Today’s Highlights in History:
On April 25, 1507, a world map produced by German cartographer Martin Waldseemueller contained the first recorded use of the term “America,” in honor of Italian navigator Amerigo Vespucci (veh-SPOO’-chee).
On this date:
In 1859, ground was broken for the Suez Canal.
In 1862, during the Civil War, a Union fleet commanded by Flag Officer David G. Farragut captured the city of New Orleans.
In 1898, the United States Congress declared war on Spain; the 10-week conflict resulted in an American victory.
In 1915, during World War I, Allied soldiers invaded the Gallipoli (guh-LIH’-puh-lee) Peninsula in an unsuccessful attempt to take the Ottoman Empire out of the war.
In 1917, legendary jazz singer Ella Fitzgerald was born in Newport News, Virginia.
In 1944, the United Negro College Fund was founded.
In 1945, during World War II, U.S. and Soviet forces linked up on the Elbe (EL’-beh) River, a meeting that dramatized the collapse of Nazi Germany’s defenses. Delegates from some 50 countries gathered in San Francisco to organize the United Nations.
In 1959, the St. Lawrence Seaway opened to shipping.
In 1990, the Hubble Space Telescope was deployed in orbit from the space shuttle Discovery. (It was later discovered that the telescope’s primary mirror was flawed, requiring the installation of corrective components to achieve optimal focus.)
In 1992, Islamic forces in Afghanistan took control of most of the capital of Kabul following the collapse of the Communist government.
In 2002, Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes of the Grammy-winning trio TLC died in an SUV crash in Honduras; she was 30.
In 2019, former Vice President Joe Biden entered the Democratic presidential race, declaring the fight against Donald Trump to be a “battle for the soul of this nation.”
Ten years ago: President Bashar Assad of Syria sent the military into the southern city of Daraa, where an anti-government uprising had begun the previous month.
Five years ago: The city of Cleveland reached a $6 million settlement in a lawsuit over the death of Tamir Rice, a 12-year-old Black boy shot by a white police officer while playing with a pellet gun outside a recreation center. A panel of the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan ruled 2-to-1 that New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady had to serve a four-game “Deflategate” suspension imposed by the NFL, overturning a lower judge and siding with the league in a battle with the players union. (Brady ended up serving the suspension.)
One year ago: As the global death toll from the coronavirus surpassed 200,000, countries took cautious steps toward easing lockdowns. The U.K. became the fifth country in the world to report 20,000 virus-related deaths.
Today’s Birthdays: Actor Al Pacino is 81. Ballroom dance judge Len Goodman (TV: “Dancing with the Stars”) is 77. Rock musician Stu Cook (Creedence Clearwater Revival) is 76. Singer Bjorn Ulvaeus (ABBA) is 76. Actor Talia Shire is 76. Actor Jeffrey DeMunn is 74. Rock musician Steve Ferrone (Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers) is 71. Country singer-songwriter Rob Crosby is 67. Actor Hank Azaria is 57.
Rock singer Andy Bell (Erasure) is 57. Rock musician Eric Avery is 56. Country musician Rory Feek (Joey + Rory) is 56. TV personality Jane Clayson is 54. Actor Renee Zellweger is 52. Actor Gina Torres is 52. Actor Jason Lee is 51. Actor Jason Wiles is 51. Actor Emily Bergl is 46. Actor Jonathan Angel is 44. Actor Marguerite Moreau is 44. Singer Jacob Underwood is 41. Actor Melonie Diaz is 37. Actor Sara Paxton is 33. Actor/producer Allisyn Snyder is 25. Actor Jayden Rey is 12.