This Week in History: First Walmart opens, iPhone debuts, Franz Ferdinand assassinated

Gen. George Washington took command of the Continental Army at Cambridge, Massachusetts

Apple CEO Steve Jobs holds an Apple iPhone at the MacWorld Conference in 2007 in San Francisco. (Paul Sakuma / AP Photo)

“This Week” looks back at the key events from this week in history.

June 27


1957: Hurricane Audrey slammed into coastal Louisiana and Texas as a Category 4 storm; the initial official death toll from the storm was placed at 390, although a variety of state, federal and local sources have estimated the number of fatalities at between 400 and 600.

1880: Author-lecturer Helen Keller, who lived most of her life without sight or hearing, was born in Tuscumbia, Alabama.

June 28

1838: Britain’s Queen Victoria was crowned in Westminster Abbey.

1914: Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria and his wife, Sophie, were shot to death in Sarajevo by Serb nationalist Gavrilo Princip, an act that sparked World War I.

1919: The Treaty of Versailles was signed in France, ending the First World War.

1939: Pan American Airways began regular trans-Atlantic air service with a flight that departed New York for Marseilles, France.

June 29

1613: London’s original Globe Theatre, where many of Shakespeare’s plays were performed, was destroyed by a fire sparked by a cannon shot during a performance of “Henry VIII.”

1776: The Virginia state constitution was adopted, and Patrick Henry was made governor.

2007: The first version of the iPhone went on sale to the public; more than 2.3 billion iPhones have been sold to date.

2009: Disgraced financier Bernard Madoff received a 150-year sentence for his multibillion-dollar fraud. (Madoff died in prison in April 2021.)

June 30

1934: Adolf Hitler launched his “blood purge” of political and military rivals in Germany in what came to be known as the “Night of the Long Knives.”

1936: Margaret Mitchell’s novel “Gone With the Wind” was released.

1958: The U.S. Senate passed the Alaska statehood bill by a vote of 64-20.

July 1

1867: The British North America Act made Canada a self-governing dominion of Great Britain. Until 1982, the national holiday was called Dominion Day, but it is now known as Canada Day.

1903: The first Tour de France began. (It ended on July 19; the winner was Maurice Garin.)

1997: Hong Kong reverted to Chinese rule after 156 years as a British colony.

2004: Actor Marlon Brando died in Los Angeles at age 80.

July 2

1964: President Lyndon B. Johnson signed into law a sweeping civil rights bill passed by Congress prohibiting discrimination and segregation based on race, color, sex, religion or national origin.

1881: President James A. Garfield was shot by Charles J. Guiteau at the Washington railroad station; Garfield died the following September.

1937: Aviator Amelia Earhart and navigator Fred Noonan disappeared over the Pacific Ocean while attempting to make the first ’round-the-world flight along the equator.

1962: The first Walmart store opened in Rogers, Arkansas.

July 3

1863: The pivotal three-day Civil War Battle of Gettysburg in Pennsylvania ended in a significant victory for the North as Confederate troops failed to breach Union positions during an assault known as Pickett’s Charge.

1775: George Washington took command of the Continental Army at Cambridge, Massachusetts.

1971: Singer Jim Morrison of The Doors died in Paris at age 27.