It happened today – this day in history – July 28

1148: Crusaders abandon their siege of Damascus.

1540: Thomas Cromwell, chief minister for Henry VIII is executed for treason and heresy. On the same day, the, 49-year old king marries fifth wife, 17 year-old Catherine Howard.

1643: Oliver Cromwell defeats Royalists at the Battle of Gainsborough in Lincs.

1741: Composer Antonio Vivaldi dies aged 63.

1742: Prussia and Austria sign a peace treaty.

1750: Death of composer Johann Sebastian Bach aged 65.

1790: Henry James Pye is appointed Poet Laureate by George III.

1794: French revolutionary Maximillien Robespierre and 22 others are guillotined to thunderous cheers in Paris.

1821: Peru declares independence from Spain.

1858: First use of fingerprints as a means of identification is made by Sir William James Herschel of the Indian Civil Service.

1866: Birth of children’s author Beatrix Potter in London.

1886: The government of Lord Salisbury forms.

1887: Artist and sculptor Marcel Duchamp is born in Blainville-Crevon, France.

1900: The hamburger is created by Louis Lassing in Connecticut.

1904: Interior Minister of Russia, Vyacheslav Plehve is assassinated.

1914: The foxtrot is first danced at the New Amsterdam Roof Garden in New York. On the same day, First Lord of the Admiralty, Winston Churchill, orders the British Grand Fleet to Scapa Flow and Austria-Hungary decides against mediation and declares war on Serbia – the first declaration of war of the First World War.

1915: Because of virtual anarchy, US Marines go ashore in Haiti on orders from President Woodrow Wilson. This leads to an occupation that will last for 19 years.

1917: Silent Parade of 10,000 African-Americans who march on 5th Ave in New York in a protest against lynching.

1928: The Summer Olympic Games open in Amsterdam.

1929: France beats the USA in Paris to win the Davis Cup.

1931: Mob hitman Vincent Coll allegedly participates in a kidnapping attempt that results in the death of a child, which earns him the nickname “Mad Dog”.

1932: US President Herbert Hoover uses federal troops to evict the Bonus Army of First World War veterans and their families from their encampment, resulting in four deaths.

1935: Romain Maes of Belgium wins the Tour de France.

1942: Nazis liquidate 10,000 Jews in the Minsk Ghetto, Belorus.

1943: RAF bombing over Hamburg causes a firestorm that kills 42,600 German civilians.

1945: Japanese premier Suzuki disregards a US ultimatum to surrender. On the same day, a US Army B-25 crashes in fog into the 79th floor of the Empire State Building, New York, killing 14.

1954: “On the Waterfront”, directed by Elia Kazan starring Marlon Brando, is released.


1956: Gene Vincent makes his first appearance on national TV in the US on The Perry Como Show.

1957: Jerry Lee Lewis makes his first national TV appearance in the US on The Steve Allen Show.

1959:The UK starts using post codes.

1962: Mariner I falls into the Atlantic Ocean.

1964: Ranger 7 is launched toward the Moon. On the same day, Broadway musical actress-singer Ethel Merman (56) divorces academy award-winning actor Ernest Borgnine after just 32 days of marriage.

1965: President Lyndon Johnson commits a further 50,000 US troops to the conflict in Vietnam.

1969: Police in Moscow reported that thousands of public phone booths had been vandalised after thieves were stealing parts of the phones to convert their acoustic guitars to electric. A feature in a Russian youth magazine had shown details on how to do this. On the same day, songwriter and composer Frank Loesser dies aged 59.

1972: Thousands of British dockers begin an official strike to safeguard jobs.

1973: Over 600,000 people attend The Watkins Glen outdoor summer jam outside New York featuring The Allman Brothers Band, The Grateful Dead and The Band.

1976: An 8.3 magnitude earthquake hits China, killing up to a quarter of a million people.

1977: Ian Botham takes 5-74 on his test debut against Australia at Trent Bridge.

1984: The Olympic Games open in Los Angeles.

1986: NASA releases the January transcript from the doomed space shuttle Challenger where pilot Michael Smith can be heard saying, “Uh-oh!” as the spacecraft disintegrated.

1988: Paddy Ashdown, is elected the first leader of the new Social and Liberal Democrat Party. On the same day, Jordan cancels a $1.3 billion development plan in the West Bank and Winnie Mandella’s home in Soweto, South Africa, is destroyed by arsonists.

1991: Spanish rider Miguel Induráin wins his first of five consecutive Tour de France titles.

Singles chart:

  1. (Everything I Do) I Do It For You – Bryan Adams
  2. More Than Words – Extreme
  3. Now That We’ve Found Love – Heavy D and the Boyz
  4. Move Any Mountain – The Shamen
  5. Things That Make You Go Hmmm – C & C Music Factory
  6. Any Dream Will Do – Jason Donovan
  7. Pandora’s Box – OMD
  8. Jump To The Beat – Danii Minogue
  9. You Could Be Mine – Guns n Roses
  10. Love And Understanding – Cher
1991: Seal

Album chart:

  1. Love Hurts – Cher
  2. Essential Pavarotti II – Luciano Pavarotti
  3. The Immaculate Collection – Madonna
  4. Seal – Seal
  5. Greatest Hits – The Jam
  6. Greatest Hits – Eurythmics
  7. Spellbound – Paula Abdul
  8. Out Of Time – R.E.M
  9. Gonna Make You Sweat – C & C Music Factory
  10. Beverley Craven – Beverley Craven

1996: Marge Ganser of The Shangri-Las dies of breast cancer.

2000: Nearly 80 men imprisoned for terrorist offences are freed from the Maze prison in Northern Ireland.

2005: The IRA formally orders an end to its armed campaign and says it will pursue exclusively peaceful means. On the same day, a tornado touches down in a residential area in south Birmingham, causing £4million worth of damage.

2008: Amy Winehouse is rushed to hospital after she starts to have fits at her home in Camden following a reaction to medication prescribed to wean her off hard drugs. On the same day, Weston-super-Mare Grand Pier burns down for the second time in 80 years.

2011: Meat Loaf passes out onstage at Pittsburgh’s Trib Amphitheater during an apparent asthma attack.

2014: The UN Security Council holds an emergency meeting calling for an immediate and indefinite humanitarian ceasefire between Israel and Hamas.

2017: Pakistan Supreme Court rules corruption accusations against Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif are enough to remove him from office.

2019: Egan Bernal becomes first ever Colombian and Latin American winner of the Tour de France.

BIRTHDAYS: Ron Flowers, footballer, 87; Sir Garfield Sobers, cricketer, 85; Gerald Casale, bass guitar/synthesizer player (Devo) 73; Simon Kirke, drummer (Free/Bad Company) 72; Steve Morse, guitarist (Deep Purple) 66; Beverley Craven, singer-songwriter, 58; Nick Banks, drummer (Pulp) 56; Michael Carrick, football coach, 40; John David Washington, actor, 36; Harry Kane, footballer, 28; Cher Lloyd, singer, 28.