What happened on July 26 ?
657 - Battle of Siffin
811 - Battle of Pliska; Byzantine emperor Nicephorus I is slain, his heir Stauracius is seriously wounded
1139 - Afonso, then a count, is proclaimed first king of Portugal and declares independence from Castile
1469 - Battle of Edgecote Moor
1581 - Plakkaat van Verlatinghe (Oath of Abjuration). The declaration of independence of the northern Low Countries from the Spanish king, Philip II.
1775 - The birth of what would later become the United States Post Office Department was established by the Second Continental Congress.
1788 - New York ratifies the United States Constitution and is admitted as the 11th state of the United States.
1803 - the Surrey Iron Railway, arguably the world's first public railway, opens in south London.
1822 - José de San Martín arrives in Guayaquil, Ecuador, to meet with Simón Bolívar.
1847 - Liberia gains independence.
1861 - American Civil War: George McClellan assumes command of the Army of the Potomac following a disastrous Union defeat at the First Battle of Bull Run.
1863 - American Civil War: Morgan's Raid ends - At Salineville, Ohio, Confederate cavalry leader John Hunt Morgan and 360 of his volunteers are captured by Union forces.
1878 - In California, the poet and American West outlaw calling himself "Black Bart" makes his last clean getaway when he steals a safe box from a Wells Fargo stagecoach. The empty box will be found later with a taunting poem inside.
1887 - L. L. Zamenhof publishes "Dr. Esperanto's International Language".
1908 - United States Attorney General Charles Joseph Bonaparte issues an order to immediately staff the Office of the Chief Examiner (later renamed the Federal Bureau of Investigation).
1936 - The Axis Powers decide to intervene in the Spanish Civil War
1941 - World War II: In response to the Japanese occupation of French Indo-China, US President Franklin D. Roosevelt orders the seizure of all Japanese assets in the United States.
1945 - The Labour Party wins the United Kingdom General Election, removing Winston Churchill from power.
1945 - The Potsdam Declaration is signed in Potsdam, Germany.
1947 - Cold War: U.S. President Harry S. Truman signs the National Security Act into United States law creating the Central Intelligence Agency, Department of Defense, Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the National Security Council.
1948 - U.S. President Harry S. Truman signs Executive Order 9981 desegregating the military of the United States.
1948 - André Marie becomes Prime Minister of France
1953 - Fidel Castro leads an unsuccessful attack on the Moncada Barracks, thus beginning the Cuban Revolution.
1953 - Arizona Governor John Howard Pyle orders a law enforcement crackdown on Short Creek, Arizona, home to a polygamous sect of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.
1956 - Following the World Bank's decline to fund building the Aswan High Dam, Egyptian leader Gamal Nasser nationalizes the Suez Canal sparking international condemnation.
1957 - Carlos Castillo Armas, dictator of Guatemala, is assassinated
1958 - Explorer program: Explorer 4 is launched.
1963 - Syncom 2, the world's first geosynchronous satellite, is launched from Cape Canaveral on a Delta B booster.
1963 - Earthquake in Skopje, Yugoslavia - 1100 dead
1963 - The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development votes to admit Japan.
1966 - Lord Gardiner issues the Practice Statement in the House of Lords stating that the House is not bound to follow its own previous precedent.
1968 - Vietnam War: South Vietnamese opposition leader Truong Dinh Dzu is sentenced to five years hard labor for advocating the formation of a coalition government as a way to move toward an end to the war.
1971 - Apollo program: Launch of Apollo 15.
1989 - A federal grand jury indicts Cornell University student Robert T. Morris, Jr. for releasing the Morris worm, thus becoming the first person to be prosecuted under the 1986 Computer Fraud and Abuse Act.
1991 - Paul Reubens, better known as Pee Wee Herman, is arrested for allegedly exposing himself at a Sarasota, Florida adult theatre.
1991 - Sonic the Hedgehog is released for the Sega Megadrive in Japan.
2005 - Launch of Space Shuttle Discovery, NASA's first scheduled flight mission (STS-114) after the Columbia Disaster in 2003.
2005 - Mumbai (f.k.a. Bombay) - the financial capital and most populated city of India - receives 995mm of rain within 24 hours, bringing the city to a halt for over 2 days. (See: 2005 Maharashtra floods.)