Today in History
Today is Sunday, Feb. 26, the 57th day of 2023. There are 308 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On Feb. 26, 1993, a truck bomb built by Islamic extremists exploded in the parking garage of the North Tower of New York’s World Trade Center, killing six people and injuring more than 1,000 others. (The bomb failed to topple the North Tower into the South Tower, as the terrorists had hoped; both structures were destroyed in the 9/11 attack eight years later.)
On this date:
In 1815, Napoleon Bonaparte escaped from exile on the Island of Elba and headed back to France in a bid to regain power.
In 1904, the United States and Panama proclaimed a treaty under which the U.S. agreed to undertake efforts to build a ship canal across the Panama isthmus.
In 1942, “How Green Was My Valley” won the Academy Award for Best Picture of 1941, beating out nine other films, including “The Maltese Falcon” and “Citizen Kane.”
In 1945, authorities ordered a midnight curfew at nightclubs, bars and other places of entertainment across the nation.
In 1952, Prime Minister Winston Churchill announced that Britain had developed its own atomic bomb.
In 1966, South Korean troops sent to fight in the Vietnam War massacred at least 380 civilians in Go Dai hamlet.
In 1987, the Tower Commission, which had probed the Iran-Contra affair, issued its report, which rebuked President Ronald Reagan for failing to control his national security staff.
In 1998, a jury in Amarillo, Texas, rejected an $11 million lawsuit brought by Texas cattlemen who blamed Oprah Winfrey’s talk show for a price fall after a segment on food safety that included a discussion about mad cow disease.
In 2005, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak ordered his country’s constitution changed to allow presidential challengers in an upcoming fall election.
In 2012, Trayvon Martin, 17, was shot to death in Sanford, Florida, during an altercation with neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman, who said he acted in self-defense. (Zimmerman was later acquitted of second-degree murder.)
In 2014, Republican Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer vetoed a bill pushed by social conservatives that would have allowed people with sincerely held religious beliefs to refuse to serve gays.
In 2016, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie stunned the Republican establishment by endorsing Donald Trump for president.
In 2017, At the 89th Academy Awards, “Moonlight,” an LGBT coming of age drama, won three Oscars, including best picture of 2016 (in a startling gaffe, the musical “La La Land” was mistakenly announced as the best picture winner before the error was corrected).
In 2020, the World Health Organization reported that the number of new coronavirus cases outside China had exceeded the number of new infections in China for the first time.
Ten years ago: A deeply divided Senate voted, 58-41, to confirm Republican Chuck Hagel to be U.S. defense secretary. A hot air balloon burst into flames during a sunrise flight over the ancient Egyptian city of Luxor and then plummeted 1,000 feet to earth, killing 19 tourists.
Five years ago: President Donald Trump, who had been highly critical of the law enforcement response to the Florida school shooting, told a roomful of governors at the White House that if he had been there, he would have rushed in, unarmed. Thousands of people from all walks of life, including former President George W. Bush and his wife, filed slowly past the casket of the Rev. Billy Graham in Charlotte, North Carolina.
One year ago: Kyiv residents braced for another night sheltering underground, as Russian troops closed in on Ukraine’s capital and skirmishes were reported on the outskirts. Ukraine’s leader, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, vowed to continue fighting the Russian assault as he appealed for more outside help. He accused Russia of hitting infrastructure and civilian targets. John Landy, an Australian runner who dueled with Roger Bannister to be the first person to run a four-minute mile, died at age 91.
Today’s birthdays: Actor-director Bill Duke is 80. Singer Mitch Ryder is 78. Actor Marta Kristen (TV: “Lost in Space”) is 78. Rock musician Jonathan Cain (Journey) is 73. Singer Michael Bolton is 70. The president of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan (REH’-jehp TY’-ihp UR’-doh-wahn), is 69. Actor Greg Germann is 65. Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., is 65. Bandleader John McDaniel is 62. Actor-martial artist Mark Dacascos is 59. Actor Jennifer Grant is 57. Rock musician Tim Commerford (Audioslave) is 55. Singer Erykah Badu (EHR’-ih-kah bah-DOO’) is 52. Actor Maz Jobrani (TV: “Superior Donuts”) is 51. R&B singer Rico Wade (Society of Soul) is 51. Olympic gold medal swimmer Jenny Thompson is 50. R&B singer Kyle Norman (Jagged Edge) is 48. Actor Greg Rikaart is 46. Rock musician Chris Culos (O.A.R.) is 44. R&B singer Corinne Bailey Rae is 44. Pop singer Nate Ruess (fun.) is 41. Former tennis player Li Na is 41. Latin singer Natalia Lafourcade is 39. Actor Teresa Palmer is 37.