Today in History, 26 July: What Happened on this Day

Historical Events


Battle of Siffin

Explanation: The Battle of Siffin was a significant event that took place during the First Fitna, which was the first Muslim civil war. It occurred beside the Euphrates River between two major figures in early Islamic history: Ali ibn Abi Talib, who was the cousin and son-in-law of Prophet Muhammad, and Muawiyah I, the governor of Syria and a relative of the Umayyad dynasty. The conflict arose due to a dispute over the assassination of the previous caliph, Uthman ibn Affan. The battle lasted for several months and ended inconclusively, resulting in the arbitration of the dispute by a third party. The division between the followers of Ali (Shia) and Muawiyah (Sunni) over the legitimacy of leadership laid the groundwork for the historical schism in Islam.



Wars of the Roses – Battle of Edgecote Moor

Explanation: The Wars of the Roses was a series of civil wars fought in medieval England between the Houses of Lancaster and York for control of the English throne. The Battle of Edgecote Moor occurred during this conflict and was a part of the larger struggle known as the Cousins’ War. In this specific battle, forces loyal to Richard Neville, the 16th Earl of Warwick, clashed with those of King Edward IV. The Earl of Warwick was a prominent figure in the Wars of the Roses, known as “the Kingmaker” for his pivotal role in shaping the events. The battle resulted in the defeat of Edward IV’s forces, leading him to briefly lose his throne before reclaiming it. The Wars of the Roses had a profound impact on English history, eventually leading to the establishment of the Tudor dynasty under Henry VII.



Francisco Pizarro receives royal charter for the west coast of South America

Explanation: In 1519, the Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro received a royal charter from the Spanish Crown, granting him the authority to explore and conquer the western coast of South America. Pizarro set out on a series of expeditions to the region, which eventually led to the conquest of the Inca Empire. Pizarro’s expedition, supported by a small number of Spanish conquistadors, brought about the fall of the Inca civilization and the establishment of Spanish rule in what is now modern-day Peru. The conquest of the Inca Empire remains one of the most remarkable feats of military conquest in history, as a relatively small group of around 200 conquistadors managed to defeat an empire of approximately 10 million people.



James V was declared fit to govern by the Scottish Parliament at the age of 12

Explanation: In 1524, the Scottish Parliament declared James V fit to govern the kingdom at the young age of 12. As the son of James IV and Margaret Tudor (sister of King Henry VIII of England), James V ascended to the throne of Scotland at the tender age of 17 months following his father’s death in battle. During his minority, various regents ruled on his behalf, but as he reached adolescence, the Parliament deemed him capable of governing in his own right. James V’s reign was marked by political turmoil and conflicts, including struggles with the powerful Douglas and Hamilton families. Despite these challenges, he played a crucial role in maintaining Scotland’s independence and asserting its authority in the face of external pressures from England.



Francisco Pizarro orders the death of the last Sapa Inca Emperor, Atahualpa

Explanation: In 1533, Francisco Pizarro, the Spanish conquistador, ordered the death of Atahualpa, the last Sapa Inca Emperor of the Inca Empire. Pizarro had captured Atahualpa during the Spanish conquest of the Inca Empire and held him as a hostage to extract ransom and wealth from the Inca people. Despite the Inca fulfilling the demands, Pizarro decided to execute Atahualpa by strangulation. This act further solidified Spanish control over the Inca Empire and marked the end of the Inca civilization as an independent entity. The Spanish conquest of the Inca Empire paved the way for Spanish colonization in South America and had a profound impact on the region’s history and culture.



Dutch Act of Abjuration declared

Explanation: In 1581, the Dutch Act of Abjuration, also known as the Plakkaat van Verlatinghe, was declared. This historic document was an important step in the struggle for Dutch independence from Spanish rule. It was a formal declaration by the seven northern provinces of the Netherlands, stating their independence from King Philip II of Spain. The act cited the king’s violations of the social contract, tyranny, and oppression of the Dutch people as reasons for their decision to sever ties with the Spanish Crown. This declaration laid the groundwork for the establishment of the Dutch Republic and the eventual emergence of the Netherlands as a significant European power.



