August 7, 1961
JFK SIGNS CAPE COD NATIONAL SEASHORE BILL
Washington, D.C. (JFK+50) President John F. Kennedy signed HR 5857 today at the White House providing for the establishment of Cape Cod National Seashore Park.
More than 26,000 acres of land & ponds are to be preserved under the act.
“This act makes it possible for the people of the United States through their government to acquire & preserve the natural & historic values of a portion of Cape Cod for the inspiration & enjoyment of people all of the United States.”*
*This is the 1st national seashore created since Cape Hatteras National Park in 1937.
Today, August 7, 2011 on the 50th anniversary of the signing of this act, the JFK Library in conjunction with the National Park Service hosted a commemoration of the event at the Salt Pond Visitor Center in Eastham, Massachusetts.
JFK Library Poster
August 7, 1963
PATRICK BOUVIER KENNEDY BORN AT OTIS AFB HOSPITAL
Falmouth, Massachusetts (JFK+50) A son, Patrick Bouvier, was born at 1:15 local time this afternoon to President & Mrs. John F. Kennedy at the Otis Air Force Base Hospital.
Mrs. Kennedy had been rushed from her home at Hyannisport by helicopter to Otis.
The baby boy, born 5 weeks premature, is suffering from respiratory complications often seen in early births.
Patrick was transferred this evening to Children’s Hospital Medical Center in Boston for specialized treatment.
August 7, 1964
TONKIN GULF RESOLUTION PASSES CONGRESS
Washington, D.C. (JFK+50) The United States Congress overwhelmingly approved the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution today.
The resolution, which passed 416-0 in the House of Representatives & received only 2 opposing votes in the Senate, authorizes President Lyndon B. Johnson to do “whatever is necessary…(to assist) “any member of the Southeast Asia Collective Defense Treaty”.
The resolution was proposed by the Johnson administration after an alleged naval engagement 2 days ago in the Gulf of Tonkin between North Vietnamese patrol boats & the US destroyers Maddox & Turner Joy.*
*The only votes cast against the resolution were by Democratic Senators Morse of Oregon & Gruening of Arkansas.
Gulf of Tonkin Resolution
Signed by LBJ
August 7, 1990
BUSH AUTHORIZES OPERATION DESERT SHIELD
Washington, D.C. (JFK+50) President George H.W. Bush ordered today the start of “Operation Desert Shield” in response to the invasion of Kuwait 5 days ago by the Iraqi forces of Saddam Hussein.
The President also authorized an increase in US military forces & resources in the Persian Gulf.*
*On November 29, 1990, the UN Security Council authorized the use of “all means necessary” to remove Iraqi forces from Kuwait.
August 7, 1943
PT109 SURVIVORS RESCUED BY US NAVY
Solomon Islands (JFK+50) The survivors of the PT109 crew & their commander, Lt. John F. Kennedy, were rescued today by US Navy PT boats.
JFK & his crew were 1st met by an Australian coast watcher who had been alerted by JFK’s message carved on a coconut & brought to him by local natives.
The PT boats arrived at 10:30 this evening at Ferguson Passage where JFK & Barney Ross had attempted unsuccessfully to flag down a passing rescue vessel.
At 11:15, JFK & his crew were brought aboard PT157 & welcomed by the ship’s commander, LT. W. F. Liebenow.*
*Reportedly JFK was upset with the delay in the rescue operation & was “venting” his unhappiness to the commander who said: “Calm down, Jack, we have some warm food for you” to which JFK replied sarcastically “No thanks, I’ve just had a coconut.”
PT 157 & Crew
August 7, 1912
TR NOMINATED FOR PRESIDENT BY BULL MOOSE PARTY
Chicago, Illinois (JFK+50) Former President Theodore Roosevelt was nominated today by the Progressive or “Bull Moose” Party here in Chicago.
The progressives are predominantly insurgents who bolted the Republican convention which nominated President William Howard Taft & whose policies they oppose.
Mr. Roosevelt selected Governor Hiram W. Johnson of California as his running mate.*
Progressive Party Certificate (1912)
*”The real winner in 1912 was democracy in the form of presidential primaries. By running & losing….by refusing to be counted out, TR had firmly established the new primary system.”
Theodore Roosevelt Association
National Progressive Party Convention
Library of Congress Photo
JFK was the beneficiary of the primary system in gaining his 1960 Democratic nomination for President. It is unlikely he could have won without it.
August 7, 1782
GENERAL WASHINGTON CREATES MERIT BADGE
Newburgh, New York (JFK+50) General George Washington, Commander in chief of the Continental Army, created here at Newburgh today the “Badge of Military Merit”.
The decoration consists of a purple heart shaped piece of silk with the word Merit” stitched in silver across the face.*
*The Badge of Military Merit was to be awarded to Elijah Churchill, William Brown & Daniel Bissell, Jr. who served in the Revolutionary War.
Since April 5, 1917, the PURPLE HEART is awarded US Armed Forces personnel who have been killed, wounded in action, or who have suffered as POWs.
WWII Purple Heart in Case
Photo by Jonathunder (2011)