Today is Wednesday, April 25, the 116th day of 2012. There are 250 days left in the year.
Today's Highlight in History:
On April 25, 1862, during the Civil War, a Union fleet commanded by Flag Officer David G. Farragut captured the city of New Orleans.
On this date:
In 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).
In 1792, highwayman Nicolas Jacques Pelletier became the first person under French law to be executed by the guillotine.
In 1859, ground was broken for the Suez Canal.
In 1898, the United States formally declared war on Spain.
In 1901, New York Gov. Benjamin Barker Odell Jr. signed an automobile registration bill which imposed a 15 mph speed limit on highways.
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 1944, the United Negro College Fund was founded.
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 met in San Francisco to organize the United Nations.
In 1959, the St. Lawrence Seaway opened to shipping.
In 1972, Polaroid Corp. introduced its SX-70 folding camera, which ejected self-developing photographs. Actor George Sanders was found dead in his hotel room near Barcelona, Spain; he was 65.
In 1983, Soviet leader Yuri V. Andropov invited Samantha Smith to visit his country after receiving a letter from the Manchester, Maine, schoolgirl.
In 1992, Islamic forces in Afghanistan took control of most of the capital of Kabul following the collapse of the Communist government.
Ten years ago: President George W. Bush hosted Crown Prince Abdullah of Saudi Arabia at his Texas ranch for a day of talks. The House voted 405-9 to abolish the embattled Immigration and Naturalization Service. A Russian rocket blasted into orbit, carrying South African Internet millionaire Mark Shuttleworth, the world's second space tourist. Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes, the effervescent, sometimes volatile member of the Grammy-winning trio TLC, died in an SUV crash in Honduras; she was 30.
Five years ago: Brushing off a presidential veto threat, the House passed, 218-208, a $124.2 billion supplemental spending bill ordering U.S. troops to begin coming home from Iraq in the fall of 2007. The Dow Jones industrial average topped 13,000 for the first time, ending the day at 13,089.89. Rosie O'Donnell announced she was leaving the ABC talk show "The View" in June (she actually left in late May).
One year ago: President Bashar Assad of Syria sent the military into the southern city of Daraa, where an anti-government uprising had begun the previous month.
Today's Birthdays: Movie director-writer Paul Mazursky is 82. Actor Al Pacino is 72. Ballroom dance judge Len Goodman (TV: "Dancing with the Stars") is 68. Rock musician Stu Cook (Creedence Clearwater Revival) is 67. Singer Bjorn Ulvaeus (ABBA) is 67. Actress Talia Shire is 66. Actor Jeffrey DeMunn is 65. Rock musician Michael Brown (The Left Banke) is 63. Rock musician Steve Ferrone (Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers) is 62. Country singer-songwriter Rob Crosby is 58. Actor Hank Azaria is 48. Rock singer Andy Bell (Erasure) is 48. Rock musician Eric Avery (Jane's Addiction) is 47. Country musician Rory Feek (Joey + Rory) is 47. TV personality Jane Clayson is 45. Actress Renee Zellweger is 43. Actress Gina Torres is 43. Actor Jason Lee is 42. Actor Jason Wiles is 42. Actress Emily Bergl is 37. Actress Marguerite Moreau is 35. Singer Jacob Underwood is 32. Actress Sara Paxton is 24. Actress Allisyn Ashley Arm is 16.
Thought for Today: "I think it is all a matter of love: the more you love a memory, the stronger and stranger it is." _ Vladimir Nabokov, Russian-born author (1899-1977).
(Above Advance for Use Wednesday, April 25)
Copyright 2012, The Associated Press. All rights reserved.