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This Day in U.S. History: May 26


1637 – Pequot War: A combined English and Mohegan force under John Mason attacks a village in Connecticut, massacring approximately 500 Pequots.

1647 – Alse Young, hanged in Hartford, Connecticut, becomes the first person executed as a witch in the British American colonies.

1736 – The Battle of Ackia was fought near the present site of Tupelo, Mississippi. British and Chickasaw soldiers repelled a French and Choctaw attack on the then-Chickasaw village of Ackia.

1783 – A Great Jubilee Day held at North Stratford, Connecticut, celebrated end of fighting in American Revolution.

1830 – The Indian Removal Act is passed by the U.S. Congress; it is signed into law by President Andrew Jackson two days later.

1857 – Dred Scott is emancipated by the Blow family, his original owners.

1864 – Montana is organized as a United States territory.

1865 – American Civil War: The Confederate General Edmund Kirby Smith, commander of the Confederate Trans-Mississippi division, is the last full general of the Confederate Army to surrender, at Galveston, Texas.

1869 – Boston University is chartered by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

1896 – Charles Dow publishes the first edition of the Dow Jones Industrial Average.

1897 – Dracula, a novel by the Irish author Bram Stoker, is published.

1897 – The original manuscript of William Bradford's history, "Of Plymouth Plantation" is returned to the Governor of Massachusetts by the Bishop of London after being taken during the American Revolutionary War.

1917 – Several powerful tornadoes rip through Illinois, including the city of Mattoon, killing 101 people and injuring 689.

1938 – In the United States, the House Un-American Activities Committee begins its first session.

1948 – The U.S. Congress passes Public Law 80-557, which permanently establishes the Civil Air Patrol as an auxiliary of the United States Air Force.

1969 – Apollo program: Apollo 10 returns to Earth after a successful eight-day test of all the components needed for the forthcoming first manned moon landing.

1972 – The United States and the Soviet Union sign the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty.

1977 – George Willig climbs the South Tower of New York City's World Trade Center.

1998 – The Supreme Court of the United States rules that Ellis Island, the historic gateway for millions of immigrants, is mainly in the state of New Jersey, not New York.

2002 – The tugboat Robert Y. Love collides with a support pier of Interstate 40 on the Arkansas River near Webbers Falls, Oklahoma, resulting in 14 deaths and 11 others injured.

2004 – United States Army veteran Terry Nichols is found guilty of 161 state murder charges for helping carry out the Oklahoma City bombing.

2012 – A cannibal attack takes place on the MacArthur Causeway in Miami, Florida.


1883 – Mamie Smith, American singer, actress, dancer, and pianist (d. 1946)

1886 – Al Jolson, Lithuanian-American singer and actor (d. 1950)

1895 – Dorothea Lange, American photographer and journalist (d. 1965)

1898 – Ernst Bacon, American pianist, composer, and conductor (d. 1990)

1907 – John Wayne, American actor, singer, director, and producer (d. 1979)

1912 – Jay Silverheels, Canadian-American actor (d. 1980)

1916 – Moondog, American drummer, composer, and poet (d. 1999)

1920 – Peggy Lee, American singer-songwriter and actress (d. 2002)

1922 – Troy Smith, American businessman, founded Sonic Drive-In (d. 2009)

1923 – James Arness, American actor and producer (d. 2011)

1926 – Miles Davis, American trumpet player, composer, and bandleader (d. 1991)

1928 – Jack Kevorkian, American pathologist, author, and activist (d. 2011)

1939 – Brent Musburger, American sportscaster

1941 – Aldrich Ames, American CIA officer and criminal

1944 – Sam Posey, American race car driver and journalist

1948 – Stevie Nicks, American singer-songwriter (Fleetwood Mac)

1949 – Ward Cunningham, American computer programmer, developed the first wiki

1949 – Pam Grier, American actress

1949 – Hank Williams Jr., American singer-songwriter and guitarist

1951 – Sally Ride, American physicist and astronaut, founded Sally Ride Science (d. 2012)

1964 – Lenny Kravitz, American singer-songwriter, guitarist, producer, and actor

1977 – Raina Telgemeier, American author and cartoonist

1979 – Amanda Bauer, American astronomer and academic


1907 – Ida Saxton McKinley, American wife of William McKinley, 25th First Lady of the United States (b. 1847)

1939 – Charles Horace Mayo, American physician, co-founded Mayo Clinic (b. 1865)

1943 – Edsel Ford, American businessman (b. 1893)

1969 – Allan Haines Loughead, American engineer, co-founded the Lockheed Corporation (b. 1889)

1999 – Waldo Semon, American chemist and engineer (b. 1898)

2003 – Kathleen Winsor, American journalist and author (b. 1919)

2005 – Eddie Albert, American actor and singer (b. 1906)

2008 – Sydney Pollack, American actor, director, and screenwriter (b. 1934)

2013 – Jack Vance, American author (b. 1916)

2015 – Robert Kraft, American astronomer and academic (b. 1927)

2017 - Zbigniew Brzezinski, Polish-American Diplomat and political scientist (b. 1928)

2017 - Jim Bunning, American baseball players and politicial (b. 1931)