GloucesterTimes.com, Gloucester, MA

February 26, 2013

Today in History

The Associated Press
Gloucester Daily Times

---- — Today is Tuesday, Feb. 26, the 57th day of 2013. There are 308 days left in the year.

Today’s highlight in history:

On Feb. 26, 1993@text5:, 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.

On this date:

In 1815@text5:, Napoleon Bonaparte escaped from exile on the Island of Elba.

In 1870@text5:, an experimental air-driven subway, the Beach Pneumatic Transit, opened in New York City for public demonstrations.

In 1913@text5:, “Brillo,” described as an “aluminum-cleanser,” was registered for trademark by Philip J. Brady of New York (the trademark was issued in Sept. 1913).

In 1919@text5:, President Woodrow Wilson signed a measure establishing Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona.

In 1929@text5:, President Calvin Coolidge signed a measure establishing Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming.

In 1940@text5:, the United States Air Defense Command was created.

In 1945@text5:, authorities ordered a midnight curfew at night clubs, bars and other places of entertainment across the nation.

In 1952@text5:, Prime Minister Winston Churchill announced that Britain had developed its own atomic bomb.

In 1962@text5:, after becoming the first American to orbit the Earth, astronaut John Glenn told a joint meeting of Congress, “Exploration and the pursuit of knowledge have always paid dividends in the long run.”

In 1970@text5:, National Public Radio was incorporated.

In 1987@text5:, 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@text5:, 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.

Ten years ago@text5:: President George W. Bush, offering new justification for war in Iraq, told a think tank that “ending this direct and growing threat” from Saddam Hussein would pave the way for peace in the Middle East and encourage democracy throughout the Arab world. In a victory for abortion foes, the Supreme Court ruled 8-1 that federal racketeering and extortion laws had been wrongly used to try to stop blockades, harassment and violent protests outside clinics. A fire at the Greenwood Health Center in Hartford, Conn., killed 16 nursing home patients; a patient charged with setting the blaze was later ruled incompetent to stand trial.

Five years ago@text5:: A power failure later blamed primarily on human error resulted in sporadic outages across large parts of Florida. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, visiting Beijing, won a verbal assurance from Chinese officials to use their influence to jump-start the stalled process of dismantling North Korea’s nuclear programs. The New York Philharmonic, led by Lorin Maazel, performed a historic concert in North Korea before the communist nation’s elite.

One year ago@text5:: In a case that drew national attention, Trayon Martin, 17, was shot to death in Sanford, Fla., during an altercation with neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman, who said he’d acted in self-defense. (Zimmerman is awaiting trial on a charge of second-degree murder.) The black-and-white silent film “The Artist” won best picture at the Academy Awards, as well as best actor for Jean Dujardin and two other prizes; Meryl Streep won best actress for “The Iron Lady.” The West held off a late charge from the East in a 152-149 victory in the NBA All-Star game in Orlando, Fla. The Daytona 500 was postponed for the first time in its 54-year history after heavy rain saturated Daytona International Speedway.

Today’s birthdays@text5:: Singer Fats Domino is 85. Country-rock musician Paul Cotton (Poco) and actor-director Bill Duke is 70. Singer Mitch Ryder is 68. Rock musician Jonathan Cain (Journey) is 63. Singer Michael Bolton is 60. Actor Greg Germann and Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., are 55. Bandleader John McDaniel is 52. Actress Jennifer Grant is 47. Rock musician Tim Commerford (Audioslave) is 45. Singer Erykah Badu is 42. Rhythm-and-blues singer Rico Wade (Society of Soul) is 41. Olympic gold medal swimmer Jenny Thompson is 40. Rhythm-and-blues singer Kyle Norman (Jagged Edge) is 38. Actor Greg Rikaart is 36. Rock musician Chris Culos (O.A.R.) and rhythm-and-blues singer Corinne Bailey Rae are 34. Country singer Rodney Hayden is 33. Pop singer Nate Ruess (fun.) is 31. Actor Alex Heartman (TV: “Power Rangers Samurai”) is 23. Actress Taylor Dooley is 20.

Thought for today@text5:: “Nothing is more frightful than laughter when it comes to jealousy.” — Francoise Sagan, French author (1935-2004).