Today in History: October 26
October 26 is the 299th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. There are 66 days remaining until the end of the year.
740 – An earthquake strikes Constantinople and the surrounding countryside, causing destruction to the city's land walls and buildings.
1185 – The Uprising of Asen and Peter begins on the feast day of St. Demetrius of Thessaloniki and ends with the creation of the Second Bulgarian Empire, ruled by the Asen dynasty.
1341 – The Byzantine civil war of 1341–47 formally begins with the proclamation of John VI Kantakouzenos as Byzantine Emperor at Didymoteicho.
1377 – Tvrtko I is crowned the first king of Bosnia.
1520 – Charles V is crowned as Holy Roman Emperor.
1597 – Imjin War: Admiral Yi Sun-sin routs the Japanese Navy of 300 ships with only 13 ships at the Battle of Myeongnyang.
1640 – The Treaty of Ripon is signed, restoring peace between Scotland and Charles I of England.
1689 – General Piccolomini of Austria burns down Skopje to prevent the spread of cholera. He died of cholera himself soon after.
1774 – The first Continental Congress adjourns in Philadelphia.
1775 – King George III of Great Britain goes before Parliament to declare the American colonies in rebellion, and authorizes a military response to quell the American Revolution.
1776 – Benjamin Franklin departs from America for France on a mission to seek French support for the American Revolution.
1813 – War of 1812: A combined force of British regulars, Canadian militia, and Mohawks defeat the Americans in the Battle of the Chateauguay.
1825 – The Erie Canal opens: Passage from Albany, New York to Lake Erie.
1859 – The Royal Charter is wrecked on the coast of Anglesey, north Wales with 459 dead.
1860 – Meeting of Teano. Giuseppe Garibaldi, conqueror of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies, gives it to King Victor Emmanuel II of Italy.
1861 – The Pony Express officially ceases operations.
1863 – The Football Association is founded.
1881 – The Gunfight at the O.K. Corral takes place at Tombstone, Arizona.
1892 – Ida B. Wells publishes, Southern Horrors: Lynch Law in All Its Phases.
1905 – Sweden accepts the independence of Norway.
1909 – Itō Hirobumi, four time Prime Minister of Japan (the 1st, 5th, 7th and 10th) and Resident-General of Korea, is assassinated by An Jung-geun at the Harbin train station in Manchuria.
1912 – First Balkan War: The Ottoman occupied city of Thessaloniki, is liberated and unified with Greece on the feast day of its patron saint Demetrius. On the same day, Serbiantroops captured Skopje.
1917 – World War I: Battle of Caporetto; Italy suffers a catastrophic defeat to the forces of Austria-Hungary and Germany. The young unknown Oberleutnant Erwin Rommelcaptures Mount Matajur with only 100 Germans against a force of over 7000 Italians.
1917 – World War I: Brazil declares war on the Central Powers.
1918 – Erich Ludendorff, quartermaster-general of the Imperial German Army, is dismissed by Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany for refusing to cooperate in peace negotiations.
1921 – The Chicago Theatre opens.
1936 – The first electric generator at Hoover Dam goes into full operation.
1942 – World War II: In the Battle of the Santa Cruz Islands during the Guadalcanal Campaign, one U.S. aircraft carrier, Hornet, is sunk and another aircraft carrier, Enterprise, is heavily damaged, while two Japanese carriers and one cruiser are heavily damaged.
1943 – World War II: First flight of the Dornier Do 335 "Pfeil".
1944 – World War II: The Battle of Leyte Gulf ends with an overwhelming American victory.
1947 – The Maharaja of Kashmir and Jammu agrees to allow his kingdom to join India.
1955 – After the last Allied troops have left the country and following the provisions of the Austrian Independence Treaty, Austria declares permanent neutrality.
1955 – Ngô Đình Diệm declares himself Premier of South Vietnam.
1958 – Pan American Airways makes the first commercial flight of the Boeing 707 from New York City to Paris, France.
1967 – Mohammad Reza Pahlavi crowns himself Emperor of Iran and then crowns his wife Farah Empress of Iran.
1968 – Soviet cosmonaut Georgy Beregovoy pilots Soyuz 3 into space for a four-day mission.
1970 – Muhammad Ali faces off against Jerry Quarry in Atlanta, Georgia for the first time after Ali's three-year hiatus from evading to be drafted in the Vietnam War.
1977 – Ali Maow Maalin, the last natural case of smallpox, develops rash in Merca district, Somalia. The World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention consider this date the anniversary of the eradication of smallpox, the most spectacular success of vaccination.
1979 – Park Chung-hee, President of South Korea is assassinated by Korean Central Intelligence Agency head Kim Jae-gyu. Choi Kyu-hah becomes the acting President; Kim is executed the following May.
1985 – The Australian government returns ownership of Uluru to the local Pitjantjatjara Aborigines.
1991 – History of Slovenia: Three months after the end of the Ten-Day War, the last soldier of the Yugoslav People's Army leaves the territory of the Republic of Slovenia
1994 – Jordan and Israel sign a peace treaty.
1995 – Israeli–Palestinian conflict: Mossad agents assassinate Islamic Jihad leader Fathi Shaqaqi in his hotel in Malta.
1999 – Britain's House of Lords votes to end the right of hereditary peers to vote in Britain's upper chamber of Parliament.
2000 – Laurent Gbagbo takes over as president of Côte d'Ivoire following a popular uprising against President Robert Guéï.
2001 – The United States passes the USA PATRIOT Act into law.
2002 – Moscow theater hostage crisis: Approximately 50 Chechen terrorists and 150 hostages die when Russian Spetsnaz storm a theater building in Moscow, which had been occupied by the terrorists during a musical performance three days before.
2003 – The Cedar Fire, the third-largest fire in California history, kills 15 people, consumes 250,000 acres (1,000 km2), and destroys 2,200 homes around San Diego.
2004 – GTA San Andreas makes its debut.
2015 – A 7.5 magnitude earthquake strikes in the Hindu Kush mountain range in northeastern Afghanistan, killing 398 people and leaving 2,536 people injured.
2016 – An earthquake of magnitude 6.6 strikes central Italy.
2017 – Royal cremation of Bhumibol Adulyadej at the Sanam Luang, Bangkok.
2017 – Jacinda Ardern is sworn as the 40th Prime Minister of New Zealand following a coalition deal between the New Zealand Labour Party and New Zealand First.