Today is Sunday, June 28, the 179th day of 2015. 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 — an act which sparked World War I.
On this date:
In 1778, the Revolutionary War Battle of Monmouth took place in New Jersey; it was from this battle that the legend of “Molly Pitcher” arose.
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 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 1940, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Alien Registration Act, also known as the Smith Act, which required adult foreigners residing in the U.S. to be registered and fingerprinted. Corporate lawyer Wendell Willkie received the Republican presidential nomination at the party’s convention in Philadelphia (U.S. Senate Minority Leader Charles McNary of Oregon was nominated for vice president).
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 1975, screenwriter, producer and actor Rod Serling, 50, creator of “The Twilight Zone,” died in Rochester, New York.
In 1989, about 1 million Serbs gathered to mark the 600th anniversary of the Battle of Kosovo in 1389.
In 1996, the Citadel voted to admit women, ending a 153-year-old men-only policy at the South Carolina military school.
Ten years ago: Marking the first anniversary of the transfer of power from the U.S.-led coalition to Iraq’s interim government, President George W. Bush, addressing the nation from Fort Bragg, North Carolina, rejected suggestions that he set a timetable for withdrawal or send in more troops as he counseled patience for Americans who were questioning the war’s painful costs. Sixteen service members were killed when an American MH-47 Chinook crashed in Afghanistan after it had been struck by a rocket-propelled grenade.
Five years ago: Sen. Robert C. Byrd, D-W.Va., the longest-serving senator in the nation’s history, died in Falls Church, Virginia, at 92. The Senate Judiciary Committee opened its confirmation hearing for Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan. The Supreme Court ruled, 5-4, that Americans had the right to own a gun for self-defense anywhere they lived. The FBI announced the arrests of 10 suspected deep-cover agents, including Anna Chapman, the chic 28-year-old daughter of a Russian diplomat. (All 10 were later returned to Russia in a swap.)
One year ago: Ahmed Abu Khattala (hah-TAH’-lah), the Libyan militant accused of masterminding the deadly Benghazi attacks in 2012, pleaded not guilty to conspiracy in Washington nearly two weeks after being captured by U.S. special forces. A saucer-shaped NASA vehicle testing new technology for Mars landings rocketed high over the Pacific and deployed a novel inflatable braking system, but its massive parachute failed to fully unfurl as it descended to a splashdown. Actor Meshach Taylor 67, died at his home near Los Angeles.
Today’s Birthdays: Comedian-movie director Mel Brooks is 89. Former Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., is 81. Comedian-impressionist John Byner is 78. Former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta is 77. Rock musician Dave Knights (Procul Harum) is 70. Actor Bruce Davison is 69. Actress Kathy Bates is 67. Actress Alice Krige is 61. College and Pro Football Hall of Famer John Elway is 55. Record company chief executive Tony Mercedes is 53. Actress Jessica Hecht is 50. Rock musician Saul Davies (James) is 50. Actress Mary Stuart Masterson is 49. Actor John Cusack is 49. Actor Gil Bellows is 48. Actress-singer Danielle Brisebois is 46. Jazz musician Jimmy Sommers is 46. Actress Tichina Arnold is 46. Actor Steve Burton is 45. Actor Alessandro Nivola (nih-VOH’-luh) is 43. Actress Camille Guaty is 39. Rock musician Tim Nordwind (OK Go) is 39. Rock musician Mark Stoermer (The Killers) is 38. Country singer Big Vinny Hickerson (Trailer Choir) is 32. Country singer Kellie Pickler is 29.
Thought for Today: “The glory of each generation is to make its own precedents.” — Belva Ann Bennett Lockwood, American social reformer (1830-1917).