The 26th of April is the 116th day of the year (Gregorian calendar) or 117th in a leap year.
Annual Commemorative and Observational Days
The 26th of April is known as ‘World Intellectual Property Day’ which was established by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) to create awareness of the role copyright plays with creativity and innovation.
Belarus, Russia and Ukraine
The 26th of April is known as ‘Remembrance Day of the Chernobyl Tragedy’ in Belarus, Russia and Ukraine to commemorate all those that lost their lives in the nuclear power plant disaster that occurred on the 26th of April 1986.
The 26th of April is ‘Union Day’ in Tanzania to commemorate the unification of Tanganyika and the People’s Republic of Zanzibar and Pemba into the United Republic of Tanzania in 1964.
Tanganyika joined with the islands of Zanzibar to form the United Republic of Tanganyika and Zanzibar and then within the year it would become the United Republic of Tanzania as it is known today.
The U.S. Ranger 4 spacecraft crashed on the Moon at 12:49 GMT before sending data.
Trials began on a vaccine against the Polio disease. Polio is an infectious disease that mainly affected children and could cause paralysis. It had reached pandemic levels in the early 20th centaury and one of the most famous sufferers was United States President Franklin Roosevelt who was diagnosed in 1921 when he was 39. It resulted in paralysis from the waste down and Roosevelt was forced to use a wheelchair for the rest of his life. In 1952 an American physician, Jonas Salk, developed the vaccine which was now being tested. The trials had 1.8 million participants from the United States, Canada and Finland and would be the first time the ‘double blind test’ was used, where by neither the recipient nor the doctor who administered the vaccine would know if the vaccine was a placebo or not. The trials proved the vaccine effective but later a new oral vaccine was produced which allowed for large scale vaccinations. Polio has been eliminated in much of the world.
Abraham Lincoln’s assassin, John Wilkes Booth, died of a gun shot while attempting escape. On the 14th of April 1865, just five days after the end of the US civil war, stage actor John Wilkes Booth hears that Lincoln will be attending the production of ‘Our American Cousin’ that evening. Immediately he formed a plan to assassinate Lincoln while his friends would kill Vice President Andrew Johnson and Secretary of State William H. Seward simultaneously. A previous plan by confederate sympathiser Booth to kidnap Lincoln was foiled when the president did not attend the planned location. But this time he knew exactly when, where and how. That night Booth entered the Presidents private booth at the theatre and shot Lincoln in the back of the head before jumping from the box and escaping. He broke his leg after he jumped from the box but in the confusion and thanks to a planned escape he slipped through into the night. After 12 days of hiding and slowly making his way across a southern state border he was surrounded in a farm barn. His would be captures wanted him alive to stand trial but Booth refused to leave the barn and give himself up. They set the barn alight hoping to force Booth to leave, but he didn’t. A Union soldier from England called Thomas P. Corbett was standing near a crack in the barn wall and shot Booth in the neck. It took three hours to die and despite disobeying orders and killing Booth, Corbett became a national hero.