1775 - A postal system was established by the 2nd Continental Congress of the United States. The first Postmaster General was the same gentleman who graces the U.S. $100 bill and who flew a kite with a key attached in a thunderstorm -- Benjamin Franklin. Mr. Franklin was paid $1,000 a year for his job as Postmaster General.
1788 - New York, the 11th state, entered the United States of America this day. New York City, one of the most famous cities in the world, was once the capital of the Empire State, but that ended in 1796. Albany, once called Fort Orange, has been the capital of the State of New York ever since. The beautiful rose is the official state flower with the colorful bluebird taking the honorable title of New York’s state bird.
1859 - The first intercollegiate regatta began in Worcester, MA. Harvard University defeated both Yale and Brown on Lake Quinsigamond.
1893 - Commercial production of the Addressograph started in Chicago, Illinois.
1939 - Sixteen-year-old singer Kay Starr got a big break. She recorded "Baby Me" with Glenn Miller and his orchestra on Victor Records. Starr was filling in for Marion Hutton who, at the last minute, was unable to attend the recording session.
1942 - Judy Garland joined Gene Kelly to record "For Me and My Gal" for Decca Records. The song is featured in the movie of the same name.
1947 - "The National Security Act of July 26, 1947" was passed into law. It established the National Security Council and provided for all armed forces in the U.S. to be under the control of the National Military Establishment. That office is now called the Department of Defense.
1947 - "The Abe Burrows Show" premiered on CBS radio.
1948 - Babe Ruth was seen by the public for the last time as he attended the New York City premiere of the the motion picture, "The Babe Ruth Story".
1970 - Home runs came in triplicate. Johnny Bench of the Cincinnati Reds belted three home runs against the St. Louis Cardinals, and Orlando Cepeda of the Atlanta Braves launched a trio of homers in a game with the Chicago Cubs.
1975 - Van McCoy and The Soul City Symphony reached the top spot on the "Billboard" record chart for the first -- and only -- time. The disco hit "The Hustle" became the top record in the U.S. The instrumental remained in the reflection of the disco mirror ball for only one week ... though plenty of other disco hits followed. Keep that white suit handy. Disco may just come back!
1984 - "Purple Rain", the film creation of Prince, premiered in Hollywood. Attending the gala at the Palace Theatre were Eddie Murphy, Lionel Richie and Stevie Nicks. MTV presented live coverage of the events.
1987 - Robert Wrenn set a record for the Buick Open. He won the golf tourney with a 26-under-par 262, a seven-stroke victory. Wrenn just missed the PGA Tour record of 27-under-par at the tourney, which was held at Grand Blanc, MI.
1992 - Patty Sheehan defeated Juli Inkster in a playoff to win the 47th U.S. Women’s Open at the Oakmont (PA) Country Club.
1998 - Hale Irwin birdied the 18th hole for a 69 to win the U.S. Senior Open by one stroke over Argentina's Vicente Fernandez at Riviera Country Club, Pacific Palisades CA. 2000 - U.S. District Judge Marilyn Hall Patel (in federal court, San Francisco CA) issued a preliminary injunction against online music service Napster. The judge ordered Napster to stop distributing copyrighted songs on the Web. Although Napster fought the ruling for months, this was the beginnning of the end for the Internet music distribution site.
Birthdays - July 26
1796 - George Catlin (artist: of North [Catlin’s Indian Gallery] and South American natives; died Dec 23, 1872)
1856 - George Bernard Shaw (playwright: Pygmalion; died Nov 2, 1950)
1892 - ‘Sad’ Sam (Samuel Pond) Jones (baseball: pitcher: Cleveland Naps, Cleveland Indians, Boston Red Sox [World Series: 1918], NY Yankees [World Series: 1922, 1923, 1926], SL Browns, Washington Nationals, Chicago White Sox; died July 06, 1966)
1894 - Aldous (Leonard) Huxley (philosopher, satirist, author: Brave New World, Crome Yellow, Point Counter Point; died Nov 22, 1963)
1902 - Gracie (Grace Ethel Cecile Rosalie) Allen (vaudeville, radio, TV, stage actress w/husband, George Burns: The Burns and Allen Show; College Swing, Honolulu, Two Girls and a Sailor, We’re Not Dressing; died Aug 27, 1964)
1909 - Vivian Vance (Vivian Roberta Jones) (Emmy Award-winning actress: I Love Lucy ; The Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour, Lucy in Connecticut, The Lucy Show; died Aug 17, 1979)
1914 - Erskine Hawkins (‘20th Century Gabriel’: musician: trumpet: bandleader: Dolemite, No Soap, Uptown Shuffle; composer: Tuxedo Junction [w/Julian Dash, Bill Johnson]; died Nov 11, 1992)
1918 - Marjorie Lord (actress: The Danny Thomas Show, Sweet Surrender, Boy, Did I Get a Wrong Number!, Riding High, Sherlock Holmes in Washington)
1922 - Blake Edwards (McEdwards) (director: The Pink Panther, 10, Victor/Victoria, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Days of Wine and Roses, Switch, Peter Gunn; died Dec 15, 2010)
