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Today in History

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Published:
Today is Friday, May 25, the 146th day of 2012. There are 220 days left in the year.
Today's highlight:
On May 25, 1787, the Constitutional Convention began at the Pennsylvania State House (Independence Hall) in Philadelphia after enough delegates had shown up for a quorum. (The Convention ended four months later with the delegates adopting the Constitution of the United States.)
On this date:
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 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. It's tradition. We don't want tradition. We want to live in the present and the only history that is worth a tinker's dam is the history we make today."
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, bluntly 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 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; his fate has never been determined.
In 1981, daredevil Dan Goodwin, wearing a Spiderman costume, scaled the outside of Chicago's Sears Tower in 7½ 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, during a visit to St. Petersburg, joined Russian President Vladimir Putin (POO'-tihn) in pressuring Pakistan's president to curb cross-border violence in Kashmir and ease tensions with neighboring India. A China Airlines Boeing 747-200 flying to Hong Kong crashed in the Taiwan Strait, killing all 225 people on board. A passenger train and a freight train collided in southern Mozambique, killing more than 190 people.
Five 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 resurfaced after nearly four months in hiding and demanded U.S. troops leave Iraq. Atlanta attorney Andrew Speaker, infected with drug-resistant tuberculosis, was quarantined by the federal government after returning from his European wedding and honeymoon. (It turned out Speaker had a form of TB less severe than what authorities had feared.) Tony Award-winning actor Charles Nelson Reilly died in Los Angeles at age 76.
One year ago: President Barack Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron confronted complex security debates over Afghanistan, Libya and economic growth during Obama's state visit to London. A judge in Salt Lake City sentenced street preacher Brian David Mitchell to life in prison for kidnapping and raping Elizabeth Smart, who was 14 at the time of her abduction in 2002. A judge in Tucson, Ariz., ruled that Jared Lee Loughner, the man accused of wounding U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and killing six in a shooting rampage, was mentally incompetent to stand trial. Scotty McCreery, a 17-year-old high school student from Garner, N.C., won "American Idol" on Fox. After a 25-year run, "The Oprah Winfrey Show" aired its final broadcast.
Associated Press

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