Today is Sunday, Feb. 26, the 57th day of 2017. There are 308 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlights in History:
On Feb. 26, 1917, President Woodrow Wilson signed a congressional act establishing Mount McKinley National Park (now Denali National Park) in the Alaska Territory. The Original Dixieland Jass Band (an all-white group) made what’s generally regarded as the first commercial jazz recording, “Dixie Jass Band One-Step” and “Livery Stable Blues,” in New York for the Victor label.
On this date:
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 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”; Gary Cooper was named best actor for “Sergeant York,” while Joan Fontaine was recognized as best actress for “Suspicion.”
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 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 investigated the Iran-Contra affair, issued a report rebuking President Ronald Reagan for failing to control his national security staff.
In 1992, Armenian forces attacked the village of Khodzhaly (koh-JAH’-lee), resulting in the deaths of 613 Azerbaijanis (ah-zur-by-JAHN’-eez), according to Azerbaijani authorities. (Armenia does not deny the attack, but calls the reported death toll exaggerated.)
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.
Ten years ago: Iraq’s Shiite vice president, Adel Abdul-Mahdi (ah-DEEL’ AHB’-dool-MAH’-dee), narrowly escaped death as a blast ripped through a government meeting hall just hours after it had been searched by U.S. teams with bomb-sniffing dogs; at least 10 people were killed.
Five years ago: Trayvon Martin, 17, was shot to death in Sanford, Florida, during an altercation with neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman, who said he acted in self-defense. (Zimmerman was later acquitted 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 its star, Jean Dujardin (zhahn doo-zhahr-DAN’); 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, Florida. The Daytona 500 was postponed for the first time in its 54-year history because of heavy rain.
One year ago: New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie stunned the Republican establishment by endorsing Donald Trump for president. A gunman killed four people in a home in Mason County, Washington, before fatally shooting himself after a standoff. A teenager who raped and killed his high school math teacher was sentenced in Salem, Massachusetts, to life in prison with eligibility for parole in 40 years.
Today’s Birthdays: Game show host Tom Kennedy is 90. Singer Fats Domino is 89. Country-rock musician Paul Cotton (Poco) is 74. Actor-director Bill Duke is 74. Singer Mitch Ryder is 72. Actress Marta Kristen (TV: “Lost in Space”) is 72. Rock musician Jonathan Cain (Journey) is 67. Singer Michael Bolton is 64. The president of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan (REH’-jehp TY’-ihp UR’-doh-wahn), is 63. Actor Greg Germann is 59. Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., is 59. Bandleader John McDaniel is 56. Actor-martial artist Mark Dacascos is 53. Actress Jennifer Grant is 51. Rock musician Tim Commerford (Audioslave) is 49. Singer Erykah Badu (EHR’-ih-kah bah-DOO’) is 46. Rhythm-and-blues singer Rico Wade (Society of Soul) is 45. Olympic gold medal swimmer Jenny Thompson is 44. Rhythm-and-blues singer Kyle Norman (Jagged Edge) is 42. Actor Greg Rikaart is 40. Rock musician Chris Culos (O.A.R.) is 38. Rhythm-and-blues singer Corinne Bailey Rae is 38. Country singer Rodney Hayden is 37. Pop singer Nate Ruess (roos) (fun.) is 35. Tennis player Li Na is 35. Latin singer Natalia Lafourcade is 33. Actress Teresa Palmer (Film: “The Choice”) is 31. Actor Alex Heartman is 27. Actress Taylor Dooley is 24.
Thought for Today: “Nothing is more frightful than laughter when it comes to jealousy.” — Francoise Sagan (sa-GAHN’), French author (1935-2004).