Today is Tuesday, Feb. 26, the 57th day of 2019. There are 308 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On Feb. 26, 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.
On this date:
In 1616, astronomer Galileo Galilei met with a Roman Inquisition official, Cardinal Robert Bellarmine, who ordered him to abandon the “heretical” concept of heliocentrism, which held that the earth revolved around the sun, instead of the other way around.
In 1815, Napoleon Bonaparte escaped from exile on the Island of Elba and headed back to France in a bid to regain power.
In 1829, Levi Strauss, whose company manufactured the first blue jeans, was born in Buttenheim, Bavaria, Germany.
In 1917, President Woodrow Wilson signed a congressional act establishing Mount McKinley National Park (now Denali National Park) in the Alaska Territory.
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 1952, Prime Minister Winston Churchill announced that Britain had developed its own atomic bomb.
In 1984, the last U.S. Marines deployed to Beirut as part of an international peacekeeping force withdrew from the Lebanese capital.
In 1987, the Tower Commission, which probed the Iran-Contra affair, issued a report rebuking President Ronald Reagan for failing to control his national security staff.
In 1993, a truck bomb built by Islamic extremists exploded in the parking garage of the North Tower of New York’s World Trade Center, killing six people and injuring more than 1,000 others. (The bomb failed to topple the North Tower into the South Tower, as the terrorists had hoped; both structures were destroyed in the 9/11 attack eight years later.)
In 1994, a jury in San Antonio acquitted eleven followers of David Koresh of murder, rejecting claims they’d ambushed federal agents; five were convicted of voluntary manslaughter.
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 Barack Obama laid out his first budget plan, predicting a federal deficit of $1.75 trillion. General Motors Corp. posted a $9.6 billion loss for the fourth quarter of 2008. The Pentagon, reversing an 18-year-old policy, said it would allow some media coverage of returning war dead, with family approval.
Five years ago: President Barack Obama, speaking in St. Paul, Minnesota, said he would ask Congress for $300 billion to update aging roads and railways. Republican Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer vetoed a bill pushed by social conservatives that would have allowed people with sincerely held religious beliefs to refuse to serve gays.
One year ago: President Donald Trump, who had been highly critical of the law enforcement response to the Florida school shooting, told a roomful of governors at the White House that if he had been there, he would have rushed in, unarmed. A lawyer for former Broward County Sheriff’s deputy Scot Peterson rejected accusations that Peterson had been cowardly during the school shooting; he said Peterson hadn’t gone inside the school because it sounded like the shooting was happening outside the building. Thousands of people from all walks of life, including former President George W. Bush and his wife, filed slowly past the casket of the Rev. Billy Graham in Charlotte, North Carolina.
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