On this Day August 26
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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)
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.
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.
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.”
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.”