History: July 28

July 28

1165 Birth: Ibn al-'Arabi, Muslim mystic, philosopher.

1540 King Henry VIII's chief minister, Thomas Cromwell, is executed. The same day, Henry marries his fifth wife, Catherine Howard.

1586 The first potatoes arrive in Britain in Plymouth, brought from Colombia by Sir Thomas Harriott.

1588 The Spanish Armada is sighted off the South West coast of England and sails up the English Channel until they reach Calais.

1609 Admiral George Somers settles in Bermuda.

1615 French explorer Samuel de Champlain discovers Lake Huron on his seventh voyage to the New World.

1655 Death: Cyrano de Bergerac, French dramatist, novelist, in Paris.

1746 Birth: Thomas Heyward, American Revolutionary soldier, will sign the Declaration of Independence. Died in 1809.

1750 Death: Johann Sebastian Bach after an unsuccessful eye operation.

1794 French Revolution: Maximilien Robespierre is sent to the guillotine.

1814 Poet Percy Bysshe Shelley elopes with 17-year-old Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin on this day, despite the fact that he is already married. Shelley, the heir to his wealthy grandfather's estate, was expelled from Oxford when he refused to acknowledge authorship of a controversial essay. He eloped with his first wife, Harriet Westbrook, the daughter of a tavern owner, in 1811. However, just a few years later, Shelley fell in love with the young Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin, daughter of a prominent reformer and early feminist writer. Shelley and Godwin fled to Europe, marrying after Shelley's wife committed suicide in 1816. Shelley's inheritance did not pay all the bills, and the couple spent much of their married life abroad, fleeing Shelley's creditors. While living in Geneva, the Shelleys and their dear friend Lord Byron challenged each other to write a compelling ghost story. Only Mary Shelley finished hers, later publishing the story as Frankenstein.

The Shelleys had five children but only one lived to adulthood. After Shelley drowned in a sailing accident when Mary Shelley was only 24, she edited two volumes of his works. She lived on a small stipend from her father-in-law, Lord Shelley, until her surviving son inherited his fortune and title in 1844. She died at the age of 53. Although she was a respected writer for many years, only Frankenstein and her journals are still widely read.

1821 Peru declares its independence from Spain.

1830 Revolution in France replaces Charles X with Louis Philippe.

1835 King Louis Napoleon of France survives an assassination attempt.

1841 Forces from the national bank movement receive a glimmer of hope as the Senate narrowly passes the Fiscal Bank Bill. An initiative of the embattled Whig party, this bill calls for the creation of the Fiscal Bank of the United States, a federal financial institution to be located in the District of Columbia. The bank's starchy name barely disguises the ideological intent of its inventors: the Whigs seek nothing less than the revival of the Second Bank of the United States, the ill-fated institution that Andrew Jackson had putatively killed in the name of states' rights earlier in the 1830s. For a brief spell during the summer of 1841, it looked as though the Whigs would have their day; however, despite the Fiscal Bank Bill passing through the House in early August, the legislation, and its Whig advocates, was doomed to failure. On 16 August, President John Tyler, a staunch state supporter, announced that he was vetoing the bill. The legislation bounced back to the Senate, but the Whigs failed to marshal sufficient support to override Tyler's veto.

1851 A total solar eclipse is captured on a Daguerreotype photograph. Caption: The first view (fig 1) shows the 'appearance of rays of light shooting off at tangents to the moon's limb at the cusps. This appearance lasted about one minute, then vanished entirely.' The second (fig 2) shows 'Baily's Beads' immediately before the total extinction of the Sun. The Moon does not have a perfectly smooth surface, so when it covers the Sun during an eclipse, the Sun's light can be seen passing along valleys on the lunar surface. The short-lived effect, which resembles beads or diamonds on a ring, occurs just before or after totality, and is named after Francis Baily (1774-1844), the British astronomer who first recorded the phenomenon in 1836.