Rembrandt Declares Insolvency

Explanation: In 1656, the renowned Dutch painter Rembrandt van Rijn declared that he was insolvent. Despite his fame and talent, Rembrandt’s extravagant lifestyle and poor financial management led him into significant debt. He spent lavishly on artwork, rare items, and a grand lifestyle, which eventually caught up with him. The declaration of insolvency allowed him to avoid bankruptcy, but it also had a profound impact on his life and art. Following this period of financial hardship, Rembrandt entered the most experimental and exuberantly creative phase of his career, producing some of his most celebrated masterpieces. Despite his financial struggles, Rembrandt’s artistic legacy remains unparalleled in the world of art.



Giacomo Casanova’s Arrest in Venice

Explanation: In 1755, the infamous adventurer and seducer Giacomo Casanova was arrested in Venice. Casanova, a complex and enigmatic figure, was known for his numerous romantic escapades, travels across Europe, and association with various influential figures. He was imprisoned in the Doge’s Palace in Venice on charges of affront to religion and common decency. During his imprisonment, Casanova managed a daring escape and continued his adventurous life, which he later chronicled in his famous memoir, “The Story of My Life.” Casanova’s reputation as a legendary lover and his captivating life story has made him an enduring historical figure.



British Conquest of Louisbourg

Explanation: In 1758, during the Seven Years’ War, a British battle fleet led by General James Wolfe successfully conquered the French fortress of Louisbourg, situated in present-day Nova Scotia, Canada. The capture of Louisbourg was a significant victory for the British and was part of their strategy to gain control over the French territories in North America. The fall of Louisbourg was a pivotal moment in the war, leading to further British successes in the conflict. The victory played a role in shaping the outcome of the Seven Years’ War and ultimately influenced the territorial arrangements in North America under the Treaty of Paris in 1763.



Creation of the United States Post Office (U.S.P.O.)

Explanation: In 1775, the United States Continental Congress established the United States Post Office, now known as the United States Postal Service (USPS), in Philadelphia under the leadership of Benjamin Franklin. The establishment of the U.S.P.O. was crucial in facilitating communication and the exchange of information among the colonies during the American Revolution. Benjamin Franklin, the first Postmaster General, played a key role in organizing and improving postal services in the early days of the United States. The USPS remains an essential institution in the country, providing reliable mail and package delivery services to this day.



New York Ratifies the U.S. Constitution

Explanation: In 1788, New York became the 11th state to ratify the United States Constitution, following Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Georgia, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maryland, South Carolina, New Hampshire, and Virginia. The ratification of the Constitution by New York was a significant milestone in the formation of the United States as a unified nation. The document drafted in 1787, established the framework for the federal government and laid out the principles that have guided the country since its inception. The ratification of the Constitution solidified the federal structure and the rights and freedoms of American citizens.



Secret Meeting of Simón Bolívar and José de San Martín

Explanation: In 1822, the independence leaders Simón Bolívar of Gran Colombia (modern-day Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, and Panama) and José de San Martín of the United Provinces of South America (modern-day Argentina, Chile, Peru, and Bolivia) held a secret meeting in Guayaquil, Ecuador. The meeting between these two great liberators of South America was a pivotal moment in the history of the continent’s struggle for independence from Spanish colonial rule. Though the details of the meeting remain a subject of historical debate, it is believed that they discussed potential strategies for achieving South American unity and the liberation of remaining Spanish-controlled territories. The encounter between Bolívar and San Martín, two visionary leaders, had a profound impact on the direction of the independence movements in the region.



Battle of Salineville

Explanation: In 1863, during the American Civil War, the Battle of Salineville took place in Salineville, Ohio. Confederate cavalry leader John Hunt Morgan and his approximately 364 troops surrendered to Union forces after a 17-day unauthorized raid through Indiana and Ohio. Morgan’s raid was part of his efforts to divert Union forces from the main theatres of war and create confusion behind enemy lines. The raid ultimately failed, and his surrender marked a setback for the Confederacy. The Battle of Salineville was just one of the many engagements that occurred during the turbulent and devastating American Civil War.



