May 26 in History Events, Birthdays, & News

To know what happened today in history, famous events occurred,  famous birthdays, death day, legend quotes, and historical news on May 26.


Events on May 26

735 CE The Venerable Bede, English scholar, monk, historian and writer, dies shortly after completing his translation of St John into Anglo-Saxon.

1739 Afghanistan separates from the Indian empire as agreed upon in a treaty between Mughal Emperor Muhammad Shah and Persian ruler Nadir Shah.

1791 The French Assembly forces Louis XVI to hand over the crown and state assets.

1805 Napoleon Bonaparte was crowned King of Italy in Milan Cathedral.

1942 British Prime Minister Winston Churchill signs a military pact with Russian leader Joseph Stalin.

Who promises him “close collaboration after the war”.

1969 John Lennon and Yoko Ono begin a “bed-in” for world peace and invite the media to film them in Room 1742 of the Hotel de la Reine, Montreal, Canada.

1975 American stuntman Evel Knievel suffers severe spinal injuries in Britain when he crashes while attempting to leap 13 buses in his car.

1988 Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical Cats opens in Moscow with a British and American cast.

Famous Birthdays on May 26

Al Jolson  1886, American singer and entertainer who starred in the first movie with sound.

The Jazz Singer.

John Wayne 1907, American actor who appeared in more than 250 films winning an Oscar for True Gnt.

Peter Cushing 1913, British actor best-known for his roles in horror films such as The Curse of Frankenstein and Dracula.

Peggy Lee 1920, American singer-songwriter and actress with a distinctive smoky voice.

Stevie Nicks 1948, American singer-songwriter and member of Fleetwood Mac but also has a successful solo career.

Quotes from Legend

The history of the World is the World’s court of justice.

- Friedrich von Schiller, German dramatist, on this day, 1789.

Quotes from Legend

I am not like a lady at the court of Versailles who said, “What a dreadful pity that the bother at the tower of Babel should have got language all mixed up, but for that, everyone would always have spoken French.”

Voltaire, French dramatist in a letter to Catherine the Great, Empress of Russia, 1767.

Historical News on May 26

US Civil War Over, Half a Million Dead

US civil war over half a million dead on May 26
US civil war over, half a million dead on May 26

1865 The last organized resistance in the US civil war ended today when General Kirby Smith surrendered Confederate forces west of the Mississippi.

Resistance east of the Mississippi ended on May 4, following General Robert E. Lee’s surrender to Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox on April 9.

The Confederate navy still holds the port of Galveston in Texas.

The war has torn America, half a million are dead and the South is crippled.

President Lincoln’s death is a severe loss to the post-war healing process, he called for generous reconciliation in his last speech, three days after Appomattox.

President Andrew Johnson is instigating plans for amnesty and to bring the rebel states back into Congress.

Impeached President Just Survives Defeat

1868 The US senate today found impeached US President Andrew Johnson not guilty by only one vote.

On February 21 Johnson defied last year’s Tenure of Office Act, which Congress passed over his veto last year, by firing secretary of war Edwin M. Stanton who refused to go, barricading himself in his office.

Three days later Congress voted to impeach the President.

The Senate trial began on March 13 through the charges fell short of the “high crimes and misdemeanours” required for impeachment.

Southern Democrat Johnson’s main crime was reconstructing the defeated rebel states “according to his own will”.

Republican congressmen demanded much tougher measures.

It is their “Radical Reconstruction” plans that are now going ahead.

Pepys Leaves Coded Diaries

1703 Samuel Pepys, a distinguished public servant in King Charles II’s government, died at the age of 70.

He was twice secretary of the admiralty and was elected to Parliament in 1679.

He was interested in science and became president of the Royal Society in 1684.

He was forced into retirement when William III took the throne. Pepys leaves a diary that friends say ought to be published.

It is a lively, very candid account of daily London life from 1660 to 1669, when Pepys stopped writing, fearing for his eyesight.

But Pepys was nothing if not prudent, his diaries are written in code.

French Win New 24-Hour Race

1923 Watched by large crowds French drivers Lagache and Leonard won the new Le Mans 24-hours endurance race today, covering 1,373 miles (2,209 km) at an average speed of 57 mph (92 kph).

The drivers were paired, taking turns at the wheel.

Motor racing has come far since the first race in 1894 between Paris and Rouen, when the winner averaged 14 mph (22.5 kph) over the 78-mile (125.5 km) course.

Open-road racing was banned in Europe following an accident in 1903.

The Le Mans track opened in 1906, and there are now circuits in most western countries.

Makeshift Navy Evacuates British From Dunkirk

makeshift navy evacuates british from dunkirk on May 26
makeshift navy evacuates British from Dunkirk on May 26

1940 A strange armada of more than 700 boats set sail from Britain across the English Channel today as virtually everything that would float made for the beaches at Dunkirk in France to rescue 3,80,000 trapped Allied troops.

The awesome Nazi war machine has taken just 10 days to sweep aside Allied defenses in France and Belgium.

In a lighting push through the Ardennes.

German troops cut off the retreating British, French and Belgian armies now facing annihilation on the beaches.

Helped by RAF air cover, the besieged troops are fighting a fierce rearguard battle to defend the beaches, but the makeshift flotilla of destroyers, ferries, fishing boats and pleasure craft are coming under heavy fire as they pick up the exhausted troops.

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