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Saturday, July 25

July 17, 2015

Today is Saturday, July 25, the 205th day of 2015. There are 160 days left in the year.

Highlights in history on this date:

1593 - France’s King Henry IV becomes a Roman Catholic for the second and final time in an effort to gain Paris and be recognized as the legitimate king.

1689 - France’s King Louis XIV declares war on Britain after England, the Dutch and the Austrian Hapsburgs unite in the Grand Alliance to resist Louis’s expansionism.

1792 - Austria’s Duke of Brunswick issues manifesto threatening destruction of Paris if France’s royal family is harmed. This assures the fall of the monarchy when agitators decide this is proof of Louis XVI’s traitorous dealings.

1798 - Napoleon Bonaparte enters Cairo with his French troops.

1830 - France’s King Charles X issues ordinances controlling the press, dissolving legislative chambers and changing electoral system.

1878 - China’s first diplomatic mission to United States arrives in Washington.

1894 - The Japanese navy defeats a Chinese fleet in Kanghwa Bay, sparking Sino-Japanese War over influence in Korea.

1920 - French forces occupy Damascus, Syria; Greeks under King Alexander occupy Adrianople in northwestern Turkey.

1934 - Chancellor Engelbert Dollfuss is assassinated in unsuccessful Nazi coup attempt in Austria.

1943 - Benito Mussolini is forced to resign as prime minister of Italy during World War II.

1952 - Puerto Rico becomes a self-governing commonwealth of the United States.

1956 - Italian liner Andrea Doria and Swedish ship Stockholm collide off coast of North America. Fifty lives are lost.

1957 - Tunisia becomes independent from France with Habib Bourgiba as president.

1963 - United States, Soviet Union and Britain conclude treaty prohibiting nuclear testing in atmosphere, space or under water.

1968 - Pope Paul VI bans all artificial birth control methods for Roman Catholics.

1971 - Dr. Christiaan Barnard transplants two lungs and a heart into a man in Cape Town, South Africa, and the operation is described as successful.

1978 - The world’s first test-tube baby, Louise Brown, is born; a 5-pound, 12-ounce (2.58-kilogram) healthy girl delivered by Caesarean section in Lancashire, England.

1991 - Mikhail Gorbachev tells Communist Party leaders that building communism in the Soviet Union is no longer a realistic goal and that party must reject “outdated ideological dogmas.”

1997 - The Khmer Rouge guerrillas in Cambodia hold an apparently fake trial of their former leader Pol Pot, who is sentenced to house arrest.

1998 - Government officials say U.S. President Bill Clinton has been subpoenaed to testify in the Monica Lewinsky case.

2000 - An Air France Concorde traveling to New York crashes into a hotel outside Paris shortly after takeoff, killing 113 people.

2001 - China expels Gao Zhan, a U.S.-based Chinese sociologist convicted of spying for Taiwan.

2002 - Zacarias Moussaoui, a French citizen accused of conspiring with 19 hijackers in the Sept. 11 attacks, withdraws his guilty plea in a U.S. district court.

2003 - Argentine President Nestor Kirchner revokes a decree that prohibits the extradition of Argentine officials accused of torture or murder during the 1976-83 military dictatorship’s “dirty war” against leftist opponents.

2006 - Thousands of opposition supporters in Congo clash with riot police, burning President Joseph Kabila’s campaign posters before weekend elections meant to bring lasting peace to the nation.

2007 - Two suicide car bombings strike soccer fans in Baghdad as they were celebrating Iraq’s victory in the Asian Cup semifinal, killing at least 50 people and wounding more than 100.

2013 — A Spanish train that hurtled off the rails and smashed into a security wall as it rounded a bend was going so fast that carriages tumbled off the tracks like dominos, killing 80 people and maiming dozens more.

2014— The U.S. and Ukraine charge Russia is launching artillery strikes from its soil on Ukrainian troops and preparing to move heavier weaponry across the border in what appears to be an ominous escalation of the crisis.

Today’s Birthdays:

Arthur J. Balfour, English statesman (1848-1930); Maxfield Parrish, U.S. illustrator/painter (1870-1966), Davidson Black (1884-1934), Canadian physician/anthropologist, Elias Canetti, Bulgarian writer and Nobel laureate (1905-1994); Estelle Getty, U.S. actress (1923-2008); Iman, Somali model/actress (1955--); Matt LeBlanc, U.S. actor (1967--).

Thought For Today:

I am at two with nature — Woody Allen, U.S. actor, comedian, film director and producer (1935-).

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