Today in History
September 25

1396 The last great Christian crusade, led jointly by John the Fearless of Nevers and King Sigismund of Hungary, ends in disaster at the hands of Sultan Bayezid I’s Ottoman army at Nicopolis.
1598 In Sweden, King Sigismund is defeated at Stangebro by his uncle Charles.
1775 British troops capture Ethan Allen, the hero of Ticonderoga, when he and a handful of Americans try to invade Canada.
1789 Congress proposes 12 new amendments to the Constitution.
1804 The 12th Amendment is ratified, changing the procedure of choosing the president and vice-president.
1846 American General Zachary Taylor’s forces capture Monterey, Mexico.
1909 The first National Aeronautic Show opens at Madison Square Garden.
1915 An allied offensive is launched in France against the German Army.
1918 Brazil declares war on Austria.
1937 German Chancellor Adolf Hitler meets with Italian Premier Benito Mussolini in Munich.
1938 President Franklin Roosevelt urges negotiations between Hitler and Czech President Edvard Benes over the Sudetenland.
1942 The War Labor Board orders equal pay for women in the United States.
1943 The Red Army retakes Smolensk from the Germans who are retreating to the Dnieper River in the Soviet Union.
1959 President Dwight Eisenhower and Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev begin Camp David talks.
1974 Scientists warn that continued use of aerosol sprays will cause ozone depletion, which will lead to an increased risk of skin cancer and global weather changes.
1981 Sandra Day O’Connor, the first female Supreme Court Justice, is sworn in.
1983 The Maze Prison escape takes place, County Antrim, Northern Ireland; 38 IRA prisoners escape in the largest prison breakout in British history; known among Irish republicans as the Great Escape.
1992 NASA launches the Mars Observer probe; it fails 11 months later.
1996 Ireland’s last Magdalene laundry closes; begun as asylums to rehabilitate “fallen women,” they increasingly took on prison-like qualities.
2008 China launches the Shenzhou 7 spacecraft; its crew performs China’s first extra-vehicular activity (EVA).
2009 US President Barack Obama, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, and French President Nicolas Sarkozy jointly accuse Iran of building a secret nuclear enrichment facility.
Born on September 25
1847 Vinnie Ream, who sculpted President Abraham Lincoln from life shortly before he was assassinated.
1897 William Faulkner, Nobel Prize-winning writer (The Sound and the Fury, Absalom, Absalom!).
1906 Dmitri Shostakovich, Russian composer.
1931 Barbara Walters, television news personality and interviewer.
1932 Glenn Gould, concert pianist best known for his Bach interpretations.
1932 Adolfo Suarez Gonzalez, 1st Duke of Suarez, Grandee of Spain, Spain’s first democratically elected prime minister following Francisco Franco’s dictatorship.
1933 Ian Tyson, singer, songwriter, guitarist, producer; performed with Ian & Sylvia and Great Speckled Bird.
1936 Juliet Prowse, dancer whose career spanned four decades and included work in stage, film and TV productions; (Can-Can; G.I. Blues; Mona McCluskey TV series).
1943 Robert Gates, director of the CIA under Pres. George H. W. Bush; Secretary of Defense (2006-11).
1944 Michael Douglas, actor, producer; his numerous awards include two Academy Awards (One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Wall Street), four Golden Globes and the Cecil B. DeMille Award.
1951 Mark Hamill actor, voice actor, producer, director, writer (Luke Skywalker in Star Wars; voice of the Joker in Batman: The Animated Series).
1956 Kim Thompson, editor, publisher; co-founder of Fantagraphics Books.
1961 Heather Locklear, actress (Dynasty, Melrose Place, Spin City TV series).
1964 Maria Doyle Kennedy, actress (The Tudors), composer, singer, songwriter, musician.
1965 Scottie Pippen, pro basketball player (Chicago Bulls), played an important role in the Bull’s record 72-win season (1995-96).
1968 Will Smith, rapper (known as The Fresh Prince, “Getting’ Jiggy Wit It”), actor, producer; awards include four Grammys.
1969 Catherine Zeta-Jones, actress (The Darling Buds of May British TV series) won an Academy Award and a BAFTA Award for her role in Chicago.

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