TODAY IN HISTORY
Today is Friday, July 25, the 206th day of 2014. 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 signed a declaration at the White House ending their countries’ 46-year-old formal state of war.
On this date:
In 1554, Queen Mary I of England married Philip II, future King of Spain.
In 1814, the Battle of Lundy’s Lane, one of the bloodiest battles of the War of 1812, took place in present-day Niagara Falls, Ontario, with no clear victor.
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 1934, Austrian Chancellor Engelbert Dollfuss was assassinated by pro-Nazi Austrians in a failed coup attempt.
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 1944, Bing Crosby and the Andrews Sisters recorded Cole Porter’s “Don’t Fence Me In” in Los Angeles for Decca Records.
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 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: Israelis formed a human chain stretching 55 miles from Gaza to Jerusalem to protest Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s Gaza Strip withdrawal plan. Lance Armstrong won a record sixth Tour de France.
Five years ago: President Barack Obama continued his full-court press to pass health care reform legislation, citing a new White House study indicating that small businesses were paying far more per employee for health insurance than big companies, a disparity the president said was “unsustainable” as well as “unacceptable.”
Protesters across the world called on Iran to end its clampdown on opposition activists.
One year 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.
Today’s Birthdays: Actress Barbara Harris is 79. Folk-pop singer-musician Bruce Woodley (The Seekers) is 72. Rock musician Jim McCarty (The Yardbirds) is 71. Rock musician Verdine White (Earth, Wind & Fire) is 63. Singer-musician Jem Finer (The Pogues) is 59. Model-actress Iman is 59. Cartoonist Ray Billingsley (“Curtis”) is 57. Rock musician Thurston Moore (Sonic Youth) is 56.
Actress-singer Bobbie Eakes is 53. Actress Katherine Kelly Lang is 53. Actress Illeana Douglas is 49. Country singer Marty Brown is 49. Actor Matt LeBlanc is 47. Actress Wendy Raquel Robinson is 47. Rock musician Paavo Lotjonen (Apocalyptica) is 46. Actor D.B. Woodside is 45. Actress Miriam Shor is 43. Actor David Denman is 41. Actor Jay R. Ferguson is 40. Actor James Lafferty is 29. Actress Shantel VanSanten is 29. Actor Michael Welch is 27. Classical singer Faryl Smith is 19.