May 25: First tactical nuclear weapon test, 17 children die in Gujrat, Man on Moon, water on Mars




Cylinder blast kills 17 children in Gujrat, Pakistan

A gas cylinder installed in a school van explodes on May 25, 2013 in Gujrat, Pakistan, killing 17 children and the driver. Police reported that 17 children were burnt to death while another 7 were injured.

The children were between the ages of 6 and 12.



First Artillery fired nuclear projectile test



The first artillery-fired nuclear projectile is tested by the United States on May 25, 1953 in Nevada. Conducted as part of the Upshot-Knothole series, the test was conducted with the objective of testing new nuclear devices and develop nuclear tactics. The 280 mm projectile, weighing 364 kg, traveled a distance of over 10 km, exploding 19 seconds after it was fired from a long-range canon, demonstrating the prowess of tactical battlefield nuclear weapons. With an estimated yield of 15 kilotonnes, it had the same destructive power as the bomb dropped on Hiroshima in 1945.

Here’s a video of the Upshot-Knothole Grable test:


Phoenix spacecraft lands on Mars



NASA’s Phoenix spacecraft lands on the surface of Mars on May 25, 2008 with the expressed objective to “Study the history of water in the Martian arctic; search for evidence of a habitable zone and assess the biological potential of the ice-soil boundary,” according to NASA. The Phoenix confirmed the existence of water ice on Mars, especially in the north of the planet.

Batteries of the Phoenix ended later in the same year and in November, the robot sent its final message back to Earth – “Triumph”.


Courtesy: NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory


US President John F Kennedy vows to ‘Put Man on the Moon’


US President John F Kennedy addresses a joint session of congress, calling for a series of groundbreaking objectives the US would achieve in the field of space exploration and vowing to ‘Put Man on the Moon’ within a decade.

The speech, delivered on May 25, 1961 heralded a new era of space exploration, effectively started the Apollo programme that reached its Zenith with the Appollo 11 project in 1969 – successfully landing astronauts on the Moon and bringing them back to Earth.

“First, I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to the Earth. No single space project in this period will be more impressive to mankind, or more important for the long-range exploration of space; and none will be so difficult or expensive to accomplish,” he said.


Battle of Boulogne (1940)


The Battle of Boulogne ends on May 25, 1940 with the surrender of British, French and Belgian soldiers to the German army. The defenders held the German forces for three days providing valuable time that prevented the German XIX Corps from advancing – allowing Operation Dynamo, the British withdrawal from Dunkirk to be successful.


Like what you read?

Would you like to know what happened on 19th May?

How about 28th May?