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This Day In Founders History – 7 August
On this day in 1782, General George Washington ordered the creation of the Badge of Military Merit. Today, we know this award as The Purple Heart. This award was only open to enlisted men and there are only three known recipients of the Badge of Military Merit from the Revolutionary War.
In 1789 on this day, the U.S. War Department was established by Congress. In 1947, the U.S. War Department split into Department of the Army and Department of the Air Force and joined with Department of the Navy and was later renamed United States Department of Defense.
August 7, the Lighthouse Act of 1789 was the Ninth Act of Congress and the first Public Works Act. It provided for the transfer of all 12 existing lighthouses in the U.S. from the states to the federal government. The states were wary of centralization, so all lighthouses were finally turned over to the government in 1797.
One notable birthday on this day in history in 1742, that of Nathanael Greene, Major General in the Continental Army.
Also born on this day in 1726 was James Bowdoin. Bowdoin was the second Governor of Massachusetts, and his fiscal policy led to Shays’ Rebellion.