Feb. 26, 1846: William "Buffalo Bill" Cody is born in Iowa. While his nickname originally came from his job as a purveyor of bison meat to U.S. troops, Cody became a legendary bison hunter, showman, and ultimately a symbol of the near-extermination of the American bison.
Feb. 26, 1919: U.S. President Woodrow Wilson upgrades the Grand Canyon National Monument to National Park status. He also creates Lafayette National Park along the Maine coast. It is later renamed Acadia National Park.
Feb. 26, 1929: Grand Teton National Park (at right) is established in northwestern Wyoming. Its jagged peaks and mountain lakes are regarded as some of the best scenery in the National Park System.
Feb. 26, 1972: In heavy rains, an estimated 132 million gallons of coal-tainted wastewater bursts through a retaining wall at Buffalo Creek, West Virginia. Several small towns are destroyed, 125 die, and 4,000 are left homeless. The tragedy puts the spotlight on abusive strip-mining practices in coal country.
Feb. 26, 2007: The journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences publishes a paper saying that protections against elephant poaching are failing, despite a nearly 20 year-old ban on the international ivory trade.