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This Day in History: January 26


1837 – Michigan is admitted as the 26th U.S. state.

1838 – Tennessee enacts the first prohibition law in the United States

1855 – Point No Point Treaty is signed in Washington Territory.

1856 – First Battle of Seattle. Marines from the USS Decatur drive off American Indian attackers after all day battle with settlers.

1861 – American Civil War: The state of Louisiana secedes from the Union.

1863 – American Civil War: General Ambrose Burnside is relieved of command of the Army of the Potomac after the disastrous Fredericksburg campaign. He is replaced by Joseph Hooker.

1863 – American Civil War: Governor of Massachusetts John Albion Andrew receives permission from the Secretary of War to raise a militia organization for men of African descent.

1870 – American Civil War: Virginia rejoins the Union.

1911 – Glenn H. Curtiss flies the first successful American seaplane.

1915 – The Rocky Mountain National Park is established by an act of the U.S. Congress.

1920 – Former Ford Motor Company executive Henry Leland launches the Lincoln Motor Company which he later sold to his former employer.

1934 – The Apollo Theater reopens in Harlem, New York City.

1942 – World War II: The first United States forces arrive in Europe landing in Northern Ireland.

1945 – World War II: The Red Army begins encircling the German Fourth Army near Heiligenbeil in East Prussia, which will end in destruction of the 4th Army two months later.

1945 – World War II: Audie Murphy in action for which he will be awarded the Medal of Honor.

1949 – The Hale telescope at Palomar Observatory sees first light under the direction of Edwin Hubble, becoming the largest aperture optical telescope (until BTA-6 is built in 1976).

1960 – Danny Heater sets a worldwide high school basketball scoring record when he records 135 points for his school team in Burnsville, West Virginia.

1961 – John F. Kennedy appoints Janet G. Travell to be his physician. This is the first time a woman holds the appointment of Physician to the President.

1962 – Ranger 3 is launched to study the Moon. The space probe later misses the moon by 22,000 miles (35,400 km).

1978 – The Great Blizzard of 1978 strikes the Ohio – Great Lakes region with heavy snow and winds up to 100 mph (161 km/h).

1998 – Lewinsky scandal: On American television, U.S. President Bill Clinton denies having had "sexual relations" with former White House intern Monica Lewinsky.

2005 – Glendale train crash: Two trains derail killing 11 and injuring 200 in Glendale, California, near Los Angeles.

2015 – An aircraft crashes at Los Llanos Air Base in Albacete, Spain, killing 11 people and injuring 21 others.


1826 – Julia Grant, American wife of Ulysses S. Grant, 19th First Lady of the United States (d. 1902)

1880 – Douglas MacArthur, American general, Medal of Honor recipient (d. 1964)

1892 – Bessie Coleman, American pilot (d. 1926)

1905 – Maria von Trapp, Austrian-American singer (d. 1987)

1925 – Paul Newman, American actor, director, race car driver, and businessman, co-founded Newman's Own (d. 2008)

1958 – Anita Baker, American singer-songwriter


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

1932 – William Wrigley, Jr., American businessman, founded the Wrigley Company (b. 1861)

1979 – Nelson Rockefeller, American businessman and politician, 41st Vice President of the United States (b. 1908)

1983 – Bear Bryant, American football player and coach (b. 1913)

2016 – Abe Vigoda, American actor (b. 1921)

2017 - Mike Connors, American Actor (b 1925)

2017 - Barbara Hale, American Actress (b. 1922)