This Day in History: Feb. 25

On this day, Feb. 25 …

1964: Muhammad Ali (then known as Cassius Clay) becomes world heavyweight boxing champion as he defeats Sonny Liston in Miami Beach, Fla.


Also on this day:

  • 1570: England’s Queen Elizabeth I is excommunicated by Pope Pius V, who accuses the monarch of heresy.
  • 1793: President George Washington holds the first cabinet meeting on record at his Mount Vernon home; Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson, Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton, Secretary of War Henry Knox and Attorney General Edmund Randolph all attend.
  • 1836: Samuel Colt patents his revolver.
  • 1862: Nashville, Tenn., becomes the first Confederate state capital to be occupied by the North during the Civil War.
  • 1901: United States Steel Corp. is incorporated by J.P. Morgan.
  • 1913: The 16th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, giving Congress the power to levy and collect income taxes, is declared in effect by Secretary of State Philander Chase Knox.
  • 1919: Oregon becomes the first state to tax gasoline, at 1 cent per gallon.
  • 1922: French serial killer Henri Landru, convicted of murdering 10 women and the son of one of them, is executed in Versailles.
  • 1983: Playwright Tennessee Williams, 71, is found dead in his New York hotel suite.
  • 1986: President Ferdinand Marcos flees the Philippines after 20 years of rule in the wake of a tainted election; Corazon Aquino assumes the presidency.
  • 1991: During the Persian Gulf War, 28 Americans are killed when an Iraqi Scud missile hits a U.S. barracks in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia.
  • 1994: At the Winter Olympics in Norway, Oksana Baiul of Ukraine wins the gold medal in ladies’ figure skating while Nancy Kerrigan wins the silver and Chen Lu of China the bronze; Tonya Harding comes in eighth place
  • 2014: In a blunt warning to Afghan President Hamid Karzai, President Barack Obama threatens to withdraw all U.S. troops from Afghanistan by the end of 2014 if a crucial security pact isn’t signed. (U.S. and Afghan officials would sign the pact that following September.)
  • 2014: Jim Lange, the first host of “The Dating Game,” dies in Mill Valley, Calif. at age 81.
  • 2018: The board of directors of The Weinstein Co., co-founded by Harvey Weinstein, says the company would likely file for bankruptcy after last-ditch talks to sell its assets collapse. (A private equity firm would emerge that following May as the winning bidder for the company.)