Today is Sunday, May 25, the 145th day of 2014. There are 220 days left in the year.
Today’s highlight in history:
On May 25, 1964, the U.S. Supreme Court, in Griffin v. County School Board of Prince Edward County, ordered the Virginia county to reopen its public schools, which officials had closed in an attempt to circumvent the Supreme Court’s 1954 Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka public school desegregation ruling.
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 1895, playwright Oscar Wilde was convicted of a morals charge in London; he was sentenced to two years in prison.
- In 1935, Babe Ruth hit the 714th and final home run of his career, for the Boston Braves, in a game against the Pittsburgh Pirates.
- In 1942, U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Joseph Stilwell, frustrated over being driven out of Burma by Japanese troops during World War II, told reporters in Delhi, India: “I claim we got a hell of a beating.”
- In 1946, Transjordan (now Jordan) became a kingdom as it proclaimed its new monarch, Abdullah I.
- 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 1963, the Organisation of African Unity was founded in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. (The OAU was disbanded in 2002 in favor of the African Union.)
- 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 disappeared while on his way to a school bus stop in lower Manhattan.
- In 1981, daredevil Dan Goodwin, wearing a Spiderman costume, scaled the outside of Chicago’s Sears Tower in 7 1/2 hours.
- In 1992, Jay Leno made his debut as host of NBC’s “Tonight Show,” succeeding Johnny Carson.
- The Boston Archdiocese said it would close 65 of 357 parishes, an offshoot of the clergy sex abuse scandal.
- Peace activist David Dellinger, one of the “Chicago Seven” defendants, died in Montpelier, Vermont, at age 88.
- Publisher Roger W. Straus Jr. died in New York at age 87.
- North Korea claimed to have carried out a powerful underground nuclear test; President Barack Obama called on the world to “stand up to” Pyongyang and demand it honor a promise to abandon its nuclear ambitions.
- House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, long a fierce critic of Beijing, toured China’s financial capital of Shanghai but stayed clear of human rights issues.
- Making his first official trip to sub-Saharan Africa, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry demanded that Nigeria respect human rights as it cracked down on Islamist extremists and pledged to work hard in the coming months to ease tensions between Sudan and South Sudan.
- A French soldier, Cedric Cordier, was wounded in the throat in a busy commercial district outside Paris; a suspect, Alexandre Dhaussy, was later arrested.
- Sixteen schoolchildren and a teacher burned to death in a minibus fire in eastern Pakistan.
- Marshall Lytle, 79, the original bass player for Bill Haley & His Comets, died in New Port Richey, Florida.
Thought for Today: “There is nothing final about a mistake, except its being taken as final.” – Phyllis Bottome, English author (1884-1963).