To know what happened today in history, famous events occurred, famous birthdays, death days, legend quotes, and historical news on September 26.
Events on September 26
Famous Birthdays on September 26
Quotes from Legendary
This was no actress, no imitator of women's woes; there was no pretence. It was the real thing.
- Carl van Vechten in Show Business Illustrated, writing on blues singer Bessie Smith, who died today, 1937.
Historical News on September 26
Bessie Dies Singing Mississippi Blues
1937 The Empress of the Blues is dead.
And Bessie Smith’s friends are saying she would still be alive if she’d been white: Miss Smith was hurt in a car smash today in racist Mississippi, and bled to death waiting for an ambulance that simply didn’t bother to hurry.
She was 43.
Bessie Smith learnt to sing in a gospel church in Tennessee, and started her singing career in honky tonk bars.
She got her big chance in 1923 when she went to New York to make a “race record” for sale in the black communities.
She was an instant sensation, and her success quickly spilled across the race barrier.
Bessie Smith is a household name, her records are landmarks of blues and jazz singing.
And now she has died, a victim of prejudice and stupidity.
That’s how the blues were born, and that’s why people like Bessie Smith sing them.
Paul Newman Dies
2008 US movie legend Paul Newman has died from lung cancer, aged 83.
The star of numerous films, including The Sting, Cool Hand Luke and The Color of Money, for which he won an Oscar for Best Actor, Newman was also an entrepreneur and philanthropist, donáting all profits from his food-company, Newman’s Own, to charities.
Temple Of War Takes Direct Hit
1687 The masterpiece of ancient Greek architecture, the Parthenon, has become a casualty of war.
Turkish forces that have besieged the Acropolis were using the old temple as a powder magazine, and today the attacking Venetian army scored a direct hit on it with a mortar bomb.
The powder exploded, blowing off the roof, ruining the frieze-covered walls and damaging much of the marble sculpture.
But still the battle continues. The Parthenon is the temple of Athena, Goddess of War.
It was designed by Ictinus and Callicrates under the direction of the great sculptor Phidias and completed in 432 BCE.
Phidias’s huge image of Athena was destroyed by the Crusaders.
Over the years the Parthenon has been used as a Catholic church, a mosque and a harem.
Johnson Runs Into Drug Shame
1988 Canadian sprinter Ben Johnson flew home in disgrace from the Seoul Olympics today, stripped of his gold medal after failing a drugs test.
Two days ago Johnson was a hero after winning the 100 metres with a new world record.
But tests proved that he’d taken anabolic steroids to boost his strength.
The scandal hit the world’s front pages today, but Johnson isn’t the only one to have failed the drugs tests – so have nine other athletes.
Following the US-led boycott of the Moscow Olympics in 1980 and the inevitable Eastern-bloc boycott of the 1984 Games in Los Angeles, this is the first Olympics since 1976 where east and west have met, and the west has not shone.
Russia has swept up the most medals, and the heroes are the East German swimmers and African long-distance runners.
1977 270 people paid only £59 ($109) to fly from London to New York today on the first flight in Freddie Laker’s Skytrain.
They had queued for 24 hours at London’s Gatwick airport to save £131 ($241).
Single fares cost £190 ($350) on other airlines, This is no-frills travel, with few comforts and meals are extra.
The big airlines had tried to stop the new service.
Laker called it the beginning of a new air travel era.
Australians Win America's Cup
1983 An Australian yacht has won the America’s Cup, at last wrenching the famous trophy from the New York Yacht Club, its home for 132 years.
Australia II, owned by Australian millionaire Alan Bond and skippered by John Bertrand, beat the US yacht Liberty, skippered by Dennis Conner, in the last of seven races off Newport, Rhode Island, today.
The victory was greeted with a national celebration in Australia.
Newport has been the scene of the America’s Cun for 5 years.
Next time the race will be held in Australian waters.