On This Day February 26

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History Highlights
History Highlights

1919 – The U.S. Congress passes an act establishing the Grand Canyon as a National Park in Arizona. 

1929 – The U.S. Congress establishes Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming.

1934 – President Franklin Roosevelt orders the creation of a Communications Commission, which would become the FCC later that year by an act of Congress.

1972 – A mining dam collapses, sending millions of gallons of black coal wastewater across a wide area of Logan County, West Virginia. The Buffalo Creek Disaster claims 125 lives and leaves 4,000 people homeless.

1993 – Six people are killed and more than 1,000 others are injured when a bomb, planted inside a parked van, explodes in the garage of the World Trade Center in New York City. The blast leaves a crater 150 feet wide and causes the collapse of several steel-reinforced concrete floors. Six terrorists are eventually captured, tried and convicted for the attack.

1998 – A jury finds Oprah Winfrey not guilty in a $10 million defamation lawsuit brought by Texas cattle ranchers. The plaintiffs had accused the talk show host of harming the U.S. beef industry with a 1996 broadcast about mad cow disease. Exiting the courtroom, Winfrey exclaims, “Free speech not only lives, it rocks!”

2012 – Trayvon Martin, an African-American teen, is fatally shot by a neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman while walking home from a Sanford, Florida convenience store. The killing sparks a national outcry over race relations and self-defense gun laws, as Martin was unarmed when he was shot.

On This Day January 23

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History Highlights
History Highlights

1849 – Elizabeth Blackwell becomes the first woman physician in U.S. history when she earns a medical degree from the all-male Geneva Medical College in upstate New York, graduating at the top of her class at the age of 28. Blackwell devotes her life to advocating for women in the healthcare professions and, in 1868, opens a women’s medical college in New York City.

1957 – The Wham-O toy company introduces the first aerodynamic plastic disc known as the Frisbee, and forever changes outdoor recreation. The disc was the creation of Walter Frederick Morrison, who originally named it the Pluto Platter.

1968 – North Korea seizes the U.S. intelligence-gathering ship USS Pueblo claiming it had violated North Korean territorial waters while spying. 

1973 – President Richard Nixon announces that a peace accord had been reached in Paris to end the Vietnam War.

1975 – The ABC sitcom “Barney Miller” debuts. It’s about an NYPD precinct captain played by Hal Linden, and the shenanigans he endures with his detectives.

1976 – Singer, actor, athlete and civil rights activist Paul Robeson dies at the age of 77. 

1977 – The miniseries “Roots,” based on the book by Alex Haley, debuts. It runs for eight consecutive nights on ABC Television and becomes the single most-watched program in American history, drawing about 100 million viewers.

1997 – One day after her unanimous confirmation by the U.S. Senate, Madeline Albright is sworn in as America’s first female Secretary of State by Vice President Al Gore.

On This Day November 18

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Musical Milestones
Musical Milestones

1956 – Fats Domino appears on “The Ed Sullivan Show” and plays his smash, “Blueberry Hill.”

1957 – Elvis Presley remains perched atop the U.S. singles chart for a fifth straight week with “Jailhouse Rock,” from the movie of the same name.

1963 – “I’m Leaving It Up to You” by Dale & Grace is No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100.

1971 – Memphis blues singer and musician Herman ‘Junior’ Parker dies at the age of 39 during surgery for a brain tumor. Among his hits were “Feelin’ Good,” “Driving Wheel,” “Next Time You See Me,” “In the Dark” and “Sweet Home Chicago.”

1978 – “52nd Street” becomes Billy Joel’s first No. 1 album. It contains some of his biggest hits to date, including “My Life,” “Big Shot” and “Honesty,” and goes on to capture two Grammy Awards.

1989 – Bad English’s “When I See You Smile” begins its second and final weeks at No, 1 on the Billboard Hot 100. 

1993 – Five months before Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain’s death, the pioneering grunge band records an “MTV Unplugged” special at Sony Music Studios in New York City. The set list consists of lesser-known material and cover versions of songs by The Vaselines, David Bowie, Meat Puppets and Lead Belly. The album goes on to win a Grammy for Best Alternative Music Album in 1996.

1995 – “Fantasy.” by Mariah Carey, enters its eighth and final week on top of the pop chart.

2017 – Australian musician and songwriter Malcolm Young, best known as a co-founder, rhythm guitarist, backing vocalist and songwriter for the hard rock band AC/DC, dies at the age of 64.