On This Day In History May 25

This is your morning Open Thread. Pour your favorite beverage and review the past and comment on the future.

Find the past “On This Day in History” here.

May 25 is the 145th day of the year (146th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 220 days remaining until the end of the year.

On this day in 1977, Stars Wars opens with an intergalactic bang as the first of George Lucas’ blockbuster Star Wars movies hits American theaters.

Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, originally released as Star Wars, is a 1977 American epic space opera film, written and directed by George Lucas. It is the first of six films released in the Star Wars saga: two subsequent films complete the original trilogy, while a prequel trilogy completes the six-film saga. It is the fourth film in terms of the series’ internal chronology. Ground-breaking in its use of special effects, unconventional editing, and science fiction/fantasy storytelling, the original Star Wars is one of the most successful and influential films of all time.

Set “a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away”, the film follows a group of freedom fighters known as the Rebel Alliance as they plot to destroy the powerful Death Star space station, a devastating weapon created by the evil Galactic Empire. This conflict disrupts the isolated life of farmboy Luke Skywalker when he inadvertently acquires the droids carrying the stolen plans to the Death Star. After the Empire begins a cruel and destructive search for the droids, Skywalker decides to accompany Jedi Knight Obi-Wan Kenobi on a daring mission to rescue the owner of the droids, rebel leader Princess Leia Organa, and save the galaxy.

Produced with a budget of $11 million and released on May 25, 1977, the film went on to earn $460 million in the United States and $337 million overseas, surpassing Jaws as the highest-grossing film of all time at the time. Among the many awards the film received, it gained ten Academy Award nominations, winning six; the nominations included Best Supporting Actor for Alec Guinness and Best Picture. Lucas has re-released the film on several occasions, sometimes with significant changes; the most notable versions are the 1997 Special Edition and the 2004 DVD release, which have modified computer-generated effects, altered dialogue, and added scenes.

 240 BC – First recorded perihelion passage of Halley’s Comet.

567 BC – Servius Tullius, king of Rome, celebrates a triumph for his victory over the Etruscans.

1085 – Alfonso VI of Castile takes Toledo, Spain back from the Moors.

1420 – Henry the Navigator is appointed governor of the Order of Christ.

1521 – The Diet of Worms ends when Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor, issues the Edict of Worms, declaring Martin Luther an outlaw.

1659 – Richard Cromwell resigns as Lord Protector of England following the restoration of the Long Parliament, beginning a second brief period of the republican government called the Commonwealth of England.

1738 – A treaty between Pennsylvania and Maryland ends the Conojocular War with settlement of a boundary dispute and exchange of prisoners.

1787 – In Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, delegates convene a Constitutional Convention to write a new Constitution for the United States; George Washington presides.

1810 – May Revolution: citizens of Buenos Aires expel Viceroy Baltasar Hidalgo de Cisneros during the May week, starting the Argentine War of Independence.

1819 – The Argentine Constitution of 1819 is promulgated.

1833 – The Chilean Constitution of 1833 is promulgated.

1837 – The Rebels of Lower Canada (Quebec) rebel against the British for freedom.

1865 – In Mobile, Alabama, 300 are killed when an ordnance depot explodes.

1878 – Gilbert and Sullivan’s comic opera H.M.S. Pinafore opens at the Opera Comique in London.

1895 – Playwright, poet, and novelist Oscar Wilde is convicted of “committing acts of gross indecency with other male persons” and sentenced to serve two years in prison.

1895 – The Republic of Formosa is formed, with Tang Ching-sung as its president.

1914 – The United Kingdom’s House of Commons passes the Home Rule Act for devolution in Ireland.

1925 – Scopes Trial: John T. Scopes is indicted for teaching Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution.

1926 – Sholom Schwartzbard assassinates Symon Petliura, the head of the Paris-based government-in-exile of Ukrainian People’s Republic.

