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1971–Walt Disney World opens in Orlando, Florida. The opening is planned for October when the crowds are smaller. Disney planners wanted everything to move slowly at first, so any problems that sprang up could be fixed with minimal guest inconvenience. The dedication of the park was held on October 25, 1971. Walt Disney World eventually became the world’s largest, man-made tourist attraction.



BC 331–Alexander the Great defeats Darius III of Persia in the Battle of Gaugamela.

208–Roman Emperor, Alexander Severus, is born in Arca Caesarea, Syria Phoenicia Province (present-day Akkar, Lebanon).

366–Pope Damasus I is elected.

686–Emperor Tenmu of Japan is dies.

959–Edgar the Peaceful becomes King of all England.

965–Pope John XIII is elected.

1207–Henry III of England is born at Winchester Castle in Hampshire, England.

1404–Pope Boniface IX dies in Rome, Papal States.

1553–The Coronation of Queen Mary I of England takes place.

1578–John of Austria dies of typhus in Wallonia, Namur, Belgium, at age 31.

1661–Yachting begins in England.

1685–Charles VI, Holy Roman Emperor, is born Karl Franz Joseph Wenceslaus Balthasar Johann Anton Ignatius at Hofburg Palace in Vienna, Austria. He was King of Bohemia (as Charles II), King of Hungary and Croatia (as Charles III), and King of Serbia, Archduke of Austria.

1787–Under Alexander Suvorov, the Russians defeat the Turks at Kinburn.

1791–The first session of the French Legislative Assembly is held.

1795–Belgium is conquered by France.

1800–Spain cedes Louisiana to France via the Treaty of San Ildefonso.

1811–The first steamboat to sail the Mississippi River arrives in New Orleans, Louisiana.

1814–The opening of the Congress of Vienna takes place, with the intention of redrawing Europe's political map, after the defeat of Napoléon the previous spring.

1827–In the Russo-Persian War, the Russian army, under Ivan Paskevich, storms Yerevan, ending a millennium of Muslim domination of Armenia.

1829–South African College is founded in Cape Town, South Africa. It will later separate into the University of Cape Town and the South African College Schools.

1832–Texian political delegates convene at San Felipe de Austin to petition for changes in the governance of Mexican Texas.

1843–The News of the World begins publication in London, England.

1847–Philosopher and theosophist, Annie Besant, is born Annie Wood in Clapham, London, England. She was a prominent British socialist, women's rights activist, writer, orator, and supporter of Irish and Indian self-rule. In 1890, Besant met Helena Blavatsky and over the next few years her interest in theosophy grew. She became a member of the Theosophical Society and a prominent lecturer on the subject. As part of her theosophy-related work, she traveled to India. In 1907, she became President of the Theosophical Society, whose international headquarters were in Adyar, Madras, (Chennai).

1854–The watch company founded in 1850, in Roxbury. England, by Aaron Lufkin Dennison, relocates to Waltham, Massachusetts, to become the Waltham Watch Company, a pioneer in the American system of watch manufacturing.

1856–The Revue de Paris publishes the first installment of Gustave Flaubert's Madame Bovary. The novel's realistic treatment of adultery and suicide prompted obscenity charges to be brought against the author in the following year. He was acquitted, and the novel became a classic of French literature.

1880–John Philip Sousa becomes leader of the United States Marine Band.

1880–The first electric lamp factory is opened by Thomas Edison.

1881–Engineer and aviation pioneer, William (Edward) Boeing, is born in Detroit, Michigan. He founded the Boeing Company.

1884–The first acting school, the Lyceum School of Acting, opens its doors. Only one student shows up the first day, and a mere handful over the next month. Eventually the name is changed to the American Academy of Dramatic Arts.

1890–Yosemite National Park is established by the U.S. Congress.

1891–Stanford University opens in Palo Alto, California.

1896–Politician, Liaquat Ali Khan, is born in Karnal, Punjab, India (present-day Haryana, India). He was the first Prime Minister of Pakistan. He is Pakistan's longest serving Prime Minister, spending 1,524 days in power, a record which has stood for 63 years (since 1951).

1898–The Vienna University of Economics and Business Administration is founded under the name k.u.k. Exportakademie.

1903–The Boston Americans play the Pittsburgh Pirates in the first game of the modern World Series.

