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Thursday, February 26, 1998

  • Today's Events
  • On Horizon
  • On This Day
  • Newslink
  • Holidays & more
  • Almanac archive
  • "It is an astonishingly beautiful thing."

    -- researcher Jay Pasachoff, about a total eclipse

    Today's events

  • Today is the five-year anniversary of the World Trade Center bombing in New York City.

  • The last total solar eclipse visible from the Western Hemisphere this millennium takes place today.

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    On the horizon

  • On Friday, February 27, an estimated 600,000 teen-agers are expected to participate in a World Hunger Day event designed to teach children about global hunger issues.

  • On Saturday, February 28, Clint Eastwood is the guest of honor at the Cesars, the French equivalent of the Academy Awards in Paris.

  • On Sunday, March 1, Black Church Week of Prayer for the Healing of AIDS begins in the United States.

  • On Monday, March 2, a court appearance is scheduled for Michael Carneal, the 14-year-old charged with the December 1, 1997, shootings at his high school in Paducah, Kentucky.

  • On Tuesday, March 3, the Nobel Peace Prize Committee meets to discuss the nominations -- this year a record 130 -- for the 1998 prize.

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    On this day

  • In 1443, Alfonso of Aragon entered Rome, where he was eventually recognized as king.

  • In 1531, between 20,000 and 30,000 people died in an earthquake in Lisbon.

  • In 1797, the Bank of England issued one pound notes for the first time.

  • In 1802, Victor Hugo, French poet and novelist, born. Leader of the French Romantic movement, his greatest novel "Les Miserables," was published in 1862.

  • In 1815, Napoleon left the island of Elba to begin his second conquest of France.

  • In 1832, the Polish constitution was abolished and replaced by one imposed by Czar Nicholas I.

  • In 1834, Alois Senefelder, German inventor of lithography, died.

  • In 1839, in Britain, the first Grand National horse race was run.

  • In 1846, Buffalo Bill, American frontiersman and showman, was born as William Frederick Cody.

  • In 1848, the Second French Republic was proclaimed two days after the abdication of King Louis-Philippe.

  • In 1852, the British troop ship Birkenhead sank off Simon's Bay, South Africa, with the loss of 485 lives.

  • In 1861, Ferdinand I, first king of modern Bulgaria, was born.

  • In 1885, the Congress of Berlin, hosted by Otto von Bismarck and attended by 15 nations, agreed on the partition of Central and East Africa.

  • In 1901, the leaders of the Boxer Rebellion in China, Chi- hsui and Hsu Cheng-yu, were beheaded in public.

  • In 1903, Richard Gatling, American inventor of the cylinder gun that bears his name, died.

  • In 1903, Orde Wingate, British general who led his forces against the Japanese in Burma in World War II, was born in Naini Tal, India.

  • In 1915, flame-throwers were used in battle for the first time when the 3rd Guard German pioneer regiment used them against the French at Malancourt.

  • In 1916, the Germans sunk the French transport ship Provence II, killing 930.

  • In 1935, RADAR (Radio Detection and Ranging) was first demonstrated by Robert Watson-Watt.

  • In 1936, Adolf Hitler opened the first factory for the production of the "People's Car," the Volkswagen, in Saxony.

  • In 1952, Winston Churchill announced that Britain had produced its own atomic bomb and would test it in Australia.

  • In 1961, Prince Hassan acceded to the throne of Morocco as King Hassan II following the sudden death of his father Mohammed V.

  • In 1962, in Northern Ireland, the IRA suspended its campaign of violence it began in 1956 against the province's government.

  • In 1969, Levi Eshkol, Israeli prime minister since 1963, died.

  • In 1976, Spain handed over the Western Sahara to Morocco and Mauritania.

  • In 1980, Egypt and Israel established diplomatic relations, marking the end of 30 years of war between the two nations.

  • In 1984, the last U.S. Marines in the multinational peacekeeping force in Lebanon left Beirut.

  • In 1986, after being airlifted from the presidential palace the previous day, Philippines President Ferdinand Marcos and an entourage of about 90 fled the country to Guam.

  • In 1990, the Soviet Union agreed to withdraw all of its 73,500 troops from Czechoslovakia by July 1991.

  • In 1993, a bomb exploded at the World Trade Center in New York. The blast killed six people and injured more than 1,000.

  • In 1994, sworn enemies of Russian President Boris Yeltsin walked free from jail under a parliamentary amnesty. They included former Vice President Alexander Rutskoi, and the ex-chairman of the disbanded parliament, Ruslan Khasbulatov.

  • In 1995, the London finance house of Barings collapsed after huge losses run up in Singapore by trader Nick Leeson.

  • In 1997, the Swiss government gave final approval to a Holocaust memorial fund.

  • In 1997, Nuccio Bertone, one of the automobile world's great mentors and the doyen of Italian design, died.

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    Today is the last chance this millennium for skywatchers to see a total eclipse from the Western Hemisphere. If you can't make it to the Caribbean for a good view, try this instead. Live@The Exploratorium is among the sites that will Webcast live pictures of the event.


    Holidays and more

  • Today is Kuwait Liberation Day.

  • Singer Johnny Cash is 66.

  • Singer Fats Domino is 70.

  • Actor Tony Randall is 78.

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    Sources: Associated Press,
    Chase's Calendar of Events 1998, J.P. Morgan

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