Published On: Feb 25 2013 01:02:15 PM CSTUpdated On: Feb 26 2016 01:00:00 AM CST
2012: Trayvon Martin, 17, is shot and killed during a violent encounter with neighborhood watch coordinator George Zimmerman in Sanford, Florida. Zimmerman had visible injuries and claimed he was acting in self-defense when he shot Martin. On April 11, 2012, Zimmerman was charged with second-degree murder. Allegations of racist motivation for both the shooting and police conduct, the initial decision not to charge Zimmerman, and questions about Florida's "Stand Your Ground" law brought the case to national and international attention. On July 13, 2013, his trial for second-degree murder and manslaughter ended in acquittal.
2009: Former Serbian president Milan Milutinovic is acquitted by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia regarding war crimes during the Kosovo War. The court ruled that Milutinovic had "no direct control over the Yugoslav army," instead placing the blame for the alleged crimes on Slobodan Miloševic.
2002: The Bee Gees play what is to be their final concert, performing at Miami Beach's Love and Hope Ball, a benefit for the Diabetes Research Institute Foundation. Barry Gibb (left) and Robin Gibb (center) would retire the band's name in January 2003 following the unexpected death of brother Maurice Gibb (right), although the brothers would reform and perform again in 2009.
2002: Actor Lawrence Tierney, best known for movies such as "Dillinger," "Born to Kill," "The Greatest Show on Earth," "Tough Guys Don't Dance" and "Reservoir Dogs," dies of pneumonia at the age of 82 in Los Angeles, California.
1997: The Beatles take home three Grammy Awards, one less than the group had received during the entire time they were together, winning two for "Free as a Bird" and another for their "Anthology" video.
1993: In New York City, a truck bomb parked below the North Tower of the World Trade Center explodes, killing six and injuring more than 1,000 people. A total of six people, including mastermind Ramzi Yousef, would eventually be convicted in the attack and sentenced to life in prison.
1990: R&B singer Cornell Gunter of The Coasters is shot and killed in his car in Las Vegas at the age of 53. Gunter, who was also an original member of The Platters, was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame along with the rest of The Coasters in 1987.
1987: The Tower Commission investigating the Iran-Contra affair rebukes President Ronald Reagan for not controlling his national security staff, some of whom had secretly facilitated the sale of arms to Iran, the subject of an arms embargo.
1985: Bruce Springsteen wins his first Grammy Award, taking home the Best Male Vocal Performance award for "Dancing In The Dark."
1983: Michael Jackson's "Thriller" album goes to No. 1 on the U.S. Billboard 200 album chart, where it would stay for an initial run of 17-straight weeks and a record-setting 37 weeks overall.
1977: The Eagles' single "Hotel California" is released. The song, which would become one of the band's most iconic songs, would eventually reach No. 1 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 singles chart and win a Grammy Award for Record of the Year.
1971: Singer-songwriter Erykah Badu, best known for songs such as "On & On," "Bad Lady," "Tyrone" and "Love of My Life (An Ode to Hip-Hop)," is born Erica Abi Wright in Dallas, Texas.
1966: The first Saturn 1B rocket is launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida, on an unmanned suborbital test flight in the Apollo moon program. The mission demonstrated the structural integrity of the rocket and the compatibility of the launch vehicle to carry Apollo loads.
1953: Singer-songwriter Michael Bolton, known for such soft rock hits as "How Am I Supposed to Live Without You," "Love Is a Wonderful Thing" and "When a Man Loves a Woman," is born in New Haven, Connecticut.
1935: Adolf Hitler signs a secret decree authorizing the re-formation of the Luftwaffe, Germany's air force, violating the provisions of the Treaty of Versailles.
1932: Country music singer-songwriter Johnny Cash, whose best-known songs included "I Walk the Line," "Folsom Prison Blues," "Ring of Fire," "Jackson," "Get Rhythm" and "Man in Black," is born in Kingsland, Arkansas. He died of complications from diabetes at age 71 on Sept. 12, 2003.
1929: President Calvin Coolidge signs an Executive Order establishing the 96,000 acre Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming.
1928: Musician and singer-songwriter Fats Domino, who had 35 Top 40 American hits, including "Ain't That a Shame," "Blueberry Hill," "I'm Walkin'" and "I Want to Walk You Home," is born Antoine Dominique Domino Jr. in New Orleans, Louisiana.
