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This Day in History: June 26


1541 – Francisco Pizarro is assassinated in Lima by the son of his former companion and later antagonist, Diego de Almagro the younger. Almagro is later caught and executed.

1740 – A combined force Spanish, free blacks and allied Indians defeat a British garrison at the Siege of Fort Mose near St. Augustine during the War of Jenkins' Ear.

1870 – The Christian holiday of Christmas is declared a federal holiday in the United States.

1917 – The first U.S. troops arrive in France to fight alongside Britain and France against Germany in World War I.

1918 – World War I: Western Front: Battle of Belleau Wood: Allied Forces under John J. Pershing and James Harbord defeat Imperial German Forces under Wilhelm, German Crown Prince.

1924 – American occupying forces leave the Dominican Republic.

1927 – The Cyclone roller coaster opens on Coney Island.

1934 – United States President Franklin D. Roosevelt signs the Federal Credit Union Act, which establishes credit unions.

1942 – The first flight of the Grumman F6F Hellcat.

1944 – World War II: San Marino, a neutral state, is mistakenly bombed by the RAF based on faulty information, leading to 35 civilian deaths.

1945 – The United Nations Charter is signed in San Francisco.

1948 – William Shockley files the original patent for the grown-junction transistor, the first bipolar junction transistor.

1948 – Shirley Jackson's short story The Lottery is published in The New Yorker magazine.

1959 – Swedish boxer Ingemar Johansson becomes world champion of heavy weight boxing, by defeating American Floyd Patterson on technical knockout after two minutes and three seconds in the third round at Yankee Stadium.

1963 – U.S. President John F. Kennedy gave his "Ich bin ein Berliner" speech, underlining the support of the United States for democratic West Germany shortly after Soviet-supported East Germany erected the Berlin Wall.

1974 – The Universal Product Code is scanned for the first time to sell a package of Wrigley's chewing gum at the Marsh Supermarket in Troy, Ohio

1975 – Two FBI agents and a member of the American Indian Movement are killed in a shootout on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota; Leonard Peltier is later convicted of the murders in a controversial trial.

1977 – Elvis Presley performs the final concert of his life in Indianapolis.

1997 – The U.S. Supreme Court rules that the Communications Decency Act violates the First Amendment to the United States Constitution.

2000 – President Clinton announces the completion of the first survey of the entire human genome.

2000 – Pope John Paul II reveals the third secret of Fátima.

2003 – The U.S. Supreme Court rules in Lawrence v. Texas that gender-based sodomy laws are unconstitutional.

2012 – The Waldo Canyon fire descends into the Mountain Shadows neighborhood in Colorado Springs burning 347 homes in a matter of hours and killing two people.

2013 – The U.S. Supreme Court ruled, 5-4 that Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional and in violation of the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution.

2015 – The U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges declares that same-sex couples have a constitutional right to marriage under the 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution.


1581 – San Pedro Claver, Spanish Jesuit saint, ministered to African slaves in Spanish America (d. 1654)

1689 – Edward Holyoke, American pastor and academic (d. 1769)

1819 – Abner Doubleday, American general (d. 1893)

1892 – Pearl S. Buck, American author and academic, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1973)

1898 – Willy Messerschmitt, German engineer and businessman (d. 1978)

1898 – Chesty Puller, American general (d. 1971)

1901 – Stuart Symington, American lieutenant and politician, 1st United States Secretary of the Air Force (d. 1988)

1904 – Peter Lorre, Slovak-American actor and singer (d. 1964)

1909 – Colonel Tom Parker, Dutch-American talent manager (d. 1997)

1911 – Babe Didrikson Zaharias, American golfer and basketball player (d. 1956)

1936 – Edith Pearlman, American author

1936 – Nancy Willard, American author and poet

1937 – Robert Coleman Richardson, American physicist and academic, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 2013)

1961 – Greg LeMond, American cyclist

1963 – Richard Garfield, American game designer (Magic: The Gathering)

1969 – Mike Myers, American baseball player

1974 – Derek Jeter, American baseball player


1784 – Caesar Rodney, American lawyer and politician, 4th Governor of Delaware (b. 1728)

1938 – James Weldon Johnson, American poet, lawyer and politician (b. 1871)

1993 – Roy Campanella, American baseball player and coach (b. 1921)

2003 – Strom Thurmond, American general, lawyer, and politician, 103rd Governor of South Carolina (b. 1902)

2007 – Liz Claiborne, Belgian-American fashion designer, founded Liz Claiborne (b. 1929)