What Happened on September 26?
- The first televised US Presidential debate took place. (1960) Democratic candidate John F. Kennedy debated with Republican candidate Richard M. Nixon in a television studio in Chicago. There wasn't another televised US Presidential debate until 1976.
- The Soviet government ended press censorship. (1989) In a major move toward a more open government, Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev and his legislature approved a law allowing books, newspapers, magazines and other articles of print to be published without gaining prior government approval.
- The first American soldier was killed in Vietnam. (1945) More than 10 years before the Vietnam War would officially begin, US Army Lt. Col. Peter Dewey was shot to death while leading a team sent to gather information and search for lost American pilots. Dewey was killed by Viet Minh soldiers who mistook him for being French.
- A worldwide nuclear war was likely narrowly avoided. (1983) A Soviet report indicated a nuclear missile had been fired at the Soviet Union from the United States. Stanislav Petrov, an officer in the Soviet military, found a computer error had generated the report and that a nuclear strike had not been made.
- The deadliest single battle in US military history took place. (1918) The World War I Meuse-Argonne Offensive between the Allies and Germany lasted 47 days, resulting in the deaths of 187,000 Allied soldiers, including 117,000 US troops — the most of any single battle in US military history.
- The US Federal Trade Commission was established. (1914) The Federal Trade Commission Act was approved 43-5 in the US Senate and passed through the House of Representatives. It established a five-member government office to oversee trade practices.
- Operation Garden Market, a World War II mission, failed. (1944) The mission, which was the biggest airborne mission in world history, was to secure several bridges in The Netherlands and Germany. If the mission had succeeded, it would have allowed the Allies to take control of Northern Germany. Its failure dashed hopes of bringing an end to World War II in 1944.
- The Concorde made its first transatlantic flight. (1973) The Concorde could fly across the Atlantic in less than 3.5 hours. It provided commercial passenger service for 27 years from 1976 to 2003, when it was retired.
- Yves Rossy became the first person to fly with a jet pack over the English Channel. (2008) A Swiss inventor and pilot, Rossy strapped a jet-powered fixed wing to his back and successfully crossed the Channel, gaining him the nickname "Jet Man."
- The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) dropped the "Rated X" movie rating. (1990) As people began to associate "Rated X" with pornography, the MPAA wanted to alleviate the negative view being associated with Hollywood movies that weren't appropriate for young people.
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