History today

World War I – Treaty of Versailles

June 28, 1919

The Treaty of Versailles is signed by Germany ending the state of war between Germany and the Allied Forces. It required Germany to accept sole responsibility for starting the war. Many historians believe the harsh terms of this treaty led to World War II. Although the U.S. was among the signatories of the treaty, the U.S. Senate refused to consent to ratification of the treaty, due in large measure to its objections to U.S. participation in the League of Nations. A separate peace treaty between the U.S. and Germany was negotiated in 1921.


World War I

June 28, 1914

Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife are assassinated in Sarajevo, Bosnia by Serbian nationalist Gavrilo Princip. After Austria declared war on Serbia a month later, other countries joined the conflict and the great war was on. Princip killed Ferdinand because he wanted to end Austro-Hungarian rule over Bosnia and Herzegovina and Ferdinand was heir to the Austro-Hungarian Empire. More than 16 million people would die as a result of the war.


First Execution of an American Soldier

June 28, 1776

Thomas Hickey, a member of George Washington‘s Guard, is executed for mutiny and sedition. It was also rumored he plotted to kidnap and deliver George Washington to the British.


Affirmative Action

June 28, 1978

U.S. Supreme Court rules that firm quota systems are unconstitutional and that a white man – who had been rejected twice over 16 lesser-qualified minority students – must be admitted to the Univ. of California Medical School.


Kiss Comic Book

June 28, 1977

The rock group Kiss releases its comic book. The red ink contained blood from the Kiss members.


Amos ‘n’ Andy

June 28, 1951

The TV show Amos ‘n’ Andy debuts on CBS TV, starring Alvin Childress as Amos, Spencer Williams as Andy, and Tim Moore as Kingfish. It was the TV version of the hit radio program that had been running since 1928. The TV version featured black actors, whereas the radio version used white actors to portray the black characters. The NAACP protested the TV show soon after it began, leading to the show’s cancellation in 1953.


Henry VIII

Born June 28, 1491 d. 1547

King of England (1509-47), found a way to avoid alimony. Henry VIII is best known for his six marriages, in particular his efforts to have his first marriage, to Catherine of Aragon, annulled. When Pope Clement VII wouldn’t annul their marriage, Henry VIII separated the Church of England from papal authority and appointed himself the Supreme Head of the Church of England.


Rod Serling (Rodman Edward Serling)

Died June 28, 1975 b. 1924

American Emmy-winning writer. Film: Planet of the Apes (1968, writer). TV: The Twilight Zone (1959-64, creator, producer, writer, and host) and Night Gallery (1969-73, creator, writer, host).
The Twilight Zone was almost cancelled after the first three episodes due to poor ratings, but it eventually found its audience and became one of the iconic shows of the Golden Age of Television.


Father of the U.S. Constitution

James Madison, Jr.

Died June 28, 1836 b. 1751

American politician. 4th U.S. President (1809-17), author of the Bill of Rights. At five foot four inches (162.6 cm) he is the shortest of the U.S. presidents. His is known as “Father of the Constitution” for his role in drafting the United States Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Madison served a term as president of the American Colonization Society, which founded the settlement of Liberia for former slaves on the West African coast.
His portrait graces the U.S. $5,000 bill.

Although they are still legal tender in the United States, high-denomination bills were last printed on December 27, 1945, and were officially discontinued on July 14, 1969, by the Federal Reserve System due to ‘lack of use’. The $5,000 and $10,000 bills had effectively disappeared well before then.