August 26, 1959. the first Morris Mini-Minor rolls off the production line at a plant in Cowley, England. The British Motor Corporation wanted to produce a small and efficient car for the mass market that would respond to fuel shortages in the wake of the Suez Canal crisis. The car was designed by Alec Issigonis, a Turkish immigrant, and could seat four adults despite a length of just over three metres. Costing just £537 (the equivalent today of around 600 euros), it could reach a top speed of 116 km/h and could accelerate from 0-60 mph (0-97 km/h) in a little over 27 seconds! Production stopped in 2000, by which time over five million Minis had been made.
Also on August 26: the English and French armies fight the Battle of Crécy (1346); women gain the right to vote in the USA (1920); the election of Pope John Paul I (1978).
Born on August 26: Joseph-Michel Montgolfier (1740), Peggy Guggenheim (1898), Mother Teresa (1910), Don LaFontaine (1940), Macaulay Culkin (1980).
Back in the Day: meet the Mark I Mini