#TodayInHistory – April 25
April 25 – Some important events on this day
1507 👉🏼 German cartographer Martin Waldseemüller first to use the name America on his world map “Universalis Cosmographia” 🗺
1644 👉🏼 Last Ming Emperor Chongzhen hangs himself from a tree on Jing Mountain, Beijing, rather than be captured by forces of Li Zicheng.
Chongzhen was the 16th and last emperor of the Ming Dynasty in China, reigning from 1627-44.
He inherited a failing empire and though he tried to stem corruption and rebellions throughout his reign, he was ultimately unable to put down the Manchu rebellions from the north. In fact the Manchus took Beijing in 1644 and Chongzhen took his own life on this day, rather than be captured.
1660 👉🏼 English Convention Parliament meets and votes to restore Charles II
1719 👉🏼 Novelist Daniel Defoe publishes “Robinson Crusoe 📖
1792 👉🏼 Guillotine first used in France, executes highwayman Nicolas Pelletier
1792 👉🏼 “La Marseillaise”, later the national anthem of France, is composed by Claude Joseph Rouget de Lisle in Strasbourg 🇫🇷
1846 👉🏼 Thornton Affair: Open conflict begins over the disputed border of Texas, triggering the Mexican-American War
1925 👉🏼 Paul von Hindenburg is elected the President of Germany. He came to national attention in August 1914 at the age of 66 by defeating the Russians in the decisive Battle of Tannenberg.
As Germany’s Chief of the General Staff from August 1916, Hindenburg’s reputation rose greatly in German public esteem. He and his deputy Erich Ludendorff, led Germany in a de facto military dictatorship throughout the remainder of the war, marginalizing both German Emperor Wilhelm II as the German Reichstag (parliament).
A believer in Lebensraum ideology, Hindenburg advocated annexing territory in Poland, Ukraine and Russia for German re-settlement.
Hindenburg retired again in 1919, but returned to public life in 1925 to be elected on this day the second President of Germany.
In 1932, although 84 years old and in poor health, Hindenburg was persuaded to run for re-election as German President, as he was considered the only candidate who could defeat Adolf Hitler, which he did in a runoff.
He was opposed to Hitler and was a major player in the increasing political instability in the Weimar Republic that ended with Hitler’s rise to power. He dissolved the Reichstag twice in 1932 and finally, under pressure, agreed to appoint Hitler Chancellor of Germany in January 1933. In February, he signed off on the Reichstag Fire Decree, which suspended various civil liberties and in March signed the Enabling Act of 1933, which gave Hitler’s regime arbitrary powers.
He died soon after, allowing Hitler to declare the office of President vacant and himself head of state.
1926 👉🏼 Giacomo Puccini’s opera “Turandot” premieres in Milan
1945 “Elbe Day” – US and Soviet forces meet at Torgau, Germany on the Elbe River during the invasion of Germany in WWII
1950 👉🏼 Chuck Cooper becomes the 1st African American to be drafted into the NBA (for Boston Celtics)
1953 👉🏼 Francis Crick and James Watson’s discovery of the double helix structure of DNA is published in “Nature” magazine
1954 👉🏼 Bell labs announces the 1st Solar Battery made from silicon. It has about 6% efficiency.
In 1954 scientists at Bell Laboratories unveiled the first modern solar cell, using a silicon semiconductor to convert light into electricity.
In the early 1950s R.S. Ohl had discovered that sunlight striking a wafer of silicon would produce unexpectedly large numbers of free electrons.
In 1954, G.L. Pearson, C.S. Fuller, and D.M. Chapin created an array of several strips of silicon (each about the size of a razor blade), placed them in sunlight, captured the free electrons and turned them into electrical current.
This was the first solar battery. It converted only 6% of the sunlight into useful energy, many wondered what it was good for.
Today, solar cells in calculators, highway emergency phones, and satellites can convert over 25% of the sunlight that hits them into useful energy.
1960 👉🏼 1st submerged circumnavigation of Earth completed by USS submarine Triton in 60 days, 21 hours
1974 👉🏼 Leo Tindemans forms Belgium government 🇧🇪
1980 👉🏼 Plane crashes on Canary Islands, killing 146 ✈️
1983 👉🏼 Hitler’s diaries discovered! but….
✔️ Read the article!
1990 👉🏼 Hubble space telescope is placed into orbit by shuttle Discovery 🔭
2015 👉🏼 Magnitude 7.8 earthquake kills nearly 9,000 and injuring 16,800 in Nepal 🇳🇵
2019 👉🏼 Cyclone Kenneth strikes Mozambique with winds of 220km/h (140mph) killing at least38 people and damaging nearly 35,000 homes 🌪