On this Day August 7
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1782 – General George Washington, commander in chief of the Continental Army, creates the “Badge for Military Merit” — a decoration for valor consisting of a purple, heart-shaped piece of silk with the word “Merit” stitched across the face. Only three soldiers were awarded the badge before it fell into disuse. It was revived in 1932 as the Purple Heart, consisting of a bust of Washington below a coat of arms.
1959 – NASA launches the Explorer 6 satellite to study trapped radiation, galactic cosmic rays and geomagnetism in the upper atmosphere. It is the first spacecraft to transmit images of Earth from orbit.
1990 – President George H. W. Bush orders the launch of Operation Desert Shield in response to Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait on August 2. The order prepares American troops to join an international coalition in the war against Iraq that would be launched as Operation Desert Storm in January 1991.
2005 – The seven-person crew of a small Russian submarine (Priz) is rescued by an unmanned British submersible that freed the sub after its propellers became entangled in fishing nets deep in Pacific waters.
1982 – “Eye of the Tiger,” from the movie “Rocky III,” is midway through a six-week domination of the pop chart. The track garners Survivor a Grammy for Best Rock Performance by Duo or Group With Vocal.