1858 Four British and American ships splice a telegraph cable together on this day in 1858, then set sail for home the following day. The cable is laid out until the ships reach Ireland and Newfoundland. The cable, which stretchs more than 1,950 miles and is laid as deep as two miles under the ocean in some places, establishes transatlantic telegraph communication, and an initial message is exchanged by President James Buchanan and Queen Victoria in August. However, the cable's weak signal is insufficient for regular communication and service ends on 1 September.

1859 Birth: Balington Booth, founded Volunteers of America.

1862 US Civil War: Confederate forces were defeated at More's Hill, Missouri.

1863 US Civil War: Confederate John Mosby begins a series of attacks against General Meade's Army of the Potomac.

Sherman at Atlanta

1864 US Civil War: Confederates under General John Bell Hood make a third attempt to break General William T. Sherman's hold on Atlanta. Like the first two, this attack fails, destroying the Confederate Army of Tennessee's offensive capabilities. Hood had replaced Joseph Johnston as commander of the Army of Tennessee on 18 July 1864, because Johnston had failed to keep Sherman away from Atlanta. Upon assuming command of the army, Hood quickly scrapped Johnston's defensive strategy and attacked Sherman, first on 20 July at Peachtree Creek, and then on 22 July at the Battle of Atlanta. Both failed, but that did not deter Hood from making another attempt to break the Union hold on the important Southern city. When Sherman sent General Oliver O. Howard southeast of Atlanta to cut the Macon and Western Railroad, one of the remaining supply lines, Hood sent Stephen D. Lee's corps to block the move. Lee attacked at Ezra Church, but the battle did not go as planned for the Confederates. Instead of striking the Union flank, Lee's corps hit the Union center, where the Yankee troops were positioned behind barricades made from logs and pews taken from the church. Throughout the afternoon, Lee made several attacks on the Union lines. Each was turned back, and Lee was not able to get around the Union flank. The battle was costly for an army that was already outnumbered. Lee lost 3,000 men to the Union's 630. More important, Hood lost his offensive capability. For the next month, he could do no more than sit in trenches around Atlanta and wait for Sherman to deal him the knockout blow.

1866 So When's It Gonna Catch On: The metric system is legalized by the U.S. Congress for the standardization of weights and measures throughout the United States.

1868 The Fourteenth Amendment to the US Constitution, which guarantees citizenship to all those born or naturalised in the United States, is adopted.

1882 The opera Parsifal is produced (Bayreuth).

Nude Descending a Staircase

1887 Birth: Marcel Duchamp, French artist.

1896 The community of Miami, Florida, with a population of 260, is incorporated.

1898 Spanish-American War: Spain, through the offices of the French embassy in Washington, DC, requests peace terms in its war with the United States.

1900 The hamburger is created by Louis Lassing in Connecticut.

1904 Birth: Pavel Alekseyevich Cherenkov, Soviet physicist, will share the 1958 Nobel Prize for Physics with fellow Soviet scientists Igor Y. Tamm and Ilya M. Frank for their investigation of the phenomenon called Cherenkov radiation. He discovered that light is emitted by electrons as they pass through a transparent medium at a speed higher than the speed of light in that medium. Died 6 January 1990.

1914 WW1: The war begins as Austria-Hungary, refusing to submit the disputed terms to international arbitration, declares war on Serbia. Within a week most of Europe will at war.

1915 10,000 blacks march on 5th Avenue in New York City protesting about lynchings.

1919 Jean Monnet, an acquaintance of Colonel Edward Mandell House, is appointed as Deputy Secretary of the new League of Nations. After WWII Monnet will become known as the "Father of Europe."

1919 Volkishness: Sebottendorff leaves Munich and resigns as Grand master of the Thule Society.

1920 Pancho Villa surrenders to the Mexican government.

1922 Hitler gives an impassioned speech in Munich. An excerpt: "The directors of these institutions were, and are without exception, Jews. I say 'without exception,' for the few non-Jews who had a share in them are in the last resort nothing but screens, shop-window Christians. Christians one needs in order, for the sake of the masses, to keep up the appearance that these institutions were, after all, founded as a natural outcome of the needs and the economic life of all peoples alike. That they were not, as was the fact, institutions which correspond only with the essential characteristics of the Jewish people, and are the...."

