On This Day … 25 April

Events

  • 404 BC – Admiral Lysander and King Pausanias of Sparta blockade Athens and bring the Peloponnesian War to a successful conclusion.
  • 775 – The Battle of Bagrevand puts an end to an Armenian rebellion against the Abbasid Caliphate.
    • Muslim control over Transcaucasia is solidified and its Islamisation begins, while several major Armenian nakharar families lose power and their remnants flee to the Byzantine Empire.
  • 1134 – The name Zagreb was mentioned for the first time in the Felician Charter relating to the establishment of the Zagreb Bishopric around 1094.
  • 1607 – Eighty Years’ War: The Dutch fleet destroys the anchored Spanish fleet at Gibraltar.
  • 1644 – The Chongzhen Emperor, the last Emperor of Ming dynasty China, commits suicide during a peasant rebellion led by Li Zicheng.
  • 1707 – A coalition of Britain, the Netherlands and Portugal is defeated by a Franco-Spanish army at Almansa (Spain) in the War of the Spanish Succession.
  • 1792 – “La Marseillaise” (the French national anthem) is composed by Claude Joseph Rouget de Lisle.
  • 1804 – The western Georgian kingdom of Imereti accepts the suzerainty of the Russian Empire.
  • 1829 – Charles Fremantle arrives in HMS Challenger off the coast of modern-day Western Australia prior to declaring the Swan River Colony for the United Kingdom.
  • 1846 – Thornton Affair: Open conflict begins over the disputed border of Texas, triggering the Mexican-American War.
  • 1849 – The Governor General of Canada, Lord Elgin, signs the Rebellion Losses Bill, outraging Montreal’s English population and triggering the Montreal Riots.
  • 1859 – British and French engineers break ground for the Suez Canal.
  • 1862 – American Civil War: Forces under US Admiral David Farragut demand the surrender of the Confederate city of New Orleans, Louisiana.
  • 1864 – American Civil War: The Battle of Marks’ Mills.
  • 1882 – French and Vietnamese troops clashed in Tonkin, when Commandant Henri Rivière seized the citadel of Hanoi with a small force of marine infantry.
  • 1898 – Spanish-American War: The United States declares war on Spain.
  • 1901 – New York becomes the first US state to require automobile license plates.
  • 1915 – World War I: The Battle of Gallipoli begins: The invasion of the Turkish Gallipoli Peninsula by British, French, Indian, Newfoundland, Australian and New Zealand troops, begins with landings at Anzac Cove and Cape Helles.
  • 1916 – Anzac Day is commemorated for the first time on the first anniversary of the landing at ANZAC Cove.
    • Anzac Day (Australia, New Zealand).
  • 1920 – At the San Remo conference, the principal Allied Powers of World War I adopt a resolution to determine the allocation of Class “A” League of Nations mandates for administration of the former Ottoman-ruled lands of the Middle East.
  • 1940 – Merkið, the flag of the Faroe Islands is approved by the British occupation government.
  • 1945 – World War II, Elbe Day: United States and Soviet troops meet in Torgau along the River Elbe, cutting the Wehrmacht of Nazi Germany in two.
  • 1945 – Liberation Day (Italy): The Nazi occupation army surrenders and leaves Northern Italy after a general partisan insurrection by the Italian resistance movement; the puppet fascist regime dissolves and Benito Mussolini is captured after trying to escape. This day was set as a public holiday to celebrate the Liberation of Italy.
  • 1945 – United Nations (UN) Conference on International Organisation: Founding negotiations for the United Nations begin in San Francisco.
  • 1945 – The last German troops retreat from Finland’s soil in Lapland, ending the Lapland War. Military acts of Second World War end in Finland.
  • 1951 – Korean War: Assaulting Chinese forces are forced to withdraw after heavy fighting with UN forces, primarily made up of Australian and Canadian troops, at the Battle of Kapyong.
  • 1953 – Francis Crick and James Watson publish “Molecular Structure of Nucleic Acids: A Structure for Deoxyribose Nucleic Acid” describing the double helix structure of DNA.
  • 1954 – The first practical solar cell is publicly demonstrated by Bell Telephone Laboratories.
  • 1960 – The United States Navy submarine USS Triton completes the first submerged circumnavigation of the globe.
  • 1961 – Robert Noyce is granted a patent for an integrated circuit.
  • 1972 – Vietnam War: Nguyen Hue Offensive: The North Vietnamese 320th Division forces 5,000 South Vietnamese troops to retreat and traps about 2,500 others northwest of Kontum.
  • 1974 – Carnation Revolution: A leftist military coup in Portugal overthrows the authoritarian-conservative Estado Novo regime and establishes a democratic government.
  • 1975 – As North Vietnamese forces close in on the South Vietnamese capital Saigon, the Australian Embassy is closed and evacuated, almost ten years to the day since the first Australian troop commitment to South Vietnam.
  • 1982 – Israel completes its withdrawal from the Sinai Peninsula per the Camp David Accords.
  • 1983 – Cold War: American schoolgirl Samantha Smith is invited to visit the Soviet Union by its leader Yuri Andropov after he read her letter in which she expressed fears about nuclear war.
  • 1988 – In Israel, John Demjanjuk is sentenced to death for war crimes committed in World War II.
  • 2005 – The final piece of the Obelisk of Axum is returned to Ethiopia after being stolen by the invading Italian army in 1937.
  • 2007 – Boris Yeltsin’s funeral: The first to be sanctioned by the Russian Orthodox Church for a head of state since the funeral of Emperor Alexander III in 1894.
  • Freedom Day (Portugal).
  • Liberation Day (Italy).
  • Liberation Day (South Georgia).
  • Military Foundation Day (North Korea).
  • Sinai Liberation Day (Egypt).

