Historical Events on February 26

  • 747 BC Epoch (origin) of Ptolemy's Nabonassar Era
  • 364 Valentinian I is proclaimed Roman Emperor
  • 1266 Battle of Benevento fought in Southern Italy between Manfred of Sicily and army of Charles of Anjou
  • 1401 English Catholic priest William Sawtrey convicted of heresy and later becomes 1st Lollard martyr to be publicly burnt at the stake
  • 1534 Pope Paul II affirms George van Egmond as bishop of Utrecht
  • 1548 Ottoman fleet under Piri Reis retakes the port of Aden (modern Yemen) from the Portuguese
  • 1590 Mauritius of Nassaus sails to Breda

First Dutch Expedition to East Indies

1597 Cornelis de Houtman's Dutch fleet departs Bali and sets sail for the Netherlands

  • 1606 First known European landing in Australia by Dutch navigator Willem Janszoon at the Pennefather River, Cape York, northern Australia

Roman Inquisition

1616 Roman Inquisition delivers injunction to Galileo demanding he abandon his belief in heliocentrism, which states the Earth and planets revolve around the Sun

  • 1732 1st mass celebrated in 1st American Catholic church, St Joseph's, Philadelphia
  • 1773 Construction of Walnut Street Jail is approved by the state of Pennsylvania; it will become the first experiment with the practice of solitary confinement in the United States
  • 1794 Christiansborg Castle, Copenhagen burns down
  • 1797 Bank of England issues first £1 note

Siege of Fort Amsterdam

1804 Vice-admiral William Bligh (of Bounty fame) ends siege of Fort Amsterdam, Willemstad

Napoleon Leaves Elba

1815 Napoleon Bonaparte and his supporters leave Elba to start a 100 day re-conquest of France

  • 1832 Polish constitution abolished and replaced by Tsar Nicholas I
  • 1834 1st US interstate crime compact (NY-NJ) ratified
  • 1839 1st Grand National steeplechase, Aintree Racecourse, Liverpool: Jem Mason wins aboard 5/1 favourite Lottery
  • 1848 2nd French Republic proclaimed
  • 1851 13th Grand National: Terry Abbott wins aboard Irish stallion Abd-El-Kader at 7/1; first dual winner and first to win back-to-back
  • 1852 British troopship Birkenhead sinks off South Africa, 458 die, 193 survive

Chess History

1859 Paul Morphy's chess match vs Augustus Mongredien begins; Morphy wins

  • 1862 Battle of Woodburn, Kentucky

National Currency Act

1863 Abraham Lincoln signs National Currency Act, establishes single national US currency

  • 1866 New York Legislature forms NYC Metropolitan Board of Health
  • 1869 US 15th Amendment guaranteeing right to vote sent to states to ratify
  • 1870 Beach Pneumatic Transit - 1st attempt to demonstrate a subway in New York opens (pneumatic powered)
  • 1881 -27] Natal: British troops under Major General Colley occupy Majuba Hill
  • 1881 P&O's SS Ceylon begins world's 1st round-the-world pleasure cruise from Liverpool

Treaty of Interest

1884 British & Portuguese treaty signed in Congo by Leopold II

  • 1885 Berlin Conference gives Congo to Belgium and Nigeria to Great Britain

Cricket History

1887 George Lohmann took 1st 8-wkt haul in test cricket, 8-35 at Sydney Cricket Ground

  • 1891 1st buffalo purchased for Golden Gate Park

Hedda Gabler

1891 Henrik Ibsen's play "Hedda Gabler" premieres in Oslo, Norway

  • 1893 2 Clydesdale horses set record by pulling 48 tons on a sledge, in Michigan
  • 1893 Norwegian Einar Halvorsen skates world record 500m (48 sec)
  • 1895 Michael Owens of Toledo, Ohio, patents a glass-blowing machine

Music Premiere

1899 1st performance of Anton Bruckner's "Symphony No. 6 in A", Gustav Mahler leading the Vienna Philharmonic in Graz, Austria

