History: June 26

June 26

1284 According to legend, the Pied Piper appears in the German town of Hamelin. The Pied Piper of Hamelin is a folk tale, among others written down by the Brothers Grimm. It tells about a disaster in the town of Hamelin, Germany, that supposedly occurred on June 26, 1284. In that year a man came to Hamelin claiming to be a rat-catcher. The people of Hamelin promised him payment for killing the rats. So the man took a pipe, attracted the rats by his music and made them follow him to the Weser river, where they all drowned. Despite this success the people reneged on their promise and did not pay the rat-catcher. He left the town, but returned several weeks later. While the inhabitants were in the church, he played his pipe again, this time attracting the children of Hamelin. One hundred thirty boys and girls followed him out of the town, where they were lured into a cave and sealed inside. Depending on the version, at most two children survived..."

1483 Richard III usurped the English throne, after deposing his nephew Edward V. Edward and his brother Richard are later murdered.

1541 Death: Francisco Pizarro, Spanish conqueror of Peru, is assassinated in his palace in Lima. "...On November 16, 1532, Pizarro, with his small force, came to Cajamarca where he invited the Sapa Inca Atahualpa to leave his army in the field and join him in for a dinner in his honor. Pizarro then killed Atahuallpa's 12 man honor guard and took Atahualpa captive at the so-called Ransom room in Cajamarca. A year later Pizarro invaded Cuzco with indigenous troops and brought down Tahuantinsuyu (the Inca empire). During the conquest of Cuzco, Pizarro was impressed and wrote back to King Charles V of Spain, saying: "We can assure your majesty that it is so beautiful and has such fine buildings that it would even be remarkable in Spain." As he thought the Inca capital of Cuzco was too far up in the mountains and far from the sea to serve as the Spanish capital of Peru, Pizarro founded the city of Lima on January 15, 1535.

Pizarro's coffin, Lima cathedral

After the final effort of the Inca to recover Cuzco had been defeated by Almagro, a dispute occurred between him and Pizarro respecting the limits of their jurisdiction. This led to battle; Almagro was defeated at the City of Ute (1538) and executed; but his supporters conspired, and assassinated Pizarro on June 26, 1541."

1730 Birth: Charles Messier, cataloguer of 'M objects'.

1742 Birth: Arthur Middleton, signer Declaration of Independence, born in South Carolina, educated in England, graduated Cambridge in 1773, elected to the Council of Safety at Charleston in 1775, and in 1776 delegate to the Continental Congress; captured by the British when Charleston is overrun 1781, and held prisoner for more than a year. Most of his fortune will be destroyed during the Revolution, and he will be engaged in politics until his death on the first of January, 1787.

1763 Birth: George Morland, in England, artist of rural landscapes.

1794 The Austrians are defeated by the French at Fleurus, halting their conquest of Belgium.

1797 Charles Newbold patents the first cast-iron plough, but he will find it difficult to sell to farmers because of a widespread belief that the iron it is made from will adversely effect the soil.

1819 A bicycle is patented by W.K. Clarkson, Jr. of New York City.

1824 Birth: William Thomson, Lord Kelvin, British engineer, mathematician, physicist; Kelvin temperature measurement is named after him.

1830 Death: George IV, king of England, his brother, William IV, accedes to the throne. George IV is famed for his massive breakfasts of two pigeons, three beefsteaks and huge amounts of alcohol.

1843 Hong Kong is proclaimed a British crown colony with Sir Henry Pottinger as its first governor.

1848 The first pure food law is enacted in the US.

1854 Birth: Sir Robert Laird Borden (C), Canadian statesman, 8th Canadian Prime Minister (1911-20).

1857 The first Victoria Cross investiture ceremony takes place in Hyde Park, London, when Queen Victoria awards 62 servicemen the highest military honor.

1858 The Treaty of Tientsin is signed, ending hostilities between China and Great Britain and granting the latter trade rights.

