On This Day in History October 26

October 26 – Events:

  • 740 – An earthquake strikes Constantinople, causing much damage and death.
  • 1640 – The Treaty of Ripon is signed, restoring peace between Scotland and Charles I of England.
  • 1774 – The first Continental Congress adjourns in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
  • 1776 – Benjamin Franklin departed from America for France on a mission to seek French support for the American Revolution.
  • 1795 – The French Directory, a five-man revolutionary government, is created.
  • 1825 – The Erie Canal opens – passage from Albany, New York to Lake Erie.
  • 1859 – The Royal Charter is wrecked on the coast of Anglesey, north Wales with 459 dead.
  • 1860 – Meeting of Teano. Giuseppe Garibaldi, conqueror of the Kingdom of Two Sicilies, gives it to King Victor Emmanuel II of Italy.
  • 1861 – The Pony Express officially ceased operations.
  • 1863 – The Football Association is formed.
  • 1881 – The Gunfight at the O.K. Corral takes place at Tombstone, Arizona.
  • 1905 – Norway becomes independent from Sweden.
  • 1912 – First Balkan War: The city of Thessaloniki is unified with Greece on the feast day of its patron Saint Demetrius. On the same day the Serbian troops captured Skopje.
  • 1917 – World War I: Battle of Caporetto; Italy suffers a catastrophic defeat at the forces of Austria-Hungary and Germany.
  • 1917 – World War I:Brazil declared in state of war with Central Powers.
  • 1918 – Erich Ludendorff, quartermaster-general of the Imperial German Army, is dismissed by Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany for refusing to cooperate in peace negotiations.
  • 1936 – The first electric generator at Hoover Dam went into full operation.
  • 1940 – The P-51 Mustang makes its maiden flight.
  • 1942 – World War II: In the Battle of the Santa Cruz Islands during the  Guadalcanal Campaign, one U.S. aircraft carrier, Hornet, was sunk and another aircraft carrier, Enterprise, is heavily damaged.
  • 1943 – World War II: First flight of the Dornier Do 335 “Pfeil.”
  • 1944 – World War II: The Battle of Leyte Gulf ends.
  • 1947 – The Maharaja of Kashmir agrees to allow his kingdom to join India.
  • 1947 – The British Military Occupation ends in Iraq.
  • 1948 – Killer smog settles into Donora, Pennsylvania.
  • 1951 – Boxer Joe Louis comes out of retirement to fight Rocky Marciano. However, Marciano would win the fight in eight rounds.
  • 1954 – Trieste return to Italy.
  • 1955 – After the last Allied troops have left the country and following the provisions of the Austrian Independence Treaty, Austria declares permanent neutrality.
  • 1958 – Pan American Airways makes the first commercial flight of the Boeing 707 from New York City to Paris, France.
  • 1964 – Eric Edgar Cooke becomes last person in Western Australia to be executed.
  • 1965 – The Beatles are appointed Members of the Order of the British Empire (MBEs).
  • 1977 – The last natural case of smallpox was discovered in Merca district, Somalia. The WHO and the CDC consider this date the anniversary of the eradication of smallpox, the most spectacular success of vaccination.
  • 1978 – Independent Counsel Act is signed into law.
  • 1979 – Park Chung-hee, President of South Korea is assassinated by KCIA head Kim Jae-kyu. Choi Kyu-ha becomes the acting President; Kim is executed the following May.
  • 1984 – “Baby Fae” receives a heart transplant from a baboon.
  • 1992 – The command and control system of the London Ambulance Service fails catastrophically.
  • 1992 – The Charlottetown Accord fails to win majority support in a Canada-wide referendum.
  • 1994 – Jordan and Israel sign a peace treaty.
  • 1994 – Announcement that Andrew Wiles correctly proved Fermat’s last theorem.
  • 1995 – Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: Mossad agents assassinate Islamic Jihad leader Fathi Shikaki in his hotel in Malta.
  • 1999 – Britain’s House of Lords votes to end the right of hereditary peers to vote in Britain’s upper chamber of Parliament.
  • 2000 – Laurent Gbagbo takes over as president of Côte d’Ivoire following a popular uprising against President Robert Guéï.
  • 2001 – The United States passes the USA PATRIOT Act into law.
  • 2002 – Moscow Theatre Siege: Approximately 50 Chechen rebels and 150 hostages die when Russian Spetsnaz storm a theater building in Moscow, which had been occupied by the rebels during a musical performance three days before.
  • 2003 – The Cedar Fire, the second-largest fire in California history, kills 15 people, consumes 250,000 acres (1,000 km²), and destroys 2,200 homes around San Diego.
  • 2007 – Apple Inc. releases its newest version of Mac OS X.

