Advertisement

On This Day: Evacuation of Dunkirk begins

On May 26, 1940, the evacuation of Dunkirk began. Sailing vessels of every kind were pressed into service to ferry British, French and Belgian soldiers trapped by advancing German forces in northern France across the English Channel.

A hospital ship carries injured soldiers away from Dunkirk in May or June 1940. In the background can be seen columns of smoke and flames from fires burning in the bomb- and shell-shattered port. Photo courtesy the Imperial War Museum
A hospital ship carries injured soldiers away from Dunkirk in May or June 1940. In the background can be seen columns of smoke and flames from fires burning in the bomb- and shell-shattered port. Photo courtesy the Imperial War Museum

On this date in history:

In 1864, U.S. President Abraham Lincoln, anxious to create new free territories during the Civil War, signed an act establishing the Montana Territory. Montana became a state 25 years later.

Advertisement

In 1868, at the end of a historic two-month trial, the U.S. Senate acquitted President Andrew Johnson of impeachment charges levied against him by the House of Representatives. Johnson won acquittal by one vote on each count.

In 1896, Nicholas II became the Russian czar.

In 1897, Dracula was published by Irish writer Bram Stoker.

File Photo by Joe Marino-Bill Cantrell/UPI

In 1927, the final Ford Model T was built. More than 15 million of the vehicles were produced. Henry Ford revealed details about the car's successor, the Model A, the same day to the United Press.

In 1940, the evacuation of Dunkirk began. Sailing vessels of every kind were pressed into service to ferry British, French and Belgian soldiers trapped by advancing German forces in northern France across the English Channel.

In 1954, more than 100 crewmembers of the aircraft carrier USS Bennington died in an explosion off Rhode Island.

In 1972, at a Moscow summit, U.S. President Richard Nixon and Soviet Communist Party leader Leonid Brezhnev signed a pact limiting nuclear weapons.

UPI File Photo

In 1985, a cyclone struck the Bay of Bengal, killing 1,400 people in Bangladesh.

In 1991, a Lauda Air Boeing 767-300 exploded over Thailand after takeoff, killing all 223 people aboard.

In 1994, Michael Jackson and Lisa Marie Presley, the only child of Elvis Presley, were married in the Dominican Republic. They divorced two years later.

In 2003, a plane crash in Turkey killed all 74 people aboard, including 62 Spanish soldiers returning from peacekeeping duties in Afghanistan.

In 2019, the Nepalese government blamed overcrowding and poor weather conditions for a spate of deaths as climbers tried to reach the peak of Mount Everest. The season's death toll would eventually reach 12, with photos of traffic jams of people balanced precariously along the upper ridge of the mountain shocking viewers across the globe.

File Photo by Praphat Rattanayanon/Shutterstock

Latest Headlines