Today is Saturday, October 25, the 298th day of 2014. There are 67 days left in the year.
Highlights in history on this date:
1415 - The English defeat a vastly greater French force at the Battle of Agincourt.
1586 - Mary Queen of Scots, the focus of Catholic plots on the throne of England, is sentenced to death.
1616 - Dutch mariner Dirk Hartog discovers Australia.
1760 - Britain’s King George III succeeds his late grandfather, George II.
1794 - Russia withdraws from war against France.
1812 - The U.S. frigate United States captures the British vessel Macedonian during the War of 1812.
1815 - Serb rebellion against Turkish rule begins, resulting in considerable autonomy for Serbs.
1854 - The British Light Brigade charges heroically near Sevastopol, Russia, during Crimean War.
1874 - Britain annexes Fiji islands.
1900 - Transvaal is annexed formally by Britain at Pretoria, South Africa.
1909 - Murder of Japan’s Prince Ito by Korean fanatics leads to Japanese dictatorship in Korea.
1918 - The Canadian steamship Princess Sophia founders off the coast of Alaska; nearly 400 people perish.
1922 - Fascists march on Rome and the Italian king nominates Benito Mussolini as prime minister.
1936 - Germany and Italy form Rome-Berlin Axis.
1938 - Japanese troops take Hankow, and Chinese government establishes itself at Chungking; Libya is declared part of Italy.
1941 - Germany’s first offensive against Moscow in World War II fails.
1956 - Egypt, Jordan and Syria form a unified military command.
1962 - U.S. ambassador Adlai E. Stevenson presents photographic evidence of Soviet missile bases in Cuba to the U.N. Security Council.
1966 - Indonesia’s former Foreign Minister Subandrio is sentenced to death after right-wing military generals Suharto and Nasution stage a coup and wrest power from Sukarno.
1971 - The U.N. General Assembly votes to admit mainland China and expel Taiwan.
1983 - U.S. Marines and Rangers, assisted by soldiers from six Caribbean nations, invade Grenada at the order of U.S. President Ronald Reagan, who says the action is needed to protect U.S. citizens there.
1989 - Soviet State Bank announces the ruble will be devalued by nearly 90 percent for visiting foreigners.
1990 - Lebanese President Elias Hrawi consolidates control over Beirut by ordering the departure of sectarian militias from the previously divided capital.
1991 - About 90 anti-apartheid movements, claiming to represent more than 15 million South Africans, establish a “patriotic united front” to press for black majority rule.
1995 - Israeli troops start pulling out from Jenin on the West Bank, the first city to be handed over under the Israel-Palestine Liberation Organization autonomy agreement.
1996 - The fundamentalist Islamic Taliban militia claim to capture another Afghanistan province, their first advance since seizing the capital, Kabul, a month earlier.
1997 - Ten days after a Tamil rebel truck bomb devastates Colombo’s business district, Sri Lankan police arrest hundreds of Tamils in a sweep that shuts down the capital.
1998 - Two days after a peace accord with the Israelis, street battles rage in the West Bank between members of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat’s political faction and Palestinian security forces.
2001 - The U.S. House of Representatives approves legislation that will give law enforcement and intelligence agencies broader powers to investigate suspected terrorists.
2003 - Russia’s Federal Security Service arrests billionaire Mikhail Khodorkovsky, chief executive officer of top-ranked Russian oil conglomerate OAO Yukos. The arrest spurs a sharp drop in the Russian stock market as investors anticipate a crackdown on private business interests.
2004 - Several hundred tons of conventional explosives are missing from a former Iraqi military facility that once played a key role in Saddam Hussein’s efforts to build a nuclear bomb, the U.N. nuclear agency confirms.
2005 - Election officials in Baghdad announce that Iraq’s landmark constitution has been adopted by a majority of voters during the country’s referendum. Results show that Sunni Arabs, who had sharply opposed the draft document, failed to produce enough “no” votes to defeat it.
2006 - The Australian government pledges funding for two projects as part of its new strategy to combat global warming, including the construction of the world’s largest solar power plant.
2007 - Four Chadian rebel groups sign a final peace agreement with their government. The parties agree to an immediate cease-fire, amnesty for civil and military personnel and the release of all detainees from both sides of the four-year conflict in Sudan’s Darfur region.
2008 - Egypt’s first female marriage registrar starts work despite complaints by some conservative clerics that the move is against Islam.
2009 - A pair of suicide car bombings devastate the heart of Iraq’s capital, killing at least 147 people in the country’s deadliest attack in more than two years. The bombs call into question Iraq’s ability to protect its people as U.S. forces withdraw.
2010 - Afghan President Hamid Karzai acknowledges that he receives millions of dollars in cash from Iran, adding that Washington gives him “bags of money” too because his office lacks funds.
2011 - Distraught Turkish families mourn outside a mosque or seek to identify loved ones among rows of bodies as rescue workers scour debris for survivors after a 7.2-magnitude quake that killed at least 279 people in the eastern part of the country near the Iranian border.
2012 - The scale of the child sex abuse scandal engulfing the BBC expands as authorities announce that 300 potential victims had come forward with accusations against one of the British broadcaster’s most popular children’s entertainers and that others might have acted with him.
2013 — Egypt’s most popular satirist , famed for mercilessly skewering the former Islamist president on his weekly program, dives headfirst back into stormy politics after four months off the air amid the turmoil surrounding the country’s coup.
Thomas B. Macauley, British historian (1800-1859); Georges Bizet, French composer (1838-1875); Pablo Picasso, Spanish painter and sculptor (1881-1973); Admiral Richard Evelyn Byrd, American polar explorer (1888-1957); former King Michael of Romania (1925-- ).
Thought for Today:
It is an undoubted truth that the less one has to do, the less time one finds to do it in — Lord Chesterfield, English author and statesman (1694-1773).