Winston Churchill Orders British Fleet to Remain Ready

Explanation: In 1914, as the threat of war in Europe grew and tensions escalated, Winston Churchill, then the First Lord of the Admiralty (British Minister of the Navy), ordered the British fleet to remain in a state of readiness. The anticipation of war was a response to the increasing instability in Europe, and this decision played a significant role in preparing the British Navy for the events that unfolded during World War I. Winston Churchill’s actions and leadership during this period were critical in shaping Britain’s role in the conflict and the broader course of the war.



  1. Edgar Hoover Joins US Department of Justice

Explanation: In 1917, J. Edgar Hoover, a young lawyer, joined the U.S. Department of Justice as a special assistant to the Attorney General. This marked the beginning of a long and influential career for Hoover in federal law enforcement. In 1924, he became the Director of the Bureau of Investigation, which later evolved into the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). Hoover’s tenure as the FBI director, spanning almost five decades, left a lasting impact on the organization’s structure, policies, and investigative techniques. He played a crucial role in shaping the FBI into a powerful and influential law enforcement agency.



Clement Attlee Becomes British Prime Minister

Explanation: After the Labour Party’s landslide victory in the 1945 general election, Clement Attlee became the Prime Minister of Great Britain. The Labour Party’s triumph marked a significant shift in British politics, leading to the defeat of Winston Churchill’s Conservative Party. Attlee’s government initiated a series of major reforms, including the establishment of the welfare state, nationalization of key industries, and the creation of the National Health Service (NHS). His tenure as Prime Minister, which lasted until 1951, was marked by a commitment to social and economic reforms that reshaped post-war Britain.



Potsdam Declaration Issued

Explanation: In 1945, during World War II, the Potsdam Declaration was issued by the United States, Britain, and China. The declaration was a joint ultimatum demanding the unconditional surrender of Japan. It warned Japan of “prompt and utter destruction” if it did not comply with the terms. The Potsdam Declaration set the stage for the end of World War II in the Pacific and paved the way for the dropping of atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, leading to Japan’s surrender on August 15, 1945.



Plutonium Core Transportation for Nagasaki Bombing

Explanation: In 1945, during the closing stages of World War II, physicist Raemer Schreiber and Lieutenant Colonel Peer de Silva departed Kirtland Army Air Field to transport the plutonium core for the Fat Man atomic bomb. The bomb was later dropped on the Japanese city of Nagasaki on August 9, 1945. The bombing resulted in immense destruction and loss of life, leading to Japan’s surrender and the end of World War II.



Establishment of the US Department of Defense, CIA, National Security Council, and Joint Chiefs of Staff

Explanation: In 1947, U.S. President Harry S. Truman signed the National Security Act, which established several key institutions integral to the country’s national security infrastructure. This act created the United States Department of Defense (DoD), bringing together the previously separate Army, Navy, and Air Force under one department. It also led to the establishment of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), tasked with coordinating intelligence efforts and operations abroad. Additionally, the National Security Act created the National Security Council (NSC) and the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS), further enhancing the coordination and effectiveness of U.S. defence and security policies.



Fidel Castro’s Failed Attack on the Moncada Barracks

Explanation: In 1953, Fidel Castro, along with a group of revolutionaries, led a failed attack on the Moncada Barracks in Santiago de Cuba. The attack was intended to spark a revolution against the dictatorship of Fulgencio Batista. Though the attempt was unsuccessful, it marked the beginning of Castro’s journey as a revolutionary leader and his fight against the Batista regime. Castro’s determination and eventual success in overthrowing Batista’s government in 1959 led to the establishment of a communist government in Cuba and had far-reaching consequences for the country and its relationship with the United States.



