26th February In History

The 57th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar, February 26 has been witness to many ups and downs, twists and turns, disasters, battles, and landmarks in the history of mankind. This date forms an important page of our history, which includes events, such as the Roman Catholic Church's decision to ban Galileo Galilei for defending the view that the earth orbits the sun, origin of Ptolemy's Nabonassar Era, Napoleon Bonaparte's escapes from Elba, violation of the provisions of the Treaty of Versailles by Hitler, and several other happenings. Let's peep into the events that have unfolded on February 26 through the course of history, and also understand their significance in shaping the future of the human race!


364 BC


Valentinian I Becomes Roman Emperor

Valentinian I, also known as Valentinian the Great, became the Roman emperor in 364 BC, after the death of Jovian, who had been hastily appointed emperor after the death of Julian. The crown was offered to Valentinian after several leading men declined the offer. He accepted the acclamation on February 26, 364.



William The Bad Becomes King Of Sicily

William I, also known as William the Bad or William the Wicked, became the second King of Sicily, after the death of his father, Roger II, in 1154.



Mongols Capture Kaifeng During The Mongol–Jin War

During the Mongol–Jin War, the Mongols captured the capital of the Jurchen Jin dynasty, Kaifeng, on February 26, 1233, after besieging it since April 1232. The Mongols and Jins were at war since 1211, after the Jin dynasty refused to accept the Mongol suzerainty.



The Roman Catholic Church Bans Galileo Galilei

The Roman Catholic Church formally banned Galileo Galilei for supporting Heliocentrism or defending the view that the earth orbits the sun. He was asked to abandon the Copernican opinions and to abstain from teaching or defending this doctrine.



Napoleon Bonaparte Escapes From Elba

On February 26, 1815, Napoleon Bonaparte escaped from the island of Elba, along with 700 men in the brig of Inconstant. He landed on the French mainland (Golfe-Juan) two days later and started marching toward north. Earlier, in April 1814, Napoleon had been forced to abdicate the French throne and exiled to the island of Elba.



Treaty Of Versailles (1871)

The Treaty of Versailles of 1871 brought an end to the Franco-Prussian War. Signed by Adolphe Thiers (the French Third Republic) and Otto von Bismarck (German Empire) on February 26, 1871, it aimed at cementing the earlier truce signed between the two states on January 28, 1871. The treaty was later ratified by the Treaty of Frankfurt (May 10, 1871).



The Japan-Korea Treaty Of Amity (Treaty Of Ganghwa Island)

The Japan-Korea Treaty of Amity gave Japanese citizens extraterritoriality rights in Korea, opening up Korea to Japanese trade. It also ended Korea's status as a tributary state of the Qing dynasty of China.



Public Acknowledgement Of Luftwaffe

Adolf Hitler formally authorized the formation of the Reich Luftwaffe, which clearly violated the provisions of the Treaty of Versailles (1919). The Treaty of Versailles had forbidden Germany to have any air force, but despite this ban, German pilots received training (secretly) at Lipetsk Air Base in the Soviet Union, during the interwar period.



February 26 Incident, Japan

A group of young Imperial Japanese Army (IJA) officers attempted coup d'état in Japan. They assassinated several officials, including two former prime ministers and occupied Tokyo, but failed to eliminate Prime Minister Keisuke Okada. They were, however, forced to surrender on February 29. The rebels underwent a series of closed trials, which resulted in the execution of 19 and imprisonment of 40.



Churchill Announces British Atom Bomb

Winston Churchill on February 26, 1952, announced in Parliament that Britain had developed its own bomb. The first actual testing of the device, however, took place in October 1952 (in the Monte Bello Islands in Western Australia). With this testing (Operation Hurricane), Britain became the third nuclear power after the US and the Soviet Union.



Egypt Israel Establish Full Diplomatic Relations

After a long conflict and tumultuous relation, full diplomatic relations were established between Egypt and Israel. The two countries were in a state of war since the Arab–Israeli War of 1948, which culminated in the 1973 Arab–Israeli War (also known as the Yom Kippur War). Former US president Jimmy Carter played an important role in bringing the two parties to talks (Camp David Accords), which resulted in the 1979 Egyptian–Israeli Peace Treaty.



Khojaly Massacre

The ethnic Armenian forces reportedly killed 613 ethnic Azerbaijani civilians from the town of Khojaly. The mass murder included 106 women and 63 children. This massacre is considered the biggest of its kind in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict (an ethnic and territorial conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan).



Battle Of Benevento

The Battle of Benevento was fought between Charles of Anjou and Manfred of Sicily, on February 26, 1266. After the death of Manfred in the battle, the Kingdom of Sicily was captured by Charles, which ended the rule of the Hohenstaufen dynasty in the Italian Peninsula. Charles was appointed king of Sicily and Naples by Pope Clement IV.

747 BC


The Beginning Of The Nabonassar Era

Nabonassar (Nabû-nāṣir), the king of Babylon from 747 to 734 BC, began a new era to maintain precise historical records in chronological order. The Greek mathematician Claudius Ptolemy in his 'Almagest' mentions about this.



First European Expedition To Sight Australia

Sailing from Bantam, Java, Willem Janszoon made the first recorded European landing on the Australian continent in 1606. He was an employee of the Dutch East India Company (VOC). He, however, believed that it (the land) was a southern extension of the coast of New Guinea.



Publication Of The Communist Manifesto

German philosophers Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels publish The Communist Manifesto in London. The book summarises the duo's theories regarding the nature of society and politics. The Communist Manifesto is recognized as one of the most influential political manuscripts.



