Today in History – Wednesday, June 28, 2017


Today is Wednesday, June 28, the 179th day of 2017. There are 186 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlights in History:

On June 28, 1914, Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria and his wife, Sophie, were shot to death in Sarajevo (sah-ruh-YAY’-voh) by Serb nationalist Gavrilo Princip (gavh-REE’-loh PREEN’-seep) — an act which sparked World War I.

On this date:

In 1778, the Revolutionary War Battle of Monmouth took place in New Jersey; from this battle arose the legend of “Molly Pitcher,” a woman who was said to have carried water to colonial soldiers, then taken over firing her husband’s cannon after he became disabled.

In 1836, the fourth president of the United States, James Madison, died in Montpelier, Virginia.

In 1838, Britain’s Queen Victoria was crowned in Westminster Abbey.

In 1867, Italian author and playwright Luigi Pirandello was born in Agrigento (ah-gree-JEN’-toh), Sicily.

In 1919, the Treaty of Versailles (vehr-SY’) was signed in France, ending the First World War. In Independence, Missouri, future president Harry S. Truman married Elizabeth Virginia Wallace.

In 1939, Pan American Airways began regular trans-Atlantic air service with a flight that departed New York for Marseilles, France.

In 1944, the Republican national convention in Chicago nominated New York Gov. Thomas E. Dewey for president and Ohio Gov. John W. Bricker for vice president.

In 1950, North Korean forces captured Seoul (sohl), the capital of South Korea.

In 1964, civil rights activist Malcolm X declared, “We want equality by any means necessary” during the Founding Rally of the Organization of Afro-American Unity in New York.

In 1978, the Supreme Court ordered the University of California-Davis Medical School to admit Allan Bakke (BAHK’-ee), a white man who argued he’d been a victim of reverse racial discrimination.

In 1989, about 1 million Serbs gathered to mark the 600th anniversary of the Battle of Kosovo in 1389.

In 1997, in a wild rematch, Evander Holyfield retained the WBA heavyweight boxing championship after his opponent, Mike Tyson, was disqualified for biting Holyfield’s ear during the third round of their fight in Las Vegas.

Ten years ago: The U.S. Supreme Court voted 5-4 to strike down school integration plans in Louisville, Kentucky, and Seattle, a decision that was denounced hours later by Democratic presidential candidates in their third primary debate. President George W. Bush’s immigration plan to legalize as many as 12 million immigrants while fortifying the border collapsed in the Senate. The American bald eagle was removed from the endangered species list. The TV series “Burn Notice,” starring Jeffrey Donovan as a spy left out in the cold, premiered on USA Network.

Five years ago: The Affordable Care Act narrowly survived, 5-4, an election-year battle at the U.S. Supreme Court with the improbable help of conservative Chief Justice John Roberts. Attorney General Eric Holder became the first sitting Cabinet member held in contempt of Congress, a rebuke pushed by Republicans seeking to unearth the facts behind a bungled gun-tracking operation known as Fast and Furious. (The vote was 255-67, with more than 100 Democrats boycotting.) At Wimbledon, 2-time champion Rafael Nadal was overpowered in the second round by Lukas Rosol, a Czech ranked No. 100, 6-7 (9), 6-4, 6-4, 2-6, 6-4. Katie Holmes filed for divorce from Tom Cruise after 5 years of marriage.

One year ago: Three suicide bombers armed with assault rifles stormed Istanbul’s Ataturk airport, killing 44 victims and wounding nearly 150; no one claimed responsibility, but Turkish official said they suspected the Islamic State group. House Republicans concluded their $7 million, two-year investigation into the deadly attacks in Benghazi, Libya, with fresh accusations of lethal mistakes by the Obama administration but no “smoking gun” pointing to wrongdoing by Hillary Clinton, who said the report “found nothing, nothing to contradict” the findings of earlier investigations. Death claimed Pat Summitt, the most successful coach in major college basketball history, at age 64; former pro football coach Buddy Ryan at age 85; and pioneering rock guitarist Scotty Moore at age 84.

Today’s Birthdays: Comedian-movie director Mel Brooks is 91. Former Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., is 83. Comedian-impressionist John Byner is 80. Former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta is 79. Rock musician Dave Knights (Procul Harum) is 72. Actor Bruce Davison is 71. Actress Kathy Bates is 69. Actress Alice Krige is 63. College and Pro Football Hall of Famer John Elway is 57. Record company chief executive Tony Mercedes is 55. Jazz singer Tierney Sutton is 54. Actress Jessica Hecht is 52. Rock musician Saul Davies (James) is 52. Actress Mary Stuart Masterson is 51. Actor John Cusack is 51. Actor Gil Bellows is 50. Actress-singer Danielle Brisebois is 48. Jazz musician Jimmy Sommers is 48. Actress Tichina Arnold is 48. Actor Steve Burton is 47. Actor Alessandro Nivola (nih-VOH’-luh) is 45. Actress Camille Guaty is 41. Rock musician Tim Nordwind (OK Go) is 41. Rock musician Mark Stoermer (The Killers) is 40. Country singer Big Vinny Hickerson (Trailer Choir) is 34. Country singer Kellie Pickler is 31.

Thought for Today: “Logic is one thing, the human animal another. You can quite easily propose a logical solution to something and at the same time hope in your heart of hearts it won’t work out.” — Luigi Pirandello (1867-1936).

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