Today In History - Tuesday, July 28th

2008


The historic Grand Pier in Weston-super-Mare burns down for the second time in 80 years.
2005


The Provisional Irish Republican Army call an end to their thirty year long armed campaign in Northern Ireland.
A tornado touches down in a residential area in south Birmingham, England, causing £4,000,000 worth of damages and injuring 39 people.
2002


Nine coal miners trapped in the flooded Quecreek Mine in Somerset County, Pennsylvania, are rescued after 77 hours underground.
2001


Australian Ian Thorpe becomes the first swimmer to win six gold medals at a single World Championships.
1997


Guatemala becomes a member of the Berne Convention copyright treaty.
1996


The remains of a prehistoric man are discovered near Kennewick, Washington. Such remains will be known as the Kennewick Man.
1993


Andorra joins the United Nations.
1976


The Tangshan earthquake measuring between 7.8 and 8.2 moment magnitude flattens Tangshan in the People's Republic of China, killing 242,769 and injuring 164,851.
1974


Spetsgruppa A, Russia's elite special force, was formed.
1973


Summer Jam at Watkins Glen: Nearly 600,000 people attend a rock festival at the Watkins Glen International Raceway.
1965


Vietnam War: U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson announces his order to increase the number of United States troops in South Vietnam from 75,000 to 125,000.
1958


Lord Jellicoe makes his maiden speech in the House of Lords.
1957


Heavy rain and a mudslide in Isahaya, western Kyushu, Japan, kills 992.
1955


The Union Mundial pro Interlingua is founded at the first Interlingua congress in Tours, France.
1948


The Metropolitan Police Flying Squad foils a bullion robbery in the "Battle of London Airport".
1945


A U.S. Army B-25 bomber crashes into the 79th floor of the Empire State Building killing 14 and injuring 26.
1943


World War II: Operation Gomorrah - The Royal Air Force bombs Hamburg, Germany causing a firestorm that kills 42,000 German civilians.
1942


World War II: Soviet leader Joseph Stalin issues Order No. 227 in response to alarming German advances into the Soviet Union. Under the order all those who retreat or otherwise leave their positions without orders to do so are to be tried in a military court, with punishments including duty in a penal battalion, imprisonment in a gulag, or execution.
1938


Hawaii Clipper disappears between Guam and Manila as the first loss of an airliner in trans-Pacific China Clipper service.
1935


First flight of the Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress.
1933


Diplomatic relations between the Soviet Union and Spain are established.
1932


U.S. President Herbert Hoover orders the United States Army to forcibly evict the "Bonus Army" of World War I veterans gathered in Washington, D.C.
1914


World War I: Austria-Hungary declares war on Serbia after Serbia rejects the conditions of an ultimatum sent by Austria on July 23 following the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand.
1896


The city of Miami, Florida is incorporated.
1868


The Fourteenth Amendment (Amendment XIV) to the United States Constitution was adopted on July 9, 1868, as one of the Reconstruction Amendments. The amendment addresses citizenship rights and equal protection of the laws, and was proposed in response to issues related to former slaves following the American Civil War. The amendment was bitterly contested, particularly by Southern states, which were forced to ratify it in order for them to regain representation in Congress. The Fourteenth Amendment, particularly its first section, is one of the most litigated parts of the Constitution, forming the basis for landmark decisions such as Roe v. Wade (1973), regarding abortion, and Bush v. Gore (2000), regarding the 2000 presidential election. The amendment limits the actions of all state and local officials, including those acting on behalf of such an official.

The second, third, and fourth sections of the amendment are seldom litigated. However, Section 2's reference to "rebellion and other crimes" has been invoked as a constitutional ground for felony disenfranchisement. The fifth section gives Congress enforcement power. The amendment's first section includes several clauses: the Citizenship Clause, Privileges or Immunities Clause, Due Process Clause, and Equal Protection Clause. The Citizenship Clause provides a broad definition of citizenship, overruling the Supreme Court's decision in Dred Scott v. Sandford (1857), which had held that Americans descended from African slaves could not be citizens of the United States. The Privileges or Immunities Clause has been interpreted in such a way that it does very little.

The Due Process Clause prohibits state and local government officials from depriving persons of life, liberty, or property without legislative authorization. This clause has also been used by the federal judiciary to make most of the Bill of Rights applicable to the states, as well as to recognize substantive and procedural requirements that state laws must satisfy.

The Equal Protection Clause requires each state to provide equal protection under the law to all people within its jurisdiction. This clause was the basis for Brown v. Board of Education (1954), the Supreme Court decision that precipitated the dismantling of racial segregation, and for many other decisions rejecting irrational or unnecessary discrimination against people belonging to various groups.
1866


At the age of 18, Vinnie Ream becomes the first and youngest female artist to receive a commission from the United States government for a statue (of Abraham Lincoln).
1864


American Civil War: Battle of Ezra Church - Confederate troops make a third unsuccessful attempt to drive Union forces from Atlanta, Georgia.
1854


USS Constellation (1854), the last all-sail warship built by the United States Navy, is commissioned.
1821


José de San Martín declares independence for Peru from Spain.
1809


Peninsular War: Battle of Talavera - Sir Arthur Wellesley's British, Portuguese and Spanish army defeats a French force led by Joseph Bonaparte.
1794


French Revolution: Maximilien Robespierre and Louis Antoine de Saint-Just are executed by guillotine in Paris, France.
1609


Bermuda is first settled by survivors of the English Sea Venture en route to Virginia.
1571


La Laguna encomienda, known today as the Laguna province in the Philippines is founded by the Spaniards as one of the oldest encomienda/province in the country.
1540


Thomas Cromwell is executed at the order of Henry VIII of England on charges of treason. Henry marries his fifth wife, Catherine Howard, on the same day.
1364


Troops of the Republic of Pisa and the Republic of Florence clash in the Battle of Cascina.