People (Births)

  • 1599 – Oliver Cromwell, English general and politician, Lord Protector of Great Britain (d. 1658).
  • 1621 – Roger Boyle, 1st Earl of Orrery, English soldier and politician (d. 1679).
  • 1725 – Augustus Keppel, 1st Viscount Keppel, English admiral and politician (d. 1786).
  • 1767 – Nicolas Oudinot, French general (d. 1847).
  • 1874 – Ernest Webb, English-Canadian race walker (d. 1937).
  • 1878 – William Merz, American gymnast and triathlete (d. 1946).
  • 1906 – William J. Brennan Jr., American colonel and Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court (d. 1997).
  • 1910 – Arapeta Awatere, New Zealand interpreter, military leader, politician, and murderer (d. 1976).
  • 1913 – Nikolaos Roussen, Greek captain (d. 1944).
  • 1924 – Ingemar Johansson, Swedish race walker (d. 2009).
  • 1930 – Godfrey Milton-Thompson, English admiral and surgeon (d. 2012).
  • 1946 – Vladimir Zhirinovsky, Russian colonel, lawyer, and politician.
  • 1957 – Theo de Rooij, Dutch cyclist and manager.
  • 1967 – Angel Martino, American swimmer.
  • 1969 – Jon Olsen, American swimmer.
  • 1978 – Matt Walker, English swimmer.
  • 1980 – Alejandro Valverde, Spanish cyclist.
  • 1981 – John McFall, English sprinter.
  • 1984 – Isaac Kiprono Songok, Kenyan runner.
  • 1986 – Thin Seng Hon, Cambodian Paralympic athlete.
  • 1986 – Gwen Jorgensen, American triathlete.
  • 1994 – Omar McLeod, Jamaican hurdler.
  • 1996 – Mack Horton, Australian swimmer.

People (Deaths)

  • 1928 – Pyotr Nikolayevich Wrangel, Russian general (b. 1878).
  • 1941 – Salih Bozok, Turkish commander and politician (b. 1881).
  • 1995 – Lev Shankovsky, Ukrainian military historian (b. 1903).
  • 2003 – Samson Kitur, Kenyan runner (b. 1966).
  • 2014 – William Judson Holloway Jr., American soldier, lawyer, and judge (b. 1923).

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