Today is Friday, April 25, the 115th day of 2014. There are 250 days left in the year.
Today's Highlight in History:
On April 25, 1507, a world map produced by German cartographer Martin Waldseemueller contained the first recorded use of the term "America," in honor of Italian navigator Amerigo Vespucci (vehs-POO'-chee).
On this date:
- In 1792, highwayman Nicolas Jacques Pelletier became the first person under French law to be executed by the guillotine.
- In 1859, ground was broken for the Suez Canal.
- In 1862, during the Civil War, a Union fleet commanded by Flag Officer David G. Farragut captured the city of New Orleans.
- In 1898, the United States formally declared war on Spain.
- In 1901, New York Gov. Benjamin Barker Odell Jr. signed an automobile registration bill which imposed a 15 mph speed limit on highways.
- In 1915, during World War I, Allied soldiers invaded the Gallipoli (guh-LIHP'-uh-lee) Peninsula in an unsuccessful attempt to take the Ottoman Empire out of the war.
- In 1944, the United Negro College Fund was founded.
- In 1945, during World War II, U.S. and Soviet forces linked up on the Elbe (EL'-beh) River, a meeting that dramatized the collapse of Nazi Germany's defenses. Delegates from some 50 countries met in San Francisco to organize the United Nations.
- In 1959, the St. Lawrence Seaway opened to shipping.
- In 1964, vandals sawed off the head of the "Little Mermaid" statue in Copenhagen, Denmark.
- In 1974, the "Carnation Revolution" took place in Portugal as a bloodless military coup toppled the Estado Novo regime.
- In 1983, 10-year-old Samantha Smith of Manchester, Maine, received a reply from Soviet leader Yuri V. Andropov to a letter she'd written expressing concern about possible nuclear war; Andropov reassured Samantha that the Soviet Union did not want war, and he invited her to visit his country, a trip Samantha made in July.