On July 28

On July 28 this day in history, it’s guillotines, protests, ceasefires, and war declarations, oh my! Don’t lose your head as we take a look back at a wild day in history, July 28. 

Famous Historical Events

1794: Robespierre, one of the leaders of the French Revolution and orchestrators of “The Terror,” is beheaded. The crowds’ cheer and thunder with applauses with the death of the leading proponents of The Terror, a reign of state-sponsored terrorism that had made life miserable for French nobles and peasants alike. Robespierre went to his death with a broken jaw – the result of a botched attempted suicide before he was captured. It was a fitting end for such a bloodthirsty tyrant. He had called for the deaths of thousands, including his once good friend Camille Desmoulins and his wife, Lucille. To make the betrayal even more tragic, they’d named Robespierre, the godfather of their son, Horace Camille.

The storming of the Bastille

1914: Austria-Hungary decided that mediation was just too good for them, and they declared war against Serbia, a decision that sparked WWI. In total, 32 countries got dragged into the war. A total of 37 million people lost their lives in the conflict, a number which includes both military and civilian casualties. Unfortunately, WWI was the first major conflict to involve widespread use of some of the most high-tech and deadly weapons of the time. WWI started with horses and cavalry and ended with tanks and machine guns. 

American troops ride on WWI tanks

1917: James Weldon Johnson organizes a 10,000 strong protest of African Americans. The protestors march down 5th Avenue in New York City to protest against the crime of lynching. At this time in American history, more than 4,000 people had been lynched, with blacks making up more than 70% of the victims. Tensions were most palpable in the South-Eastern states of the country toward the end of the 1800s, where newly-freed slaves were blamed for poor whites’ economic and financial woes. 

1945: In 1945, Betty Lou Oliver was just a humble elevator girl when she fell 75 stories. . . And survived. A US bomber plane crashed into the Empire State Building where Oliver was working thanks to dense fog conditions. The crash managed to break the cables that supported the elevator Oliver was operating. She is the record-holder for surviving the longest fall ever recorded. 

falling man in the elevator

2005: The IRA announced an end to their armed campaign. Founded in 1919, the IRA had been waging fierce guerilla warfare against England’s invasion and rule over Ireland. The IRA also fought in a civil war in Ireland that happened in 1923, and the organization was dedicated to the reunification of Ireland. Most of the fighting that took place between the IRA and British forces occurred in Northern Ireland and was referred to as “The Troubles.” Fighting had intensified in the 1960s and 1970s. 

Cathedral and colored houses in Cobh

Famous Birthdays

1866: Beatrix Potter

Potter is most famous for her children’s stories about Peter Cottontail. Not content with just being an author, Potter was also an accomplished illustrator, and a natural scientist and conservationist. 

1887: Marcel Duchamp

Marcel Duchamp

Duchamp was a painter and sculptor, born on this day in history in France. His best-known works are Nude Descending a Staircase, Fountain, and No. 2. 

Famous Deathdays

1750: Johann Sebastian Bach

Johann Sebastian Bach

Bach is one of Germany’s most celebrated composers, and his work is famous for its beauty, technical skill, and depth. He died on this day that age in history on July 28. 

What can we take away from this day in history, July 28? Maybe it’s best to stay out of elevators and think twice about whom we elect as our children’s godparents.

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