August 7

1789

Congress established the U.S. War Department.

1947

The wooden raft Kon-Tiki, which carried Thor Heyerdahl and five companions more than 4,000 miles, crashed into a reef in the Pacific.

1959

The United States launched Explorer 6, which sent back a picture of Earth.

1964

Congress passed the Tonkin Gulf Resolution, which expanded President Johnson's use of military powers in the Vietnam War.

1987

Lynne Cox becomes the first person to swim from the United States to the Soviet Union, making the 2.7 mile trip through the frigid waters of the Bering Strait. Cox is surprised by the (relatively) warm welcome she receives from the Soviets.

1998

U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania were bombed, by terrorists. Some 224 were killed and more than 5,500 injured.

2000

Sen. Joseph Lieberman of Conn., was selected by Al Gore to be the first Jewish vice-presidential candidate on a major party ticket.

2007

Barry Bonds passes Hank Aaron on baseball’s all-time homerun list. The record, however, is discredited by many because of Bond’s alleged steroid use.

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