1887 Birth: Anthony G. de Rothschild, British philanthropist.

1898 Birth: Willi Messerschmitt, German aircraft designer.

1902 Birth: William Lear, developer of the Lear jet.

1907 Oxford University awards an Honorary Doctorate of Letters to Mark Twain.

1910 Birth: Roy Plunkett, scientist; will discover Teflon.

1911 Birth: Edward Levi, professor; Intro to Legal Reasoning.

1913 Birth: Maurice Wilkes, inventor; stored program concept for computers.

1917 WW1: King Alexander of Greece reinstates Eleutherios Venizelos as prime minister.

1924 After eight years of occupation, US troops finally leave the Dominican Republic.

1933 The Federation of Jewish Communities of Switzerland and the Berne Jewish Community bring an action against five members of the Swiss National Front, seeking a judgment that The Protocols of the Elders of Zion are a forgery and a prohibition of their publication. (See May 14, 1935)

1933 The disingenuously named Academy of German Law is established.

1933 New Deal: The National Industrial Recovery Act is passed in the US.

1934 New Deal: President Franklin D. Roosevelt signs the Federal Credit Union Act, which enables the creation of credit unions anywhere in the US. Credit unions, unlike banks, are nonprofit cooperatives owned and controlled by their members.

1935 Holocaust: The German Labor Service (Arbeitdienst) is established and excludes all "non-Aryans" from national labor service.

1938 Holocaust: Nazis in Austria order all "non-Aryans" dismissed from all Jewish owned firms and close the parks of Vienna to Jews. Jewish schoolchildren are completely segregated.

1940 The USSR abandons its experimental calendar. The Gregorian calendar will be readopted 27 June.

1940 WW2: The Soviets issue an ultimatum to Romania to evacuate Bessarabia within four days. King Carol complies. The Soviets, coveting Romania's substantial oil resources, seize Bessarabia and part of Bucovina.

1941 WW2: Finland declares war against Russia.

1941 Gulag: The NKVD machine-guns 100 Polish political prisoners in a gorge near Minsk. The Soviets will blame the Germans for the Tarasowski Wood Massacre.

1942 Holocaust: BBC broadcasts that 700,000 Jews have been murdered by the Nazis, based on information smuggled out by the Polish underground.

1942 WW2: Rudolf Hess is transported 200 miles from Camp Z to POW Reception Station, Maindiff Court in South Wales, before the war an admission clinic for the County Mental Hospital at nearby Abergavenny. Hess abruptly quits complaining of being poisoned and drugged; begins sleeping proper hours, eats without complaint, and exercises frequently. Hess' disposition becomes sunny and cheerful, and a car is provided for chauffer-driven rides in the countryside literally whenever he pleases. (Missing Years)

1943 Church and Reich: Bishop Preysing sends word to the other bishops by messenger that the divorce decree has again been postponed. He asks the other bishops to each write letters to all government ministries inquiring in strong language about the whereabouts of the deportees, demanding pastoral care for the "non-Aryan" Christians and threatening a public protest. "Beyond this," he says, "one should speak clearly about the outrages inflicted upon the Jews in general." (DA Limburg; Lewy)

1944 Diary of Leon Gladun: (Italy) "We drive on ever closer to the front. Our position is at Morrovalle where the Germans were just 24 hours ago. We don't fire but move on further the next day."

1945 The United Nations Conference ends in San Francisco, California. The World Security Charter, the basis of the UN, is signed by 50 countries. The text of the charter is in five languages: Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish. The preamble of the Charter states that the mission of the UN is: "to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war...to reaffirm faith in the dignity and worth of the human person...and to promote social progress and better standards of life." The Soviet Union is admitted as a partner, with three seats instead of one as is the case with every other member. It is presided over by the Acting Secretary General, Alger Hiss. Note: Hiss, a big shot in the US State Department, will eventually be convicted of perjury in connection with charges that he is a communist agent.

1945 Nuremberg War Crimes Trials: US Justice Robert Jackson departs Washington to meet with his Allied counterparts in London to discuss legal proceedings against Nazi officials. Numerous disagreements are discussed, including whether to use the adversarial system favored by the Americans and British, or the inquisitive system favored by the French and Soviets. The Allies agree to prohibit the use of the defense of superior orders, although they agree to allow its consideration in mitigation of sentence. (Maser II)

1946 Nuremberg War Crimes Trials: On day 164 of deliberations, former German Foreign Minister and diplomat Von Neurath faces tough examination. "...MR. COUNSELLOR RAGINSKY: ...In this order of yours, in the penultimate paragraph, it is stated, '`The responsibility for all acts of sabotage will be borne not only by the individual perpetrators, but by the entire Czechoslovak population." This means that not only guilty persons have to be punished, but there were punishments set up for innocent people too. With this order you inaugurated the mass terrorism against the Czech population. VON NEURATH: Not at all. It only meant that the moral responsibility for any possible acts was to be laid to the account of the Czech people. MR. COUNSELLOR RAGINSKY: Well, in Lidice, was this not applied in practice? Was it only a question of the moral responsibility there? VON NEURATH: Yes, yes. MR. COUNSELLOR RAGINSKY: In this order you state the following: "Those who do not take these necessities into account will be considered enemies of the Reich." To the enemies of the Reich you applied only the principles of moral responsibility and nothing else? VON NEURATH: Yes, if someone did not obey orders, then naturally he was punished. MR. COUNSELLOR RAGINSKY: That is exactly what I am trying to determine and that is why I put this question to you, that just by this order of August 1939 you started the general terrorism of a massacre and punishment of innocent people. VON NEURATH: Well, I do not know how you can draw this conclusion from this warning. MR. COUNSELLOR RAGINSKY: We are going now to the deductions which we can make out of this..."

