April 26, 1564 – Playwright William Shakespeare was baptized in Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, England (date of actual birth is unknown).
April 26, 1607 - The British established an American colony at Cape Henry, Va. It was the first permanent English establishment in the Western Hemisphere.
April 26, 1711 - David Hume was born in Edinburgh, Scotland. His essay "Idea of a Perfect Commonwealth" greatly affected the ideas of the drafters of the American Federal Constitution.
April 26, 1777 – Sybil Ludington, aged 16, rode 40 miles to alert American colonial forces to the approach of the British.
April 26, 1785 – Ornithologist and artist John James Audubon was born in Les Cayes in what is now Haiti.
April 26, 1819 - The first Odd Fellows lodge in the U.S. was established in Baltimore, Md.
April 26, 1861 – During the Civil War, the occupation of Grafton, West Virginia by Federal forces began, and Federal mail service was cut to the Confederate states.
April 26, 1861 - The economy of Georgia got a small boost on this day during the Civil War. Governor Joseph Brown issued an order to the residents of his state. In it he repudiated all debts owed by any of his citizens - not to mention the state itself or any of its agencies - to any Northern person or company. Brown was occasionally as big a problem to his own President as he was to the North.
April 26, 1862 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought in the vicinity of Fort Baker, Calif. along the Eel River; at Neosho and Turnback Creek in Missouri; at Arkins’ Mill and another at Forked Deer River, Tenn.; and in the vicinity of Yorktown, Va.
April 26, 1863 – During the Civil War, Union Col. Abel D. Streight’s cavalry operation from Tuscumbia, Ala. to Rome, Ga. began. His troops were mounted on mules because of a dearth of horses.
April 26, 1863 – During the Civil War, a four-day Federal operation around Celina, Ky. began, and a four-day Federal operation between Opelousas and Niblett’s Bluff, La. began. Skirmishes were fought at Altamont, Cranberry Summit, Oakland, Jackson and Cape Girardeau, Mo.; in the vicinity of College Grove and Little Rock Landing, Tenn.; at Oak Grove, Va.; at Burlington, Portland and Rowlesburg, West Virginia.
April 26, 1864 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought at Alexandria, Bayou Rapides, Bridge (near McNutt’s Hill) Deloach’s Bluff, and at the junction of the Cane and Red Rivers in Louisiana. The Red River expedition had already been given up on and written off as a failure. The water level on the river was dropping so fast, due to an ongoing drought. The ships were under constant attack from shore. The ships above the rapids were trapped, and the others, including Admiral Porter’s flagship, USS Cricket, were hit repeatedly by small arms and even artillery fire from Gen. Richard Taylor’s men.
April 26, 1864 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought in Wayne County, Mo.; in the vicinity of Little Rock, Ark.; and in the vicinity of Winchester, Va. An 11-day Federal operation between Jacksonville and Lake Monroe, Fla. began. The Federal evacuation of Washington, N.C. began due to Confederate occupation of Plymouth, NC.
April 26, 1865 – During the Civil War, Confederate General Joseph E. Johnston surrendered his army, the Army of Tennessee, to General William Tecumseh Sherman at the Bennett Place near Durham, North Carolina. This day is also the date of Confederate Memorial Day for two states.
April 26, 1865 - John Wilkes Booth, 26, was shot and killed when Union soldiers tracked him down to a Virginia farm 12 days after he assassinated President Abraham Lincoln.
April 26, 1889 – Philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein was born in Vienna.
April 26, 1889 – Novelist and screenwriter Anita Loos was born in Mount Shasta, Calf.
April 26, 1900 – National Baseball Hall of Fame outfielder Hack Wilson was born in Ellwood City, Pa. He would go on to play for the New York Giants, the Chicago Cubs, the Brooklyn Dodgers and the Philadelphia Phillies. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1979.
April 26, 1906 – The Monroe Journal reported that J.O. Archer, J.L. Marshall, R.C. Pittman of Mexia and W.W. Davis of Manistee were all attending the reunion of Confederate veterans in New Orleans.
April 26, 1906 – The Monroe Journal, in news from the Provo community, that Dan Fore, who got lost in the woods while looking for cattle, had safely returned to his home. His disappearance created “quite a sensation, for three days the woods were scouted to no avail,” but at last he returned.
April 26, 1906 – The Monroe Journal, in news from the Pineapple community, reported that Lucher Ingram, who had reportedly disappeared from his home, had returned, but it was said that “his mind was affected.”
April 26, 1906 – The Monroe Journal reported that Buena Vista’s Annual Memorial festivities would be held on Thurs. May 3, and that the community’s graveyard was “nicely cleaned and every year head and footboards, or tombstones,” were erected.
April 26, 1912 - Hugh Bradley of the Boston Red Sox hit the first home run in Fenway Park.
April 26, 1914 – Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Bernard Malamud was born in Brooklyn, N.Y. He is best known for his classic 1952 baseball novel, “The Natural.”
