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This Day in History: February 25


1836 – Samuel Colt is granted a United States patent for the Colt revolver.

1866 – Miners in Calaveras County, California, discover what is now called the Calaveras Skull - human remains that supposedly indicated that man, mastodons, and elephants had co-existed.

1870 – Hiram Rhodes Revels, a Republican from Mississippi, is sworn into the United States Senate, becoming the first African American ever to sit in the U.S. Congress.

1901 – J. P. Morgan incorporates the United States Steel Corporation.

1919 – Oregon places a one cent per U.S. gallon tax on gasoline, becoming the first U.S. state to levy a gasoline tax.

1928 – Charles Jenkins Laboratories of Washington, D.C. becomes the first holder of a broadcast license for television from the Federal Radio Commission.

1933 – The USS Ranger is launched. It is the first US Navy ship to be designed from the start of construction as an aircraft carrier.

1987 – Southern Methodist University's football program is the first college football program to receive the death penalty by the NCAA's Committee on Infractions. It was revealed that athletic officials and school administrators had knowledge of a "slush fund" used to make illegal payments to the school's football players as far back as 1981.

1991 – Gulf War: An Iraqi scud missile hits an American military barracks in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia killing 28 U.S. Army Reservists from Pennsylvania.

1991 – The Warsaw Pact is declared disbanded.


1873 – Enrico Caruso, Italian-American tenor and actor (d. 1921)

1881 – William Z. Foster, American union leader and politician (d. 1961)

1888 – John Foster Dulles, American soldier, lawyer, and politician, 52nd United States Secretary of State (d. 1959)

1901 – Zeppo Marx, American comedian and agent (d. 1979)

1907 – Mary Coyle Chase, American journalist and playwright (d. 1981)

1910 – Millicent Fenwick, American journalist and politician (d. 1992)

1928 – Larry Gelbart, American author and screenwriter (d. 2009)

1928 – Richard G. Stern, American author and academic (d. 2013)

1929 – Tommy Newsom, American saxophonist and bandleader (d. 2007)

1935 – Sally Jessy Raphael, American journalist and talk show host

1943 – George Harrison, English singer-songwriter, guitarist, and producer (d. 2001)

1949 – Ric Flair, American wrestler, manager, and trainer

1966 – Téa Leoni, American actress


1864 – Anna Harrison, American wife of William Henry Harrison, 9th First Lady of the United States (b. 1775)

1910 – Worthington Whittredge, American painter and educator (b. 1820)

1915 – Charles Edwin Bessey, American botanist, author, and academic (b. 1845)

1934 – John McGraw, American baseball player and manager (b. 1873)

1950 – George Minot, American physician and academic, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1885)

1975 – Elijah Muhammad, American religious leader (b. 1897)

1978 – Daniel James, Jr., American general and pilot (b. 1920)

1980 – Robert Hayden, American poet and academic (b. 1913)

1983 – Tennessee Williams, American playwright, and poet (b. 1911)

1994 – Jersey Joe Walcott, American boxer and police officer (b. 1914)

2016 – Alfred E. Mann, American businessman and philanthropist (b. 1925)