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Today in History for Feb. 26, 2013

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

Today’s Highlight:

On Feb. 26, 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.

On this date:

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

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

In 1913, “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, President Woodrow Wilson signed a measure establishing Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona.

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

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

In 1945, authorities ordered a midnight curfew at night clubs, 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 1962, 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, National Public Radio was incorporated.

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.

Ten years ago: 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: 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. Former Israeli military chief Dan Shomron, who commanded the 1976 hostage rescue at Entebbe, died in Tel Aviv at age 70.

One year ago: 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: Singer Fats Domino is 85. Country-rock musician Paul Cotton (Poco) is 70. 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 is 55. Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., is 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.) is 34. Rhythm-and-blues singer Corinne Bailey Rae is 34. Country singer Rodney Hayden is 33. Pop singer Nate Ruess (fun.) is 31. Actor Alex Heartman (“Power Rangers Samurai”) is 23. Actress Taylor Dooley is 20.

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

The Associated Press

The Associated Press

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