History: December 26

December 26

1492 Christopher Columbus establishes Spain's first colony in the Americas on Hispaniola, in what is now Haiti. (Bradley)

1530 Death: Zahir al-Din Mohammed Babur Shah, founder Mogols dynasty, at 47.

1624 Death: Simon Marius, astronomer, in Bavaria at 54.

1658 Death: Simon Guillain, French sculptor.

1659 The Long Parliament reforms in Westminster.

1660 Birth: Peter Schenck, German/Netherlands engraver, publisher.

1676 Death: Domenicus van Tol, Dutch painter.

1731 Birth: Anthony Ziesenis, artist, architect, sculptor; Town Hall of Westzaan. See Also 1805.

1738 Birth: Thomas Nelson Jr., soldier, merchant, signer of the Declaration of Independence. "...At what period Mr. Nelson commenced his political career, we have not been able to ascertain. He was, however, a member of the house of burgesses in 1774, and during the same year was appointed to the first general convention, which met at Williamsburg on the first of August. The next year, 1775, he was a second time returned a member to the general convention of the province, during the session of which, he introduced a resolution for organizing a military force in the province, a step which obviously placed the colony of Virginia in the attitude of opposition to the mother country. This plan was at first startling to some of the warmest friends of liberty; but in the issue, it proved a measure of high importance to the colonies. In July, 1775, the third convention of Virginia delegates assembled at Richmond, and in the following month Mr. Nelson was appointed a delegate to represent the colony in the continental congress, which was to assemble at Philadelphia. Agreeably to this appointment, he took his seat in that body on the thirteenth of September. From this time, until May, 1777, Mr. Nelson continued to represent the colony of Virginia in the national council, where he was frequently appointed on important committees, and was highly distinguished for his sound judgment and liberal sentiments. In the month of May, of the year mentioned above, while attending in his place in congress, he was suddenly attacked with a disease of the head, probably of a paralytic nature, which, for a time, greatly impaired his mental faculties, particularly his memory. He now returned to Virginia, soon after which he resigned his seat in congress. His health gradually returning, his services were again demanded by the public, and by the governor and council he was appointed brigadier general and commander in chief of the forces of the commonwealth. In this office he rendered, he most important services to his country in general, and to the colony of Virginia in particular. His ample fortune enabled him, in cases of emergency, to advance money to carry forward the military operations of the day, nor did the generosity of his nature allow him to withhold his hand whenever occasion demanded advancements. In 1779, the health of Mr. Nelson being, as it was thought, confirmed, he was induced again to accept a seat in congress. The arduous duties, however, to which he was called, connected with the long confinement which those duties required, induced a recurrence of his former complaint, which compelled him again to return home. Happily for his country, his health was again restored, and he entered with great animation into several military expeditions against the British..."

1748 France and Austria sign a treaty resolving their dispute over the Southern Netherlands.

1770 Birth: Pierre earl de Cambronne, French general; Waterloo, Elba.

1771 Death: Claude A. Helvétius, French encyclopaedist; L'esprit.

1773 US Revolutionary War: Tea ships are expelled from Philadelphia.

1776 US Revolutionary War: American forces under General Washington, having crossed the Delaware River on Christmas night, defeat a Hessian force fighting for the British at the battle of Trenton, New Jersey. This is a major British defeat.

1778 Birth: Juan Lovera, in Venezuela, artist; ‘artist of independence’: originator of Venezuelan historical painting.

1792 Birth: Charles Babbage, English inventor; calculating machine, difference engine, first speedometer.

1799 After the death of Washington on December 14, 1799, Congress selects Henry "Light-Horse Harry" Lee, a former outstanding Continental army officer, a Virginia congressman, and a close associate of Washington for more than 20 years, to deliver a eulogy on behalf of the nation in honor of the fallen leader: "First in war, first in peace and first in the hearts of his countrymen, he was second to none in the humble and endearing scenes of private life. Pious, just, humane, temperate and sincere-uniform, dignified and commanding-his example was as edifying to all around him as were the effects of that example lasting. . . . Correct throughout, vice shuddered in his presence and virtue always felt his fostering hand. The purity of his private character gave effulgence to his public virtues. . . . Such was the man for whom our nation mourns."

1805 The Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts is established in Philadelphia.

1805 France and Austria sign the Peace of Pressburg.

1837 Death: Martinus van Marum, chemist, physicist.

1837 Birth: George Dewey, Admiral of the US Navy, Spanish-American War, hero of Manila. Quote: “You may fire when you are ready, Gridley.”

