May 26: Independence Day in Georgia (1918); Mother’s Day in Poland
- 1328 – William of Ockham, an English friar who originated the methodological principle Occam’s razor, secretly left Avignon under threat from Pope John XXII.
- 1857 – American slave Dred Scott (pictured), who had previously unsuccessfully sued for his freedom, was emancipated by Henry Taylor Blow, his original owner.
- 1897 – Irish author Bram Stoker’s most famous novel Dracula was first published.
- 1938 – The House Un-American Activities Committee was established to investigate alleged disloyalty and subversive activities by people or organizations suspected of having communist or fascist ties.
- 1940 – World War II: A flotilla of “little ships” began a mass evacuation of British, French and Belgian troops cut off by the German army during the Battle of Dunkirk.