May 26, 1647 – Alse Young, hanged in Hartford, Connecticut, became the first person executed as a witch in the British American colonies.
May 26, 1736 – The Battle of Ackia was fought near the present site of Tupelo, Mississippi. British and Chickasaw soldiers repelled a French and Choctaw attack on the then-Chickasaw village of Ackia.
May 26, 1782 - Colonel William Crawford began marching toward the Ohio River. He had been ordered to attack local Indians that had sided with the British. On June 6, the Wyandots killed Crawford and at least 250 members of his party.
May 26, 1783 – A Great Jubilee Day held at North Stratford, Connecticut celebrated the end of fighting in the American Revolution.
May 26, 1828 – Feral child Kaspar Hauser was discovered wandering the streets of Nuremberg.
May 26, 1830 – The Indian Removal Act was passed by the U.S. Congress and was signed into law by President Andrew Jackson two days later.
May 26, 1835 - A resolution was passed in the U.S. Congress stating that Congress had no authority over state slavery laws.
May 26, 1845 - Author John Allan Wyeth was born in Missionary Station, Ala.
May 26, 1853 – Outlaw gunfighter John Wesley Hardin, who lived for about 1-1/2 years in Pollard, Ala., was born in the central Texas town of Bonham. He claimed to have killed 42 men before he was shot to death by John Selman Sr. in the Acme Saloon in El Paso, Texas on Aug. 19, 1895.
May 26, 1857 – Dred Scott was emancipated by the Blow family, his original owners.
May 26, 1861 – During the Civil War, the life of a bureaucrat was not an easy one. Just when you think you have solved the problems of the day, some nuisance comes along to ruin the routine. Such a problem was faced by the Postmaster General of the United States on this day. Montgomery Blair announced that mail service would no longer be provided to states which had seceded as of the 31st of May. In fact, a system of communication across the changing border between North and South continued for the entire war, with mail passing under flag of truce.
May 26, 1862 – During the Civil War, a skirmish was fought near Franklin, West Virginia.
May 26, 1862 – During the Civil War, as Gen. Nathaniel Banks’ men continued to scurry for cover in Harpers Ferry, their victorious foes were making an inventory of the contents of the supply wagons Banks had left behind. An imposing list it was too: 9,000 rifles, half a million rounds of ammunition, several pieces of artillery. And then there was the food! Wagonloads of bacon, bread, sugar, and salt were counted. There were even several small herds of cattle. Stonewall Jackson’s men ate well this night.
May 26, 1863 – During the Civil War, a skirmish was fought near Island No. 65.
May 26, 1863 – During the Civil War, the Confederate Naval flag was introduced by Secretary of the Navy Stephen Russell Mallory.
May 26, 1863 – During the Civil War, the siege at Vicksburg, Miss. entered its eighth day.
May 26, 1863 - America, north and south, was not a world power at the time of the Civil War. Much materiel had to be purchased abroad, and gold went a lot further than paper money or trade goods. It was therefore a great relief to the Union government that a huge gold strike was found in Alder Gulch, in what would later be known as Montana. Previously, all the gold had come from the California mines, which were considered vulnerable to Confederate attack. Alder Gulch later became known as Virginia City.
May 26, 1864 – Montana was organized as a United States territory from the Territory of Idaho.
May 26, 1864 – During the Civil War, the Lynchburg Campaign began.
May 26, 1864 – During the Civil War, combats began at Dallas, Georgia continue until June 1.
May 26, 1864 – During the Civil War, an affair occurred on Lane's Prarie in Missouri.
May 26, 1865 - Arrangements were made in New Orleans for the surrender of Confederate forces west of the Mississippi.
May 26, 1865 – At the end of the Civil War, Confederate General Edmund Kirby Smith, commander of the Confederate Trans-Mississippi division, was the last full general of the Confederate Army to surrender, at Galveston, Texas. Smith himself fled to Mexico, and then to Cuba, before returning to Virginia in November 1865 to sign an amnesty oath. He was the last surviving full Confederate general until his death in 1893.
May 26, 1865 – Horror writer Robert William Chambers was born in Brooklyn.
May 26, 1865 – During the Civil War, a skirmish was fought at Sweetwater Station, Wyoming.
May 26, 1874 – On his 21st birthday, outlaw John Wesley Hardin, who lived in Pollard, Ala. from late 1875 until the summer of 1877, shot and killed Deputy Sheriff Charles Webb in Brown County, Texas.
May 26, 1889 – Nancy Peacock (Lewis Lavon Peacock’s stepmother) sold the family farm in Covington County on this date to A.G. Atkinson for only $46, barely a dollar an acre.
