On This Day in History February 26

February 26 – Events:

  • 747 BC – Epoch (origin) of Ptolemy’s Nabonassar Era.
  • 364 – Valentinian I is proclaimed Roman Emperor.
  • 1266 – Battle of Benevento: An army led by Charles, Count of Anjou, defeats a combined German and Sicilian force led by King Manfred of Sicily. Manfred is killed in the battle and Pope Clement IV invests Charles as king of Sicily and Naples.
  • 1531 – Earthquake in Lisbon Portugal, kills 20,000.
  • 1616 – Inquisition delivers injunction to Galileo.
  • 1658 – Treaty of Roskilde: After a devastating defeat in the Northern Wars (1655-1661), the King of Denmark-Norway is forced to give up nearly half his territory to Sweden to save the rest.
  • 1794 – Christiansborg Castle, Copenhagen burns down.
  • 1797 – The Bank of England issues the first one-pound and two-pound notes.
  • 1815 – Napoleon Bonaparte escapes from Elba.
  • 1848 – The second French Republic is proclaimed.
  • 1863 – U.S. President Abraham Lincoln signs the National Banking Act into law.
  • 1870 – In New York City, the first pneumatic-subway opens.
  • 1885 – The Berlin Act, which resulted from the Berlin Conference regulating European colonization and trade in Africa, is signed
  • 1887 – At the SCG, George Lohmann becomes the first bowler to take eight wickets in a Test innings.
  • 1917 – The Original Dixieland Jass Band records the first ever jazz record for the Victor Talking Machine Company in New York.
  • 1919 – An act of the U.S. Congress establishes most of the Grand Canyon as a United States National Park (see Grand Canyon National Park).
  • 1929 – The Grand Teton National Park is created. .
  • 1933Golden Gate Bridge ground-breaking ceremony held at Crissy Field.
  • 1935 – The Luftwaffe is re-formed.
  • 1935 – The Daventry Experiment, Robert Watson-Watt carries out a demonstration near Daventry which leads directly to the development of RADAR in the United Kingdom.
  • 1935 – New York Yankees release Babe Ruth.
  • 1936 – In the February 26 Incident, young Japanese military officers attempt to stage a coup against the government.
  • 1952 – United Kingdom Prime Minister Winston Churchill announces that his nation has an atomic bomb.
  • 1966 – Apollo Program: Launch of AS-201, the first flight of the Saturn IB rocket.
  • 1970 – National Public Radio incorporates as a non-profit corporation.
  • 1971 – Secretary-General U Thant signs United Nations proclamation of the vernal equinox as Earth Day.
  • 1972 – The Buffalo Creek Flood caused by a burst dam kills 125 in West Virginia.
  • 1984 – US troops withdraw from Beirut. President Ronald Reagan had sent the troops as a peacekeeping force in August 1982.
  • 1986 – People Power Revolution in the Philippines.
  • 1987 – Iran-Contra affair: The Tower Commission rebukes American President Ronald Reagan for not controlling his national security staff.
  • 1990 – The Sandinistas are defeated in Nicaraguan elections.
  • 1991 – Gulf War: On Baghdad Radio Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein announces the withdrawal of Iraqi troops from Kuwait.
  • 1993 – World Trade Center bombing: In New York City, a truck bomb parked below the North Tower of the World Trade Center explodes, killing 6 and injuring over a thousand.
  • 1995 – The United Kingdom’s oldest investment banking firm, Barings Bank collapses after a securities broker, Nick Leeson, loses $1.4 billion by speculating on the Singapore International Monetary Exchange using futures contracts.
  • 2001 – The Taliban destroy two giant Buddha statues in Bamyan, Afghanistan.
  • 2004 – The United States lifts a ban on travel to Libya, ending travel restrictions to the nation that had lasted for 23 years.
  • 2004 – Macedonian President Boris Trajkovski is killed in a plane crash near Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina.
  • 2005 – Hosni Mubarak the president of Egypt orders the constitution changed to allow multi-candidate presidential elections before September 2005 by asking Egyptian parliament to amend Article 76 of the constitution.

