#TodayInHistory – August 263 min read
August 26 – Some important events on this day.
1071 👉🏼 Battle of Manzikert: Seljuq Turks led by sultan Alp Arslan beat and capture Byzantine Emperor Romanos IV Diogenes
1346 👉🏼 Battle of Crécy, south of Calais in northern France: Edward III’s English longbows defeat Philip VI’s army, cannons used for first time in battle
1498 👉🏼 Michelangelo is commissioned to carve the Pietà.
1748 👉🏼 The first Lutheran denomination in North America, the Pennsylvania Ministerium, is founded in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
1778 👉🏼 The first recorded ascent of Triglav, the highest mountain in Slovenia.
1873 👉🏼 First free kindergarten in the U.S. started by Susan Blow in Carondelet, a suburb of St. Louis, Missouri
1895 👉🏼 Electric generator at Niagara Falls produces first power
1907 👉🏼 Magician and Escape Artist Harry Houdini escapes from chains underwater at Aquatic Park in 57 seconds
1924 👉🏼 The Catastrophe of Smyrna: known as the Asia Minor Catastrophe to Greeks. The Ottoman army expels Greeks and other non-Turks from Asia Minor. (August 13 OS)
1939 👉🏼 Croatia gets autonomous status
1944 👉🏼 Charles de Gaulle marches along the Champs-Elysees, despite coming under fire.
1951 👉🏼 “An American in Paris” with music by George Gershwin, directed by Vincente Minnelli, starring Gene Kelly and Leslie Caron premieres in London (Academy Awards Best Picture 1952)
1959 👉🏼 British Motor Corporation introduces the Morris Mini-Minor, designed by Alec Issigonis, it was only 10 ft long but seated 4 passengers.
The Morris Mini-Minor was built by the British Motor Corporation as a response to the fuel shortages caused by the Suez Canal crisis and launched worldwide in 1959.
Its compact form was designed to give as much room for passengers and luggage as possible. The Mini proved to be tremendously popular and 5.3 million were sold worldwide before production ceased of the model in 2000.
1972 👉🏼 XX Summer Olympic Games open in Munich, West Germany
1981 👉🏼 Voyager 2 takes photos of Saturn’s moon Titan
1985 👉🏼 French government denies knowledge of attack on Rainbow Warrior.
In 1985, French secret service agents planted two bombs and the Greenpeace flagship, the Rainbow Warrior, sinking the vessel and killing Portugal-born Greenpeace photographer Fernando Pereira.
The Rainbow Warrior was in Auckland, New Zealand preparing to sail to Mururoa Atoll to continue protesting against French nuclear testing in the Pacific.
The French government initially denied all knowledge of the operation, but it soon became obvious that they were involved.
Eventually, prime minister Laurent Fabius appeared on television and told a shocked public: “Agents of the DGSE (Secret Service) sank this boat. They acted on orders.”
Following the attack, two DGSE officers, Dominique Prieur and Alain Mafart, were arrested on 24 July. Both were charged with murder, pleaded guilty to manslaughter and were sentenced to 10 years’ imprisonment.
The case caused the French government considerable embarrassment. While the attack was on an international organisation and not New Zealand as such, most Kiwis did not make this distinction.
The fact that it was carried out on New Zealand territory by a supposedly friendly nation caused outrage and seriously compromised relations between New Zealand and France.
1992 👉🏼 Hurricane Andrew makes landfall in Louisiana as Category 3 storm after causing deaths and severe damage in Florida
1996 👉🏼 US President Bill Clinton signs welfare reform into law, representing major shift in welfare policy
2012 👉🏼 A Legionella outbreak in Quebec City, Canada, kills 8 and infects 104
2013 👉🏼 All 25,000 applicants to the University of Liberia fail their university entrance examination