Today is Friday, July 25, the 207th day of 2008. There are 159 days left in the year.
Today's Highlight in History:
On July 25, 1956, the Italian liner Andrea Doria collided with the Swedish passenger ship Stockholm off the New England coast late at night and began sinking; at least 51 people were killed. (The Andrea Doria sank the following day, some 11 hours after the crash.)
On this date:
In 1866, Ulysses S. Grant was named General of the Army of the United States, the first officer to hold the rank.
In 1868, Congress passed an act creating the Wyoming Territory.
In 1943, Benito Mussolini was dismissed as premier of Italy by Victor Emmanuel III, and placed under arrest. (However, Mussolini was later rescued by the Nazis, and re-asserted his authority.)
In 1946, the United States detonated an atomic bomb near Bikini Atoll in the Pacific in the first underwater test of the device.
In 1952, Puerto Rico became a self-governing commonwealth of the United States.
In 1957, Tunisia became a republic.
In 1963, the United States, the Soviet Union and Britain initialed a treaty in Moscow prohibiting the testing of nuclear weapons in the atmosphere, in space or underwater.
In 1978, Louise Joy Brown, the first "test tube baby," was born in Oldham, England; she'd been conceived through the technique of in-vitro fertilization.
In 1994, Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and Jordan's King Hussein signed a declaration at the White House ending their countries' 46-year-old formal state of war.
In 2000, a New York-bound Air France Concorde crashed outside Paris shortly after takeoff, killing all 109 people on board and four people on the ground; it was the first-ever crash of the supersonic jet.
Ten years ago: Two government officials revealed that special prosecutor Kenneth Starr had subpoenaed President Clinton to testify before a federal grand jury about the Monica Lewinsky case. The U.S. Capitol was reopened, a day after a gunman killed two police officers.
Five years ago: President Bush ordered U.S. troops into position off the coast of Liberia to support the arrival of a West African peacekeeping force, as renewed violence in the capital brought despairing pleas for American help. President Bush received Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas at the White House. Movie director John Schlesinger died in Palm Springs, Calif., at age 77.
One year ago: A presidential commission urged broad changes to veterans' care that would boost benefits for family members helping the wounded, establish an easy-to-use Web site for medical records and overhaul the way disability pay was awarded. The bullet-riddled body of one of 23 South Koreans held hostage in Afghanistan by Taliban kidnappers was found; eight other captives were released. Congress Party stalwart Pratibha Patil was sworn in as India's first female president.
Today's Birthdays: Actress Estelle Getty is 85. Actress Barbara Harris is 73. Rock musician Verdine White (Earth, Wind & Fire) is 57. Singer-musician Jem Finer (The Pogues) is 53. Model-actress Iman is 53. Cartoonist Ray Billingsley ("Curtis") is 51. Rock musician Thurston Moore (Sonic Youth) is 50. Actress-singer Bobbie Eakes is 47. Actress Katherine Kelly Lang (TV: "The Bold and the Beautiful") is 47. Actress Illeana Douglas is 43. Country singer Marty Brown is 43. Actor Matt LeBlanc is 41. Actor D.B. Woodside is 39. Actress Miriam Shor is 37. Actor James Lafferty (TV: "One Tree Hill") is 23.
Thought for Today: "The truth is all things seen under the form of eternity." _ George Santayana, Spanish-American philosopher (1863-1952).