June 26, 1604 - French explorer Samuel de Champlain, Pierre Dugua and 77 others landed on the island of St. Croix and made friends with the native Passamaquoddy Indians. It later became part of Maine on the US-Canadian border.
June 26, 1742 - Arthur Middleton, signer of the Declaration of Independence, was born.
June 26, 1804 - The Lewis and Clark Expedition reached the mouth of the Kansas River after completing a westward trek of nearly 400 river miles.
June 26, 1819 - Abner Doubleday (d.1893), Civil War General, was born. He was incorrectly credited with inventing American baseball.
June 26, 1862 - Confederate General Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia strikes Union General George B. McClellan's Army of the Potomac, beginning the Seven Days' Battles. Although the Confederates sustained heavy losses and did not succeed in decisively defeating the Yankees, the battle had unnerved McClellan. During the next week, Lee drove him from the outskirts of Richmond back to his base on the James River. This was Lee's first battle as commander of the army. On June 1, 1862, he had replaced Joseph Johnston
June 26, 1863 - Jubal Early and his Confederate forces moved into Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.
June 26, 1863 - Rear Admiral Andrew Hull Foote died in New York City of the wound received while brilliantly leading the naval forces on the Western rivers. The next day the Navy Department announced: 'A gallant and distinguished naval officer is lost to the country. The hero of Fort Henry and Fort Donelson, the daring and inimitable spirit that created and led to successive victories the Mississippi Flotilla, the heroic Christian sailor, who in the China Seas and on the coast of Africa, as well as the great interior ri
June 26, 1876 - Following Lieutenant Colonel George Custer's death the previous day in the Battle of the Little Big Horn, Major Marcus Reno takes command of the surviving soldiers of the 7th Cavalry. A West Point graduate who fought for the North during the Civil War, Marcus Reno was an experienced soldier and officer. Yet, despite having been sent west in 1868 as a major in Custer's 7th Cavalry, Reno had never actually fought any Indians prior to the Battle of the Little Big Horn. On June 25, 1876, Custer's scouts repo
June 26, 1884 - Congress authorizes commissioning of Naval Academy graduates as ensigns.
June 26, 1891 - The Corps established its first post at Port Royal, South Carolina, later known as Parris Island.
June 26, 1900 - The United States announced it would send troops to fight against the Boxer rebellion in China.
June 26, 1900 - A commission that included Dr. Walter Reed began the fight against the deadly disease yellow fever.
June 26, 1917 - During World War I, the first 14,000 U.S. infantry troops land in France at the port of Saint Nazaire. The landing site had been kept secret because of the menace of German submarines, but by the time the Americans had lined up to take their first salute on French soil, an enthusiastic crowd had gathered to welcome them. However, the "Doughboys," as the British referred to the green American troops, were untrained, ill-equipped, and far from ready for the difficulties of fighting along the Western Front.
June 26, 1918 - At Belleau Woods, France after beating off some early morning counterattacks, Major Maurice Shearer sends signal, "Woods now entirely -US Marine Corps."
June 26, 1924 - After eight years of occupation, American troops left the Dominican Republic.
June 26, 1926 - A memorial to the first U.S. troops in France was unveiled at St. Nazaire.
June 26, 1927 - Direct commercial radio service between the Philippines and the US was inaugurated with a message from Manila to SF.
June 26, 1936 - The 1st flight of Fw61 helicopter.
June 26, 1942 - The Grumman F6F Hellcat fighter flew for the first time.
June 26, 1944 - Coast Guard LCDR Quentin R. Walsh and his small commando/reconnaissance unit forced the surrender of Fort du Homet, a Nazi stronghold at Cherbourg, France, and captured 300 German soldiers and liberated 50 U.S. paratroopers who had been captured on D-Day. For his heroic actions Walsh was awarded the Navy Cross.
June 26, 1944 - Most of Cherbourg, except the port, is now occupied by US 7th Corps (part of US 1st Army). The German garrison commander, General Schlieben and the naval commander, Admiral Hennecke, are taken prisoner. Meanwhile, British 2nd Army forces attacking toward Caen recieve naval support from HMS Rodney, the monitor Roberts and 3 cruisers.
