On This Day … 26 July


  • 657 – First Fitna: In the Battle of Siffin, troops led by Ali ibn Abu Talib clash with those led by Muawiyah I.
  • 811 – Battle of Pliska: Byzantine Emperor Nikephoros I is killed and his heir Staurakios is seriously wounded.
  • 920 – Rout of an alliance of Christian troops from Navarre and Léon against the Muslims at the Battle of Valdejunquera.
  • 1469 – Wars of the Roses: The Battle of Edgecote Moor, pitting the forces of Richard Neville, 16th Earl of Warwick against those of Edward IV of England, takes place.
  • 1509 – The Emperor Krishnadevaraya ascends to the throne, marking the beginning of the regeneration of the Vijayanagara Empire.
  • 1529 – Francisco Pizarro González, Spanish conquistador, is appointed governor of Peru.
  • 1581 – Plakkaat van Verlatinghe (Act of Abjuration): The northern Low Countries declare their independence from the Spanish king, Philip II.
  • 1703 – During the Bavarian Rummel the rural population of Tyrol drove the Bavarian Prince-Elector Maximilian II Emanuel out of North Tyrol with a victory at the Pontlatzer Bridge and thus prevented the Bavarian Army, which was allied with France, from marching as planned on Vienna during the War of the Spanish Succession.
  • 1758 – French and Indian War: The Siege of Louisbourg ends with British forces defeating the French and taking control of the Gulf of Saint Lawrence.
  • 1814 – The Swedish–Norwegian War begins.
  • 1822 – José de San Martín arrives in Guayaquil, Ecuador, to meet with Simón Bolívar.
  • 1822 – First day of the three-day Battle of Dervenakia, between the Ottoman Empire force led by Mahmud Dramali Pasha and the Greek Revolutionary force led by Theodoros Kolokotronis.
  • 1847 – Liberia declares its independence.
  • 1861 – American Civil War: George B. McClellan assumes command of the Army of the Potomac following a disastrous Union defeat at the First Battle of Bull Run.
  • 1863 – American Civil War: Morgan’s Raid ends; At Salineville, Ohio, Confederate cavalry leader John Hunt Morgan and 360 of his volunteers are captured by Union forces.
  • 1882 – The Republic of Stellaland is founded in Southern Africa.
  • 1890 – In Buenos Aires, Argentina the Revolución del Parque takes place, forcing President Miguel Ángel Juárez Celman’s resignation.
  • 1891 – France annexes Tahiti.
  • 1897 – Anglo-Afghan War: The Pashtun fakir Saidullah leads an army of more than 10,000 to begin a siege of the British garrison in the Malakand Agency of the North West Frontier Province of India.
  • 1936 – Spanish Civil War: Germany and Italy decide to intervene in the war in support for Francisco Franco and the Nationalist faction.
  • 1936 – King Edward VIII, in one of his few official duties before he abdicates the throne, officially unveils the Canadian National Vimy Memorial.
  • 1937 – Spanish Civil War: End of the Battle of Brunete with the Nationalist victory.
  • 1941 – World War II: In response to the Japanese occupation of French Indochina, the United States, Britain and the Netherlands freeze all Japanese assets and cut off oil shipments.
  • 1944 – World War II: The Red Army enters Lviv, a major city in western Ukraine, capturing it from the Nazis. Only 300 Jews survive out of 160,000 living in Lviv prior to occupation.
  • 1945 – World War II: The Potsdam Declaration is signed in Potsdam, Germany.
  • 1945 – World War II: HMS Vestal is the last British Royal Navy ship to be sunk in the war.
  • 1945 – World War II: The USS Indianapolis arrives at Tinian with components and enriched uranium for the Little Boy nuclear bomb.
  • 1947 – Cold War: U.S. President Harry S. Truman signs the National Security Act of 1947 into United States law creating the Central Intelligence Agency, United States Department of Defence, United States Air Force, Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the United States National Security Council.
  • 1948 – US President Harry S. Truman signs Executive Order 9981, desegregating the military of the United States.
  • 1953 – Cold War: Fidel Castro leads an unsuccessful attack on the Moncada Barracks, thus beginning the Cuban Revolution. The movement took the name of the date: 26th of July Movement.
  • 1953 – Soldiers from the 2nd Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment repel a number of Chinese assaults against a key position known as The Hook during the Battle of the Samichon River, just hours before the Armistice Agreement is signed, ending the Korean War.
  • 1956 – Following the World Bank’s refusal to fund building the Aswan Dam, Egyptian leader Gamal Abdel Nasser nationalises the Suez Canal, sparking international condemnation.
  • 1957 – Carlos Castillo Armas, dictator of Guatemala, is assassinated.
  • 1968 – Vietnam War: South Vietnamese opposition leader Trương Đình Dzu is sentenced to five years hard labour for advocating the formation of a coalition government as a way to move toward an end to the war.
  • 1974 – Greek Prime Minister Konstantinos Karamanlis forms the country’s first civil government after seven years of military rule.
  • 1986 – Aerial bombardment of citizens of Arak by Ba’athist Iraq regime at 9:13 a.m. (local time):
  • 1988 – Mersad Operation part of Iran-Iraq war.
  • 1999 – Celebrated as Kargil Vijay Diwas. Kargil conflict officially comes to an end. The Indian Army announces the complete eviction of Pakistani intruders.
  • 2009 – The militant Nigerian Islamist group Boko Haram attacks a police station in Bauchi, leading to reprisals by the Nigeria Police Force and four days of violence across multiple cities.
  • Independence Day (Maldives), celebrates the independence of Maldives from the United Kingdom in 1965.
  • Kargil Victory Day or Kargil Vijay Diwas (India).

