On this Day August 26
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1896 – Comedian, vaudeville actor, composer, songwriter, accordionist and author Phil Baker (d. 1963)
1910 – Mother Teresa, considered one of the 20th Century’s greatest humanitarians and canonized as Saint Teresa of Calcutta in 2016. (d. 1997)
1918 – Mathematician Katherine Johnson, whose calculations of orbital mechanics as a NASA employee were critical to the success of the first crewed American space mission and moon landing; she was among the women profiled in the book and movie “Hidden Figures” (d. 2020)
1921 – Washington Post VP at-large Ben Bradlee, who oversaw publication of stories that ultimately exposed the Watergate scandal (d. 2014)
1935 – First female U.S. vice presidential candidate Geraldine Ferraro (d. 2011)
1945 – Singer-songwriter Valerie Simpson of the Ashford & Simpson husband-wife songwriting team
1960 – Grammy-winning saxophonist-bandleader Branford Marsalis
1970 – Emmy-winning actress-comedian Melissa McCarthy (“Gilmore Girls,” “Bridesmaids,” “The Heat,” “Tammy,” “St. Vincent,” “This is 40,” “Spy,” “The Boss”)
1980 – Actor Chris Pine, who played Captain James T. Kirk in the 2009 “Star Trek” movie and its sequels
1980 – Actor Macaulay Culkin, best known for the “Home Alone” movie franchise
1989 – NBA All-Star and Houston Rockets guard James Harden, a.k.a. “The Beard”
1920 – The 19th Amendment, guaranteeing American women the right to vote, is formally adopted into the U.S. Constitution by proclamation of Secretary of State Bainbridge Colby. In 1973, Congress designates this date Women’s Equality Day.
1939 – The first Major League baseball game is televised. It’s a double-header between the Cincinnati Reds and Brooklyn Dodgers at New York’s Ebbets Field, with the teams splitting the match.
1957 – The Soviet Union declares that it has successfully tested an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) capable of being fired “into any part of the world.” The announcement sets nations around the world on edge.
1968 – As the Democratic National Convention opens in Chicago, thousands of demonstrators take to the streets to protest the Vietnam War.
1974 – Aviation pioneer Charles Lindbergh, the first man to fly solo non-stop across the Atlantic Ocean, dies of cancer in Hawaii at the age of 72.
1985 – The Yugo, the Yugoslavian-built compact car that Americans loved to hate, is introduced to the U.S. auto market. Sales begin to sputter in the late 1980s, and by 1992, Yugo America is out of business.
1986 – In what becomes known as the “Preppy Murder” case because of the upper-class status of both the victim and killer, the body of 18-year-old Jennifer Levin is discovered in New York’s Central Park shortly after leaving a bar with 19-year-old Robert Chambers. Chambers is arrested, charged and ultimately found guilty of Levin’s murder, and dubbed the “Preppy Killer.”
1972 – Looking Glass is captain of the singles chart with “Brandy (You’re a Fine Girl).”
1978 – The title track from the movie “Grease,” starring John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John, is a No. 1 single for Frankie Valli. The song holds the top spot for two weeks.
1987 – Pop singer-turned-politician Sonny Bono announces plans to run for mayor of Palm Springs, California.
1989 – Richard Marx begins his third and final week on top of the Billboard Hot 100 with “Right Here Waiting.”
1995 – The No. 1 single comes from the “Batman Forever” soundtrack. It’s Seal with “Kiss From a Rose,” which goes on to capture Grammys for Record of the Year, Song of the Year and Best Male Pop Vocal Performance.
2004 – Singer Laura Branigan, best known for her early 80s hits “Gloria” and “Self Control,” dies of a brain aneurysm at the age of 52. Branigan also played Janis Joplin in the off-Broadway musical “Love, Janis.”