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 begin to 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 - Mobile magazine explosion: 300 are killed in Mobile, Alabama 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 - At Forbes Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Babe Ruth hits his 714th and last home run 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 emir Abdullah their king.
- 1953 - Nuclear testing: At the Nevada Test Site, the United States conducts its first and only nuclear artillery test.
- 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 Episode IV: A New Hope opens in theaters and becomes the highest grossing movie to date.
- 1979 - American Airlines Flight 191: In Chicago, Illinois, a DC-10 crashes during takeoff at O'Hare International Airport killing 271 on board and two people on the ground.
- 1979 - 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 (D118) is sunk during the Falklands War.
- 1983 - 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 (41 years and 10 months).
- 1913 - Richard Dimbleby, journalist and broadcaster
- 1922 - Enrico Berlinguer, politician (d. 1984)
- 1926 - Max von der Grün, author
- 1927 - Robert Ludlum, spy fiction writer (d. 2001)
- 1929 - Beverly Sills, soprano
- 1931 - Georgi Grechko, cosmonaut
- 1925 - Jeanne Crain, actress
- 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
- 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
Holidays and observances
May 24 - May 26 - April 25 - June 25 - listing of all days
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