Boer War Peace Talks

1901 British General Kitchener confers with Boer General Louis Botha about peace conditions, which break down over the question of amnesty for some Boers

Election of Interest

1907 Louis Botha Het Volk Party wins a majority in the election in Transvaal, South Africa

  • 1907 Royal Oil & Shell merge to form British Petroleum (BP)
  • 1907 US Congress raise their own salaries to $7,500
  • 1909 Austria and Turkey conclude an agreement in which Turkey recognizes Austria's 1908 annexation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and is to receive compensation

South Africa Act

1910 Gandhi supports the African People's Organisations resolution to declare the Prince of Wales day of arrival in South Africa a day of mourning, in protest against the South Africa Acts disenfranchisement of Indians, Coloureds and Africans

  • 1912 Coal miners strike in Britain (settle on 1st March)
  • 1914 HMHS Britannic, sister to the Titanic, is launched at Harland & Wolff, Belfast
  • 1914 New York Museum of Science & Industry incorporated
  • 1915 Malancourt, Argonnen 1st (German) flame-thrower
  • 1916 Germans sink French transport ship Provence II, killing 930

Film and TV History

1916 Mutual signs Charlie Chaplin to a film contract

  • 1916 Russian troops conquer Kermansjah, Persia
  • 1917 1st Annual fair at Utrecht Harbor (Netherlands)
  • 1917 1st jazz records recorded - "Dixie Jazz Band One Step" and "Livery Stable Blues" by Original Dixieland Jass Band for the Victor Talking Machine Company in NYC

Unrest in Petrograd

1917 Russian February Revolution: Tsar Nicolas II orders army to quell civil unrest in Petrograd - army mutinies [NS Mar 11]

  • 1918 Stands at Hong Kong Jockey Club collapse & burn, killing 604
  • 1919 Acadia National Park forms (as Lafayette N P), Maine
  • 1919 US Congress establishes Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona
  • 1920 German silent horror film classic "The Cabinet of Dr Caligari" starring Werner Krauss is released
  • 1921 The USSR signs treaties respecting the integrity of Persia and of Afghanistan
  • 1923 Italian nationalist & fascists merge (blue-shirts & black-shirts)

Beer Hall Putsch

1924 Trial against Adolf Hitler for treason in "Beer Hall Putsch" begins in Munich, Germany

  • 1925 Jihad against Turkish government
  • 1926 Dark Street in the Bronx renamed Lustre Street

Grand Teton National Park

1929 US President Calvin Coolidge establishes Grand Teton National Park

  • 1930 1st red & green traffic lights installed in Manhattan, NYC

Music History

1930 Marc Connelly's stage drama "The Green Pastures", bible stories through the eyes of Southern Black child, opens at Mansfield Theater, NYC; runs for 640 performances and wins a Pulitzer Prize

  • 1930 West Indies make 1st Test Cricket win, by 289 runs over England

Reichstag Fire Plot

1933 Dutch Communist Marinus van der Lubbe kept overnight in a police cell

  • 1933 Golden Gate Bridge groundbreaking ceremony held at Crissy Field

Luftwaffe Re-forms

1935 Existence of re-formed German Luftwaffe revealed (banned in 1920 by Treaty of Versailles) with Reichsmarshall Hermann Göring as commander-in-chief

Baseball History

1935 NY Yankees release Babe Ruth, he signs with Boston Braves

RADAR Demonstrated

1935 RADAR (Radio Detection and Ranging) first demonstrated by Robert Watson-Watt

  • 1936 Adolf Hitler introduces Ferdinand Porsche's "Volkswagen"
  • 1936 Military coup in Japan
  • 1937 Christopher Isherwood and W. H. Auden's "Ascent of F6" premieres in London
  • 1938 1st passenger ship equipped with radar
  • 1938 Rie Van Veen swims world record 200m free style (2:24.6)
  • 1938 US female Figure Skating championship won by Joan Tozzer
  • 1938 US male Figure Skating championship won by Robin Lee
  • 1940 US Air Defense Command forms at Mitchel Field, LI, NY
  • 1941 2 fighters unable to continued slugfest, referee declares double KO
  • 1941 Cowboys' Amateur Association of America organized (California)
  • 1941 Utrecht & Zaandam strike against raid on Jews
  • 1941 Vichy-France makes religious education in school mandatory
  • 1942 German battle cruiser Gneisenau deactivated by bomb
  • 1942 Radio Orange calls for March 1 day of prayer in Dutch Indies

