7th August
It was on this day...
1782 The Purple Heart (Military Medal) Is Founded

Given it's name because it is a purple, heart-shaped piece of silk, with a narrow binding of silver and the word 'Merit' stitched in silver across it. It was inaugurated by commander in chief George Washington on this day.

The award was given to soldiers for "any singularly meritorious action" allowed the bearer to pass guards and sentinels without challenge. Their names were also recorded in a "Book of Merit."

The award was largely forgotten about, but in 1927 it came back into the public's consciousness when an attempt was made to get it resurrected in a bill to Congress. That attempt failed, but in 1931 General Douglas MacArthur vowed to resurrect the award in time for George Washington's 200th birthday. The "Order of the Purple Heart" was created.

Today the Purple Heart is awarded to any military personnel injured or killed in any action against the enemy.

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David Duchovny
Mata Hari
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Other News
1947 Thor Heyerdahl lands his raft, made out of balsa wood (the Kon-Tiki), on a Polynesian island after a journey from Peru. It was an attempt at the reenactment of a possible ancient migration route.
1957 Oliver Hardy dies.
1959 Explorer 6, "Paddlewheel", a satellite, photographs earth from 17,000 miles.

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