Today in History – November 26

1476 – Vlad the Impaler defeated Basarab Laiota with the help of Stephen the Great and Stephen V Báthory and became the ruler of Wallachia for the third time.

1778 – In the Hawaiian Islands, Captain James Cook became the first European to visit Maui.

1789 – A national Thanksgiving Day was observed in the United States as proclaimed by President George Washington at the request of Congress.

1812 – The Battle of Berezina began during Napoleon’s retreat from Russia.

1832 – The first streetcar railway in America began operating in New York City with a 12 cent fare.

1859 – The last weekly installment of Charles Dickens’ “A Tale Of Two Cities” was published in literary periodical “All the Year Round”.

1863 – United States President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed November 26 as a national Thanksgiving Day, to be celebrated annually on the final Thursday of November. Following the Franksgiving controversy from 1939 to 1941, it has been observed on the fourth Thursday in 1942 and subsequent years.

1865 – “Alice in Wonderland” by Lewis Carroll was published in America.

1896 – Amos Alonzo Stagg of University of Chicago created the football huddle.

1898 – The SS Portland, “The Titanic of New England”, left for Cape Cod.  It was shipwrecked off Cape Ann and all 192 onboard were killed.

1922 – Howard Carter and Lord Carnarvon became the first people to enter the tomb of Pharaoh Tutankhamun in over 3000 years.

1922 – The Toll of the Sea debuted as the first general release film to use two-tone Technicolor. (The Gulf Between was the first film to do so, but it was not widely distributed.)

1942 – Casablanca, the movie starring Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman, premiered in New York City.

1943 – The last Judy Garland-Mickey Rooney movie, “Girl Crazy”, was released.

1944 – World War II: A German V-2 rocket hit a Woolworth’s shop in London, United Kingdom, and killed 168 people.

1944 – Himmler ordered the destruction of Auschwitz & Birkenau crematoria.

1945 – Charlie “Bird” Parker led a recording session for the Savoy label marketed as the “greatest Jazz session ever” with Dizzy Gillespie and Miles Davis.

1948 – The first polaroid camera sold for $89.75 in Boston at the Jordan Marsh department store. The Land Camera model 95 became prototype for all Polaroid Land cameras for the next 15 years.

1956 – “The Price Is Right” debuted on NBC.

1962 – The Beatles re-recorded “Please Please Me” at a faster tempo.

1965 – France launched Astérix and became the third nation to put an object in orbit using its own booster.

1968 – Vietnam War: United States Air Force helicopter pilot James P. Fleming rescued an Army Special Forces unit pinned down by Viet Cong fire. He was later awarded the Medal of Honor.

1969 – Cream held their final concert (Royal Albert Hall).  They held four reunion concerts in 2005.

1970 – In Basse-Terre, Guadeloupe, 1 1/2 inches of rain fell in a minute, the heaviest rainfall ever recorded.

1973 – Nixon’s personal secretary Rose Mary Woods, told a federal court that she accidentally caused part of 18½ minute gap in a key Watergate tape.

1976 – Sex Pistols released their debut single “Anarchy In The UK”.

1977 – An unidentified hijacker named Vrillon, who claimed to be the representative of the “Ashtar Galactic Command”, took over Britain’s Southern Television for six minutes, starting at 5:12 pm.

1983 – Brink’s-Mat robbery: In London, 6,800 gold bars worth nearly £26 million were stolen from the Brink’s-Mat vault at Heathrow Airport.

1984 – John W. Mercom Jr. announced that the New Orleans Saints were up for sale for $75 million.

1985 – Random House bought Richard Nixons memoires for $3,000,000.

2000 – George W. Bush was certified the winner of Florida’s electoral votes by Katherine Harris.  He won the United States presidential election despite losing in the national popular vote.

2003 – The Concorde made its final flight (over Bristol, England).

2011 – The Mars Science Laboratory was launched to Mars with the Curiosity Rover.

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