Gamal Abdel Nasser’s Plan to Nationalize the Suez Canal

Explanation: In 1956, Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser announced a plan to nationalize the Suez Canal. The Suez Canal, a crucial maritime route connecting the Mediterranean Sea to the Red Sea, was previously operated by a joint British-French company. Nasser’s decision to nationalize the canal sparked the “Suez Crisis,” a major international diplomatic and military confrontation. The crisis involved military action by Israel, the United Kingdom, and France against Egypt, which eventually resulted in the withdrawal of the invading forces and the reaffirmation of Egypt’s control over the canal. The Suez Crisis had significant implications for the dynamics of power in the Middle East and the decolonization process.



Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Signed into Law

Explanation: In 1990, U.S. President George H. W. Bush signed the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) into law. The ADA is a landmark civil rights legislation that prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities in various aspects of public life, including employment, transportation, public accommodations, and telecommunications. The ADA has had a transformative impact on the lives of people with disabilities in the United States, fostering greater accessibility, inclusivity, and equal opportunities for participation in society.



President Donald Trump’s Policy to Ban Transgender People from the Military

Explanation: In 2017, U.S. President Donald Trump announced a policy to ban transgender individuals from serving in the military. This decision overturned the policy established during the Obama administration, which allowed transgender people to serve openly. President Trump’s policy drew significant controversy and legal challenges, with many arguing that it discriminated against transgender individuals and undermined their rights. The issue remained contentious and sparked debates about inclusivity and equality within the armed forces.



Observation of a Black Hole by The Very Large Telescope (VLT) in Chile

Explanation: In 2018, an international team of astronomers using The Very Large Telescope (VLT) in Chile made a groundbreaking observation of a supermassive black hole in the centre of the galaxy Messier 87 (M87). This observation provided the first direct visual evidence of a black hole’s event horizon, confirming Albert Einstein’s general theory of relativity, including the prediction of “gravitational redshift.” The discovery was published in the scientific journal “Astronomy & Astrophysics” and marked a major milestone in our understanding of black holes and the nature of gravity.



John Lewis’s Last Crossing of the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma

Explanation: In 2020, the body of civil rights activist and Congressman John Lewis was carried across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama, as part of a remembrance ceremony. The bridge was a historic site where, 55 years earlier, Lewis and other civil rights marchers were violently attacked by state troopers during the Selma to Montgomery marches. This event, known as “Bloody Sunday,” became a turning point in the civil rights movement and led to the eventual passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The ceremony in 2020 commemorated Lewis’s contributions to the fight for civil rights and honoured his enduring legacy as a champion of equality and justice.




Music Premiere – Richard Wagner’s opera “Parsifal” premieres in Bayreuth, Germany

Explanation: On July 25, 1882, the iconic opera “Parsifal” composed by Richard Wagner made its debut at the Bayreuth Festival Theatre in Germany. This opera, which is loosely based on Arthurian legend and the medieval poem “Parzival” by Wolfram von Eschenbach, is renowned for its profound themes and Wagner’s masterful use of leitmotifs. The premiere of “Parsifal” was a significant cultural event, as it marked the culmination of Wagner’s operatic achievements and solidified his reputation as one of the most influential composers of the 19th century. The Bayreuth Festival Theatre, specially designed for Wagner’s operas, became a pilgrimage site for opera enthusiasts from around the world, where the composer’s works are still celebrated today.



Music Premiere – Peter Shaffer’s musical “Equus” premieres in London

Explanation: On this day in 1973, the gripping and thought-provoking musical “Equus” premiered at the Old Vic Theatre in London. Written by playwright Peter Shaffer, “Equus” delves into the complex psychological relationship between a psychiatrist, Dr Martin Dysart, and his young patient, Alan Strang, who has committed a disturbing act of blinding horses. The play explores themes of passion, religious fanaticism, and the blurred boundaries between sanity and madness. With its intense performances and intriguing narrative, “Equus” received critical acclaim and quickly gained popularity, eventually becoming one of the standout works in contemporary theatre. The play’s impact extended beyond the stage, inspiring a 1977 film adaptation and numerous revivals in various parts of the world.