June 26, 1944 - The French Expeditionary Corps (part of the US 5th Army) advances north of Radicofani while South African elements of the British 8th Army, to the right, capture Chiusi.
June 26, 1944 - The American 5th Amphibious Corps continues attacking on Saipan. A small Japanese reinforcement convoy heading for the island is met and forced away by US forces.
June 26, 1944 - Admiral Small leads a cruiser and destroyer group to bombard Japanese positions on Matsuwa.
June 26, 1945 - In the Herbst Theater auditorium in San Francisco, delegates from 50 nations sign the United Nations Charter, establishing the world body as a means of saving "succeeding generations from the scourge of war." The Charter was ratified on October 24, and the first U.N. General Assembly met in London on January 10, 1946. Despite the failure of the League of Nations in arbitrating the conflicts that led up to World War II, the Allies as early as 1941 proposed establishing a new international body to maintain
June 26, 1945 - US Marines land on Kume Island, where a new radar station is installed.
June 26, 1945 - On Luzon, the American paratroopers dropped near Aparri link up with the US 37th Division. The divisional headquarters now takes command of the parachute battalion and the regimental task force, sent north earlier, as well as the Filipino guerrillas operating in the area.
June 26, 1945 - American B-29 Superfortress bombers launch the first in a series of nighttime raids against Japanese oil refineries.
June 26, 1948 - In order to implement the expanded postwar activities of the Coast Guard in the field of aids to navigation, Congress approved Public Law 786. It provided legislative authority for the Coast Guard to establish and operate maritime aids for the armed forces and LORAN stations essential for the armed forces and maritime and air commerce of the United States.
June 26, 1948 - In response to the Soviet blockade of land routes into West Berlin, the United States begins a massive airlift of food, water, and medicine to the citizens of the besieged city. For nearly a year, supplies from American planes sustained the over 2 million people in West Berlin. On June 24, 1948, the Soviet Union blocked all road and rail travel to and from West Berlin, which was located within the Soviet zone of occupation in Germany. The Soviet action was in response to the refusal of American and Briti
June 26, 1950 - Far East Air Forces cargo planes began the evacuation of 700 U.S. State Department and Korean Military Advisory Group employees and their families. FEAF also sent ten F-51 Mustang fighters to the ROK forces.
June 26, 1951 - The Soviet Union proposed a cease-fire in the Korean War.
June 26, 1959 - In a ceremony presided over by U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower and Queen Elizabeth II, the St. Lawrence Seaway is officially opened, creating a navigational channel from the Atlantic Ocean to all the Great Lakes. The seaway, made up of a system of canals, locks, and dredged waterways, extends a distance of nearly 2,500 miles, from the Atlantic Ocean through the Gulf of St. Lawrence to Duluth, Minnesota, on Lake Superior. Work on the massive project was initiated by a joint U.S.-Canadian commission in
June 26, 1962 - NAVFAC Cape Hatteras makes first Sound Surveillance System (SOSUS) detection of a Soviet diesel submarine.
June 26, 1963 - President Kennedy visited West Berlin, where he made his famous declaration: "Ich bin ein Berliner" (I am a Berliner) at the Berlin Wall.
June 26, 1965 - Gen. William Westmoreland, senior U.S. military commander in Vietnam, is given formal authority to commit American troops to battle when he decides they are necessary "to strengthen the relative position of the GVN [Government of Vietnam] forces." This authorization permitted Westmoreland to put his forces on the offensive. Heretofore, U.S. combat forces had been restricted to protecting U.S. airbases and other facilities. The first major offensive by U.S. forces under this new directive was launched two
June 26, 1971 - The U.S. Justice Department issued a warrant for Daniel Ellsberg, accusing him of giving away the Pentagon Papers. The infamous Pentagon Papers gave insights into the Johnson administration's thinking on the Vietnam War.