People (Births)

  • 1739 – George Clinton, American general and politician, 4th Vice President of the United States (d. 1812).
  • 1802 – Mariano Arista, Mexican general and politician, 42nd President of Mexico (d. 1855).
  • 1879 – Shunroku Hata, Japanese field marshal and politician, 48th Japanese Minister of War (d. 1962).
  • 1885 – André Maurois, French soldier and author (d. 1967).
  • 1890 – Daniel J. Callaghan, American admiral, Medal of Honour recipient (d. 1942).
  • 1896 – Tim Birkin, English soldier and race car driver (d. 1933).
  • 1904 – Edwin Albert Link, American industrialist and entrepreneur, invented the flight simulator (d. 1981).
  • 1906 – Irena Iłłakowicz, German-Polish lieutenant (d. 1943).
  • 1914 – C. Farris Bryant, American soldier, lawyer, and politician, 34th Governor of Florida (d. 2002).
  • 1960 – Mohsen Vezvaei, Iranian commander killed in Iran-Iraq war.

People (Deaths)

  • 1533 – Atahualpa, Inca emperor abducted and murdered by Francisco Pizarro (b. ca. 1500).
  • 1592 – Armand de Gontant, French marshal (b. 1524).
  • 1611 – Horio Yoshiharu, Japanese daimyō (b. 1542).
  • 1863 – Sam Houston, American general and politician, 7th Governor of Texas (b. 1793).
  • 1926 – Robert Todd Lincoln, American lawyer and politician, 35th United States Secretary of War, son of Abraham Lincoln (b. 1843).
  • 1953 – Nikolaos Plastiras, Greek general and politician, 135th Prime Minister of Greece (b. 1883).
  • 1968 – Cemal Tollu, Turkish lieutenant and painter (b. 1899).
  • 1993 – Matthew Ridgway, American general (b. 1895).
  • 2001 – Rex T. Barber, American colonel and pilot (b. 1917).
  • 2012 – James D. Watkins, American admiral and politician, 6th United States Secretary of Energy (b. 1927).
  • 2014 – Charles R. Larson, American admiral (b. 1936).

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