On February 26:
364 Valentinian I was proclaimed Roman Emperor.
1361 Wenceslaus, Holy Roman Emperor, King of Bohemia, was born (d. 1419).
1564 Christopher Marlowe, English dramatist, was born (d. 1593).
1794 Christiansborg Palace, Copenhagen burnt down.
1802 Victor Hugo, French writer, was born (d. 1885).
1815 Napoleon Bonaparte escaped from Elba.
1829 – Levi Strauss, German-born clothing designer, was born (d. 1902).
1844 Two Wellington lawyers, William Brewer and H. Ross, undertook a duel as the result of a quarrel that had arisen from a case in the Wellington County Court. When the two men faced off in Sydney Street, Brewer fired into the air but ‘received Mr. Ross’ ball in the groin’. He died a few days later.
1848 The second French Republic was proclaimed.
1852 John Harvey Kellogg, American surgeon, advocate of dietary reform, was born (d. 1943).
1861 Nadezhda Konstantinovna Krupskaya, Russian revolutionary, Lenin’s wife, was born (d. 1939).
1863 U.S. President Abraham Lincoln signed the National Currency Act into law.
1866 Herbert Henry Dow, American chemical industrialist, was born (d. 1930).
1870 In New York City, a demonstration of the first pneumatic subway opened to the public.
1885 The Berlin Act, which resulted from the Berlin Conference regulating European colonization and trade in Africa, was signed.
1887 – At the Sydney Cricket Ground, George Lohmann became the first bowler to take eight wickets in a Test innings.
1909 Fanny Cradock, English food writer and broadcaster, was born (d. 1994).
1914 Robert Alda, American actor, was born (d. 1986).
1916 Jackie Gleason, American actor, writer, composer, and comedian, was born (d. 1987).
1919 An act of the U.S. Congress established most of the Grand Canyon as the Grand Canyon National Park.
1928 Fats Domino, American musician, was born.
1928 Ariel Sharon, Israeli Prime Minister, was born.
1929 The Grand Teton National Park was created.
1932 Johnny Cash, American singer, was born (d. 2003).
1935 The Luftwaffe was re-formed.
1936 – In the February 26 Incident, young Japanese military officers attempted to stage a coup against the government.
1947 Sandie Shaw, English singer, was born.
1949 Elizabeth George, American novelist, was born.
1950 Helen Clark, former Prime Minister of New Zealand, was born.
1952 British Prime Minister Winston Churchill announced that his nation had an atomic bomb.
1954 Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Prime Minister of Turkey, was born.
1954 Ernst August, Prince of Hanover, heir to the deposed Kingdom of Hanover and a husband of Princess Caroline of Monaco., was born.
1958 Susan J. Helms, Astronaut, was born.
1968 Tim Commerford, American bass player (Rage Against the Machine), was born.
1972 The Buffalo Creek Flood caused by a burst dam killed 125 in West Virginia.
1987 Iran-Contra affair: The Tower Commission rebuked President Ronald Reagan for not controlling his national security staff.
1990 The Sandinistas were defeated in Nicaraguan elections.
1991 Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein announced the withdrawal of Iraqi troops from Kuwait.
1993 World Trade Centre bombing: A truck bomb parked below the North Tower of the World Trade Center exploded, killing 6 and injuring more than a thousand.
1995 The United Kingdom’s oldest investment banking institute, Barings Bank, collapsed after a securities broker, Nick Leeson, lost $1.4 billion by speculating on the Singapore International Monetary Exchange using futures contracts.
2000 Mount Hekla in Iceland erupted.
2001 The Taliban destroyed two giant statues of Buddha in Bamyan, Afghanistan.
2003 War in Darfur started.
Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia.