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History's Happenings for August 25

Paris Liberated

As the Wehrmacht retreated back towards the Rhine in the summer of 1944, leaving Paris practically undefended, Supreme Allied Commander Eisenhower had no particular interest in undertaking the logistical nightmare of caring for the city. He gave specific orders that there was to be no march on Paris until he gave the word.

Unfortunately -- or fortunately, depending on your point of view -- General Charles De Gaulle (who, by the way, had no actual command), was having none of it. He secretly told General Jacques Leclerc, who commanded an Allied armored division, to disregard Eisenhower's order and advance on Paris.

He had help … inside Paris, the Police went on strike, and their members seized the prefecture on August 19. In a rare display of decency and backbone the German commandant, General Dietrich von Choltitz, disobeyed Hitler's order to raze the city, and negotiated it's surrender in return for the peaceful withdrawal of the German garrison.

Eisenhower accepted the fait accomplí and on this day Leclerc, followed by the U.S. 4th Infantry Division, entered Paris to the cheers of the crowds.

On August 26, De Gaulle marched down the Champs Élysée and established himself as France's hero du jour.

Council of Nicaea Concludes
325 AD

(Stay tuned for a write-up on this event.
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one  ... send it in! )

National Park Service Founded

The first National Park to be set up by Congress was Yellowstone, established in 1872. By the end of the century, there were five parks.

Concerns over the proper management of what was bound to be a growing park system, as well as the need to protect the parks from vandalism and deterioration, led Congress to create the National Park Service as a bureau within the Department of the Interior, on August 25, 1916.

U. S. and Germany Sign WWI Treaty

The United States and Germany formally signed a mutual peace treaty on August 25, 1919 -- almost a year after the Armistice ended fighting in World War I.

U.S. Forces Capture New Georgia

(Stay tuned for a write-up on this event.
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one  ... send it in! )

Truman Orders Army to Seize Railroads

(Stay tuned for a write-up on this event.
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one  ... send it in! )

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