#TodayInHistory – September 26
September 26 – Some important events on this day.
46 BC 👉🏼 Julius Caesar dedicates a temple to his mythical ancestor Venus Genetrix in accordance with a vow he made at the Battle of Pharsalus
1580 👉🏼 Frances Drake completes circumnavigation of the world, sailing into Plymouth aboard the Golden Hind
1665 👉🏼 Height of the Great Plague of London as 7,165 people die throughout the previous week.
In 1665 and 1666, the last great outbreak of bubonic plague to hit England swept through the capital, London. The outbreak was much smaller in scale than the Black Death of the 14th century, but was still notable for having killed as many as 100,000 people – about a quarter of the city’s population – in eighteen months.
By July 1665 the plague was spreading rapidly in London. Many fled, including the King Charles II, if they were wealthy enough to afford it. Parliament was moved to Oxford University from Westminster Palace. Many of the city’s businesses closed. Diarist Samuel Pepys wrote much about life in the city during the plague, and of empty streets.
By September, as many as 7,000 people a week were dying, and many were thrown into mass graves. The true toll was likely to be much higher, since the deaths of poor were not recorded.
The University of Cambridge closed down during the outbreak, forcing a young Isaac Newton to continue his studies from home – during this time he expanded significantly on his new idea about the laws of gravity, among other things.
By November the outbreak started to taper off, and the King returned in February the next year when it was considered to be safe enough. Disaster would strike London again in 1666, with much of it being destroyed in the Great Fire of London that September.
1687 👉🏼 Acropolis in Athens attacked by Venetian army trying to eject Turks, damaging the Parthenon
1687 👉🏼 City council of Amsterdam votes to support William of Orange’s invasion of England, which became the Glorious Revolution
1815 👉🏼 Russia, Prussia and Austria sign the Holy Alliance
1901 👉🏼 Great Britain annexes the Ashanti Kingdom and places it under the governor of the Gold Coast (Ghana)
1918 👉🏼 Beginning of the Meuse-Argonne Offensive, more than 1 million American soldiers in the largest and most costly offensive of WWI
1938 👉🏼 Adolf Hitler issues ultimatum to Czech government, demanding Sudenten Land.
“Today, I heard the voice of Adolf Hitler,” Edward Robb Ellis wrote in his diary on this day. He added: “His oratory is so menacing that he chills one’s blood.”
A journalist and author, he is regarded as being the most prolific known diarist in the history of American letters and, like many of his countrymen, he was opposed to the United States becoming involved in another war in Europe, only 20 years after the horrors of the First World War.
His diary entry for this day reads: “Today I heard the voice of Adolf Hitler. Some other people and I sat on a balcony in the Black Hotel [in Oklahoma City] and listened on the radio to what is being called the Munich crisis.
Hitler spoke in German, of course, his words being translated into English as he spoke. He demanded that Czechoslovakia give Germany the Sudenten area of that country, which is inhabited by a German-speaking minority.
Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain has flown from England to Germany to confer with Hitler.
He has been called the Mad Dog of Europe, and now I understand why: His demands are extreme and his oratory so menacing that he chills one’s blood.
The war scare is a reality here in Oklahoma City. People buy the latest editions of newspapers and talk about diplomacy and war. Young men ask one another how they feel about conscription. Young women tremble lest their men be thrust into battle.
I, for one, am a coward and isolationist. Not only do I not want to go to war, but I don’t consider it necessary for the United States to enter the war that seems about to begin.”
However, his hope and many other Americans to stay out of the war were dashed in December, 1941 when Japan launched a surprise attack against the US naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.
1949 👉🏼 Groundbreaking ceremony for the Hollywood sign in Hollywood, Los Angeles; old Hollywoodland sign torn down, reconstruction of a replacement begins with just Hollywood.
Originally erected in 1923 as a billboard for a new residential development, by the 1940s the then Hollywoodland sign was in disrepair. Donated to the city of Los Angeles in 1944, it was in such a state that the city’s Recreation and Parks Commission wanted it torn down. However the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce and local residents resisted and won the day.
It was decided to tear down the old sign and rebuild it but without the “LAND”at the end. Since then it has become an emblem for the film industry and the city. In 1973 it was granted status as a historical cultural monument and it was rebuild once again in 1978 as the world’s largest sign.
1950 👉🏼 Because of forest fire in Br Columbia, blue moon appears in England
1960 👉🏼 Cuban leader Fidel Castro delivers a 4 hour and 29 minute long speech at the United Nations
1969 👉🏼 The Beatles release “Abbey Road” album
1983 👉🏼 Soviet military officer Lt. Col. Stanislav Petrov averts a worldwide nuclear war by judging supposed missile attack from the US an error
2008 👉🏼 Swiss pilot and inventor Yves Rossy becomes first person to fly a jet engine-powered wing across the English Channel.
2009 👉🏼 Typhoon Ketsana (2009) hit the Philippines, China, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and Thailand, causing 700 fatalities.