April 26 events in history

1336 Francesco Petrarca (Petrarch) ascends Mont Ventoux
1478 The Pazzi attack Lorenzo de' Medici and kill his brother Giuliano during High Mass in the Duomo of Florence
1564 Playwright William Shakespeare was baptized in Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, England (date of actual birth is unknown)
1607 English colonists make landfall at Cape Henry, Virginia
1721 A massive earthquake devastates the Iranian city of Tabriz
1802 Napoleon Bonaparte signs a general amnesty to allow all but about one thousand of the most notorious émigrés of the French Revolution to return to France, as part of a reconciliary gesture with the factions of the Ancien Régime and to eventually consolidate his own rule
1803 Thousands of meteor fragments fall from the skies of L'Aigle, France; the event convinces European science that meteors exist
1805 First Barbary War: United States Marines captured Derne under the command of First Lieutenant Presley O'Bannon
1865 American Civil War: Confederate General Joseph E. Johnston surrenders his army to General William Tecumseh Sherman at the Bennett Place near Durham, North Carolina. Also the date of Confederate Memorial Day for two states
1865 Union cavalry troopers corner and shoot dead John Wilkes Booth, assassin of President Lincoln, in Virginia
1923 The Duke of York weds Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon at Westminster Abbey
1925 Paul von Hindenburg defeats Wilhelm Marx in the second round of the German presidential election to become the first directly elected head of state of the Weimar Republic
1933 The Gestapo, the official secret police force of Nazi Germany, is established
1937 Spanish Civil War: Guernica (or Gernika in Basque), Spain is bombed by German Luftwaffe
1942 Benxihu Colliery accident in Manchukuo leaves 1549 Chinese miners dead
1943 The Easter Riots break out in Uppsala, Sweden
1944 Georgios Papandreou becomes head of the Greek government-in-exile based in Egypt
1944 Heinrich Kreipe is captured by Allied commandos in occupied Crete
1945 World War II: Battle of Bautzen – last successful German tank-offensive of the war and last noteworthy victory of the Wehrmacht
1945 World War II: Filipino troops of the 66th Infantry Regiment, Philippine Commonwealth Army, USAFIP-NL and the American troops of the 33rd and 37th Infantry Division, United States Army are liberated in Baguio City and they fight against the Japanese forces under General Tomoyuki Yamashita
1946 Naperville train disaster kills 47
1954 The Geneva Conference, an effort to restore peace in Indochina and Korea, begins
1956 SS Ideal X, the world's first successful container ship, leaves Port Newark, New Jersey for Houston, Texas
1958 Final run of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad's Royal Blue from Washington, D.C., to New York City after 68 years, the first U.S. passenger train to use electric locomotives
1960 Forced out by the April Revolution, President of South Korea Syngman Rhee resigns after twelve years of dictatorial rule
1962 NASA's Ranger 4 spacecraft crashes into the Moon
1963 In Libya, amendments to the constitution transform Libya (United Kingdom of Libya) into one national unity (Kingdom of Libya) and allows for female participation in elections
1964 Tanganyika and Zanzibar merge to form Tanzania
1965 A Rolling Stones concert in London, Ontario is shut down by police after 15 minutes due to rioting
1966 An earthquake of magnitude 7.5 destroys Tashkent
1966 A new government is formed in the Republic of Congo, led by Ambroise Noumazalaye
1970 The Convention Establishing the World Intellectual Property Organization enters into force
1981 Dr. Michael R. Harrison of the University of California, San Francisco Medical Center performs the world's first human open fetal surgery
1982 Fifty-seven people are killed by former police officer Woo Bum-kon in a shooting spree in Gyeongsangnam-do, South Korea
1986 A nuclear reactor accident occurs at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in the Soviet Union (now Ukraine), creating the world's worst nuclear disaster. Reactor No. 4 with its enclosing sarcophagus
1989 The deadliest tornado in world history strikes Central Bangladesh, killing upwards of 1,300, injuring 12,000, and leaving as many as 80,000 homeless
1989 People's Daily publishes the People's Daily editorial of April 26 which inflames the nascent Tiananmen Square protests
1991 Seventy tornadoes break out in the central United States. Before the outbreak's end, Andover, Kansas, would record the year's only F5 tornado (see Andover, Kansas Tornado Outbreak)
1994 China Airlines Flight 140 crashes at Nagoya Airport in Japan, killing 264 of the 271 people on board
2002 Robert Steinhäuser infiltrates and kills 16 at Gutenberg-Gymnasium in Erfurt, Germany before dying of a self-inflicted gunshot
2005 Under international pressure, Syria withdraws the last of its 14,000 troop military garrison in Lebanon, ending its 29-year military domination of that country (Syrian occupation of Lebanon)