TODAY'S HISTORY: In 1789, the U.S. Department of War was established.
In 1942, the U.S. 1st Marines Division landed on the island of Guadalcanal, marking the first major American offensive of World War II.
In 1964, Congress passed the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution in response to reported Vietnamese attacks.
In 1998, U.S. embassies in Tanzania and Kenya were bombed.
TODAY'S BIRTHDAYS: Ralph Bunche (1904-1971), activist/Nobel laureate; Tobin Bell (1942- ), actor; Garrison Keillor (1942- ), writer/entertainer; Wayne Knight (1955- ), actor; David Duchovny (1960- ), actor; Harold Perrineau (1963- ), actor; Jimmy Wales (1966- ), Wikipedia co-founder; Michael Shannon (1974- ), actor; Charlize Theron (1975- ), actress; Sidney Crosby (1987- ), hockey player; Mike Trout (1991- ), baseball player.
TODAY'S FACT: In 1947, Norwegian anthropologist Thor Heyerdahl and his crew of five crashed into a reef at Raroia, near Tahiti, aboard their balsa wood raft, Kon-Tiki. The 4,300-mile, 101-day voyage from Peru was undertaken to prove that prehistoric South Americans could have colonized the Polynesian Islands.
TODAY'S SPORTS: In 2007, Barry Bonds of the San Francisco Giants hit his 756th career home run, surpassing the record set by Hank Aaron.
TODAY'S QUOTE: "The world and its peoples being as they are, there is no easy or quick or infallible approach to a secure peace. It is only by patient, persistent, undismayed effort, by trial and error, that peace can be won." -- Ralph Bunche
TODAY'S NUMBER: 1,368 -- height (in feet) of the wire suspended between the World Trade Center towers and walked by French high-wire artist Philippe Petit on this day in 1974. Petit walked back and forth, sat and even danced on the 200-foot-long wire for 45 minutes before surrendering to police.