This Day in History

September 26


1087      William II (Rufus) is crowned King of England—will reign for 13 years   931
1345      Battle of Warns results in a victory for the Frisians over invading Holand forces   673
1580      Francis Drake returns to Portsmouth after circumnavigating the world   438
1687      Ottoman Turk ammunition dump inside the Parthenon explodes severely damaging the stucture and statues   331
1789      Thomas Jefferson is appointed the first U.S. Secretary of State   229
1789      John Jay is appointed the first Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court   229
1802      Slovene mathematician, physicist and artillery officer Jurij Bartolomej Vega dies, age 48   216
1820      American frontiersman Daniel Boone dies, age 85   198
1820      Robert Gibbon Johnson proves tomatoes are not poisonous by eating several on the steps of the courthouse in Salem, New Jersey   198
1844      first official international cricket match takes place in New York City—Canada beats the U.S. team by 23 runs   174
1868      German mathematician and astronomer August Ferdinand Möbius dies in Leipzig, age 77   150
1877      German polymath, linguist, mathematician, physicist, and neohumanist Hermann Günther Grassmann dies, age 68   141
1908      Cubs pitcher Edward Marvin "Big Ed" Reulbach pitches two shutouts in one day against the Brooklyn Dodgers   110
1918      Allied forces launch offensive operations on Germany's main west defensive Hindenburg Line   100
1943      Operation Jaywick:  Australian raiders place limpet mines on Japanese ships in Singapore harbor—sink or seriously damage seven   75
1945      Hungarian composer Béla Barto&oacte;k dies in New York City, age 64   73
1950      UN forces liberate Seoul, Korea   68
1954      Japanese train ferry Toya Maru sinks in a typhoon—approximately 1150 perish   64
1960      first televised presidential candidate debate—Kennedy and Nixon   58
1962      Jed Clampett shoots at some food and up comes bubbling crude—"The Beverly Hillbillies" moves to California on CBS for nine seasons   56
1964      Minnow wrecks on an uncharted desert isle—due to the courage of the fearless crew no one lost   54
1969      Abbey Road, the last recorded album by the Beatles, is released in the UK   49
1977      Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in northern Ukraine is commissioned   41
1981      Astros pitcher Nolan Ryan throws his fifth no-hitter breaking the record held by Sandy Koufax—Ryan will pitch two more   37
1983      U.S. loses the America's Cup for the first time in 132 years when Australia II beats Liberty   35
1983      launch vehicle for Soyuz T-10-1 explodes on the pad just prior to launch—crew of two are saved by the launch escape system   35
1996      Shannon Lucid returns to earth with U.S. and woman's endurance record of 188 days in space—broken in 2007   22
2000      Brazilian guitarist and guitar composer Baden Powell de Aquino (Baden Powell) dies in Rio de Janeiro, age 63   18
2000      ferry Express Samina sinks off the coast of the island of Paros—80 out of over 500 passengers die in one of Greece's worst sea disasters   18
2001      last Star Trek series, Enterprise premiers   17
2002      Senegalese ferry MV Le Joola capsizes and sinks—1863 die in second-worst non-military maritime disaster   16
2003      8.3 earthquake strikes off the coast of Hokkaido, Japan generates a 4 m tsunami—849 injured   15
2004      Seattle ends San Francisco 49er's NFL record streak of 456 games without being shutout   14
2005      English television scriptwriter and author of more than 100 children's books Helen Cresswell dies, age 71   13
2005      first of the new series of GPS satellites launched   13
2006      American professional golfer John Byron Nelson, Jr. dies, age 94   12
2008      American actor, film director, producer, IndyCar driver, entrepreneur, activist, and philanthropist Paul Leonard Newman dies, age 83   10
2008      Swiss pilot and inventor Yves Rossy becomes the first man to cross the English Channel with his jet-powered wings   10
2010      American film and stage actress, visual artist, and activist Gloria Frances Stuart (born Gloria Stewart) dies in Los Angeles, age 100   8
2013      Mariano Rivera pitches his last inning in Yankee Stadium—retires with the MLB record of 652 saves   5
2014      American astronomer and pioneer in infrared astronomy Gerald "Gerry" Neugebauer dies in Tucson, Arizona, age 82   4
2016      Columbian government and Marxist rebels sign a peace accord in Cartegena ending a 52-year guerrilla war   2

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.

day before yesterdayyesterday tomorrowday after tomorrow