1903–Pianist and composer, Vladimir (Samoylovich) Horowitz, is born in Kiev, Russian Empire (present-day capital of the Ukraine). His technique, use of tone color, and the excitement of his playing are considered legendary. He is widely considered one of the greatest pianists of all time. In 1962, Horowitz embarked on a series of acclaimed recordings for Columbia Records. The most famous are his 1965 return concert at Carnegie Hall, and a 1968 recording from his television special, Vladimir Horowitz: a Concert at Carnegie Hall, televised by CBS-TV.

1908–Ford puts the Model T car on the market at a price of $825.

1909–Sam Yorty, Mayor of Los Angeles (1961-1973), is born Samuel William Yorty in Lincoln, Nebraska.

1910–A large bomb destroys The Los Angeles Times building in downtown Los Angeles, California, killing 21 people.

1910–Outlaw, Bonnie (Elizabeth) Parker, is born in Rowena, Texas. Bonnie and Clyde traveled the central United States with their gang during the Great Depression. The gang is believed to have killed at least nine police officers and several civilians. Their reputation was revived in American pop folklore by Arthur Penn's 1967 film Bonnie and Clyde, which starred Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty.

1918–Arab forces under T.E. Lawrence ("Lawrence of Arabia"), capture Damascus.

1919–Princess Charlotte of Prussia dies in Baden-Baden, Germany, at age 59.

1920–Sir Percy Cox lands in Basra to assume his responsibilities as High Commissioner in Iraq.

1920–Actor, Walter (John) Matthau, is born in New York, New York. He appeared in the films Bigger Than Life, A Face in the Crowd, King Creole, Onionhead, Strangers When We Meet, Lonely Are the Brave, Charade, Ensign Pulver, Fail-Safe, Goodbye Charlie, The Fortune Cookie, The Odd Couple, Hello, Dolly!, Cactus Flower, Plaza Suite, Pete ‘n’ Tillie, The Front Page, The Sunshine Boys, California Suite, JFK, and Grumpy Old Men.

1921–Actor, James Whitmore, is born James Allen Whitmore, Jr. in White Plains, New York. He appeared in the films The Asphalt Jungle, The Next Voice You Hear..., The Red Badge of Courage, Kiss Me Kate, Them!, Oklahoma!, The Eddy Duchin Story, Crime in the Streets, The Young Don’t Cry, The Restless Years, Who Was That Lady?, Black Like Me, Planet of the Apes, The Harrad Experiment, Nuts, and The Shawshank Redemption. He was married to actress, Audra Lindley.

1924–Politician, Jimmy Carter, is born James Earl Carter, Jr. in Plains, Georgia. He was a peanut farmer who served two terms as a Georgia State Senator, from 1963 to 1967, and one as the Governor of Georgia, from 1971 to 1975. He was elected President in 1976, defeating incumbent President Gerald Ford. On his second day in office, Carter pardoned all evaders of the Vietnam War drafts.

1924–Pianist, Roger Williams, is born Louis Weertz in Omaha, Nebraska. In 1955, Williams recorded Autumn Leaves, the only piano instrumental to reach #1 on the Billboard popular music chart. It sold over two million copies.

1927–Actor, Tom Bosley, is born Thomas Edward Bosley in Chicago, Illinois. He is best known for the role of Howard Cunningham on the TV series Happy Days. He was seen in dozens of other TV shows throughout his long career. He appeared in the films Love with the Proper Stranger, The World of Henry Orient, Divorce American Style, and Yours, Mine and Ours.

1928–Actor, Laurence Harvey, is born Laruschka Mischa Skikne in Joniskis, Lithuania. In a career that spanned a quarter of a century, Harvey appeared in stage, film, and television productions primarily in England and America. He appeared in the films Romeo and Juliet, I Am a Camera, Room at the Top, Expresso Bongo, The Alamo, BUtterfield 8, Two Loves, Summer and Smoke, Walk on the Wild Side, The Manchurian Candidate, The Running Man, Of Human Bondage, The Outrage, Darling, Life at the Top, A Dandy in Aspic, and The Magic Christian. He was married to actress, Margaret Leighton, and fashion model, Paulene Stone.

1928–Actor, George Peppard (Jr.), is born in Detroit, Michigan. He starred in the TV shows Banacek and The A-Team. He appeared in the films Pork Chop Hill, Home from the Hill, The Subterraneans, Breakfast at Tiffany's, How the West Was Won, The Carpetbaggers, and Rough Night in Jericho. He was married to actress, Elizabeth Ashley.

