Kim Campbell becomes Canada’s first female prime minister

In Ottawa, Kim Campbell is sworn in as Canada’s 19th prime minister, becoming the first woman to hold the country’s highest office.

Born in Port Alberni, British Columbia, in 1947, Campbell studied law and political science before entering Canadian politics during the 1980s. In 1986, she was elected to the British Columbia legislature as a Conservative, and two years later she was appointed minister of Indian affairs by Prime Minister Brian Mulroney. In 1988, she became the first female to hold the office of Canadian attorney general and proved instrumental in the movement to increase gun control in Canada. In 1993, Campbell was appointed minister of national defense and veterans’ affairs.

READ MORE: 7 Women Leaders Who Were Elected to Highest Office

Two months later, Prime Minister Mulroney announced his resignation, and Campbell was encouraged to run for the Conservative Party leadership. In a close contest, she was elected at a national convention on June 13 and on June 25 took office as Canada’s first female prime minister. Prime Minister Campbell won widespread public approval, but the Conservative mandate to govern had nearly expired, and she was forced to call for a general election to be held in October. 

On October 25, 1993, the Conservatives’ nine years as Canada’s ruling party came to a decisive end. Voters had become disenchanted with the party after enduring higher taxes and constitutional crisis under Mulroney, and the Conservatives were reduced to just two seats in the House of Commons. Campbell herself lost her Vancouver seat and retired from politics. She returned to academic life, accepting a fellowship at Harvard University. Later, she served as Canada’s Consul General to Las Vegas

Teenager Debbie Gibson earns a #1 hit with “Foolish Beat”

Contrary to what some critics of teen pop might imagine, pop sensation Debbie Gibson saw herself not as the next Madonna, but as the next Carole King. And when her single “Foolish Beat” reached the top of the Biilboard Hot 100 on this day in 1988, she achieved something very much in keeping with that goal: She became the youngest person ever to write, produce and perform her own #1 pop single.

Debbie Gibson was the poster-child for everything a talented teenager might achieve if she set her mind to justifying her parents’ investment in music and voice lessons. Raised in suburban Long Island, New York, Gibson began piano lessons at age five with the same teacher who taught Billy Joel. She wrote her first song, “Know Your Classroom,” at age six and her first “hit” at age 12, with a song called “I Come From America,” which won her $1,000 in a songwriting contest and convinced her parents to hire a professional manager. Five years later, with more than 100 original unreleased songs to her credit, she signed a contract with Atlantic Records and recorded her debut album, Out Of The Blue.

During the summer of 1987, Debbie Gibson earned her first Top-10 hit with her debut single, “Only In My Dreams.” After two more hits with “Shake Your Love” and “Out Of The Blue,” she earned her record-setting #1 hit with the self-produced original song, “Foolish Beat.”

Like so many teen stars before and after her, Debbie Gibson did not remain a viable pop star for long, but she made the most of her time in the spotlight, earning another #1 hit in early 1989 with “Lost In Your Eyes,” from her second album, Electric Youth, which reached the top of the Billboard album charts and inspired a pioneering foray into the youth cosmetics market with the creation of Electric Youth by Debbie Gibson perfume and cologne spritz by Revlon.

U.S. World Cup team wins unlikely victory over England

On June 25, 1950, an American team composed largely of amateurs defeated its more polished English opponents at the World Cup, held in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. Dubbed the “Miracle on Green,” the game is considered one of the greatest soccer upsets of all time.

The English team at the time, known as the “Kings of Football,” boasted a record of 23 victories, four losses and three draws in the years since World War II ended. Its members were professional footballers culled from England’s domestic leagues. The Americans, by contrast, had lost their last seven international matches. Hastily assembled just days before the match against England, the U.S. team included a dishwasher, two mailmen, a teacher and a mill worker. The Belfast Telegram described them as “a band of no-hopers drawn from many lands,” ostensibly because some of the men were recent immigrants to the United States.

By the time the two teams squared off at Belo Horizonte, bookies had given the Brits 3-1 odds to take the World Cup, compared to 500-1 for the Americans. The newly appointed American coach, Bill Jeffrey, apparently agreed with them, telling a British reporter, “We have no chance.”

The game began with the Americans on the defense as the English assailed them with one clear shot on goal after another. The goalkeeper, Frank Borghi, a former minor league catcher who now drove a hearse in St. Louis, managed to tip each one. Finally, with less than 10 minutes to go in the first half, U.S. midfielder Walter Bahr centered a ball from 25 yards out, and Haitian-born forward Joe Gaetjens scored with a diving header. England lashed back with a battery of shots throughout the second half, but nothing got past Borghi. The no-hopers had defeated the Kings of Football with a single goal. The 30,000 Brazilians in the stands went wild, knowing that a British loss could help their own team fare better in the tournament. Gaetjens, who would later return to Haiti and disappear during François Duvalier’s repressive regime, was carried off the field in celebration.