1931 The Star Spangled Banner officially becomes the US national anthem.

1932 Federal troops forcibly disperse the "Bonus Army" of World War I veterans who had gathered in Washington, DC. They were demanding money they were not scheduled to receive until 1945.

1933 Holocaust: The German state of Thuringia expels all Jewish teachers and orders disbandment of the Jewish Student's Association.

1937 Japanese troops occupy the Chinese capital of Peking

1941 WW2: Hitler remains at Wolf's Lair until March 20, 1943.

1941 U.S. assets in Japan are frozen.

1941 Japanese assets in the Dutch East Indies are frozen and oil deals cancelled. Now, almost 75% of Japan's foreign trade is at a virtual standstill and 90% of its oil supply has been cut off.

1941 The Japanese occupy French bases in Indochina. It is clear that the main use for these bases might be as jumping off places for an invasion of Malaya, the East Indies or even the Philippines.

1941 Holocaust: Nazi killing squads arrive in Bessarabia. Romanian troops and militias murder thousands of Jews in the area of their advance. Following the initial killings, internment camps are set up throughout the province. At the camp in Edineti, 70 to 100 people die every day in July and August, mostly of starvation. In all, more than 148,000 Bessarabian Jews perish in the ghettos and camps of Transnistria. (Atlas)

1941 Holocaust: The German advance in Russia is so rapid that less than 300,000 of Russia's 2.7 million Jews are able to escape to safety beyond the Volga River. (Atlas)

1942 Resistance: The Jewish Fighting Organization (JFO) is set up in the Warsaw ghetto.

1943 President Franklin D. Roosevelt announces the end of coffee rationing in the US.

1943 WW2: The worst British terror-bombing raid on Hamburg so far virtually sets the city on fire, killing an estimated 42,000 German civilians. On 24 July, British bombers launched Operation Gomorrah, repeated bombing raids against Hamburg and its industrial and munitions plants. Sortie after sortie dropped fire from the sky, as thousands of tons of incendiary bombs destroyed tens of thousands of lives, buildings, and acreage. But the night of the 28th saw destruction unique in more than three years of bomb attacks. In just 43 minutes, 2,326 tons of bombs were dropped, creating a firestorm (a word that entered English parlance for the first time as a result of these events). Low humidity, a lack of fire-fighting resources (exhausted from battling blazes caused by the previous nights' raids), and hurricane-level winds at the core of the storm literally fanned the flames, scorching eight square miles of Hamburg. One British flight lieutenant recalled seeing 'not many fires but one. I have never seen a fire like that before and was never to see its like again.' Despite the terrible loss of civilian life, there was a strange and awful irony. The horrific bombing runs affected Hitler's war machine only marginally; the production of munitions is back and running at full speed within a matter of weeks.

1945 The United Nations(U.N.) charter is approved by the U.S. Senate.

1945 A U.S. Army bomber crashs into the 79th floor of New York City's Empire State Building, killing 14 people and injuring 26.

1945 Birth: Jim Davis, Garfield cartoonist.

1948 The I. G. Farben chemical plant explodes in Ludwigshafen, Germany, 182 die.

1959 Hawaii's first US election sends the first Asian-Americans to the US Congress.

1962 Mariner I is launched to Mars but falls into the Atlantic Ocean.

1964 Ranger 7 is launched toward the Moon and sends back 4308 TV pictures.

1965 U.S. President Lyndon 'Throw Americans At Them' Johnson announces he is increasing the number of American troops in South Vietnam from 75,000 to 125,000.

1973 Bonnie and Clyde’s bullet-riddled 1934 Ford V-8 sedan is sold at auction for $175,000 to Peter Simon of Jean, Nevada. The Ford V-8 model succeeded the new Model A, and it was well received due to its speed and power, and perhaps this is why it seemed most popular among the criminal element. Henry Ford first received a personal letter congratulating him on the car’s performance from famed outlaw gunman John Dillinger. Dillinger wrote, 'Hello Old Pal. You have a wonderful car. It’s a treat to drive. Your slogan should be Drive a Ford and Watch The Other Cars Fall Behind You. I can make any other car eat a Ford’s dust. Bye-bye.' Later, Clyde Barrow wrote a similarly laudatory note to Henry Ford, 'Dear Sir, While I still have breath in my lungs I will tell you what a dandy car you make. I have drove Fords exclusively when I could get away with one. For sustained speed and freedom from trouble the Ford has got every other car skinned and even if my business hasn’t been strictly legal it don’t hurt to tell you what a fine car you got in the V8'. Almost enough to make you think Ford hired both high-profile criminals for an ad campaign, but alas, Ford made no use of either personal endorsement.

