Thursday, July 26, is the 208th day of 2012. There are 158 days left in the year.
Today’s birthdays: Actress Marjorie Lord is 94. Actor James Best is 86. Actress-singer Darlene Love is 71. Singer Brenton Wood is 71. Rock star Mick Jagger is 69. Movie director Peter Hyams is 69. Actress Helen Mirren is 67. Rock musician Roger Taylor (Queen) is 63. Actress Susan George is 62. Olympic gold medal figure skater Dorothy Hamill is 56. Actor Kevin Spacey is 53. Rock singer Gary Cherone is 51. Actress Sandra Bullock is 48. Rock singer Jim Lindberg (Pennywise) is 47. Actor Jeremy Piven is 47. Rapper-reggae singer Wayne Wonder is 46. Actor Jason Statham is 45. Actor Cress Williams is 42. TV host Chris Harrison (“The Bachelor”) is 41. Actress Kate Beckinsale is 39. Rock musician Dan Konopka (OK Go) is 38. Christian singer Rebecca St. James is 35. Actress Francia Raisa is 24. Christian rock musician Jamie Sharpe (Rush of Fools) is 23.
In 1775, Benjamin Franklin became America’s first postmaster general.
In 1788, New York became the 11th state to ratify the US Constitution.
In 1908, Attorney General Charles Bonaparte ordered creation of a force of special agents that was a forerunner of the FBI.
In 1947, President Truman signed the National Security Act, which established the National Military Establishment (later the Department of Defense).
In 1952, Argentina’s first lady, Eva Peron, died in Buenos Aires at age 33. King Farouk I of Egypt abdicated in the wake of a coup led by Gamal Abdel Nasser.
In 1953, Fidel Castro began his revolt against Fulgencio Batista . (Castro ousted Batista in 1959.)
In 1962, the pilot episode of ‘‘The French Chef’’ starring Julia Child aired on WGBH.
In 1971, Apollo 15 was launched from Cape Kennedy . Photographer Diane Arbus died in New York at age 48.
In 1986, kidnappers in Lebanon released the Rev. Lawrence Martin Jenco, an American hostage held for nearly 19 months.
In 1990, President George H.W. Bush signed the Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990.
In 1992, singer Mary Wells died in Los Angeles at age 49.
In 2002, the Republican-led House voted, 295-132, to create an enormous Homeland Security Department.