Today in History: October 26 | HistoryNet MENU

Today in History: October 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
October 26

1774 The first Continental Congress, which protested British measures and called for civil disobedience, concludes in Philadelphia.
1795 General Paul Barras resigns his commission as head of France’s Army of the Interior to become head of the Directory; his second-in-command becomes the army’s commander—Napoleon Bonaparte.
1825 The first boat on the Erie Canal leaves Buffalo, N.Y.
1881 Three Earp brothers and Doc Holliday have a shootout with the Clantons and McLaurys at the O.K. Corral in Tombstone, Arizona Territory.
1905 Norway signs a treaty of separation with Sweden. Norway chooses Prince Charles of Denmark as the new king; he becomes King Haakon VII.
1918 Germany’s supreme commander, General Erich Ludendorff, resigns, protesting the terms to which the German Government has agreed in negotiating the armistice. This sets the stage for his later support for Adolf Hitler and the Nazis, who claim that Germany did not lose the war on the battlefield but were “stabbed in the back” by politicians.
1942 The Japanese attack Guadalcanal, sinking two U.S. carriers.
1942 The U.S. Navy aircraft carrier Hornet is sunk in the Battle of Santa Cruz Island, in the South Pacific.
1944 The Battle of Leyte Gulf ends with an overwhelming U.S. victory as combined American and Australian forces cripple the Imperial Japanese Navy. Fought over four days in waters near the Philippine islands of Leyte, Samar, and Luzon, it is the first battle in which Japanese aircraft carry out organized kamikaze attacks and will come to be regarded as the largest naval battle of World War II. [From MHQ—The Quarterly Journal of Military History]
1950 A reconnaissance platoon for a South Korean division reaches the Yalu River. They are the only elements of the U.N. force to reach the river before the Chinese offensive pushes the whole army down into South Korea.
1955 The Village Voice is first published, backed in part by Norman Mailer.
1955 Ngo Dinh Diem declares himself Premier of South Vietnam.
1957 The Russian government announces that Marshal Georgy Zhukov, the nation’s most prominent military hero, has been relieved of his duties as Minister of Defense. Khrushchev accuses Zhukov as promoting his own “cult of personality” and sees him as a threat to his own popularity.
1958 The first New York – Paris transatlantic jet passenger service is inaugurated by Pan Am, while the first New York – London transatlantic jet passenger service is inaugurated by BOAC.
1967 Mohammad Reza Pahlavi crowns himself Emperor of Iran and his wife Farah as Empress.
1970 Garry Trudeau’s comic strip Doonesbury first appears.
1979 The President of South Korea, Park Chung-hee, is asssasinated by Kim Jae-kyu, head of the country’s Central intelligence Agency; Choi Kyu-ha is named acting president.
1994 Israel and Jordan sign a peace treaty.
2001 The USA PATRIOT Act is signed into law by Pres. George W. Bush, greatly expanding intelligence and legal agencies’ ability to utilize wiretaps, records searches and surveillance.
2002 Russian Spetsnaz storm the Moscow Theatre, where Chechen terrorists had taken the audience and performers hostage three days earlier; 50 terrorists and 150 hostages die in the assault.
Born on October 26
1800 Count Helmuth Karl Von Moltke, a Prussian Field Marshal, whose reorganization of the Prussian Army lead to military victories which allowed the unification of Germany.
1854 Charles William Post, food manufacturer, creator of “Grape Nuts” and “Post Toasties.”
1879 Leon Trotsky, a leader of the Bolshevik Revolution.
1902 Beryl Markham, aviator and writer.
1911 Mahalia Jackson, gospel singer.
1916 Francois Mitterrand, French leader.
1919 Mohammed Reza Pahlevi, the Shah of Iran who was overthrown in 1979 and died in Egypt
1944 Pat Conroy, novelist (The Prince of Tides).
1947 Hillary Rodham Clinton, First Lady of the United States (1993–2001), Senator from New York (2001–2009) and US Secretary of State (2009–2013).
1953 Keith Strickland, songwriter, musician; guitarist with The B-52s.
1967 Keith Urban, singer, songwriter, musician; “Golden Road” (2002) named biggest country hit of the decade 2000–2010 by Billboard magazine.