On this Day August 7

History Highlights

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 – The sheaves of wheat image on the U.S. penny is replaced with the Lincoln Memorial. 

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.

1972 – Yogi Berra, Sandy Koufax, Lefty Gomez and Early Wynn are inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York. 

1974 – After six years of planning and preparation, French high-wire artist Philippe Petit walks a tightrope a quarter mile above the streets of Manhattan between the World Trade Center towers.

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 – Longtime ABC News anchor and reporter Peter Jennings loses his battle with cancer at the age of 67.

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.

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Timeless: The All-Time Greatest Hits

Bee Gees

Mirage (Deluxe Edition)

Fleetwood Mac

The Hall: A Celebration of Baseball's Greats

National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum

Man on Wire

Philippe Petit

Ralph Bunche: An American Odyssey

Brian Urquhart

North Country

Starring Charlize TheronFrances McDormand andSean Bean, and directed by Niko Caro

On this Day May 12

Celebrity Birthdays

1820 – Nursing pioneer Florence Nightingale (d. 1910)

1907 – Oscar-winning actress Katharine Hepburn (“The African Queen,” “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner,” “On Golden Pond”) (d. 2003)

1925 – Baseball Hall of Fame player-coach-manager Yogi Berra (d. 2015)

1928 – Grammy and Oscar-winning composer-pianist Burt Bacharach (“The Look of Love,” “This Guy’s in Love with You,” “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on My Head,” “(They Long to Be) Close to You,” “Arthur’s Theme (Best That You Can Do),” “That’s What Friends Are For,” “On My Own”)

1936 – Late-night TV talk show host Tom Snyder (“The Tomorrow Show,” “The Late Late Show”) (d. 2007)

1937 – Stand-up comedian and actor George Carlin (d. 2008)

1950 – Actor Gabriel Byrne (“Miller’s Crossing,” “The Usual Suspects,” “End of Days,” “In Treatment”)

1959 – Golden Globe-winning actor Ving Rhames (“Dave,” “Mission: Impossible” film series, “Pulp Fiction,” “Con Air,” “Don King: Only in America”)

1962 – ‘Brat Pack’ actor Emilio Estevez (“Repo Man,” “The Breakfast Club,” “St. Elmo’s Fire,” “Stakeout,” “Young Guns,” “The Mighty Ducks”)

1978 – Actor Jason Biggs (“As The World Turns,” the “American Pie” movie series, “Orange is the New Black,” “Amateur Night”)

1981 – Oscar and Golden Globe-winning actor and producer Rami Malek (“Bohemian Rhapsody,” “Mr. Robot,” “Night at the Museum”)

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The Very Best of The Everly Brothers

The Everly Brothers

The Barbra Streisand Album

Barbra Streisand

Images of America: New Jersey's Lindbergh Kidnapping and Trial

Mark W. Falzini and James Davidson

A.J.

A.J. Foyt and William Neely

The Philadelphia Story

Starring James Stewart, Cary Grant and Katharine Hepburn, and directed by George Cukor

The Breakfast Club

Starring Molly Ringwald, Judd Nelson, Emilio Estevez, Anthony Michael Hall and Ally Sheedy, and directed by John Hughes