- It happened today – this day in history – October 26 - 26/10/2020
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1370: Building begins on the Bastille in Paris.
1500: Pedro Alvares Cabral is the first European to discover Brazil and claims it for Portugal.
1521: French King Francois I declares war on Spain.
1616: Death of Miguel de Cervantes y Saavedra, author of Don Quixote, from cirrhosis at 68.
1659: Lord Protector Richard Cromwell disbands parliament.
1671: Charles II sits in on parliament.
1692: Edward Bishop is jailed for proposing flogging as a cure for witchcraft in Salem, Massachusetts.
1769: Madame du Barry becomes King Louis XV’s “official” mistress.
1809: Napoleon beats Austria Archduke Karl at the Battle of Eckmuhl.
1870: Birth of Lenin (Vladimir Ilich Ulyanov).
1876: Tchaikovsky completes his ballet “Swan Lake”.
1898: US President William McKinley orders a blockade of Cuban harbours.
1908: Death of prime minister Henry Campbell-Bannerman aged 71.
1915: The Second Battle of Ypres begins on the Western Front. On the same day, Germany is the first nation to use poison chlorine gas for military purposes.
1916: Chief of Staff of the Irish Volunteers Eóin MacNeill issues the countermanding order in Dublin to try to stop what would become the Easter Rising.
1945: The concentration camp at Sachsenhausen is liberated. On the same day, upon being informed that a planned counter-attack in Berlin never happened, Hitler flies into a rage, denounces the German Army and concedes World War II is lost. Meanwhile, SS chief Heinrich Himmler secretly meets with Count Folke Bernadotte of Sweden, asking him to act as an intermediary for a surrender offer to the Western Allies. The Allies do not take the offer seriously.
1967: Martial Law goes into effect in Greece.
1969: The first human eye transplant is performed. On the same day, Joe Frazier KOs Dave Zyglewick in Round 1 for heavyweight boxing title and Bernadette Devlin, the youngest woman ever to be elected to Westminster, makes a controversial maiden speech in the House of Commons concerning the situation in Northern Ireland .
1972: An 11-year-old boy is the first to die from a rubber bullet impact in Northern Ireland.
1977: Shimon Peres becomes prime minister of Israel.
1981: More than $3.3 million is stolen from the First National Bank of Arizona in Tucson in the then largest US bank robbery in history.
1983: Stern magazine in Germany announces the discovery of 60 volume personal diaries written by Adolf Hitler. (They turn out to be a hoax).
1990: Lebanon release US hostage Robert Polhill after 39 months.
1994: Michael Moorer beats Evander Holyfield in 12 rounds for the heavyweight boxing title. On the same day, former US President Richard Nixon dies aged 81, four days after suffering a stroke.
1995: George Foreman beats Axel Schulz in 12 rounds for the heavyweight boxing title in Las Vegas.
2003: Songwriter Felice Bryant died of cancer. She wrote many hits with her husband Boudleaux including; The Everly Brothers’, ‘Bye Bye Love’, ‘All I Have To Do Is Dream’ and ‘Wake Up Little Susie’.
2008: It was revealed that singer Tommy Steele took Elvis Presley on a secret tour of London in 1958 after they struck up a friendship. Presley fans had believed the only time Elvis ever set foot in the UK was during a stop-over at Prestwick Airport in Scotland in March 1960.
2012: A 30 year old woman collapses and dies during the London Marathon.
2013: Richie Havens, the folk singer who opened the legendary Woodstock festival, died of a heart attack at 72. On the same day, Manchester United defeat Aston Villa to claim the Premier League title.
2014: David Moyes is sacked as manager of Manchester United.
2017: Romanian coach Ilie Nastase is thrown off the tennis court for insulting British female players during Fed Cup play-off in Constanta.
2018: Liverpool’s Mo Salah is named PFA Player of the Year.
2019: Former Celtic and Scotland captain Billy McNeill dies aged 79.
BIRTHDAYS: Jack Nicholson, actor/screenwriter, 83; Peter Frampton, guitarist/singer/songwriter, 70; Paul Carrack, singer/songwriter, 69; Donald Tusk, former president of the European Commission, 63; Lloyd Honeyghan, former boxer, 60; Sean Lock, comedian, 57; Sheryl Lee, actress, 53; Dion Dublin, football pundit, 51; Shavo Odadjian, bassist, System of a Down, 46; Amber Heard, actress, 34; David Luiz, footballer, 33.