Today in History

AP News
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Posted: Jan 25, 2015 12:00 AM

Today is Sunday, Jan. 25, the 25th day of 2015. There are 340 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

On Jan. 25, 1915, America's first official transcontinental telephone call took place as Alexander Graham Bell, who was in New York, spoke to his former assistant, Thomas Watson, who was in San Francisco, over a line set up by American Telephone & Telegraph.

On this date:

In 1533, England's King Henry VIII secretly married his second wife, Anne Boleyn, who later gave birth to Elizabeth I.

In 1890, reporter Nellie Bly (Elizabeth Cochrane) of the New York World completed a round-the-world journey in 72 days, 6 hours and 11 minutes. The United Mine Workers of America was founded in Columbus, Ohio.

In 1915, the U.S. Supreme Court, in Coppage v. Kansas, upheld the right of employers to bar employees from belonging to labor unions by making them sign a "yellow dog contract."

In 1924, the first Winter Olympic Games opened in Chamonix (SHAH'-moh-nee), France.

In 1945, the World War II Battle of the Bulge ended as German forces were pushed back to their original positions. Grand Rapids, Michigan, became the first community to add fluoride to its public water supply.

In 1947, American gangster Al Capone died in Miami Beach, Florida, at age 48.

In 1955, the Soviet Union formally ended its state of war with Germany.

In 1961, President John F. Kennedy held the first presidential news conference to be carried live on radio and television.

In 1971, Charles Manson and three women followers were convicted in Los Angeles of murder and conspiracy in the 1969 slayings of seven people, including actress Sharon Tate. Idi Amin seized power in Uganda by ousting President Milton Obote (oh-BOH'-tay) in a military coup.

In 1981, the 52 Americans held hostage by Iran for 444 days arrived in the United States.

In 1990, an Avianca Boeing 707 ran out of fuel and crashed in Cove Neck, Long Island, New York; 73 of the 158 people aboard were killed. Actress Ava Gardner died in London at age 67.

In 1995, the U.S. and Norway launched a Black Brant rocket carrying equipment to study the aurora borealis, startling Russian officials who wondered at first if the rocket was an incoming Trident missile. (Russian President Boris Yeltsin reportedly was given his "nuclear briefcase" for possible retaliation before realizing there was no threat.)

Ten years ago: A videotape showed Roy Hallums, an American kidnapped in Baghdad the previous November, pleading for his life. (Hallums was rescued by coalition troops on Sept. 7, 2005.) A stampede during a Hindu festival in western India killed some 300 people. Architect Philip Johnson died in New Canaan, Connecticut, at age 98.

Five years ago: Iraq hanged Ali Hassan al-Majid (ah-LEE' hah-SAHN' ahl mah-ZHEED'), known as "Chemical Ali" for his role in gassing 5,000 people in a Kurdish village. An Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 crashed into the Mediterranean after taking off from Beirut in a fierce thunderstorm; all 90 people aboard were killed. Director James Cameron's sci-fi spectacle "Avatar" overtook his shipwreck saga "Titanic" to become the world's highest-grossing film.

One year ago: Two brothers, 60-year-old Garrick Hopkins and 61-year-old Carl Hopkins, were shot to death south of Barboursville, West Virginia, as they toured land that Garrick Hopkins and his wife had purchased; Rodney Black faces two counts of first-degree murder. A gunman opened fire at a shopping mall in suburban Baltimore, killing two skate shop employees, 21-year-old Brianna Benlolo and 25-year-old Tyler Johnson; shooter Darion Aguilar then killed himself. On the third anniversary of Egypt's 2011 uprising, giant crowds danced at government-backed rallies and security forces crushed demonstrations by rival Islamists and some secular activists. Li Na beat Dominika Cibulkova 7-6 (3), 6-0 in the Australian Open final. The Anaheim Ducks beat the Los Angeles Kings 3-0 at Dodger Stadium in the NHL's first warm-weather outdoor game. Morris "Morrie" Turner, 90, creator of the "Wee Pals" comic strip and the first African-American cartoonist to be syndicated nationally, died in Sacramento, California.

Today's Birthdays: Actor Gregg Palmer is 88. Actor Dean Jones is 84. Country singer Claude Gray is 83. Movie director Tobe Hooper is 72. Actress Leigh Taylor-Young is 70. Actress Jenifer (cq) Lewis is 58. Actress Dinah Manoff is 57. Country musician Mike Burch (River Road) is 49. Rhythm-and-blues singer Kina is 46. Actress China Kantner is 44. Actress Ana Ortiz is 44. Musician Matt Odmark (OHD'-mark) (Jars of Clay) is 41. Actress Mia Kirshner is 40. Actress Christine Lakin is 36. Rhythm-and-blues singer Alicia (ah-LEE'-shuh) Keys is 34. Actor Michael Trevino (TV: "The Vampire Diaries") is 30. Pop musician Calum Hood (5 Seconds to Summer) is 19.

Thought for Today: "The telephone, which interrupts the most serious conversations and cuts short the most weighty observations, has a romance of its own." — Virginia Woolf, English author (1882-1941).

(Above Advance for Use Sunday, Jan. 25)

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