1928–Politician, Zhu Rongji, is born in Changsha, Hunan, China. He was the fifth Premier of the People's Republic of China.

1930–Actor and singer, Richard (St John) Harris, is born in Limerick, Ireland. As a singer, he had a big hit with the Jimmy Webb song MacArthur Park. He appeared in the films Shake Hands with the Devil, The Wreck of the Mary Deare, The Guns of Navarone, Mutiny on the Bounty, This Sporting Life, Major Dundee, Hawaii, Caprice, Camelot, The Molly Maguires, A Man Called Horse, Juggernaut, Robin and Marian, The Field, Patriot Games, Unforgiven, Wrestling Ernest Hemingway, Gladiator, and Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone. He was married to actress, Ann Turkel.

1931–The George Washington Bridge opens, linking New Jersey and New York.

1932–Blues artist, Albert Collins, is born Albert Gene Drewery in Leona, Texas. He is known for the songs Freeze and Don't Lose Your Cool, Man. His long association with the Fender Telecaster guitar led to the title "The Master of the Telecaster."

1931–Spain adopts women's suffrage.

1933–Esquire magazine begins publication. Fashioned as a men's magazine, its first issue contains an article by Ernest Hemingway and other adult fiction and art, making it an instant success.

1935–Actress and singer, Julie Andrews, is born Julia Elizabeth Wells in Walton-on-Thames, Surrey, England. She appeared in the films Mary Poppins, The Americanization of Emily, The Sound of Music, Torn Curtain, Hawaii, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Darling Lili, 10, S.O.B., Victor Victoria, That’s Life!, A Fine Romance, and The Princess Diaries. She was married to director, Blake Edwards.

1936–Francisco Franco is named head of the Nationalist government of Spain.

1937–The city of Handa, Japan, is founded in Aichi Prefecture.

1938–Germany annexes the Sudetenland.

1938–Fashion designer, Mary (Josephine) McFadden, is born in New York, New York. In 1973, she presented her first designs, which were based on African and Oriental fabrics. She formed her own company in 1976, and gained a reputation as a designer of original jackets, coats, and dresses based on peasant designs of the Middle East and Asia.

1938–Actress, Stella Stevens, is born Estelle Caro Eggleston in Yazoo City, Mississippi. She appeared in the films Say One for Me, The Blue Angel, Too Late Blues, Girls! Girls! Girls!, The Courtship of Eddie’s Father, The Nutty Professor, Advance to the Rear, The Silencers, Where Angels Go, Trouble Follows, The Mad Room, The Poseidon Adventure, and The Manitou. Her son is actor, Andrew Stevens.

1939–After a one-month Siege of Warsaw, Poland, hostile Nazi forces enter the city.

1940–The Pennsylvania Turnpike, often considered the first super highway in the United States, opens to traffic.

1942–The USS Grouper torpedoes Lisbon Maru, not knowing she is carrying British POWs from Hong Kong.

1942–Little Golden Books (for children ) begins publication.

1942–Herb Fame, of Peaches & Herb, is born Herbert Feemster in Anacostia, Washington, D.C. The duo had a hit with Reunited.

1943–In World War II, Naples, Italy, falls to Allied soldiers.

1943–Jerry Martini, saxophonist for Sly and the Family Stone, is born in Denver, Colorado.

1945–Singer, Donny (Edward) Hathaway, is born in Chicago, Illinois. His collaborations with Roberta Flack scored high on the charts and won him the Grammy Award for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals for the duet Where Is the Love in 1973.

1946–Nazi leaders are sentenced at Nuremberg trials.

1946–Mensa International is founded in the United Kingdom. It is the largest and oldest high IQ society in the world. It is a non-profit organization, open to people who score at the 98th percentile or higher on a standardized, supervised IQ or other approved intelligence test.

1947–The North American F-86 Sabre flies for the first time.

1947–Game designer, Dave (Lance) Arneson, is born in Hennepin County, Minnesota. He co-created Dungeons & Dragons.

1947–Actor, Stephen (Weaver) Collins, is born in Des Moines, Iowa. He appeared in the films A Woman Scorned: The Betty Broderick Story, Her Final Fury: Betty Broderick The Last Chapter, All the President’s Men, Star Trek: The Motion Picture, Loving Couples, The Big Picture, Stella, The First Wives Club, and Because I Said So.

1947–Martin (Robert) Turner, bass player for Wishbone Ash, is born in Torquay, Devon, England.

