#TodayInHistory – February 262 min read
February 26 – Some important events on this day
1616 👉🏼 Roman Inquisition delivers injunction to Galileo demanding he abandon his belief in heliocentrism, which states the Earth and planets revolve around the Sun
1732 👉🏼 1st mass celebrated in 1st American Catholic church, St Joseph’s, Philadelphia
1797 👉🏼 Bank of England issues first £1 note
1815 👉🏼 Napoleon Bonaparte and his supporters leave Elba to start a 100 day re-conquest of France
1869 👉🏼 Franz Schubert’s Symphony number 4, “The Tragic”, premieres
1881 👉🏼 P&O’s SS Ceylon begins world’s 1st round-the-world pleasure cruise from Liverpool
1885 👉🏼 Berlin Conference gives Congo to Belgium and Nigeria to Great Britain
1935 👉🏼 RADAR (Radio Detection and Ranging) first demonstrated by Robert Watson-Watt
1935 👉🏼 Hitler authorizes the founding of the Reich Luftwaffe
1991 👉🏼 Coalition planes bomb Iraqi forces retreating from Kuwait during the Gulf War, killing hundreds and creating the so-called ‘Highway of Death’.
During Operation Desert Storm, coalition aircraft bombed Iraqi personnel and equipment that were retreating from occupied Kuwait on the night of February 26, 1991. The vast column of armor, cars and even stolen fire trucks were destroyed by a coalition bombing blitz, killing between 200 and 10,000 people.
The images of destroyed vehicles on Highway 80 became headline news. The attacks were not without controversy, some felt that retreating units should not have been fired on, and the bombings may have been a factor in the decision by US President George H. W. Bush to declare a ceasefire the following day.
Nevertheless the highway itself was cleaned up and was later used as an invasion point during the 2003 invasion of Iraq.
2005 👉🏼 Hosni Mubarak, President of Egypt, orders the constitution changed to allow multi-candidate presidential elections, asking Egyptian parliament to amend Article 76
2019 👉🏼 City of Venice in Italy introduces a day visitors tax
2020 👉🏼 Saudi Arabia bars overseas pilgrims from accessing religious sites of Mecca and Medina because of COVID-19 fears for 1st time in living memory