Today is Wednesday, July 25, the 207th day of 2012. There are 159 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History
On July 25, 1972, the notorious Tuskegee syphilis experiment came to light as The Associated Press reported that for the previous four decades, the U.S. Public Health Service, in conjunction with the Tuskegee Institute in Alabama, had been allowing poor, rural black male patients with syphilis to go without treatment, even allowing them to die, as a way of studying the disease.
On this date
In 1866, Ulysses S. Grant was named General of the Army of the United States, the first officer to hold the rank.
In 1898, the United States invaded Puerto Rico during the Spanish-American War.
In 1909, French aviator Louis Bleriot became the first person to fly an airplane across the English Channel, traveling from Calais to Dover in 37 minutes.
In 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt froze Japanese assets in the United States in retaliation for Japan’s occupation of southern Indochina.
In 1946, the United States detonated an atomic bomb near Bikini Atoll in the Pacific in the first underwater test of the device.
In 1952, Puerto Rico became a self-governing commonwealth of the United States.
In 1956, the Italian liner Andrea Doria collided with the Swedish passenger ship Stockholm off the New England coast late at night and began sinking; at least 51 people were killed.
In 1960, a Woolworth’s store in Greensboro, N.C., that had been the scene of a sit-in protest against its whites-only lunch counter dropped its segregation policy.
In 1962, the Bell System inaugurated Skyphone, an air-to-ground radiotelephone service, as American Airlines stewardess Hope Patterson placed a call to Associated Press writer Francis Stilley in New York while flying over Lakehurst, N.J.
In 1984, Soviet cosmonaut Svetlana Savitskaya became the first woman to walk in space as she carried out more than three hours of experiments outside the orbiting space station Salyut 7.
In 1992, opening ceremonies were held in Barcelona, Spain, for the Summer Olympics.
In 2000, a New York-bound Air France Concorde crashed outside Paris shortly after takeoff, killing all 109 people on board and four people on the ground; it was the first-ever crash of the supersonic jet.
Ten years ago
Encouraged by a tapping sound coming up from the depths, rescuers in Somerset, Pa., brought in a huge drill in a race to save nine coal miners trapped 240 feet underground by a flooded shaft. Zacarias Moussaoui declared he was guilty of conspiracy in the September 11 attacks, then dramatically withdrew his plea at his arraignment in Alexandria, Va.
Page 2 of 2 - Five years ago
A presidential commission urged broad changes to veterans’ care that would boost benefits for family members helping the wounded, establish an easy-to-use Web site for medical records and overhaul the way disability pay was awarded. The bullet-riddled body of one of 23 South Koreans held hostage in Afghanistan by Taliban kidnappers was found; eight other captives were released. Pratibha Patil was sworn in as India’s first female president.
One year ago
In a prime-time address to the nation, President Barack Obama made a last-ditch call for compromise on raising the government’s borrowing ability before an Aug. 2 deadline; in a rebuttal, House Speaker John Boehner said negotiations with the White House had been futile. The NFL Players Association executive board and 32 team reps voted unanimously to approve the terms of a deal to end a 4 1/2-month lockout.
Actress Barbara Harris is 77.
Rock musician Jim McCarty (The Yardbirds) is 69.
Rock musician Verdine White (Earth, Wind & Fire) is 61.
Singer-musician Jem Finer (The Pogues) is 57.
Model-actress Iman is 57.
Cartoonist Ray Billingsley (“Curtis”) is 55.
Rock musician Thurston Moore (Sonic Youth) is 54.
Actress-singer Bobbie Eakes is 51.
Actress Katherine Kelly Lang is 51.
Actress Illeana Douglas is 47.
Country singer Marty Brown is 47.
Actor Matt LeBlanc is 45.
Actress Wendy Raquel Robinson is 45.
Rock musician Paavo Lotjonen (Apocalyptica) is 44.
Actor D.B. Woodside is 43.
Actress Miriam Shor is 41.
Actor James Lafferty is 27.
Actress Shantel VanSanten is 27.
Actor Michael Welch is 25.
Classical singer Faryl Smith is 17.
Thought for Today
“The truth is all things seen under the form of eternity.” — George Santayana, Spanish-American philosopher (1863-1952).