1947–Mariska Veres, of Shocking Blue, is born in The Hague, Netherlands. The group’s big hit was Venus.

1948–Cub Koda, guitarist for Brownsville Station, is born Michael Koda in Detroit, Michigan. The group had a bit hit with Smokin’ in the Boy’s Room.

1949–The People's Republic of China is established and declared by Mao Zedong.

1950–Actor, Randy Quaid, is born Randall Rudy Quaid in Houston, Texas. he appeared in the films The Last Picture Show, What’s Up, Doc?, The Last Detail, Paper Moon, Lolly Madonna XXX, The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz, Bound for Glory, The Missouri Breaks, Midnight Express, National Lampoon's Vacation, The Slugger’s Wife, Texasville, Days of Thunder, Independence Day, Last Dance, and Brokeback Mountain. His brother is actor, Dennis Quaid.

1957–B-52 bombers in the Strategic Air Command go on 24-hour alert in case of an attack by the Soviet Union. This was the era of “duck and cover” upon being attacked by an atomic bomb for the Baby Boomer generation, many who were only in grammar school at the time.

1957–The “In God We Trust” is now printed on U.S. paper currency.

1958–The U.S. government establishes NASA.

1959–Journalist and politician, Enrico De Nicola, dies in Torre del Greco, Italy, at age 81. He was the first President of Italy.

1960–Nigeria gains independence from the United Kingdom.

1961–The United States Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) is formed, becoming the country's first centralized military espionage organization.

1961–East and West Cameroon merge to form the Federal Republic of Cameroon.

1962–The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson is broadcast for the first time.

1962–Brian Epstein signs a long-term contract to manage The Beatles through 1977.

1962–Barbra Streisand signs her first recording contract with Columbia.

1962–Actor, Esai (Manuel) Morales, is born in Brooklyn, New York. He appeared in the films Bad Boys, La Bamba, The Principal, Bloodhounds of Broadway, Freejack, My Family, Fast Food Nation, and Atlas Shrugged Part 2.

1964–The Free Speech Movement is launched at the University of California in Berkeley, California.

1964–Japanese Shinkansen ("bullet trains") begin high-speed rail service from Tokyo to Osaka.

1965–General Suharto puts down an apparent coup attempt by the 30 September Movement in Indonesia.

1965–A chart topper: Hang on Sloopy by The McCoys.

1966–West Coast Airlines Flight 956 crashes, killing all 18 people on board, 5.5 miles south of Wemme, Oregon. This accident marks the first loss of a DC-9.

1967–Traffic make their live debut at the Saville Theatre in London, England.

1967–The BBC broadcasts over Radio One for the first time.

1968–The Guyanese government takes over the British Guiana Broadcasting Service (BGBS).

1969–The Concorde breaks the sound barrier.

1970–Jimi Hendrix is buried in his hometown of Seattle, Washington.

1971–The first brain-scan using x-ray computed tomography (CT or CAT scan) is performed at Atkinson Morley Hospital in Wimbledon, London, England.

1971–The album, Imagine, by John Lennon is certified Gold.

1971–Walt Disney World opens in Orlando, Florida. The opening is planned for October when the crowds are smaller. Disney planners wanted everything to move slowly at first, so any problems that sprang up could be fixed with minimal guest inconvenience. The dedication of the park was held on October 25, 1971. Walt Disney World eventually became the world’s largest, man-made tourist attraction.

1975–The Seychelles gain internal self-government and the Ellice Islands split from Gilbert Islands, taking the name, Tuvalu.

1975–Muhammad Ali defeats Joe Frazier in a boxing match in Manila, Philippines.

1975–Al Jackson, Jr., drummer for Booker T. & the M.G.'s, is fatally shot five times in the back by an intruder at his home in Memphis, Tennessee, at age 39.

1978–Tuvalu gains independence from the United Kingdom.

1978–The Voltaic Revolutionary Communist Party is founded.

1979–Pope John Paul II begins his first pastoral visit to the United States.

1979–The MTR, the rapid transit railway system in Hong Kong, opens.

1979–The United States returns sovereignty of the Panama Canal to Panama.

1980–One Trick Pony, a film starring musician, Paul Simon, premiers in New York City.

1981–Actor, director, screenwriter, and producer, Rupert William Anthony Friend, is born in Stonesfield, Oxfordshire, England. His acting career began in 2005, with the role of Billy Downs in The Libertine (for which he won Outstanding New Talent at the 2005 Satellite Awards). He appeared in the films Mrs. Palfrey at the Claremont, Pride and Prejudice, The Young Victoria, and on the Showtime series Homeland.