May 26, 1894 - At the age of 56, Gainevilles, Ala. (Sumter County) native Maria Fearing set sail for England as part of her journey to become a missionary in the Congo in central Africa. After arriving in Africa, she undertook the two-month trip to her posting, part of it by litter and part by riverboat up the Congo, Kasai, and Lulua rivers to the station in Luebo. While in the Congo, Fearing rescued and ran a home for girls and young women who had been kidnapped or sold into slavery. Fearing spent more than 20 years in Africa, finally retiring at age 78.
May 26, 1895 – Documentary photographer Dorothea Lange was born in Hoboken, N.J.
May 26, 1897 – Bram Stoker’s novel, “Dracula,” was first published and went on sale in London.
May 26, 1897 – The original manuscript of William Bradford's history, "Of Plymouth Plantation" was returned to the Governor of Massachusetts by the Bishop of London after being taken during the American Revolutionary War.
May 26, 1907 – John Wayne was born Marion Morrison in Winterset, Iowa.
May 26, 1908 - In Persia, the first oil strike was made in the Middle East.
May 26, 1915 – The Evergreen Courant reported that Evergreen, Ala. merchants and business houses had signed an agreement making Thursdays a half holiday and that they would all close at noon. This arrangement was to continue through the summer months, so owners and employees could enjoy some time off work.
May 26, 1916 – Avant-garde composer and musician Moondog was Louis Thomas Hardin in Marysville, Kansas.
May 26, 1917 - Walt Cruise hit the first home run out of Braves Field.
May 26, 1920 – The Evergreen Courant reported that B.M. Johnston attended the Confederate reunion in Montgomery, Ala. during the past week.
May 26, 1925 - Ty Cobb became the first Major League Baseball player to collect 1,000 extra-base hits.
May 26, 1926 – Jazz trumpeter, bandleader and composer Miles Davis was born in Alton, Ill.
May 26, 1926 – Robert Gaston Bozeman Sr. was hired to edit and manage The Evergreen Courant with the option priviledge of buying the newspaper if he desired. Shortly afterwards, he purchased the majority of the stock and later purchased all of it.
May 26, 1935 – Evergreen’s baseball team was scheduled to play Chapman on this Sunday in Evergreen, Ala.
May 26, 1936 – Dr. J.R. Brooks elected Mayor of Evergreen, Ala. over J.R. Kelley.
May 26, 1938 – Pulitzer Prize-winning pianist and composer William Bolcom was born in Seattle, Wash.
May 26, 1942 – Search parties found a missing military plane that crashed in the Sepulga swamp, 18 to 20 miles north of Evergreen, Ala. The plane was demolished and the body of a British pilot named Lowe was recovered. The plane was one of eight that crashed in Conecuh and Escambia counties on May 20 enroute from Crestview, Fla. to Maxwell Field in Montgomery, resulting in five deaths. All of the planes were piloted by British cadets who were assigned to Maxwell Field for training.
May 26, 1944 – Evergreen High School’s graduation ceremony was scheduled to be held on this night with Prof. M.A. Hanks delivering diplomas to 39 seniors, including 32 girls and seven boys.
May 26, 1944 – German SS officer Christian Wirth was killed by Yugoslav partisans in Hrpelje-Kozina near Trieste at the age of 58.
May 26, 1948 – The U.S. Congress passed Public Law 80-557, which permanently established the Civil Air Patrol as an auxiliary of the United States Air Force.
May 26, 1949 – Song-writer and singer Hank Williams Jr. was born in Shreveport, La.
May 26, 1950 – Evergreen High School was scheduled to hold graduation exercises on this Friday night at 8 p.m. in Memorial Gymnasium in Evergreen, Ala. T.Y. Henderson Jr. was the valedictorian, and Betty Stallworth was the salutatorian. Fifty-five seniors were expected to receive diplomas.
May 26, 1950 – Lyeffion High School was scheduled to hold graduation exercises on this Friday night at 8 p.m. in the school auditorium in Lyeffion, Ala. Francis Powell as the valedictorian, and Billy Wayne Cook was the salutatorian. Seventeen seniors were expected to receive diplomas.
May 26, 1950 – Repton High School was scheduled to hold graduation exercises on this Friday night at 8 p.m. in the school auditorium in Repton, Ala. Principal H.D. Weathers expected to present diplomas to 28 seniors. Don Ivey was the valedictorian, and Paul Watson was the salutatorian.
May 26, 1951 – American explorer Lincoln Ellsworth passed away in New York City at the age of 71. He was a polar explorer from the United States and a major benefactor of the American Museum of Natural History.
May 26, 1954 – Novelist Alan Hollinghurst was born in Stroud, England.
May 26, 1956 – National Baseball Hall of Fame outfielder Al Simmons passed away at the age of 54 in Milwaukee, Wisc. During his career, he played for the Philadelphia Athletics, the Chicago White Sox, the Detroit Tigers, the Washington Senators, the Boston Braves, the Cincinnati Reds and the Boston Red Sox. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1953.
