Today in History

Today is Tuesday, July 25, the 206th day of 2017. There are 159 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On July 25, 1967, a full-page ad in The Times (of London) called for the legalization of marijuana, saying the law against the drug was “immoral in principle and unworkable in practice”; among the signatories were all four of the Beatles, one of whom, Paul McCartney, paid for the ad.

On this date:

In 1593, France’s King Henry IV converted from Protestantism to Roman Catholicism.

In 1866, Ulysses S. Grant was named General of the Army of the United States, the first officer to hold the rank.

In 1917, Nikon Corp. had its beginnings with the merger of three optical manufacturers in Japan.

In 1934, Austrian Chancellor Engelbert Dollfuss was assassinated by pro-Nazi Austrians in a failed coup attempt.

In 1946, the United States detonated an atomic bomb near Bikini Atoll in the Pacific in the first underwater test of the device.

In 1952, Puerto Rico became a self-governing commonwealth of the United States.

In 1956, the Italian liner SS Andrea Doria collided with the Swedish passenger ship Stockholm off the New England coast late at night and began sinking; 51 people — 46 from the Andrea Doria, five from the Stockholm — were killed. (The Andrea Doria capsized and sank the following morning.)

In 1957, Tunisia became a republic.

In 1975, the musical “A Chorus Line” opened on Broadway at the Shubert Theatre, beginning a run of 6,137 performances.

In 1984, Soviet cosmonaut Svetlana Savitskaya became the first woman to walk in space as she carried out more than three hours of experiments outside the orbiting space station Salyut 7.

In 1992, opening ceremonies were held in Barcelona, Spain, for the Summer Olympics.

In 2000, a New York-bound Air France Concorde crashed outside Paris shortly after takeoff, killing all 109 people on board and four people on the ground; it was the first-ever crash of the supersonic jet.

Ten years ago: A presidential commission urged broad changes to veterans’ care that would boost benefits for family members helping the wounded, establish an easy-to-use website for medical records and overhaul the way disability pay was awarded. The bullet-riddled body of one of 23 South Koreans held hostage in Afghanistan by Taliban kidnappers was found; eight other captives were released. Pratibha Patil was sworn in as India’s first female president.

Five years ago: President Barack Obama embraced some degree of control on the sale of weapons but also told the National Urban League in New Orleans he would seek a national consensus on combating violence. NBC announced it had topped the $1 billion mark in advertising sales for the upcoming Olympic Games in London, topping the $850 million in ad sales for the Beijing games in 2008.