This Day in History - August 26

August 26

1071 – The Turks defeat the Byzantine army under Emperor Romanus IV

1346 – During the Hundred Years War, King Edward III’s English army decimates a French force under King Philip VI at the Battle of Crecy in Normandy and went on to be considered one of the most decisive battles in history

1429 – Joan of Arc enters Paris

1666 – Dutch painter, Frans Hals, dies

1743 – The father of modern chemistry and the man who defined the role of oxygen and named it, Antoine Laurent Lavoisier, is born

1776 – General George Washington urges Hessians to desert the British Army during the American Revolution

1789 – The final version of the Declaration of Human Rights is approved by the Constituent Assembly in Versailles, France

1794 – President George Washington writes to Henry “Light Horse Harry” Lee, Virginia’s governor, regarding the Whiskey Rebellion stating that he had no choice but to act to subdue the “insurgents,” fearing the would otherwise “shake the government to its foundation”

1804 – During the Old West, Meriwether Lewis and William Clark promote Patrick Gass as a replacement to Sergeant Charles Floyd following his death

1819 – Albert, Prince Consort of the UK, is born

1838 – Poet and writer, Ralph Waldo Emerson, meets Brit. Thomas Carlyle, and Carlyle would influence Emerson’s work greatly

1847 – Liberia proclaimed an independent republic

1850 – French King, Louis Philippe I, dies

1862 – During the Civil War, Manassas Junction, Virginia is seized by Confederate General Thomas ‘Stonewall’ Jackson and Confederate forces move to encircle Union forces under General John Pope, beginning the Second Bull Run campaign

1874 – Physicist, inventor, and father of the radio, Lee de Forest, is born

1875 – Writer and governor general of Canada, John Buchan, Lord Tweedsmuir, is born

1883 – The largest explosion ever recorded in history takes place, as the Indonesian island of Krakatoa erupts, heard 2,200 miles away in Madagascar. Volcanic ash travels upwards into the atmosphere for 50 miles and kills 36,000 people, both from the volcano itself and from the resulting 131-foot tidal waves that demolish 163 villages on the shores of the nearby towns of Java and Sumatra

1898 – Art patron, Peggy Guggenheim, is born

1906 – English novelist and playwright, Christopher Isherwood, is born

1906 – Developer of polio vaccine, Albert Sabin, is born

1910 – Missionary and Nobel Prize laureate, Mother Teresa, is born

1910 – American philosopher and psychologist, William James, dies

1914 – The Battle of Tannenberg begins during World War I as the German 8th Army takes on the Russian 2nd Army in East Prussia

1920 – Women receive their right to vote as the 19th Amendment to the Constitution is officially ratified

1922 – Journalist and first American television correspondent to be accredited in the Soviet Union, Irving Levine, is born

1939 – First televised MLB game is broadcast between Cincinnati Reds and Brooklyn Dodgers in New York

1940 – Voice-over actor, Donald Leroy, “Don,” LaFontaine, is born

1943 – The French Committee of National Liberation is recognized by the US

1944 – Duke of Gloucester, Prince Richard, is born

1944 – French General Charles de Gaulle enters Paris, which had been liberated the day prior. French collaborationist snipers took a few shots at him

1945 – First US Secretary of Homeland Security, Tom Ridge, is born

1948 – Temperatures hit 108 degrees Fahrenheit in New York City and Philadelphia and begin a week-long heat wave that kills at least 33 people

1952 – American puzzle creator, Will Shortz, is born

1957 – Ford Motor Company reveals its latest luxury car, the Edsel

1957 – The Soviet Union announces that it has successfully tested an intercontinental ballistic missile, starting a national debate over the “missile gap” between America and Russia

1957 – Poet, Nikky Finney, (Lynn Carol Finney), is born

1958 – English composer Ralph Vaughan Williams dies

1959 – British Motor Corporation launches the Mini, which will become one of the best-selling British cars in history

1960 – American saxophonist, composer, and bandleader Branford Marsalis, is born

1964 – Lyndon B. Johnson is nominated to run for the presidency at the Democratic National Convention in Atlantic City, New Jersey

1966 – The first battle of the 22-year Namibian War of Independence begins as South African Defense Force troops attack a People’s Liberation Army of Namibia at Omugulugwombashe

1966 – Scottish singer, songwriter, and actress, Shirley Manson, is born

1967 – Major George Day ejects from his American F-100F when it is shot down over North Vietnam during the Vietnam War. Day is captured and severely tortured. He escapes and makes it to the DMZ, but is ambushed, recaptured and taken to prison in Hanoi, where he will continuously battle his captors. Released at last in 1973, Major Day was awarded the Medal of Honor for his gallantry as a POW

1968 – Thousands of antiwar demonstrators take to Chicago’s streets to protest the Vietnam War during the Democratic National Convention. This four-day convention is considered the most violent in US history. The ‘Chicago Eight’ were arrested for conspiring to incite the violence

1970 – Betty Friedan leads a nationwide Women’s Strike for Equality on the 50th passage of the 19th Amendment to spotlight unequal pay and other gender inequalities in the US

1970 – Comedian, writer, producer and Emmy-winning actress, Melissa Ann McCarthy, is born

1971 – Mexican actress, singer, and songwriter, Thalia, is born

1974 – The first man to accomplish a solo nonstop flight across the Atlantic Ocean, Charles Lindbergh, dies in Maui, Hawaii

1977 – Bill 101, Charter of the French Language is adopted by the National Assembly of Quebec, making French the official language of the Canadian province

1978 – Albino Luciani is elected to the Papacy and he chooses the name Pope John Paul I. He will die 33 days later making his 33-day reign among the shortest in Papal history

1978 – Grease movie soundtrack earns its second #1 hit

1978 – Aboard Soviet Soyuz 31, Sigmund Jahn becomes the first German to fly in space

1980 – Actor, Macaulay Culkin, is born

1986 – 18-year old Jennifer Levin is found dead in New York City’s Central Park and the handsome Robert Chambers was charged with her murder and dubbed the “Preppy Killer” as he had attended Manhattan private schools

1999 – Russia begins the Second Chechen War in response to the invasion of Dagestan by the Islamic International Peacekeeping Brigade


Written by Crystal McCann

Crystal is the Chief Operating Officer of Lanterns Media Network and the owner of Madisons Media. She lives in Texas with her husband and dogs and is the proud mother of two adult children.

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