May 26, 1959 - Harvey Haddix of the Pittsburgh Pirates pitched 12 perfect innings against the Milwaukee Braves, only to lose the game on a two-run double by Braves’ first baseman Joe Adcock in the 13th inning. It was the first time a pitcher threw more than nine perfect innings in Major League history.
May 26, 1965 – The Evergreen Pony League’s player auction was held on this Wednesday night in preparation for the upcoming season, which was scheduled to begin on June 7. Teams included the Pirates, the Braves, the Indians and the Tigers.
May 26, 1965 - Eight hundred Australian troops departed for Vietnam, and New Zealand announced that it would send an artillery battalion. The Australian government had first sent troops to Vietnam in 1964 in the form of a small aviation detachment and an engineer civic action team. By 1969, Australian forces in Vietnam totaled an estimated 8,000 personnel. Over time, the New Zealand contingent, which was placed under the operational control of the First Australian Task Force, grew to over 1,000 men.
May 26, 1971 - In Cambodia, an estimated 1,000 North Vietnamese captured the strategic rubber plantation town of Snoul, driving out 2,000 South Vietnamese as U.S. air strikes support the Allied forces. Snoul gave the communists control of sections of Routes 7 and 13 that led into South Vietnam and access to large amounts of abandoned military equipment and supplies. On May 31, the Cambodian government called for peace talks if all North Vietnamese and Viet Cong forces agreed to withdraw. The communists rejected the bid. Cambodia ultimately fell to the communist Khmer Rouge and their North Vietnamese allies in April 1975.
May 26, 1977 - George Willig climbed the South Tower of the World Trade Center in NYC. Known as "the human fly," Willig was subsequently fined by New York's Mayor Beame for $1.10-- one cent for each of the skyscraper's 110 stories.
May 26, 1978 - Evergreen High School was scheduled to hold graduation exercises on this Friday night at 8 p.m. in Brooks Memorial Stadium, according to Principal John W. Floyd. Amy Gates was valedictorian of the 1978 graduating class at Evergreen High School. Mary Howard was salutatorian.
May 26, 1978 - Lyeffion High School’s baccalaureate-graduation exercises were scheduled to be held on this Friday night at 7 p.m. in the high school gymnasium. Steve Searcy, age 17, was valedictorian of the 1978 graduating class of Lyeffion High School. Vickey Goldthrip, age 18, was salutatorian.
May 26, 1978 - Graduation exercises were scheduled to be held at Repton High School at 8 p.m. on this Friday night in the school gymnasium. Maxine DuBose was valedictorian of the graduating class at Repton High School. David Bell was salutatorian.
May 26, 1978 - Haskew Page Jr., principal of Conecuh County High School, announced that graduation exercises were to be held in the high school auditorium at Castleberry at 7:30 p.m. on this Friday. Picked on the highest grade point average, Darryl Crane was that year’s valedictorian of the graduating class at CCHS. Juanita Baggett was selected as salutatorian with the second highest grade point average in the class.
May 26, 1978 - Graduation exercises at Sparta Academy were to be held on this Friday night in the Sparta gymnatorium. Gray Stevens had been named valedictorian of the 1978 graduating class of Sparta Academy. Harry Crabtree was salutatorian.
May 26, 1980 - Steve Carlton of the Philadelphia Phillies became the first National League player to record six one-hitters.
May 26, 1981 – Italian Prime Minister Arnaldo Forlani and his coalition cabinet resigned following a scandal over membership of the pseudo-masonic lodge P2 (Propaganda Due).
May 26, 1984 - Don Cain of Philadelphia set the record for keeping a frisbee aloft-- for an astonishing 16.72 seconds.
May 26, 1988 – The Mount Vernon Arsenal-Searcy Hospital Complex was added to the National Register of Historic Places.
May 26, 1990 - The Philadelphia Phillies retired Mike Schmidt's No. 20 jersey.
May 26, 1993 - Larry Woolfolk was named principal of J.F. Shields High School in Beatrice, Ala. when the Monroe County Board of Education held a called meeting on this Wednesday. Woolfolk, 38, was the Shields assistant principal as well as a physical education teacher and junior varsity and varsity basketball coach. Woolfolk replaced William Andrews, who was retiring June 30 after 26 years as principal of the school, which had about 345 students in grades 7-12.
May 26, 2004 – United States Army veteran Terry Nichols was found guilty of 161 state murder charges for helping carry out the Oklahoma City bombing.
May 26, 2005 – Natalee Holloway and 124 fellow graduates of Mountain Brook High School, located in a wealthy suburb of Birmingham, Ala., arrived in Aruba for a five-day, unofficial graduation trip. She would disappear four days later and would be declared dead in January 2012.