Fun Facts for Today

June 25

It’s Log Cabin Day and National Catfish Day


1783 Antonie Lavoisier announced to the French Academy of Sciences that water was the product formed by the combination of hydrogen and oxygen; however, this discovery had been made earlier by the English chemist Henry Cavendish
1788 Virginia ratifies the United States Constitution and is admitted as the 10th state of the United States
1825 Britain’s second freight monorail held its grand opening and became the first monorail to carry passengers
1867 Barbed wire was patented by Lucien B. Smith of Kent, OH
1876 A force of Sioux and Northern Cheyenne led by Crazy Horse and Sitting Bull wipes out about 260 US cavalry led by General George Armstrong Custer in the Battle of the Little Big Horn
1903 Marie Curie went before the examination committee for her Ph.D
1906 Architect Stanford White, the designer of Madison Square Garden, is shot dead atop the building by Pittsburg millionaire Harry Thaw, the jealous husband of actress and Gibson Girl Evelyn Nesbit, whom White was supposed to have taken advantage of
1921 German chemist, Friedrich Karl Bergius invented a way to convert coal dust and hydrogen directly into gasoline and lubricating oils without isolating intermediate products
1938 Dr. Douglas Hyde is elected the first President of Ireland
1944 The final strip of George Herriman’s innovative “Krazy Kat” comic strip appears, two months after Herriman’s death
1950 The Korean War begins with the crossing of the 38th parallel into South Korea by North Korean troops
1951 At 4:35 pm, the Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS) televised the one-hour premiere of commercial color television with a program named Premiere; it was transmitted, using the CBS Field Sequential System (not Compatible Color), from New York to four other cities: Boston, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Washington, D.C.
1949 Eamon de Valera is elected the third President of Ireland
1967 The Beatles premiere the song “All You Need is Love” live on the Our World television program which was the first program to be broadcast globally via satellite; also in the studio are Mick Jagger, Marianne Faithfull, Keith Richard, Keith Moon, Eric Clapton, Pattie Harrison, Jane Asher, Mike McCartney, Graham Nash and wife, Gary Leeds, Hunter Davies
1973 Former White House counsel John Dean begins his televised testimony before the Senate Watergate committee; his account, corroborated by secret White House tapes, will lead to President Nixon’s resignation
1975 After 470 years of rule by Portugal, the former colony of Portuguese East Africa gains its independence as the nation of Mozambique
1976 Richard Donner’s horror classic The Omen starring Gregory Peck opens in US movie theaters
1982 Three very different movies open in US movie theaters – John Carpenter’s The Thing, Monty Python at the Hollywood Bowl and Blade Runner
1990 Roseanne infamously mangled “The National Anthem” before a San Diego Padres baseball game
1991 Croatia and Slovenia declare their independence from Yugoslavia
1993 Kim Campbell is chosen as leader of the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada and becomes the first female Prime Minister of Canada
1993 Lyle Lovett and Julia Roberts are married; they would divorce in 1995
1994 The capture of the first live specimen of the Vu Quang ox in Vietnam, a previously unknown species of mammal, was reported in the London newspaper The Times
1996 The Khobar Towers bombing leaves 19 US servicemen dead in Saudi Arabia
1997 An unmanned Progress spacecraft collided with the Russian Space station, Mir
1998 In Clinton v. City of New York, the United States Supreme Court decides that the Line Item Veto Act of 1996 is unconstitutional
1999 The soap opera Another World airs its 8891st and final episode
2006 Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban are married

1864 Walther Hermann Nernst, scientist who was one of the founders of modern physical chemistry
1894 Hermann Oberth, scientist who was one of three founders of space flight
1903 George Orwell (pen name of Eric Arthur Blair), journalist, political essayist and novelist; he is most famous for two novels critical of totalitarianism, Nineteen Eighty-Four and Animal Farm
1924 Sidney Lumet, director and actor (12 Angry Men, Long Day’s Journey Into Night, Fail Safe, Serpico, Dog Day Afternoon, Deathtrap)
1925 June Lockhart, actress (Lassie, Lost in Space, Meet Me in St. Louis, Petticoat Junction)
1929 Eric Carle, children’s book author and illustrator who is most famous for his book The Very Hungry Caterpillar, which has been translated into over 47 languages
1945 Carly Simon, singer/songwriter and musician who is also an Academy Award, a Golden Globe and two-time Grammy Award winner; she was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1994
1961 Ricky Gervais, writer, comedian and 2-time Emmy and 4-time BAFTA TV Award-winning actor (Extras, The Office)
1962 Phill Jupitus, comedian and broadcaster who is s a regular on television and radio panel shows, including BBC Radio 4’s “I’m Sorry I Haven’t a Clue” and BBC Two/BBC Four’s QI, and is a team captain on BBC Two’s Never Mind The Buzzcocks
1963 George Michael (Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou), two-time Grammy Award winning, singer-songwriter, who has had a career as frontman of the duo Wham! as well as a soul-influenced, solo pop musician
1975 Linda Cardellini, actress (Bone Chillers, ER, Scooby Doo, Brokeback Mountain, Freaks and Geeks)

1898 Ferdinand Cohn, naturalist and botanist who is considered one of the founders of bacteriology and known for his studies of algae, bacteria, and fungi, insect epidemics and plant diseases, dies at 70
1918 James Douglas, metallurgist, mining engineer and philanthropist who developed the copper mining industry in the US Southwest, dies at 80
1935 Colin Clive, actor (Frankenstein, Christopher Strong, Jane Eyre, Bride of Frankenstein, Mad Love), dies of pneumonia, as a result of a long history of alcoholism at 37
1959 Charles Starkweather, spree killer who murdered 11 victims in Nebraska and Wyoming during a road trip with his underage girlfriend Caril Ann Fugate, is put to death in the electric chair at 20
1968 Tony Hancock, radio, television and film actor and comedian (Hancock’s Half Hour, Those Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines or How I Flew from London to Paris in 25 hours 11 minutes, The Wrong Box), dies at 44
1971 Sir John Boyd Orr, scientist and authority on nutrition and winner of the Nobel Prize for Peace in 1949 for his efforts to eliminate world hunger, dies at 90
1976 Johnny Mercer, 4-time Academy Award-winning songwriter (“Moon River”, “Days of Wine and Roses”, “In the Cool, Cool, Cool of the Evening”, “On the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe”), dies of brain cancer at 66
1995 Ernest Walton, physicist, who was co-recipient, with Sir John Douglas Cockcroft of England, of the 1951 Nobel Prize for Physics for the development of the first nuclear particle accelerator, known as the Cockcroft-Walton generator, dies at 91
1997 Jacques-Yves Cousteau, naval officer, oceanographer, marine biologist and ocean explorer, known for his extensive underseas investigations; he was co-inventor of the aqualung which made SCUBA diving possible, dies at 87
2005 John Fiedler, busy character actor who the voice of Piglet in countless Winnie the Pooh movies and TV specials (Tom Corbett, Space Cadet, 12 Angry Men, Girl Happy, The Odd Couple, True Grit), dies at 80

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