updated 4/25/2005 12:07:10 AM ET 2005-04-25T04:07:10

Today is Monday, April 25, the 115th day of 2005. There are 250 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:
On April 25, 1945, during World War II, U.S. and Soviet forces linked up on the Elbe River, a meeting that dramatized the collapse of Nazi Germany’s defenses.

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 1898, the United States formally declared war on Spain.

In 1915, during World War I, Allied soldiers invaded the Gallipoli Peninsula in an unsuccessful attempt to take the Ottoman Turkish Empire out of the war.

In 1945, delegates from some 50 countries met in San Francisco to organize the United Nations.

In 1959, the St. Lawrence Seaway opened to shipping.

In 1983, Soviet leader Yuri V. Andropov invited Samantha Smith to visit his country after receiving a letter in which the Manchester, Maine, schoolgirl expressed fears about nuclear war.

In 1983, the Pioneer 10 spacecraft crossed Pluto’s orbit, speeding on its endless voyage through the Milky Way.

In 1990, Violeta Barrios de Chamorro was inaugurated as president of Nicaragua, ending 11 years of leftist Sandinista rule.

In 1990, the Hubble Space Telescope was deployed from the space shuttle Discovery.

Ten years ago: Show business legend Ginger Rogers died in Rancho Mirage, Calif., at age 83.

Five years ago: Assailants shot and killed Zika Petrovic, an ally of Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic. Broadway producer David Merrick died in London at age 88.

One year ago: Hundreds of thousands of abortion-rights supporters marched in Washington, D.C., to protest Bush administration policies. Cosmetics queen Estee Lauder died in New York at age 97.

Today’s Birthdays: Country musician Vassar Clements is 77. Movie director-writer Paul Mazursky is 75. Songwriter Jerry Leiber is 72. Actor Al Pacino is 65. Rock musician Stu Cook (Creedence Clearwater Revival) is 60. Singer Bjorn Ulvaeus (ABBA) is 60. Actress Talia Shire is 59. Actor Jeffrey DeMunn is 58. Rock musician Michael Brown (The Left Banke) is 56. Rock musician Steve Ferrone (Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers) is 55. Country singer-songwriter Rob Crosby is 51. Actor Hank Azaria is 41. Rock singer Andy Bell (Erasure) is 41. Rock musician Eric Avery (Jane’s Addiction) is 40. TV personality Jane Clayson is 38. Actress Renee Zellweger is 36. Actor Jason Lee is 35. Actor Jason Wiles is 35. Actress Emily Bergl is 30. Singer Jacob Underwood (O Town) is 25.

Thought for Today: “There are two great rules of life, the one general and the other particular. The first is that everyone can, in the end, get what he wants if he only tries. This is the general rule. The particular rule is that every individual is more or less an exception to the general rule.” — Samuel Butler, English author (1835-1902).

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