TODAY IN HISTORY
Today is Thursday, July 25, the 206th day of 2013. There are 159 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On July 25, 1963, the United States, the Soviet Union and Britain initialed a treaty in Moscow prohibiting the testing of nuclear weapons in the atmosphere, in space or underwater. The treaty was formally signed on Aug. 5, 1963.
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 1898, the United States invaded Puerto Rico during the Spanish-American War.
In 1909, French aviator Louis Bleriot became the first person to fly an airplane across the English Channel, traveling from Calais to Dover in 37 minutes.
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 reasserted 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 Andrea Doria collided with the Swedish passenger ship Stockholm off the New England coast late at night and began sinking; at least 51 people were killed.
In 1960, a Woolworth’s store in Greensboro, N.C., that had been the scene of a sit-in protest against its whites-only lunch counter dropped its segregation policy.
In 1978, Louise Joy Brown, the first “test tube baby,” was born in Oldham, England; she’d been conceived through the technique of in-vitro fertilization.
In 1984, Soviet cosmonaut Svetlana Savitskaya 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 1992, opening ceremonies were held in Barcelona, Spain, for the Summer Olympics.
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.
Ten years ago: President George W. Bush ordered U.S. troops into position off the coast of Liberia to support the arrival of a West African peacekeeping force, as renewed violence in the capital brought despairing pleas for American help. President Bush received Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas at the White House. Movie director John Schlesinger (“Midnight Cowboy”) died in Palm Springs, Calif., at age 77.
Five 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. Carnegie Mellon University computer science professor Randy Pausch, whose “last lecture” about facing terminal cancer became an Internet sensation and a best-selling book, died in Chesapeake, Va. at age 47.
One year ago: President Barack Obama embraced some degree of control on the sale of weapons but also told the National Urban League in New Orleans he would also seek a national consensus on combating violence. NBC announced it had topped the $1 billion mark in advertising sales for the upcoming Olympic Games in London, topping the $850 million in ad sales for the Beijing games in 2008.
Today’s Birthdays: Actress Barbara Harris is 78. Rock musician Jim McCarty (The Yardbirds) is 70. Rock musician Verdine White (Earth, Wind & Fire) is 62. Singer-musician Jem Finer (The Pogues) is 58.
Model-actress Iman is 58. Cartoonist Ray Billingsley (“Curtis”) is 56. Rock musician Thurston Moore (Sonic Youth) is 55.
Actress-singer Bobbie Eakes is 52. Actress Katherine Kelly Lang is 52. Actress Illeana Douglas is 48. Country singer Marty Brown is 48. Actor Matt LeBlanc is 46. Actress Wendy Raquel Robinson is 46. Rock musician Paavo Lotjonen (Apocalyptica) is 45.
Actor D.B. Woodside is 44. Actress Miriam Shor is 42. Actor Jay R. Ferguson (“Mad Men”) is 39. Actor James Lafferty is 28. Actress Shantel VanSanten is 28. Actor Michael Welch is 26. Classical singer Faryl Smith is 18.