Today in History


By the Associated Press

Today is Friday, Feb. 26, the 57th day of 2016. There are 309 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On Feb. 26, 1916, actor-comedian Jackie Gleason was born in Brooklyn, New York.

On this date:

In 1616, astronomer Galileo Galilei met with a Roman Inquisition official, Cardinal Robert Bellarmine, who ordered him to abandon the “heretical” concept of heliocentrism, which held that the earth revolved around the sun, instead of the other way around.

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 1919, President Woodrow Wilson signed a congressional act establishing Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona.

In 1929, President Calvin Coolidge signed a measure establishing Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming.

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 1970, National Public Radio was incorporated.

In 1986, Pulitzer Prize-winning poet and author Robert Penn Warren was named the first poet laureate of the United States by Librarian of Congress Daniel J. Boorstin.

In 1993, a truck bomb built by terrorists exploded in the parking garage of New York’s World Trade Center, killing six people and injuring more than 1,000 others.

In 2012, Trayvon Martin, 17, was shot to death in Sanford, Florida, during an altercation with neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman, who said he’d acted in self-defense. (Zimmerman was subsequently acquitted of second-degree murder.)

Ten years ago: On the final day of the Turin Winter Olympics, Sweden beat Finland 3-2 to win the men’s hockey gold. Germany finished first in overall medals with 29 and golds with 11, while the Americans won 25 medals overall, nine of them gold. Drew Lachey leaped to victory with professional partner Cheryl Burke on ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars.”

Five 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.

One year ago: Internet activists declared victory over the nation’s big cable companies after the Federal Communications Commission voted 3-2 to impose the toughest rules yet on broadband service to prevent companies like Comcast, Verizon and AT&T from creating paid fast lanes and slowing or blocking web traffic. “Jihadi John,” the masked knife-wielding Islamic State militant seen in execution videos, was identified as Mohammed Emwazi, a London-raised university graduate known to British intelligence for more than five years. Theodore Hesburgh, 97, a Catholic priest who transformed the University of Notre Dame into a school known almost as much for academics as football and who championed human rights around the globe, died in South Bend, Indiana.

Today’s Birthdays: Game show host Tom Kennedy is 89. Singer Fats Domino is 88. Country-rock musician Paul Cotton (Poco) is 73. Actor-director Bill Duke is 73. Singer Mitch Ryder is 71. Actress Marta Kristen (TV: “Lost in Space”) is 71. Rock musician Jonathan Cain (Journey) is 66. Singer Michael Bolton is 63. The president of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, is 62. Actor Greg Germann is 58. Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., is 58. Bandleader John McDaniel is 55. Actor-martial artist Mark Dacascos is 52. Actress Jennifer Grant is 50. Rock musician Tim Commerford (Audioslave) is 48. Singer Erykah Badu (EHR’-ih-kah bah-DOO’) is 45. Rhythm-and-blues singer Rico Wade (Society of Soul) is 44. Olympic gold medal swimmer Jenny Thompson is 43. Rhythm-and-blues singer Kyle Norman (Jagged Edge) is 41. Actor Greg Rikaart is 39. Rock musician Chris Culos (O.A.R.) is 37. Rhythm-and-blues singer Corinne Bailey Rae is 37. Country singer Rodney Hayden is 36. Pop singer Nate Ruess (roos) (fun.) is 34. Tennis player Li Na is 34. Latin singer Natalia Lafourcade is 32. Actor Alex Heartman is 26. Actress Taylor Dooley is 23.

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