July 27 is marked by the end of the Korean War and opening of the Korean War Memorial two generations later, the bombing in Centennial Olympic Park during the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, the first votes for impeachment of Richard Nixon and the mortal wounding of Vincent Van Gogh (with new debate over whether it was a suicide).
Van Gogh Shot
French painter Vincent Van Gogh was mortally wounded by a gun shot to the chest while outside Auberge Ravoux where he was staying. An infection from the wound proved fatal, killing the artist 29-hours later. According to his brother Theo, Van Gogh’s last words were: “The sadness will last forever”
Geneva Convention Signed
In 1921, the International Red Cross Conference held at Geneva expressed the wish that a special convention on the treatment of prisoners of war be adopted. The Geneva Convention on the Treatment of Prisoners of War was ratified by 53 nations – including the United States. It has been superseded by Third Geneva Convention signed in 1949.
Armistice Brings Korean War to an End
The Korean War, which began with the North Korean invasion of South Korea in June 1950, came to an end on this day in 1953 with the signing of an armistice creating the demilitarized zone at the war’s final battle line at 38th parallel and allowing the return of prisoners and the dead. No formal peace treaty was ever reached so the two nations technically remain in a state of war.
According to the data from the U.S. Department of Defense, the United States suffered 33,686 battle deaths, along with 2,830 non-battle deaths, during the Korean War. South Korea reported some 373,599 civilian and 137,899 military deaths. Western sources estimate that approximately 615,000 Chinese and Korean forces were killed.
The House Committee Approves Articles of Impeachment Against Nixon
The House Judiciary Committee adopted the first of three articles of impeachment against Richard Nixon by a vote of 27-11 (with 6 Republicans voting in favor). The first article charged Nixon with obstruction of justice by
using the powers of his high office, engaged personally and through his close subordinates and agents, in a course of conduct or plan designed to delay, impede, and obstruct the investigation of such illegal entry [into Democratic headquarters]; to cover up, conceal and protect those responsible; and to conceal the existence and scope of other unlawful covert activities.
Nixon would resign 13 days later. The video below is Rep. Barbara Jordan’s (D-TX) statement on the articles of impeachment which is one of two Jordan speeches included in American Rhetoric’s 100 great speeches.
Korean War Veterans Memorial Unveiled
The Korean War Veterans Memorial was dedicated in 1995. Its Wall of Remembrance and 19 stainless steel statues commemorate the sacrifices of the millions of Americans and allied partners who fought during the Korean War.
Centennial Olympic Park Bombing
A bomb attack on the Centennial Olympic Park, during the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, killed 1 person and injured 111 others; another person later died of a heart attack. It was the first of four bombings committed by Eric Robert Rudolph. Motivated by what he considered to be the government’s sanctioning of “abortion on demand,” Rudolph wanted to force the cancellation of the Olympics.
Security guard Richard Jewell discovered the bomb before detonation and cleared most of the spectators out of the park. After the bombings, Jewell was falsely implicated as a suspect by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the news media focused aggressively on him as the presumed culprit. However, in October 1996, Jewell was exonerated when the FBI declared that he was no longer a person of interest.
Deadliest Air Show Accident
A Ukranian Air Force Sukhoi Su-27 crashed and rolled into the crowd during the the Sknyliv air show. The accident killed 77 people and injured 543 (of which 100 were hospitalized). It is the deadliest air show accident in history.