Tony Gwynn of the San Diego Padres got his 3,000th hit of his major league career. 

2003 - In California, Arnold Schwarzenegger announced that he would run for the office of governor. 

2003 - Stephen Geppi bought a 1963 G.I. Joe prototype for $200,000.