Today’s Highlight in History:
On July 25, 1866, Ulysses S. Grant was named General of the Army of the United States, the first officer to hold the rank.
On this date:
In 1814, the Battle of Lundy’s Lane, one of the bloodiest battles of the War of 1812, took place in present-day Niagara Falls, Ontario, with no clear victor.
In 1898, the United States invaded Puerto Rico during the Spanish-American War.
In 1943, Benito Mussolini was dismissed as premier of Italy by King Victor Emmanuel III, and placed under arrest. (However, Mussolini was later rescued by the Nazis, and re-asserted his authority.)
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 Italian liner SS Andrea Doria collided with the Swedish passenger ship Stockholm off the New England coast late at night and began sinking; 51 people — 46 from the Andrea Doria, five from the Stockholm — were killed. (The Andrea Doria capsized and sank the following morning.)
In 1960, a Woolworth’s store in Greensboro, North Carolina, that had been the scene of a sit-in protest against its whites-only lunch counter dropped its segregation policy.
In 1972, the notorious Tuskegee syphilis experiment came to light as The Associated Press reported that for the previous four decades, the U.S. Public Health Service, in conjunction with the Tuskegee Institute in Alabama, had been allowing poor, rural Black male patients with syphilis to go without treatment, even allowing them to die, as a way of studying the disease.
In 1985, a spokeswoman for Rock Hudson confirmed that the actor, hospitalized in Paris, was suffering from AIDS. (Hudson died in October 1985.)
In 1994, Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin (YIT’-sahk rah-BEEN’) and Jordan’s King Hussein (hoo-SAYN’) signed a declaration at the White House ending their countries’ 46-year-old formal state of war.
In 2000, a New York-bound Air France Concorde crashed outside Paris shortly after takeoff, killing all 109 people on board and four people on the ground; it was the first-ever crash of the supersonic jet.
In 2002, Zacarias Moussaoui (zak-uh-REE’-uhs moo-SOW’-ee) declared he was guilty of conspiracy in the September 11 attacks, then dramatically withdrew his plea at his arraignment in Alexandria, Va.
Ten years ago: The online whistleblower Wikileaks posted some 90,000 leaked U.S. military records that amounted to a blow-by-blow account of the Afghanistan war, including unreported incidents of Afghan civilian killings as well as covert operations against Taliban figures. Alberto Contador won the Tour de France for the third time in four years. Erich Steidtmann, a former Nazi SS officer suspected of involvement in World War II massacres but never convicted, died in Hannover, Germany, at age 95.
Five years ago: President Barack Obama, visiting Kenya, mixed blunt messages on gay rights, corruption and counterterrorism with warm reflections on his family ties during a news conference with Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta in Nairobi. First lady Michelle Obama opened the Special Olympics at a star-studded ceremony in Los Angeles. Cole Hamels became the first pitcher to throw a no-hitter against the Chicago Cubs in 50 years while leading the Philadelphia Phillies to a 5-0 win.
One year ago: President Donald Trump had a second phone call with the new Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, during which he solicited Zelenskiy’s help in gathering potentially damaging information about former Vice President Joe Biden; that night, a staff member at the White House Office of Management and Budget signed a document that officially put military aid for Ukraine on hold. The Justice Department announced that it would resume executing death row prisoners for the first time in nearly two decades. Four major automakers and the state of California announced a deal to toughen standards for gas mileage and greenhouse gas emissions; the agreement bypassed the Trump administration’s push to relax mileage standards. A Swedish prosecutor charged rapper A$AP Rocky with assault over a fight in Stockholm; President Donald Trump responded by demanding that Sweden “Treat Americans fairly!” (The rapper and his bodyguards were convicted but received conditional sentences sparing them prison time unless they committed similar offenses in the future.)
Today’s Birthdays: Folk-pop singer-musician Bruce Woodley (The Seekers) is 78. Rock musician Jim McCarty (The Yardbirds) is 77. Rock musician Verdine White (Earth, Wind & Fire) is 69. Singer-musician Jem Finer (The Pogues) is 65. Model-actress Iman is 65. Cartoonist Ray Billingsley (“Curtis”) is 63.
Rock musician Thurston Moore (Sonic Youth) is 62. Celebrity chef/TV personality Geoffrey Zakarian is 61. Actress-singer Bobbie Eakes is 59. Actress Katherine Kelly Lang is 59. Actress Illeana Douglas is 55. Country singer Marty Brown is 55. Actor Matt LeBlanc is 53. Actress Wendy Raquel Robinson is 53. Rock musician Paavo Lotjonen (PAH’-woh LAHT’-joh-nehn) (Apocalyptica) is 52. Actor D.B. Woodside is 51. Actress Miriam Shor is 49. Actor David Denman is 47. Actor Jay R. Ferguson is 46. Actor James Lafferty is 35. Actress Shantel VanSanten is 35. Actor Michael Welch is 33. Actress Linsey (cq) Godfrey is 32. Classical singer Faryl Smith is 25. Actor Mason Cook is 20. Actress Meg Donnelly (TV: “American Housewife”) is 19. Actor Pierce Gagnon is 15.