1982–Helmut Kohl replaces Helmut Schmidt as Chancellor of Germany.

1982–Epcot opens at Walt Disney World near Orlando, Florida.

1982–The Sony CDP-101, the world’s first commercial Compact Disc (CD) player, is released in Japan for 168,000 yen ($730).

1985–The Israeli Air Force bombs Palestine Liberation Organization Headquarters in Tunis.

1987–The Whittier Narrows 5.9 earthquake shakes the San Gabriel Valley in California.

1989–Denmark introduces the world's first legal modern same-sex civil union called "registered partnership."

1992–Cartoon Network begins broadcasting on cable TV.

1994–Palau gains independence from the United Nations (trusteeship administered by the United States of America).

2001–Militants attack the state legislature building in Srinagar, Kashmir, killing 38 people.

2004–Fashion and portrait photographer, Richard Avedon, dies from complications of a cerebral hemorrhage in San Antonio, Texas, at age 81. At the time he was hospitalized, he was shooting an assignment for The New Yorker. He was also working on a new project, "Democracy," which focused on the the 2004 U.S. presidential election primaries.

2004–Bruce Palmer, of Buffalo Springfield, dies of a heart attack in Belleville, Ontario, Canada, at age 58.

2009–The Supreme Court of the U.K. takes over the judicial functions of the House of Lords.

2012–A ferry collision off the coast of Hong Kong, kills 38 people and injures 102 others.

2013–The U.S. Federal Government shuts down non-essential services after it is unable to pass a budget measure.

2013–Historian and author, Tom Clancy, dies of heart trouble in Baltimore, Maryland, at age 66. He is best known for his technically detailed espionage and military science storylines set during and after the Cold War. Seventeen of his novels were bestsellers, and more than 100 million copies of his books are in print. His works include The Hunt for Red October, Patriot Games, Clear and Present Danger, and The Sum of All Fears.

2014–A series of explosions at a gunpowder plant in the village of Gorni Lom, in Northwestern Bulgaria, completely destroys the factory, killing 15 people.

2014–Singer, Lynsey de Paul, dies from a sudden brain hemorrhage in London, England, at age 66. She had chart hits in the U.K. and U.S. in the 1970s, starting with the single Sugar Me. Although never married, at various times de Paul was romantically linked with Ringo Starr, Roy Wood, James Coburn, Sean Connery, Bill Kenwright, Bernie Taupin, Chas Chandler, and Dudley Moore.

2015–A gunman kills nine people at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon.

2015–Heavy rains trigger a major landslide in the village of El Cambray Dos, within Santa Catarina Pinula, killing 280 people.

2016–Oversight of the technical management of the Internet through the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers is transferred from the United States to an international consortium of stakeholders.

2016–Volkswagen agrees to pay its U.S. dealers up to $1.2 billion to compensate them for losses resulting from the company's emissions cheating scandal.

2016–Netflix experiences a massive outage in countries around the globe for around 2.5 hours, starting at 3:00 p.m. EDT, though the streaming service continued to work properly on phones and tablets.

2016–In Colorado, all marijuana edibles sold at dispensaries will be marked with a new "universal symbol" warning buyers that the edibles contain THC, the active ingredient in marijuana. Edible manufacturers will also be banned from using the word "candy" on their packaging. Kid-friendly shapes, like gummy bears and worms, will also be banned.

2016–A man spray-paints "Black lives matter" and "No justice, no peace" on the new Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C. Video spreading on social media showed the man marking the building and walking away.

2016–Houthi forces launch rockets that hit and destroy HSV-2 Swift, a military vessel belonging to the United Arab Emirates Navy, off the coast of Yemen, near the strategic Red Sea port of Mokha.

2016–Volcán de Colima, in Mexico, erupts forcing the evacuation of two nearby villages..


PHOTOS TOP TO BOTTOM: Alexander the Great; yachting in England; The News of the World masthead; the Lyceum Theatre; Bonnie Parker; James Whitmore; Laurence Harvey; Richard Harris; Mary McFadden; Donny Hathaway; Mariska Veres; “In God We Trust” on U.S. paper currency; Esai Morales; Jimi Hendrix's funeral in Seattle, Washington; Pope John Paul II on Life magazine; the Sony CDP-101 CD player; Richard Avedon; Tom Clancy; and the Netflix logo.

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