February 26 – Birthdays:

  • 1361 – Wenceslaus, Holy Roman Emperor, King of Bohemia (d. 1419)
  • 1564 – Christopher Marlowe, English dramatist (d. 1593)
  • 1587 – Stefano Landi, Italian composer (d. 1639)
  • 1671 – Anthony Ashley-Cooper, 3rd Earl of Shaftesbury, English politician and philosopher (d. 1713)
  • 1672 – Antoine Augustine Calmet, French theologian (d. 1757)
  • 1714 – James Hervey, English clergyman and writer (d. 1758)
  • 1715 – Claude Adrien Helvétius, French philosopher (d. 1771)
  • 1720 – Gian Francesco Albani, Italian Catholic cardinal (d. 1803)
  • 1746 – Archduchess Marie Amalie of Austria, duchess of Piacenza (d. 1806)
  • 1749 – Jeremy Bentham, English jurist (d. 1832)
  • 1786 – François Arago, French mathematician (d. 1853)
  • 1799 – Émile Clapeyron, French engineer and physicist (d. 1864)
  • 1802 – Victor Hugo, French writer (d. 1885)
  • 1808 – Honoré Daumier, French painter, illustrator, and sculptor (d. 1879)
  • 1808 – Nathan Kelley,American architect, active mainly in Ohio, (d.1871)
  • 1814 – Charles Joseph Sainte-Claire Deville, French geologist (d. 1876)
  • 1829 – Levi Strauss, German-born clothing designer (d. 1902)
  • 1846 – William F. “Buffalo Bill” Cody, American frontiersman (d. 1917)
  • 1852 – John Harvey Kellogg, American surgeon, advocate of dietary reform (d. 1943 )
  • 1857 – Émile Coué, French psychologist (d. 1926)
  • 1858 – Vladimir Serbsky, Russian psychiatrist (d. 1917)
  • 1861 – King Ferdinand of Bulgaria (d. 1948)
  • 1861 – Nadezhda Konstantinovna Krupskaya, Russian revolutionary, Lenin’s wife (d. 1939)
  • 1866 – Herbert Henry Dow, American chemical industrialist (d. 1930)
  • 1879 – Frank Bridge, English composer (d. 1941)
  • 1882 – Husband E. Kimmel, American admiral (d. 1968)
  • 1885 – Aleksandras Stulginskis, President of Lithuania (d. 1969)
  • 1887 – Grover Cleveland Alexander, American baseball player (d. 1950)
  • 1887 – William Frawley, American actor (d. 1966)
  • 1893 – I. A. Richards, English literary critic (d. 1979)
  • 1899 – Max Petitpierre, member of the Swiss Federal Council (d. 1994)
  • 1902 – Jean Bruller, alias Vercors, French writer and illustrator (d. 1991)
  • 1903 – Giulio Natta, Italian chemist, Nobel laureate (d. 1979)
  • 1906 – Madeleine Carroll, English actress (d. 1987)
  • 1907 – Dub Taylor, American actor (d. 1994)
  • 1908 – Tex Avery, American cartoonist (d. 1980)
  • 1908 – Leela Majumdar, Bengali writer (d. 2007)
  • 1908 – Jean-Pierre Wimille, French race car driver (d. 1949)
  • 1909 – King Talal of Jordan (d. 1972)
  • 1909 – Fanny Cradock, English food writer and broadcaster (d. 1994)
  • 1911 – Taro Okamoto, Japanese avant-garde artist (d. 1996)
  • 1912 – Dane Clark, American actor (d. 1998)
  • 1913 – George Barker, English poet (d. 1991)
  • 1914 – Robert Alda, American actor (d. 1986)
  • 1916 – Jackie Gleason, American actor, writer, composer, and comedian (d. 1987)
  • 1918 – Otis Ray Bowen, American politician (Indiana Governor) and physician
  • 1918 – Theodore Sturgeon, American writer (d. 1985)
  • 1919 – Mason Adams, American actor (d. 2005)
  • 1919 – Rie Mastenbroek, Dutch swimmer (d. 2003)
  • 1920 – Danny Gardella, American baseball player (d. 2005)
  • 1920 – Tony Randall, American actor (d. 2004)
  • 1920 – Lucjan Wolanowski, Polish journalist, writer and traveller (d. 2006)
  • 1921 – Betty Hutton, American actress and singer (d. 2007)
  • 1922 – Margaret Leighton, British actress (d. 1976)
  • 1926 – Miroslava Stern, Mexican actress (d. 1955)
  • 1927 – Tom Kennedy, American game show host
  • 1928 – Fats Domino, American musician
  • 1928 – Anatoli Filipchenko, Soviet cosmonaut
  • 1928 – Monique Leyrac, French Canadian singer and actress
