On this day in 1782, George Washington creates the Order of the Purple Heart, recognizing valor and a substantial campaign contribution.

On this day in 1789, the War Department is established by Congress as a place where you can get all your war supplies and military accoutrements in one stop.

On this day in in 1964, Congress passes the Gulf of Tonkin resolution, giving President Johnson broad powers in dealing with a reported North Vietnamese attack on U.S. forces. Turns out the report was bogus, but hey, what the hell.

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