by Bob Fields
On June 26:
1730 - Charles Messier, French astronomer and academic (d. 1817) (“Messier objects“).
1742 - Arthur Middleton, American signer of the Declaration of Independence, from South Carolina (d. 1787).
1819 - Abner Doubleday, American Civil War general, falsely credited with inventing baseball (d. 1893).
1854 - Robert Laird Borden, 8th Prime Minister of Canada 1911-20, whose portrait appears on Canadian $100 notes (d. 1937).
1892 - Pearl S. Buck, American author and academic, Chinese missionary, Pulitzer Prize and Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1973) (The Good Earth).
1898 - Willy Messerschmitt*, German aviation engineer and businessman (d. 1978) (Messerschmitt Bf 109).
1902 - Bill Lear*, American inventor and businessman, founded the Lear Jet Corporation (d. 1978).
1904 - Peter Lorre, Slovak-American actor (d. 1964) (The Maltese Falcon, Casablanca).
1915 - Paul Castellano*, American Gambino crime family boss, assassinated by John Gotti (d. 1985).
1541 - Francisco Pizarro, Spanish explorer and politician, Governor of New Castile (b. 1471?).
1784 - Caesar Rodney, American lawyer and politician, 4th Governor of Delaware, signer of the Declaration of Independence (b. 1728).
2003 - Strom Thurmond, American general, presidential candidate, and Senator for 48 years, 103rd Governor of South Carolina (b. 1902).
2007 - Liz Claiborne, Belgian-American fashion designer, founded Liz Claiborne, the first company founded by a woman to become a Fortune 500 company (b. 1929).
1483 - Richard III becomes King of England.
1857 – The first investiture of the Victoria Cross, for valour in the Crimean war.
1917 – The American Expeditionary Forces begin to arrive in France, entering combat four months later.
1918 – Allied Forces under John J. Pershing defeat Imperial German Forces under Wilhelm, German Crown Prince in the Battle of Belleau Wood.
1934 – U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt signs the Federal Credit Union Act, which establishes credit unions.
1945 – The United Nations Charter is signed by 50 countries, in San Francisco.
1948 - William Shockley files the original patent for the grown-junction transistor, the first bipolar junction transistor.
1963 – U.S. President John F. Kennedy gives his “Ich bin ein Berliner” speech, supporting West Germany shortly after East Germany erects the Berlin Wall.
2015 – The U.S. Supreme Court rules that same-sex couples have a constitutional right to marriage.
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