This Day in History - 28th July
1540Thomas Cromwell, Chancellor to Henry VIII and his chief minister, was executed. He was beheaded on Tower Hill for promoting the king's failed marriage to Anne of Cleves. Henry also married Catherine Howard (his 5th wife) on the same day.
1586Thomas Harriot was credited with bringing the first potato to Britain, (from Colombia) ahead of Sir Walter Raleigh.
1857The birth of Ballington Booth, an Officer in The Salvation Army and a co-founder of Volunteers of America. He was born in Brighouse, Yorkshire and was the second child of William and Catherine Booth, founders of The Salvation Army.
1858Fingerprints were first used as a means of identification by William Herschel, who later established a fingerprint register.
1865A crowd of 100,000 watched the last public execution in Scotland when Dr. Edward Pritchard was hanged for poisoning his wife and mother-in-law.
1866Beatrix Potter, English author and illustrator was born. She was inspired to write her story 'The Tailor of Gloucester' after visiting the tailor's shop at Number 9, College Court, Gloucester. When she died in 1943 she left her house to the National Trust, conditionally that it be kept exactly as she left it.
1914Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia, exactly one month after Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria and his wife Sophie had been shot dead by a Bosnian Serb nationalist. Europe went from peaceful prosperity to the start of a world war that would bring down four empires and cost millions of lives, ranking it among the deadliest conflicts in human history.
1935The birth of Simon Dee, pirate radio disc jockey for Radio Caroline and later television interviewer and BBC radio disc jockey. He hosted a twice-weekly BBC TV chat show, Dee Time in the late 1960s. He was sacked by London Weekend Television in 1970 and his career never recovered. He died in August 2009.
1948The Metropolitan Police Flying Squad foiled a bullion robbery in what became known as the 'Battle of London Airport' an operation that brought them to national prominence. The name Flying Squad was coined in 1920 by a Daily Mail journalist called Crook!
1959Postcodes were introduced in Britain.
1972Thousands of British dockers began an official strike to safeguard jobs.
198723 year old English golfer Laura Davis won the U.S. Women's Open, becoming the first British woman ever to win the event.
1988The MP for Yeovil, Paddy Ashdown, was elected the first leader of the new Social and Liberal Democrat Party.
2008A huge fire destroyed the historic Grand Pier at Weston-super-Mare.