On This Day (according to Wikipedia) - July 28th
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.
1854 – USS Constellation (1854), the last all-sail warship built by the United States Navy, is commissioned.
1868 – The 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution is certified, establishing African American citizenship and guaranteeing due process of law.
1914 – In the culmination of the July Crisis, Austria-Hungary declares war on Serbia, igniting World War I.
1942 – World War II: Soviet leader Joseph Stalin issues Order No. 227. In response to alarming German advances, all those who retreat or otherwise leave their positions without orders to do so are to be tried in a military court, with punishment ranging from duty in a "shtrafbat" battalion, imprisonment in a Gulag, or execution.
1943 – World War II: Operation Gomorrah: The Royal Air Force bombs Hamburg, Germany causing a firestorm that kills 42,000 German civilians.
1945 – A U.S. Army B-25 bomber crashes into the 79th floor of the Empire State Building killing 14 and injuring 26.
2001 – Australian Ian Thorpe becomes the first swimmer to win six gold medals at a single World Championships.
2005 – The Provisional Irish Republican Army calls an end to its thirty-year-long armed campaign in Northern Ireland.
1866 – Beatrix Potter, English children's book writer and illustrator
1901 – Freddie Fitzsimmons, American baseball player, coach, and manager
1929 – Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, American journalist, 37th First Lady of the United States
1933 – Charlie Hodge, Canadian ice hockey player and scout
1936 – Russ Jackson, Canadian football player and coach
1940 – Philip Proctor, American voice actor and screenwriter
1945 – Jim Davis, American cartoonist, created Garfield
1954 – Hugo Chávez, Venezuelan colonel and politician, President of Venezuela
1958 – Terry Fox, Canadian runner and activist
1969 – Garth Snow, American ice hockey player and manager
1970 – Isabelle Brasseur, Canadian figure skater
1973 – Steve Staios, Canadian ice hockey player
1977 – Aki Berg, Finnish-Canadian ice hockey player
1984 – Zach Parise, American ice hockey player
1986 – Lauri Korpikoski, Finnish ice hockey player
1990 – Soulja Boy, American rapper, producer, and actor
1655 – Cyrano de Bergerac, French poet and playwright
1979 – Don Miller, American football player and coach
2009 – Jim Johnson, American football player and coach