Film & TV History – Indian film star Amitabh Bachchan is seriously injured filming a fight scene for the movie “Coolie”

Explanation: On July 25, 1982, while shooting a fight scene for the Bollywood movie “Coolie” in Bangalore, India, superstar Amitabh Bachchan suffered a life-threatening accident. The actor sustained a near-fatal injury when he mistimed a punch and was accidentally hit in the abdomen by co-actor Puneet Issar. The blow caused a ruptured spleen and internal bleeding, leading to a critical situation. Bachchan was immediately rushed to Mumbai’s Breach Candy Hospital, where he underwent multiple surgeries and a lengthy period of recuperation. The incident prompted an outpouring of concern and support from his fans and the film fraternity across India. Bachchan’s resilience and recovery not only marked a miraculous turn of events for the beloved actor but also brought significant attention to safety measures on film sets, highlighting the risks that performers take to entertain audiences worldwide.



Music Concert – Sir Paul McCartney performs a “secret” gig at the Cavern Club in Liverpool, where the Beatles began

Explanation: On July 25, 2018, music legend Sir Paul McCartney surprised and delighted fans with a “secret” concert at the Cavern Club in Liverpool, United Kingdom. The Cavern Club holds historical significance as the birthplace of the iconic rock band, The Beatles, with whom McCartney gained worldwide fame. The intimate performance was part of a promotional event for his album “Egypt Station” and marked McCartney’s return to the venue after many years. The lucky attendees were treated to a once-in-a-lifetime experience, as McCartney played a mix of classic Beatles hits and songs from his solo career. 




Horatio Gates

Explanation: Horatio Gates was a British-American soldier who played a significant role during the Revolutionary War as a general in the Continental Army. Born in Maldon, England, he later emigrated to America and became a key figure in the American Revolution. Gates is best known for his victory at the Battle of Saratoga in 1777, which is considered a turning point in the war. This victory convinced France to officially enter the war on the side of the American colonies, providing crucial support in their struggle for independence.



George Clinton

Explanation: George Clinton was an American soldier and statesman who served as the fourth Vice President of the United States from 1805 to 1812. Born in Little Britain, New York, Clinton was a prominent figure during the early years of the United States. He played a crucial role in the formation of the country and was an ardent supporter of the Democratic-Republican Party. Clinton’s political career was marked by his dedication to the principles of individual rights and limited government, making him an influential figure in shaping early American politics.



George Bernard Shaw

Explanation: George Bernard Shaw was an Irish dramatist and literary critic renowned for his contributions to the world of theatre. Born in Dublin, Ireland, Shaw’s works, including the famous play “Pygmalion,” challenged societal norms and explored themes of social reform and human behaviour. In 1925, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature for his profound impact on the literary world and his ability to use satire to address important social issues of his time.



Carl Jung

Explanation: Carl Jung was a Swiss psychiatrist and psychoanalyst who founded analytical psychology. Born in Kesswil, Switzerland, Jung’s ideas and theories had a profound impact on the field of psychology. He introduced concepts such as the collective unconscious, archetypes, and the process of individuation. Jung’s approach to therapy emphasized the exploration of dreams, symbols, and the deeper layers of the human psyche, influencing not only psychology but also art, literature, and various other fields of study.



Aldous Huxley

Explanation: Aldous Huxley was an English author known for his influential works in the realms of dystopian fiction and philosophical literature. Born in Godalming, Surrey, Huxley’s most famous novel, “Brave New World,” portrayed a chilling vision of a future society controlled by technology and conformity. Another notable work, “Island,” explored themes of spirituality and the human quest for meaning. Huxley’s writings continue to captivate readers and remain relevant in discussions about the future of humanity.



Blake Edwards

Explanation: Blake Edwards was an American writer and director known for his contributions to film and television. Born in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Edwards was a prolific filmmaker, and his work ranged from classic comedies like “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” and “The Pink Panther” series to dramas and thrillers. He had a knack for combining humour and emotion, making him a respected figure in the entertainment industry during his time.



