26 February

The Grand Canyon became a National Park this day

Grand Cosmopolitan

So we are drinking a...

Grand Cosmopolitan

One of the world's most beautiful natural wonders was designated a National Park by the US Congress on this day in 1919.

The formation of the Grand Canyon National Park is thought by many to be one of the earliest successes of the environmental conservation movement - without this status, it's possible that a dam might have been constructed along the course of the Colorado River.

The breathtaking mile-deep gorge of the Grand Canyon, with its stunning striations of colour, was formed as the Colorado River eroded through the uplifted Colorado Plateau.

A vodka and orange liqueur based Grand Cosmopolitan doesn't look quite as marvellous as the Grand Canyon at sunset but its lovely red colour does go some way in that direction.

The Titanic's sister ship was launched today

Until about April 1912, it seemed like a great idea to belong to the same family of ships as the famous "wonder ship" Titanic. After that, however, some rapid design changes were in order. So it was only on 26th February 1914, that the second and last of Titanic's sister ships, the Britannic, was finally launched.

Before the owners had even finished fitting out the ship, however, the First World War broke out. Rather than transporting emigrants and the super-rich between London and New York, Britannic was turned over to carrying wounded soldiers.

She managed five trips more than the Titanic. On her sixth, while off the coast of Greece, an explosion hit - and, amazingly, she sank even more quickly than the Titanic, in under an hour. Thanks to lifeboats, though, almost everyone on board survived - over a thousand people were saved. One of the more famous? Violet Jessop. A stewardess, she had survived the Titanic sinking - and survived the Britannic by jumping from a lifeboat that was about to be sucked into the ship's propellers. We are toasting her with a Violet Affinity.

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