Today in History

1846
The first tooth extraction under anesthesia - Charlestown, Massachusetts
1882
Physicist Hans Geiger born in Neustadt-an-der-Haardt, Germany
1901
Hubert Cecil Booth patents vacuum cleaner
1917
Drummer Buddy Rich born in Brooklyn, New York
1924
Author Truman Capote born in New Orleans, Lousiana
1931
Golden Globe Award winning actress, Angie Dickinson born in Kulm, North Dakota
1935
Grammy Award winning singer Johnny Mathis born in Gilmer, Texas
1946
Nuremberg trials verdicts announced
1957
Actress Fran Drescher born in Queens, New York
1960
1982
Actress Lacey Chabert born in Purvis, Mississippi
430
Death of Latin Father St. Jerome. He was converted at 19 and spent the last half of his life rendering the Scriptures into the contemporary ("vulgar") Latin of his day -- hence the "Latin Vulgate" -- as well as preparing commentaries on nearly every book of the Bible.
1184
Death of Arnold de Torroges, 9th Master of the Templars
1207
Rumi born
1227
Pope Nicholas IV original name GIROLAMO MASCI pope from 1288 to 1292, the first Franciscan pontiff. born
1388
Thomas Plantagenet, duke of Clarence. The second son of Henry IV of England and aide to his elder brother, Henry V. born
1399
Abdication of Richard II, King of England
1435
Death of Isabella, Queen to Charles VI, King of France
1555
Latimer and Ridley brought to trial for heresy
1568
Eric XIV, king of Sweden, is deposed after showing signs of madness.
1572
Death of St. Francis Borgia
1630
A Plymouth colony resident, John Billington, who had signed the Mayflower Compact, was sentenced to die for having shot and killed John Newcomin because of an old quarrel. It was the first execution in the British colonies.
1703
The French, at Hochstadt in the War of the Spanish Succession, suffer only 1,000 casualties to the 11,000 of their opponents, the Austrians of Holy Roman Emperor Leopold I.
1770
English revivalist George Whitefield, 56, died in Newburyport, Mass., while on his seventh visit to America.
1791
"The Magic Flute" premiered in Vienna. Mozart was on hand, and reports of the day say he played tricks on the performers to try to throw them off.
1846
Dentist William Morton used ether as an anesthetic for the first time on a patient in his Boston office. It was used to to extract a tooth.
1853
Robert Schumann who tended to be vehement in both his criticism and his praise, with lines like "Hats off, gentlemen, a genius!" poured it on when Johannes Brahms came to visit him.
1861
William Wrigley, Jr. American salesman and manufacturer whose company became the largest producer and distributor of chewing gum in the world. born
1863
Reinhard von Scheer, German admiral who commanded the German fleet at the Battle of Jutland born
1882
German physicist Hans Geiger, co-inventor of the Geiger counter born
1895
Film director Lewis Milestone ("All Quiet on the Western Front") born
1906
J(ohn) I(nnes) M(ackintosh) Stewart, British novelist and literary critic created the character of Inspector John Appleby, a British sleuth known for his suave humour, "raised eyebrow," and literary finesse. born
1911
Italy declares war on Turkey over control of Tripoli.
1915
Former Georgia Governor Lester Maddox born
1917
Drummer Buddy Rich born
1921
Actress Deborah Kerr (Night of the Iguana) born
1924
Novelist Truman Capote born
1927
Babe Ruth hit his 60th homer of the season to break his own major-league record. He hits this homerun off Tom Zachary in Yankee Stadium, New York City.
1928
Elie Wiesel, byname of ELIEZER WIESEL Romanian-born American novelist whose works provide a sober yet passionate testament of the destruction of European Jewry during World War II. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace in 1986. born
1931
Actress Angie Dickinson born
1933
Singer Cissy Houston born
1935
Singer Johnny Mathis (Misty and Wonderful Wonderful) born
1935
"Porgy and Bess" premiered in Boston, setting off an argument among newspaper critics about whether it was an opera or a musical.
1938
British, French, German and Italian leaders decided to appease Adolf Hitler by allowing Nazi annexation of Czechoslovakia's Sudetenland.
1939
Actor Len Cariou born
1942
Rock singer-musician Dewey Martin (Buffalo Springfield) born
1943
Johann Deisenhofer, German biochemist who, along with Hartmut Michel and Robert Huber, received the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1988 for their determination of the structure of certain proteins that are essential to photosynthesis. born
1943
Singer Marilyn McCoo born
1943
The Women's Army Auxiliary Corps becomes the Women's Army Corps, a regular contingent of the U.S. Army with the same status as other army service corps
1943
Pius XII issued the encyclical "Divino Afflante Spiritu," which encouraged Catholic scholars to devote more attention to biblical exegesis in their teachings and writings.
1946
Pop singer Sylvia Peterson (The Chiffons) born
1946
The verdicts were handed down in the Nuremberg war crimes trial. 12 Nazi leaders were sentenced to death by hanging.
1947
Actress Rula Lenska born
1949
The Berlin Airlift came to an end after 277,264 flights.
1950
U.N. forces cross the 38th parallel separating North and South Korea as they pursue the retreating North Korean Army
1951
Billy Graham's "Hour of Decision" first aired over ABC
1952
Rock musician John Lombardo (10,000 Maniacs) born
1952
The motion picture process Cinerama -- which employed three cameras, three projectors and a deeply curved viewing screen -- made its debut with the premiere of "This Is Cinerama" at the Broadway Theatre in New York.
1952
The complete Old and New Testament of the Revised Standard Version (RSV) of the Bible was first published by Thomas Nelson and Sons. (The RSV New Testament had first appeared in 1946.)
