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Today in history: Feb. 25

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

Today is Friday, Feb. 25, the 56th day of 2005. There are 309 days left in the year.

Today’s highlight in history:
On Feb. 25, 1793, the department heads of the U.S. government met with President Washington at his home for the first Cabinet meeting on record.

On this date:
In 1570, Pope Pius V excommunicated England’s Queen Elizabeth I.

In 1836, inventor Samuel Colt patented his revolver.

In 1901, United States Steel Corp. was incorporated by J.P. Morgan.

In 1913, the 16th Amendment to the United States Constitution, giving Congress the power to levy and collect income taxes, was declared in effect.

In 1943, during World War II, U.S. troops reoccupied the Kasserine Pass.

In 1948, Communists seized power in Czechoslovakia.

In 1964, Cassius Clay (later Muhammad Ali) became world heavyweight boxing champion by defeating Sonny Liston in Miami Beach, Fla.

In 1973, the Stephen Sondheim musical “A Little Night Music” opened at Broadway’s Shubert Theater.

In 1986, President Ferdinand E. Marcos fled the Philippines after 20 years of rule in the wake of a tainted election; Corazon Aquino assumed the presidency.

In 1991, during the Persian Gulf War, 28 Americans were killed when an Iraqi Scud missile hit a U.S. barracks in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia.

Ten years ago: Former President Jimmy Carter wound up a 54-hour visit to Haiti, denying he’d been given a chilly reception by Haitians whom he’d helped save from a potentially bloody U.S.-led intervention.

Five years ago: A jury in Albany, N.Y., acquitted four white New York City police officers of all charges in the shooting death of unarmed African immigrant Amadou Diallo.

One year ago: The Supreme Court ruled states don’t have to underwrite the religious training of students planning careers in the ministry. The Mel Gibson film “The Passion of the Christ” opened in more than 3,000 U.S. theaters on Ash Wednesday.

Today’s birthdays: Country singer Ralph Stanley is 78. Musician Tommy Newsom is 76. Actor Tom Courtenay is 68. CBS newsman Bob Schieffer is 68. Actress Diane Baker is 67. Talk show host Sally Jessy Raphael is 62. Actress Karen Grassle is 61. Movie director Neil Jordan is 55. Rock singer-musician Mike Peters (The Alarm) is 46. Actress Veronica Webb is 40. Actor Alexis Denisof is 39. Actress Tea Leoni is 39. Actress Lesley Boone (“Ed”) is 37. Actor Sean Astin is 34. Latin singer Julio Iglesias Jr. is 32. R&B singer Justin Jeffre (98 Degrees) is 32. Rock musician Richard Liles is 32. Actor Anson Mount is 32. Actress Rashida Jones is 29. Actor Justin Berfield (“Malcolm in the Middle”) is 19. Actors James and Oliver Phelps (“Harry Potter” movies) are 19.

Thought for today: “If people behaved in the way nations do they would all be put in straitjackets.” — Tennessee Williams, American playwright (1911-1983).