1945 The FCC begins development of commercial television by allocating airwaves for 13 TV stations.

1948 The US denounces the Soviet blockade of Berlin.

1958 Vanguard SLV-2 is unsuccessfully launched toward Earth orbit.

1959 In a ceremony presided over by US President Dwight D. Eisenhower and Queen Elizabeth II, the St Lawrence Seaway is officially opened, creating a navigational channel from the Atlantic Ocean to all the Great Lakes. The seaway, made up of a system of canals, locks, and dredged waterways, extends a distance of nearly 2,500 miles, from the Atlantic Ocean through the Gulf of St. Lawrence to Duluth, Minnesota, on Lake Superior. Work on the massive project was initiated by a joint US-Canadian commission in 1954, and five years later, in April 1959, the icebreaker D'Iberville began the first transit of the St. Lawrence Seaway. Since its official opening, more than two billion tons of cargo, with an estimated worth of more than $300 billion, have moved along its canals and channels.

1960 British Somaliland becomes independent and five days later will merge with Italian Somaliland to become the Somali Republic.

1960 The Indian Ocean island of Madagascar becomes independent from France as the Malagasy Republic.

1963 Ich bin ein Berliner: President John F Kennedy visits West Berlin.

1968 Iwo Jima and Bonin Islands are returned to Japan by the US.

1974 The bar code, allowing for the electronic scanning of prices, is used for the first time on a pack of gum at a supermarket in Troy, Ohio.

1978 Brittany separatists bomb the Palace of Versailles in France.

1978 The first dedicated oceanographic satellite, SEASAT 1, is launched.

1978 South Yemeni President Salim Rubai Ali is overthrown and executed.

1982 The US vetoes a UN Security Council resolution, for a limited withdrawal from Beirut of Israeli and PLO forces.

1986 A nationwide 26-day strike by 155,000 AT&T telecommunication workers, the first since the Bell System breakup in January 1984, ends with a new contract agreement.

1986 The Nicaraguan government closes the nation's last opposition newspaper, La Prensa.

1989 A Soviet nuclear submarine carrying atomic weapons is crippled off the coast of Norway when a pipe bursts in its reactor.

1989 The US Supreme Court rules that the death penalty may be imposed for murderers who commit their crimes as young as age 16.

1990 President George HW Bush, who had campaigned for office on the pledge "Read my lips: NO NEW TAXES!", concedes that tax increases will have to be included in any deficit-reduction package worked out with congressional negotiators. This will be more than enough to cost him reelection.

1991 The 'Maguire Seven' are cleared of running an IRA bomb factory in England after battling for 15 years to prove their innocence.

1992 US Navy Secretary Garrett resigns, accepting responsibility for the so-called 'Tailhook' incident involving the harassment of Navy women by naval aviators.

1992 Los Angeles Police Chief Daryl Gates, the target of public wrath for the Rodney King beating, resigns.

1993 In response to an Iraqi plot to assassinate former President George HW Bush during a visit to Kuwait, two US ships in the Persian Gulf fire missiles at Iraq's intelligence complex. The main headquarters building is badly damaged.

1995 The US Supreme Court rules that public schools can require drug tests for its athletes.

1995 Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak survives an assassination bid unscathed when gunmen spray bullets at his armored limousine in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa.

1996 Afghan guerrilla leader Gulbuddin Hekmatyar returns to Kabul and takes over as prime minister.

1996 Former White House security chief Craig Livingstone tells Congress he is behind the FBI background checks, but that his motive was not political.

1998 The US Supreme Court issues a landmark sexual harassment ruling, putting employers on notice that they can be held responsible for supervisor misconduct even if they know nothing about it.

1999 An advance contingent of Russian troops fly into Kosovo to help reopen a strategic airport and join an uneasy alliance with NATO peacekeepers.

2000 Scientists from Britain and America successfully decode the three billion parts of human DNA to produce a map of the human genome.









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