Fun Facts for Today – February 25

February 25

It’s Pistol Patent Day


1570 Pope Pius V excommunicates Queen Elizabeth I
1601 The Earl of Essex is executed by order of Elizabeth I
1616 Because of his assertion that the earth moves around the sun, Galileo was ordered by Cardinal Bellarmine “to give up altogether the false doctrine… and if you should refuse.. you should be imprisoned”; given such a choice, Galileo made a renouncement, but he knew that would not change the real facts of the Earth’s motion
1793 George Washington holds the first Cabinet meeting as President of the United States
1836 Samuel Colt received a patent for the Colt 45
1837 Thomas Davenport patented the first practical electrical motor as “an application of magnetism and electro-magnetism to propelling machinery”
1870 Hiram Revels became the first black United States senator, taking over the term of Jefferson Davis
1901 The United States Steel Corp. was incorporated by J.P. Morgan
1902 The first power-driven vacuum cleaner was built by Hubert Cecil Booth
1908 The Hudson River railway tunnel opened, and commuters began traveling between
Manhattan and Hoboken in just ten minutes
1913 The 16th Amendment to the US Constitution was ratified; it authorized a graduated income tax
1919 Oregon became the first state to place a tax on gasoline; the tax was 1 cent per gallon
1925 Glacier Bay National Monument (now Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve) is established in Alaska
1927 A conversation between parties in San Francisco, California and London established a new telephone long distance record of 7,287 miles
1928 The Federal Radio Commission granted the first television license in the United States to the Charles Jenkins Laboratories, Washington, DC
1932 Adolf Hitler obtains German citizenship by naturalization, which allows him to run in the 1932 election for Reichspräsident
1933 The USS Ranger is launched, becoming the first custom-built aircraft carrier
1948 Communists took control of the government in Czechoslovakia
1950 Your Show of Shows debuted on NBC-TV
1952 The first musical choreography score was copyrighted; it was Cole Porter’s “Kiss Me Kate”
1957 Buddy Holly and the Crickets recorded “That’ll Be The Day”
1963 The Beatles single “Please Please Me”/”Ask Me Why” is released in the US
1964 Twenty-two-year old Cassius Clay (Muhammad Ali) became world heavyweight boxing champion for the first time by knocking out Sonny Liston in Miami Beach; Clay had been an 8-1 underdog
1986 President Ferdinand Marcos of the Philippines flees the nation after 20 years of rule; Corazon Aquino becomes the first Filipino woman president
2004 Bubba Ho-tep starring Bruce Campbell as Elvis and Ossie Davis as JFK opens in theaters in the US
2006 The world’s estimated population reaches 6.5 billion

1682 Giovanni Battista Morgagni, anatomist and pathologist whose works helped make anatomy an exact science
1841 Pierre Auguste Renoir, artist who was a leading painter in the development of the Impressionist style
1873 Enrico Caruso, opera singer and one of the most famous tenors in history
1901 Zeppo Marx (Herbert Marx), vaudevillian-singer-musician-actor-inventor and the youngest of the five Marx Brothers who appeared in all five of the films they made for Paramount Pictures
1909 Lev Artsimovich, physicist who provided the basis of the Tokamak, a device capable of confining ultra-high temperature plasma suitable for research into controlled nuclear fusion
1913 Jim Backus, actor ( Mr. Magoo, Gilligan’s Island, I Married Joan, Rebel Without a Cause, It’s a Mad Mad Mad Mad World)
1917 Anthony Burgess, novelist, critic, and composer who was also a librettist, poet, playwright, screenwriter, essayist, travel writer, broadcaster, translator, linguist and educationalist; his best-known work is the dystopian novel A Clockwork Orange
1927 Dickie Jones, actor ( Pinocchio, The Range Rider, Buffalo Bill, Jr.)
1928 Larry Gelbart, Emmy Award-winning writer ( M*A*S*H, The Wrong Box, Oh, God!, Tootsie, And Starring Pancho Villa as Himself)
1929 Christopher George, actor ( The Rat Patrol, The Immortal, Midway, Mortuary)
1934 Bernard Bresslaw, actor ( Doctor Who: The Ice Warriors, Krull, 15 of the Carry On… films)
1937 Sir Tom Courtenay, BAFTA Award-winning actor ( The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner, The Dresser, One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich, Doctor Zhivago)
1938 Diane Baker, actress ( The Diary of Anne Frank, Journey to the Center of the Earth, Marnie, The Silence of the Lambs, The Net)
1941 Sir David Puttnam, Academy Award-winning producer ( Chariots of Fire, Midnight Express, The Killing Fields, Local Hero)
1942 Karen Grassle, actress ( Little House on the Prairie, The President’s Mistress, Wyatt Earp)
1943 George Harrison, MBE, rock guitarist, singer, songwriter, author and sitarist, best known as the lead guitarist of The Beatles; he also a film producer and founded Handmade Films whose films include Monty Python’s The Life of Brian (in which he had a cameo), Time Bandits, Withnail and I, and Mona Lisa
1950 Neil Jordan, Academy Award-winning director ( The Crying Game, Interview with a Vampire, The Company of Wolves)
1954 John Doe, actor-musician-songwriter ( Salvador, Great Balls of Fire!, Boogie Nights)
1964 Lee Evans, comdian-actor ( Funny Bones, The Fifth Element, Mousehunt, There’s Something About Mary)
1966 Alexis Denisof, actor ( Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, First Knight, Sharpe’s Revenge)
1971 Sean Astin, actor ( The Goonies, The Lord of the Rings, Encino Man, 24, The Colour of Magic)

1723 Sir Christopher Wren, architect, astronomer, and geometrician who was the greatest English architect of his time and prominent designer after the 1666 Great Fire of London, notably of St Paul’s Cathedral, dies at 90
1950 George Richards Minot, physician who received (with George Whipple and William Murphy) the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine in 1934 for the introduction of a raw-liver diet for to regenerate blood hemoglobin in the treatment of pernicious anemia, which was previously an invariably fatal disease, dies at 64
1953 Sergey Nikolayevich Winogradsky, microbiologist who helped to establish bacteriology as a major biological science, dies at 102
1983 Tennessee Williams, two-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Drama ( A Streetcar Named Desire, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof), the Tony Award ( The Rose Tattoo) and two New York Drama Critics’ Circle Awards ( The Glass Menagerie and The Night of the Iguana), dies at 71
1987 James Coco, actor ( Man of La Mancha, Murder by Death, The Cheap Detective, The Muppets Take Manhattan), dies at 56
2006 Darren McGavin, actor ( The Court-Martial of Billy Mitchell, Riverboat, Kolchak: The Night Stalker, Billy Madison), dies at 83

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