Today in History
Today is Thursday, Aug. 25, the 237th day of 2022. There are 128 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On Aug. 25, 2018, Sen. John McCain of Arizona, who had spent years as a prisoner of war in Vietnam before a 35-year political career that took him to the Republican presidential nomination, died at the age of 81 after battling brain cancer for more than a year.
On this date:
In 1718, hundreds of French colonists arrived in Louisiana, with some settling in present-day New Orleans.
In 1875, Capt. Matthew Webb became the first person to swim across the English Channel, getting from Dover, England, to Calais (ka-LAY’), France, in 22 hours.
In 1928, an expedition led by Richard E. Byrd set sail from Hoboken, N.J., on its journey to Antarctica.
In 1944, during World War II, Paris was liberated by Allied forces after four years of Nazi occupation.
In 1958, the game show “Concentration” premiered on NBC-TV.
In 1980, the Broadway musical “42nd Street” opened. (Producer David Merrick stunned the cast and audience during the curtain call by announcing that the show’s director, Gower Champion, had died earlier that day.)
In 1981, the U.S. spacecraft Voyager 2 came within 63,000 miles of Saturn’s cloud cover, sending back pictures of and data about the ringed planet.
In 1985, Samantha Smith, 13, the schoolgirl whose letter to Yuri V. Andropov resulted in her famous peace tour of the Soviet Union, died with her father in an airliner crash in Auburn, Maine, that also killed four other passengers and two crew members.
In 2001, R&B singer Aaliyah (ah-LEE’-yah) was killed with eight others in a plane crash in the Bahamas; she was 22.
In 2009, Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, the liberal lion of the U.S. Senate, died at age 77 in Hyannis Port, Massachusetts, after a battle with a brain tumor.
In 2014, a funeral was held in St. Louis for Michael Brown, the Black 18-year-old who was shot to death by a police officer in suburban Ferguson.
In 2020, two people were shot to death and a third was wounded as 17-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse opened fire with an AR-15-style rifle during a third night of protests in Kenosha, Wisconsin, over the police shooting of a Black man, Jacob Blake. (Rittenhouse, who was taken into custody in Illinois the next day, said he was defending himself after the three men attacked him as he tried to protect businesses from protesters; he was acquitted on all charges, including homicide.)
Ten years ago: Neil Armstrong, 82, who commanded the historic Apollo 11 lunar landing and was the first man to set foot on the moon in July 1969, died in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Five years ago: Hurricane Harvey, the fiercest hurricane to hit the U.S. in more than a decade, made landfall near Corpus Christi, Texas, with 130 mph sustained winds; the storm would deliver five days of rain totaling close to 52 inches, the heaviest tropical downpour that had ever been recorded in the continental U.S. The hurricane left at least 68 people dead and caused an estimated $125 billion in damage in Texas. President Donald Trump pardoned former Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio, who had been convicted of a misdemeanor contempt-of-court charge for defying a judge’s orders that he stop conducting immigration patrols; the 85-year-old retired lawman had faced the prospect of jail time at his sentencing in October.
One year ago: Secretary of State Antony Blinken said about 4,500 Americans had been evacuated so far from Afghanistan; officials believed there were about 6,000 Americans wanting to leave when the U.S. airlift began in mid-August. The U.S. Embassy in Kabul issued a security alert warning American citizens to stay away from three specific gates at the airport in Kabul. (There would be a deadly suicide bomb attack at the airport the following day.) Texas Gov. Greg Abbott issued an executive order banning any state or local mandates requiring people to be vaccinated against COVID-19; the move came as Texas reported the most COVID-19 patients in its hospitals since the pandemic began. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said in a memo that military troops must immediately start getting the COVID-19 vaccine. A man who was angered by state-ordered coronavirus restrictions was sentenced to just over six years in prison for planning to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer; Ty Garbin was among six men charged in federal court, but was the first to plead guilty.
Today’s Birthdays: Actor Tom Skerritt is 89. Jazz musician Wayne Shorter is 89. Movie director Hugh Hudson is 86. Author Frederick Forsyth is 84. Movie director John Badham is 83. Filmmaker Marshall Brickman is 83. R&B singer Walter Williams (The O’Jays) is 79. Actor Anthony Heald is 78. Rock singer-actor Gene Simmons is 73. Actor John Savage is 73. Author Martin Amis (AY’-mihs) is 73. Country singer-musician Henry Paul (Outlaws; Blackhawk) is 73. Rock singer Rob Halford is 71. Rock musician Geoff Downes (Asia) is 70. Rock singer Elvis Costello is 68. Movie director Tim Burton is 64. Actor Christian LeBlanc is 64. Actor Ashley Crow is 62. Actor Ally Walker is 61. Country singer Cyrus (AKA Billy Ray Cyrus) is 61. Actor Joanne Whalley is 61. Rock musician Vivian Campbell (Def Leppard) is 60. Actor Blair Underwood is 58. Actor Robert Maschio is 56. Rap DJ Terminator X (Public Enemy) is 56. Alternative country singer Jeff Tweedy (Wilco) is 55. Actor David Alan Basche (BAYSH) is 54. Television chef Rachael Ray is 54. Actor Cameron Mathison is 53. Country singer Jo Dee Messina is 52. Model Claudia Schiffer is 52. Country singer Brice Long is 51. Actor Nathan Page is 51. Actor-writer-director Ben Falcone is 49. Actor Eric Millegan is 48. Actor Alexander Skarsgard is 46. Actor Jonathan Togo is 45. Actor Kel Mitchell is 44. Actor Rachel Bilson is 41. Actor Blake Lively is 35. Actor Josh Flitter is 28.
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