May 25 is the 145th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (146th in leap years). There are 220 days remaining.
- 1085 - Alfonso VI of Castile takes Toledo, Spain back from the Moors.
- 1420 - Henry the Navigator is appointed governor of the Order of Christ.
- 1521 - The Diet of Worms ends when Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor issues the Edict of Worms, declaring Martin Luther an outlaw.
- 1659 - Richard Cromwell resigns as Lord Protector of England following the restoration of the Long Parliament, beginning a second brief period of the republican government called the Commonwealth.
- 1787 - In Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, delegates convene a Constitutional Convention to write a new Constitution for the United States. George Washington presides.
- 1810 - In the May Revolution, armed citizens of Buenos Aires, Argentina expel the Viceroy during the Semana de Mayo.
- 1865 - In Mobile, Alabama, 300 are killed when an ordnance depot explodes.
- 1895 - Playwright, poet and novelist Oscar Wilde is convicted of sodomy and gross indecency and sentenced to serve two years in prison.
- 1895 - The Republic of Taiwan is formed, with Tang Ching-sung as the president.
- 1914 - The United Kingdom's House of Commons passes Irish Home Rule.
- 1925 - Scopes Trial: John T. Scopes is indicted for teaching Darwin's theory of evolution.
- 1925 - The National Forensics League of America is founded.
- 1935 - In a span of 45 minutes at the Big Ten meet in Ann Arbor, Michigan, Jesse Owens sets or ties four track and field world records.
- 1935 - Babe Ruth hits his 714th and last home run at Forbes Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, setting a baseball record that will stand for 39 years.
- 1940 - World War II: The Battle of Dunkirk begins.
- 1946 - The parliament of Transjordan makes Abdullah I of Jordan their king.
- 1953 - Nuclear testing: At the Nevada Test Site, the United States conducts its first and only nuclear artillery test.
- 1955 - Kanchenjunga, third highest peak in the world is scaled successfully for the first time.
- 1961 - Apollo program: American president John F. Kennedy announces before a special joint session of Congress his goal to initiate a project to put a "man on the moon" before the end of the decade.
- 1963 - In Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, the Organisation of African Unity is established.
- 1966 - Explorer program: Explorer 32 launches.
- 1968 - In St. Louis, Missouri, US Vice-President Hubert Humphrey and US Secretary of the Interior Stewart Udall dedicate the Gateway Arch as part of the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial.
- 1973 - Mike Oldfield releases Tubular Bells.
- 1977 - Star Wars (later retitled Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope) opens a limited run in theaters before expanding to become the highest grossing movie to date.
- 1979 - American Airlines Flight 191: In Chicago, a DC-10 crashes during takeoff at O'Hare International Airport killing 271 on board and two people on the ground.
- 1979 - The movie Alien opens in theaters, starring Tom Skerritt and Sigourney Weaver.
- 1981 - In Riyadh, the Gulf Cooperation Council is created between Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
- 1982 - HMS Coventry is sunk during the Falklands War.
- 1983 - Return of the Jedi (later retitled Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi) opens in theaters
- 1985 - Bangladesh is hit by a tropical cyclone and storm surge, which kills approximately 10,000 people.
- 1990 - Back to the Future Part III opens in theaters.
- 1994 - Beverly Hills Cop III opens in theaters, starring Eddie Murphy.
- 1995 - The Bosnian Serb Army kills 72 youngsters in the Bosnian city of Tuzla.
- 1997 - A military coup in Sierra Leone replaces President Ahmad Tejan Kabbah with Major Johnny Paul Koromah.
- 1997 - Strom Thurmond becomes the longest-serving member in the history of the United States Senate, at 41 years and 10 months.
- 2001 - 32-year-old Erik Weihenmayer, of Boulder, Colorado, becomes the first blind person to reach the summit of Mount Everest.
- 2001 - 64-year-old Sherman Bull , of New Canaan, Connecticut, becomes the oldest person to reach the summit of Mount Everest.
- 2002 - A China Airlines Boeing 747-200 breaks apart in mid-air and plunges into the Taiwan Strait killing 225 people.
- 2002 - In Tallinn, Estonia, Marie N wins the forty-seventh Eurovision Song Contest for Latvia singing "I Wanna".
- 2003 - Néstor Kirchner becomes President of Argentina after defeating Carlos Menem. He is the first elected President since the December 2001 economic crisis.
