This Day in History

April 25


404BC  Spartan forces led by Lysander defeat Athens bringing the Peloponnesian War to an end   2421
1507      Martin Waldseemüller produces a globe and map of the Earth being the first to bear the name 'America'   511
1599      English military and political leader Oliver Cromwell born in Huntingdon, England   419
1607      Dutch fleet under admiral Jacob van Heemskerk deals the Spanish navy a major defeat in the Battle of Gibraltar   411
1672      reflecting telescope design attributed to Laurent Cassegrain is published —now called the Cassegrain reflector   346
1690      Flemish artist David Teniers the Younger dies in Brussels, age 79   328
1707      Spanish-French army defeats forces of England, Portugal, and Dutch in the Battle of Almansa in Spain   311
1744      Swedish astronomer Anders Celsius dies in Uppsala, Sweden, age 42   274
1782      Anne Bonney is buried after dying a natural death, age 80, 60 years after being captured as a pirate companion to Calico Jack   236
1792      highwayman Nicolas Jacques Pelletier is first person to executed by the newly invented guillotine   226
1792      La Marseillaise is composed by Claude Joseph Rouget de Lisle—adopted as French national anthem in 1795   226
1800      English poet William Cowper dies, age 68   218
1840      French mathematician and physicist Siméon Denis Poisson dies, age 58   178
1846      Thornton Affair—open conflict begins over the disputed border of Texas, triggering the Mexican-American War   172
1848      Irish astronomer Andrew Graham discovers Metis, 9th known asteroid   170
1849      birth of German mathematician Christian Felix Klein   169
1859      British and French engineers begin construction on the Suez Canal   159
1874      Guglielmo Marconi, inventor, born   144
1876      Chicago Cubs (as White Stockings) play their first game—beat Louisville 4-0   142
1878      English novelist Anna Mary Sewell dies in Norfolk, England, age 58   140
1898      U.S. declares war on Spain to initiate the Spanish-American War   120
1900      physicist Wolfgang Pauli born   118
1901      New York State requires first automobile license plates   117
1915      Allied forces land on the Ottoman held Gallipoli Peninsula in Turkey   103
1916      first Anzac Day observed—national day of remembrance in Australia and New Zealand for those who served and died in all wars   102
1944      United Negro College Fund is incorporated by Frederick D. Patterson   74
1953      Nature publishes paper by James Watson and Francis Crick describing the double helix nature of DNA   65
1960      USS Triton completes first submerged circumnavigation of the earth   58
1990      Violeta Chamorro takes office as the President of Nicaragua—first woman to hold the position   28
2000      French mathematician Lucien Marie Le Cam dies in Berkeley, California, age 75   18
2000      American theatrical producer David Merrick (born David Lee Margulois) dies in London, age 88   18
2002      British-South African entrepreneur Mark Richard Shuttleworth becomes the second space tourist with launch of Soyuz TM-34   16
2003      Human Genome Project announces completion of the mapping of the human genome   15
2004      March for Women's Lives protesting restrictions on abortion brings 800,000 to the National Mall in Washington, D.C.   14
2005      final section of the Obelisk of Axum is returned to Ethiopia after being stolen by the invading Italian army in 1937   13
2010      English writer Alan Sillitoe dies in London, age 82   8
2014      German Jewish writer and journalist Stefanie Zweig dies in Frankfurt, Germany, age 81   4
2015      7.8 earthquake centered near Katmandu, Nepal kills over 9000 and injures more than 23,000   3
2016      French satellite Microscope to test General Relativity is launched from French Guiana using a Soyuz   2
2017      Nasdaq closes above 6,000 for the first time   1

Dates are always somewhat ambiguous, the exact date depends on whether local time is used (and local time where) or Universal Time—for events on the surface of the Earth, local time is probably best but for an event that spans across the planet, it is not clear which local time to use!. For events in space it is more ambiguous. Further for dates after the original adoption of the Gregorian calendar but before it became accepted in different countries, the date given may be a Julian date or a Gregorian date depending upon where the event occurred. And, even the year may be different since the first of the year has not always been January 1 in all countries! The attempt is to use a date that is the one that is typically given.

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