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This Day in U.S. History: March 25


1584 – Sir Walter Raleigh is granted a patent to colonize Virginia.

1634 – The first settlers arrive in Maryland.

1865 – American Civil War: In Virginia, Confederate forces temporarily capture Fort Stedman from the Union.

1894 – Coxey's Army, the first significant American protest march, departs Massillon, Ohio for Washington, D.C.

1911 – In New York City, the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire kills 146 garment workers.

1931 – The Scottsboro Boys are arrested in Alabama and charged with rape.

1947 – An explosion in a coal mine in Centralia, Illinois kills 111.

1948 – The first successful tornado forecast predicts that a tornado will strike Tinker Air Force Base, Oklahoma.

1957 – United States Customs seizes copies of Allen Ginsberg's poem "Howl" on obscenity grounds.

1965 – Civil rights activists led by Martin Luther King Jr. successfully complete their 4-day 50-mile march from Selma to the capitol in Montgomery, Alabama.

1971 – The Army of the Republic of Vietnam abandon an attempt to cut off the Ho Chi Minh trail in Laos.

1979 – The first fully functional Space Shuttle orbiter, Columbia, is delivered to the John F. Kennedy Space Center to be prepared for its first launch.

1990 – The Happy Land fire was an arson fire that kills 87 people trapped inside an illegal nightclub in The Bronx, New York City.

1996 – An 81-day-long standoff between the anti-government group Montana Freemen and law enforcement near Jordan, Montana, begins.

2006 – Capitol Hill massacre: A gunman kills six people before taking his own life at a party in Seattle's Capitol Hill neighborhood.


1867 – Gutzon Borglum, American sculptor, designed Mount Rushmore (d. 1941)

1911 – Jack Ruby, American murderer (d. 1967)

1914 – Norman Borlaug, American agronomist and humanitarian, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 2009)

1918 – Howard Cosell, American soldier, journalist, and author (d. 1995)

1926 – Gene Shalit, American journalist and critic

1928 – Jim Lovell, American captain, pilot, and astronaut

1934 – Gloria Steinem, American feminist activist, co-founded the Women's Media Center

1942 – Aretha Franklin, American singer-songwriter and pianist

1967 – Debi Thomas, American figure skater and physician

1971 – Sheryl Swoopes, American basketball player and coach

1974 – Lark Voorhies, American actress and singer

1982 – Danica Patrick, American race car driver


1931 – Ida B. Wells, American journalist and activist (b. 1862)

1988 – Robert Joffrey, American dancer, choreographer, and director, co-founded the Joffrey Ballet (b. 1930)