On This Day in 25 July


  • 6 – 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.
  • 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.
  • 1722 – Dummer’s War begins along the Maine-Massachusetts border.
  • 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 – Napoleon Bonaparte defeats a numerically superior Ottoman army under Mustafa Pasha at the Battle of Abukir.
  • 1814 – War of 1812: An American attack on Canada is repulsed.
  • 1824 – Costa Rica annexes Guanacaste from Nicaragua.
  • 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 – Spanish-American War: The American invasion of Spanish-held Puerto Rico begins, as United States Army troops under General Nelson A. Miles land and secure the port at Guánica.
  • 1915 – World War I: Royal Flying Corps Captain Lanoe Hawker becomes the first British pursuit aviator to earn the Victoria Cross.
  • 1940 – World War II: General Henri Guisan orders the Swiss Army to resist German invasion and makes surrender illegal.
  • 1942 – World War II: 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 – The Crossroads Baker device is the first underwater nuclear weapon test.
  • 1961 – Cold War: In a speech John F. Kennedy emphasizes 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 – In accord with the Egypt-Israel Peace Treaty, Israel begins its withdrawal from the Sinai Peninsula.
  • 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.

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).
  • 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).
  • 1894 – Gavrilo Princip, Bosnian Serb revolutionary (d. 1918).
  • 1915 – Joseph P. Kennedy Jr., American lieutenant and pilot (d. 1944).
  • 1921 – Adolph Herseth, American soldier and trumpet player (d. 2013).

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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