26 May 1868

The Impeachment of Andrew Johnson ends with his acquittal by one vote.

The impeachment of Andrew Johnson was a significant event in United States history that took place in 1868. Andrew Johnson, who became the 17th President of the United States after the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln in 1865, faced impeachment by the U.S. House of Representatives.

The impeachment proceedings against Andrew Johnson were primarily driven by political disagreements and tensions between Johnson, a Democrat, and the Republican-controlled Congress. The main points of contention revolved around Johnson’s resistance to the Reconstruction policies aimed at rebuilding the Southern states after the American Civil War and protecting the rights of freed slaves.

Johnson clashed with the Radical Republicans in Congress, who believed he was obstructing the Reconstruction process and undermining the civil rights of African Americans. The Republicans were particularly dissatisfied with Johnson’s vetoes of several Reconstruction bills and his removal of Edwin M. Stanton, the Secretary of War, from his position in violation of the Tenure of Office Act.

On February 24, 1868, the House of Representatives voted to impeach Andrew Johnson on eleven articles of impeachment. The articles accused him of violating the Tenure of Office Act and engaging in “high crimes and misdemeanors” related to his conduct regarding Reconstruction.

The impeachment trial then moved to the Senate, where Johnson faced removal from office. The trial lasted from March 30 to May 26, 1868. The Senate ultimately fell one vote short of the necessary two-thirds majority to convict Johnson. The vote to convict him on three of the articles was 35-19, while the vote on the remaining articles ranged from 35-16 to 35-19.

Johnson narrowly avoided removal from office, but his presidency was severely weakened by the impeachment trial. Subsequently, the Radical Republicans passed laws that curtailed his powers and limited his ability to influence Reconstruction policies.

The impeachment of Andrew Johnson played a significant role in shaping the balance of power between the presidency and Congress and highlighted the challenges faced by the nation during the Reconstruction era.

26 May 1967

The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band is released

[rdp-wiki-embed url=’https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sgt._Pepper%27s_Lonely_Hearts_Club_Band’]

26 May 1896

Charles Dow publishes the first edition of the Dow Jones Industrial Average.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average, or simply the Dow, is a stock market index that indicates the value of 30 large, publicly owned companies based in the United States, and how they have traded in the stock market during various periods of time. These 30 companies are also included in the S&P 500 Index. The value of the Dow is not a weighted arithmetic mean and does not represent its component companies’ market capitalization, but rather the sum of the price of one share of stock for each component company. The sum is corrected by a factor which changes whenever one of the component stocks has a stock split or stock dividend, so as to generate a consistent value for the index.

It is the second-oldest U.S. market index after the Dow Jones Transportation Average, created by Wall Street Journal editor and Dow Jones & Company co-founder Charles Dow. Currently owned by S&P Dow Jones Indices, which is majority owned by S&P Global, it is the best known of the Dow Averages, of which the first was originally published on February 16, 1885. The averages are named after Dow and one of his business associates, statistician Edward Jones. The industrial average was first calculated on May 26, 1896.

The Industrial portion of the name is largely historical, as many of the modern 30 components have little or nothing to do with traditional heavy industry. Since the divisor is currently less than one, the value of the index is larger than the sum of the component prices. Although the Dow is compiled to gauge the performance of the industrial sector within the American economy, the index’s performance continues to be influenced by not only corporate and economic reports, but also by domestic and foreign political events such as war and terrorism, as well as by natural disasters that could potentially lead to economic harm.

26 May 1966

British Guiana gets its independence to become Guyana.

Guyana became an independent nation on Thursday, 26 May 1966, but the independence celebrations began four days before and continued until 29 May. Public buildings and business places were brightly decorated with streamers and buntings bearing the colours of the Guyana flag. On the evening of 25 May, a grand cultural performance took place at the Queen Elizabeth Park. Dignitaries in the audience of thousands included the Duke and Duchess of Kent, representing Queen Elizabeth, and representatives of foreign governments. Then at midnight, the Union Jack, the symbol of British colonial rule for 163 years, was lowered and the new flag of Guyana, the Golden Arrowhead, was raised to the top of the mast. Just before the flag raising ceremony before a huge crowd, Prime Minister Forbes Burnham and Opposition Leader Cheddi Jagan publicly embraced each other, indicating their satisfaction that Guyana had finally won its political independence.

