This Day In History, July 28th

What happened on this day in history: Johann Sebastian Bach dies, a plane crashes into the Empire State Building, and more significant events from July 28th throughout history.

1540: Henry VIII Marries Catherine Howard

King Henry VIII weds Catherine Howard at Oatlands Palace in Surrey. The marriage, Henry’s fifth, didn’t last. Less than two years after their wedding, Henry had her beheaded after allegations of Catherine’s sexual past came to light.

1750: Johann Sebastian Bach Dies

July 28 In History

Public DomainJohann Sebastian Bach is one of the most well-known classic composers in history.

Johann Sebastian Bach dies in Leipzig, Germany, at the age of 65. Considered one of the greatest composers in Western music — if not of all time — Bach produced compositions like The Well-Tempered Clavier and the choral work Mass in B Minor. He died following complications after having two unsuccessful eye surgeries.

1945: A Plane Crashes Into The Empire State Building

A B-25 Mitchell bomber with two pilots and one passenger crashes into the Empire State Building. The crash, caused by heavy fog, triggered a massive explosion between the 75th and 79th floors. Fourteen people died, and the impact caused the modern equivalent of $10.5 million in damages.

1976: The Great Tangshan Earthquake Hits

Tangshan Earthquake

Bettmann/Getty ImagesThe aftermath of the Tangshan Earthquake.

The Great Tangshan earthquake strikes the city of Tangshan, China. The 7.8 to 8.2. earthquake hit early in the morning, and a powerful 7.8 aftershock followed some sixteen hours later. Considered one of history’s most devastating natural disasters, the earthquake officially killed 242,000 people, but may have killed as many as 600,000.

1979: The First Victims Of The Atlanta Child Killer Are Found

The bodies of 14-year-old Edward Hope Smith and 13-year-old Alfred Evans are discovered in southwest Atlanta, days after both boys went missing. The first victims of the so-called Atlanta Child Killer, their deaths were followed by at least 26 other murders. In 1981, police arrested Wayne Williams, who was found guilty of two of the murders and sentenced to life in prison.