- 1334 - Emperor Suko of Japan (d. 1398)
- 1803 - Ralph Waldo Emerson, essayist, philosopher (d. 1882)
- 1803 - Edward George Bulwer-Lytton, novelist and playwright (d. 1873)
- 1845 - Lip Pike, baseball player
- 1860 - James McKeen Cattell, first professor of psychology in U.S. (d. 1944)
- 1865 - Pieter Zeeman, Nobel Prize winner (d. 1943)
- 1879 - Lord Beaverbrook, publisher (d. 1964)
- 1880 - Jean Alexandre Barré, neurologist (d. 1967)
- 1888 - Miles Malleson, actor (d. 1969)
- 1889 - Igor Sikorsky developer of a working helicopter (d. 1972)
- 1913 - Richard Dimbleby, journalist and broadcaster
- 1922 - Enrico Berlinguer, politician (d. 1984)
- 1926 - Max von der Grün , author
- 1926 - Miles Davis, jazz musician and composer
- 1927 - Robert Ludlum, spy fiction writer (d. 2001)
- 1929 - Beverly Sills, American soprano
- 1931 - Georgi Grechko, cosmonaut
- 1925 - Jeanne Crain, actress
- 1935 - Cookie Gilchrist, American football player
- 1938 - Raymond Carver, writer and poet (d. 1988)
- 1939 - Ian McKellen, actor
- 1939 - Dixie Carter, actress
- 1943 - Jessi Colter, country singer
- 1944 - Frank Oz, puppeteer, director
- 1949 - Jamaica Kincaid, novelist
- 1958 - Paul Weller, British musician
- 1963 - Mike Myers, actor, comedian
- 1966 - Sugar Minott, singer
- 1967 - Poppy Z. Brite, author
- 1969 - Anne Heche, actress
- 1970 - Jamie Kennedy, actor
- 1971 - Sonya Smith, actress
- 1975 - Lauryn Hill, singer
- 1976 - Miguel Tejada, Major League Baseball All-Star
- 1979 - Monica Keena, American actress
- 1979 - Jonny Wilkinson, English Rugby Union player
- 1986 - Aidan Coughlan, Irish newspaper columnist
- 709 - Aldhelm, Bishop of Sherborne (b. c. 639)
- 735 - Bede, English Historian and monk (b. c. 672)
- 992 - Mieszko I (b. c. 935)
- 1085 - Pope Gregory VII
- 1261 - Pope Alexander IV (b. c. 1199)
- 1452 - John Stafford, Archbishop of Canterbury
- 1555 - Henry II of Navarre (b. 1503)
- 1681 - Pedro Calderón de la Barca (b. 1600)
- 1693 - Madame De Lafayette , French writer (b. 1634)
- 1786 - King Pedro III of Portugal (b. 1717)
- 1789 - Anders Dahl, botanist after whom the dahlia was named (b. 1751)
- 1805 - William Paley, philosopher (b. 1743)
- 1848 - Annette von Droste-Hülshoff, German poet (b. 1797)
- 1912 - Austin Lane Crothers, politician (b. 1860)
- 1925 - Jeanne Crain, actress
- 1934 - Gustav Holst, composer (b. 1874)
- 1935 - Sir Frank Watson Dyson, English Astronomer Royal (b. 1868)
- 1940 - Joe De Grasse, pioneer Hollywood film director (b. 1873)
- 1951 - Paula von Preradovic, Croat - Austrian writer (b. 1887)
- 1965 - Sonny Boy Williamson
- 1986 - Chester Bowles, politician (b. 1901)
- 1988 - Ernst Ruska, Nobel Prize in Physicist (b. 1906)
- 1996 - Brad Nowell, lead singer and guitar player of Sublime
Holidays and observances
- Commemoration of the Venerable Bede (Anglican)
- Argentina - Day of May Revolution/National Day (1810)
- Chad, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe - African Freedom/Unity Day
- Jordan - National Day/Arab Renaissance Day (1946)
- Libya, Sudan - Sudan National Day/May Revolution Day (1969)
- United States - Memorial Day/Decoration Day, a legal holiday (1868)
- Virginia - Confederate Memorial Day (1868)
- Lebanon, Liberation Day(1999)
- Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia - Day of Youth
- Ancient Latvia - Urbanas Diena observed
- Towel Day, in memory of Douglas Adams, is observed
May 24 - May 26 - April 25 - June 25 - listing of all days
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