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1679 - The brigantine Le Griffon, commissioned by René 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 of North America.

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.

1789 - The United States War Department is established.

1794 - Whiskey Rebellion begins: Farmers in the Monongahela Valley of Pennsylvania rebel against the federal tax on liquor and distilled drinks.

1819 - Simón Bolívar triumphs over Spain in the Battle of Boyacá.

1879 - The opening of the Poor Man's Palace in Manchester.

1927 - The Peace Bridge opens, between Fort Erie, Ontario and Buffalo, New York.

1942 - World War II: Battle of Guadalcanal begins - U.S. 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 Mark I).

1945 - President Harry Truman announces the successful bombing of Hiroshima with an atomic bomb while returning from the Potsdam Conference aboard the heavy cruiser USS Augusta (CA-31) in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean.

1947 - Thor Heyerdahl's balsa wood raft the Kon-Tiki, smashes into the reef at Raroia in the Tuamotu Islands after a 101-day, 7000-km (4375-mile) journey across the Pacific Ocean proving that pre-historic peoples could have traveled from South America.

1947 - The Bombay Municipal Corporation formally takes over the Bombay Electric Supply and Transport (BEST).

1955 - Tokyo Telecommunications Engineering, the precursor to Sony, begins selling its first Transistor radios in Japan.


1959 - Explorer program: The United States launches Explorer 6 from the Atlantic Missile Range in Cape Canaveral, Florida.

1960 - Côte d'Ivoire becomes independent.

1964 - Vietnam War: The U.S. 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.

1965 - Singapore is expelled and separated from the Federation of Malaysia.

1966 - Race riots occur in Lansing, Michigan.

1967 - Vietnam War: The People's Republic of China agrees to give North Vietnam an undisclosed amount of aid in the form of a grant.

1970 - California Judge Harold Haley is taken hostage in his courtroom and killed during in an effort to free George Jackson from police custody.

1973 - NBC airs the final day of the Watergate hearings on U.S. daytime television.

1976 - Viking program: Viking 2 enters into orbit around Mars.

1978 - United States President Jimmy Carter declares a federal emergency at Love Canal.

1981 -The Washington Star ceases all operations after 128 years of publication.

1985 - Takao Doi, Mamoru Mohri and Chiaki Mukai are chosen to be Japan's first astronauts.

1988 - Rioting in New York City's Tompkins Square Park


1989 - U.S. Congressman Mickey Leland (D-TX) and 15 others die in a plane crash in Ethiopia.

1990 - At 12:34:56 (both AM and PM) the time and date by British reckoning was 12:34:56 7/8/90 i.e. 1234567890.

1995 - Operation Storm is officially declared over in Croatia, resulting in total Croat victory over rebel Serb forces.

1997 - Fine Air Flight 101, a cargo flight from Miami to Santo Domingo crashes onto NW 72nd Ave near Miami International Airport, killing five people.

1998 - 1998 U.S. embassy bombings: Bombing of the United States embassies in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, and Nairobi, Kenya, kill 224 people and injure over 4,500.

1999 - A group of Indian army veterans launch the political party Rashtriya Raksha Dal.

2005 - Russian Priz class mini-submarine AS-28 and its seven crewmembers are rescued off the Pacific coast


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