Today in history
Sep 26 1687
Troops laying siege to Athens led by Venetian general Francesco Morosini rain cannonfire down on the Acropolis and the Turkish soldiers garrisoned inside. One cannonball penetrates the Parthenon, which happened to serve as the Turks' gunpowder magazine. The roof, walls, and 16 columns are blown off by the resulting explosion.
Sep 26 1937
The Empress of the Blues, Bessie Smith, sustains grave injuries in a traffic accident on US Highway 61. She is taken to a colored hospital in Clarksdale, Mississippi and her arm amputated. Smith dies later that day from blood loss. According to legend, Bessie had been refused treatment by a closer, whites-only hospital.
Sep 26 1960
Kennedy and Nixon face off in the first televised presidential debate. Nixon had been recuperating from illness yet refused to wear makeup for the camera, looking haggard and gray. Radio viewers gave positive opinions for Nixon's performance but so many people saw the debate televised that Kennedy gained the lead in the polls, ultimately winning the election.
Sep 26 1964
Gilligan's Island premieres on CBS television with the pilot episode "Two on a Raft." This is the one where they almost get off the island.
Sep 26 1988
Jeffrey Dahmer offers a cute Laotian boy $50 to pose for nude photos in his Milwaukee apartment. The parents of the 13-year-old later rat Dahmer out, resulting in a 10-month prison stay.