On this date:
In 1782, Gen. George Washington created the Order of the Purple Heart, a decoration to recognize merit in enlisted men and noncommissioned officers.
In 1789, the U.S. Department of War 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.
In 1927, the already opened Peace Bridge connecting Buffalo, New York, and Fort Erie, Ontario, Canada, was officially dedicated.
In 1947, the balsa wood raft Kon-Tiki, which carried a six-man crew 4,300 miles across the Pacific Ocean, crashed into a reef in a Polynesian archipelago; all six crew members reached land safely.
In 1957, Oliver Hardy (the heavier half of the Laurel and Hardy comedy team) died in North Hollywood, California, at age 65.
In 1959, the United States launched the Explorer 6 satellite, which sent back images of Earth.
In 1964, Congress passed the Gulf of Tonkin resolution, giving President Lyndon B. Johnson broad powers in dealing with reported North Vietnamese attacks on U.S. forces.
In 1974, French stuntman Philippe Petit (fee-LEEP’ peh-TEET’) repeatedly walked a tightrope strung between the twin towers of New York’s World Trade Center.
In 1989, a plane carrying U.S. Rep. Mickey Leland, D-Texas, and 14 others disappeared over Ethiopia. (The wreckage of the plane was found six days later; there were no survivors.)
In 1998, terrorist bombs at U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania killed 224 people, including 12 Americans.
In 2010, Elena Kagan was sworn in as the 112th justice and fourth woman to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court.
Ten years ago: San Francisco’s Barry Bonds hit home run No. 756 to break Hank Aaron’s storied record with one out in the fifth inning of a game against the Washington Nationals, who ended up winning, 8-6.
Five years ago: Jared Lee Loughner agreed to spend the rest of his life in prison, accepting that he went on a deadly shooting rampage at an Arizona political gathering in 2011 and sparing the victims a lengthy, possibly traumatic death-penalty trial. Syrian President Bashar Assad made his first appearance on state TV in nearly three weeks. Aly Raisman became the first U.S. woman to win Olympic gold on floor, and picked up a bronze on balance beam on the final day of the gymnastics competition at the London Games. Movie critic Judith Crist, 90, died in New York.
One year ago: An accident on a 17-story waterslide at Schlitterbahn Waterpark in Kansas City, Kansas, claimed the life of a 10-year-old boy. Jim Furyk became the first golfer to shoot a 58 in PGA Tour history during the Travelers Championship in Connecticut with a 12-under 58 in the final round. (Furyk finished tied for fifth at 11 under, three strokes behind winner Russell Knox.) Ichiro Suzuki tripled off the wall for his 3,000th hit in the major leagues, becoming the 30th player to reach the milestone as the Miami Marlins beat the Colorado Rockies 10-7. At the Rio Games, British swimmer Adam Peaty cruised to victory in the 100-meter breaststroke with a world record time of 57.13 seconds. Sweden’s Sarah Sjostrom also turned in a world-record performance in the 100 butterfly, touching in 55.48. Katie Ledecky of the U.S. crushed her own world record in the 400 freestyle with a time of 3:56.46.