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HISTORY Today is Thursday, July 25, the 206th day of 2002. There are 159 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

Fifty years ago, on July 25, 1952, Puerto Rico became a self-governing commonwealth of the United States.

On this date:

In 1593, France's King Henry IV converted from Protestantism to Roman Catholicism.

In 1866, Ulysses S. Grant was named General of the Army, the first officer to hold the rank.

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In 1868, Congress passed an act creating the Wyoming Territory.

In 1909, French aviator Louis Bleriot flew across the English Channel in a monoplane, traveling from Calais to Dover in 37 minutes.

In 1944, Bing Crosby and the Andrews Sisters recorded Cole Porter's "Don't Fence Me In" in Los Angeles for Decca Records.

In 1946, the United States detonated an atomic bomb at Bikini Atoll in the Pacific in the first underwater test of the device.

In 1956, 51 people died when the Italian liner Andrea Doria sank after colliding with the Swedish ship Stockholm off the New England coast.

In 1985, a spokeswoman for Rock Hudson confirmed that the actor, hospitalized in Paris, was suffering from AIDS. (Hudson died the following October.)

In 1994, Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and Jordan's King Hussein signed a declaration at the White House ending their countries' 46-year-old formal state of war.

In 2000, a New York-bound Air France Concorde crashed outside Paris shortly after takeoff, killing all 109 people on board and four people on the ground; it was the first-ever crash of the supersonic jet.

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Ten years ago: Opening ceremonies were held in Barcelona, Spain, for the 1992 Summer Olympics. Actor-singer Alfred Drake died in New York at age 78.

Five years ago: Autumn Jackson, the young woman who claimed to be Bill Cosby's out-of-wedlock daughter, was convicted by a federal jury in New York of trying to extort $40 million dollars from the entertainer. K.R. Narayanan was sworn in as India's president, becoming the first member of the "untouchable" Dalits caste to do so. Golfer Ben Hogan died in Fort Worth, Texas, at age 84.

One year ago: Three masked men gunned down Phoolan Devi, India's onetime "Bandit Queen," killing the outlaw-turned-legislator who was idolized by the poor as a champion of the lower castes.

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