Today In History

Today in History

Today is Wednesday, Aug. 25, the 237th day of 2021. There are 128 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On August 25, 1944, during World War II, Paris was liberated by Allied forces after four years of Nazi occupation.

On this date:

In 1718, hundreds of French colonists arrived in Louisiana, with some settling in present-day New Orleans.

In 1875, Capt. Matthew Webb became the first person to swim across the English Channel, getting from Dover, England, to Calais (ka-LAY’), France, in 22 hours.

In 1916, President Woodrow Wilson signed an act establishing the National Park Service within the Department of the Interior.

In 1928, an expedition led by Richard E. Byrd set sail from Hoboken, N.J., on its journey to Antarctica.

In 1975, the Bruce Springsteen album “Born to Run” was released by Columbia Records.

In 1981, the U.S. spacecraft Voyager 2 came within 63,000 miles of Saturn’s cloud cover, sending back pictures of and data about the ringed planet.

In 2001, R&B singer Aaliyah (ah-LEE’-yah) was killed with eight others in a plane crash in the Bahamas; she was 22.

In 2012, Neil Armstrong, 82, who commanded the historic Apollo 11 lunar landing and was the first man to set foot on the moon in July 1969, died in Cincinnati, Ohio.

In 2009, Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, the liberal lion of the U.S. Senate, died at age 77 in Hyannis Port, Massachusetts, after a battle with a brain tumor.

In 2014, a funeral was held in St. Louis for Michael Brown, the Black 18-year-old who was shot to death by a police officer in suburban Ferguson.

In 2017, Hurricane Harvey, the fiercest hurricane to hit the U.S. in more than a decade, made landfall near Corpus Christi, Texas, with 130 mph sustained winds; the storm would deliver five days of rain totaling close to 52 inches, the heaviest tropical downpour ever recorded in the continental U.S. The hurricane left at least 68 people dead and caused an estimated $125 billion in damage in Texas.

In 2018, Sen. John McCain of Arizona, who had spent years as a prisoner of war in Vietnam before a 35-year political career that took him to the Republican presidential nomination, died at the age of 81 after battling brain cancer for more than a year.

Ten years ago: Fifty-two people were killed in a fire at a casino in the northern Mexican city of Monterrey that was allegedly targeted by a drug cartel. The New York Yankees became the first team in major league history to hit three grand slams in a game, with Robinson Cano, Russell Martin and Curtis Granderson connecting in a 22-9 romp over the Oakland Athletics.

Five years ago: Hillary Clinton said that Donald Trump had unleashed the “radical fringe” within the Republican Party, dubbing Trump’s campaign as one that will “make America hate again”; Trump defended his hard-line approach to immigration while trying to make the case to minority voters that Democrats had abandoned them.

One year ago: Two people were shot to death and a third was wounded as a gunman fired on protesters with an AR-15-style rifle during a third night of protests in Kenosha, Wisconsin, over the police shooting of a Black man, Jacob Blake. (Seventeen-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse, who was taken into custody in Illinois the next day, is facing charges including reckless homicide; he said he was defending himself after the three men attacked him as he tried to protect businesses from protesters.) The attorney for Jacob Blake’s family said Blake was paralyzed in the police shooting, and that it would “take a miracle” for him to walk again. More than half a million people were ordered to flee the Gulf Coast as Hurricane Laura threatened Texas and Louisiana. Jerry Falwell Jr. announced his resignation as the head of Liberty University after a provocative photo and revelations of his wife’s extramarital affair roiled the evangelical Virginia school founded by his father.

Today’s Birthdays: Actor Tom Skerritt is 88. Jazz musician Wayne Shorter is 88. Movie director Hugh Hudson is 85. Author Frederick Forsyth is 83. Movie director John Badham is 82. Filmmaker Marshall Brickman is 82. Rhythm-and-blues singer Walter Williams (The O’Jays) is 78. Actor Anthony Heald (held) is 77. Rock singer-actor Gene Simmons is 72. Actor John Savage is 72. Author Martin Amis (AY’-mihs) is 72. Country singer-musician Henry Paul (Outlaws; Blackhawk) is 72. Rock singer Rob Halford is 70. Rock musician Geoff Downes (Asia) is 69. Rock singer Elvis Costello is 67. Movie director Tim Burton is 63. Actor Christian LeBlanc is 63. Actor Ashley Crow is 61. Actor Ally Walker is 60. Country singer Cyrus (AKA Billy Ray Cyrus) is 60. Actor Joanne Whalley is 60. Rock musician Vivian Campbell (Def Leppard) is 59. Actor Blair Underwood is 57. Actor Robert Maschio is 55. Rap DJ Terminator X (Public Enemy) is 55. Alternative country singer Jeff Tweedy (Wilco) is 54. Actor David Alan Basche (BAYSH) is 53. Television chef Rachael Ray is 53. Actor Cameron Mathison is 52. Country singer Jo Dee Messina is 51. Model Claudia Schiffer is 51. Country singer Brice Long is 50. Actor Nathan Page is 50. Actor-writer-director Ben Falcone is 48. Actor Eric Millegan is 47. Actor Alexander Skarsgard is 45. Actor Jonathan Togo is 44. Actor Kel Mitchell is 43. Actor Rachel Bilson is 40. Actor Blake Lively is 34. Actor Josh Flitter is 27.