Appalled English fans could not fathom that the Americans had beaten them at their own game. In the United States, meanwhile, the improbable win barely made a ripple. Only one American journalist had traveled to Brazil for the World Cup in the first place: Dent McSkimming of the St. Louis Dispatch, who paid his own way when his newspaper would not send him. He later said that the American victory was “as if Oxford University sent a baseball team over here and it beat the Yankees.”

Why didn’t this David-and-Goliath story make American headlines? For one thing, soccer had never captured the same U.S. fan base as football, baseball or basketball. Newspapers also had a more alarming matter to cover: On June 29, four days before the game, North Korea had crossed the 38th parallel into South Korea, and President Truman had already ordered U.S. forces to intervene. Just six years after World War II, the country was once again on the brink of war.

After the upset, both teams were quickly eliminated and returned to their respective sides of the Atlantic–the Brits chastened, the Americans essentially ignored. It would be 16 years before England won its first and only World Cup title. The United States, meanwhile, would not even appear in the tournament again until 1990. On June 12, 2010, the teams met again at the World Cup in Rustenburg, South Africa, and again England was the favorite. That match, which was the fifth most-watched soccer game in U.S. history, ended in a draw.

Union begins tunneling toward Rebels at Petersburg

Pennsylvania troops begin digging a tunnel toward the Rebels at Petersburg, Virginia, in order to blow a hole in the Confederate lines and break the stalemate.

The great campaign between Confederate General Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia and Ulysses S. Grant’s Army of the Potomac ground to a halt in mid-June. Having battered each other for a month and a half, the armies came to a standstill at Petersburg, just south of Richmond. Here, they settled into trenches for a long siege of the Confederate rail center.

The men of the 48th Pennsylvania sought to break the stalemate with an ambitious project. The brainchild of Lieutenant Colonel Henry Pleasants, the plan called for the men of his regiment–mostly miners from Pennsylvania’s anthracite coal region–to construct a tunnel to the Confederate line, fill it with powder, and blow a gap in the fortifications.

On June 24, the plan received the approval of the regiment’s corps commander, Ambrose Burnside, and the digging commenced the following day. Burnside’s superiors, Generals Grant and George Meade, expressed little enthusiasm for the project but allowed it to proceed. For five weeks the miners dug the 500-foot long shaft, completing about 40 feet per day.

On July 30, a huge cache of gunpowder was ignited. The plan worked, and a huge gap was blown in the Rebel line. But poor planning by Union officers squandered the opportunity, and the Confederates closed the gap before the Federals could exploit the opening. The Battle of the Crater, as it became known, was an unusual event in an otherwise uneventful summer along the Petersburg line.

READ MORE: 6 Southern Unionist Strongholds During the Civil War

Khobar Towers bombing in Saudi Arabia kills 19 U.S. airmen

On June 25, 1996, a tanker truck loaded with 25,000 pounds of explosives rips through the U.S. Air Force military housing complex Khobar Towers in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, killing 19 U.S. airmen and wounding nearly 500 others.

The terrorist attack that blew off much of the eight-story Building 131, leaving a crater 50 feet wide and 16 feet deep, was the deadliest attack against U.S. forces since the 1983 bombing of a Marine barracks in Beirut that left 241 dead.

The bombers, later identified as members of the pro-Iran Islamic militant group Hezbollah, parked the truck near the towers that were home to 2,000 American military personnel who were assigned to the King Abdul Aziz Air Base to patrol southern Iraqi no-fly zones. They escaped before setting off the explosion.

Investigators found the attack had been planned for more than three years by members of the Saudi Hezbollah, with backing from Iran, as a way to force U.S. troops out of Saudi Arabia and the Persian Gulf. Hezbollah and Iran were found guilty by a U.S. federal court in 2006, and Iran was ordered to pay $254.5 million to survivors. That money has not been collected.

In 2001, 13 Saudis and one Lebanese man were indicted in the attack by the U.S., with Attorney General John Ashcroft stating “… the Iranian government inspired, supported and supervised members of Saudi Hezbollah.” Charges included conspiracy to kill Americans and U.S. employees, to use weapons of mass destruction and to destroy U.S. property, plus murder and bombing.

Iran denied involvement in the attack, and Saudi Arabia said they would not extradite those charged who were in their custody. None of the indicted have been brought to court.

Nearly 20 years later, Ahmad Ibrahim al-Mughassil, a key Hezbollah operative implicated in the attack, was captured and arrested in Beirut in 2015 and moved to Saudi Arabia for interrogation. In 2018, Iran was ordered to pay victims $104.7 million by a U.S. federal judge.