On this day: August 7

POSTED: 02:38 PM PDT Aug 06, 2012    UPDATED: 11:00 PM PDT Aug 06, 2016 

The Purple Heart is born, a comic legend dies, a man on a wire goes for a stroll a quarter of a mile above the sidewalks of Manhattan, and U.S. embassies in Africa are targeted in a terrorist attack, all on this day.

OTD August 7 - Philippe Petit
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Magnolia Pictures

1974: Philippe Petit performs a high wire act between the twin towers of the World Trade Center 1,368 feet in the air. He walked the wire for 45 minutes, making eight crossings between the towers. In addition to walking, he sat on the wire, gave knee salutes and, while lying on the wire, spoke with a gull circling above his head. He was arrested once he stepped off the wire on the South Tower, although all formal charges were eventually dropped. The stunt was featured in the 2008 documentary "Man on a Wire."


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