Today in History
Today in History
Today is Thursday, April 25, the 115th day of 2019. There are 250 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On April 25, 1507, a world map produced by German cartographer Martin Waldseemueller contained the first recorded use of the term “America,” in honor of Italian navigator Amerigo Vespucci (vehs-POO’-chee).
On this date:
In 1859, ground was broken for the Suez Canal.
In 1898, the United States Congress declared war on Spain; the 10-week conflict resulted in an American victory.
In 1915, during World War I, Allied soldiers invaded the Gallipoli (guh-LIHP’-uh-lee) Peninsula in an unsuccessful attempt to take the Ottoman Empire out of the war.
In 1945, during World War II, U.S. and Soviet forces linked up on the Elbe (EL’-beh) River, a meeting that dramatized the collapse of Nazi Germany’s defenses. Delegates from some 50 countries gathered in San Francisco to organize the United Nations.
In 1959, the St. Lawrence Seaway opened to shipping.
In 1964, vandals sawed off the head of the “Little Mermaid” statue in Copenhagen, Denmark.
In 1972, Polaroid Corp. introduced its SX-70 folding camera, which ejected self-developing photographs.
In 1983, 10-year-old Samantha Smith of Manchester, Maine, received a reply from Soviet leader Yuri V. Andropov to a letter she’d written expressing her concerns about nuclear war; Andropov gave assurances that the Soviet Union did not want war, and invited Samantha to visit his country, a trip she made in July.
In 1990, the Hubble Space Telescope was deployed in orbit from the space shuttle Discovery. (It was later discovered that the telescope’s primary mirror was flawed, requiring the installation of corrective components to achieve optimal focus.)
In 1993, hundreds of thousands of gay rights activists and their supporters marched in Washington, D.C., demanding equal rights and freedom from discrimination.
In 1995, show business legend Ginger Rogers died in Rancho Mirage, California, at age 83.
In 2002, Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes of the Grammy-winning trio TLC died in an SUV crash in Honduras; she was 30.
Ten years ago: In her first trip to Iraq as America’s top diplomat, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton tried to reassure nervous Iraqis that the U.S. wouldn’t abandon them, even as she said the American troop withdrawal would stay on schedule. Finance ministers meeting in Washington said they saw signs the global economy was stabilizing but cautioned it would take until the middle of the next year for the world to emerge from the worst recession in decades. Actress Beatrice Arthur died in Los Angeles at age 86.
Five years ago: President Barack Obama, in a joint news conference in Seoul alongside South Korean President Park Geun-hye (goon-hay), said the U.S. stood “shoulder to shoulder” with its ally in refusing to accept a nuclearized North Korea. The United States and other nations in the Group of Seven said they’d agreed to “move swiftly” to impose additional economic sanctions on Russia in response to its actions in Ukraine.
One year ago: Ford Motor Co. said it would get rid of most of its North American car lineup as part of a broad plan to save money and make the company more competitive; the Mustang sports car and a compact Focus crossover vehicle would be the only cars sold in the U.S., Canada and Mexico. Danish engineer Peter Madsen was convicted of murder for luring a Swedish journalist onto his homemade submarine before torturing and killing her; Madsen was later sentenced to life in prison.
Today’s Birthdays: Actor Al Pacino is 79. Ballroom dance judge Len Goodman (TV: “Dancing with the Stars”) is 75. Rock musician Stu Cook (Creedence Clearwater Revival) is 74. Singer Bjorn Ulvaeus (BYORN ul-VAY’-us) (ABBA) is 74. Actress Talia Shire is 74. Actor Jeffrey DeMunn is 72. Rock musician Steve Ferrone (Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers) is 69. Country singer-songwriter Rob Crosby is 65. Actor Hank Azaria is 55. Rock singer Andy Bell (Erasure) is 55. Rock musician Eric Avery is 54. Country musician Rory Feek (Joey + Rory) is 54. TV personality Jane Clayson is 52. Actress Renee Zellweger is 50. Actress Gina Torres is 50. Actor Jason Lee is 49. Actor Jason Wiles is 49. Actress Emily Bergl is 44. Actor Jonathan Angel is 42. Actress Marguerite Moreau is 42. Singer Jacob Underwood is 39. Actress Melonie Diaz is 35. Actress Sara Paxton is 31. Actress Allisyn Ashley Arm is 23. Actress Jayden Rey is 10.
Thought for Today: “It’s the friends you can call up at 4 a.m. that matter.” — Marlene Dietrich, German-American actress (1901-1992).