Almanac

Today is Friday, July 25, the 206th day of 2014. There are 159 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On July 25, 1994, Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and Jordan’s King Hussein (hoo-SAYN’) signed a declaration at the White House ending their countries’ 46-year-old formal state of war.

On this date:

In 1554, Queen Mary I of England married Philip II, future King of Spain.

In 1814, the Battle of Lundy’s Lane, one of the bloodiest battles of the War of 1812, took place in present-day Niagara Falls, Ontario, with no clear victor.

In 1909, French aviator Louis Bleriot (bleh-ree-OH’) became the first person to fly an airplane across the English Channel, traveling from Calais (kah-LAY’) to Dover in 37 minutes.

In 1934, Austrian Chancellor Engelbert Dollfuss was assassinated by pro-Nazi Austrians in a failed coup attempt.

In 1943, Benito Mussolini was dismissed as premier of Italy by King Victor Emmanuel III, and placed under arrest. (However, Mussolini was later rescued by the Nazis, and re-asserted his authority.)

In 1944, Bing Crosby and the Andrews Sisters recorded Cole Porter’s “Don’t Fence Me In” in Los Angeles for Decca Records.

In 1952, Puerto Rico became a self-governing commonwealth of the United States.

In 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.

In 1960, a Woolworth’s store in Greensboro, North Carolina, that had been the scene of a sit-in protest against its whites-only lunch counter dropped its segregation policy.

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 1984, Soviet cosmonaut Svetlana Savitskaya (sah-VEETS’-kah-yah) became the first woman to walk in space as she carried out more than three hours of experiments outside the orbiting space station Salyut 7.

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.