1580: Sir Francis Drake returns to Plymouth, England, aboard the Golden Hind after a 33-month voyage to circumnavigate the globe.
1777: The British army launches a major offensive, capturing Philadelphia.
1786: France and Britain sign a trade agreement in London.
1820: The legendary frontiersman Daniel Boone dies quietly at the Defiance, Missouri, home of his son Nathan, at age 85.
1826: The Persian cavalry is routed by the Russians at the Battle of Ganja in the Russian Caucasus.
1829: Scotland Yard, the official British criminal investigation organization, is formed.
1864: Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest and his men assault a Federal garrison near Pulaski, Tennessee.
1901: Leon Czolgosz, who assassinated President William McKinley, is sentenced to death..
1913: The first boat is raised in the locks of the Panama Canal.
1914: The Federal Trade Commission is established to foster competition by preventing monopolies in business.
1918: German ace Ernst Udet shoots down two Allied planes, bringing his total for the war up to 62.
1937: Bessie Smith, known as the ‘Empress of the Blues,’ dies in a car crash in Mississippi.
1940: During the London Blitz, the underground Cabinet War Room suffers a hit when a bomb explodes on the Clive Steps.
1941: The U.S. Army establishes the Military Police Corps.
1950: Gen. Douglas MacArthur’s American X Corps, fresh from the Inchon landing, links up with the U.S. Eighth Army after its breakout from the Pusan Perimeter.
1955: The New York Stock Exchange suffers a $44 million loss.
1960: Vice President Richard Nixon and Sen. John F. Kennedy participate in the first nationally televised debate between presidential candidates.
1961: Nineteen-year-old Bob Dylan makes his New York singing debut at Gerde’s Folk City.
1967: Hanoi rejects a U.S. peace proposal.
1969: The Beatles album “Abbey Road” is released.
1972: Richard M. Nixon meets with Emperor Hirohito in Anchorage, Alaska, the first-ever meeting of a U.S. president and a Japanese monarch.
1977: Israel announces a cease-fire on Lebanese border.
1983: In the USSR, Stanislav Petrov disobeys procedures and ignores electronic alarms indicating five incoming nuclear missiles, believing the US would launch more than five if it wanted to start a war. His decision prevented a retaliatory attack that would have begun a nuclear war between the superpowers.
1984: The U.K. agrees to transfer sovereignty of Hong Kong to the People’s Republic of China.
1997: Two earthquakes strike Italy, causing part of the Basilica of St. Francis to collapse, killing four people and destroying much of the cycle of frescoes depicting the saint’s life.
2008: Yves Rossy, a Swiss pilot and inventor, is the first person to fly a jet-powered wing across the English Channel.
Born on September 26
1783: Johnny Appleseed (John Chapman), American pioneer.
1783: Jane Taylor, children’s writer best known as the author of “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star.”
1887: Barnes Wallis, British aeronautical engineer who invented the “Bouncing Bombs” used to destroy German dams during World War II.
1888: T.S. Eliot, poet, critic, and dramatist whose work includes “The Waste Land” and “Murder in the Cathedral.”
1898: George Gershwin, composer who wrote many popular songs for musicals, along with his brother Ira.
1949: Jane Smiley, novelist (“A Thousand Acres,” “Moo”).
1953: Dolores Keane, Irish folk singer; founding member of band De Dannan.
1955: Carlene Carter, country-rock singer, songwriter, musician; daughter of June Carter, stepdaughter of Johnny Cash (“Keep It Out of Sight,” “Cool Reaction”).
1969: David Slade, director (“Hard Candy,” “30 Days of Night”).