1854 Wood-pulp paper is first exhibited, in Buffalo.

1860 War of Northern Aggression: Major Robert Anderson, under cover of darkness, concentrates his small force at Fort Sumter.

1861 Birth: Friedrich Engel, German mathematician (group theory).

1862 Birth: Alexander V. Amfiteatrov, Russian/French/Italian writer.

1862 US Civil War: 38 Santee Sioux Indians are hanged in Mankato, Minnesota, due to their uprising.

1862 US Civil War: The Battle of Dumfries, Virginia.

1865 James H. Mason of Franklin, Massachusetts patents the coffee percolator.

1877 The Socialist Labor Party of North America holds its first national convention.

1878 Birth: Isaiah Bowman, US geographer, cofounder of the Geographical Review.

1883 Birth: Frank Debenham, Australian geographer, geologist.

1886 Birth: Gyula Gmbs von Jákfa, general, dictator of Hungary (1932-35).

1887 Birth: Charles Brandon Booth, American social reformer and head of the Volunteers of America 1949-1958. Booth is the grandson of Salvation Army founder William Booth.

1890 Death: Heinrich Schliemann, German archaeologist and excavator of Troy, at 86.

1890 King Mwanga of Uganda signs a contract with the East Africa Company.

1891 Birth: Jean Galtier-Boissière, French writer, cartoonist, journalist.

1893 Birth: Mao Tse-Tung (Zedong), communist-revolutionist, founding father of the People’s Republic of China, Prime Minister of People's Republic of China (1949-76).

1897 Birth: Willie Corsari, Dutch writer.

1899 Boer War: At Mafeking, Bathe-Powells fail in their assault on Fort Game Tree. 24 are killed.

1914 WW1: Jean Monnet obtains a lucrative monopoly contract for the shipment of vital war materials from Canada to France, making a fortune as a war profiteer.

1916 WW1: Joseph Joffre becomes marshal of France.

1917 Birth: Rosemary Woods, Nixon's secretary.

1917 WW1: The US government takes over operation of the nation's railroads.

1925 Turkey adopts the Gregorian calendar.

1930 Weimar: Dr. Hjalmar Schacht meets Hermann Goering at a dinner party, takes a liking to him, and agrees to meet with Hitler in January. (Children)

1931 Weimar: SS-Sturmbannführer Reinhard Heydrich weds Lina von Osten.

1931 Weimar: German unemployment exceeds 5 million.

1932 Birth: Jesus T. Peralta, in Fort William, McKinley (now Camp Bonifacio), Rizal province; Ph.D. from the University of Santo Tomas (Manila), painter, photographer, graphic artist, poet and essayist.

1933 Death: Lunatscharski, writer.

1933 Holocaust: The Kantarschi Synagogue in Jassy is burned down by the Romanian Iron Guard.

1934 Power and Earth (Macht und Erde) is published by German geopolitician Karl Haushofer. It implies that a dynamic Germany has the natural right to grasp all of Eurasia and dominate the oceanic countries.

Based in part on British political geographer Halfor John Mackinder's 1904 paper "The Geographical Pivot of History," Haushofer's theories of geopolitics have helped shape Adolf Hitler's demands for lebensraum (living space).

1934 Volkishness: Hitler in a conversation with Hermann Rauschning asks: "How can we arrest racial decay? Shall we form a select company of the really initiated? An Order, the brotherhood of Templars around the holy grail of pure blood?" (Rauschning)

1935 Holocaust: Germany revokes the licenses of Jewish traveling salespeople throughout Germany. (Edelheit)

1936 The Israel Philharmonic Orchestra is founded.

1938 The SS Training Office orders a specially revised and expanded, one-volume edition of Michael Prawdin's two books on Genghis Khan (See 1934, 1935). This book is frequently given as a Christmas present by Himmler and every SS leader receives a copy. Hitler is said to have derived his ideas concerning Blutkitt (blood cement) from this source. (Architect)

1939 WW2: Hitler tells a private meeting of his Gauleiter: "The Jews may deceive the world... but they cannot deceive me. I know that they are guilty of starting this war -- they alone and nobody else." (Waite)

1940 Holocaust: Emanuel Ringelblum begins compiling a secret archive of Jewish life in the Warsaw ghetto.


1941 Holocaust: German Jews are no longer allowed to use public telephones. (Persecution)

1941 WW2: Winston Churchill becomes the first British Prime Minister to address a joint meeting of the US Congress, warning that the Axis will 'stop at nothing'. (Address to US Congress)

1942 Death: Bosinier de la Chapelle, French murderer of Admiral Darlan, executed at 24.

1943 WW2: The last major German battleship, the Scharnhorst, is sunk in a gun duel with the British battleship Duke of York in the Arctic off Norway. Only 36 of her 2,000 man crew survive.