With the raising of the new flag, fireworks burst across the sky in various parts of the country. Then around mid-morning, the State opening of the Parliament of Guyana took place. It was preceded by a military parade accompanied by much pomp and pageantry. Significantly, for this occasion, a portrait of Sir Walter Raleigh decorating the wall of the Parliament chamber was removed and replaced with a portrait of Prime Minister Burnham.

The meeting of Parliament was chaired by the Speaker, Aubrey Alleyne. The Duke of Kent read a throne speech on behalf of the Queen, after which on behalf of the sovereign, Queen Elizabeth, he handed over to Prime Minister Burnham the constitutional instruments designating Guyana an independent nation. Immediately after, there were speeches by Prime Minister Forbes Burnham and Leader of the Opposition Cheddi Jagan.

Burnham, in an appeal to Guyanese nationalism, declared: “The days ahead are going to be difficult. Tomorrow, no doubt, we as Guyanese will indulge in the usual political conflicts and differences in ideology. But today, to my mind, is above such petty matters. For today Guyana is free.”

In welcoming independence, Dr. Jagan seized the opportunity to point out that the Burnham Government was abusing its powers through the extension of the state of emergency beyond the date of independence. This, he said, was generating fear throughout the country and was detrimental to the struggle for peace and security.

He also highlighted the view that his party was “the victim of repeated constitutional manipulations designed to keep it out of office.” He added, “We are confident that despite these manipulations the People’s Progressive Party can be triumphant at future elections if these are fairly held.”

Later that afternoon, Sir Richard Luyt was sworn in by the Duke of Kent as Guyana’s first Governor General at a ceremony in the ballroom of Guyana House, the official residence of the Governor General.

During the period of the independence celebrations, many public events were also held. These included carnival-style parties, exhibitions, float parades and public rallies addressed by Burnham and his Ministers.

On achieving independence, Guyana became the 23rd member of the British Commonwealth. The new state received instant recognition internationally. However, in its note of recognition signed by Foreign Minister Iribarren Borges, the Venezuelan Government stated that it “recognises as territory of the new State the one which is located on the east of the right bank of the Essequibo River”. The Venezuelan note claimed that the boundary between Guyana and Venezuela ran “through the middle line of the Essequibo River, beginning from its source and on to its mouth in the Atlantic Ocean”.

In a response to the Venezuelan Government sent on 18 August 1966, Burnham rejected this assertion and expressly stated that the “Guyana constitution stipulates that the territory of Guyana embraces all that area, which immediately before the 26th May, 1966, comprised the old Colony of British Guiana, together with the area which by Act of Parliament may be declared as part of the territory of Guyana.” He added: “The territory which extends between the middle line of the Essequibo on the east and the boundary of the old Colony of British Guiana all along the rivers Cuyuni and Wanamo on the west, was already included on the 26th May, 1966, judicially and administratively, within the old Colony of British Guiana and forms part of the State of Guyana.”

26 May 1923

The first Le Mans 24 hours is held.

The 24 Hours of Le Mans is the world’s oldest active sports car race in endurance racing, held annually since 1923 near the town of Le Mans, France. It is one of the most prestigious automobile races in the world and is often called the “Grand Prix of Endurance and Efficiency”. The event represents one leg of the Triple Crown of Motorsport; other events being the Indianapolis 500, and the Monaco Grand Prix.

The race is organized by the Automobile Club de l’Ouest and runs on the Circuit de la Sarthe, which contains a mix of closed public roads and a specialist racing circuit, in which racing teams have to balance speed with the cars’ ability to race for 24 hours without sustaining mechanical damage.

Since 2012, the 24 Hours of Le Mans has been a part of the FIA World Endurance Championship. In 2017, it will be the third round of the season.The race has over the years inspired imitating races all over the globe, popularizing the 24-hour format at places like Daytona, Nürburgring, Spa-Francorchamps, and Bathurst. The American Le Mans Series and Europe’s Le Mans Series of multi-event sports car championships were spun off from 24 Hours of Le Mans regulations. Other races include the Le Mans Classic, a race for historic Le Mans race cars of years past held on the Circuit de la Sarthe, a motorcycle version of the race which is held on the shortened Bugatti version of the same circuit, a kart race, a truck race , and a parody race 24 Hours of LeMons.