April 8th in history:
The Venus de Milo was discovered on this day in 1820, on the island of Milos. The famous armless statue of the goddess Venus is now displayed at the Louvre in Paris.
“April in Paris” was one of the famous songs written by lyricist “Yip” Harburg, born April 8th, 1896. Harburg is best known for the lyrics of “Over the Rainbow,” introduced by Judy Garland in “The Wizard of Oz.” Garland’s daughter, Liza Minnelli, starred in the movies “Cabaret” and “New York, New York,” both with music composed by Fred Ebb (born April 8th, year disputed).
It was somewhere over the left centerfield fence at Fulton County Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia that Hank Aaron’s 715th home run landed on April 8th, 1974. The Braves slugger broke Babe Ruth’s career record during Atlanta’s home opener of the season. Aaron eventually hit 755 homers…a record that stood until August of 2007, when Barry Bonds surpassed it.
Georgia native G. Harrold Carswell struck out as a Supreme Court nominee, by a 51-45 vote of the U.S. Senate on April 8th, 1970. Federal judge Carswell was Republican President Richard Nixon’s second straight Supreme Court nominee to be turned down by the Democratic-controlled Senate. Nixon blamed an anti-Southern bias for Carswell’s defeat. Carswell blamed liberals for opposing him, and later that month, he launched a campaign for the U.S. Senate from Florida to avenge the vote against him. He lost the Republican primary.
Neither Florida nor Georgia has ever ratified the 17th Amendment to the Constitution, allowing the popular election of U.S. Senators. On this date in 1913, Connecticut became the 36th state to approve the amendment, insuring its passage.
August 7 in history:
George Washington established one of the highest U.S. military awards on this date in 1782, when he ordered the creation of the Purple Heart for the Continental Army. It became a permanent honor after World War I.
High-wire walker Philippe Petit walked for 45 minutes between the rooftops of the World Trade Center Twin Towers in New York on this date in 1974. His feat was immortalized in the 2008 documentary “Man on Wire.”
Barry Bonds of the San Francisco Giants achieved baseball immortality on August 7th, 2007, by breaking Hank Aaron’s all-time home run record. Bonds hit homer number 756 against the Washington Nationals.
Another baseball star with an achievement yet to be equaled was born on this date in 1929. Pitcher Don Larsen remains the only person to throw a perfect game in a World Series, doing it for the Yankees in 1956.