28th July

The events happened on 28th July are :

1914 : Beginning of World War I : Austria-Hungary, already assured by William II of Germany's support should it start a preventive war, used the June 28, 1914, assassination of Archduke Francis Ferdinand as a pretext to humiliate Serbia, presenting it with an unacceptable ultimatum on the evening of July 23. On July 25 Serbia accepted all but two of the ultimatum's demands, but, though Serbia offered to submit the issue to international arbitration, Austria-Hungary promptly severed diplomatic relations. The Austro-Hungarian foreign minister, Leopold, Graf (count) von Berchtold, encouraged by the German foreign office, persuaded Austrian emperor Francis Joseph to authorize war against Serbia, which was declared on this day, and the first shots of World War I were fired the next day, by Austro-Hungarian artillery bombarding Belgrade.

1976 : An earthquake in the industrial city of Tangshan (T'ang-shan), China, killed more than 240,000 people.

1821 : Peru declared its independence from Spain.

1794 : Maximilien Robespierre, a radical Jacobin leader and one of the principal figures in the French Revolution, was guillotined before a cheering mob on the Place de la Révolution.

1750 : Johann Sebastian Bach, the great composer, died in Leipzig, Germany.

1540 : King Henry VIII of England privately married his fifth wife, Catherine Howard.

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