1977 The first oil flows through the Alaska pipeline.

1986 NASA releases a transcript from the doomed Challenger, pilot Michael Smith could be heard saying, 'Uh-oh!' as the spacecraft disintegrated.

1987 Death: James Burnham, philosopher (Coming Defeat of Communism), aged 81.

1988 Israeli diplomats arrive in Moscow for the first visit in 21 years.

1990 The War Against Some Drugs: A soft drink containing liquid cocaine kills an unsuspecting drinker. Maximo Menendez fell into a coma immediately after drinking a Colombian soft drink, Pony Malta de Bavaria, in Miami, Florida. Drinking half the bottle before heading off to his job at a pet shop, Menendez remarked, 'This is poisoned, it's bad stuff', before going into convulsions. The next day, officials at the Food and Drug Administration learned that the soft drink had been laced with a lethal dose of liquid cocaine. After pulling every bottle of Pony Malta off the local store shelves, authorities discovered that another 45 bottles of the thick, sweet beverage contained cocaine by using a dielectrometer, a piece of equipment usually used by engineers to locate imperfections in building materials. Apparently, a smuggling operation had gone awry; smugglers had planned to reclaim bottles and transform the liquid cocaine back to a sellable crystal form. Menendez, who had escaped from Cuba only six months earlier, never regained consciousness and died in August. In May 1994, a federal grand jury indicted Hugo Rios-Rodriguez and Alberto Gamba for their role in tampering with the Pony Malta bottles. The late 1980s and early 1990s featured all kinds of innovative smuggling schemes. In October 1990, a Nigerian man flew into Los Angeles with a stomach full of balloons containing cocaine. When one of the balloons ruptured, surgery was required to save his life. The man then sued customs officials for an illegal search, but his claim was thrown out of court. Another man entering Puerto Rico had rubber-wrapped packages of cocaine implanted under the skin on his thighs. Earlier, authorities found a shipment of yams had been hollowed out and filled with cocaine. In 1991, customs officers found that dog carriers from Columbia were actually made of cocaine and fiberglass. That same year, a cast iron pita oven from Turkey had 700 kilos of hashish welded inside. It was discovered when investigators realised there was no way to turn the oven on.

1995 Network Solutions, the company in charge of assigning Internet addresses, announces a new policy to help companies protect their trademarks on the Internet. Several trademark infringement lawsuits had resulted from individuals registering names of companies or organisations, some hoping to sell the names back to the companies for large prices. One man, who had registered bbb.com, was forced to relinquish the name after the Council of Better Business Bureaus filed a trademark suit. Network Solutions said that under its new policy, any domain name would be suspended from use if the individual who had registered a trademarked name refused to relinquish it to the company owning the trademark.

1996 A pipe bomb hidden in a backpack explodes during evening festivities at the Centennial Olympic Park in Atlanta, Georgia, killing 2 people and injuring more than 100. The explosion occurres around 1.00am, which doubtlessly prevents more Olympic visitors from being killed or injured. The FBI is investigating leads.

1998 Newspapers reported that junk e-mail causes a massive delay of America Online e-mail. Spam aimed at AOL customers listed Ameritech.net, one of the country's largest Internet service providers, as its return address. AOL rejected millions of messages, which were returned to Ameritech.net, overwhelming its system. The company delayed most incoming AOL messages until the spam abated, resulting in widespread delays of AOL e-mail.

1998 Serbian military forces seize the Kosovo town of Malisevo.

1998 Monica Lewinsky receives blanket immunity from prosecution to testify before a grand jury about her relationship with U.S. President Bill 'It' Clinton.


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