Today In History 7/26

Published 4:00 am Wednesday, July 26, 2023


Francisco Pizarro receives royal charter for the west coast of South America.


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Francisco Pizarro orders the death of the last Sapa Inca Emperor, Atahualpa.


The U.S. Postal Service was established by the Second Continental Congress, and Benjamin Franklin was named the first postmaster general.


The Surrey Iron Railway, arguably the world’s first public railway, opens in south London.


Richard Wagner’s opera “Parsifal” premieres in Bayreuth, Germany.


Vitascope Hall, 1st permanent for-profit movie theatre, opens in New Orleans.


The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is born when U.S. Attorney General Charles Bonaparte orders a group of newly hired federal investigators to report to Chief Examiner Stanley W. Finch of the Department of Justice.


Los Angeles experienced its first major smog as a “hellish cloud” descended on the city, limiting visibility to three blocks; the noxious smog was later blamed, in part, on the exhaust from vehicles.


Declaration of Potsdam: US, Britain and China demand the unconditional surrender of Japan during WWII.


In the 11th hour of World War II, Winston Churchill is forced to resign as British prime minister following his party’s electoral defeat by the Labour Party.


President Harry S. Truman signs the National Security Act, which becomes one of the most important pieces of Cold War legislation. 


U.S. President Harry S. Truman signed Executive Order 9981, which abolished racial segregation in the U.S. military.


Fidel Castro attacked the Moncada military fortress in Santiago de Cuba, and, although unsuccessful, the event later inspired the 26th of July Movement, which culminated in the overthrow of Fulgencio Batista’s regime in Cuba.


Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser seized control of the Suez Canal and nationalized it, sparking a crisis that later resulted in French, British, and Israeli forces briefly occupying parts of Egypt.


The Italian passenger liner Andrea Doria sank after colliding with the Stockholm off the coast of Nantucket in the Atlantic Ocean; 51 people were killed.


The Republic of Maldives gained its independence from Britain.


Van McCoy’s “The Hustle” is the #1 song in America.


Expos Pete Rose ties Ty Cobb with his 3,502nd single.


The Americans with Disabilities Act was signed into law by President George H.W. Bush; the legislation provided civil rights protections to individuals with physical and mental disabilities and guaranteed them equal opportunity in public accommodations, employment, transportation, state and local government services, and telecommunications.


In response to an explosion of violence in the Darfur region, the European Union advocated that the United Nations institute economic sanctions against Sudan.


At the Democratic National Convention, Hillary Clinton was officially nominated for president, becoming the first woman to top the presidential ticket of a major party in the United States.


American actress Olivia de Havilland, who won Academy Awards for her performances in To Each His Own and The Heiress, died at age 104.