Today in History
Today is Friday, Feb. 26, the 57th day of 2021. 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 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 1940, the United States Air Defense Command was created.
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 1984, the last U.S. Marines deployed to Beirut as part of an international peacekeeping force withdrew from the Lebanese capital.
In 1994, a jury in San Antonio acquitted 11 followers of David Koresh of murder, rejecting claims they had ambushed federal agents; five were convicted of voluntary manslaughter.
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 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 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 2019, after making his way from Pyongyang in an armored train, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un arrived in Vietnam’s capital ahead of a summit with President Donald Trump, who arrived later in the day aboard Air Force One.
Ten years ago: In a statement, President Barack Obama said Moammar Gadhafi had lost his legitimacy to rule and urged the Libyan leader to leave power immediately. Space shuttle Discovery arrived at the International Space Station, making its final visit before being parked at a museum.
Five years ago: New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie stunned the Republican establishment by endorsing Donald Trump for president.
One year ago: President Donald Trump declared that the U.S. was “very, very ready” for whatever threat the coronavirus would bring; he put Vice President Mike Pence in charge of overseeing the country’s response. 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. Brazil’s government confirmed the first case of the coronavirus in Latin America; a 61-year-old man who had traveled to Italy had tested positive. Facebook said it was banning ads that made false claims about products tied to the coronavirus. As Christians around the world marked the start of Lent with Ash Wednesday, worshipers found churches closed and rituals changed by virus fears. An employee at a Wisconsin brewery opened fire on co-workers, killing five of them before taking his own life. Maria Sharapova retired from professional tennis at the age of 32, after a career that included five Grand Slam titles.
Today’s Birthdays: Country-rock musician Paul Cotton (Poco) is 78. Actor-director Bill Duke is 78. Singer Mitch Ryder is 76. Actor Marta Kristen (TV: “Lost in Space”) is 76. Rock musician Jonathan Cain (Journey) is 71. Singer Michael Bolton is 68. The president of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan (REH’-jehp TY’-ihp UR’-doh-wahn), is 67. Actor Greg Germann is 63. Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., is 63. Bandleader John McDaniel is 60. Actor-martial artist Mark Dacascos is 57. Actor Jennifer Grant is 55. Rock musician Tim Commerford (Audioslave) is 53. Singer Erykah Badu (EHR’-ih-kah bah-DOO’) is 50. Actor Maz Jobrani (TV: “Superior Donuts”) is 49. R&B singer Rico Wade (Society of Soul) is 49. Olympic gold medal swimmer Jenny Thompson is 48. R&B singer Kyle Norman (Jagged Edge) is 46. Actor Greg Rikaart is 44. Rock musician Chris Culos (O.A.R.) is 42. R&B singer Corinne Bailey Rae is 42. Pop singer Nate Ruess (roos) (fun.) is 39. Tennis player Li Na is 39. Latin singer Natalia Lafourcade is 37. Actor Teresa Palmer is 35.