This Day in History

March 26


1027      Conrad II is crowned Holy Roman Emperor in the Old St. Peter's Basilica in Rome—will reign 12 years   990
1484      first printed version of Aesop's Fables in English is published by William Caxton   533
1636      University of Utrecht, Netherlands, founded   381
1649      governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony John Winthrop dies in Boston, age 61   368
1753      Anglo-American physicist Benjamin Thompson (Count Rumford) is born in Woburn, Massachusetts   264
1797      Scottish geologist James Hutton dies, age 70   220
1812      7.7 earthquake devastates Caracas, Venezula—estimated 15,000-20,000 perish   205
1827      composer Ludwig van Beethoven dies, age 56   190
1830      Book of Mormon published in Palmyra, New York   187
1831      Richard Allen, founder of the African Methodist Episcopal Church in 1816, dies in Philadelphia, age 71   186
1874      birth of poet Robert Lee Frost in San Francisco   143
1892      American poet Walt Whitman dies in Camden, New Jersey, age 72   125
1902      English-born South African explorer and businesmman Cecil John Rhodes dies, age 48   115
1910      French astronomer who discovered 99 asteroids Auguste Honoré Charlois is killed by an ex-brother-in-law, age 46   107
1915      first Stanley Cup won by Pacific Coast Hockey Association Vancouver Millionaires over a National Hockey Association Ottawa Senators   102
1923      French stage and early film actress Sarah Bernhardt dies in Paris, age 78   94
1931      Swissair is founded—ceases operations 2002   86
1953      Jonas Salk announces a polio vaccine   64
1955      'Ballad of Davy Crockett' becomes #1 record in the U.S.   62
1958      Explorer 3 launched by U.S.—its third and fifth overall artificial satellite   59
1971      East Pakistan declares its independence from Pakistan—leads to the establishment of Bangladesh nine months later   46
1975      Biological Weapons Convention banning biological weapons goes into effect   42
1976      Elizabeth II sends first royal e-mail   41
1985      Schengen Agreement is signed to provide for the removal of border controls between cooperating European countries   32
1999      "Melissa worm" infects Microsoft word processing and e-mail systems around the world   18
2003      American politician and sociologist Daniel Patrick Moynihan dies, age 76   14
2009      Charles Simonyi becomes the first space tourist into space twice with the launch of Soyuz TMA-14   8
2011      American engineer and computer networks pioneer Paul Baran dies in Palo Alto, California, age 84   6
2013      president Obama names Julia Pierson as the first woman to head the Secret Service   4
2015      Swedish poet Tomas Gösta Tranströmer dies in Stockholm, age 83   2
2015      German computer scientist Friedrich Ludwig Bauer dies, age 90   2
2016      American poet and writer of fiction and essays about the outdoors James "Jim" Harrison dies, age 78   1
2016      contact is abruptly lost with JAXA X-ray satellite ASTRO-H (Hitomi) about 5 weeks after launch   1

Dates are always somewhat ambiguous, the exact date depends on whether local time is used (and local time where) or Universal Time—for events on the surface of the Earth, local time is probably best but for an event that spans across the planet, it is not clear which local time to use!. For events in space it is more ambiguous. Further for dates after the original adoption of the Gregorian calendar but before it became accepted in different countries, the date given may be a Julian date or a Gregorian date depending upon where the event occurred. And, even the year may be different since the first of the year has not always been January 1 in all countries! The attempt is to use a date that is the one that is typically given.

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