Almanac

Today is Saturday, July 26, the 207th day of 2014. There are 158 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On July 26, 1775, Benjamin Franklin became America’s first Postmaster-General.

On this date:

In 1788, New York became the 11th state to ratify the U.S. Constitution.

In 1882, the Richard Wagner opera “Parsifal” premiered in Bayreuth, Germany.

In 1908, U.S. 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, which established the National Military Establishment (later 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 1953, Fidel Castro began his revolt against Fulgencio Batista (fool-HEN’-see-oh bah-TEES’-tah) with an unsuccessful attack on an army barracks in eastern Cuba. (Castro ousted Batista in 1959.)

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 1964, Teamsters president Jimmy Hoffa was convicted in federal court in Chicago of fraud and conspiracy in the handling of a union pension fund; six co-defendants were found guilty of conspiracy. The Organization of American States enacted sanctions against Cuba.

In 1971, Apollo 15 was launched from Cape Kennedy on America’s fourth manned mission to the moon.

In 1989, Mark Wellman, a 29-year-old paraplegic, reached the summit of El Capitan in Yosemite (yoh-SEHM’-uh-tee) National Park after hauling himself up the granite cliff six inches at a time over nine days.

In 1990, President George H.W. Bush signed the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Thought for Today: “A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable, but more useful than a life spent doing nothing.” – George Bernard Shaw (born this date in 1856, died 1950).