On this Day August 25
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1939 – MGM Studios’ “The Wizard of Oz” premieres, starring Judy Garland as Dorothy. It and “Gone With The Wind,” which was released later that year, are the first major motion pictures to use Technicolor at a time when films were shot in black and white.
1944 – Allied troops liberate Paris after more than four years of Nazi occupation. German resistance proves to be light and the commander of the German garrison, General Dietrich von Choltitz, defies Adolf Hitler’s order to blow up Paris landmarks and burn the city to the ground before its liberation. Choltitz signs a formal surrender that afternoon, and the next day, Free French General Charles de Gaulle leads a liberation march down the Champs d’Elysees.
1985 – Samantha Smith of Maine, the 11-year-old “ambassador” to the Soviet Union, dies in a plane crash. Smith was best known for writing to Soviet leader Yuri Andropov in 1982 and visiting as Andropov’s guest in 1983.
2009 – Edward “Ted” Kennedy, the youngest brother of President John F. Kennedy and a U.S. senator from Massachusetts from 1962 to 2009, dies of brain cancer at age 77 at his home in Hyannis Port, Massachusetts.
1979 – The Knack kick off six weeks on top of the Billboard Hot 100 with “My Sharona.” The track becomes Capitol Records’ fastest gold status debut single since “I Want to Hold Your Hand” by The Beatles in 1964.