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26th April

1452 * Leonardo da Vinci, Italian painter, sculptor, architect, musician and scientist.

1926 * David Coleman, English radio and television commentator.

1936 * Carol Burnett, US comedienne.

1937 German bombers bombed the civilian population in Guernica during the Spanish Civil War.

1938 * Duane Eddy, US rock guitarist best known for his hit 'Peter Gunn'.

1962 The American moon rocket Ranger IV landed on the far side of the moon but unfortunately failed to send back pictures due a technical fault.

1964 Tanganyika and Zanzibar joined to form Tanzania.

1975 Labour party members voted by almost 2-1 to leave the EEC, underlining the deep divisions over the issue of Europe.

1975 Portugal held its first free election for more than 50 years with a victory for Mario Saores.

1986 The world's worst nuclear accident occurred at Chernobyl, near Kiev, Russia.

1993 The government announced 'the recession is over' after new figures show growth in the economy for the first time in over two years.

1994 South Africa allowed the black population the vote for the first time in national elections.

2000 The Home Secretary, Jack Straw, witnessed nine people being caught attempting to illegally enter the UK as he inspected immigration procedures in Dover.

xxxx * = Date of birth

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