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Today in History — August 25

Celebrity birthdays, highlights in history, plus more facts about this day.
/ Source: The Associated Press

Today is Saturday, Aug. 25, the 237th day of 2007. There are 128 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On Aug. 25, 1944, during World War II, Paris was liberated by Allied forces after four years of Nazi occupation.

On this date:

In 1825, Uruguay declared independence from Brazil.

In 1875, Capt. Matthew Webb became the first person to swim across the English Channel, getting from Dover, England, to Calais, France, in 22 hours.

In 1916, the National Park Service was established within the Department of the Interior.

In 1921, the United States signed a peace treaty with Germany.

In 1943, U.S. forces liberated New Georgia in the Solomon Islands from the Japanese during World War II.

In 1950, President Harry Truman ordered the Army to seize control of the nation’s railroads to avert a strike.

In 1967, George Lincoln Rockwell, founder of the American Nazi Party, was shot to death in the parking lot of a shopping center in Arlington, Va; former party member John Patler was later convicted of the killing.

In 1981, the U.S. spacecraft Voyager II came within 63,000 miles of Saturn’s cloud cover, sending back pictures of and data about the ringed planet.

In 1985, Samantha Smith, 13, the schoolgirl whose letter to Yuri V. Andropov resulted in her famous peace tour of the Soviet Union, died with her father in an airliner crash in Auburn, Maine.

In 1998, retired Supreme Court Justice Lewis F. Powell died in Richmond, Va., at age 90.

Ten years ago: The tobacco industry agreed to an $11.3 billion settlement with the state of Florida. Dow Corning Corp. offered $2.4 billion to settle claims from more than 200,000 women with illnesses related to silicone breast implants.

Five years ago: China set Nov. 8 as the date for its long-awaited Communist Party national congress. Louisville, Ky., beat Sendai, Japan, 1-0 to win the Little League World Series in South Williamsport, Pa. Former Swedish diplomat Per Anger, who had worked with Raoul Wallenberg in shielding thousands of Hungarian Jews from Nazi death camps, died in Stockholm, Sweden, at age 88. Acclaimed bass-baritone William Warfield, best known for his rendition of “Ol’ Man River” in the musical “Show Boat,” died in Chicago at age 82.

One year ago: A college student’s checked luggage on a Continental Airlines flight that had arrived in Houston from Buenos Aires, Argentina, was found to contain a stick of dynamite, one of six security incidents that day that caused U.S. flights to be diverted, evacuated or searched. Joseph Stefano, who wrote the screenplay for Alfred Hitchcock’s “Psycho,” died in Thousand Oaks, Calif., at age 84.

Today’s Birthdays: Actor Van Johnson is 91. Actor-producer Mel Ferrer is 90. Game show host Monty Hall is 86. Actor Sean Connery is 77. Actor Page Johnson is 77. Talk show/game show host Regis Philbin is 76. Actor Tom Skerritt is 74. Jazz musician Wayne Shorter is 74. Movie director Hugh Hudson is 71. Actor David Canary is 69. Movie director John Badham is 68. Filmmaker Marshall Brickman is 66. Rhythm-and-blues singer Walter Williams (The O’Jays) is 65. Actor Anthony Heald is 63. Actress Anne Archer is

60. Rock singer-actor Gene Simmons is 58. Actor John Savage is 58. Country singer-musician Henry Paul (Blackhawk) is 58. Rock singer Rob Halford is 56. Rock musician Geoff Downes (Asia) is 55. Rock singer Elvis Costello is 53. Movie director Tim Burton is 49. Actress Ally Walker is 46. Country singer Billy Ray Cyrus is 46. Rock musician Vivian Campbell (Def Leppard) is 45. Actress Joanne Whalley is 43. Actor Blair Underwood is 43. Rap DJ Terminator X (Public Enemy) is 41. Alternative country singer Jeff Tweedy (Wilco) is 40. Actor David Alan Basche is 39. Television chef Rachael Ray (”30 Minute Meals”) is 39. Country singer Jo Dee Messina is 37. Model Claudia Schiffer is 37. Country singer Brice Long is 36. Actor Eric Millegan is 33. Actor Kel Mitchell is 29. Actress Rachel Bilson (“The O.C.”) is 26. Actor Josh Flitter is 13.

Thought for Today: “Tradition is what you resort to when you don’t have the time or the money to do it right.” — Kurt Herbert Adler, Austrian-born conductor (1905-1988).