Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Today in History - July 25

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Today in History - July 25

Article excerpt

Today in History - July 25


Today in History for July 25:

On this date:

In 325, the Council of Nicea closed. Regarded as the first ecumenical council, its 300 attending bishops drafted the Nicene Creed and fixed the formula for Easter Sunday.

In 1593, the Protestant king of France, Henry IV, converted to Roman Catholicism.

In 1787, British navigator Capt. George Dixon named the Queen Charlotte Islands, after the wife of George III.

In 1799, botanist-explorer David Douglas was born in Scotland. The Douglas fir is named after Douglas, who died in 1835.

In 1845, Canadian-born Roman Catholic missionary Francois Blanchet was consecrated bishop of the U.S. Pacific Northwest. He devoted 45 years to building churches, and is remembered today as the Apostle of Oregon.

In 1845, English explorer Sir John Franklin disappeared while on an expedition in the eastern Arctic trying to chart and navigate the Northwest Passage. It was later learned that Franklin's ships were frozen in ice west of King William Island. Franklin died June 11, 1847, and his 105 crew members perished while trekking southward.

In 1847, Liberia, settled in West Africa by freed U.S. slaves, became a republic.

In 1874, "The Maple Leaf Forever," one of Canada's most famous patriotic songs, was said to have been performed for the first time during the laying of the foundation stone for the Christian Baptist Church in Newmarket, Ont. The song's composer, Alexander Muir, conducted a choir of schoolchildren. But the song likely had its first public performance years earlier. An 1871 sheet music edition said it had been "sung with great applause by J.F. Hardy, Esquire, in his popular entertainments."

In 1909, French aviator Louis Bleriot became the first man to fly over the English Channel. His 37-minute flight earned him a prize of $2,500 from the London Daily Mail newspaper.

In 1917, Finance Minister Sir Thomas White introduced, as a war measure only, a proposal to levy income tax on Canadians. Until then, only the provinces had levied personal income tax.

In 1920, the Canadian Marconi Co. made the first transatlantic two-way radio broadcast from Signal Hill, Nfld., to the "SS Victoria."

In 1943, King Victor Emmanuel forced Italian dictator Benito Mussolini to resign during the Second World War. Mussolini, who led the country for 21 years, was arrested, but he was later rescued in a daring raid by German paratroopers in the Abruzzi mountains. Mussolini was recaptured in 1945 by Italian partisans and executed.

In 1944, the 2nd and 3rd Canadian Infantry Divisions suffered around 2,000 casualties in an attack on German forces near Caen in northern France. It was Canada's second-bloodiest day of the Second World War, after the 1942 Dieppe raid.

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

In 1952, Puerto Rico became a self-governing commonwealth of the United States.

In 1956, the transatlantic liners "Andrea Doria" and "Stockholm" collided off the New England coast. A massive rescue mission managed to save all but 51 of the 1,668 passengers.

In 1963, the United States, the Soviet Union and Britain signed a treaty banning nuclear testing in the atmosphere, in space or under water.

In 1969, the Official Languages Act was amended to declare English and French the official languages of Canada.

In 1969, a week after the Chappaquiddick incident that claimed the life of Mary Jo Kopechne, Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.) pleaded guilty to a charge of leaving the scene of an accident. He went on television to call his failure to immediately notify authorities "indefensible."

In 1973, Louis St. Laurent, prime minister of Canada from 1948-57, died at age 91 in Quebec City. He was appointed minister of justice in the government of Mackenzie King and soon established a reputation for probity and ability. …

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