It happened today – this day in history – June 26

1267: The Inquisition forms in Rome under Pope Clement IV.

1284: According to the Lüneburg manuscript, a piper leads 130 children of Hamelin away.

1483: The Duke of Gloucester becomes Richard III after Parliament declares Edward V is illegitimate.

1498: The toothbrush is invented in China using boar bristles.

1541: Francisco Pizarro, Spanish conquistador who conquered the Inca Empire is assassinated in Lima, Peru by the son of his former companion Diego Almagro.

1718: Tsarevich Alexei Petrovich of Russia, Peter the Great’s son, mysteriously dies after being sentenced to death by his father for plotting against him.

1830: Death of George IV aged 67. William IV succeeds him as king.

1843: Hong Kong is proclaimed a British Crown colony.

1870: Richard Wagner’s opera “Valkyrie”, the second in his Ring Cycle, premieres in Munich.

1893: Birth of blues singer and guitarist Big Bill Broonzy in Mississippi.

1898: Birth of aircraft designer Willy Messerschmitt in Frankfurt.

1900: Japan mobilizes 20,000 troops to help put down the Boxer uprising in China and to advance their long-term interest in gaining land and power in mainland Asia.

1902: The Order of Merit is instituted by Edward VII.

1909: The Victoria and Albert Museum opens in London.

1912: Gustav Mahler’s 9th Symphony premieres in Vienna.

1917: The first US troops arrive in France during the First World War.

1924: US troops leave Dominican Republic after eight years of occupation.

1925: Jim Barnes wins the British Open at Prestwick Golf Club.

1934: Germany and Poland sign a non-aggression treaty.

1937: The test cricket debut of Len Hutton v New Zealand at Lord’s, He’s out for a duck in the first innings and scores 1 in the second.

1941: Lithuanian fascists massacre 2,300 Jews in Kovno.

1945: The United Nations Charter is signed by 50 nations in San Francisco.

1959: The Queen and President Eisenhower inaugurate the St Lawrence Seaway in Canada, connecting the Great Lakes to the Atlantic. On the same day, Ingemar Johansson TKOs Floyd Patterson in Round 3 for the world heavyweight boxing title.

1960: British Somalliland (Somalia) gains independence from Britain.

1963: President Kennedy inspires the people of West Germany with a morale-boosting speech of defiance to the Soviet Union, despite the fact that his “Ich bin ein Berliner” statement, when translated, actually means “I am a doughnut”.


1968: Iwo Jima and the Bonin Islands are returned to Japan by the US after 23 years.

1970: Riots break out in Londonderry after it is revealed Mid-Ulster MP Bernadette Devlin has been arrested. On the same day, two young girls die in a premature explosion in Derry after their father, a member of the IRA, was making an incendiary device, presumably for use against the British Army.

1972: David Bowie records John, I’m Only Dancing at Olympic Studios in London with The Spiders From Mars and Lou Reed on rhythm guitar.

1973: Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards and his girlfriend Anita Pallenberg are arrested at their home in Chelsea on drugs and gun charges.

1975: Prime Minister Indira Gandhi declares a state of emergency in India.

1977: Elvis Presley makes his last ever live stage appearance at the Market Square Arena in Indianapolis. On the same day, the Yorkshire Ripper kills 16 year-old shop assistant Jayne MacDonald in Leeds, changing public perception of the killer as she was the first victim who was not a prostitute.

1978: Brittany separatists bomb the Palace of Versailles in France.

