On Aug. 7, 1782, Gen. George Washington created the Order of the Purple Heart, a decoration to recognize merit in enlisted men and noncommissioned officers.
In 1942, U.S. and other allied forces landed at Guadalcanal, marking the start of the first major allied offensive in the Pacific during World War II. (Japanese forces abandoned the island the following February.)
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 1971, the Apollo 15 moon mission ended successfully as its module splashed down in the Pacific Ocean.
In 2010, Elena Kagan was sworn in as the fourth woman to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court.