This Day in History

April 25


404BC  Spartan forces led by Lysander defeat Athens bringing the Peloponnesian War to an end   2420
1507      Martin Waldseemüller produces a globe and map of the Earth being the first to bear the name 'America'   510
1607      Dutch fleet under admiral Jacob van Heemskerk deals the Spanish navy a major defeat in the Battle of Gibraltar   410
1672      reflecting telescope design attributed to Laurent Cassegrain is published —now called the Cassegrain reflector   345
1690      Flemish artist David Teniers the Younger dies in Brussels, age 79   327
1707      Spanish-French army defeats forces of England, Portugal, and Dutch in the Battle of Almansa in Spain   310
1744      Swedish astronomer Anders Celsius dies in Uppsala, Sweden, age 42   273
1782      Anne Bonney is buried after dying a natural death, age 80, 60 years after being captured as a pirate companion to Calico Jack   235
1792      highwayman Nicolas Jacques Pelletier is first person to executed by the newly invented guillotine   225
1792      La Marseillaise is composed by Claude Joseph Rouget de Lisle—adopted as French national anthem in 1795   225
1800      English poet William Cowper dies, age 68   217
1840      French mathematician Siméon Poisson dies, age 58   177
1846      Thornton Affair—open conflict begins over the disputed border of Texas, triggering the Mexican-American War   171
1848      Irish astronomer Andrew Graham discovers Metis, 9th known asteroid   169
1849      birth of German mathematician Christian Felix Klein   168
1859      British and French engineers begin construction on the Suez Canal   158
1874      Guglielmo Marconi, inventor, born   143
1876      Chicago Cubs (as White Stockings) play their first game—beat Louisville 4-0   141
1878      English novelist Anna Mary Sewell dies in Norfolk, England, age 58   139
1898      U.S. declares war on Spain to initiate the Spanish-American War   119
1900      physicist Wolfgang Pauli born   117
1901      New York State requires first automobile license plates   116
1915      Allied forces land on the Ottoman held Gallipoli Peninsula in Turkey   102
1916      first Anzac Day observed—national day of remembrance in Australia and New Zealand for those who served and died in all wars   101
1953      Nature publishes paper by James Watson and Francis Crick describing the double helix nature of DNA   64
1960      USS Triton completes first submerged circumnavigation of the earth   57
1990      Violeta Chamorro takes office as the President of Nicaragua—first woman to hold the position   27
2000      French mathematician Lucien Marie Le Cam dies in Berkeley, California, age 75   17
2002      British-South African entrepreneur Mark Richard Shuttleworth becomes the second space tourist with launch of Soyuz TM-34   15
2003      Human Genome Project announces completion of the mapping of the human genome   14
2005      final section of the Obelisk of Axum is returned to Ethiopia after being stolen by the invading Italian army in 1937   12
2014      German Jewish writer and journalist Stefanie Zweig dies in Frankfurt, Germany, age 81   3
2015      7.8 earthquake centered near Katmandu, Nepal kills over 9000 and injures more than 23,000   2
2016      French satellite Microscope to test General Relativity is launched from French Guiana using a Soyuz   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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