Today is Friday, Feb. 26, the 57th day of 2010. There are 308 days left in the year.
On Feb. 26, 1940, the United States Air Defense Command was created.
ON THIS DATE
In 1802, French literary giant Victor Hugo was born in Besancon.
In 1815, Napoleon Bonaparte escaped from exile on the Island of Elba.
In 1870, an experimental air-driven subway, the Beach Pneumatic Transit, opened in New York City for public demonstrations.
In 1919, President Woodrow Wilson signed a measure establishing Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona.
In 1929, President Calvin Coolidge signed a measure establishing Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming.
In 1945, a midnight curfew on night clubs, bars and other places of entertainment was set to go into effect across the nation.
In 1952, Prime Minister Winston Churchill announced that Britain had developed its own atomic bomb.
In 1979, a total solar eclipse cast a moving shadow 175 miles wide from Oregon to North Dakota before moving into Canada.
In 1987, the Tower Commission, which probed the Iran-Contra affair, issued its report, which rebuked President Ronald Reagan for failing to control his national security staff.
In 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.
In 2000, Pope John Paul II, concluding a three-day trip to Egypt, visited Mount Sinai, where he prayed for religious tolerance in a garden under the peak revered as the place where Moses received the Ten Commandments.
In 2005, 15 months after Japan’s last liftoff ended in a spectacular fireball, an orange and white H-2A rocket blasted off from a remote southern island, carrying a weather and navigation satellite. Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak ordered his country’s constitution changed to allow presidential challengers in an upcoming fall election. A fragment of granite bearing the name “John” — all that remained of a memorial to the six people killed in the 1993 terror attack on the World Trade Center — was installed as the central piece of a new post-9/11 memorial. Former Time magazine editor and U.S. ambassador to Austria, Henry A. Grunwald, died in New York at age 82.
In 2009, 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. Former Chicago Bulls player Norm Van Lier died at age 61.