updated 8/7/2007 12:25:31 AM ET 2007-08-07T04:25:31

Today is Tuesday, Aug. 7, the 219th day of 2007. There are 146 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:
On Aug. 7, 1942, U.S. and allied forces landed at Guadalcanal, marking the start of the first major allied offensive in the Pacific during World War II.

On this date:
In 1782, George Washington created the Order of the Purple Heart, a decoration to recognize merit in enlisted men and non-commissioned officers.

In 1789, the U.S. War Department was established by Congress.

In 1882, the famous feud between the Hatfields of West Virginia and the McCoys of Kentucky erupted into full-scale violence as one member of the Hatfield clan was killed by three McCoy brothers, who ended up being slain in turn.

In 1927, the Peace Bridge between the United States and Canada was dedicated during ceremonies attended by Prince Edward of Wales, Canadian Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King and U.S. Vice President Charles Dawes.

In 1947, the balsa wood raft Kon-Tiki, which had carried a six-man crew 4,300 miles across the Pacific Ocean, crashed into a reef in a Polynesian archipelago.

In 1957, 50 years ago, Oliver Hardy (the heavier half of the Laurel and Hardy comedy team) died in North Hollywood, Calif., at age 65.

In 1959, the United States launched Explorer VI, which sent back a picture of the Earth.

In 1964, Congress passed the Gulf of Tonkin resolution, giving President Lyndon Johnson broad powers in dealing with reported North Vietnamese attacks on U.S. forces.

In 1974, French stuntman Philippe Petit repeatedly walked a tightrope strung between the twin towers of New York’s World Trade Center.

In 1987, the presidents of five Central American nations, meeting in Guatemala City, signed an 11-point agreement designed to bring peace to their region.

Ten years ago: A Russian capsule on a fix-it mission docked gingerly with the crippled Mir space station, bringing a new crew charged with salvaging the orbiting outpost.

Five years ago: Former ImClone Systems chief executive Samuel Waksal was indicted in New York on charges of obstruction of justice and bank fraud in addition to previous securities fraud and perjury charges. (Waksal later pleaded guilty and was sentenced to more than seven years in prison.) Alvaro Uribe was sworn in as president of Colombia as guerrillas launched a mortar attack in the capital, killing 21 people.

One year ago: Oil prices jumped after BP said it had discovered corrosion so severe, it would have to replace 16 miles of pipeline at the huge Prudhoe Bay oil field in Alaska. Colombia’s President Alvaro Uribe was sworn in for an unprecedented second term.

Today’s Birthdays: Writer-producer Stan Freberg is 81. Rhythm-and-blues singer Herb Reed (The Platters) is 79. Bluesman Magic Slim is 70. Actress Verna Bloom is 68. Humorist Garrison Keillor is 65. Singer B.J. Thomas is 65. Singer Lana Cantrell is 64. Actor John Glover is 63. Actor David Rasche is 63. Rhythm-and-blues singer Harold Hudson is 58. Country singer Rodney Crowell is 57. Actor Wayne Knight is 52. Rock singer Bruce Dickinson is 49. Marathon runner Alberto Salazar is 49. Actor David Duchovny is 47. Country musician Michael Mahler (Wild Horses) is 46. Jazz musician Marcus Roberts is 44. Country singer Raul Malo is 42. Actress Charlotte Lewis is 40. Actress Sydney Penny is 36. Actress Charlize Theron is 32.

Thought for Today: “People who cannot recognize a palpable absurdity are very much in the way of civilization.” — Agnes Repplier, American essayist (1858-1950).

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