What Happened on August 7?

  • Two US Embassies in Africa were bombed by Al Qaeda, killing 224 people. (1998) Embassies in Tanzania and Kenya were bombed almost simultaneously. 224 people were killed and more than 5,500 were injured. The bombings put Osama bin Laden on the US FBI most-wanted list.

  • The Bali Bomber was convicted and sentenced to death. (2003) Amrozi bin Nurhasyim bombed two resort nightclubs in Bali on October 12, 2002. The bombs killed 190 people from 21 countries. Upon his conviction and sentencing, he smiled and pumped his fist into the air. Amrozi and his two partners, Huda bin Abdul Haq and Imam Samudra were executed by firing squad on November 9, 2008.

  • The last lynching in the Northern US occurred. (1930) Abram Smith and Thomas Shipp were arrested for robbery, murder and rape. A violent crowd broke them out of jail and beat and hanged them. Lynching in the US South continued into the 1960s. Today, lynching is a felony crime in all 50 United States.

  • The first person swam from the United States to Russia. (1987) A 30-year-old American woman named Lynne Cox was the first to swim across the Bering Strait. She swam the 40-degree-Fahrenheit (4-degree-Celsius) waters in two hours and six minutes.

  • Philippe Petit crossed a tightrope between the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center. (1974) Petit, a French stunt man, traversed the 1,368-foot (417-meter) high tightrope carrying a balancing pole that weighed 55 pounds (25 kilograms).

  • A wood raft made a 4,300-mile (6,920-kilometer) trip across the Pacific Ocean. (1947) A six-man crew traveled on the raft, Kon-Tiki to attempt to prove that it was possible for prehistoric people to have traveled from South America. After 101 days and 4,300 miles (6,920 kilometers), the raft hit a reef and was beached near the Tuamotu Islands.

  • Seven military ammunition trucks exploded in Cali, Colombia, leaving more than 1,000 people dead. (1956) Columbian President General Gustavo Pinilla wanted to blame terrorists for the attacks, but no evidence was ever found to indicate a deliberate explosion. The cause of the explosions was never determined.

  • The first transistor radio was sold in Japan. (1955) The radio was a product of Tokyo Telecommunications Engineering, which later became Sony.

  • US President George Washington established the Purple Heart. (1782) Originally called the Badge of Military Merit, President Washington ordered the medal to honor soldiers who had been wounded in battle.

  • The US penny got a new design — the Lincoln Memorial. (1959) The Lincoln Memorial replaced the previous penny design which used sheaves of wheat as the centerpiece. The Lincoln Memorial design still is used today.

  • Barry Bonds broke the Major League Baseball career home run record. (2007) Bonds hit his 756th home run to break Hank Aaron's record. Bonds career home run total of 762 still holds the record.

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