It happened today – this day in history – August 26

Mick Ferris

1346: Edward III’s longbows defeat Philip VI of France’s army at the Battle of Crécy. Cannons are used for the first time in battle.

1498: Michelangelo is commissioned to carve the Pietà in St. Peter’s Basilica, Vatican City.

1676: Birth of Robert Walpole, Britain’s first Prime Minister, in Norfolk.

1743: Antoine-Laurent Lavoisier, father of modern chemistry, is born in Paris.

1819: Birth of Albert von Saksen-Coburg-Gotha, husband of Queen Victoria.

1843: Charles Thurber patents a typewriter.

1846: Felix Mendelssohn’s oratorio “Elijah” premieres at the Birmingham Festival.

1904: Birth of novelist Christopher Isherwood in Cheshire.

1910: Birth of Mother Teresa (Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu) in Skopje.

1914: The 8th German Army and the Russian Narev army engage in the Battle of Tannenberg, which eventually results in a German victory.

1915: German troops overrun Brest-Litovsk, Russia.

1924: The Ottoman army expels Greeks and other non-Turks from Asia Minor.

1937: Franco’s troops conquer Santander in the Spanish Civil War.

1940: Chad is the first French colony to join the Allies.

1942: Japanese troops land on Milne Bay, New Guinea. On the same day, 7,000 Jews are rounded up in Vichy and in Russia the Soviets launch a counter offensive.

1944: Bulgaria announces withdrawal and German troops are to be disarmed.

1950: Australia beats the USA to win the Davis Cup in tennis.

1955: Singles chart:

  1. Rose Marie – Slim Whitman
  2. Learnin’ The Blues – Frank Sinatra
  3. Cool Water – Frankie Laine
  4. Everywhere – David Whitfield
  5. Evermore – Ruby Murray
  6. Every Day Of My Life – Malcolm Vaughan
  7. Indian Love Call – Slim Whitman
  8. The Breeze And I – Caterina Valente
  9. Dreamboat – Alma Cogan
  10. Strange Lady In Town – Frankie Laine

1958: Death of composer Ralph Vaughan Williams aged 85.

1959: The British Motor Corporation introduces the Morris Mini-Minor, designed by Alec Issigonis.

1962: Sherri Finkbine, a TV presenter from Phoenix, Arizona, and a mother of four returned home to a storm of controversy and threats after getting a legal abortion in Sweden. She decided to terminate her fifth pregnancy after discovering that tranquilisers she had taken in the first few weeks of her pregnancy contained the drug Thalidomide.

1962: Duane Eddy – Twistin’ And Twangin’

Album chart:

  1. West Side Story – Original Soundtrack
  2. Pot Luck – Elvis Presley
  3. The Black & White Minstrel Show – The George Mitchell Minstrels
  4. Blue Hawaii – Elvis Presley
  5. South Pacific – Original Soundtrack
  6. Best Of Ball, Barber and Bilk – Kenny Ball, Chris Barber and Acker Bilk
  7. Out Of The Shadows – The Shadows
  8. Golden Age Of Donegan – Lonnie Donegan
  9. It’s Trad Dad – Original Soundtrack
  10. Twistin’ And Twangin’ – Duane Eddy

1967: The Beatles held a press conference at University College in Bangor, North Wales with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. The band announced that they had become disciples of the guru and that they renounced the use of drugs.

1970: Joan Baez, Jimi Hendrix, Joni Mitchell, Donovan, Jethro Tull, Miles Davis, Arrival, Family, Taste, Mungo Jerry, ELP, The Doors, The Who Spirit, The Moody Blues, Chicago, Procol Harum, Sly and the Family Stone and Free appeared over three days at the Isle Of Wight Festival.

1972: The Olympic Games open in Munich, West Germany.

1974: Guinee-Bissau becomes independent of Portugal. On the same day, Soyuz 15 carries two cosmonauts to space station Salyut 3. Also, aviator Chalres Lindbergh dies of lymphoma aged 72.

1975: Talks between the Rhodesian Government and the African National Council collapse acrimoniously.

1977: Uriah Heep, Thin Lizzy, The Sensational Alex Harvey Band, Eddie and the Hot Rods, Golden Earing, Aerosmith, Doobie Brothers, Hawkwind, Racing Cars, John Miles, Graham Parker and The Rumour, The Enid, No Dice and Frankie Miller’s Full House appeared at the three-day Reading Festival.

1981: Voyager 2 takes photos of Saturn’s moon Titan.

1983: Floods destroy most of the old town of Bilbao, Spain.

1985: Zola Budd breaks the world 5,000m record at Crystal Palace.

1994: A man is given the world’s first battery-operated heart in a pioneering operation at Papworth Hospital, Cambs. On the same day, singer Frankie Miller suffered a massive brain haemorrhage in New York. He spent five months in a coma.

1997: Chad Smith, drummer with the Red Hot Chili Peppers was admitted to hospital after crashing his motorbike while driving down Sunset Boulevard.

1999: Michael Johnson of the US breaks the 400m world record with a time of 43.18 seconds.

2004: Singer Laura Branigan died of a brain aneurysm.

2005: Northern Irish politician Gerry Fitt dies aged 79.

2012: 17 villagers in Afghanistan’s Kajaki district are beheaded by an unknown organisation.

2013: All 25,000 applicants to the University of Liberia fail their entrance examination.

2014: Kate Bush made her stage comeback at London’s Hammersmith Apollo to an ecstatic response from fans at her first live concert for 35 years. The 22 planned shows sold out in 15 minutes. On the same day, the Democratic Republic of Congo’s health ministry informs the WHO of an outbreak of Ebola; later confirmed as a different strain to that affecting west Africa.

2015: TV reporter Alison Parker and cameraman Adam Ward are fatally shot live on TV by an ex-colleague in Moneta, Virginia.

2016: San Francisco 49ers player Colin Kaepernick kneels in protest during the US national anthem at San Diego’s Qualcomm Stadium while playing against the San Diego Chargers, objecting to racial injustice and police brutality in the US.

2017: Half a million people take part in a peace march in Barcelona, following terrorist attacks.

2018: Emmerson Mnangagwa is sworn in as President of Zimbabwe. On the same day, Pope Francis asks for forgiveness in a speech on child abuse in Dublin, during first papal visit to Ireland since 1979. Meanwhile Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, former US Vatican Ambassador, claims The Pope knew of and ignored sex abuse allegations against Cardinal Theodore McCarrick. Also, playwright Neil Simon dies aged 91.

2019: At a meeting in Biarritz, the G7 agrees on a $20 million aid package to fight fires in the Amazon. Leonardo DiCaprio’s environmental organization Earth Alliance donates $5million.

BIRTHDAYS: Jet Black (Brian Duffy) drummer (The Stranglers) 82; Nik Turner, saxophonist (Hawkwind) 80; Barbet Schroeder, director, 79; Alison Steadman, actress, 74; Valerie Simpson, songwriter, 72; Steve Wright, Broadcaster, 66; Branford Marsalis, jazz saxophonist, 60; Shirley Manson, singer (Garbage) 54; Chris Boardman, cyclist, 52; Melissa McCarthy, comedian/actress/writer, 50; Macaulay Culkin, child actor, 40; Chris Pine, actor, 40.

Mick Ferris

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