On This Day … 26 December

Events

  • 887 – Berengar I is elected as king of Italy by the lords of Lombardy. He is crowned with the Iron Crown of Lombardy at Pavia.
  • 1481 – Battle of Westbroek: Holland defeats troops of Utrecht.
  • 1489 – The forces of the Catholic Monarchs, Ferdinand and Isabella, take control of Almería from the Nasrid ruler of Granada, Muhammad XIII.
  • 1704 – Second Battle of Anandpur: In the Second Battle of Anandpur, Aurangzeb’s two generals, Wazir Khan and Zaberdast Khan executed two children of Guru Gobind Singh named Zorawar Singh aged 8 and Fateh Singh aged 5, by burying them alive into a wall.
  • 1776 – American Revolutionary War: In the Battle of Trenton, the Continental Army attacks and successfully defeats a garrison of Hessian forces.
  • 1790 – Louis XVI of France gives his public assent to Civil Constitution of the Clergy during the French Revolution.
  • 1793 – Second Battle of Wissembourg: France defeats Austria.
  • 1799 – Henry Lee III’s eulogy to George Washington in congress declares him as “first in war, first in peace and first in the hearts of his countrymen”.
    • This is not to be confused with Washington’s funeral on 18 December.
  • 1805 – Austria and France sign the Treaty of Pressburg.
  • 1806 – Battles of Pultusk and Golymin: Russian forces hold French forces under Napoleon.
  • 1825 – Advocates of liberalism in Russia rise up against Czar Nicholas I but are suppressed in the Decembrist revolt in Saint Petersburg.
  • 1861 – American Civil War: The Trent Affair: Confederate diplomatic envoys James Murray Mason and John Slidell are freed by the United States government, thus heading off a possible war between the United States and the United Kingdom.
  • 1862 – American Civil War: The Battle of Chickasaw Bayou begins.
  • 1862 – Four nuns serving as volunteer nurses on board USS Red Rover are the first female nurses on a US Navy hospital ship.
  • 1862 – The largest mass-hanging in US history took place in Mankato, Minnesota, where 38 Native Americans died.
  • 1898 – Marie and Pierre Curie announce the isolation of radium.
  • 1943 – World War II: German warship Scharnhorst is sunk off of Norway’s North Cape after a battle against major Royal Navy forces.
  • 1944 – World War II: George S. Patton’s Third Army breaks the encirclement of surrounded US forces at Bastogne, Belgium.
  • 1948 – Cardinal József Mindszenty is arrested in Hungary and accused of treason and conspiracy.
  • 1948 – The last Soviet troops withdraw from North Korea.
  • 1972 – Vietnam War: As part of Operation Linebacker II, 120 American B-52 Stratofortress bombers attacked Hanoi, including 78 launched from Andersen Air Force Base in Guam, the largest single combat launch in Strategic Air Command history.
  • 1991 – The Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union meets and formally dissolves the Soviet Union, ending the Cold War.
  • 1994 – Four Armed Islamic Group hijackers seize control of Air France Flight 8969. When the plane lands at Marseille, a French Gendarmerie assault team boards the aircraft and kills the hijackers.
  • 1998 – Iraq announces its intention to fire upon US and British warplanes that patrol the northern and southern no-fly zones.

People (Births)

  • 1716 – Jean François de Saint-Lambert, French soldier and philosopher (d. 1803).
  • 1751 – Lord George Gordon, English lieutenant and politician (d. 1793).
  • 1791 – Charles Babbage, English mathematician and engineer, invented the Difference engine (d. 1871).
  • 1837 – Morgan Bulkeley, American soldier and politician, 54th Governor of Connecticut (d. 1922).
  • 1837 – George Dewey, American admiral (d. 1917).
  • 1869 – Mathieu Cordang, Dutch cyclist (d. 1942).
  • 1887 – Arthur Percival, English general (d. 1966).
  • 1890 – Percy Hodge, English runner (d. 1967).
  • 1908 – Ralph Hill, American runner (d. 1994).
  • 1942 – Gray Davis, American captain, lawyer, and politician, 37th Governor of California.
  • 1947 – James T. Conway, American general.
  • 1989 – Yohan Blake, Jamaican sprinter.

People (Deaths)

  • 893 – Masrur al-Balkhi, Abbasid general.
  • 1006 – Gao Qiong, Chinese general (b. 935).
  • 1360 – Thomas Holland, 1st Earl of Kent, English commander (b. 1314).
  • 1784 – Seth Warner, American colonel (b. 1743).
  • 1925 – Jan Letzel, Czech architect, designed the Hiroshima Peace Memorial (b. 1880).
  • 1966 – Herbert Otto Gille, German general (b. 1897).
  • 1970 – Lillian Board, South African-English runner (b. 1948).
  • 1972 – Harry S. Truman, American colonel and politician, 33rd President of the United States (b. 1884).
  • 1974 – Frederick Dalrymple-Hamilton, Scottish admiral (b. 1890).
  • 2005 – Erich Topp, German commander (b. 1914).
  • 2012 – Ibrahim Tannous, Lebanese general (b. 1929).
  • 2014 – James B. Edwards, American dentist, soldier, and politician, 3rd United States Secretary of Energy (b. 1927).
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