Today in History

AP News
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Posted: Jul 25, 2011 12:00 AM
Today in History

Today is Monday, July 25, the 206th day of 2011. There are 159 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

On July 25, 1961, in a televised address on the Berlin Crisis, President John F. Kennedy announced a series of steps aimed at bolstering the military in the face of Soviet demands that Western powers withdraw from the German city's western sector.

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 1909, French aviator Louis Bleriot (bleh-ree-OH') became the first person to fly an airplane across the English Channel, traveling from Calais (kah-LAY') to Dover in 37 minutes.

In 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt froze Japanese assets in the United States in retaliation for Japan's occupation of southern Indochina.

In 1946, the United States detonated an atomic bomb near Bikini Atoll in the Pacific in the first underwater test of the device.

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 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.

In 1984, Soviet cosmonaut Svetlana Savitskaya (sah-VEETS'-kah-yah) 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 1986, movie director Vincente Minnelli, known for such musicals as "Gigi," "An American in Paris" and "Meet Me in St. Louis," died in Los Angeles at age 83.

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: Three masked men gunned down Phoolan Devi, India's onetime "Bandit Queen," killing the outlaw-turned-legislator who was idolized by the poor as a champion of the lower castes.

Five years ago: Israeli troops sealed off a Hezbollah stronghold and widened their control of southern Lebanon; an Israeli airstrike hit a U.N. border outpost, killing four observers. President George W. Bush was visited at the White House by Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki (NOO'-ree ahl-MAHL'-ih-kee), who said he and Bush agreed that training and better arming Iraqi forces as quickly as possible was central to efforts to stabilizing his country.

One year ago: The online whistleblower Wikileaks posted some 90,000 leaked U.S. military records that amounted to a blow-by-blow account of the Afghanistan war, including unreported incidents of Afghan civilian killings as well as covert operations against Taliban figures. Alberto Contador won the Tour de France for the third time in four years. Erich Steidtmann, a former Nazi SS officer suspected of involvement in World War II massacres but never convicted, died in Hannover, Germany, at age 95.

Today's Birthdays: Actress Barbara Harris is 76. Rock musician Jim McCarty (The Yardbirds) is 68. Rock musician Verdine White (Earth, Wind & Fire) is 60. Singer-musician Jem Finer (The Pogues) is 56. Model-actress Iman is 56. Cartoonist Ray Billingsley ("Curtis") is 54. Rock musician Thurston Moore (Sonic Youth) is 53. Actress-singer Bobbie Eakes is 50. Actress Katherine Kelly Lang is 50. Actress Illeana Douglas is 46. Country singer Marty Brown is 46. Actor Matt LeBlanc is 44. Actress Wendy Raquel Robinson is 44. Rock musician Paavo Lotjonen (PAH'-woh LAHT'-joh-nehn) (Apocalyptica) is 43. Actor D.B. Woodside is 42. Actress Miriam Shor is 40. Actor James Lafferty (TV: "One Tree Hill") is 26. Actress Shantel VanSanten is 26. Actor Michael Welch is 24. Classical singer Faryl Smith is 16.

Thought for Today: "Advertising is a valuable economic factor because it is the cheapest way of selling goods, particularly if the goods are worthless." _ Sinclair Lewis, American author (1885-1951).

(Above Advance for Use Monday, July 25)

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