Today in history, March 25: Belgium, France, West Germany, Italy, Luxembourg and the Netherlands established the European Union

Belgium, France, West Germany, Italy, Luxembourg and the Netherlands established the European Union on this day in 1957.

Highlights in history on this date:
752: Pope Stephen II dies, two days after his election.
1306: Robert de Bruce is crowned king of Scotland.
1807: Britain abolishes the slave trade.
1865: First Queensland Divorce Act is passed.
1883: Revolution breaks out in Haiti.
1911: A fire at the Triangle Shirtwaist Co factory in New York kills 146 female workers, an event that galvanises America’s labour movement.
1949: Laurence Olivier’s Hamlet wins five Oscars. It is the first Academy Award-winning British film.
1957: Belgium, France, West Germany, Italy, Luxembourg and the Netherlands sign the Treaty of Rome establishing the European Common Market, later to evolve into the European Union.
1966: Five climbers become the first to reach summit of Mt Eiger in Swiss Alps.
1969: Pakistan’s President Ayub Khan turns power over to military after 11 years of leadership.
1975: Saudi Arabia’s King Faisal is assassinated in Riyadh by a nephew with history of mental illness.
1992: Returning from 10 months in space, cosmonaut Sergei Krikalev is given smelling salts when he learns that the Soviet Union has disappeared while he was away.
1999: Forty people are killed in a fire that traps at least 30 vehicles in the tunnel under Mont Blanc, western Europe’s highest mountain.
2001: At the 73rd Academy Awards, Gladiator wins the best picture Oscar and its star, Russell Crowe, wins best actor.
2003: The administration of US President George W. Bush submits a request to Congress for $US74.7 billion in funds for the war in Iraq.
2012: The US pays $US50,000 in compensation for each villager killed and $US11,000 for each person wounded in a shooting rampage allegedly carried out by a rogue American soldier in southern Afghanistan.
2014: Craig Thomson, former Health Services Union national secretary and one-time Labor MP, is sentenced to 12 months’ jail for fraud and theft but walks free on bail, pending an appeal.
2015: Zayn Malik announces he is quitting British boy band One Direction, saying he wants to live as “a normal 22-year-old”.
2017: A Supreme Court jury finds 60-year-old Roman Heinze guilty of sexually assaulting a Brazilian woman and hitting a German woman with a hammer at Salt Creek, east of Adelaide, in February 2016.

“We do not do what we want and yet we are responsible for what we are – that is the fact.” – Jean-Paul Sartre, French philosopher (1905-1980).

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