Today is Friday, July 26, the 207th day of 2013. There are 158 days left in the year.
On July 26, 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.
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 1863, Sam Houston, former president of the Republic of Texas, died in Huntsville at age 70.
In 1882, the Richard Wagner opera “Parsifal” premiered in Bayreuth, Germany.
In 1908, Attorney General Charles J. 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 S. Truman signed the National Security Act, establishing the National Military Establishment, which later was renamed the Department of Defense.
In 1952, Argentina’s 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.
In 1956, the Italian liner Andrea Doria sank off New England, some 11 hours after colliding with the Swedish liner Stockholm; at least 51 people died. Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser nationalized the Suez Canal.
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 W. Averell Harriman died in Yorktown Heights, N.Y., at age 94.
In 1990, President George H.W. Bush signed the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Ten years ago: Backers of a drive to oust California Gov. Gray Davis held a boisterous celebration at the state Capitol in Sacramento, more than two months before the October 7 recall election. Cuba celebrated the 50th anniversary of the start of Fidel Castro’s revolution against Fulgencio Batista. New York Times music critic Harold C. Schonberg died in New York at age 87.
Five years ago: At least 22 small bombs exploded in Ahmadabad in the Indian state of Gujarat, killing 58 people.
One year ago: The White House said President Barack Obama would not push for stricter gun laws, one day after his impassioned remarks about the need to keep assault weapons off the streets. With the Olympics Games as a backdrop, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney held a day of meetings with Britain’s most powerful people; however, Romney rankled his hosts by calling London’s problems with Olympic Games preparation “disconcerting.”