Hoyt Wilhelm

Explanation: Hoyt Wilhelm was an American baseball player and Hall of Fame pitcher, known for his impressive career in Major League Baseball. Born in Huntersville, North Carolina, Wilhelm was a knuckleball specialist and an eight-time MLB All-Star. He achieved notable accomplishments, including winning the World Series with the 1954 New York Giants and throwing a no-hitter while playing for the Baltimore Orioles in 1958. His exceptional skills and longevity earned him a place in the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1985.



Stanley Kubrick

Explanation: Stanley Kubrick was an iconic American film director who left an indelible mark on cinema. Born in The Bronx, New York, Kubrick’s films spanned various genres, including science fiction (“2001: A Space Odyssey”), dark comedy (“Dr. Strangelove”), and psychological drama (“A Clockwork Orange”). His meticulous attention to detail and visionary storytelling techniques earned him critical acclaim and a devoted fan base.



John Howard

Explanation: John Howard was the 25th Prime Minister of Australia, serving from 1996 to 2007. Born in Earlwood, New South Wales, Australia, Howard was a significant political figure known for his conservative leadership and policy initiatives. During his time in office, he focused on economic reforms, gun control measures, and strengthening Australia’s alliance with the United States.



Mick Jagger

Explanation: Mick Jagger is an English rock vocalist, songwriter, actor, and knight, best known as the lead singer of the Rolling Stones. Born in Dartford, Kent, Jagger’s charismatic stage presence and his songwriting collaborations with Keith Richards contributed to the band’s legendary status. The Rolling Stones produced numerous iconic songs, and Jagger’s influence on rock music and pop culture is immeasurable.



Helen Mirren

Explanation: Helen Mirren is an esteemed English actress celebrated for her versatility and captivating performances on stage and screen. Born in London, England, Mirren’s illustrious career includes acclaimed roles in films such as “The Queen” and “The Madness of King George.” Her talent and dedication to her craft have earned her numerous awards, including an Academy Award, several Golden Globes, and multiple BAFTA Awards.



Kevin Spacey

Explanation: Kevin Spacey is an American actor known for his exceptional performances in film, television, and theatre. Born in South Orange, New Jersey, Spacey has portrayed memorable characters in movies like “American Beauty” and “The Usual Suspects.” His talent earned him critical acclaim, including two Academy Awards, and he also served as the artistic director of London’s Old Vic Theatre for over a decade.



Sandra Bullock

Explanation: Sandra Bullock is an American actress widely recognized for her contributions to the entertainment industry. Born in Washington, D.C., Bullock gained fame for her roles in blockbuster films such as “Speed” and “The Blind Side,” for which she won an Academy Award. Her versatile performances in various genres have made her a beloved figure in Hollywood.



Jason Statham

Explanation: Jason Statham is a British actor known for his roles in action-packed films. Born in Shirebrook, Derbyshire, Statham rose to fame with movies like “The Transporter” series and “Crank.” His impressive martial arts skills and on-screen charisma have made him one of the leading action stars of his generation.



Liz Truss

Explanation: Liz Truss is a British politician associated with the Conservative Party who has held various prominent positions in the government. Born in Oxford, England, Truss served as the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom for a brief period from September to October 2022. Throughout her political career, she has been involved in various policy areas, including international trade and economic matters.



Jacinda Ardern

Explanation: Jacinda Ardern is a New Zealand politician who served as the 40th Prime Minister of New Zealand from 2017 to 2023. Born in Hamilton, New Zealand, Ardern was the youngest female leader in the country’s history. During her tenure, she gained international recognition for her compassionate leadership, particularly after the Christchurch mosque shootings. Her commitment to social justice and climate action made her a respected global figure.


Notable Deaths


Atahualpa, last Sapa Inca Emperor, garroted by order of Francisco Pizarro at about 52.

Explanation: Atahualpa was the last ruler of the mighty Inca Empire, which spanned much of South America. His reign came to a tragic end when he was captured by the Spanish conquistadors led by Francisco Pizarro during the Spanish conquest of the Inca Empire. Despite Atahualpa agreeing to fill a room with gold and silver as a ransom for his release, Pizarro ultimately ordered his execution by strangulation. This event marked a significant turning point in the history of the Inca civilization and the colonization of South America by the Spanish.