Event of Interest

1942 Werner Heisenberg, a principal scientist in the German nuclear weapons program, delivers a lecture to Nazi officials about extracting energy from nuclear fission

  • 1943 German assault moves to Beja, North Tunisia
  • 1944 1st female US navy captain, Sue Dauser of nurse corps, appointed
  • 1945 Very heavy bombing on Berlin by 8th US Air Force
  • 1946 2 killed & 10 wounded in race riot in Columbia, Tennessee

Golden Globes

1947 4th Golden Globes: "The Best Years of Our Lives", Gregory Peck, & Rosalind Russell win

  • 1949 USAF plane began 1st nonstop around-the-world flight

Music History

1950 Jerome Robbin's ballet choreographed to Leonard Bernstein's "Age of Anxiety" premieres at the New York City Center Theater

  • 1951 Bread rationing in Czechoslovakia begins
  • 1952 Netherlands-Indonesian Unity conference

Event of Interest

1952 PM Winston Churchill announces Britain has its own atomic bomb

Golden Globes

1953 10th Golden Globes: "The Greatest Show on Earth", Gary Cooper, & Shirley Booth win

Event of Interest

1953 Allen Dulles officially promoted from deputy director to become the 5th Director of the Central Intelligence Agency

  • 1954 1st typesetting machine (photo engraving) used, Quincy, Massachusetts
  • 1954 Michigan Representative Ruth Thompson (R) introduces legislation to ban mailing "obscene, lewd, lascivious or filthy" phonograph (rock & roll) records
  • 1955 1st aviator to bail out at supersonic speed-GF Smith

Musical Finale

1955 Leigh, Charlap, Styne, Comden and Green's musical "Peter Pan", starring Mary Martin and Cyril Ritchard, closes at Winter Garden Theater, NYC, after 152 performances

Event of Interest

1956 Writers and poets Sylvia Plath & Ted Hughes meet at a party in Cambridge

  • 1960 David Jenkins wins the men's figure skating gold medal at the Squaw Valley Winter Olympics; US takes the singles double after Carol Heiss wins women's event

Event of Interest

1960 Soviet premier Nikita Khrushchev voices support for Indonesia

  • 1960 USA's David Jenkins wins Olympic Gold for men's figure skating

Film & TV History

1960 Vera Miles stars in"Mirror Image" episode of CBS anthology series "The Twilight Zone"

  • 1960 Verne Gagne beats Doctor X in Omaha, to become NWA wrestling champ
  • 1961 3rd Daytona 500: Marvin Panch wins in a 1960 Pontiac owned by Smokey Yunick when race leader Fireball Roberts' car suffered a blown engine with 13 laps remaining

Theater Premiere

1962 Arthur Kopit's play "Oh, Dad, Poor Dad . . ." premieres in NYC

  • 1962 US Supreme court disallows race separation on public transportation
  • 1965 Dutch government of Marijnen falls
  • 1965 West Germany ceases military aid to Tanzania
  • 1966 KBIM TV channel 10 in Roswell, NM (CBS) begins broadcasting

Daytona 500

1967 9th Daytona 500: Mario Andretti wins his first and only NASCAR Grand National event; only time driver born outside the US has ever won the Great American Race

  • 1967 USSR performs nuclear test at Eastern Kazakh/Semipalitinsk USSR
  • 1967 Verne Gagne beats Mad Dog Vachon in St Paul, to become NWA champion
  • 1968 Clandestine Radio Voice of Iraqi People (Communist) final transmission
  • 1970 Carole Bayer (Sager) and George Fischoff's musical "Georgy" opens at Winter Garden Theater, NYC; runs for 4 performances
  • 1970 The Beatles release "Hey Jude" compilation album in US (originally to be titled "Beatles Again")

