On This Date August 25, 2016
Althea Gibson was an American tennis player and professional golfer, and the first black athlete to cross the color line of international tennis. In 1956, she became the first person of color to win a Grand Slam title (the French Open). The following year she won both Wimbledon and the U.S. Nationals (precursor of the U.S. Open), then won both again in 1958, and was voted Female Athlete of the Year by the Associated Press in both years. In all, she was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame and the International Women’s Sports Hall of Fame. “She is one of the greatest players who ever lived,” said Robert Ryland, a tennis contemporary and former coach of Venus and Serena Williams. “Martina couldn’t touch her. I think she’d beat the Williams sisters.” In the early 1960s she also became the first black player to compete on the women’s professional golf tour.
The Liberation of Paris (also known as the Battle for Paris) took place during World War II from 19 August 1944 until the surrender of the occupying German garrison on 25 August. The Liberation of Paris started with an uprising by the French Resistance against the German garrison. On 24 August, the French Forces of the Interior (Forces françaises de l’intérieur, FFI) received reinforcements from the Free French Army of Liberation and from the U.S. Third Army under General Patton. The capital region of France had been governed by Nazi Germany since the signing of the Second Compiègne Armistice in June 1940, when the German Army occupied northern and westernmost France, and when the puppet regime of Vichy France was established in the town of Vichy in central France.