Today in History: April 25

Mexican army troops stand watch as fellow soldiers work into the night digging through rubble on Calle Gante in Guadalajara, Mexico, April 25, 1992. A series of explosions in the sewer system ripped open streets, flattened buildings and hurled trucks and cars, killing at least 181 people and injuring hundreds. The new head of Guadalajara's sewer system said that a gas spill probably caused the explosion. (AP Photo/Damien Dovarganes)

Today is Monday, April 25, the 116th day of 2016. There are 250 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On April 25, 1816, Romantic poet Lord Byron, beset by financial problems and personal turmoil (including a failed marriage), left his native England at age 28, never to return. (Byron died eight years later in Greece.)

On this date:

In 1507, a world map produced by German cartographer Martin Waldseemueller contained the first recorded use of the term “America,” in honor of Italian navigator Amerigo Vespucci (vehs-POO’-chee).

In 1792, highwayman Nicolas Jacques Pelletier became the first person under French law to be executed by the guillotine.

In 1862, during the Civil War, a Union fleet commanded by Flag Officer David G. Farragut captured the city of New Orleans.

In 1901, New York Gov. Benjamin Barker Odell, Jr. signed an automobile registration bill which imposed a 15 mph speed limit on highways.

In 1915, during World War I, Allied soldiers invaded the Gallipoli (guh-LIHP’-uh-lee) Peninsula in an unsuccessful attempt to take the Ottoman Empire out of the war.

In 1944, the United Negro College Fund was founded.

In 1945, during World War II, U.S. and Soviet forces linked up on the Elbe (EL’-beh) River, a meeting that dramatized the collapse of Nazi Germany’s defenses. Delegates from some 50 countries gathered in San Francisco to organize the United Nations.

In 1959, the St. Lawrence Seaway opened to shipping.

In 1964, vandals sawed off the head of the “Little Mermaid” statue in Copenhagen, Denmark.

In 1974, the “Carnation Revolution” took place in Portugal as a bloodless military coup toppled the Estado Novo regime.

In 1983, 10-year-old Samantha Smith of Manchester, Maine, received a reply from Soviet leader Yuri V. Andropov to a letter she’d written expressing concern about possible nuclear war; Andropov reassured Samantha that the Soviet Union did not want war, and he invited her to visit his country, a trip Samantha made in July.

In 1990, the Hubble Space Telescope was deployed in orbit from the space shuttle Discovery. (It was discovered that the telescope’s primary mirror was flawed, requiring the installation of corrective components to achieve optimal focus.)

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