Kinemacolor Shown To The General Public For The First Time

Invented by George Albert Smith in 1906, Kinemacolor was the first successful color motion process. It was shown to the general public for the first time on February 26, 1909, at the Palace Theatre, London. Twenty-one short films were made using the Kinemacolor process.



The First Demonstration Of RADAR

Sir Robert Watson-Watt, along with Arnold Wilkins, demonstrated the feasibility of RADAR near Deventry (Northamptonshire), where a radio wave from a BBC transmitter was reflected by a Handley Page Heyford bomber, proving that the technology worked. This breakthrough led to the development of radar in the United Kingdom.



UN Proclamation Regarding The Earth Day

On February 26, 1970, U Thant, the then U.N. Secretary-General, signed a proclamation stating that the Earth Day will be celebrated by the UN every year on the vernal equinox. As a result of this proclamation, the first Earth Day was celebrated on March 21, 1970, the day of vernal equinox that year.



Bomb Blast At World Trade Center

A truck bomb exploded below the North Tower of the World Trade Center on February 26, 1993. The blast was intended to raze both the north and south towers to the ground, which would kill thousands of people. It, however, killed six and injured over a thousand people. The blast was planned by a group of terrorists led by Ramzi Yousef. According to the conspirators, they wanted to teach a lesson to the United States America for supporting Israel.



Barings Bank Declared Insolvent

The world's second oldest merchant bank, Barings Bank, collapsed in 1995, after suffering losses to the tune of £827 million. The crisis was triggered by one of its rogue employees, Nick Leeson, who made fraudulent investments in futures contracts.



The New York Philharmonic Performs In North Korea

As part of a historical cultural exchange, The New York Philharmonic created history by performing in Pyongyang, the capital of North Korea. It was the first event of its kind to be held in North Korea. The concert was broadcast on North Korean state television.

People Born This Day

Ariel Sharon
Prime Minister of Israel [ Israeli ]
Victor Hugo
Novelist & Poet [ French ]
Christopher Marlowe
Playwright, Poet [ British ]
Erykah Badu
Singer [ American ]
John Harvey Kellogg
Doctor, Inventor [ American ]
Johnny Cash
Country Singer-Songwriter [ American ]
Michael Bolton
Singer, Songwriter [ American ]
Jackie Gleason
Comedian [ American ]
Li Na
Tennis player [ Chinese ]
Ronald Lauder
Businessman [ American ]
John George Nicolay
Biographer [ American ]
Recep Tayyip Erdoğan
12th President of Turkey [ Turkish ]
Jean Negulesco
American-Romanian film director [ Romanian ]
Tim Kaine
Vice Presidential Running Mate of Hillary Clinton [ American ]
Fats Domino
Pianist, Rock & Roll Musician [ American ]
Buffalo Bill
Hunter [ American ]
Chuck Wepner
Boxer [ American ]
Ole Gunnar Solskjær
Football Manager [ Norwegian ]
Kazuyoshi Miura
Footballer [ Japanese ]
John Bowlby
Psychologist [ British ]
Jane Wagner
Director [ American ]
Teresa Palmer
Actress [ Australian ]
Nate Ruess
Singer [ American ]
Tony Randall
Actor [ American ]
Brittany Renner
Fitness Model, Instagram Star [ American ]
Antonella Roccuzzo
Model [ Argentinian ]
Jennifer Grant
Actress [ American ]
Taylor Dooley
Actress [ American ]
William Frawley
Actor [ American ]
Will Darbyshire
Vlogger [ British ]
Mikey Fusco
Dancer, Rapper [ American ]
Rapper [ South Korean ]
Juliet Simms
Singer-songwriter, Model [ American ]
Michael McCrudden
Actor, YouTuber [ Canadian ]
Annie Bakes
Adult model, Ex-wife of Dennis Rodman [ American ]
Jed Barker
Youtuber [ British ]
Hannah Meloche
YouTuber [ American ]
Lex I
YouTuber [ Canadian ]
Sydney McGee
YouTuber [ American ]
Luca Schaefer-Charlton
TikTok Star [ Canadian ]
Erinn Bartlett
Actress [ American ]
Whitney Blake
Actress [ American ]
Barbara Niven
Actress [ American ]
Debbie Osmond
Donny Osmond's Wife [ American ]
Beren Saat
Actress [ Turkish ]
Bill Duke
Actor [ American ]
Godfrey Cambridge
Actor [ American ]
Shiloh Fernandez
Actor [ Portuguese ]
Dub Taylor
Actor [ American ]
Henry Molaison
Memory Disorder Patient [ American ]
Eva Cudmore
TikTok Star [ Canadian ]
Aisha Mian
Vlogger [ American ]
Azra Mian
YouTube Star [ American ]
Duke Dennis
YouTube Star [ American ]
Luke Abercrombie
YouTube Star [ American ]

People Died This Day

Bill Hicks
Comedian [ American ]
Theodore Hesburgh
15th President of the University of Notre Dame [ American ]
Giuseppe Tartini
Composer [ Italian ]
Otto Wallach
Chemist [ German ]
Tjalling C. Koopmans
Mathematician [ Dutch ]
Theodore Schultz
Economist [ American ]
Jack Clayton
Film Director [ British ]
Vinayak Damodar Savarkar
Independence Activist, Reformer [ Indian ]
Theodor Eicke
Military Officer [ German ]
Anandi Gopal Joshi
First Indian Female Doctor [ Indian ]
Wendy Richard
Actress [ British ]
Joseph Wapner
Judge [ American ]
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