On this Day May 25
Click each item below to learn more!
1927 – Robert Ludlum, author of more than 20 thrillers, including the Jason Bourne spy novels (d. 2001)
1939 – Tony and Golden Globe-winning actor Sir Ian McKellen, best known as Gandalf in “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy and Magneto in the “X-Men” movies
1943 – Tony and Emmy-winning actress-singer Leslie Uggams (“Hallelujah, Baby!,” “Roots”)
1944 – Emmy-winning actor-director and “Sesame Street” and “The Muppet Show” puppeteer Frank Oz, who also provided the voice of Yoda in the “Star Wars” movies
1963 – Emmy-winning comedic actor Mike Myers (“Saturday Night Live,” “Wayne’s World,” “So I Married an Axe Murderer,” and the “Austin Powers” and “Shrek” movie series)
1969 – Actress Anne Heche (“Donnie Brasco,” “Volcano,” “Wag the Dog,” “Six Days Seven Nights,” “John Q,” “Men in Trees”)
1972 – Oscar and Golden Globe-winning actress Octavia Spencer (“A Time to Kill,” “The Help,” “Hidden Figures,” “The Shape of Water”)
1961 – Addressing a special joint session of Congress, President John F. Kennedy announces his goal to send an American to the moon before the end of the decade. He also requests financial support for an accelerated space program.
1977 – “A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…” With those words on the screen, cinematic history is made as George Lucas’ epic sci-fi adventure “Star Wars” opens on Memorial Day weekend at just 32 theaters across the U.S. with no official premiere. By August, more than 1,000 theaters are screening the film, propelling it box office glory. Later renamed “Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope,” the movie captures seven Academy Awards and becomes a marketing bonanza.
1979 – This day marks the worst domestic air crash in U.S. history. American Airlines Flight 191, a McDonnell Douglas DC-10, crashes during takeoff at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport killing 271 on board and two people on the ground. Investigators blame a faulty pylon assembly for the tragedy in which the left engine fell off the LA-bound aircraft.
1979 – Six-year old Etan Patz disappears while walking two blocks from home to his bus stop in Manhattan. Investigators have the boy’s face and description printed on milk cartons all across the U.S. in hopes that someone would find him — the first time that method is used to aid in a missing child case. It takes 38 years for authorities to find and convict the suspect in Patz’s kidnapping and murder.
1963 – Jimmy Soul enjoys his second and final week on top of the pop chart with “If You Wanna Be Happy.”
1965 – Blues singer-songwriter and harmonica player Sonny Boy Williamson dies in his sleep at age 65. Over the years, Van Morrison, Aerosmith, The Who, The Animals, Yardbirds and The Moody Blues have all covered his songs.
1968 – Simon & Garfunkel’s “Bookends” becomes the duo’s second No. 1 album, delivering such classic tracks as “Mrs. Robinson,” “America,” “A Hazy Shade Of Winter” and “At The Zoo.” The album holds the top spot for three weeks.
1973 – More than 100,000 people flock to New York’s Central Park for a free concert by singer-songwriting sensation Carole King.
1974 – Ray Stevens’ novelty song, “The Streak,” is in the midst of a three-week run on top of the Billboard Hot 100.
1985 – “Everything She Wants,” by Wham! (featuring George Michael), begins two weeks on top of the Billboard Hot 100. It becomes the pop duo’s third consecutive million-selling No. 1 hit in the U.S.
1991 – Mariah Carey’s “I Don’t Wanna Cry” rules the Billboard Hot 100 for two weeks.
1996 – Bone Thugs-n-Harmony claim the top spot on the pop chart with “Tha Crossroads.”
2002 – “Foolish,” by Ashanti, is in its sixth week as a Billboard singles chart-topper. It spends another four weeks at No. 1.