On This Day … 26 March

Events

  • 1169 – Saladin becomes the emir of Egypt.
  • 1344 – The Siege of Algeciras, one of the first European military engagements where gunpowder was used, comes to an end.
  • 1351 – Combat of the Thirty: Thirty Breton knights call out and defeat thirty English knights.
  • 1636 – Utrecht University is founded in the Netherlands.
  • 1697 – Safavid government troops take control of Basra.
  • 1812 – A political cartoon in the Boston Gazette coins the term “gerrymander” to describe oddly shaped electoral districts designed to help incumbents win re-election.
  • 1871 – The elections of Commune council of the Paris Commune are held.
  • 1885 – The Métis people of the District of Saskatchewan under Louis Riel begin the North-West Rebellion against Canada.
  • 1913 – First Balkan War: Bulgarian forces capture Adrianople.
  • 1917 – World War I: First Battle of Gaza: British troops are halted after 17,000 Turks block their advance.
  • 1934 – The United Kingdom driving test is introduced.
  • 1939 – Spanish Civil War: Nationalists begin their final offensive of the war.
  • 1942 – World War II: The first female prisoners arrive at Auschwitz concentration camp in German-occupied Poland.
  • 1945 – World War II: The Battle of Iwo Jima ends as the island is officially secured by American forces.
  • 1954 – Nuclear weapons testing: The Romeo shot of Operation Castle is detonated at Bikini Atoll. Yield: 11 megatons.
  • 1958 – The United States Army launches Explorer 3.
  • 1970 – South Vietnamese President Nguyễn Văn Thiệu implements a land reform program to solve the problem of land tenancy.
  • 1971 – East Pakistan declares its independence from Pakistan to form Bangladesh and the Bangladesh Liberation War begins.
  • 1975 – The Biological Weapons Convention comes into force.
  • 1979 – Anwar al-Sadat, Menachem Begin and Jimmy Carter sign the Egypt-Israel Peace Treaty in Washington, D.C.
  • 1982 – A groundbreaking ceremony for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial is held in Washington, D.C.
  • 1998 – During the Algerian Civil War, the Oued Bouaicha massacre sees fifty-two people, mostly infants, killed with axes and knives.
  • 2010 – The South Korean Navy corvette Cheonan is torpedoed, killing 46 sailors. After an international investigation, the President of the United Nations Security Council blames North Korea.

People (Births)

  • 1879 – Waldemar Tietgens, German rower (d. 1917).
  • 1886 – Hugh Mulzac, Vincentian-American soldier and politician (d. 1971).
  • 1900 – Angela Maria Autsch, German nun, died in Auschwitz helping Jewish prisoners (d. 1941).
  • 1908 – Franz Stangl, Austrian-German SS officer (d. 1971).
  • 1914 – William Westmoreland, American general (d. 2005).
  • 1915 – Lennart Strandberg, Swedish sprinter (d. 1989).
  • 1923 – Gert Bastian, German general and politician (d. 1992).
  • 1925 – Edward Graham, Baron Graham of Edmonton, English soldier and politician (d. 2020).
  • 1937 – Barbara Jones, American sprinter.
  • 1953 – Tatyana Providokhina, Russian runner.
  • 1965 – Violeta Szekely, Romanian runner.
  • 1968 – Laurent Brochard, French cyclist.
  • 1985 – Matt Grevers, American swimmer.

People (Deaths)

  • 929 – Wang Du, Chinese warlord and governor (jiedushi).
  • 1858 – John Addison Thomas, American lieutenant, engineer, and politician, 3rd United States Assistant Secretary of State (b. 1811).
  • 1862 – Uriah P. Levy, American commander (b. 1792).
  • 1881 – Roman Sanguszko, Polish general and activist (b. 1800).
  • 1885 – Anson Stager, American general and businessman, co-founded Western Union (b. 1825).
  • 1940 – Spyridon Louis, Greek runner (b. 1873).
  • 1954 – Charles Perrin, French rower (b. 1875).
  • 1966 – Victor Hochepied, French swimmer (b. 1883).
  • 2005 – James Callaghan, English lieutenant and politician, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (b. 1912).
  • 2008 – Manuel Marulanda, Colombian rebel leader (b. 1930).
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