August 25: This Day in History

Général_Toussaint_LouvertureAugust 25, 2014 – Segment 1

Marc shares some of the events that happened on this day in history, including the independence of Uruguay, the liberation of Paris from Nazi occupation, and the imprisonment of Toussaint L’ouverture.


Today is

Independence Day, Uruguay celebrates its independence from Brazil in 1825

Liberation Day (Paris), celebrating the liberation of Paris by Allied forces after four years of Nazi occupation

Soldier’s Day (Brazil)

On this day

1689 –Montreal taken by Iroquois

1718 –French colonists arrive in Louisiana, any of which settle in presentday New Orleans

1802 –Toussaint L’ouverture imprisoned in Fort de Joux, Jura, France. Toussaint L’ouverture led the 1791 slave rebellion in the French colony of Saint Domingue which eventually led to the formation of the independent nation of Haiti.  L’ouverture proved to be an astute military leader winning many victories against the French.  When Napoleon took power in France, L’ouverture sent him a copy of the 1801 constitution of Haiti to assert himself as undisputed leader of the nation.  Napoleon responded by sending troops to arrest the Haitian leader.  He was exiled to France and thrown in prison at Fort de Joux, where he was denied food and medical attention.  L’ouverture died from starvation on the 7th of April 1803.

1804 –Alice Meynell becomes the first woman jockey (England)

1814 –British Forces destroy the Library of Congress containing, 3,000 books

1835- The Great Moon Hoax: The New York Sun published a series of articles proclaiming great discoveries in astronomy by astronomer Sir John Herschel, including the sighting of life forms on the moon.  The article created a frenzy in New York City and beyond and is cited as the first mass media event in the US.  The story had skeptics but was generally accepted as fact and corroborated by scholars and other local papers such as the New Yorker and the New York Times.  On the 16th of September 1835, the NY Sun newspaper admitted that the story was a hoax, to the great amusement of the public.   There was little criticism of the hoax and the paper did not suffer significant loss in sales.

1875 –Captain Matthew Webb became the first person to swim across the English Channel, traveling from Dover, England, to Calais, France, in 22 hours

1883 –France and Viet Nam sign the Treaty of Hué, recognizing a French protectorate over Annam Tonkin

1908 –Martha Minerva founded the National Association of Colored Graduate Nurses.  The NACGN was founded to promote the standards and welfare of black nurses and to break down racial discrimination in the process.  The association fought for the integration of black RNs into schools, jobs and the American Nurses association.  The group successfully lobbied for the integration of the Cadet Nurse Corps during WWII and by 1949 boasted 947 members.  After the war the ANA took over the NACGN to see “its program be expanded for the complete integration of Negro nurses”.

1910 –Yellow Cab is founded

1914 –World War I: The library of the Catholic University of Leuven is deliberately destroyed by the German Army. Hundreds of thousands of irreplaceable volumes and Gothic and Renaissance manuscripts are lost including 350 incunabula and 950 manuscripts, some dating back to the 12th century.

1916 –The National Park Service was established within the Department of the Interior to unify leadership and organize and operate the national parks within the United States.  The bill was signed on this day by President Woodrow Wilson mandating the agency to “ensure the scenery and natural and historic objects and wildlife therein, and to provide for the enjoyment of the same manner and by such means as will leave them unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations.”

1921 –United States signs a peace treaty with Germany

1925 –The Brotherhood of the Sleeping Car Porters is formed in Harlem, NY; labor and civil rights leader A. Phillip Randolph named as its first president. The union won its first collective bargaining agreement with the Pullman Company after twelve years of struggle.  The Brotherhood of the Sleeping Car Porters was the first union of predominantly black workers to be granted charter by the American Federation of Labor. By 1940 the union had 15,000 members.  Notable Pullman Porters include Benjamin Mays, Gordon Park and Malcolm X.

1939 –United Kingdom and Poland form a military Alliance in which the UK promises to defend Poland in case of invasion by a foreign power

1948 –The House Un-American Activities Committee holds first-ever televised congressional hearing: “Confrontation Day” between Whittaker Chambers and Alger Hiss.  Whittaker Chambers was a writer, editor former communist and Soviet spy.  He renounced communism and gave evidence to the HUAC, naming individuals he alleged were part of the Communist Party USA, including Alger Hiss.  Hiss, a native of Baltimore was a prominent lawyer and government official who was involved in the forming of the US State Department and the United Nations.  On the 25th of August 1948, the two men met face to face in front of the HUAC. Hiss denied the charges but was charged with perjury after making a number of false statements during his testimony.

