Today In History: February 25, Muhammad Ali Defeats Sonny Liston For First World Title

Today in History

Today is Sunday, Feb. 25, the 56th day of 2024. There are 310 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On Feb. 25, 1964, Muhammad Ali (then known as Cassius Clay) became world heavyweight boxing champion as he defeated Sonny Liston in Miami Beach.

On this date:

In 1901, United States Steel Corp. was incorporated by J.P. Morgan.

In 1913, the 16th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, giving Congress the power to levy and collect income taxes, was declared in effect by Secretary of State Philander Chase Knox.

In 1919, Oregon became the first state to tax gasoline, at one cent per gallon.

In 1954, Gamal Abdel Nasser became Egypt’s prime minister after the country’s president, Mohammed Naguib, was effectively ousted in a coup.

In 1957, the Supreme Court, in Butler v. Michigan, overturned a Michigan statute making it a misdemeanor to sell books containing obscene language that would tend to corrupt “the morals of youth.”

In 1973, the Stephen Sondheim musical “A Little Night Music” opened at Broadway’s Shubert Theater.

In 1986, President Ferdinand Marcos fled the Philippines after 20 years of rule in the wake of a tainted election; Corazon Aquino assumed the presidency.

In 1991, during the Persian Gulf War, 28 Americans were killed when an Iraqi Scud missile hit a U.S. barracks in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia.

In 1994, American-born Jewish settler Baruch Goldstein opened fire with an automatic rifle inside the Tomb of the Patriarchs in the West Bank, killing 29 Muslims before he was beaten to death by worshippers.

In 1997, a jury in Media, Pennsylvania, convicted chemical fortune heir John E. du Pont of third-degree murder, deciding he was mentally ill when he shot and killed world-class wrestler David Schultz. (Du Pont died in prison in December 2010 while serving a 13- to 30-year sentence; he was 72.)

In 2010, in Vancouver, the Canadian women beat the United States 2-0 for their third straight Olympic hockey title.

In 2013, former U.S. Surgeon General C. Everett Koop, 96, died in Hanover, New Hampshire.

In 2017, actor Bill Paxton died at age 61 from a stroke, a complication of heart surgery he'd had 11 days earlier.

In 2018, the Winter Olympics in South Korea came to an end as officials from North and South Korea shared a VIP box at the closing ceremonies with U.S. presidential adviser and first daughter Ivanka Trump.

In 2020, U.S. health officials warned that the coronavirus was certain to spread more widely in the United States; the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention urged Americans to be prepared. President Donald Trump, speaking in India, said the virus was “very well under control” in the U.S.

In 2022, President Joe Biden nominated federal appeals court Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to the Supreme Court, making her the first Black woman selected to serve on it.

Today’s birthdays: Actor Ann McCrea is 93. Actor Tom Courtenay is 87. Former CBS newsman Bob Schieffer is 87. Actor Diane Baker is 86. Actor Karen Grassle is 82. Former talk show host Sally Jessy Raphael is 82. Former professional wrestler Ric Flair is 75. Humorist Jack Handey is 75. Movie director Neil Jordan is 74. Rock singer-musician/actor John Doe (X) is 71. Rock musician Dennis Diken (The Smithereens) is 67. Rock singer-musician Mike Peters (The Alarm; Big Country) is 65. Comedian Carrot Top is 59. Model and actor Veronica Webb is 59. Actor Alexis Denisof is 58. Actor Tea Leoni is 58. Actor Lesley Boone is 56. Actor Sean Astin is 53. Singer Daniel Powter is 53. Latin singer Julio Iglesias Jr. is 51. R&B singer Justin Jeffre is 51. Actor Anson Mount is 51. Comedian-actor Chelsea Handler is 49. Actor Rashida Jones is 48. Country singer Shawna Thompson (Thompson Square) is 46. Actor Justin Berfield is 38. Actors James and Oliver Phelps (“Harry Potter” movies) are 38. Actor Jameela Jamil is 38. Rock musician Erik Haager (Carolina Liar) is 37.