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Today in History, July 26


1757 – French forces under d’Estrees defeat the British under Cumberland at Hastenback in eastern Germany.

1847 – Liberia becomes the first African colony to declare independence.

1882 – The Daily News becomes Perth’s first daily newspaper.

1891 – France annexes South Sea island of Tahiti.

1908 – The Federal Bureau of Investigation – the FBI – is established in the United States.

1926 – The Philippines legislature calls for a plebiscite on independence but it is vetoed by US governor-general.

1941 – President Franklin Roosevelt appoints General Douglas MacArthur commander of US Forces in the Far East. He also freezes all Japanese assets in the US, virtually halting Japanese-American trade.

1942 – Two Japanese flying boats drop bombs near the wharves at Townsville, the first of three World War II attacks on the north Queensland town.

1945 – Britain, US and China demand Japan’s unconditional surrender as terms for peace in WWII; Winston Churchill resigns as Britain’s prime minister after his Conservatives are defeated by the Labour Party.

1952 – Eva Peron, popular leader and wife of Argentine President Juan Peron, dies of cancer aged 33.

1956 – Egypt’s President Gamal Abdel Nasser nationalises the Suez Canal, and Britain, France and US announce financial retaliation.

1965 – The Maldive Islands in the Indian Ocean become independent, having been a British protectorate since 1887.

1968 – Twenty guerillas attack the US air base at Udorn, Thailand from which US jets flew bombing missions against North Vietnam.

1974 – New Greek premier Konstantinos Karamanlis forms a civilian cabinet after seven years of military rule.

1990 – Iraq agrees to pull thousands of troops back from the Kuwaiti border after Kuwait agrees to cut oil production.

1991 – Communist leaders overwhelmingly approve Mikhail Gorbachev’s new party platform, abandoning decades of Marxist dogma.

1997 – KR Narayanan takes the oath of India’s presidency, the first member of the class once known as “untouchables” to do so.

1998 – Prime Minister Hun Sen’s party wins a majority in Cambodian elections, a year after he ousted his rival Prince Norodom Ranariddh in a bloody coup.

1999 – In New York, the 30th anniversary of the legendary Woodstock musical festival ends violently with fires, looting and vandalism.

2000 – The European Union proposes a ban on the import of “conflict diamonds” from Sierra Leone.

2002 – A court in Jakarta, Indonesia, convicts Hutomo Mandala Putra (known as Tommy Suharto), son of former President Suharto, of hiring the assassins who murdered the Supreme Court justice who convicted him of fraud.

2004 – A fast-spreading computer worm MyDoom disrupts the world’s most popular online search sites, scanning the vast databases of Google Inc and others.

2005 – Judges in Amsterdam hand down a rare maximum sentence of life with no possibility of parole to Dutch-born Muslim Mohammed Bouyeri, who confessed to – and expressed no regret for – shooting, stabbing and nearly decapitating filmmaker Theo van Gogh.

2007 – Four rare mountain gorillas, including an alpha-male silverback, are shot dead at Congo’s Virunga National Park by an unknown gunman.

2009 – Protesters across the world call on Iran to end its clampdown on opposition activists, demanding the release of hundreds rounded up during demonstrations against the country’s disputed election.

2010 – A UN-backed tribunal sentences the Khmer Rouge’s chief jailer Kaing Guek Eav to 35 years for overseeing the deaths of up to 16,000 people.

2011 – Renowned Australian artist Margaret Olley dies aged 88.

2013 – Edward Snowden’s father defends his fugitive son, saying the US intelligence whistleblower did “what he knew was right”.

2015 – English cyclist Chris Froome, of Team Sky, wins the Tour de France for the second time.

2016 – Two Islamic terrorists in France attack a Mass in Normandy and kill a Catholic priest, and are later shot dead by French police while running from the church.

2017 – Australia’s most senior Catholic, Cardinal George Pell, reveals he will plead not guilty to multiple counts of historical child sexual offences at his first court appearance.

2018 – Former Pakistani cricketer Imran Khan wins the country’s general elections, promising a “new” Pakistan following a vote marred by rigging allegations.

2019 – Australia’s consumer watchdog urges action to rein in the power of Google and Facebook after a landmark inquiry into the impact of digital platforms on the local media market and data privacy concerns.

Today’s Birthdays:

George Bernard Shaw, Irish writer (1856-1950); Carl Jung, Swiss psychologist (1875-1961); George Grosz, German painter (1893-1959); Aldous Huxley, British author (1894-1963); Salvador Allende Gossens, first Marxist president of Chile (1908-1973); Stanley Kubrick, US film director (1928-1999); John Howard, 25th Australian prime minister (1939-); Mick Jagger, British rock singer (1943-); Helen Mirren, English actress (1945-); Kevin Spacey, US actor (1959-); Sandra Bullock, US actress (1964-); Kate Beckinsale, British actress (1973-); Rebecca St James, Australian-born singer (1977-).

Thought For Today

Death is better, a milder fate than tyranny – Aeschylus, Greek playwright (525 BC – 456 BC).

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