Event of Interest

1971 Secretary-General U Thant signs United Nations proclamation of the vernal equinox as Earth Day

  • 1971 Two Royal Ulster Constabulary officers shot and killed by the Irish Republican Army while on mobile patrol in the Ardoyne area of Belfast, North Ireland
  • 1972 Ireland-Wales Five Nations Rugby match scheduled for Lansdowne Road, Dublin is cancelled because of escalating political situation; Championship not completed for first time since World War II
  • 1972 Slag heap dam collapses above Buffalo Creek, West Virginia, kills 125

Event of Interest

1973 Triple Crown horse Secretariat bought for a record $5.7m

  • 1974 Gold hits record $188 an ounce in Paris
  • 1975 1st televised kidney transplant (Today Show)
  • 1975 Harry Chapin's musical revue "The Night That Made America Famous" opens at Barrymore Theatre, NYC; runs for 75 performances
  • 1976 US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site
  • 1977 1st flight of Space Shuttle (atop a Boeing 747)
  • 1978 Ira Levin's "Deathtrap" premieres in NYC
  • 1979 CBS' premiere of NYC sitcom "Flatbush", which received many derision phone calls about it from Brooklynites to CBS
  • 1979 Last total eclipse of Sun in 20th century for continental US
  • 1980 Egypt & Israel exchange ambassadors for 1st time
  • 1980 Military coup under Desi Bouterse in Suriname

Cricket History

1980 New Zealand cricket captain Geoff Howarth 147 and Richard Hadlee 103 hold off West Indies pace quartet of Roberts, Garner, Holding and Croft during famous 2nd Test draw at Christchurch

  • 1981 3 Anglican missionaries detained in Iran since Aug 1980 are released
  • 1981 84 penalties (406 mins) assessed for a brawl between NHL Minn & Bost
  • 1981 French Train Grande Vitesse averages 380 kph on trial run

Cricket Debut

1982 Test Cricket debut of batsman Martin Crowe, playing for New Zealand v Australia in Wellington, run out for 9

#1 in the Charts

1983 Michael Jackson's "Thriller" album goes #1 and stays #1 for 37 weeks

  • 1983 Shortwave pirate Radio USA (Wellsville, NY) begins transmission
  • 1984 Last US marines in multinational peacekeeping force in Lebanon left Beirut
  • 1984 Pulitzer Prize winner Robert Penn Warren is named the 1st US poet laureate
  • 1984 Reverend Jesse Jackson acknowledges that he called NYC "Hymietown"

Grammy Awards

1985 27th Grammy Awards: "What's Love Got to Do With It?", and Cyndi Lauper win

  • 1986 Evert van Benthem wins 14th Frisian 11-Cities skating race (6:55:16)
  • 1986 People Power Revolution in the Philippines.
  • 1987 1st release of Beatles on compact disc: "Please Please Me"; "With The Beatles"; "A Hard Day's Night"; and "Beatles For Sale" [1]
  • 1987 NASA launches GEOS-H

Sports History

1987 NBA's Michael Jordan's 58 points in one game is a Chicago Bulls record

  • 1987 Tower Commission probes Iran-Contra affair
  • 1987 USSR resumes nuclear test at Eastern Kazakh/Semipalitinsk USSR
  • 1987 Wash blocks 20 Indiana shots tying NBA regulation game record
  • 1988 Christa Rotherburger (GDR) skates ladies world record 1000m (1:17.65)

Music History

1989 "Jerome Robbins' Broadway" opens at Imperial Theater, NYC; runs for 634 performances

Contract of Interest

1989 California court throws out most of Margo Adams's $12 million breach-of-contract suit against Red Sox third baseman Wade Boggs

  • 1989 Lowest barometric pressure in Netherlands (95.5 hPa)