April 26, 1915 – The P.D. Bowles Chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy held a Confederate Memorial Day ceremony at the Evergreen Cemetery in Evergreen, Ala. It was the first ceremony of its type in Evergreen and an estimated crowd of more than 500 attended. Mrs. E.C. Page, president of the UDC Chapter, was the master of ceremonies, and Dr. J.G. Dickinson, pastor of the Baptist Church, delivered the memorial address.
April 26, 1915 – The United Daughters of the Confederacy celebrated Confederate Memorial Day on “behalf of the surviving soldiers” in the auditorium at Monroe County High School in Monroeville, Ala. Speakers included Mr. Biggs, the Rev. D.F. Ellisor, Mrs. Barnett, Miss Shell and Congressman Oscar L. Gray. Musical performances were conducted by the High School Chorus Club, a quartette made up of Messrs. Coxwell, Sowell, Henson and McDuffie. Songs included “Dixie,” “The Bonnie Blue Flag” and “Tenting on the Old Camp Ground.”
April 26, 1917 – Major League Baseball pitcher Virgil Trucks was born in Birmingham, Ala. He would go on to play for the Detroit Tigers, the St. Louis Browns, the Chicago White Sox, the Kansas City Athletics and the New York Yankees.
April 26, 1921 - Weather broadcasts were heard for the first time on radio in St. Louis, Mo.
April 26, 1931 - New York Yankee Lou Gehrig hit a home run but was called out for passing a runner.
April 26, 1933 – The Gestapo, the official secret police force of Nazi Germany, was established.
April 26, 1940 - A special program for the observance of the Pix Theatre’s third anniversary was to be held on this Friday, according to Manager Haywood Hanna. On the screen that day was to be seen “The Farmer’s Daughter,” starring comedienne Martha Raye. The lobby of the Pix was to be beautifully decorated with flowers by the Evergreen Garden Clubs.
April 26, 1941 - An organ was played at a baseball stadium for the first time in Chicago, Ill.
April 26, 1946 – American miner, explorer and park ranger James Larkin White passed away at the age of 63 in Carlsbad, N.M. He is best remembered as the discoverer, early promoter and explorer of what is known today as Carlsbad Caverns in Carlsbad Caverns National Park, New Mexico.
April 26, 1948 - A 750-pound calf owned by James Norris was judged Grand Champion during the Evergreen Jaycees’ Second Annual Fat Calf Show in Evergreen, Ala.
April 26, 1951 – Army Sgt. Paul R. Goodson of Escambia County, Ala. was killed in action in Korea.
April 26, 1954 – English mountaineer and explorer Alan Hinkes was born in Northallerton in North Yorkshire. Hinkes was the first British mountaineer to have claimed all 14 mountains with elevations greater than 8000 metres, the so-called Eight-thousanders.
April 26, 1958 – The ground-breaking ceremony was held for Weiss Dam, with over 10,000 attending – if the number of barbecue plates served is an accurate indicator. Construction began three months later, and by 1962 the plant was fully operational. It was the last dam build under Tom Martin’s supervision. (Rivers of History)
April 26, 1966 - Alabama author Natasha Trethewey was born in Gulfport, Miss.
April 26, 1971 - The U.S. command in Saigon announced that the U.S. force level in Vietnam is 281,400 men, the lowest since July 1966. These figures were a direct result of President Richard Nixon’s new “Vietnamization” strategy, which he had announced at the Midway Conference in June 1969. This strategy was a three-pronged program to disengage the United States from the war in Vietnam.
April 26, 1972 - President Nixon, despite the ongoing communist offensive, announced that another 20,000 U.S. troops would be withdrawn from Vietnam in May and June, reducing authorized troop strength to 49,000. Nixon emphasized that while U.S. ground troops were being withdrawn, sea and air support for the South Vietnamese would continue. In fact, the U.S. Navy doubled the number of its fighting ships off Vietnam.
April 26, 1973 – The Old Monroe County Courthouse in Monroeville, Ala. was added to National Register of Historic Places.
April 26, 1973 – The Boll Weevil Monument in Enterprise, Ala. was added to the National Register of Historic Places.
April 26, 1977 – The Sparta Academy baseball team improved to 5-8 on the season with a 10-6 win over Greenville Academy in Greenville. Terry Peacock was the winning pitcher. Jerry Peacock and Hugh Bradford led the offense with two hits each.
April 26, 1977 – Sparta Academy’s girls softball team dropped to 0-4 on the season after a pair of losses in a double header against Escambia Academy at the Murphy Club Park in Evergreen, Ala. Escambia won the first game, 17-4, and the second game, 9-3.
April 26, 1982 – Former Auburn University tight end Cooper Wallace was born in Nashville, Tenn. After college, he went on to play for the Tennessee Titans.
April 26, 1988 - Deatrich Wendell Wise of Evergreen, Ala., a senior at Jackson State University in Jackson, Miss., was selected seventh in the ninth round of the NFL Draft by the Seattle Seahawks.
April 26, 1995 - Coors Field officially opened in Denver, Colo., and the Rockies beat the New York Mets, 11-9, in 14 innings.
April 26, 2007 – Major League Baseball’s Will Clark was inducted into the Bay Area Sports Hall of Fame.