June 26, 1972 - The shift of fighter-bomber squadrons, involving up to 150 U.S. planes and more than 2,000 pilots from Da Nang, to bases in Thailand is completed. The shift was necessitated by the pending withdrawal of the U.S. infantry brigade that provided security for flyers at Da Nang. The departure of the U.S. unit was part of President Richard Nixon's Vietnamization program that he had instituted in June 1969. Under this program, the responsibility for the war was to be gradually transferred to the South Vietnames
June 26, 1973 - Navy Task Force 78 completes minesweeping of North Vietnamese ports.
June 26, 1975 - There was a firefight on Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota as FBI agents pursued a robbery suspect. In 1977 Leonard Peltier, an Ojibwa-Sioux Indian, was found guilty of murdering 2 FBI agents, Ronald Williams and Jack Coler as they lay wounded. In 1983 Peter Matthiessen wrote “In the Spirit of Crazy Horse,” that described the related events. The book was pulled out of bookstores after an FBI agent and a former governor sued him for libel. Matthiessen claims to have spoken to the man who actually sho
June 26, 1991 - A Kentucky medical examiner announced that test results showed President Zachary Taylor had died in 1850 of natural causes—and not arsenic poisoning, as speculated by a writer. Taylor’s remains were exhumed so that tissue samples could be taken.
June 26, 1992 - Navy Secretary H. Lawrence Garrett III resigned, accepting responsibility for a "leadership failure" that resulted in the Tailhook sex-abuse scandal.
June 26, 1993 - In retaliation for an Iraqi plot to assassinate former U.S. President George Bush during his April visit to Kuwait, President Bill Clinton orders U.S. warships to fire Tomahawk cruise missiles at Iraqi intelligence headquarters in downtown Baghdad. On April 13, 1993, the day before George Bush was scheduled to visit Kuwait and be honored for his victory in the Persian Gulf War, Kuwaiti authorities foiled a car-bomb plot to assassinate him. Fourteen suspects, most of them Iraqi nationals, were arrested, a
June 26, 1996 - The Supreme Court ordered the Virginia Military Academy to admit women or forgo state support.
June 26, 1996 - The US Senate Science, Technology and Space subcommittee sent a live audio feed over the Internet for the first time. The proceedings were on online commerce and encryption software.
June 26, 1996 - The $1.6 billion Galileo spacecraft was expected to fly to within 527 miles of Ganymede, the largest moon of Jupiter. It was scheduled to photograph Jupiter and four of its 16 moons.
June 26, 1996 - Guerrilla leader Gulbuddin Hekmatyar was sworn in as prime minister in Afghanistan as the Taliban militia launched an assault that killed 54 and wounded 118 people. Hekmatyar is a member of the dominant Pashtun group, unlike Rabanni and military commander Ahmad Shah Massoud who belong to the Tajik ethnic group.
June 26, 1998 - In Thailand four Pakistanis were reported to have been arrested in Bangkok. They were suspected of planning to assassinate US Ambassador William Itoh and to launch a terrorist strike against the US embassy.
June 26, 1999 - NATO reopened the main airport in Kosovo, 10 miles west of Pristina. The first flight was a Russian cargo plane. An advance contingent of Russian troops flew into Kosovo to help reopen a strategic airport and join an uneasy alliance with NATO peacekeepers.
June 26, 2001 - Pres. Bush met with Israel’s PM Ariel Sharon who resisted pressure to move faster on a US backed cease-fire accord. Sharon insisted on a complete halt to Palestinian hostilities.
June 26, 2001 - George Trofimoff (74), a retired US Army Reserve officer, was convicted in Tampa for spying for Moscow for 22 years while serving as a civilian interrogator of refugees and defectors in Germany. He was sentenced to life in prison on Sep 27. Trofimoff, who maintains his innocence, was sentenced to life in prison.
June 26, 2002 - Ten Pakistani soldiers and two suspected al Qaeda militants were killed in a gun battle in the lawless tribal area bordering Afghanistan.
June 26, 2004 - Taliban remnants claimed responsibility for the bomb attack that killed two Afghani United Nations election workers in eastern Afghanistan.