Britt

Towery

On July 28, 1148, as a part of the Second Crusade, the Euro-peans attacked Damascus. Frank-ish troops landed on the Syrian coast and 50,000 infantry and cavalry marched to the siege of Damas-cus. The Christians lost this one in four days.

The great German composer, Johann Sebastian Bach died on July 28, 1750. He was 65. As a boy he studied in the same school as did Martin Luther 200 years before. One of those nuggets in the lives of famous people that is useless.

July 28 is the national day of Peru. That was the day in 1821 when Peru declared its independence from Spain. The Spanish began the destruction of the Inca civilization in 1521. 300 years later Peru is born with the Spanish still in control. Tragic that Portuguese and Spanish military detachments saw the Indians as devils that needed conversion and civilization.

The Fourteenth Amend-ment to the American Constitution was ratified on July 28, 1868. “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.” To be President, not only must you be a citizen, but you must also be natural-born. This year’s presidential seekers were not born on the U.S. mainland but on American-owned land. Barack Obama was born in Hawaii and John McCain in the Panama Canal Zone.

My dad’s favorite comedian Joe E. Brown was born in Ohio on July 28, 1892. He is the one with the big mouth who played a baseball player who wanted to play in the “World Serious”. His last film was “Some Like It Hot” with Marilyn Monroe, Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis.

One of the most unfortunate things to happen on the July date under consideration was when the Austria-Hungary Empire declared war on the Serbs. The Great War (later called World War I) began on July 28, 1914.

Americans are always marching with a patriotic motive or calling for justice. One of the forgotten marches took place on July 28, 1915, when 10,000 blacks marched up Fifth Avenue in New York City protesting the act of lynching. From 1913 to 1915 there were 107 black men lynched in the USA.

When I was a year and a half old, Congress made the “Star Spangled Banner our country’s second national anthem. July 28, 1931. Anyone know the name of the first?

On that same day and year, Hitler’s stooge, Benito Mussolini, resigned as dictator of Italy. He saw the writing on the beaches as the American forces pushed toward Rome in World War II.

On July 28, 1943, President Franklin D. Roosevelt announced the end of coffee rationing. (For those who see World War II as ancient history, it was a time when the entire country backed the war effort in Europe and the Pacific. No cars were manufactured, victory gardens sprung up, meatless Tuesdays were a must for a patriot, and gasoline was given out on a priority basis. Posters reminded us: “Is this trip necessary?” (We may have to put those signs up again.)

July 28, 1943, was also the year Lawrence Elkins was born. A star everywhere football is played: Brownwood High School, Baylor University and the Houston Oilers. Last I heard he had left Saudi Arabia for something unrelated to football.

I am sure my generation remembers the picture of that U.S. Army B-25 sticking out of the 79th floor of New York City’s Empire State Building. Fourteen died in that encounter. That was on July 28, 1945. It really happened and was not a drunk pilot celebrating the end of the war.

I write all that to say the primary reason for July 28 being important and special is it was the day in 1950 when Jody Long of Farmersville, Texas, took me as her husband. She was the prettiest girl to come out of northeast Texas and the best thing to come into my life. We’ve both been married 58 years come Monday.

Britt Towery is a former missionary, freelance writer and published author. His coumns are pubolished in the Bulletin on Fridays. He welcomes reader feedback at bet@suddenlink.net. Other columns are available on his Web site, www.britt-towery.blogspot.com.