October 26th

1689 – General Piccolomini of Austria burned down the city of Skopje, the current capital of Macedonia, attempting to rid the city of the cholera epidemic. He later died of cholera. (Historical irony is incredible – can’t beat a story like this!)

1859 – Approximately 459 people died in a boat crash off the coast of Anglesey, Wales.

1881 – The Gun Fight at the O.K. Corral takes place in Arizona. This was a famous shootout between Wyatt Earp, Doc Holliday and companions against the McLaury family. (This is the basis for one of my mothers favourite films, starring Burt Lancaster as Wyatt Earp)

1905 – Norway becomes independent from Sweden.

1917 – In World War I the Germans defeat the Italians in the Battle of Caporetto. The hundred man German force defeats the 7000 strong Italian defence. The Germans were led by an officer later to become leading officer of World War II, Erwin Rommel, otherwise known as ‘The Desert Fox’. (He was an incredible servant of the German army, worth researching.)

1917 – Brazil joins the allied forces by declaring itself at war with Germany and the Austro-Hungarian empire.

1936 – The first electricity generator at the Hoover Dam goes into operation. (For those who do not know what the Hoover Dam is, it is where the US government were hiding Megatron in Transformers)

1944 – The Americans win the Battle of Leyte Gulf in a great victory for the US.

1958 – The first commercial flight of a Boeing 707 is made from New York to Paris. A more advanced model (commonly the 747) is used in modern day flights.

1959 – The far side of the moon is visible from Earth for the first time in recorded history.

1977 – The last case of smallpox is eradicated, meaning the greatest achievement of vaccinations is completed.

1984 – “Baby Fae” has a heart transplant from a baboon. (This raised a lot of ethical issues, but is it wrong to harvest baboons for organs? Is it any better than harvesting embryo’s for research?)

1994 – Jordan and Israel sign a peace treaty.

1999 – The House Of Lords votes to end hereditary peerage voting in the Upper chamber of Parliament.

2002 – Russian Spetsnaz storm a Moscow theatre killing 50 terrorists and 150 hostages in an attempt to rescue the remaining hostages that were not killed. (The measures were not ruled as being heavy handed, despite being similar to those of a Nazi gas chamber in WWII!)

Births

Seth MacFarlane – Creator of Family Guy and American Dad! (1973)

Number 1s

Don Cornell – Hold My Hand (1954)

Ken Dodd with George Love & His Orchestra – Tears (1965) (Best seller for this year, joint most amount of weeks at number 1 (5 weeks))

Rod Stewart – Maggie May (1971)

Pussycat – Mississippi (1976)

Culture Club – Do You Really Want To Hurt Me (1982) (I am sure this is what the male escort said too – was this too bad taste??)

Aqua – Barbie Girl (1997) (what an amazing song!! I bet Aqua were showered in cash…)

Fatman Scoop featuring The Crooklyn Clan – Be Faithful (2003)

Girls Aloud – The Promise (2008) (This was only at number 1 for a week…despite the fact it is such a good song…and it is Girls Aloud!)

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