On This Day in History: February 26

On February 26, the U.S. steel industry found that the eight-hour work week was more productive for workers. What other events happened in history today?

1813: Death of “The Chancellor”

Robert R LivingstonA Patriot from New York, Robert R. Livingston died today in history. He was the eldest of Judge Robert and Margaret Beekman Livingston, and lived through two of his family’s estates being burned down by the British army in 1777. From 1783, he became the New York State Chancellor, a title he was known by for the rest of his life due to the accomplishments he managed. He helped negotiate the Louisiana Purchase and sponsored the development of the steamboat.

1924: Proof the Eight-Hour Working Day More Productive

The U.S. Steel industry published a report showing that the eight-hour working day would be more productive for workers and businesses. Before now, most businesses operated on a 10-16 hour working day, but it was deemed too long. The actual idea of a shorter work day came from Robert Owen towards the end of the 18th century, who said that eight hours of work, eight hours of sleep and eight hours of recreation was optimum for adults. Now, researchers view the eight-hour working day too long.

1993: Bombing of the World Trade CenterVictor Hugo

The Word Trade Center suffered a devastating blow when a terrorist bomb exploded in a parking garage underneath.  It was instantly treated as an act of terrorism. Ahmad Ajaj, Mohammed Salameg, Mahmoud Abouhalima and Nidal Ayyad were later convicted of the bombing that killed five people. Ramzi Ahmed Yousef, called the mastermind behind the plot, was arrested a year after the others were convicted. The bomb did not cause the amount of damage the five terrorists had hoped to see.

2000: Former Spy Sued By British Government

Former spy David Shayler was sued on this day in history by the British government. The government claimed he had given away secrets, which breached his contract. It was just the latest of attempts to silence the spy. When Shayler returned to British soil in 2001, he was arrested and put on trail. Claiming his freedom of speech was being impacted and that the British public deserved to know the information, he tried to stop his trial. Instead, the High Court and Court of Appeal both rejected his attempts. He was convicted and sentenced to six months in prison in 2002, but only served seven weeks of his sentence in jail.

Famous Birthdays on February 26

Les Miserables author Victor Hugo—1802

Blue jeans creation Levi Strauss—1829

Katzenjammer Kids creator Rudolph Dirks—1877

Writer I.A. Richards—1893

The Odd Couple actor Tony Randall—1920

Country singer Jonny Cash—1932

Former Turkey Prime Minister and now President Recep Tayyip Erdogan—1954

Mysterious Girl singer Peter Andre–1973

2012 The Voice runner-up Juliet Simms–1986

The Choice actress Teresa Palmer–1986

Hollyoaks actor Danny Mac–1988

Dancer Brooke Kosinski—2004


Featured image from Deposit Photos

Birthdays from HistoryNet.com and FamousBirthdays.com

Image of Robert R Livingston in the public domain (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_R._Livingston_(chancellor)#/media/File:Robert_R_Livingston,_attributed_to_Gilbert_Stuart_(1755-1828).jpg)

Image of Victor Hugo in the public domain (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Victor_Hugo#/media/File:Victor_Hugo_by_%C3%89tienne_Carjat_1876_-_full.jpg)

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