On this day: Cassius Clay defeats Sonny Liston

EVENTS, birthdays and anniversaries on February 25.

Cassius Clay (later Muhammad Ali) beat Sonny Liston to win the world heavyweight championship. Picture: Getty

1412: Bishop Henry Wardlaw formally incorporated masters and students at the centre of higher education at St Andrews as a “university,” although it was not officially inaugurated until 4 February, 1414, when Pope Benedict XIII’s Bull of Foundation was promulgated.

1570: Queen Elizabeth I of England was excommunicated by Pope Pius V.

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1601: Earl of Essex was executed for treason.

1791: Bank of United States founded.

1917: Liner Laconia torpedoed by Germans in the Atlantic, with the loss of 30 lives, many of them American.

1932: Adolf Hitler, who was born in Austria, was granted German citizenship.

1948: Communist coup in Czechoslovakia.

1954: Colonel Gamal Abdel Nasser usurped power as premier of Egypt.

1955: HMS Ark Royal, Britain’s largest aircraft carrier, was completed.

1956: Soviet premier Nikita Khrushchev went before Communist Party congress in Moscow and denounced late dictator Joseph Stalin.

1958: The Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament was set up under the presidency of Lord Russell.

1964: Cassius Clay (later Muhammad Ali) won the world heavyweight boxing championship, when Sonny Liston retired in the seventh round.

1969: Mariner 6 launched from Cape Kennedy for a Mars fly-by.

1972: Miners voted to accept new pay deal, thus lifting threat of continuing power cuts for the country.

1976: US vetoed United Nations resolution deploring Israel’s annexation of Jerusalem.

1978: United States cautioned Soviet Union that continued Soviet military involvement in Ethiopia-Somalia conflict could impair Soviet-US relations.

1982: European Court of Human Rights ruled that British parents could refuse to allow children to be beaten at school.

1986: Philippines president Ferdinand Marcos resigned, brought down by a “people’s power” uprising, military revolt, and American pressure.

1987: Pro-Iranian Shia Muslims buried 23 militants killed by Syrian soldiers in Lebanon, and claimed they were deliberately massacred with axes and bayonets.

1990: Lithuanian elections gave Sajudis, popular front seeking independence from USSR, first 72 out of 90 seats.

1991: Warsaw Pact was formally dissolved after 36 years by meeting in Budapest.

1991: Iraqi troops were ordered out of Kuwait by Saddam Hussein. A Scud missile hit a US marines barracks, killing 28 soldiers, in Khobar City, near Dhahran.

1993: ICI and British Gas announced they were cutting more than 7,000 jobs.

1996: Muslim suicide bombers killed 25 people and wounded 80 in two attacks in Israel.

2009: A Turkish Airlines plane crashed on landing at Amsterdam’s Schiphol international airport, killing nine people and injuring more than 80.

2009: Conservative leader David Cameron’s eldest son Ivan, six died in hospital. He had cerebral palsy and epilepsy.

2011: In the Irish general election, the Fianna Fáil-led government suffered the worst defeat of a sitting government since the formation of the Irish state in


Ed Balls, Labour MP and shadow chancellor, 48; Diane Baker, actress, 77; Elkie Brooks, singer, 70; Sir Tom Courtenay, actor, 78; Lord Gill, Lord Justice-Clerk, 73; Téa Leoni, actress, 49; Park Ji-Sung, South Korean footballer, 34; Lord Puttnam CBE, film producer, 74; James William Stuart Whitemore Sempill, 21st Lord Sempill, 66; Lord Sutherland of Houndwood, principal and vice-chancellor, Edinburgh University 1994-2002, president, Royal Society of Edinburgh 2002-05, 74.


Births: Renoir, French Impressionist painter; 1845 Sir George Reid, Scots-born Australian statesman; 1901 Zeppo Marx, comedy actor; 1917 Anthony Burgess, author; 1928 Larry Gelbart, American comedy writer and dramatist; 1934 Tony Lema, golfer; 1943 George Harrison, Beatle, composer and film producer; 1952 Joey Dunlop OBE, world champion motor cyclist.

Deaths: 1723 Sir Christopher Wren, architect; 1805 William Buchan, Scots-born author of Domestic Medicine, best-selling medical book; 1899 Paul Julius von Reuter, founder of the news agency; 1914 Sir John Tenniel, cartoonist and illustrator of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass; 1965 Alexander Archipenko, sculptor; 1970 Mark Rothko, artist; 1983 Tennessee Williams, playwright; 1990 Henry Fairlie, author and political journalist; 1990 Johnnie Ray, pop singer; 2001 Sir Donald Bradman, cricketer.