On This Day in History, July 27

In 1299, Osman I invaded the territory of Nicomedia for the first time, by most standards establishing the Ottoman state, based upon The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire by British historian Edward Gibbon. Whether the text is accurate as to the exact date that should be used for the establishment of what would become the Ottoman Empire, it should be noted that they were responsible for the Fall of Byzantium, the final remnant of the ancient Roman Empire.

In 1794, French revolutionary leader Maximilien Robespierre was labeled a tyrant arrested by his opposition in the National Convention. Alongside several allies and friends, he would be executed at Place de la Révolution (now Place de la Concorde). His fall is commonly considered to be the end of the Reign of Terror during the French Revolution, where some 17,000 individuals were executed for crimes, real and imagined.

In 1929, representatives from fifty-three nations signed the 1929 Geneva Convention, which concerned the treatment of prisoners of war. This Convention was called, in part, because of the failure of previous arrangements concerning the treatment of POWs to be properly met and held to during the First World War. This Geneva Convention would be later revised in 1949, during the Third Geneva Convention—the one that is most commonly referred to.

A Notable Birth

1938  – Ernest Gary Gygax (d. 2008) was an American game designer and writer. He was the co-creator of Dungeons and Dragons, having gotten his start with war games. He remained involved with D&D until the mid-80s, when he departed the company that controlled the property.

A Notable Death

1988 – Frank Zamboni (b. 1901) was an American inventor and engineer. During the 1940s, he developed and built an ice resurfacing machine that would become the vehicles known by his surname, Zambonis.

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