Today in History
Today is Wednesday, July 25, the 206th day of 2018. There are 159 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On July 25, 1994, Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and Jordan’s King Hussein (hoo-SAYN’) signed a declaration at the White House ending their countries’ 46-year-old formal state of war.
On this date:
In 1866, Ulysses S. Grant was named General of the Army of the United States, the first officer to hold the rank.
In 1917, Nikon Corp. had its beginnings with the merger of three optical manufacturers in Japan.
In 1943, Benito Mussolini was dismissed as premier of Italy by King Victor Emmanuel III, and placed under arrest. (However, Mussolini was later rescued by the Nazis, and re-asserted his authority.)
In 1946, the United States detonated an atomic bomb near Bikini Atoll in the Pacific in the first underwater test of the device.
In 1952, Puerto Rico became a self-governing commonwealth of the United States.
In 1956, the Italian liner SS Andrea Doria collided with the Swedish passenger ship Stockholm off the New England coast late at night and began sinking; 51 people — 46 from the Andrea Doria, five from the Stockholm — were killed. (The Andrea Doria capsized and sank the following morning.)
In 1960, a Woolworth’s store in Greensboro, North Carolina, that had been the scene of a sit-in protest against its whites-only lunch counter dropped its segregation policy.
In 1961, in a televised address on the Berlin Crisis, President John F. Kennedy announced a series of steps aimed at bolstering the military in the face of Soviet demands that Western powers withdraw from the German city’s western sector.
In 1972, the notorious Tuskegee syphilis experiment came to light as The Associated Press reported that for the previous four decades, the U.S. Public Health Service, in conjunction with the Tuskegee Institute in Alabama, had been allowing poor, rural black male patients with syphilis to go without treatment, even allowing them to die, as a way of studying the disease.
In 1984, Soviet cosmonaut Svetlana Savitskaya (sah-VEETS’-kah-yah) became the first woman to walk in space as she carried out more than three hours of experiments outside the orbiting space station Salyut 7.
In 2000, a New York-bound Air France Concorde crashed outside Paris shortly after takeoff, killing all 109 people on board and four people on the ground; it was the first-ever crash of the supersonic jet.
In 2002, Zacarias Moussaoui (zak-uh-REE’-uhs moo-SOW’-ee) declared he was guilty of conspiracy in the September 11 attacks, then dramatically withdrew his plea at his arraignment in Alexandria, Va.
Ten years ago: An oxygen tank exploded aboard a Qantas Boeing 747-400, ripping a hole in the fuselage and forcing an emergency landing in the Philippines. President George W. Bush signed an executive order expanding sanctions against individuals and organizations in Zimbabwe associated with the regime of President Robert Mugabe. Computer science professor Randy Pausch (powsh), whose “last lecture” about facing terminal cancer became an Internet sensation and a bestselling book, died in Chesapeake, Va. at age 47. The Federal Communications Commission formally approved Sirius Satellite Radio Inc.’s $3.3 billion buyout of rival XM Satellite Radio Holdings Inc. California became the first state to ban trans fats from restaurant food.
Five years ago: Pope Francis, dubbed the “slum pope” for his work with the poor, received a rapturous welcome from one of Rio de Janeiro’s most violent shantytowns and demanded the world’s wealthy end the injustices that had left the poor on the margins of society.
One year ago: A bitterly-divided Senate voted to move forward with Republican legislation to repeal and replace “Obamacare.” Sen. John McCain, returning to the Capitol for the first time since he was diagnosed with brain cancer, cast a decisive “yes” vote. (Three days later, McCain joined with two other Republican senators and Democrats in defeating the repeal effort.) House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, who was critically wounded in a shooting at a baseball practice on June 14, was released from a Washington hospital.
Today’s Birthdays: Actress Barbara Harris is 83. Folk-pop singer-musician Bruce Woodley (The Seekers) is 76. Rock musician Jim McCarty (The Yardbirds) is 75. Rock musician Verdine White (Earth, Wind & Fire) is 67. Singer-musician Jem Finer (The Pogues) is 63. Model-actress Iman is 63. Cartoonist Ray Billingsley (“Curtis”) is 61. Rock musician Thurston Moore (Sonic Youth) is 60. Celebrity chef/TV personality Geoffrey Zakarian is 59. Actress-singer Bobbie Eakes is 57. Actress Katherine Kelly Lang is 57. Actress Illeana Douglas is 53. Country singer Marty Brown is 53. Actor Matt LeBlanc is 51. Actress Wendy Raquel Robinson is 51. Rock musician Paavo Lotjonen (PAH’-woh LAHT’-joh-nehn) (Apocalyptica) is 50. Actor D.B. Woodside is 49. Actress Miriam Shor is 47. Actor David Denman is 45. Actor Jay R. Ferguson is 44. Actor James Lafferty is 33. Actress Shantel VanSanten is 33. Actor Michael Welch is 31. Actress Linsey (cq) Godfrey is 30. Classical singer Faryl Smith is 23. Actress Meg Donnelly (TV: “American Housewife”) is 17. Actor Pierce Gagnon is 13.
Thought for Today: “Advertising is a valuable economic factor because it is the cheapest way of selling goods, particularly if the goods are worthless.” — Sinclair Lewis, American author (1885-1951).