October 26 – Birthdays:

  • 1427 – Archduke Sigismund of Austria (d. 1496)
  • 1473 – Friedrich of Saxony (d. 1510)
  • 1491 – Zhengde, Emperor of China (d. 1521)
  • 1609 – William Sprague, English co-founder of Charlestown, Massachusetts (d. 1675)
  • 1673 – Dimitrie Cantemir, Moldavian prince, linguist, and scholar (d. 1723)
  • 1684 – Kurt Christoph Graf von Schwerin, Prussian field marshal (d. 1757)
  • 1685 – Domenico Scarlatti, Italian composer (d. 1757)
  • 1694 – Johan Helmich Roman, Swedish composer (d. 1758)
  • 1757 – Karl Leonhard Reinhold, Austrian philosopher (d. 1823)
  • 1759 – Georges Jacques Danton, French Revolutionary leader (d. 1794)
  • 1768 – Eustachy Erazm Sanguszko, Polish general and politician (d. 1844)
  • 1794 – Konstantin Thon, Russian architect (d. 1881)
  • 1795 – Nikolaos Mantzaros, Greek composer (d. 1872)
  • 1797 – Giuditta Pasta, Italian soprano (d. 1865)
  • 1800 – Helmuth von Moltke the Elder, Prussian field marshal (d. 1891)
  • 1802 – King Miguel of Portugal (d. 1866)
  • 1842 – Vasili Vasilyevich Vereshchagin, Russian painter (d. 1904)
  • 1849 – Ferdinand Georg Frobenius, German mathematician (d. 1917)
  • 1854 – C. W. Post, American entrepreneur (d. 1914)
  • 1865 – Benjamin Guggenheim, American businessman (d. 1912)
  • 1869 – Washington Luís Pereira de Sousa, President of Brazil (d. 1957)
  • 1871 – Guillermo Kahlo, father of Frida Kahlo (d. 1941)
  • 1873 – Thorvald Stauning, Prime Minister of Denmark (d. 1942)
  • 1874 – Abby Aldrich Rockefeller, socialite and philanthropist (d. 1948)
  • 1874 – Martin Lowry, British chemist (d. 1936)
  • 1880 – Andrei Bely, Russian writer (d. 1934)
  • 1883 – Paul Pilgrim, American athlete (d. 1958)
  • 1888 – Nestor Ivanovich Makhno, Ukrainian anarchist Insurrectionary  leader (d. 1934)
  • 1899 – Judy Johnson, Hall of Fame baseball player in the Negro Leagues (d. 1989)
  • 1902 – Jack Sharkey, American boxer (d. 1994)
  • 1905 – George Flahiff, Canadian Cardinal (d. 1989)
  • 1906 – Primo Carnera, Italian boxer (d. 1967)
  • 1911 – Sid Gilman, American football player (d. 2003)
  • 1911 – Mahalia Jackson, American singer (d. 1972)
  • 1911 – Sorley MacLean, Scottish poet (d. 1996)
  • 1912 – Don Siegel, American director (d. 1991)
  • 1913 – Charlie Barnet, American jazz saxophonist and bandleader (d.  1991)
  • 1914 – Jackie Coogan, American actor (d. 1984)
  • 1915 – Joe Fry, British racing driver (d. 1950)
  • 1916 – François Mitterrand, President of France (d. 1996)
  • 1919 – Mohammad Reza Pahlavi of Iran, Shah of Iran (d. 1980)
  • 1921 – George Forrest, Northern Irish MP (d. 1968)
  • 1925 – Jan Wolkers, Dutch author (d. 2007)
  • 1928 – Francisco Solano López, Argentine comics artists
  • 1929 – Neal Matthews, Jr., American singer (The Jordanaires) (d. 2000)
  • 1934 – Hans-Joachim Rödelius, German composer and musician (Cluster,  Harmonia)
  • 1936 – Shelley Morrison, American actress
  • 1941 – Charlie Landsborough, Singer/Songwriter
