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This Day in History: August 25


1768 – James Cook begins his first voyage.

1835 – The New York Sun perpetrates the Great Moon Hoax.

1914 – World War I: The library of the Catholic University of Leuven is deliberately destroyed by the German Army. Hundreds of thousands of irreplaceable volumes and Gothic and Renaissance manuscripts are lost.

1916 – The United States National Park Service is created.

1939 – The United Kingdom and Poland form a military alliance in which the UK promises to defend Poland in case of invasion by a foreign power.

1942 – World War II: Battle of Milne Bay, Papua New Guinea.

1942 – World War II: second day of the Battle of the Eastern Solomons. A Japanese naval transport convoy headed towards Guadalcanal is turned-back by an Allied air attack, losing one destroyer and one transport sunk, and one light cruiser heavily damaged.

1944 – World War II: Paris is liberated by the Allies.

1945 – Ten days after World War II ends with Japan announcing its surrender, armed supporters of the Chinese Communist Party kill U.S. intelligence officer John Birch, regarded by some of the American right as the first victim of the Cold War.

1948 – The House Un-American Activities Committee holds first-ever televised congressional hearing: "Confrontation Day" between Whittaker Chambers and Alger Hiss.

1950 – President Harry Truman orders the U.S. Army to seize control of the nation's railroads to avert a strike.

1967 – George Lincoln Rockwell is assassinated.

1981 – Voyager 2 spacecraft makes its closest approach to Saturn

1989 – Voyager 2 spacecraft makes its closest approach to Neptune, the second to last planet in the Solar System at the time.

2012 – Voyager 1 spacecraft enters interstellar space becoming the first man-made object to do so.


1796 – James Lick, American carpenter and piano builder (d. 1876)

1916 – Frederick Chapman Robbins, American pediatrician and virologist, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 2003)

1919 – George Wallace, American sergeant, lawyer, and politician, 45th Governor of Alabama (d. 1998)

1921 – Monty Hall, Canadian-American actor, singer, and game show host

1927 – Althea Gibson, American tennis player and golfer (d. 2003)

1935 – Charles Wright, American poet and academic

1968 – Rachael Ray, American chef, author, and television host


1956 – Alfred Kinsey, American biologist and academic (b. 1894)

1967 – George Lincoln Rockwell, American commander, politician, and activist, founded the American Nazi Party (b. 1918)

1984 – Truman Capote, American novelist, playwright, and screenwriter (b. 1924)

1988 – Art Rooney, American businessman, founded the Pittsburgh Steelers (b. 1901)

1998 – Lewis F. Powell, Jr., American lawyer and jurist (b. 1907)

2000 – Carl Barks, American author and illustrator (b. 1901)

2001 – Aaliyah, American singer, dancer, and actress (b. 1979)

2009 – Ted Kennedy, American soldier, lawyer, and politician (b. 1932)

2012 – Neil Armstrong, American pilot, engineer, and astronaut (b. 1930)