President Johnson orders 50,000 more men to Vietnam and doubles draft 50 years ago this hour (July 28 1965)

Video: 'President Johnson's News Conference, 7/28/65. MP550.'

(Wednesday, July 28, 1965, 12:34 p.m EDT; during the Vietnam War, part of the Indochina Wars and the Cold War) — U.S. President Lyndon Johnson announced today that United States military strength in South Vietnam would be increased from the present 75,000 men to 125,000 “almost immediately.” Continue reading

Bomber hits Empire State Building; 14 people killed 70 years ago this hour (July 28 1945)

Video: '1945 Airplane Crashes Into The Empire State Building Killing 14'

(Saturday, July 28, 1945, 9:40 a.m. EWT; during World War II) — A twin-engine B-25 U.S. Army bomber, lost in a blinding fog, crashed into the 79th floor of New York’s Empire State Building this morning, killing 14 people including the three occupants of the plane and 11 persons in the building. Continue reading

Tokyo ignores Allies’ surrender ultimatum 70 years ago this hour (July 28 1945)

Video: 'The World At War 1973(World War II Documentary)Episode 24-The Bomb(February–September 1945)' (July 28, 1945, at 33:43)

(Saturday, July 28, 1945, 3:00 p.m. JST; during the Potsdam Conference of World War II) — Japanese Prime Minister Suzuki announced this afternoon that Japan would ignore the Potsdam Declaration, issued two days ago by the Allies meeting at the Potsdam Conference calling on Japan to surrender or face “prompt and utter destruction” (click here for a clip of this event from “American Experience: Truman” at 2:08:04).

‘The Night of the Hunter’ premieres in Des Moines 60 years ago tonight (July 26 1955)

Video: 'The Night of the Hunter' trailer

(Tuesday, July 26, 1955, evening CDT)The Night of the Hunter, a horror film about a bogus preacher who marries an outlaw’s widow in search of the man’s hidden loot, premiered today in Des Moines, Iowa.

Directed by Charles Laughton, the film starred Robert Mitchum, Shelley Winters, Lillian Gish and Gloria Castillo.

William Jennings Bryan, 65, dies in this sleep 90 years ago this hour (July 26 1925)

Video: 'Scopes Monkey Trial FULL' (July 26, 1925, 1:07:58)

(Sunday, July 26, 1925, 4:45 p.m. EDT) — Just five days after winning a conviction in the Scopes Trial against John T. Scopes for teaching Darwin’s Theory of Evolution in Dayton, Tennessee (the verdict was later overturned), prosecutor William Jennings Bryan died today of a heart attack at age 65.

Bryan was the Democratic presidential nominee in 1896, 1900 and 1908 (losing all three times; to Republicans William McKinley in 1896 and 1900 and William Taft in 1908) and served as Secretary of State under President Woodrow Wilson (1913-1915).