1943 Resistance: Earl Claus von Stauffenberg takes a bomb to Hitlers headquarters, but fails to set it off.

1944 Battle of Bastogne: US General Patton's 4th Pantzers repulse the Germans.

1944 WW2: Budapest is surrounded by the Soviet army.

1944 Diary of Leon Gladun: A black day in the history of our division. At 12:00 during dinner time several shells fell near PD of 6-th Battery. The first one killed was Lance Sergeant Gorecki while Corporal Dyrod and Corporal Szecura were wounded.

1944 WW2: Budapest is almost completely encircled by General Tolbukhin's Third Ukraine Front.

1945 Birth: John Walsh, anticrime activist; America's Most Wanted.

1945 The US Treasury Department accuses Allen Dulles of laundering money from the Nazi Bank of Hungary into Switzerland. The charges are later dropped by the US State Department.

1960 Death: Eduard Ludwig, German architect; Hansa quarter, Berlin.

1968 Arab terrorists in Athens fire on an El Al plane, killing 1 person.

1972 Death: Harry S. Truman, 33rd US President, in Kansas City, Missouri at 88.

1973 Two Skylab 3 astronauts walk in space for a record 7 hours.

1975 The Tupolev-144 becomes the world's first supersonic aircraft to go into regular service, carrying mail from Moscow to Alma Ata.

1978 India's former Prime Minister, Indira Gandhi, is released from jail.

1984 House Speaker Tip O’Neill is selected to receive the J. Fred Muggs Award, given by 'TV Guide' for TV goofs and blunders. The Speaker of the House earned the uncoveted prize when he ordered cameras from CSPAN to pan the almost empty House of Representatives while Republicans were making rip-roaring speeches. Note: J. Fred Muggs was the rascally, but cute, chimpanzee that wreaked havoc on the Today show back in the 1950s. The network thought it would be nice to have a cuddly chimp liven things up for a pretty boring Dave Garroway. Unfortunately, Garroway hated J. Fred Muggs; the chimp knew it and proceeded to terrorize the entire show for quite some time, until Garroway threatened to quit the show. J. Fred was soon history, but his award lives on. (Bradley)

1985 Death: Dian Fossey, zoologist; Gorillas in the Mist.

1986 Hijackers take over an Iraqi Airways Boeing 737 with 91 people on board during a flight from Baghdad to Amman. It lands in Arar, Saudi Arabia where it explodes, killing 62 people. (Bradley)

1988 An Anti African student rebellion is staged in the People's Republic of China.

1989 Romania's National Salvation Front names a new government headed by President Ion Iliescu, a day after announcing the execution of deposed dictator Nicolae Ceausescu. (Bradley)

1990 Romania expels ex-King Michael only hours after he had returned from exile after 43 years.

1993 Four gunmen vanish into the mountainous wilds of southern Russia with a $10 million ransom after a four-day hostage drama aboard a commandeered helicopter.

1993 Members of China's Communist Party gather in Beijing to mark the 100th anniversary of the birth of Mao Tse-tung.

1994 French antiterrorist police storm a hijacked jet at Marseille, killing all four Islamic fundamentalist hostage-takers and saving the lives of some 170 passengers and crew.

1997 Death: John Hinde, photographer, circus promoter, at 81.

2000 The White House kills a drug-import plan, saying the congressional measure for low-cost prescription drugs will neither be safe nor cut costs.

2001 India and Pakistan move guided missiles to the border, in the biggest military buildup in the region in over 20 years.

2001 US commandos and anti-Taliban forces continue to search Tora Bora caves for clues to the whereabouts of key al-Qaeda leaders. For the third straight day no bombs are dropped by American warplanes who continue to fly over Afghanistan.

2001 Afghan PM Hamid Karzai believes the Taliban are defeated, saying "Some may still be here, but I don't think they are in large numbers. I think that terrorism is largely defeated in Afghanistan."

2001 Shoe bomb suspect Richard Reid is confirmed as a British citizen born in London, and Reid is said to be linked to Muslim extremists. Airports worldwide put in new security measures to check shoes for explosives.

2001 Al-Jazeera TV broadcasts a five-minute excerpt of a videotape of Osama bin Laden, indicating bin Laden is alive as of late November or early December. Osama bin Laden refers, in the tape received in the mail by al-Jazeera, that the WTC attacks occurred "three months ago." The video shows Bin Laden as noticeably weaker in appearance, looking gaunt and gray. (Osama bin Laden's Dec. video.)












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