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Friday, April 25
By The Associated Press
Associated Press
2014-04-18 09:01 AM

Today is Friday, April 25, the 115th day of 2014. There are 250 days left in the year.

Highlights in history on this date:

1707 - British forces are defeated at Almanza, Spain.

1792 - Highwayman Nicolas Jacques Pelletier becomes the first person under French law to be executed by guillotine.

1809 - Britain concludes treaty of friendship with Sikhs at Amritsar in India.

1859 - Austria suppresses revolt in Krakow, Poland; Ground is broken for the Suez Canal.

1898 - United States declares war on Spain.

1915 - Allied soldiers invade the Gallipoli Peninsula in an unsuccessful attempt to take the Ottoman Turkish Empire out of World War I. The event is now commemorated as Anzac Day.

1920 - Supreme Allied Command assigns mandates of Mesopotamia and Palestine to Britain, and of Syria and Lebanon to France; Poland launches offensive against Soviets in the Ukraine.

1942 - In the first U.S. counterattack of the war, 16 bombers make a daring daylight raid on Tokyo; A coal mine disaster in Benxi, Japanese-occupied China, kills 1,549 workers - the world's worst mining disaster at the time.

1945 - U.S. and Soviet troops meet at the Elbe River in central Europe, a meeting that dramatizes the collapse of Nazi Germany; delegates of 45 nations meet in San Francisco to organize the United Nations.

1957 - U.S. Sixth Fleet sails for eastern Mediterranean as King Hussein proclaims martial law in Jordan and seals frontiers after a Palestinian coup attempt.

1974 - Portugal's bloodless "Revolution of the Carnations" ends 48 years of rightist dictatorship.

1983 - Soviet leader Yuri V. Andropov invites 10-year-old Samantha Smith to visit his country after receiving a letter in which the schoolgirl from Maine expressed fears about nuclear war.

1987 - Sri Lankan military carries out two-pronged offensive against Tamil separatist rebels.

1988 - South Africa says it has accepted a Western plan aimed at preparing Southwest Africa, now Namibia, for independence under black majority rule.

1989 - Japan's Prime Minister Noburu Takeshita, rapidly losing popularity amid influence-peddling scandal, announces plans to resign.

1990 - Violeta Barrio de Chamorro is inaugurated as president of Nicaragua amid uproar over a decision to let leftist Sandinistas keep control of the army and security police.

1991 - Soviet Union's Communist Party plenum decides to keep Mikhail Gorbachev as leader despite hours of harsh criticism that led him to offer to resign.

1992 - Afghanistan's capital falls with little fighting to two rival rebel groups under Ahmed Shah Masood and Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, following the collapse of the Communist government.

1993 - Russian President Boris Yeltsin wins vote of confidence in referendum but fails to force new parliamentary elections.

1995 - For the first time, the Argentine military admits to crimes during the "dirty war" against dissidents from 1976-1983.

1996 - A Spanish Supreme Court judge clears Prime Minister Felipe Gonzalez of involvement in the assassinations of Basque separatists during the 1980s.

1997 - In what is called a monumental defeat for the U.S. tobacco industry, a federal judge rules for the first time that tobacco can be regulated as a drug.

1998 - Millions of Nigerians boycott legislative elections billed by the ruling junta as a first step toward democracy.

2000 - The United Nations releases a new assessment of the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear meltdown, saying the worst health consequences for millions of people may be yet to come.

2002 - The U.S. House of Representatives approves a measure to split the Immigration and Naturalization Service into two separate enforcement and service branches; making immigration reform a top priority in the wake of the September 11 terrorist attacks.

2006 - A female suicide bomber blows herself up in front of a car carrying Sri Lanka's highest-ranking general, killing eight people and badly wounding the top officer.

2007 - A court overturns amnesties for two leaders of Argentina's military dictatorship, former military President Jorge Videla and Navy chief Eduardo Massera, ordering they return to prison to serve their life terms for crimes against humanity during the country's "dirty war."

2008 - Congo troops clash with Rwandan Hutu militias with whom they were formerly allied, culminating a week of violence that forced more than 12,000 people from their homes and prompted the U.N. refugee agency to suspend operations.

2009 - The leader of South Africa's long-dominant ANC party is treated like a president-elect after his party sweeps parliamentary elections, although not with the two-thirds majority it won easily in the last vote.

2010 - An explosion caused by a torpedo likely tore apart and sank a South Korean warship near the North Korean border, Seoul's defense minister says, while declining to assign blame for the blast as suspicion increasingly falls on Pyongyang.

2011 - The latest NATO airstrike on Moammar Gadhafi's compound that reduces parts of it to a smoldering ruin of broken concrete slabs and twisted wires steps up pressure on the increasingly embattled Libyan leader who is struggling to hold onto the western half of the country.

2012 - Scientists say tiny meteorites found in the Sierra foothills of Northern California likely were part of a giant fireball that exploded in daylight with about one-third the explosive force of the bomb dropped on Hiroshima at the end of World War II.

2013 - Israel shoots down a drone as it approached its northern coast from neighboring Lebanon, raising suspicions that the Hezbollah militant group was behind the infiltration attempt.

Today's Birthdays:

Oliver Cromwell, English statesman (1599-1658); Guglielmo Marconi, Italian radio pioneer (1874-1937); Morris West, Australian author (1916-1999); Ella Fitzgerald, U.S. singer (1918-1996); Al Pacino, U.S. actor (1940--); Bjorn Ulvaeus, Swedish musician-composer, ABBA member (1945--); Talia Shire, U.S. actress (1946--); Renee Zellweger, U.S. actress (1969--).

Thought For Today:

Prophecy is the wit of a fool -- Vladimir Nabokov, Russian-born author (1899-1977).

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