This Day in History

May 25


240BC  perihelion passage of the earliest record of Halley's Comet   2256
986      Persian astronomer Abd al-Rahman al-Sufi dies in Shiraz, Iran, age 83   1031
1085      Alfonso VI of Castile captures Toledo, Spain from the Moors   932
1521      Diet of Worms ends when Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor, issues the Edict of Worms, declaring Martin Luther an outlaw   496
1555      Dutch mathematician and cartographer Gemma Frisius dies, age 46   462
1660      Charles II lands at Dover at the invitation of the Convention Parliament—end of the Commonwealth and beginning of the Restoration   357
1787      Constitution Convention delegates convene in Philadelphia   230
1878      Gilbert and Sullivan's H.M.S. Pinafore opens in London   139
1882      Charles Joseph "Curry" Foley of the Buffalo Bisons becames the first major league player ever to hit for the cycle   135
1935      English composer Gustav Theodore Holst dies in London, age 69   82
1935      Jessie Owens sets or ties four world records in a space of 45 minutes at the Big Ten Track and Field Championships   82
1939      English astronomer and Astronomer Royal Frank Watson Dyson dies, age 71   78
1940      Crypt of Civilization at Oglethorpe University in Atlanta is sealed to be opened in 8113AD   77
1953      at the Nevada Test Site, the U.S. conducts its first and only nuclear artillery test—Upshot-Knothole Grable test   64
1953      first public television station in the U.S. officially begins broadcasting as KUHT from the campus of the University of Houston   64
1955      first ascent of Kangchenjunga, third highest peak in the world, by English climbers George Band and Joe Brown   62
1961      president John F. Kennedy initiates project to put a 'man on the moon' before the end of decade   56
1965      Arno Penzias and Robert Wilson discover cosmic background radiation   52
1968      Gateway Arch in St. Louis, Missouri, dedicated   49
1973      first Skylab crew launched to repair and occupy the laboratory for 28 days   44
1977      'Star Wars' released   40
1979      six-year old Etan Patz goes missing—first missing child pictured on a milk carton   38
2001      American Erik Weihenmayer becomes the first blind person to reach the summit of Mount Everest   16
2001      first annual Towel Day tribute to the author Douglas Adams   16
2003      American writer Sloan Wilson dies in Norwalk, Connecticut, age 83   14
2006      first Geek Pride Day is held in Spain—date chosen to commemorate the release of Star Wars   11
2008      Phoenix lands in the north polar region of Mars   9
2010      Mexican painter, artist and cartoonist Gabriel Bernal Vargas dies in Mexico City, age 95   7
2010      Emily Howell releases her first album of original classical music From Darkness, Light—Emily is a computer program   7
2011      last Oprah Winfrey Show airs after a 25-year daily run   6
2012      Dragon C2 developed by SpaceX becomes the first privately developed spacecraft to berth with the International Space Station   5
2014      American photographer and model Linnea Eleanor "Bunny" Yeager dies in North Miami, Florida, age 85   3
2014      Landon Donovan achieves MLS all-time goal record with 136   3
2014      Malavath Purna from India becomes the youngest girl to summit Mount Everest—age 13 years 11 months 15 days   3
2015      American photojournalist Mary Ellen Mark dies, in New York City, age 75   2

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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