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This Day in History — February 26th

Wednesday, February 26, 2014    

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TODAY'S HIGHLIGHT

1993: A bomb at the World Trade Center in New York City kills six people and injures hundreds of others.

OTHER EVENTS

1531: Earthquake in Portugal kills tens of thousands of people and flattens much of Lisbon and other cities.

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.

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 US Constitution, limiting a president to two terms of office, is ratified.

1952: Winston Churchill announces that Britain has produced its own atomic bomb.

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 US 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 US warplanes mistakenly fire on their armoured 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.

1994: Leading hardliners 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.

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.

2003: The United States says satellite images show North Korea has restarted its nuclear reactor at Yongbyon, despite agreeing not to.

2004: US President George W Bush tightens US restrictions on travel to Cuba, saying that Fidel Castro's Government had taken steps to destabilise relations with the United States over the past year.

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 apologises for his remarks but does not specifically say they were erroneous.

2010: NATO commanders in Afghanistan begin travelling 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 of Pakistani forces.

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 metres) killing 19 people in what appears to be the deadliest hot air ballooning accident on record.

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