It happened today – this day in history – August 26

1346: Edward III of England, aided by his son Edward the Black Prince, defeated the French at The Battle of Crecy.

1740: Joseph-Michel Montgolfier, pioneer balloonist, was born in Annonay, France. He and his brother created the idea for the hot air balloon by filling paper bags with smoke from the fire and letting them rise to the ceiling.

1819: Prince Albert, Consort to Queen Victoria, was born in Bavaria.

1875: John Buchan, Scottish novelist and statesman, was born in Perth. At the age of 39 he was confined to bed and wrote The 39 Steps. He became Governor General of Canada in 1935 and was created Baron Tweedsmuir.

1930: The Man Of A Thousand Faces, actor Lon Chaney, died.

1936: The BBC transmitted the first high-definition television pictures introduced by its announcer Leslie Mitchell. More than 7,000 people queued to see the pictures from Alexandra Palace on sets at the Olympia Radio Show.

1940: The RAF bombed Berlin for the first time in retaliation for attacks on London.

1952: The Soviet Union announced that the first successful intercontinental ballistic missile tests had taken place.

1978: Charles Boyer, actor who was everyone’s idea of the great French lover, died, aged 78. He took an overdose two days after his wife died.

1978: Cardinal Albino Luciani was elected Pope John Paul I. Within 33 days he was dead.

2012: Tributes poured in from around the world to Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the Moon, who died at the age of 82.

ON THIS DAY LAST YEAR: The guitar that set the Bee Gees on the road to Saturday Night Fever and international disco stardom was to go under the hammer, it was revealed.

BIRTHDAYS: The Duke of Gloucester, 75; Alison Steadman, actress, 73; Howard Clark, former golfer, 65; Steve Wright, disc jockey, 65; Chris Boardman, former cyclist, 51; Melissa McCarthy; actress, 49; Gaynor Faye, actress, 48; Macaulay Culkin, actor, 39; Chris Pine, actor, 39.

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