Today is Thursday, July 26, the 208th day of 2012. There are 158 days left in the year.
On July 26, 1952, Argentina 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.
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 1908, U.S. Attorney General Charles 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 Truman signed the National Security Act, which established the National Military Establishment (later renamed the Department of Defense).
In 1953, Fidel Castro began his revolt against Fulgencio Batista with an unsuccessful attack on an army barracks in eastern Cuba. (Castro ousted Batista in 1959.)
In 1962, the pilot episode of “The French Chef” starring Julia Child aired on WGBH-TV in Boston.
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 Averell Harriman died in Yorktown Heights, N.Y., at age 94.
In 1990, President George H.W. Bush signed the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.