Elena Cornaro Piscopia, Italian mathematician, and the 1st woman to receive an academic degree from a university dies of tuberculosis at 38.

Explanation: Elena Cornaro Piscopia was a remarkable scholar and an advocate for women’s education in the 17th century. Despite facing societal barriers, she excelled in various fields, particularly mathematics and philosophy. In 1678, she became the first woman to earn a PhD from the University of Padua, an extraordinary achievement for her time. Her death at the young age of 38 was a loss to the academic world and a reminder of the challenges women faced in pursuing education and recognition in male-dominated societies.



Sam Houston, 1st President of the Republic of Texas (1836-38, 1841-44), dies at 70.

Explanation: Sam Houston was a key figure in the early history of Texas and played a significant role in its struggle for independence from Mexico. He served as the first and third president of the Republic of Texas, leading the fledgling nation during its formative years. Houston’s leadership was instrumental in achieving annexation to the United States in 1845, bringing Texas into the Union as its 28th state. His death marked the end of an era in Texas history and a legacy that continues to shape the state’s identity.



William Jennings Bryan, American orator, and statesman known as “The Great Commoner,” dies at 65.

Explanation: William Jennings Bryan was a prominent political figure known for his captivating speeches and advocacy for progressive causes. He was a three-time Democratic nominee for the U.S. presidency, and his famous “Cross of Gold” speech at the 1896 Democratic National Convention established him as a champion of the silver coinage movement. Although he never won the presidency, Bryan remained an influential force in American politics and was a staunch advocate for social justice, labour rights, and progressive reforms.



Reza Shah Pahlavi, Shah of Iran (1925-41), dies of a heart ailment at 66.

Explanation: Reza Shah Pahlavi was a transformative figure in Iranian history, leading the nation through a period of modernization and reform. After assuming power in 1925, he sought to modernize Iran’s infrastructure, economy, and military. His reign saw significant changes, including the abolition of the Qajar dynasty and the establishment of the Pahlavi monarchy. Although praised for his efforts to modernize Iran, Reza Shah’s rule was also marked by authoritarian measures that sparked opposition. His death marked the end of an era and set the stage for further political developments in Iran.



Eva Perón, Argentine First Lady (1946-52), actress, suffragette, unionist, and humanitarian who was an inspiration for A.L. Webber’s musical “Evita,” dies of cancer at 33.

Explanation: Eva Perón, commonly known as Evita, was a prominent political figure and a beloved icon in Argentina. As the wife of President Juan Perón, she played a significant role in social welfare and championed the rights of the working class and women. Evita’s popularity transcended politics, and her philanthropic efforts made her a symbol of compassion and social justice. Her untimely death from cancer at the age of 33 led to an outpouring of grief in Argentina, cementing her status as a legendary figure in the country’s history.



Ed Gein, an American serial killer who was the inspiration for the films “Psycho” and “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre,” dies of lung cancer at 77.

Explanation: Ed Gein was one of America’s most notorious serial killers, known for his gruesome crimes and disturbing behaviour. His heinous acts included the murders of several women and the desecration of their corpses. His actions shocked the nation and inspired various fictional works in literature and film, particularly the iconic characters of Norman Bates in “Psycho” and Leatherface in “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.” Gein’s death brought an end to his reign of terror but left a dark legacy in true crime history and popular culture.



George Gallup, American survey sampling pioneer, and inventor of the Gallup poll, dies of a heart attack at 82.

Explanation: George Gallup was a renowned statistician and sociologist who revolutionized the field of public opinion polling. He founded the American Institute of Public Opinion, later known as the Gallup Organization, and introduced scientific polling techniques that accurately gauged public sentiment on various issues, including politics, social matters, and consumer behaviour. The Gallup polls became widely respected and played a significant role in shaping public policy and election campaigns. Gallup’s contributions to the field of polling remain influential to this day, and his legacy endures as one of the pioneers of modern survey research.

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| Today in History, 22 July: What Happened on this Day

Categories: Optical Illusion

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