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July 26, 2013

Today in History

Today is Friday, July 26, the 207th day of 2013. There are 158 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

On July 26, 1953, Fidel Castro began his revolt against Fulgencio Batista (fool-HEN'-see-oh bah-TEES'-tah) with an unsuccessful attack on an army barracks in eastern Cuba. Castro ousted Batista in 1959.

On this date:

  • In 1775, Benjamin Franklin became America's first postmaster-general.
  • In 1788, New York became the 11th state to ratify the U.S. Constitution.
  • In 1863, Sam Houston, former president of the Republic of Texas, died in Huntsville at age 70.
  • In 1882, the Richard Wagner opera "Parsifal" premiered in Bayreuth (BY'-royt), Germany.
  • In 1908, Attorney General Charles J. Bonaparte ordered creation of a force of special agents that was a forerunner of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
  • In 1912, the Edison Studios production "What Happened to Mary," one of the first, if not very first, movie serials, was released with Mary Fuller in the title role.
  • In 1947, President Harry S. Truman signed the National Security Act, establishing the National Military Establishment, which later was renamed the Department of Defense.
  • In 1952, Argentina's first lady, Eva Peron, died in Buenos Aires at age 33. King Farouk I of Egypt abdicated in the wake of a coup led by Gamal Abdel Nasser.
  • In 1956, the Italian liner Andrea Doria sank off New England, some 11 hours after colliding with the Swedish liner Stockholm; at least 51 people died. Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser nationalized the Suez Canal.
  • In 1971, Apollo 15 was launched from Cape Kennedy on America's fourth manned mission to the moon. Photographer Diane Arbus died in New York at age 48.
  • In 1986, kidnappers in Lebanon released the Rev. Lawrence Martin Jenco, an American hostage held for nearly 19 months. American statesman W. Averell Harriman died in Yorktown Heights, N.Y., at age 94.
  • In 1990, President George H.W. Bush signed the Americans with Disabilities Act.

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