  • 1930 – Lazar Berman, Russian pianist (d. 2005)
  • 1931 – Ally MacLeod, Scottish footballer and manager (d. 2004)
  • 1932 – Johnny Cash, American singer (d. 2003)
  • 1934 – Robert Novak, American political columnist
  • 1937 – Hagood Hardy, Canadian musician and composer (d. 1997)
  • 1938 – Evagoras Pallikarides, Cypriot freedom fighter (d. 1957)
  • 1939 – Josephine Tewson, English actress
  • 1941 – Tony Ray-Jones, British photographer (d. 1972)
  • 1943 – Bill Duke, American actor and director
  • 1943 – Dante Ferretti, Italian art director and costume designer
  • 1945 – Peter Brock, Australian motorsports champion (d. 2006)
  • 1945 – Bob Hite, American singer and harmonicist (Canned Heat) (d. 1981)
  • 1945 – Giannis Ioannidis, Greek basketball coach and politician
  • 1945 – Marta Kristen, Norwegian actress
  • 1945 – Mitch Ryder, American musician (The Detroit Wheels)
  • 1946 – Ahmed H. Zewail, Egyptian chemist, Nobel laureate
  • 1947 – Sandie Shaw, English singer
  • 1949 – Elizabeth George, American novelist
  • 1949 – Emma Kirkby, British early music singer
  • 1950 – Helen Clark, Prime Minister of New Zealand
  • 1950 – Jonathan Cain, American musician (Journey, Bad English, The Babys)
  • 1951 – Lee Atwater, American political operative (d. 1991)
  • 1953 – Michael Bolton, American singer
  • 1954 – Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Prime Minister of Turkey
  • 1956 – Keisuke Kuwata, Japanese singer
  • 1957 – David Muldrow Beasley, American politician
  • 1957 – Joe Mullen, American ice hockey player
  • 1958 – Michel Houellebecq, French novelist
  • 1958 – Greg Germann, American actor
  • 1959 – Rolando Blackman, American basketball player
  • 1960 – Jaz Coleman, British musician
  • 1962 – Kelly Gruber, former Major League Baseball player
  • 1964 – Mark Dacascos, American actor and martial artist
  • 1966 – Najwa Karam, Lebanese singer
  • 1967 – Currie Graham, Canadian actor
  • 1968 – Ed Quinn, American Actor
  • 1968 – J.T. Snow, American baseball player
  • 1969 – Hitoshi Sakimoto, Japanese composer
  • 1971 – Erykah Badu, American singer
  • 1971 – Max Martin, Swedish composer and producer
  • 1971 – Hélène Ségara, French singer
  • 1973 – Marshall Faulk, American football player
  • 1973 – Ole Gunnar Solskjær, Norwegian footballer
  • 1973 – Jenny Thompson, American swimmer
  • 1974 – Sébastien Loeb, French rally driver
  • 1976 – Nikolaos Siranidis, Greek diver
  • 1976 – Chad Urmston, American musician
  • 1977 – Marty Reasoner, American ice hockey player
  • 1977 – Greg Rikaart, American actor
  • 1977 – Josh Towers, Major League Baseball player
  • 1977 – Shane Williams, Welsh International Rugby Player
  • 1978 – Abdoulaye Diagne-Faye, Senegalese footballer
  • 1978 – Marc Hynes, British racing driver
  • 1978 – John Tartaglia, Broadway performer and “Muppeteer”
  • 1979 – Corinne Bailey Rae, English singer
  • 1979 – Mariano Bainotti, Argentine racing driver
  • 1979 – Pedro Mendes, Portuguese footballer
  • 1979 – Shalim Ortiz, Puerto Rican singer/actor
  • 1980 – Alex Fong, Hong Kong singer
  • 1980 – Gary Majewski, Major League Baseball player
  • 1981 – Kertus Davis, American NASCAR driver
  • 1981 – Johnathan Wendel, American professional video gamer
  • 1982 – Song Hye Kyo, South Korean model and actress
  • 1983 – Kara Monaco, American model
  • 1983 – Varick Pyr, Hip-Hop artist
  • 1984 – Emmanuel Adebayor, Togolese footballer
  • 1984 – Natalia Lafourcade, Mexican singer
  • 1985 – Alexandria Hilfiger, American actress, daughter of Tommy Hilfiger
  • 1986 – Crystal Kay, Japanese singer
  • 1986 – Teresa Palmer, Australian model and actress
  • 1987 – Julia Bond, American porn star
  • 1993 – Taylor Dooley, American actress

