This Day in History

February 25


493      Odoacer surrenders Ravenna on the northeastern Italy coast after a 3-year siege and agrees to a mediated peace with Theoderic the Great   1525
628      Khosrow II, the last great king of the Sasanian Empire in Persia, is overthrown by his son after a reign of 37 years, age around 58   1390
805      Emperor Dezong of the Chinese Tang Dynasty dies after a reign of 26 years, age 62   1213
1336      4000 defenders of Pilenai castle in Lithuania burn the castle and commit mass suicide rather than be taken by Teutonic Knights   682
1570      Elizabeth I of England is excommunicated   448
1601      Robert Devereux, Earl of Essex, is beheaded for treason—last person to be executed on Tower Green   417
1723      English architect and scientist Christopher Wren dies in London, age 90   295
1728      12-year old Peter II is crowned Emperor and Autocrat of all the Russias   290
1793      first U.S. presidental Cabinet meeting   225
1841      birth of French impressionist painter Pierre-Auguste Renoir in Limoges, France   177
1862      Bureau of Engraving and Printing established   156
1870      Danish lyrical poet Henrik Hertz dies in Copenhagen, age 72   148
1870      Hiram Rhodes Revels (R Mississippi) is sworn into the U.S. Senate—is the first black ever to sit in the Congress   148
1901      J.P. Morgan incorporates U.S. Steel   117
1919      Oregon is first state to put into place a gasoline tax   99
1928      Charles Jenkins Laboratories of Washington, D.C. becomes the first holder of a U.S. television license, W3XK   90
1933      launch of the USS Ranger, the first U.S. Navy ship to be designed and built solely as an aircraft carrier   85
1945      first low-level incendiary raid on Tokyo by B-29s destroys approximately one square mile of the city   73
1947      German physicist Louis Karl Heinrich Friedrich Paschen dies in Potsdam, agr 82   71
1947      Prussia formally ceases to exist   71
1951      first Pan American Games opens in Buenos Aires, Argentia   67
1971      Swedish chemist and Nobel laureate (1926) Theodor ("The") Svedberg dies Kopparberg, Sweden, age 86   47
1971      first commercial nuclear power plant, Pickering Nuclear Generating Station, in Canada goes online   47
1983      American playwright Tennessee Williams dies in New York City, age 71   35
1984      inaugural Yukon Quest sled dog race between Fairbanks, Alaska and Whitehorse, Yukon (about 1000 mi)—won by Sonny Lindner   34
1987      NCAA votes unanimously to cancel SMU's entire 1987 football season—first and only football program to receive the "death penalty"   31
1992      Russian Space Agency (Roscosmos) founded   26
1999      American chemist and Nobel laureate (1951) Glenn Theodore Seaborg dies in Lafayette, California, age 86   19
2001      Australian cricketer Donald George Bradman, the greatest Test batsman of all time, dies, age 92   17
2001      American poet Archie Randolph Ammons dies in Ithaca, New York, age 75   17
2001      Canadian mystery novelist Laurali Rose "L.R." Wright dies, age 61   17
2003      Russian Lunokhod designer Alexander Leonovich Kemurdzhian dies in Saint Petersburg, age 81   15
2004      British-born Canadian inventor of the "Walkie-Talkie" Donald Lewes Hings dies in British Columbia, age 96   14
2005      British lawyer and the founder of the human rights group Amnesty International (AI) Peter Benenson dies in Oxford, age 83   13
2009      American science fiction author Philip José Farmer dies, age 91   9
2013      Italian photographer and designer Willy Rizzo dies in Paris, age 84   5
2015      American ichthyologist and a pioneer in the field of scuba-diving for research purposes Eugenie Clark dies, age 92   3
2017      American actor and director William "Bill" Paxton dies in Los Angeles, age 61   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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