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This day in history

Thursday, April 25, is the 115th day of 2013. There are 250 days left in the year.

Today’s birthdays: Director-writer Paul Mazursky is 83. Actor Al Pacino is 73. Actress Talia Shire is 67. Actor Hank Azaria is 49. Actress Renee Zellweger is 44. Actress Sara Paxton is 25.

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In 1507, a world map produced by German cartographer Martin Waldseemueller contained the first recorded use of the term ‘‘America,’’ in honor of Italian navigator Amerigo Vespucci.

In 1859, ground was broken for the Suez Canal.

In 1862, a Union fleet commanded by Flag Officer David G. Farragut captured New Orleans.

In 1898, the US declared war on Spain.

In 1944, the United Negro College Fund was founded.

In 1945, delegates from some 50 countries met in San Francisco to organize the United Nations.

In 1959, the St. Lawrence Seaway opened to shipping.

In 1983, 10-year-old Samantha Smith of Manchester, Maine, received a reply from Soviet leader Yuri V. Andropov to a letter she’d written expressing concern about possible nuclear war; Andropov invited her to visit his country, a trip Samantha made the following July.

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