Today in History: plane crashes, Hands Across America and Star Wars passion
Today in History
Today is Thursday, May 25, the 145th day of 2017. There are 220 days left in the year.
Today's Highlight in History:
On May 25, 1977, the first "Star Wars" film (later renamed "Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope") was released by 20th Century Fox.
On this date:
In 1787, the Constitutional Convention began at the Pennsylvania State House (Independence Hall) in Philadelphia after enough delegates had shown up for a quorum.
In 1810, Argentina began its revolt against Spanish rule with the forming of the Primera Junta in Buenos Aires.
In 1916, the Chicago Tribune published an interview with Henry Ford in which the automobile industrialist was quoted as saying, "History is more or less bunk."
In 1935, Babe Ruth hit his last three career home runs — nos. 712, 713 and 714 — for the Boston Braves in a game against the Pittsburgh Pirates. (The Pirates won, 11-7.)
In 1942, U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Joseph Stilwell, frustrated over being driven out of Burma by Japanese forces during World War II, told reporters in Delhi, India: "I claim we got a hell of a beating."
In 1957, the third tube of the Lincoln Tunnel connecting New York and New Jersey was opened to traffic.
In 1961, President John F. Kennedy told Congress: "I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to the earth."
In 1968, the Gateway Arch in St. Louis was dedicated by Vice President Hubert Humphrey and Interior Secretary Stewart Udall.
In 1979, 273 people died when an American Airlines DC-10 crashed just after takeoff from Chicago's O'Hare Airport. Six-year-old Etan Patz (AY'-tahn payts) disappeared while on his way to a school bus stop in lower Manhattan. (In April 2017, former store clerk Pedro Hernandez, convicted of killing Etan, was sentenced to at least 25 years in prison.)
In 1981, daredevil Dan Goodwin, wearing a Spiderman costume, scaled the outside of Chicago's Sears Tower in 7 1/2 hours.
In 1986, an estimated 7 million Americans participated in "Hands Across America" to raise money for the nation's hungry and homeless.
In 1992, Jay Leno made his debut as host of NBC's "Tonight Show," succeeding Johnny Carson.
Ten years ago: President George W. Bush signed a bill to pay for military operations in Iraq that did not contain a timetable for troop withdrawals. Radical Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr (mook-TAH'-duh al SAH'-dur) resurfaced after nearly four months in hiding and demanded U.S. troops leave Iraq. Tony Award-winning actor Charles Nelson Reilly died in Los Angeles at age 76.
Five years ago: The private company SpaceX made history as its Dragon capsule docked with the International Space Station. In Syria, more than 100 people were killed in one day in a cluster of villages in central Homs province; U.N. investigators blamed pro-government gunmen for at least some of the killings, but the Syrian regime denied responsibility and blamed rebels for the deaths.
One year ago: President Barack Obama wrapped up his historic visit to Vietnam before heading to Japan, the site of a two-day summit of wealthy nations. It was announced that Texas and 10 other states were suing the Obama administration over its directive to U.S. public schools to let transgender students use the bathrooms and locker rooms that matched their gender identity. (The other states were Oklahoma, Alabama, Wisconsin, West Virginia, Tennessee, Maine, Arizona, Louisiana, Utah and Georgia.) Actor Johnny Depp's wife, actress Amber Heard, filed for divorce in Los Angeles, citing irreconcilable differences after 15 months of marriage.
Today's Birthdays: Actress Ann Robinson is 88. Former White House news secretary Ron Nessen is 83. Country singer-songwriter Tom T. Hall is 81. Actor Sir Ian McKellen is 78. Country singer Jessi Colter is 74. Actress-singer Leslie Uggams is 74. Movie director and Muppeteer Frank Oz is 73. Actress Karen Valentine is 70. Actress Jacki Weaver is 70. Rock singer Klaus Meine (The Scorpions) is 69. Actress Patti D'Arbanville is 66. Playwright Eve Ensler is 64. Musician Cindy Cashdollar is 62. Actress Connie Sellecca is 62. Rock singer-musician Paul Weller is 59. Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., is 57. Actor-comedian Mike Myers is 54. Actor Matt Borlenghi is 50. Actor Joseph Reitman is 49. Rock musician Glen Drover is 48. Actress Anne Heche (haych) is 48. Actresses Lindsay and Sidney Greenbush (TV: "Little House on the Prairie") are 47. Actor-comedian Jamie Kennedy is 47. Actress Octavia Spencer is 47. Actor Justin Henry is 46. Rapper Daz Dillinger is 44. Actress Molly Sims is 44. Singer Lauryn Hill is 42. Actress Erinn Hayes is 41. Actor Cillian Murphy is 41. Actor Ethan Suplee (soo-PLEE') is 41. Rock musician Todd Whitener is 39. Actor Corbin Allred is 38. Actress-singer Lauren Frost is 32. Musician Guy Lawrence (Disclosure) is 26. Olympic gold medal gymnast Aly Raisman is 23.
Thought for Today: "A historian is a prophet in reverse." — Friedrich von Schlegel, German diplomat and writer (1772-1829).