  • 1942 – Bob Hoskins, British actor
  • 1945 – Pat Conroy, American writer
  • 1945 – Jaclyn Smith, American actress
  • 1945 – Demetris Th. Gotsis, Greek poet and author
  • 1946 – Pat Sajak, American game show host
  • 1946 – Holly Woodlawn, Puerto Rican actress
  • 1946 – Keith Hopwood, British musician (Herman’s Hermits)
  • 1947 – Hillary Rodham Clinton, US Secretary of State
  • 1947 – Trevor Joyce, Irish poet
  • 1947 – Ian Ashley, British racing driver
  • 1948 – Toby Harrah, American Major League Baseball player
  • 1949 – Steve Rogers, Major League Baseball pitcher
  • 1951 – Bootsy Collins, American musician (P Funk)
  • 1952 – Andrew Motion, English poet and Poet Laureate
  • 1953 – Rosa Monckton, notable charity fundraiser
  • 1953 – Keith Strickland, American musician (The B-52’s)
  • 1954 – Vassilis Hatzipanagis, Greek footballer
  • 1956 – Stephen Gumley, Australian businessman
  • 1956 – Rita Wilson, American actress
  • 1957 – Bob Golic, American football player
  • 1959 – Evo Morales, President of Bolivia
  • 1959 – François Chau, Cambodian actor
  • 1959 – Brian Bovell, British actor
  • 1961 – Dylan McDermott, American actor
  • 1962 – Cary Elwes, British actor
  • 1963 – Natalie Merchant, American singer
  • 1963 – Ted Demme, American film and television director (d. 2002)
  • 1964 – Thomas Cavanagh, Canadian actor
  • 1965 – Aaron Kwok Fu-Shing, Hong Kong singer
  • 1965 – Kelly Rowan, Canadian actress and producer.
  • 1966 – Jane Hajduk, American actress
  • 1966 – Steve Valentine, British actor
  • 1966 – Jeanne Zelasko, American sportcaster
  • 1966 – Masaharu Iwata, Japanese composer
  • 1967 – Keith Urban, New Zealand singer
  • 1970 – Lisa Ryder, American actress
  • 1970 – Dian Bachar, American actor
  • 1970 – Raveena Tandon, Indian actress
  • 1971 – Anthony Rapp, American singer and actor
  • 1973 – Seth MacFarlane, American animator
  • 1973 – Taka Michinoku , Japanese professional wrestler
  • 1974 – LISA, Japanese musician
  • 1976 – Miikka Kiprusoff, Finnish hockey player
  • 1977 – Jon Heder, American actor
  • 1978 – Jimmy Aggrey, English footballer
  • 1978 – Mark Barry, English musician (BBMak)
  • 1978 – CM Punk, American professional wrestler
  • 1978 – Eva Kaili, Greek TV presenter and politician
  • 1979 – Movsar Barayev, Chechen militant (d. 2002)
  • 1980 – Cristian Chivu, Romanian footballer
  • 1981 – Guy Sebastian, Australian singer
  • 1981 – Sam Brown, American comedian
  • 1982 – Adam Carroll, British racing driver
  • 1983 – Dmitri Sychev, Russian football player
  • 1983 – Francisco Liriano, Major League Baseball pitcher
  • 1983 – Luke Watson, South African rugby player
  • 1984 – Sasha Cohen, American figure skater
  • 1984 – Jefferson Farfán, Peruvian footballer
  • 1984 – Adriano Correia Claro, Brazilian footballer
  • 1985 – Andrea Bargnani, Italian basketball player
  • 1985 – Monta Ellis, American basketball player
  • 1985 – Asin Thottumkal, Indian actress
  • 1987 – Elise Estrada, Canadian singer

