Today is Wednesday, Feb. 26, the 57th day of 2020. There are 309 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On Feb. 26, 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.)
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 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 1916, actor-comedian Jackie Gleason was born in Brooklyn, New York.
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 1984, the last U.S. Marines deployed to Beirut as part of an international peacekeeping force withdrew from the Lebanese capital.
In 1994, a jury in San Antonio acquitted 11 followers of David Koresh of murder, rejecting claims they had 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.
Today’s Birthdays: Game show host Tom Kennedy is 93. Country-rock musician Paul Cotton (Poco) is 77. Actor-director Bill Duke is 77. Singer Mitch Ryder is 75. Actress Marta Kristen (TV: “Lost in Space”) is 75. Rock musician Jonathan Cain (Journey) is 70. Singer Michael Bolton is 67. The president of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan is 66. Actor Greg Germann is 62. Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., is 62. Bandleader John McDaniel is 59. Actor-martial artist Mark Dacascos is 56. Actress Jennifer Grant is 54.
Thought for Today: “If you have it and you know you have it, then you have it. If you have it and don’t know you have it, you don’t have it. If you don’t have it but you think you have it, then you have it.” — Jackie Gleason (1916-1987).