Moncada barracks

On July 26

Wars begin, and wars end. But when wars fail to launch, we can all breathe a collective sigh of relief. On this day in history, July 26, 1953, Fidel Castro led a failed attack on the Moncada Barracks. His goal? To spark a revolution in Cuba. As you’ll soon learn, July 26 has a way of ending major conflicts or smacking them down before they can begin. 

Famous Historical Events

1678: England and the Netherlands signed a treaty that sent an ultimatum to France during the Franco-Dutch War, which had been raging in earnest since 1672. 

1755: As we said, July 26 has it out for mischief and mayhem. On this day, that age in history, 30-year-old Giacomo Casanova is arrested in Venice, Europe’s “Sin City.” His crime? His actions were an affront to religion and common decency. He is subsequently imprisoned in the Doge’s Palace and tortured. But not one to be kept down and told what to do, Casanova plans a daunting escape from prison and is ultimately successful. 

After spending years seducing men out of their money and women out of their petticoats, Casanova gives up his condom-inflating ways and decides to settle down to life as a quiet librarian, where he pens his memoirs. He died at age 74 after living a full and unconventional life.

Doge's Palace

1878: A poet and outlaw only known by the name of “Black Bart” steals a safe box from a Wells Fargo stagecoach. Later, the box is found, and when authorities opened it, all they saw was a taunting poem inside. What a buzzkill July 26 must have been for poor Wells Fargo, as they cried into a bag of money. 

Fargo stagecoach

1945: The Potsdam Declaration is signed. It outlined the terms for Japan’s surrender in WWII. But of course, Japan didn’t get to sign it. China, the U.S., and the U.K. got to outline the terms of the surrender. Well, to the victor go the spoils as they say. Some of the terms outlined in the declaration included:

  • Complete disarmament
  • Occupation of some regions of Japan
  • The creation of a “responsible government” in Japan

The declaration also claimed that Japan would not be destroyed as a nation, nor their people enslaved. But only if they agreed to the terms. Otherwise, the declaration ended with the rather medieval warning of “prompt and utter destruction of Japan” if they failed to surrender unconditionally. 

Famous Birthdays

1875: Carl Jung

Carl Jung

Carl Jung was born in Switzerland on this day in history. He is one of the founding fathers of psychiatry and the founder of analytical psychology. He met Freud in 1907 for the first time in Vienna, Austria. Jung lived to be 85 years old. 

1943: Mick Jagger

Mick Jagger

Mick Jagger was born on this day, 1943, and he is a founding member of one of the world’s most famous bands, The Rolling Stones. As one of the most influential people in the history of music, Jagger’s prolific career has spanned more than half a century. He still tours. 

Famous Deathdays

1984: Ed Gein

Ed Gein is one American’s most infamous and disgusting serial killers. He made trophies out of his victim’s skin and bones, and he is said to have been the inspiration for Norman Bates in the novel and movie “Psycho.” Too bad he lived to the ripe old age of 77. 

What’s the takeaway for this day in history, July 26? Don’t try to start a war or affront religion and common decency in Venice.

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