1950 –President Harry Truman orders the U.S. Army to seize control of the nation’s railroads to avert a strike.  The Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen and the Order of Railway Conductors, threatened to strike after failed negotiations with the government.  The threats of strike came shortly after Truman ordered troops into war against North Korea communist forces.  Being that the railroads were critical to the economic and defense infrastructure of the nation, the President sent the military in to control the railroads to avert disaster.  The unions went ahead with the strike but after an unsuccessful 21 months, ceded to the government’s terms.

1952 –Puerto Rico becomes a US commonwealth

1980- Zimbabwe joins the United Nations

1991 –Belarus proclaims independence from the Russia


1530 –Ivan IV, Russian tsar remembered as “Ivan the Terrible”

1850 –Bill Nye, American journalist and humorist

1868 –Archibald Carey, Sr.

1900 –Sir Hans Adolf Krebs, German-born English Noble-Prize winning biochemist (1953)

1913 – Walt Kelley, American creator of the comic strip “pogo”

1919 – George Wallace, American four-tie governor of Alabama and 1968 third-party candidate

1927 –Althea Gibson


1899 –Edythe Baker, jazz pianist

1918 – Leonard Bernstein, composer, pianist, conductor.  Composed music for 1957 ‘West Side Story’, ‘On the Waterfront’.  Conducted the New York Philharmonic at the age of 25.  Bernstein died on the 14th of October 1990.

1919 – William Patrick Foster, hall of fame bandmaster and creator of the Florida A&M University “Marching 100,” was born in Kansas City, Kansas. Foster earned his Bachelor of Music Education degree from the University of Kansas in 1941, his Master of Arts degree in music from Wayne State University in 1950, and his Doctor of Education degree in music from Teachers College, Columbia University in 1955. When Foster became director of the band in 1946, the school was known as the Florida Agricultural and Mechanical College for Negroes. He introduced over 30 new techniques to the band which have become standard procedures for high school and college bands nationwide.

1933 – Wayne Shorter, hall of fame jazz saxophonist and composer, was born in Newark, New Jersey. Shorter took up the saxophone as a teenager and earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in music education in 1956 from New York University. After spending two years in the United States Army, in 1959 Shorter joined Art Blakely’s group where he played for five years and eventually became the group’s musical director. From 1964 to 1970, he played with Miles Davis, composing “ESP,” “Footprints,” “Nefertiti,” and many other recordings

1942- Walter Williams of The O’Jays born on this day.

1954 –Elvis Costello, singer-songwriter born Declan Patrick Aloysius MacManus, Paddington London, England.

1957 – Canadian singer, songwriter Paul Anka was at No.1 on the UK singles chart with ‘Diana’ (written about his brother’s baby-sitter). His only UK No.1 as an artist, Anka was the first teenage solo act to reach No.1.1958 –Staten Island doo wop group The Elegants went to No.1 on the US singles chart with their re-worked version of ‘Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star” re-titled ‘Little Star’.

1962 –Little Eva went to No.1 on the singles chart with ‘The Loco-Motion’, written by Carole King and Gerry Goffin.

1963 –Candida Doyle, keyboard player and vocalist in the band Pulp, born on this day in Belfast, Northern Ireland

1973 –Bobby Darin performs his final convert at the Las Vegas Hilton. He died at the age of 37 on December 20th 1973 following open-hear surgery.

1973 –The Allman Brothers release ‘Ramblin’ Man’

1979 –Gary Numan releases hit single ‘Cars’

1980 –Broadway musical 42nd Street, opens

1986 –Paul Simon’s “Graceland’ was released

Sources: The People HistoryThis Day in Labor HistoryWikipedia List of Historical AnniversariesThis Day in Women’s HistoryThis Day in African History;History.comHistory OrbYenobaSelected Black FactsPhil Konstantin’s North American Indian History; and This Day in Music