1983: Singles chart:

  1. Baby Jane – Rod Stewart
  2. Every Breath You Take – The Police
  3. Flashdance (What A Feeling) – Irene Cara
  4. Moonlight Shadow – Mike Oldfield
  5. I Guess That’s Why They Call It The Blues – Elton John
  6. China Girl – David Bowie
  7. IOU – Freeez
  8. Dead Giveaway – Shalamar
  9. Bad Boys – Wham!
  10. When We Were Young – Bucks Fizz
1983: The Police – Synchronicity

Album chart:

  1. Synchronicity – The Police
  2. Thriller – Michael Jackson
  3. Let’s Dance – David Bowie
  4. Secret Messages – ELO
  5. Body Wishes – Rod Stewart
  6. Crises – Mike Oldfield
  7. In Your Eyes – George Benson
  8. Twice As Kool – Kool and the Gang
  9. True – Spandau Ballet
  10. Too Low For Zero – Elton John

1986: Entrepreneur Richard Branson sets off on his second attempt to claim the transatlantic crossing record aboard the powerboat Virgin Challenger II.

1992: Denmark beat Germany 2-0 to win the European Championship in Sweden. They had been eliminated from the competition by finishing second to Yugoslavia in their qualifying group but civil war in the Balkans had seen Yugoslavia replaced by the Danes in the finals.

1993: The US launches a cruise missile attack targeting Baghdad intelligence headquarters in retaliation for a thwarted assassination attempt against former President George Bush Sr.

1994: PLO leader Yasser Arafat returns to Gaza after 27 years.

1995: Gunmen ambush Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, who escapes unharmed. On the same day, Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani deposes his father Khalifa bin Hamad al-Thani, the Emir of Qatar, in a bloodless coup.

1996: Irish Journalist Veronica Guerin is shot in her car while in traffic in the outskirts of Dublin. On the same day, Gareth Southgate misses the crucial penalty as England lose to Germany in a shoot-out at Euro 96.

1997: Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, the first book in the series, is published.

2003: Marc-Vivien Foé, West Ham and Cameroon midfielder dies of heart failure aged 28.

2013: Kevin Rudd defeats Julia Gillard in a leadership battle to become Australian Prime Minister.

2014: Uruguay’s Luis Suárez is expelled from the 2014 FIFA World Cup for biting Italian defender Giorgio Chiellini during a match.

2015: Isis claims responsibility when a gunman opens fire at a beach resort in Sousse, Tunisia, killing 38.

2016: The city of Falluja in Iraq is freed from Islamic State control.

2017: Former N-Dubz rapper Dappy (Costas Contostavlos) is given a nine-month suspended jail sentence for arming himself with a butcher’s knife during a row with his partner. On the same day, Prime Minister Theresa May strikes a deal with the DUP that allows the minority Tory government to rule in return for a guaranteed £1billion in funding. Also, Brazilian state prosecutors file corruption charges against President Michel Temer.

2020: Singer Tami Lynn dies.

2021: Health Minister Matt Hancock resigns after photos emerge of him kissing an aide (and not social distancing). On the same day, the largest-ever pile up in the Tour de France is caused by a spectator with a banner.

Aubrey Plaza (Photo: Gage Skidmore)

BIRTHDAYS: Dave Grusin, composer/pianist, 89; Georgie Fame (Clive Powell) singer/organist, 80; Wolfgang Weber, German footballer, 79; John Pratt, footballer, 75; Robert Davi, actor, 72; Gordon McQueen, footballer, 71; Mick Jones, guitarist/singer (The Clash/Big Audio Dynamite) 68; Mervyn Day, goalkeeper, 68; Chris Isaak, singer/actor, 67; Terri Nunn, singer (Berlin), 62; Harriet Wheeler, singer-songwriter (The Sundays) 60; Paolo Maldini, Italian footballer, 55; Colin Greenwood, bassist (Radiohead) 54; Chris O’Donnell, actor, 53; Paul Thomas Anderson, director/screenwriter, 53; Nick Offerman, actor/comedian/writer, 53; Sean Hayes, actor, 53; Gretchen Wilson, country artist, 50; Emma Spencer, TV presenter/horse racing journalist, 45; Nathan Followill, drummer, (Kings of Leon) 44; Jason Schwartzman, actor, 43; Aubrey Plaza, actress, 39; Samir Nasri, French footballer, 36; Andre Gray, footballer, 32; Ariana Grande (Gomez), singer, 30; Harley Quinn Smith, actress, 24; Fran Bentley, goalkeeper, 22.