On This Day … 26 May


  • 17 – Germanicus celebrates a triumph in Rome for his victories over the Cherusci, Chatti, and other German tribes west of the Elbe.
  • 451 – Battle of Avarayr between Armenian rebels and the Sasanian Empire takes place. The Sasanids defeat the Armenians militarily but guarantee them freedom to openly practice Christianity.
  • 946 – King Edmund I of England is murdered by a thief whom he personally attacks while celebrating St Augustine’s Mass Day.
  • 961 – King Otto I elects his 6-year-old son Otto II as heir apparent and co-ruler of the East Frankish Kingdom. He is crowned at Aachen, and placed under the tutelage of his grandmother Matilda.
  • 1135 – Alfonso VII of León and Castile is crowned in León Cathedral as Imperator totius Hispaniae (Emperor of all of Spain).
  • 1573 – The Battle of Haarlemmermeer, a naval engagement in the Dutch War of Independence.
  • 1637 – Pequot War: A combined English and Mohegan force under John Mason attacks a village in Connecticut, massacring approximately 500 Pequots.
  • 1644 – Portuguese Restoration War: Portuguese and Spanish forces both claim victory in the Battle of Montijo.
  • 1736 – The Battle of Ackia was fought near the present site of Tupelo, Mississippi. British and Chickasaw soldiers repelled a French and Choctaw attack on the then-Chickasaw village of Ackia.
  • 1770 – The Orlov Revolt, an attempt to revolt against the Ottoman Empire before the Greek War of Independence, ends in disaster for the Greeks.
  • 1783 – A Great Jubilee Day held at North Stratford, Connecticut, celebrated the end of fighting in the American Revolution.
  • 1805 – Napoléon Bonaparte assumes the title of King of Italy and is crowned with the Iron Crown of Lombardy in Milan Cathedral, the gothic cathedral in Milan.
  • 1821 – Establishment of the Peloponnesian Senate by the Greek rebels.
  • 1830 – The Indian Removal Act is passed by the US Congress; it is signed into law by President Andrew Jackson two days later.
  • 1865 – American Civil War: The Confederate General Edmund Kirby Smith, commander of the Confederate Trans-Mississippi division, is the last full general of the Confederate Army to surrender, at Galveston, Texas.
  • 1879 – Russia and the United Kingdom sign the Treaty of Gandamak establishing an Afghan state.
  • 1896 – Nicholas II becomes the last Tsar of Imperial Russia.
  • 1900 – Thousand Days’ War: The Colombian Conservative Party turns the tide of war in their favour with victory against the Colombian Liberal Party in the Battle of Palonegro.
  • 1918 – The Democratic Republic of Georgia is established.
  • 1938 – In the United States, the House Un-American Activities Committee begins its first session.
  • 1940 – World War II: Operation Dynamo: In northern France, Allied forces begin a massive evacuation from Dunkirk, France.
  • 1940 – World War II: The Siege of Calais ends with the surrender of the British and French garrison.
  • 1942 – World War II: The Battle of Gazala takes place.
  • 1948 – The U.S. Congress passes Public Law 80-557, which permanently establishes the Civil Air Patrol as an auxiliary of the United States Air Force.
  • 1966 – British Guiana gains independence, becoming Guyana.
  • 1971 – Bangladesh Liberation War: The Pakistan Army slaughters at least 71 Hindus in Burunga, Sylhet, Bangladesh.
  • 1972 – The United States and the Soviet Union sign the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty.
  • 1981 – An EA-6B Prowler crashes on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz, killing 14 crewmen and injuring 45 others.
  • 1986 – The European Community adopts the European flag.
  • 2004 – United States Army veteran Terry Nichols is found guilty of 161 state murder charges for helping carry out the Oklahoma City bombing.

People (Births)

  • 1264 – Koreyasu, Japanese prince and shōgun (d. 1326).
  • 1650 – John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough, English general and politician, Lord Lieutenant of Oxfordshire (d. 1722).
  • 1933 – Edward Whittemore, American soldier and author (d. 1995).

People (Deaths)

  • 1818 – Michael Andreas Barclay de Tolly, Russian field marshal and politician, Governor-General of Finland (b. 1761).
  • 1840 – Sidney Smith, English admiral and politician (b. 1764).
  • 1902 – Almon Brown Strowger, American soldier and inventor (b. 1839).
  • 1944 – Christian Wirth, German SS officer (b. 1885).
  • 2001 – Moven Mahachi, Zimbabwean soldier and politician, Zimbabwean Minister of Defence (b. 1952).
  • 2010 – Chris Moran, English air marshal and pilot (b. 1956).
  • 2012 – Stephen Healey, Welsh captain and footballer (b. 1982).
  • 2015 – Dayton Waller, American soldier and politician (b. 1925).

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.