1935 – Jesse Owens of Ohio State University breaks three world records and ties a fourth at the Big Ten Conference Track and Field Championships in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

1936 – The Remington Rand strike, led by the American Federation of Labor, begins.

1938 – Spanish Civil War: The bombing of Alicante takes place, with 313 deaths.

1940 – World War II: The Battle of Dunkirk begins.

1946 – The parliament of Transjordan makes Abdullah I of Jordan their Emir.

1953 – Nuclear testing: At the Nevada Test Site, the United States conduct their first and only nuclear artillery test.

1953 – The first public television station in the United States officially begins broadcasting as KUHT from the campus of the University of Houston.

1955 – In the United States, a night time F5 tornado strikes the small city of Udall, Kansas, killing 80 and injuring 273. It is the deadliest tornado to ever occur in the state and the 23rd deadliest in the U.S.

1955 – First ascent of Kangchenjunga (8,586 m.), the third highest mountain in the world, by a British expedition led by Joe Brown and George Band.

1961 – Apollo program: U.S. President John F. Kennedy announces before a special joint session of the Congress his goal to initiate a project to put a “man on the Moon” before the end of the decad.

1962 – The Old Bay Line, the last overnight steamboat service in the United States, goes out of business.

1963 – In Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, the Organisation of African Unity is established.

1966 – Explorer program: Explorer 32 launches.

1966 – The first prominent dazìbao during the Cultural Revolution in China is posted at Peking University.

1977 – Star Wars (retitled Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope in 1981) is released in theaters, inspiring the Jediism religion and Geek Pride Day holiday.

1979– American Airlines Flight 191: In Chicago, a McDonnell Douglas DC-10 crashes during takeoff at O’Hare International Airport killing 271 on board and two people on the ground.

1979 – Six-year-old Etan Patz disappears from the street just two blocks away from his New York City home, prompting an international search for the child, and causing U.S. President Ronald Reagan to designate May 25th as National Missing Children’s Day (in 1983).

1981 – In Riyadh, the Gulf Cooperation council is created between Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

1982 – HMS Coventry is sunk during the Falklands War.

1985 – Bangladesh is hit by a tropical cyclone and storm surge, which kills approximately 10,000 people.

1997 – A military coup in Sierra Leone replaces President Ahmad Tejan Kabbah with Major Johnny Paul Koromah.

1999 – The United States House of Representatives releases the Cox Report which details the People’s Republic of China’s nuclear espionage against the U.S. over the prior two decades.

2000 – Liberation Day of Lebanon. Israel withdraws its army from most of the Lebanese territory after 22 years of its first invasion in 1978.

2001 – 32-year-old Erik Weihenmayer, of Boulder, Colorado, becomes the first blind person to reach the summit of Mount Everest.

2002 – China Airlines Flight 611: A Boeing 747-200 breaks apart in mid-air and plunges into the Taiwan Strait killing 225 people.

2002 – A train crash in Tenga, Mozambique kills 197 people.

2009 – North Korea allegedly tests its second nuclear device. Following the nuclear test, Pyongyang also conducted several missile tests building tensions in the international community.

Holidays and observances

   * Africa Day (African Union)

   * African Liberation Day (African Union)

   * Christian Feast Day:

       * Bede

       * Gerard of Lunel

       * Mary Magdalene de Pazzi

       * Pope Gregory VII

       * Pope Urban I

       * May 25 (Eastern Orthodox liturgics)

   * Day of Youth, celebrated on Josip Broz Tito’s birthday (the former Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia)

   * Geek Pride Day and its related observances:

       * Star Wars Day (Los Angeles City Council)

   * Independence Day, celebrates the independence of Jordan from the United Kingdom in 1946.

   * Liberation Day (Lebanon)

   * First National Government / National Day (Argentina)

   * National Missing Children’s Day (United States)

   * National Tap Dance Day (United States)

   * Towel Day (Douglas Adams fans)