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Today in history: February 26

Celebrity birthdays, highlights in history, plus more facts about this day
/ Source: The Associated Press

Today is Sunday, Feb. 26, the 57th day of 2006. There are 308 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:
On Feb. 26, 1993, a bomb built by Islamic extremists exploded in the parking garage of New York’s World Trade Center, killing six people and injuring more than 1,000 others.

On this date:
In 1815, Napoleon Bonaparte escaped from the Island of Elba to begin his second conquest of France.

In 1848, the Second French Republic was proclaimed.

In 1919, Congress established Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona.

In 1929, President Coolidge signed a measure establishing Grand Teton National Park.

In 1940, the United States Air Defense Command was created.

In 1945, a midnight curfew on nightclubs, bars and other places of entertainment was set to go into effect across the nation.

In 1951, the 22nd Amendment to the Constitution, limiting a president to two terms of office, was ratified.

In 1979, a total solar eclipse cast a moving shadow 175 miles wide from Oregon to North Dakota before moving into Canada.

In 1986, Pulitzer Prize-winning poet and author Robert Penn Warren was named the first poet laureate of the United States by Librarian of Congress Daniel J. Boorstin.

In 1987, the Tower Commission, which probed the Iran-Contra affair, issued its report, which rebuked President Reagan for failing to control his national security staff.

Ten years ago: President Clinton moved to step up economic sanctions on Cuba in response to Cuba’s downing of two unarmed airplanes belonging to the Cuban-American exile group Brothers to the Rescue.

Five years ago: A U.N. tribunal convicted a Bosnian Croat political leader (Dario Kordic) and a military commander (Mario Cerkez) of war crimes for ordering the systematic murder and persecution of Muslim civilians during the Bosnian war.

One year ago: The prosecution and defense both rested their cases in the Robert Blake murder trial in Los Angeles. Former Time magazine editor and U.S. ambassador to Austria, Henry A. Grunwald, died in New York at age 82. Jef Raskin, a computer interface expert who conceived Apple’s groundbreaking Macintosh computer, died in Pacifica, Calif., at age 61.

Today’s Birthdays: Actress Betty Hutton is 85. Singer Fats Domino is 78. Political columnist Robert Novak is 75. Country-rock musician Paul Cotton (Poco) is 63. Actor-director Bill Duke is 63. Singer Mitch Ryder is 61. Rock musician Jonathan Cain (Journey) is 56. Singer Michael Bolton is 53. Actor Greg Germann is 48. Bandleader John McDaniel is 45. Actress Jennifer Grant is 40. Singer Erykah Badu is 35. Rhythm-and-blues singer Rico Wade (Society of Soul) is 34. Rhythm-and-blues singer Kyle Norman (Jagged Edge) is 31. Country singer Rodney Hayden is 26. Actress Taylor Dooley is 13.

Thought for Today: “Most of us probably feel we couldn’t be free without newspapers, and that is the real reason we want the newspapers to be free.” — Edward R. Murrow, American broadcast journalist (1908-1965).