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Reuters historical calendar - April 26

Written by: Staff

LONDON, Apr 25 (Reuters) Following are some of the major events to have occurred on April 26 since 1900: 1937 - The Spanish Basque town of Guernica was bombed by German planes sent by Hitler to help Franco during the Spanish Civil War.

1942 - At least 1,540 people died in the world's worst mining disaster at a colliery in Benxi, in Japanese-occupied China.

1945 - Marshal Henri Philippe Petain, leader of France's Vichy collaborationist regime during World War Two, was arrested on treason charges.

1962 - Britain's first satellite, Ariel I, was launched from Cape Canaveral by a Thor-Delta booster.

1964 - Tanganyika, Zanzibar and Pemba joined to form the United Republic of Tanganyika and Zanzibar. It was re-named Tanzania on October 29.

1984 - Count Basie (William Basie), U S jazz pianist and big band leader who led his orchestra from 1937, died.

1986 - A reactor at the Chernobyl nuclear complex in the Ukraine exploded and caught fire, spreading a radioactive cloud across Europe in the world's worst nuclear disaster.

1990 - Carlos Pizarro Leongomez, leader of the leftist Colombian guerrilla movement M-19 who gave up violence to run for president, was assassinated on a plane.

1992 - Thousands of Russians celebrated Orthodox Easter, bells ringing out from the walled Kremlin for the first time since Bolshevik leaders vowed to crush Christianity for ever.

1994 - South Africa held its first all-race elections for the national assembly and provincial parliaments.

1994 - A Taiwanese China Airlines A300-600 Airbus crashed at Nagoya airport, some 250 km southwest of Tokyo, killing 264 people.

1997 - Peng Zhen, the first senior victim of China's radical Cultural Revolution and a close associate of late paramount leader Deng Xiaoping, died.

1998 - Bishop Juan Jose Gerardi was assassinated in San Sebastian parish in Guatemala City after overseeing a study of the atrocities in Guatemala's long civil war.

2001 - Ukraine's parliament voted overwhelmingly to oust Prime Minister Viktor Yushchenko.

2002 - A 19-year-old student bent on revenge for being expelled, shot dead 12 teachers, two pupils, a secretary, a police officer and himself at the Gutenberg high school in the town of Erfurt.

2004 - Leading Polish film maker Lew Rywin was sentenced to two-and-a-half years in jail for soliciting a bribe in the country's biggest corruption scandal since the 1989 fall of communism.

2004 - Beijing ruled out elections in Hong Kong colony for the city's leader in 2007 and for all lawmakers in 2008.

2005 - Syria withdrew its last soldiers and intelligence agents from Lebanon, ending a 29-year military presence in its small neighbour.

2005 - Austrian-born actress Maria Schell, a film idol who captivated German-speaking audiences in the 1950s and starred opposite some of Hollywood's legendary leading men, died aged 79.

She rose to stardom in films such as ''The Last Bridge''.


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