This Day in History

August 26


1071      Seljuk Turks decisively defeat Byzantine forces in the battle of Manzikert   948
1346      Battle of Crécy—English longbows defeat French armored knights   673
1349      English cleric, scholar, mathematician, and physicist Thomas Bradwardine dies, age roughly 59   670
1498      Michelangelo is commissioned to carve the Pietà   521
1572      French humanist, logician, and Protestant Petrus Ramus is killed during the St. Batholomew's Day Massacre, age about 57   447
1666      Dutch painter Frans Hals (the Elder) dies in Haarlem, age about 85   353
1723      Dutch biologist Antonie van Leeuwenhoek, "Father of Microbiology," dies, age 90   296
1728      Swiss mathematician, physicist, philosopher and astronomer Johann Heinrich Lambert born   291
1743      French chemist Antoine-Laurent de Lavoisier takes his first breath of oxygen in Paris   276
1748      Pennsylvania Ministerium is formed—the first Lutheran church body in North America   271
1768      HMS Endeavour under Captain James Cook sets sail from Plymouth, England   251
1789      Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen is approved by the French National Assembly   230
1791      John Fitch is granted U.S. patent for a working steamboat   228
1850      Louis-Philippe, last king to rule France, dies in exile in Claremont, Surrey, England, age 76   169
1865      German astronomer Johann Franz Encke dies in Berlin, age 73   154
1882      German physicist and Nobel laureate James Franck born in Hamburg   137
1910      Roman Catholic nun Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu (Mother Teresa) born in present-day Skopje, Macedonia   109
1920      19th amendment giving women in the U.S. the right to vote goes into effect   99
1923      British engineer, mathematician, physicist and inventor Phoebe Sarah Hertha Ayrton dies in Sussex, England, age 69   96
1939      first televised major league baseball game—Brooklyn Dodgers and Cincinnati Reds   80
1946      American actress, writer, director, and pioneer for women in the film industry Jeanie MacPherson dies in Los Angeles, age 60   73
1957      Ford introduces the Edsel automobile   62
1958      English composer Ralph Vaughan Williams dies, age 85   61
1966      Namibian independence struggle starts in Omugulugwombashe—helicopters of the South African Defence Force attack guerrilla fighters   53
1974      American air pioneer Charles Lindberg dies in Maui, Hawaii, age 72   45
1977      German-born American illustrator and author, known best for the "Curious George" children's books, Hans Augusto Rey dies, 78   42
1981      Voyager 2 makes her closest approach to Saturn   38
1987      German chemist and Nobel laureate (1979) Georg Wittig dies in Heidelberg, West Germany, age 90   32
1993      Rainbow Bridge connecting Tokyo's Shibaura and the island of Odaiba, is opened   26
1995      British author of science fiction John Kilian Houston Brunner dies in Glasgow, age 60   24
1998      American physicist and Nobel laureate (1995) Frederick Reines dies, age 80   21
2007      Swedish Carolina Evelyn Klüft becomes the only athlete to win three consecutive world titles in the heptathlon   12
2008      Facebook reaches 100 million users   11
2009      kidnapping victim Jaycee Dugard is discovered alive in California after being missing since she was 11—for over 18 years   10
2011      American computer scientist Patrick Carl Fischer dies, age 75   8
2011      Boeing 787 Dreamliner, composite airliner, receives certification from the EASA and the FAA   8
2012      Polish-German physicist and academic Krzysztof Wilmanski dies in Berlin, age 72   7
2012      New Zealand amateur Lydia Ko becomes the youngest player to win an LPGA Tour event—15 years, 4 months, 2 days   7
2015      English poet, lecturer, actor, broadcaster, and columnist Patrick Joseph "P.J." Kavanagh dies, age 84   4
2016      President Obama creates world's largest protected area–increases the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument to 582,578 mi2   3
2016      Yavuz Sultan Selim Bridge in Istanbul opens—at 322 m (1,056 ft) is the tallest suspension bridge in the world   3
2016      49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick sits during pregame playing of the national anthem–begins protest that spreads throughout sports   3
2017      American film director, screenwriter, and producer Willard Tobe Hooper dies in Sherman Oaks California, age 74   2
2017      Mercedes-Benz Stadium, multi-purpose retractable roof stadium located in Atlanta, opens   2
2018      American playwright, screenwriter, and author Marvin Neil Simon dies in New York City, age 91   1
2018      French circus performer and the matriarch of the Bouglione circus family Rosa Bouglione dies in Paris, age 107   1
2018      2-m long SB Met becomes the first unmanned boat to cross the Atlantic—1800 mi, Newfoundland to Ireland   1

Dates are always somewhat ambiguous, the exact date depends on whether local time is used (and local time where) or Universal Time—for events on the surface of the Earth, local time is probably best but for an event that spans across the planet, it is not clear which local time to use!. For events in space it is more ambiguous. Further for dates after the original adoption of the Gregorian calendar but before it became accepted in different countries, the date given may be a Julian date or a Gregorian date depending upon where the event occurred. And, even the year may be different since the first of the year has not always been January 1 in all countries! The attempt is to use a date that is the one that is typically given.

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