Today is Monday, July 28, the 209th day of 2014. There are 156 days left in the year.
On July 28, 1914, World War I began as Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia.
On this date:
In 1540, King Henry VIII’s chief minister, Thomas Cromwell, was executed, the same day Henry married his fifth wife, Catherine Howard.
In 1655, French dramatist and novelist Cyrano de Bergerac, the inspiration for a play by Edmond Rostand, died in Paris at age 36.
In 1794, Maximilien Robespierre, a leading figure of the French Revolution, was sent to the guillotine.
In 1821, Peru declared its independence from Spain.
In 1928, the Summer Olympic games opened in Amsterdam.
In 1932, federal troops forcibly dispersed the so-called “Bonus Army” of World War I veterans who had gathered in Washington to demand payments they weren’t scheduled to receive until 1945.
In 1945, a U.S. Army bomber crashed into the 79th floor of New York’s Empire State Building, killing 14 people. The U.S. Senate ratified the United Nations Charter by a vote of 89-2.
In 1959, in preparation for statehood, Hawaiians voted to send the first Chinese-American, Republican Hiram L. Fong, to the U.S. Senate and the first Japanese-American, Democrat Daniel K. Inouye, to the U.S. House of Representatives.
In 1965, President Lyndon B. Johnson announced he was increasing the number of American troops in South Vietnam from 75,000 to 125,000 “almost immediately.”
In 1976, an earthquake devastated northern China, killing at least 242,000 people, according to an official estimate.
In 1984, the Los Angeles Summer Olympics opened.
In 1989, Israeli commandos abducted a pro-Iranian Shiite Muslim cleric, Sheik Abdul-Karim Obeid, from his home in south Lebanon. (He was released in January 2004 as part of a prisoner swap.)
Ten years ago: The Democratic National Convention in Boston nominated John Kerry for president. A car bomb exploded outside a police station used as a recruiting center in Baqouba, Iraq, killing 70 Iraqis. Francis Crick, a Nobel Prize-winning scientist who co-discovered the double-helix structure of DNA, died in San Diego at age 88.
Five years ago: The Senate Judiciary Committee approved Judge Sonia Sotomayor to be the U.S. Supreme Court’s first Hispanic justice, over nearly solid Republican opposition. Anti-abortion activist Scott Roeder pleaded not guilty in Wichita, Kansas, to killing late-term abortion provider George Tiller. (Roeder was later convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison.) The Rev. Frederick J. Eikerenkoetter II, better known as “Reverend Ike,” who preached the gospel of material prosperity to millions nationwide, died in Los Angeles at age 74.
One year ago: Pope Francis’ historic trip to his home continent of South America ended after a marathon week in Brazil. In southern Italy, 39 people were killed when a tour bus plunged into a ravine. An armed thief stole a $136 million diamond collection from a jewelry show at the Carlton International Hotel in Cannes, France. William Warren Scranton, 96, a former presidential candidate, ambassador to the U.N. and Pennsylvania governor, died in Montecito. Actress-singer Eileen Brennan, 80, died in Burbank.
Today’s birthdays: Movie director Andrew V. McLaglen is 94. Actor Darryl Hickman is 83. Ballet dancer-choreographer Jacques d’Amboise is 80. Musical conductor Riccardo Muti is 73. Former Senator and NBA Hall of Famer Bill Bradley is 71. “Garfield” creator Jim Davis is 69. Singer Jonathan Edwards is 68. Actress Linda Kelsey is 68. TV producer Dick Ebersol is 67. Actress Sally Struthers is 66. Actress Georgia Engel is 66. Rock musician Simon Kirke (Bad Company) is 65. Rock musician Steve Morse (Deep Purple) is 60. CBS anchorman Scott Pelley is 57. Alt-country-rock musician Marc Perlman is 53. Actor Michael Hayden is 51. Actress Lori Loughlin is 50. Jazz musician-producer Delfeayo Marsalis is 49. Former hockey player turned general manager Garth Snow is 45. Actress Elizabeth Berkley is 42. Singer Afroman is 40. Country musician Todd Anderson (Heartland) is 39. Rock singer Jacoby Shaddix (Papa Roach) is 38. Country singer Carly Goodwin is 33. Actor Dustin Milligan is 29. Actor Nolan Gerard Funk is 28. Rapper Soulja Boy is 24. Pop/rock singer Cher Lloyd (“The X Factor” finalist) is 21.
Thought for today: “It is impossible to write ancient history because we lack source materials, and impossible to write modern history because we have far too many.” — Charles Peguy, French poet and writer (1873-1914).