Sports History

1989 NFL Dallas Cowboys fire coach Tom Landry after a 29-year career

Sports History

1989 NY Yankees announce that Tom Seaver is their new TV sportscaster

  • 1990 The Sandinistas are defeated in Nicaraguan elections.
  • 1990 USSR agrees to withdraw all 73,500 troops from Czech by July, 1991
  • 1991 Asanka Gurusinha scores twin Test Cricket tons v NZ (119 & 102)

Highway of Death

1991 Coalition planes bomb Iraqi forces retreating from Kuwait during the Gulf War, killing hundreds and creating the so-called 'Highway of Death'

  • 1991 Kuwaiti resistance leaders declare they have control of their capital
  • 1991 NY-NJ Knights (WLAF) players 1st come together
  • 1991 Signs of Iran crude now an option for US refiners, but no imports from Iran likely in near future
  • 1992 "Search & Destroy" opens at Circle in Square Theater, NYC; runs for 46 performances
  • 1992 200+ Azerbaijanis, mostly civilians are killed by local Armenian forces and the 366th CIS regiment in the Khojaly massacre in Nagorno-Karabakh
  • 1992 Irish Supreme Court rules 14 year old rape victim may get an abortion
  • 1993 "World Trade Center bombing of 1993": truck bomb explodes in parking garage of NYC World Trade Center at 12:18pm, killing 6 and injuring over 1,000 in what was the deadliest act of terrorism perpetrated on US soil at the time
  • 1993 9th Soap Opera Digest Awards - Days of Our Lives wins

Cricket Record

1993 Allan Border beats Gavaskar's record for most Test Cricket runs 10,123

  • 1994 St Louis Blues beat Ottawa Senators 11-1
  • 1995 London finance house Barings collapses after huge losses in Singapore by rogue trader Nick Leeson

Grammy Awards

1997 39th Grammy Awards: "Change the World", Babyface, Beck, and LeAnn Rimes win

Film & TV History

1998 Oprah Winfrey found not guilty in beef defamation trial brought by Texas cattlemen

  • 1998 Steven M Gluckstern completes sale of NY Islanders
  • 1998 Total solar eclipse in Venezuela-Pacific Ocean (4m09)
  • 1999 15th Soap Opera Digest Awards - General Hospital wins
  • 2001 The Taliban destroy two giant Buddha statues in Bamyan, Afghanistan.
  • 2004 Macedonian President Boris Trajkovski is killed in a plane crash near Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina.
  • 2004 The United States lifts a ban on travel to Libya, ending travel restrictions to the nation that had lasted for 23 years.
  • 2005 25th Golden Raspberry Awards: "Catwoman" wins

Event of Interest

2005 Hosni Mubarak, President of Egypt, orders the constitution changed to allow multi-candidate presidential elections, asking Egyptian parliament to amend Article 76

  • 2006 XX Winter Olympic Games close in Turin, Italy
  • 2010 41st NAACP Image Awards: "Precious" wins Outstanding Motion Picture
  • 2010 Opera "Madame White Snake", by Boston Opera composed by Zhou Long, premieres at the Cutler Majestic Theatre, Boston (Pulitzer Prize for Music 2011)
  • 2011 31st Golden Raspberry Awards: "The Last Airbender" wins
  • 2012 17-year old black teenager Trayvon Martin shot and killed by George Zimmerman in Sanford, Florida, highlighted issue of racial profiling in the US

NBA All-Star Game

2012 61st NBA All-Star Game, Amway Centre, Orlando, FL: West beats East, 152-149; MVP: Kevin Durant, OKC Thunder, F

Academy Awards

2012 84th Academy Awards: "The Artist" wins five Oscars and becomes the first silent film to win since 1927, Jean Dujardin & Meryl Streep also win

  • 2012 Bus plunges off a cliff in Shanxi, China causing 15 deaths
  • 2012 Train derailment kills 3 and injures 45 in Burlington, Ontario
  • 2013 A flexible battery capable of being charged wirelessly and folded and stretched is developed
  • 2013 A hot air balloon crashes in Luxor, Egypt, killing 19 tourists