July 25

Fifty-two people were killed when the SS Andrea Doria collided with the MS Stockholm off the coast of Nantucket Island in 1956. The Andrea Doria had made it maiden voyage in 1953 and was the pride of Italy. When it was struck, half of the lifeboats became unusable, but the ships’ design made it possible to stay afloat for eleven hours. 1,660 passengers and crew were rescued, but the incident remains the worst maritime disaster since the 1915 sinking of the SS Eastland when 844 were killed while trying to dock in the Chicago River. The cause of the disaster of the Andrea Doria was never determined because the two shipping companies made an our-of-court settlement.

The first “test tube baby,” Louise Brown was born in 1978. In vitro fertilization, developed by Patrick Steptoe and Robert Edwards, was used. Edwards was awarded the 2010 Nobel Prize in Medicine for his achievements. Louise Joy Brown was born at Oldham General Hospital in Oldham, England by Caesarian section and weighed five pounds, twelve ounces.

Air France Flight 4590 crashed into a hotel in Gonesse, France in 2000. The plane was a Concorde that had been chartered by a German company to fly its tourists to New York from Paris. All 109 people on the flight were killed. While the plane was taking off at Charles DeGaulle International Airport, debris on the runway left by a previous flight ruptured a tire on the Concorde. The shock caused the rupture of a fuel tank and a fire ensued. The plane lost some of its power, but was running out of runway. The plane managed to leave the runway, but the plane lost control and crashed into a hotel. It was the only fatal crash of a Concorde, but it caused the grounding of all Concordes and all remaining aircraft were retired in 2003.

Birthdays Today

1908Jack Gilford, American actor (d. 1990)
1923Estelle Getty, American actress (d. 2008)
1924Frank Church, American lawyer and politician (d. 1984)
1954Walter Payton, American football player (d. 1999)

Larry Moskal began his career as a Social Studies teacher in 1971. He graduated from the University of Buffalo with degrees in history and education. Larry taught Social Studies for the Ken-Ton School system, a suburban school system north of Buffalo, New York until 2005, and then taught and was the Dean of Students at San Miguel High School in Tucson. At Ken-Ton, he pioneered several online courses for high school students. In the 1980s, he spent three years teaching in Colombia, South America and spent four years at Lewiston-Porter High School. He currently is the PowerSchool Administrator for San Miguel accomplishing his work over the Internet.