October 26 – Deaths:

  • 899 – Alfred the Great, king of Wessex (b. 849)
  • 1235 – King Andrew II of Hungary (b. 1175)
  • 1440 – Gilles de Rais, French serial killer (b. 1404)
  • 1633 – Horio Tadaharu, Japanese warlord (b. 1596)
  • 1671 – Sir John Gell, 1st Baronet, English politician (b. 1593)
  • 1675 – William Sprague, English co-founder of Charlestown, Massachusetts (b. 1609)
  • 1679 – Roger Boyle, 1st Earl of Orrery, British soldier, statesman, and dramatist (b. 1621)
  • 1686 – John Egerton, 2nd Earl of Bridgewater, English politician (b. 1623)
  • 1717 – Catherine Sedley, English mistress of James II of England (b. 1657)
  • 1751 – Philip Doddridge, English religious leader (b. 1702)
  • 1764 – William Hogarth, British painter (b. 1697)
  • 1773 – Amédée-François Frézier, French military engineer and explorer (b. 1682)
  • 1803 – Granville Leveson-Gower, 1st Marquess of Stafford, English politician (b. 1721)
  • 1806 – John Graves Simcoe, first lieutenant-governor of Upper Canada (b. 1752)
  • 1817 – Nikolaus Joseph von Jacquin, Austrian scientist (b. 1727)
  • 1864 – “Bloody Bill” Anderson, American Civil War rebel guerrilla leader (b. 1839)
  • 1866 – John Kinder Labatt, Irish-Canadian brewer (Labatt Brewing Company) (b. 1803)
  • 1890 – Carlo Collodi, Italian writer (b. 1826)
  • 1896 – Paul-Armand Challemel-Lacour, French statesman (b. 1827)
  • 1902 – Elizabeth Cady Stanton, American feminist and suffragette (b. 1815)
  • 1909 – Hirobumi Ito, Japanese Prime Minister, de facto Resident-General of Korea (b. 1841)
  • 1930 – Harry Payne Whitney, American businessman (b. 1872)
  • 1931 – Charles Comiskey, baseball team owner (b. 1859)
  • 1937 – Józef Dowbór-Musnicki, Polish general (b. 1867)
  • 1941 – Arkady Gaidar, Russian children’s writer (b. 1904)
  • 1943 – Marc Aurel Stein, Hungarian-born archaeologist (b. 1862)
  • 1944 – Princess Beatrice of the United Kingdom, daughter of Queen Victoria (b. 1857)
  • 1944 – William Temple, Archbishop of Canterbury (b. 1881)
  • 1945 – Paul Pelliot, French explorer (b. 1878)
  • 1945 – Alexei Krylov, Russian engineer and mathematician (b. 1863)
  • 1947 – Canon Edwin Sidney Savage, English rector (b. 1862)
  • 1952 – Hattie McDaniel, American singer and actress (b. 1895)
  • 1956 – Walter Gieseking, French pianist (b. 1895)
  • 1957 – Gerty Cori, Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine laureate (b. 1896)
  • 1957 – Nikos Kazantzakis, Greek writer (b. 1883)
  • 1962 – Louise Beavers, American actress (b. 1902)
  • 1966 – Alma Cogan, English singer (b. 1932)
  • 1971 – Vincent Coleman, American actor (b. 1901)
  • 1972 – Igor Sikorsky, Kiev, Russian Empire (currently Ukraine) born  inventor (b. 1889)
  • 1978 – Alexander Gerschenkron, Russian-born economic historian (b. 1904)
  • 1979 – Park Chung-hee, President of South Korea (b. 1917)
  • 1984 – Gus Mancuso, baseball player (b. 1905)
  • 1986 – Jackson Scholz, American runner (b. 1897)
  • 1989 – Charles J. Pedersen, American Nobel laureate (b. 1904)
  • 1994 – Wilbert Harrison, American singer (b. 1929)
  • 1995 – Gorni Kramer, Italian bandleader and songwriter (b. 1913)
  • 1999 – Hoyt Axton, American actor and country music singer-songwriter (b. 1938)
  • 2002 – Jacques Massu, French general (b. 1908)
  • 2002 – Movsar Barayev, Chechen militant (b. 1979)
  • 2004 – Bobby Avila, Major League Baseball player (b. 1924)
  • 2005 – Keith Parkinson, fantasy artist (b. 1958)
  • 2006 – Pontus Hultén, Swedish art collector and museum director (b. 1924)
  • 2007 – Nicolae Dobrin, Romanian footballer (b. 1947)
  • 2007 – Friedman Paul Erhardt (Chef Tell), German-born American TV chef (b. 1943)
  • 2007 – Dr. Arthur Kornberg, American Nobel Prize laureate in 1959 for the discovery of DNA polymerase (b. 1918)
  • 2007 – Khun Sa, Burmese warlord (b. 1934)

October 26 – Holidays:

  • Roman festivals – first day of Ludi Victoriae Sullanae (until 1 November) R.C. Saints – October 26th is the feast day of the following Roman Catholic Saints:
    • St. Albinus
    • St. Alfred the Great
    • St. Cedd
    • St. Cuthbert of Canterbury
    • St. Demetrius (aka St. Dimitrios) of Thessaloniki
    • St. Fulk
    • St. Quadragesimus
  • Austria – National Day: Anniversary of the Declaration of Neutrality (1955)
  • Nauru – Angam Day
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