Today in History: December 26 | HistoryNet MENU

Today in History: December 26

What Happened This Day In History.

A chronological timetable of historical events that occurred on this day in history. Historical facts of the day in the areas of military, politics, science, music, sports, arts, entertainment and more. Discover what happened today in history.


Today in History
December 26

1776 After crossing the Delaware River into New Jersey, George Washington leads an attack on Hessian mercenaries at Trenton, and takes 900 men prisoner.
1786 Daniel Shay leads a rebellion in Massachusetts to protest the seizure of property for the non-payment of debt.
1806 Napoleon’s army is checked by the Russians at the Battle of Pultusk.
1862 38 Santee Sioux are hanged in Mankato, Minnesota for their part in the Sioux Uprising in Minnesota. Little Crow has fled the state.
1866 Brig. Gen. Philip St. George Cooke, head of the Department of the Platte, receives word of the Fetterman Fight in Powder River County in the Dakota territory.
1917 As a wartime measure, President Woodrow Wilson places railroads under government control, with Secretary of War William McAdoo as director general.
1925 Six U.S. destroyers are ordered from Manila to China to protect interests in the civil war that is being waged there.
1932 Over 70,000 people are killed in a massive earthquake in China.
1941 General Douglas MacArthur declares Manila an open city in the face of the onrushing Japanese Army.
1943 The German battleship Scharnhorst is sunk by British ships in an Arctic fight.
1944 Advancing Soviet troops complete their encirclement of Budapest in Hungary.
1945 The United States, the Soviet Union and Great Britain end a 10-day meeting, seeking an atomic rule by the UN Council.
1953 The United States announces the withdrawal of two divisions from Korea.
1962 Eight East Berliners escape to West Berlin, crashing through gates in an armor-plated bus.
1966 Dr. Maulana Karenga celebrates the first Kwanzaa, a seven-day African-American celebration of family and heritage.
1979 The Soviet Union flies 5,000 troops to intervene in the Afghanistan conflict.
1982 Time magazine chooses a personal computer as its “Man of the Year”, the first non-human ever to receive the honor.
1991 The Supreme Soviet formally dissolves the Soviet Union.
1996 JonBenet Ramsey, a six-year-old beauty queen, is found beaten and strangled to death in the basement of her family’s home in Boulder, Colorado, one of the most high-profile crimes of the late 20th century in the US.
1996 Workers in South Korea’s automotive and shipbuilding industries begin the largest labor strike in that country’s history, protesting a new law that would make firing employees easier and would curtail the rights of labor groups to organize.
1999 Lothar, a violent, 36-hour windstorm begins; it kills 137 and causes $1.3 billion (US dollars) damage in Central Europe.
2004 A tsunami caused by a 9.3-magnitude earthquake kills more than 230,000 along the rim of the Indian Ocean.
2006 Former U.S. President Gerald R. Ford dies at age 93. Ford was the only unelected president in America’s history.
Born on December 26
1716 Thomas Gray, English poet.
1792 Charles Babbage, English mathematician who perfected the calculating machine.
1891 Henry Miller, American writer.
1893 Mao Tse-tung, founding father of the People’s Republic of China.
1894 Jean Toomer, poet and novelist who figured prominently in the Harlem Renaissance (Cane).
1905 William Loeb III, publisher of the Manchester Union Leader (later The New Hampshire Union Leader), one of the best-known small town newspapers in the US.
1907 Albert Gore Sr., US Senator from Tennessee who was instrumental in sponsoring and pushing through legislation that created America’s Interstate Highway System.
1914 Richard Widmark, actor (Kiss of Death); a member of the Western Performers Hall of Fame.
1921 Steve Allen, radio and TV personality, actor, musician, comedian, writer; hosted The Steve Allen Show and I’ve Got a Secret; won a Grammy for his jazz composition “The Gravy Waltz” (1963).
1924 Frank Broyles, college football player and coach; member of College Football Hall of Fame.
1927 Alan King, comedian, actor, producer, author (How to Pick Up Girls, Night and the CIty).
1939 Phil Spector, record producer; creator of the “Wall of Sound” production method; convicted in 2009 of murdering actress Lana Clarkson, he was sentenced to 19 years to life in prison.
1942 Dan Massey, social activist, author; co-founder and CEO of VenusPlusX.
1945 John Walsh, TV personality, victims’ rights advocate; created America’s Most Wanted TV series after the murder of his son Adam in 1981.
1947 USMC General James T. Conway, commandant of the Marine Corps (2006-10); commanded the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force during the Second Gulf War.
2000 Samuel Sevian, chess prodigy; at age 12 he became the youngest-ever United States International Master.