February 25, 1941 -
Another Preston Sturges' comic masterpiece, The Lady Eve, premiered in the US on this date.
Preston Sturges wrote the screenplay specifically for Barbara Stanwyck. He had promised her a great film while working on a previous movie.
February 25, 1946 -
Part of Roberto Rossellini Neo-realist classic war trilogy, Roma, città aperta (Rome Open City) opened in the US on this date.
Rossellini used real Nazi POWs as extras for added realistic effect.
February 25, 1950 -
The comedy-variety program Your Show of Shows, starring Sid Caesar, Imogene Coca and Carl Reiner, debuted on NBC-TV on this date.
Writers for the show included Mel Brooks, Neil Simon and Larry Gelbart. A common misconception is that Woody Allen wrote for Your Show of Shows; he in fact wrote for its successor program, Caesar's Hour, which ran from 1954 to 1957.
Don't forget to check out ACME's Eagle Brand Soap Radio Hour
Today in History:
February 25, 1570 -
Pope Pius V issued a Papal Bull on this day excommunicating Queen Elizabeth I, whom he called "the pretended Queen of England and the servant of crime."
February 25, 1601 -
Robert Devereux, second Earl of Essex, was beheaded following a conviction of treason on this date. His plot to capture London and the Tower had failed.
He was the last person to be beheaded in the Tower of London. It was reported to have taken three strokes by the executioner to complete the beheading.
Let this be a lesson to all you playas - never try to steal you girlfriends' country.
February 25, 1836 -
Samuel Colt was granted his first patent for a multi-chamber gun on this date.
Please celebrate responsibly.
February 25, 1870 -
Hiram Rhoades Revels, a representative from Mississippi, became the first African-American congressman when he was sworn in to finish out Jefferson Davis' term.
The seat had been left vacant when Davis left to become the president of the Confederacy.
February 25, 1879 -
Charles Frederick Peace, infamous Victorian cat burglar and The Murderous Musician was executed by hanging on this date.
February 25, 1888 -
Haven't we all made a fool of ourselves over John Foster Dulles.
February 25, 1899 -
The first test drive fatality occurs in Grove Hill Harrow, England on this date. The accident occurs while the car, a Daimler Wagonette, is being demonstrated for Major James Richer, Department Head of the Army & Navy Stores. The car apparently lost a wheel and both Mr E.R. Sewell, the driver, and Richer were thrown from the car onto the road.
February 25, 1908 -
President Theodore Roosevelt, after a vigorous round of calisthenics, flipped a switch on his desk and signaled the start of service through the Hudson & Manhattan railway tunnels, (also known as The McAdoo Tunnel,) carrying passengers between Manhattan and Hoboken, New Jersey. If allowed, Roosevelt would have driven the first train though the tunnel himself.
February 25, 1922 -
Henri Landru, the notorious French serial killer known as "Bluebeard", was guillotined for murdering ten women, and one boy on this date. His motive was purely financial; by placing classified ads Landru lured selected women into his clutches, married them, and disposed of their bodies without a trace.
Charles Chaplin based his movie, Monsieur Verdoux on this case.
February 25, 1932 -
The German state government of Brunswick, in which the Nazi Party participated, appointed Adolph Hitler of Austria to a minor administrative post this month and on this day gave him German citizenship.
February 25, 1964 -
Muhammad Ali, then known as Cassius Clay, became the heavyweight champion of the world for the first time on this day when he beat Sonny Liston.
Ali went on to become the first person to win the heavyweight champion title three times.
February 25, 1969 -
In Vietnam, a 25 year old Navy Lt., Bob Kerrey, took part in a SEAL raid in the Mekong Delta where over a dozen women, children and old men were killed in the village of Thanh Phong, on this date. Kerrey received a Bronze Star for the raid and later strongly regretted his actions.
February 25, 1983 -
Playwright Tennessee Williams was found dead on this date, in his New York hotel room after he choked on a bottle cap during the night.
And so it goes.
Before you go - remember to stake out your favorite seat -
tomorrow night the Oscars are on ABC-TV