On This Day … 25 July


  • 306 – Constantine I is proclaimed Roman emperor by his troops.
  • 315 – The Arch of Constantine is completed near the Colosseum in Rome to commemorate Constantine I’s victory over Maxentius at the Milvian Bridge.
  • 677 – Climax of the Siege of Thessalonica by the Slavs in a three-day assault on the city walls.
  • 864 – The Edict of Pistres of Charles the Bald orders defensive measures against the Vikings.
  • 1139 – Battle of Ourique: The Almoravids, led by Ali ibn Yusuf, are defeated by Prince Afonso Henriques who is proclaimed King of Portugal.
  • 1261 – The city of Constantinople is recaptured by Nicaean forces under the command of Alexios Strategopoulos, re-establishing the Byzantine Empire.
  • 1278 – The naval Battle of Algeciras takes place in the context of the Spanish Reconquista resulting in a victory for the Emirate of Granada and the Maranid Dynasty over the Kingdom of Castile.
  • 1467 – The Battle of Molinella: The first battle in Italy in which firearms are used extensively.
  • 1536 – Sebastián de Belalcázar on his search of El Dorado founds the city of Santiago de Cali.
  • 1538 – The city of Guayaquil is founded by the Spanish Conquistador Francisco de Orellana and given the name Muy Noble y Muy Leal Ciudad de Santiago de Guayaquil.
  • 1567 – Don Diego de Losada founds the city of Santiago de Leon de Caracas, modern-day Caracas, the capital city of Venezuela.
  • 1603 – James VI of Scotland is crowned king of England (James I of England), bringing the Kingdom of England and Kingdom of Scotland into personal union. Political union would occur in 1707.
  • 1609 – The English ship Sea Venture, en route to Virginia, is deliberately driven ashore during a storm at Bermuda to prevent its sinking; the survivors go on to found a new colony there.
  • 1693 – Ignacio de Maya founds the Real Santiago de las Sabinas, now known as Sabinas Hidalgo, Nuevo León, Mexico.
  • 1722 – Dummer’s War begins along the Maine-Massachusetts border.
  • 1755 – British governor Charles Lawrence and the Nova Scotia Council order the deportation of the Acadians.
  • 1759 – French and Indian War: In Western New York, British forces capture Fort Niagara from the French, who subsequently abandon Fort Rouillé.
  • 1783 – American Revolutionary War: The war’s last action, the Siege of Cuddalore, is ended by a preliminary peace agreement.
  • 1792 – The Brunswick Manifesto is issued to the population of Paris promising vengeance if the French royal family is harmed.
  • 1797 – Horatio Nelson loses more than 300 men and his right arm during the failed conquest attempt of Tenerife (Spain).
  • 1799 – At Abu Qir in Egypt, Napoleon I of France defeats 10,000 Ottomans under Mustafa Pasha.
  • 1814 – War of 1812: An American attack on Canada is repulsed.
  • 1824 – Costa Rica annexes Guanacaste from Nicaragua.
  • 1837 – The first commercial use of an electrical telegraph is successfully demonstrated in London by William Cooke and Charles Wheatstone.
  • 1861 – American Civil War: The United States Congress passes the Crittenden–Johnson Resolution, stating that the war is being fought to preserve the Union and not to end slavery.
  • 1866 – The United States Congress passes legislation authorising the rank of General of the Army. Lieutenant General Ulysses S. Grant becomes the first to be promoted to this rank.
  • 1869 – The Japanese daimyōs begin returning their land holdings to the emperor as part of the Meiji Restoration reforms. (Traditional Japanese Date: 17 June 1869).
  • 1894 – The First Sino-Japanese War begins when the Japanese fire upon a Chinese warship.
  • 1898 – In the Puerto Rican Campaign, the United States seizes Puerto Rico from Spain.
  • 1909 – Louis Blériot makes the first flight across the English Channel in a heavier-than-air machine from Calais to Dover, England, United Kingdom in 37 minutes.
  • 1915 – RFC Captain Lanoe Hawker becomes the first British pursuit aviator to earn the Victoria Cross.
  • 1934 – The Nazis assassinate Austrian Chancellor Engelbert Dollfuss in a failed coup attempt.
  • 1940 – General Henri Guisan orders the Swiss Army to resist German invasion and makes surrender illegal.
  • 1942 – The Norwegian Manifesto calls for nonviolent resistance to the German occupation.
  • 1943 – World War II: Benito Mussolini is forced out of office by the Grand Council of Fascism and is replaced by Pietro Badoglio.
  • 1944 – World War II: Operation Spring is one of the bloodiest days for the First Canadian Army during the war.
  • 1946 – Nuclear weapons testing: Operation Crossroads: An atomic bomb is detonated underwater in the lagoon of Bikini Atoll.
  • 1957 – The Republic of Tunisia is proclaimed, under President Habib Bourguiba.
  • 1961 – Cold War: In a speech John F. Kennedy emphasises that any attack on Berlin is an attack on NATO.
  • 1969 – Vietnam War: US President Richard Nixon declares the Nixon Doctrine, stating that the United States now expects its Asian allies to take care of their own military defence. This is the start of the “Vietnamisation” of the war.
  • 1979 – Another section of the Sinai Peninsula is peacefully returned by Israel to Egypt.
  • 1993 – Israel launches a massive attack against Lebanon in what the Israelis call Operation Accountability, and the Lebanese call the Seven-Day War.
  • 1994 – Israel and Jordan sign the Washington Declaration, that formally ends the state of war that had existed between the nations since 1948.
  • 1996 – In a military coup in Burundi, Pierre Buyoya deposes Sylvestre Ntibantunganya.
  • 2010 – WikiLeaks publishes classified documents about the War in Afghanistan, one of the largest leaks in US military history.
  • 2018 – As-Suwayda attacks: Coordinated attacks occur in Syria.
  • Earliest day on which Navy Day can fall, while July 31 is the latest; celebrated on last Sunday in July (Russia).

People (Births)

  • 1562 – Katō Kiyomasa, Japanese warlord (d. 1611).
  • 1658 – Archibald Campbell, 1st Duke of Argyll, Scottish general (d. 1703).
  • 1750 – Henry Knox, American general and politician, 1st United States Secretary of War (d. 1806).
  • 1753 – Santiago de Liniers, 1st Count of Buenos Aires, French-Spanish captain and politician, 10th Viceroy of the Viceroyalty of the Río de la Plata (d. 1810).
  • 1839 – Francis Garnier, French captain and explorer (d. 1873).
  • 1848 – Arthur Balfour, Scottish-English lieutenant and politician, 33rd Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (d. 1930).
  • 1857 – Frank J. Sprague, American naval officer and inventor (d. 1934).
  • 1882 – George S. Rentz, American commander (d. 1942).
  • 1915 – Joseph P. Kennedy Jr., American lieutenant and pilot (d. 1944).
  • 1921 – Adolph Herseth, American soldier and trumpet player (d. 2013).
  • 1932 – Paul J. Weitz, American captain, pilot, and astronaut (d. 2017).

People (Deaths)

  • 1643 – Robert Pierrepont, 1st Earl of Kingston-upon-Hull, English general and politician (b. 1584).
  • 1790 – William Livingston, American soldier and politician, 1st Governor of New Jersey (b. 1723).
  • 1865 – James Barry, English soldier and surgeon (b. 1799).
  • 2009 – Harry Patch, English soldier (b. 1898).

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