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June 28th, 2007
June 28th, 2007

Birthdays: English King Henry VIII, Luigi Pirandello, Jean Jacques Rousseau, John Dillinger, Mel Brooks is 81, Richard Rogers, Gilda Radner, Cartoonist George Booth, Mary Stuart Masterson is 41, Kathy Bates is 59, John Cusack is 41

1868- Artist Claude Monet was broke and so depressed he jumped in the Seine River. After splashing around for a while, he decided its silly to drown himself so he swam to the riverbank and went for a drink. He outlived all the Impressionist painters of his generation, dying in 1926.

1914-WORLD WAR ONE STARTS- commenting on 40 years of European peace, Otto Von Bismarck had said:" The next European war can only happen if some damn fool thing happens in the Balkans." The Austro-Hungarian Empire was muscling the little kingdom of Serbia. Austria had already annexed Bosnia in 1909 and Serbia claimed it as theirs. The heir of the Austrian throne, Archduke Franz-Ferdinand went on a provocative tour of the Bosnian town of Sarajevo in an open limousine. One terrorist Nedjelko Cabrinovic, hurled a bomb at the car but the driver avoided it and took another route. The Archduke stopped at city hall where he and the mayor got into an argument. The mayor claimed:”This city is absolutely safe!”
The motorcade proceeded until it was stopped by traffic at an intersection. Then 18 year old Bosnian Serb Gavrilo Princeps stepped out of the crowd and fired his pistol. The first bullet hit the Archduchess Sophie Chotek who slumped lifeless over her husbands lap. Franz Ferdinand cried out: "Mama don't die! For the children!" when another bullet killed him. The bullet holed car and uniforms are still preserved in Vienna today. Austria and Germany and Turkey declared war on Serbia and Russia and France and England. Later the whole world joined in the lunacy, about 58 nations and 22 million deaths, the last declaration was Honduras declaring war on Germany two months before the armistice. Gavrilo Princeps died of tuberculosis in an insane asylum in 1918, unaware that he had set the world on fire.

1928- Louis Armstrong & Earl Hines recorded West End Blues.

1969-THE STONEWALL UPRISING- New York City Police got a false tip about a stabbing in a mob owned transvestite bar in Greenwich Village. When they raid the Stonewall bar without warning the patrons fight back. Poet Allen Ginsburg said it was marvelous that the first to openly battle for Gay rights were the Drag Queens. In the 60’s era of social revolution and liberation movements the fight caused three days of unrest and a new movement, the Gay Pride Movement, was born.

1971- Mobster Joe Columbo tells a Italian/American Unity Day rally in Columbus Circle, NY that the term "Mafia" is a myth invented to insult people of Italian ancestry. A minute later hitmen sent by "Crazy Joe"Gallo, whack him on the speakers platform.

1971- The Supreme Court overturned the conviction of prize fighter Mohammed Ali for draft evasion.

1997- Heavyweight prizefighter Mike Tyson was banned from boxing and fined $3 million bux for biting off a chunk of Evander Holyfield’s ear during a match.