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This Day in History - 26th October


0899 King Alfred the Great, Saxon King of Wessex is believed to have died on this date. A soldier and scholar, he fought against the invading Danes and formed England's first navy. His son, Edward the Elder became King. Winchester was Alfred's capital, and he developed the town and to keep it safe from attack. 

1640 The Treaty of Ripon was signed, by Charles I, King of England, Scotland, and Ireland, and the Scottish Covenanters. It was a major setback for Charles, and its terms were humiliating. It stipulated that Northumberland and County Durham were to be ceded to the Scots as an interim measure, that Newcastle was to be left in the hands of the Scots, and that Charles was to pay them £850 a day to maintain their armies there.

1775 King George III went before Parliament to declare the American colonies in rebellion, and authorized a military response to quell the American Revolution.

1859 The Royal Charter steam clipper was wrecked in Dulas Bay, off the coast of Anglesey, with almost 460 dead, the highest death toll of any shipwreck off the Welsh coast. The exact number of dead was not verified as the passenger list was lost in the wreck.

1863 The Football Association was formed at a meeting at Freeman's Tavern in London.

1907 The Territorial Army was formed by the Secretary of State for War, Richard Haldane.

1929 London's world famous buses were painted red.

1950 The first sound and vision broadcast from the House of Commons was broadcast, showing George VI reopening the chamber after repair work carried out on damage sustained during the war.

1965 The Beatles went to Buckingham Palace to be presented with their MBEs by Queen Elizabeth II. Four years later, John Lennon sent back his MBE, stating that he was returning the award in protest against British involvement in Biafra, Nigeria, and Vietnam.

1977 The birth of Dame Sarah Storey, Britain's most decorated female Paralympian. Her list of major achievements (as of October 2015) include being a 21-time World champion (6 in swimming and 15 in cycling), a 21-time European champion (18 in swimming and 3 in cycling) and a holder of 72 world records. There is a sculpture to her and her husband 'Barney' Storey in their home town of Disley, Cheshire.

1986 Leading politician Jeffrey Archer was forced to resign from the deputy chairmanship of the Conservative party following allegations that he made a payment to a prostitute to avoid a scandal. He denied the allegations and later fought a successful libel case.

1989 The re-built Globe Theatre in London reopened for the first time in 350 years.

1989 The British Chancellor of the Exchequer Nigel Lawson resigned over policy differences with Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. John Major replaced him.

1992 The London Ambulance Service was thrown into chaos after the failure of a new Computer Aided Dispatch system. Its poor design and implementation led to significant delays in the assigning of ambulances, with reports of 11 hour waits. Media reports at the time claimed that up to 30 people may have died as a result of the chaos. The then-chief executive, John Wilby, resigned shortly afterwards.

2000 The long awaited report into the spread of BSE or 'mad cow disease' and its fatal human equivalent, vCJD, criticised officials, scientists and government ministers.

2001 British troops were put on standby for action in Afghanistan as Tony Blair warned that Osama bin Laden must be stopped.

2012 Six care workers at Winterbourne View care home (Gloucestershire) were given prison sentences for 'particularly cruel … callous and degrading' abuse of disabled patients.' The defendents were secretly filmed by BBC Panorama, slapping extremely vulnerable residents, soaking them in water, trapping them under chairs, taunting and swearing at them, pulling their hair and poking their eyes.

2014 Camp Bastion, the last UK base in Afghanistan, was handed over to the control of Afghan security forces, ending British combat operations in the country.

2017 This statue was unveiled in the Community Garden, Congleton - Cheshire, for a military dog who was awarded the Dickin Medal (the animal equivalent of the Victoria Cross). Treo, who died in 2015, saved many lives by uncovering improvised explosive devices (IEDs) during his time serving in Helmand Province, Afghanistan.