This Day in History - May 26
In 2020, Costa Rica becomes the first country in Central America to legalise same-sex marriage.

Today is the 146th day of 2023. There are 219 days left in the year.


2020: Costa Rica becomes the first country in Central America to legalise same-sex marriage.


451: The Battle of Avarayr between Armenian rebels and the Sassanid Empire takes place; the Armenians are defeated militarily but are guaranteed freedom to openly practise Christianity.

1521: The Edict of Worms bans the writings of Martin Luther — a German cleric whose efforts to change the church led to the Reformation — and declares him an outlaw and a heretic who is to be captured.

1538: Geneva expels John Calvin and his followers from the city. Calvin lives in exile in Strasbourg for the next three years.

1647: Alse Young becomes the first person executed as a witch in the American colonies when she is hanged in Hartford, Connecticut. Massachusetts disallows a priest access to the colony.

1798: The British kill about 500 Irish insurgents at the Battle of Tara.

1828: A mysterious feral child, Kaspar Hauser, is discovered wandering the streets of Nuremberg.

1857: US slave Dred Scott and his family are freed by owner Henry Taylor Blow, only three months after US courts ruled against them in Dred Scott v. Sandford.

1868: US President Andrew Johnson is acquitted by the Senate by one vote during his impeachment trial.

1884: Australian cricket fast bowler Fred Spofforth takes 7-34 & 7-3 against an England XI in a tour match in Birmingham; match ended in just four hours.

1887: Racetrack betting becomes legal in New York state.

1896: The Dow Jones index begins with an average of 12 industrial stocks (closing is 40.94). The last tsar of Russia, Nicholas II, is crowned.

1897: Irish writer Bram Stoker's Gothic horror classic Dracula is published by Archibald Constable and Company in London and becomes the basis for an entire genre of literature and films about vampires.

1904: In two days of bitter fighting the Japanese Army soundly defeats the Russians at Kinchan and captures the forts at Nanshan.

1908: At Masjed Soleyman in southwest Persia the first major commercial oil strike in the Middle East is made; the rights are acquired by the United Kingdom.

1913: Emily Duncan becomes Great Britain's first woman magistrate.

1919: The Supreme Council of Allies, meeting at Versailles, decides to recognise two white Russian leaders, Admiral Kolchak and General Denikin, and support them against the Bolsheviks.

1924: US President Calvin Coolidge signs immigration law restricting immigration.

1925: Babe Ruth emerges from bed, five weeks after ulcer surgery.

1932: Admiral Makoto Saito forms a Parliament in Tokyo.

1938: The House Un-American Activities Committee is created with Martin Dies, Jr as its chairman; it investigated alleged communist activities, with perhaps its most celebrated case being that of Alger Hiss.

1942: Belgium Jews are required by Nazis to wear a Jewish star.

1943: Edwin Barclay of Liberia becomes the first president of a black country to visit the US. Jews riot against Germany in Amsterdam.

1948: South Africa elects a nationalist government under D F Malan, with an apartheid policy.

1964: Fade Out-Fade In, featuring Carol Burnett, Jack Cassidy (later replaced by Dick Shawn), and Tina Louise, opens at Mark Hellinger Theater, New York City, for 271 performances.

1966: Guyana (formerly British Guiana) declares independence from the United Kingdom.

1972: In the Republic of Ireland, the Special Criminal Court is re-nstituted to deal with crimes arising out of the Northern Ireland conflict; as part of the measures trial by jury is suspended.

1977: George Willig climbs the South Tower of New York City's World Trade Center and is famously fined one cent for each of the 110 stories he climbed.

1994: American "King of Pop" Michael Jackson weds "King of Rock 'n' Roll" Elvis Presley's daughter Lisa Marie Presley in La Romana, Dominican Republic; they divorce in 1996.

2004: The New York Times publishes its admission of journalistic failings and claims its flawed reporting and lack of sceptism during the build-up to the 2003 Iraq War helped promote the belief that Iraq possessed large stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction. United States Army veteran Terry Nichols is found guilty of 161 state murder charges for helping carry out the Oklahoma City bombing.

2006: An earthquake in Java kills over 5,700 people and leaves 200,000 homeless.

2008: American director, producer, and actor Sydney Pollack — who helmed a number of popular films including The Way We Were (1973), Tootsie (1982), and Out of Africa (1985) — dies at age 73.

2018: Ireland votes to repeal their eighth amendment to allow legalised abortion, 66.4 per cent vote "Yes".

2019: Nine climbers die in a week on Mount Everest, after overcrowding leads to a huge queue to reach the summit.

2021: Amazon says it will buy 97-year-old film and television studio Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer for US$8.45 billion. Former Advisor Dominic Cummings gives a damming report to MPs into UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his Government's handling of the COVID-19 crisis.

2021: Nine people are shot and killed by their colleague, a public transit employee, in San Jose, California.


John Wayne, American motion-picture actor who embodied the image of the strong, taciturn cowboy or soldier (1907-1979); Miles Davis, American jazz trumpeter, bandleader, composer and one of the major influences on jazz from the late 1940s (1926-1991); Lloyd Parks, Jamaican reggae singer and founder/leader of Lloyd Parks and We The People band (1948- ); Jeremy Corbyn British politician (1949- ); Lauryn Hill, American singer (1975- );

— AP/Jamaica Observer

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