The Purple Heart is born, a comic legend dies, a man on a wire goes for a stroll a quarter of a mile above the sidewalks of Manhattan, and U.S. embassies in Africa are targeted in a terrorist attack, all on this day.
1789: The United States War Department, the cabinet-level department originally responsible for the operation and maintenance of the United States Army, is established. The War Department also bore responsibility for naval affairs until the establishment of the Navy Department in 1798 and for most land-based air forces until the creation of the Department of the Air Force in 1947.
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