February 26 – Deaths:

  • 1154 – King Roger II of Sicily (b. 1093)
  • 1200 – Symeon, former Serbian ruler and saint
  • 1266 – King Manfred of Sicily
  • 1360 – Roger Mortimer, 2nd Earl of March, English military leader (b. 1328)
  • 1552 – Heinrich Faber, German composer
  • 1561 – Jorge de Montemayor, Spanish writer
  • 1577 – King Eric XIV of Sweden (b. 1533)
  • 1608 – John Still, English bishop
  • 1630 – William Brade, English composer (b. 1560)
  • 1638 – Claude Gaspard Bachet de Méziriac, French mathematician (b. 1681)
  • 1723 – Thomas d’Urfey, English writer (b. 1653)
  • 1726 – Maximilian II Emanuel, Elector of Bavaria (b. 1662)
  • 1770 – Giuseppe Tartini, Italian composer (b. 1692)
  • 1802 – Esek Hopkins, American Revolutionary War admiral (b. 1718)
  • 1813 – Robert Livingston, American signer of the Declaration of Independence (b. 1746)
  • 1815 – Prince Josias of Coburg, Austrian general (b. 1737)
  • 1821 – Joseph de Maistre, Savoyard diplomat and writer (b. 1753)
  • 1864 – Louis-Hippolyte Lafontaine, French Canadian politician (b. 1807)
  • 1883 – Alexandros Koumoundouros, Greek politician, Prime Minister of Greece (b. 1817)
  • 1889 – Karl Davydov, Russian cellist (b. 1838)
  • 1903 – Richard Jordan Gatling, American inventor (b. 1818)
  • 1913 – Felix Draeseke, German composer (b. 1835)
  • 1921 – Carl Menger, Austrian economist (b. 1840)
  • 1931 – Otto Wallach, German chemist, Nobel laureate (b. 1847)
  • 1933 – Princess Thyra, daughter of Christian IX of Denmark (b. 1853)
  • 1943 – Theodor Eicke, Nazi official (b. 1892)
  • 1947 – Heinrich Häberlin, Swiss politician, member of the Federal Council (b. 1868)
  • 1950 – Sir Harry Lauder, Scottish Music Hall Entertainer, Knighted for WWI War Work (b. 1870)
  • 1961 – King Mohammed V of Morocco (b. 1909)
  • 1966 – Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, Indian freedom fighter and writer (b. 1883)
  • 1969 – Levi Eshkol, Prime Minister of Israel (b. 1895)
  • 1969 – Karl Jaspers, German psychiatrist (b. 1883)
  • 1971 – Fernandel, French actor (b. 1903)
  • 1981 – Howard Hanson, American composer (b. 1896)
  • 1981 – Robert Aickman, English writer and conservationist (b. 1914)
  • 1985 – Tjalling Koopmans, Dutch economist, Nobel laureate (b. 1910)
  • 1989 – Roy Eldridge, American musician (b. 1911)
  • 1990 – Cornell Gunter, American singer (The Coasters) (b. 1938)
  • 1993 – Constance Ford, American actress (b. 1923)
  • 1994 – Bill Hicks, American comedian (b. 1961)
  • 1995 – Jack Clayton, British film director (b. 1921)
  • 1997 – David Doyle, American actor (b. 1929)
  • 1998 – Theodore Schultz, American economist, Nobel laureate (b. 1902)
  • 2000 – George L. Street III American Navy Submariner and Medal of Honor winner.(b. 1913)
  • 2001 – Arturo Uslar Pietri, Venezuelan writer (b. 1906)
  • 2002 – Lawrence Tierney, American actor (b. 1919)
  • 2003 – Christian Goethals, Belgian racing driver (b. 1928)
  • 2004 – Shankarrao Chavan, Indian politician (b. 1920)
  • 2004 – Adolf Ehrnrooth, Finnish general (b. 1905)
  • 2004 – Boris Trajkovski, President of the Republic of Macedonia (b. 1956)
  • 2005 – Jef Raskin, American computer scientist (b. 1943)
  • 2008 – Buddy Miles, American drummer (Band of Gypsies; b. 1947)
  • 2008 – Dick Fletcher, Meteorologist (b.1942)
  • 2008 – Glory Mukwati, Zimbabwean politician

February 26 – Holidays:

  • Bahá’í Faith – February 26, Day 1 of Ayyám-i-Há (Intercalary Days) – days in the Bahá’í calendar devoted to service and gift giving. 
  • Liberation Day in Kuwait (1991).
  • Liturgical feasts:
    • Saint Nestor (died 251)
    • Saint Alexander of Alexandria
    • Saint Isabel of France

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