This Day in History for February 26, 2017

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On this day in history, in 1919, the Grand Canyon became a National Park. The Grand Canyon in Arizona, was established as a National Park just three years after the Park Service was established. While it had some protections before that date, an Act of Congress made it a National Park. This status allowed some 44,000 visitors in its first year. Today, the park receives nearly 5 million visitors annually. While the Grand Canyon may seem isolated, it is home to 11 associated tribes and over 4000 archaeological sites. It is also the center of numerous conservation projects and wildlife studies.

Over the years the Grand Canyon has been explored, mined and finally turned in to a tourist destination. Even in 1919, it is not hard to see the draw. Between river rafting the Colorado River, hiking from peek to peek, or simply just looking down into the expanse, its a amazing place that has been preserved! Happy Birthday Grand Canyon!

In an equally beautiful location, on this day in history, in 1815, Napoleon Bonaparte escaped from the Island of Elba. Bonaparte had been exiled to the island in 1814. The Island of Elba was settled on after much debate, both Italy and France where concerned about having Napoleon too close to their shores. It was chosen because it was fortified, so assassination attempts would be more difficult, but it was far enough away that Napoleon would not be considered a threat. While he still retained the title of Emperor, his new island kingdom was not as much to his liking as the country of France.

On this day in history, 1815, after a few months of planning, Napoleon boarded the ship Carolina at 5 pm. He said good bye to his mother and sister who remained on the island and went to meet his flotilla and loyal army (about 1150 people). The British where supposed to have played a leading role in keeping Napoleon on Elba but he and his army made it all the way to Paris with out firing a shot! Once in the city his second term on the throne began. This second term ended not long after at the Battle of Waterloo in June of 1815. After this he was exiled once again. Not wanting to take any chances the second time around , he was sent to a small island of the coast of South Africa where escape was not possible.

Napoleon’s wars were fought with a clear goal in mind, others were not. On this day in history, in 1993, terrorists attacked the World Trade Center Building in Manhattan. This attack killed 6 people and injured 1,000. The attack occurred when a 1,200 pound bomb was detonated in the parking garage below the building at 12:17 pm, some 50 thousand people had to be evacuated from the area after the bomb created at 100 ft crater in the base of the building. 6 men where convicted and one man is still at large. The apprehension of these men uncovered further plots to destroy other New York City landmarks but officials where able to prevent them. The leader of the Palestine based group died on February 18th, 2017 while in prison and serving a 240 year sentence.

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