This Day in History

May 26


17      recalled to Rome by the emperor Tiberius, General Germanicus Julius Caesar returns as a conquering hero over a number of German tribes   2000
604      Augustine of Canterbury, first Archbishop of Canterbury, dies, age unknown   1413
735      English historian and theologian Bede dies, age around 62   1282
946      Edmund I, King of the English, dies after a reign of 5 years, age about 25   1071
1293      earthquake strikes Kamakura, Japan, killing an estimated 30,000   724
1644      Beijing falls to Manchu invaders bringing the Ming Dynasty to an end   373
1647      Alse Young is hanged in Hartford, Connecticut, age about 47—first recorded person executed as a witch in the American colonies   370
1703      English politician and diarist Samuel Pepys dies in Surrey, age 70   314
1822      Grue Church fire kills at least 113—worst fire disaster in the history of Norway   195
1839      Andrew Jackson signs into law The Indian Removal Act leading in the next few years to the 'Trail of Tears'   178
1857      Dred Scott is emancipated by the Blow family, his original owners   160
1864      Montana is organized as a U.S. Territory—becomes a state in 1889   153
1865      Confederate Texan forces formally surrender   152
1868      Senate impeachment trial of president Andrew Johnson ends—found not guilty by one vote   149
1869      Boston University is chartered by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts   148
1896      Dow Jones Industrial Average first published—40.94   121
1897      Dracula by Irish author Bram Stoker published in the U.K.   120
1908      first major oil strike in the Middle East is made near Masjed Soleyman in Persia   109
1924      Irish-born, German-raised American composer, cellist, and conductor Victor August Herbert dies, age 65   93
1934      Zephyr first diesel-powered train—Denver to Chicago   83
1940      Igor Sikorsky performs the first successful single-rotor helicopter flight   77
1951      American physicist, astronaut, and first American woman in space Sally Kristen Ride born in Los Angeles   66
1954      Kamal el-Malakh discovers Khufu's ship in a pit next to the Great Pyramid   63
1959      Harvey Haddix pitches 12 perfect innings before losing 1-0 in the 13th   58
1981      launch of Soyuz T-4—100th person to fly into space   36
1983      7.8 earthquake in the Sea of Japan produces a 10 m (33 ft) tsunami killing 104 on the northeast coast of Japan   34
2004      Soviet and Russian astronomer Nikolay Stepanovich Chernykh dies, age 72   13
2008      American film director, producer, and actor Sydney Irwin Pollack dies, age 73   9
2008      IBM produced computer, Roadrunner, is first to exceed a petaflop   9
2008      20 days of torrential rains with landslides and flooding in Eastern and Southern China begin—more than 200 die and 1.3 million evacuated   9
2010      Art Linkletter, the only TV personality to have five simultaneous network prime-time shows, dies in Los Angeles, age 97   7
2010      "first light" for the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) Boeing 747   7
2015      American astronomer Robert Paul "Bob" Kraft dies in Santa Cruz, California, age 87   2
2016      Norway becomes the first nation to commit to a policy of zero deforestation   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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