1926: Professional wrestler Verne Gagne, a 16-time world heavyweight champion, is born in Robbinsdale, Minnesota. Gagne made his pro wrestling debut at age 23 in 1949 and wrestled until 1981. He's also the former owner/promoter of the Minneapolis-based American Wrestling Association, which was the predominant promotion throughout the Midwest for many years until it folded in 1991. Gagne holds the record for the most combined days as a world champion and is one of six men inducted into each of the WWE Hall of Fame, the WCW Hall of Fame, the Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame and the Wrestling Observer Newsletter Hall of Fame. He died at the age of 89 on April 27, 2015.
1920: Actor Tony Randall, best known for his role as Felix Unger in the TV sitcom "The Odd Couple," is born Arthur Leonard Rosenberg in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He's seen here, at left, with "Odd Couple" co-star Jack Klugman. Randall is also known for roles in movies such as "Lover Come Back," "7 Faces of Dr. Lao," "Pillow Talk" and "Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter?" Randall died of pneumonia at age 84 on May 17, 2004.
1920: The first German Expressionist film and early horror movie, Robert Wiene's "The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari," premieres in Berlin, Germany. It would be more than a year later before the silent film came to the United States.
1919: President Woodrow Wilson signs an act passed by the U.S. Congress establishing most of the Grand Canyon as a United States National Park.
1916: Comedian and actor Jackie Gleason, best known for playing Ralph Kramden in the 1950s sitcom "The Honeymooners," is born in Brooklyn, New York. Gleason is also known for playing Minnesota Fats in the 1961 Paul Newman drama "The Hustler" and Buford T. Justice in the "Smokey and the Bandit" series. He died of colon cancer at age 71 on June 24, 1987.
1909: Kinemacolor, the first successful color motion picture process, is first shown to the general public at the Palace Theatre in London. The two-color additive color process photographed and projected a black-and-white film behind alternating red and green filters, but proved to costly for theaters to adapt and fell out of favor by the end of 1914.
1908: Cartoonist Tex Avery, best known for creating the characters of Daffy Duck, Bugs Bunny, Droopy and Screwy Squirrel, is born Frederick Bean Avery in Taylor, Texas. Avery, who did his most significant work for the Warner Bros. and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer studios, is also known for developing Porky Pig and Chilly Willy into the personas that they are known for today. He died of liver cancer at age 72 on Aug. 26, 1980.
1903: Richard Jordan Gatling, the inventor of the Gatling gun, the first successful machine gun, dies at age 84 in New York City. While he was most known for the Gatling gun, he also invented and patented a number of other inventions, including a screw propeller, a wheat drill, a hemp break machine, a steam plow, a marine steam ram and a motor-driven plow.
1887: Hall of Fame baseball pitcher Grover Cleveland Alexander, who won 373 games and struck out 2,198 over 20 seasons with the Philadelphia Phillies, Chicago Cubs, and St. Louis Cardinals, is born in Elba, Nebraska. Alexander won a World Series championship with the Cardinals in 1926. He died of heart failure at age 63 on Nov. 4, 1950.
1852: John Harvey Kellogg, an American physician and health-food pioneer whose development of dry breakfast cereals with his brother William K. Kellogg was largely responsible for the creation of the flaked-cereal industry, is born in Tyrone, Michigan.
1846: American frontiersman William "Buffalo Bill" Cody is born near Le Claire, Iowa. Cody, a soldier, buffalo hunter and showman, was one of the most colorful figures of the American Old West and became famous for the "Wild West" shows he organized with cowboy themes.
1829: Levi Strauss, who founded Levi Strauss & Co., the first company to manufacture blue jeans, is born in Buttenheim, Germany.
1815: Napoleon Bonaparte escapes from exile on the Mediterranean island of Elba. He returned to Paris and ruled for a period now called the Hundred Days, before losing to British and Prussian forces at the Battle of Waterloo. He eventually was exiled again, this time to the island of Saint Helena in the Atlantic Ocean, where he would live until his death in 1821.
1802: Author Victor Hugo, best known for the novels "Les Misérables" and "The Hunchback of Notre-Dame," is born in Besançon, France.
1616: The Spanish Inquisition delivers an injunction to Galileo forbidding him from holding, teaching or defending Copernican theory.
When JetBlue Flight 387 touched down Wednesday in Cuba, it was the first direct commercial flight between the US and the island in over a half-century. Get up to speed on the last five decades of American foreign policy toward Cuba.