This Day in History – June 26

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

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Today is the 177th day of 2019. There are 188 days left in the year.


2000: Scientists announce that the human genetic code has essentially been deciphered, a monumental achievement that opens a dramatic new frontier in medicine.


1483: Richard III begins his reign as King of England (he was crowned the following month at Westminster Abbey).

1541: Francisco Pizarro, Spanish conqueror of Peru, is slain in Lima by rival conquistadors.

1549: The 17 provinces of the Netherlands are declared independent of the Holy Roman Empire.

1714: Spain and Holland sign Peace of Utrecht.

1848: Artillery blasts apart the barricades put up by rebelling workers in Paris, ending the “June Days” civil war with the loss of 1,500 lives.

1858: Treaty of Tientsin ends war between Britain and China, whereby China opens additional ports to British commerce and legalises opium trade.

1870: The first section of Atlantic City, New Jersey's boardwalk, is opened to the public.

1941: Finns side with Germans in attack against Soviet Union, leading to three-year Finnish-Soviet war.

1945: Charter establishing United Nations is signed in San Francisco, California, by 50 nations.

1948: The Berlin airlift begins after the Soviets blockade West Berlin. The lift feeds two million Berliners for 11 months.

1960: Madagascar proclaims its independence as the Malagasy Republic; British Somaliland becomes independent.

1962: United States declares it will not support any attempt by Chinese nationalists on Formosa to land forces on the Chinese mainland.

1964: The Roman Catholic Church and Spain's Government say they have reached basic agreement on proposed legislation to grant legal recognition and certain rights to Spain's Protestants.

1989: Hungary's new Communist Party chief says his country is “breaking away from Stalinism”.

1990: Nelson Mandela speaks before US Congress, thanking it for imposing sanctions against South Africa and asking that sanctions be maintained until “irreversible” reforms are enacted.

1991: Martial law is lifted in Kuwait and death sentences for 29 people convicted of collaborating with the Iraqis during their invasion of Kuwait are commuted to life imprisonment.

1993: American President Bill Clinton announces that the US has launched missiles against Iraqi targets because of “compelling evidence” Iraq had plotted to assassinate former President George H W Bush.

1995: Six gunmen open fire on Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak's motorcade shortly after he arrives in Ethiopia, but Mubarak escapes unhurt.

1996: Saudi Arabia's King Fahd offers a US$2.7-million reward for those responsible for a truck bomb that killed at least 19 Americans and wounded hundreds.

1997: Attackers fire grenade at police in Northern Ireland in an apparent rebuff to a British offer of peace talks participation in exchange for a new IRA ceasefire.

1998: US President Bill Clinton opens a State visit to China in Tiananmen Square, where a protest movement for democracy was brutally suppressed nine years earlier.

1999: Nobel Peace Prize winner Jose Ramos Horta returns to East Timor, his place of birth, following 24 years in self-exile during which the country was occupied by Indonesia.

2006: A suicide attacker rams his bomb-packed car into a Pakistani army checkpoint, killing at least five soldiers and wounding 10 in a northern extremist hotbed near the Afghan border.

2007: Pope Benedict XVI changes the rules for electing popes, requiring that two-thirds of the cardinals in a conclave agree on the new pontiff, reversing a 1996 decision by Pope John Paul II.

2011: Men riding motorcycles throw bombs into outdoor beer gardens in north-eastern Nigeria, killing at least 25 people in attacks bearing striking similarities to others carried out by a radical Islamic sect in the region.

2013: The Central Intelligence Agency begins shipping weapons to Jordan and plans to start arming groups of vetted Syrian rebels. In deciding its first cases on the issue, the US Supreme Court gives the nation's legally married gay couples equal federal footing with all other married Americans and also clears the way for same-sex marriages to resume in California.

2014: The leaders of Britain, France, Germany and other European nations commemorate the 100th anniversary of World War I and vow to preserve peace on the continent.

2017: US President Donald Trump welcomes India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the White House as the two leaders herald an increasingly close strategic partnership. The Supreme Court said President Trump could forge ahead with a limited version of his ban on travel from six mostly Muslim countries.


George Morland, English artist (1763-1804); Bartolome Mitre, Argentine president (1821-1906); Baron William Homson Kelvin, English physicist (1824-1907); Pearl Buck, US author (1892-1973); Peter Lorre, Hungarian actor (1904-1964); Chris Isaak, US singer (1956- ); Chris O'Donnell, actor (1970- ); Patty Smyth, singer (1957- ); Sean Hayes, US actor (1970- ).

— AP

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