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AP | File
Linda Brown Smith, 9, is shown in this 1952 photo. Smith was a 3rd-grader when her father started a class-action suit in 1951 of the Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kan., which led to the U.S. Supreme Court's 1954 landmark decision against school segregation.

Today in History, Sunday, May 25

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.
Ten years ago:

  • 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.
Five years ago:

  • 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.
One year ago:

  • 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.
Today’s birthdays: Former White House news secretary Ron Nessen is 80. Author W.P. Kinsella is 79. Country singer-songwriter Tom T. Hall is 78. Actor Sir Ian McKellen is 75. Country singer Jessi Colter is 71. Actress-singer Leslie Uggams is 71. Movie director and Muppeteer Frank Oz is 70. Actress Karen Valentine is 67. Actress Jacki Weaver is 67. Rock singer Klaus Meine (The Scorpions) is 66. Actress Patti D’Arbanville is 63. Actress Connie Sellecca is 59. Rock singer-musician Paul Weller is 56. Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., is 54. Actor-comedian Mike Myers is 51. Actor Matt Borlenghi is 47. Actor Joseph Reitman is 46. Rock musician Glen Drover is 45. Actress Anne Heche is 45. Actresses Sidney and Lindsay Greenbush (TV: “Little House on the Prairie”) are 44. Actor-comedian Jamie Kennedy is 44. Actress Octavia Spencer is 44. Actor Justin Henry is 43. Rapper Daz Dillinger is 41. Actress Molly Sims is 41. Singer Lauryn Hill is 39. Actress Erinn Hayes is 38. Actor Cillian Murphy is 38. Actor Ethan Suplee is 38. Rock musician Todd Whitener is 36. Actor Corbin Allred is 35. Actress-singer Lauren Frost is 29. Olympic gold medal gymnast Aly Raisman is 20.

Thought for Today: “There is nothing final about a mistake, except its being taken as final.” – Phyllis Bottome, English author (1884-1963).

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