Wednesday, February 26
Today is Wednesday, Feb. 26, the 57th day of 2014. There are 308 days left in the year.
Highlights in history on this date:
1531 - Earthquake in Portugal kills tens of thousands of people and flattens much of Lisbon and other cities.
1623 - Dutch massacre English colonists at Amboyna, Indonesia.
1658 - Sweden gains what is now the southern part of the country from Denmark by the Peace of Roskilde.
1815 - Napoleon Bonaparte escapes from the Island of Elba to begin his second conquest of France.
1832 - Polish Constitution is abolished by Russia's Czar Nicholas I.
1848 - The Second French Republic is proclaimed.
1870 - New York City's first pneumatic-powered subway line opens to the public.
1871 - Preliminary Peace of Versailles is signed between France and Germany.
1909 - Turkey recognizes Austria's annexation of Bosnia.
1918 - German planes bomb Venice, Italy, during World War I.
1936 - Military coup in Japan replaces Koki Hirota as premier.
1951 - The 22nd Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, limiting a president to two terms of office, is ratified.
1952 - Winston Churchill announces that Britain has produced its own atomic bomb.
1962 - Saigon palace of President Ngo Dinh Diem is bombed by two fighter-bombers flown by dissident pilots of South Vietnam's Air Force.
1968 - Israel's Foreign Minister Abba Eban announces that Israel has agreed to what he calls "a form of negotiation" with Arabs.
1974 - Ethiopian army units seize Asmara, second largest city in Ethiopia, and demand better pay and living conditions.
1987 - Afghan aircraft bomb two Pakistani border villages, killing at least 35 people and injuring more than 200; the Tower Commission issues its report on the Iran-Contra affair rebuking U.S. President Ronald Reagan for failing to control his national security staff.
1988 - Soviet leader Mikhail S. Gorbachev makes unprecedented appeal for calm in protest-plagued Soviet Republic of Armenia.
1990 - Nicaragua's 14-party opposition coalition led by Violeta Barrios de Chamorro scores stunning election upset victory over Daniel Ortega's Sandinistas.
1991 - Kuwaiti resistance leaders declare they are in control of their smoke-filled capital following nearly seven months of Iraqi occupation. Nine British soldiers are killed when two U.S. warplanes mistakenly fire on their armored personnel carriers in southern Iraq.
1992 - Russian President Boris Yeltsin orders improved inspections among other edicts as millions of documents are opened to the public.
1993 - A bomb at the World Trade Center in New York City kills six people and injures hundreds of others.
1994 - Leading hard-liners who fought against President Boris Yeltsin's reforms walk free from their Russian prison after being granted amnesty by the new parliament.
1995 - Averting a major trade war, China and the United States sign an agreement mandating Chinese respect for copyrights, trademarks and patents.
1996 - A Sudanese military plane crashes in Sudan, killing all 70 passengers and crew on board.
1997 - The Swiss government formally establishes a humanitarian fund for the benefit of Holocaust survivors.
1998 - Switzerland discloses that Israeli agents had been caught in an attempt to bug telephones on the outskirts of the Swiss capital.
1999 - Ethiopian troops breach Eritrean lines in a disputed border area, and Eritrea soon says it will accept an African peace plan to halt the 10-month war.
2000 - A Cuban diplomat who ignored a U.S. demand that he leave the United States is flown out of the country on a government plane. He had been linked to a Cuban-born U.S. immigration official arrested in Miami on spy charges.
2001 - A U.N. tribunal convicts a Bosnian Croat political leader and a military commander of war crimes for ordering the systematic murder and persecution of Muslim civilians during the Bosnian war.
2003 - The United States says satellite images show North Korea has restarted its nuclear reactor at Yongbyon, despite agreeing not to.
2004 - U.S. President George W. Bush tightens U.S. restrictions on travel to Cuba, saying that Fidel Castro's government had taken steps to destabilize relations with the United States over the past year.
2005 - African leaders hail Togo President Faure Gnassingbe's decision to step down from the presidency weeks after his army installed him, and show their approval by lifting sanctions while keeping up pressure for lasting democratic change.
2007 - A bomb intended to kill Iraq's Shiite vice president Adel Abdul-Mahdi rips through a Baghdad hall where he is speaking, injuring him and killing 10 other people.
2008 - A "doomsday" seed vault built to protect millions of food crops from climate change, wars and natural disasters opens deep within an Arctic mountain in the remote Norwegian archipelago of Svalbard.
2009 - A British bishop whose denial of the Holocaust embroiled Pope Benedict XVI in controversy apologizes for his remarks but does not specifically say they were erroneous.
2010 - NATO commanders in Afghanistan begin traveling to Pakistan to share plans for military operations for the first time, aiming to make sure that militants do not slip back and forth in the unmarked, mountainous border region to escape coalition or Pakistani forces.
2011 - In a major setback to Iran's nuclear program, technicians have to unload fuel from the country's first atomic power plant because of an unspecified safety concern.
2012 - Voters boo Senegal's President Abdoulaye Wade as he goes to cast his ballot in elections, the latest sign of how his decision to seek a third term in office has caused his popularity to plummet and divided a West African country long considered a model of tolerance.
2013 - A hot air balloon carrying sightseers on a sunrise flight over the ancient city of Luxor bursts into flames, then plummets about 1,000 feet (300 meters) killing 19 people in what appears to be the deadliest hot air ballooning accident on record.
Victor Hugo, French author (1802-1885); William F. Cody (Buffalo Bill), U.S. frontier scout (1846-1917); Johnny Cash, U.S. singer (1932-2003); Fats Domino, U.S. singer (1928--); Michael Bolton, U.S. singer (1953--); Corinne Bailey Rae, British singer (1979--).
Thought For Today:
The wise make proverbs and fools repeat them — Isaac D'Israeli, English author (1766-1848).
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