[The current incarnation of Christiansborg Palace is actually an amalgam of three... The oldest (and, sadly, least) parts date from 1733, when King Christian VI commissioned Elias David Häusser to create for him a Baroque splendour, only to have all but its showgrounds succumb to a major fire on this day in 1794. It was rebuilt by Christian Frederik Hansen in the French Empire style between 1803 and 1828, but King Frederik VI turned up his nose and decided he didn't want to live there, preferring to use it for entertaining only. The palace burnt again in 1884 and Thorvald Jørgensen's contest-winning Neo-Baroque design to replace it would rise between 1903 and 1928, exposing the ruins of the site's former occupants - Absalon's Castle and Copenhagen Castle, dating back to 1167 - in the process. The current design incorporates the north facade of its predecessor, facing Prins Jørgens Gård.]
1266 - At the Battle of Benevento an army led by Charles, Count of Anjou, defeated a combined German and Sicilian force led by Sicily's King Manfred, who was killed in the battle, following which Pope Clement IV invested Charles as King of Sicily and Naples.
1577 - Sweden's King Eric XIV died while imprisoned at Örbyhus Castle (legend has it from eating a bowl of poisoned pea soup) having already been dethroned in September 1568 after killing several of his rivals in the Sture family as a result of what is now thought to have been a schizophrenic incident and succeeded by his half-brother, who reigned as John III.
1794 - Copenhagen's Christiansborg Castle burnt to the ground, the first of two major fires to damage the home of executive, legislative, and judicial authority in Denmark.
1815 - Napoleon escaped from Elba.
1914 - HMHS Britannic, sister to the RMS Titanic, was launched at Harland & Wolff shipyard in Belfast.
1917 - The first jazz record - (Livery Stable Blues and Dixie Jass Band One Step) - was made by The Original Dixieland Jass Band for the Victor label.
1919 - Most of the Grand Canyon was included in the creation of Grand Canyon National Park.
1929 - Grand Teton National Park was created.
1935 - Germany's Luftwaffe - initially organized during the First World War as the Luftstreitkräfte - was re-formed.
1936 - In the February 26 Incident, young military officers with the ultranationalist Kōdō-ha faction of the Imperial Japanese Army attempted to stage a coup against the government of Prime Minister Keisuke Okada, going so far as to storm his official residence, the Kantei, in order to assassinate him.
1961 - Morocco's King Mohammed V died; he was succeeded by his son Hassan II.
1972 - The Buffalo Creek Flood, caused by a burst coal slurry impoundment dam, killed 125 in West Virginia - four days after it had received a passing grade from a federal mines inspector.
1986 - Robert Penn Warren was named US Poet Laureate.
1991 - Tim Berners-Lee introduced the first Internet browser - the World Wide Web.
1993 - A truck bomb rocked the foundations of the World Trade Center beneath its North Tower; six people were killed and more than 1,000 injured in the blast.
1995 - The UK's oldest investment banking firm, Barings Bank, collapsed after a securities broker, Nick Leeson, lost $1.4 billion by speculating on the Singapore International Monetary Exchange using futures contracts. As greedy douchebags go, he was truly a trailblazer...
2001 - Two giant Buddha statues were destroyed on orders of the Taliban at Bamyam, Afghanistan; they should be rebuilt by 2012.
2004 - Macedonian President Boris Trajkovski was killed in a plane crash near Mostar in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
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