August 7th in History

A US Marine Corps amphibian tractor moves up the beach on Guadalcanal Island during the initial landings

Today in History

  • George Washington orders the creation of the Badge of Military Merit for those severely wounded in battle. It is later renamed the Purple Heart (1782)
  • The first Australian rules football match is played (1858)
  • The first women complete a transcontinental automobile trip across the US, taking 59 days to travel from New York to San Francisco (1909)
  • The last confirmed lynching of African Americans in the US takes place in Marion, Indiana (1930)
  • World War II: The Battle of Guadalcanal begins (1942)
  • Thor Heyerdahl’s raft Kon-Tiki completes a 101-day, 7000 km (4300 mi) journey across the Pacific (1947)
  • Sony predecessor Tokyo Telecommunications sells the first transistor radios in Japan (1955)
  • The Lincoln Memorial replaces the “sheaves of wheat” design on the back of the US penny (1959)
  • Vietnam War: The US Congress passes the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution (1964)
  • Viking 2 enters orbit around Mars (1976)
  • US President Jimmy Carter declares a federal emergency at Love Canal because of toxic waste (1978)
  • Lynne Cox becomes the first person to swim from the US to the Soviet Union, crossing the Bering Strait (1987)


  • Elizabeth Báthory, Hungarian noblewoman and serial killer (1560)
  • Nathanael Green, US general (1742)
  • Mata Hari, dancer and spy (1876)
  • Billie Burke, actress and singer (1884)
  • Louis Leakey, paleontologist (1903)
  • Ralph Bunche, first African American to win the Nobel Peace Prize (1904)
  • Kermit Love, puppeteer, delighted Mr. Snuffleupagus and helped create Cookie Monster and Oscar the Grouch (1916)
  • Stan Freberg, comedian and puppeteer (1926)
  • James Randi, magician (1928)
  • Don Larsen, baseball player (1929)
  • Edward Hardwicke, actor (1932)
  • Jerry Pournelle, science fiction author (1933)
  • Rahsaaan Roland Kirk, saxophonist (1935)
  • Garrison Keillor, humorist and radio host (1942)
  • B. J. Thomas, singer (1942)
  • John Glover, actor (1944)
  • Jonathan Pollard, spy (1954)
  • David Duchovny, actor (1960)
  • Jimmy Wales, co-founder of Wikipedia (1966)


  • Joseph Marie Jacquard, invented the Jacquard loom (1834)
  • Konstantin Stanislavski, acting teacher (1938)
  • Rabindranath Tagore, author (1941)
  • Oliver Hardy, actor and comedian (1957)
  • Red Adair, firefighter (2004)
  • Peter Jennings, television journalist and anchor (2005)
  • Bernie Brillstein, talent agent (2008)
  • Judith Crist, critic (2012)
  • Louise Suggs, golfer (2015)

Holidays and Observances

  • Assyrian Martyrs Day (Assyrian community)
  • Battle of Boyacá Day (Colombia)
  • Emancipation Day (Saint Kitts and Nevis)
  • Lighthouse Day (US)
  • Professional Speakers Day (US)
  • Purple Heart Day (US)
  • Republic Day (Ivory Coast)
  • Youth Day (Kiribati)

August 7 is the 219th day of the year (220th in leap years). There are 146 days remaining until the end of the year.