1922 - Jason Robards Jr. (Obie Award-winning actor: The Ice Man Cometh; Academy Award-winning Supporting Actor: All the President’s Men , Julia , Long Day’s Journey into Night, A Boy and His Dog, The Adventures of Huck Finn, Philadelphia, All the President’s Men, Tora! Tora! Tora!, The St. Valentine’s Day Massacre; son of actor Jason Robards, Sr.; died Dec 26, 2000)
1923 - (James) Hoyt Wilhelm (baseball: pitcher: NY Giants [all-star: 1953/World Series: 1954], Cleveland Indians, SL Cardinals, Baltimore Orioles [all-star: 1959, 1961, 1962], Chicago White Sox, Atlanta Braves [all-star: 1970], California Angels, Chicago Cubs, LA Dodgers; pitched more games than any other pitcher in the major leagues [1,070]; died Aug 23, 2002)
1924 - Louie Bellson (Balassoni) (musician: drummer: Duke Ellington Band: drum solo: Skin Deep; composer: The Hawk Talks, I Need Your Key, Carnaby Street; music director for wife Pearl Bailey; also played with Dorsey Brothers and Count Basie bands; died Feb 14, 2009)
1926 - James Best (actor: The Dukes of Hazzard, Ode to Billy Joe, The Naked and the Dead, Ma and Pa Kettle at the Fair)
1928 - Stanley Kubrick (director: 2001: A Space Odyssey, Spartacus, Dr. Strangelove, The Shining, Full Metal Jacket, A Clockwork Orange, Lolita, Paths of Glory; died Mar 7, 1999)
1939 - Bob Lilly (Pro Football Hall of Famer: Dallas Cowboys defensive tackle: Super Bowl V, VI)
1940 - Bobby Rousseau (hockey: NHL: Montreal Canadiens, Minnesota North Stars, NY Rangers)
1940 - Dobie Gray (Leonard Ainsworth) (singer: Drift Away, Look at Me, Loving Arms, You Can Do It; singer, songwriter: The ‘In’ Crowd)
1943 - Mick (Michael) Jagger (singer: group: The Rolling Stones: 41 hits [1964-89], 5 gold records, 8 number one hits [U.S.]: (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction, Get Off of My Cloud, Paint It, Black, Ruby Tuesday, Honky Tonk Women, Brown Sugar, Angie, Miss You; Rock and Roll Hall of Famer)
1944 - Micki (Maxine) King (International Women’s Sports Hall of Famer; Olympic gold medalist: diver ; Air Force Academy diving coach)
1944 - Kiel Martin (actor: Hill Street Blues, Second Chance, Panic in Needle Park, Convicted: A Mother’s Story; died Dec 28, 1990)
1945 - Helen Mirren (Ilyena Lydia Mironoff) (actress: Prime Suspect, The Hawk, White Knights)
1949 - Roger Taylor (Meadows-Taylor) (musician: drums: group: Queen: Seven Seas of Rhye, Killer Queen, Bohemian Rhapsody, You’re My Best Friend, Somebody to Love, Another One Bites the Dust, Crazy Little Thing Called Love, Radio Ga-Ga; solo: LPs: Fun in Space, Strange Frontier)
1950 - Susan George (actress: Straw Dogs, Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde [the musical], Jack the Ripper, Mandingo, Dirty Mary, Crazy Larry)
1951 - Rick Martin (hockey: NHL: Buffalo Sabres, Los Angeles Kings; died Mar 13, 2011)
1954 - Vitas Gerulaitis (tennis champion: Australian Open ; killed by carbon monoxide from a faulty heater Sep 17, 1994)
1956 - Dorothy Hamill (Olympic Hall of Famer, Olympic Gold Medalist ice skater ; U.S. Ice Skating Champion [1974-1976]; developed new skating move: Hamill camel; Ice Capades; married Dean-Paul Martin, son of singer Dean Martin)
1959 - Kevin Spacey (Academy Award-winning actor: American Beauty ; Academy Award-winning supporting actor: The Usual Suspects ; A Time to Kill, Outbreak, Consenting Adults, Long Day’s Journey into Night, Lost in Yonkers, Henry and June, Working Girl, Wiseguy, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, L.A. Confidential)
1964 - Sandra Bullock (actress: Speed, Speed 2: Cruise Control, The Net, While You Were Sleeping, A Time to Kill, Hope Floats, Forces of Nature, Miss Congeniality, Fool Proof, Exactly 3:30, The Chambermaid)
1965 - Jeremy Piven (actor: The Larry Sanders Show, Ellen, Dr. Jekyll and Ms. Hyde, Kiss the Girls, Cupid, Serendipity, Highway, Black Hawk Down)
1966 - Jennifer Ashe (actress: As the World Turns)
1973 - Kate Beckinsale (actress: Pearl Harbor, One Against the Wind, Much Ado About Nothing, Haunted, Shooting Fish, Brokedown Palace, Alice Through the Looking Glass)
1993 - Taylor Momsen (actress: How the Grinch Stole Christmas, The Prophet’s Game, We Were Soldiers)
Chart Toppers - July 26
Too Young - Nat King Cole
My Truly, Truly Fair - Guy Mitchell
Mister and Mississippi - Patti Page
I Wanna Play House with You - Eddy Arnold
Lonely Boy - Paul Anka
A Big Hunk o’ Love - Elvis Presley
My Heart is an Open Book - Carl Dobkins, Jr.
The Battle of New Orleans - Johnny Horton
Windy - The Association
Can’t Take My Eyes Off You - Frankie Valli
Light My Fire - The Doors
With One Exception - David Houston
The Hustle - Van McCoy & The Soul City Symphony
I’m Not in Love - 10cc
One of These Nights - Eagles
Touch the Hand - Conway Twitty
Every Breath You Take - The Police
Electric Avenue - Eddy Grant
Is There Something I Should Know - Duran Duran
Pancho and Lefty - Willie Nelson & Merle Haggard
Unbelievable - EMF
(Everything I Do) I Do It for You - Bryan Adams
P.A.S.S.I.O.N. - Rythm Syndicate
I Am a Simple Man - Ricky Van Shelton