1953
Singer Deborah Allen born
1954
Actor Barry Williams born
1954
Actor Calvin Levels ("Adventures in Babysitting") born
1954
Singer Patrice Rushen born
1954
The first atomic-powered vessel, the submarine "Nautilus," was commissioned by the Navy.
1954
NATO nations agree to arm and admit West Germany.
1955
Actor James Dean was killed in a two-car collision near Cholame, California.
1956
Singer Basia born
1957
Actress Fran Drescher (The Nanny, Saturday Night Fever). born
1958
Country singer Marty Stuart born
1960
The Flintstones premier on TV, billed as the first adult cartoon.
1961
Actor Eric Stoltz born
1962
Rapper-producer Marley Marl born
1962
Black student James Meredith succeeded on his fourth try in registering for classes at the University of Mississippi.
1963
Actress Crystal Bernard born
1964
Rock musician Robby Takac (Goo Goo Dolls) born
1965
President Lyndon Johnson signs legislation that establishes the National Foundation for the Arts and the Humanities.
1971
Actress Jenna Elfman born
1974
Actor Ashley Hamilton born
1979
Actor Mike Damus born
1980
Tennis player Martina Hingis born
1981
Olympic gold medal gymnast Dominique Moceanu . born
1982
Actress Lacey Chabert ("Party of Five") born
1986
The US released accused Soviet spy Gennadiy Zakharov, one day after the Soviets released Nicholas Daniloff.
1987
Two top campaign aides to Massachusetts Governor Michaelgn manager John Sasso, admitted leaking an "attack" videotape that helped bring down the presidential candidacy of Delaware Senator Joseph Biden. (Sasso returned to the campaign a year later.)
1988
LA Dodger Orel Herschiser breaks former Dodger Don Drysdale mark by pitching 59 consecutive scoreless innings.
1988
Mikhail S. Gorbachev retired President Andrei A. Gromyko from the Politburo and fired other old-guard leaders in a Kremlin shake-up.
1989
Nolan Ryan's perfect game broken in 8th, but he gets his 300th strikeout.
1990
President Bush and congressional leaders forged a $500 billion five-year compromise package of tax increases and spending cuts.
1991
Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide was overthrown in a military coup.
1992
George Brett of the Kansas City Royals reached 3,000 career hits during a game against the California Angels.
1992
26th Country Music Assn Award
1992
The Bush and Clinton campaigns opened negotiations for a series of presidential debates.
1993
Colin Powell stepped down as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in a retirement ceremony at Fort Myer, Virginia.
1993
MS Dos 6.2 released.
1993
An estimated ten-thousand people were killed when an earthquake measuring a magnitude of 6.4 struck southern India.
1994
NHL goes on strike.
1995
Cleveland Indian Albert Belle hit his 50th home run of season.
1995
U.S. envoy Richard Holbrooke, trying to negotiate a Bosnian cease-fire, ended inconclusive talks with the Sarajevo government and headed for Belgrade to try his luck with the Serbs.
1996
With just hours to spare before the start of the fiscal year, the Senate passed and President Clinton signed a $389 billion spending bill.
1997
In an unprecedented act of repentance, France's Roman Catholic Church apologized for its silence during the systematic persecution and deportation of Jews by the pro-Nazi Vichy regime.
1997
3 consecutive homers in post season and theYanks beat Indians 8-6
1997
Microsoft Corp releases Internet Explorer 4.0
1998
The General Accounting Office reported that Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr and his predecessor, Robert Fiske, had spent more than $40 million on the investigation of President Clinton's Arkansas land deals that was expanded to include the probe of the Monica Lewinsky affair.
1998
Both President Clinton and Republicans claimed credit for news that the government would run a surplus of about $70 billion in the current fiscal year.
1999
A major leak at a uranium-processing plant in northeastern Japan exposed dozens of people to radiation.
1999
The San Francisco Giants played the Los Angeles Dodgers in the last baseball game at Candlestick Park (3Com Park); the Dodgers won, 9-4.
1999
German novelist Guenter Grass won the Nobel Prize in literature.
1999
Defense Secretary William Cohen ordered a top-level investigation of accounts of mass killings of Korean civilians by U.S. soldiers at No Gun Ri in 1950.
2005
Belgium indicts former Chad dictator accused of humanitarian crimes
2005
UN health expert warns Bird Flu could kill 150 million
2006
Brazilian passenger jet wreck found in Amazon jungle
2006
Ignatieff leads in early Canadian Liberal delegate count
2006
Al-Qaeda's second in command, Ayman al-Zawahri appears in new videotape
2006
Letter from 1988 says Iran needed to aquire nuclear weapons to win the war with Iraq
2007
Interview with gay marriage movement founder Evan Wolfson
2007
Death toll in One-Two-Go crash reaches 90
2007
Lewis Hamilton wins Japanese Grand Prix
2007
12 soldiers killed in raid on peacekeeping base in Darfur
2007
Iran's parliament labels CIA a terrorist organization
2007
Three strong earthquakes strike near New Zealand
2007
FIFA Women's World Cup: Germany defeats Brazil to retain championship
2007
National Football League: Quarterback Brett Favre breaks record for touchdowns
2007
German man arrested for selling screws worth $155,000
2007
Athabasca University receives 30 million dollars
2008
Woman slashed to death, man steals $6 for beer
2008
Over 100 people die in stampede at Hindu temple near Jodhpur, India
2008
George Bush: Rescue plan will get through
2008
Hundreds of victims still unidentified three months after Typhoon Frank
2009
Court revelation by John Travolta of son's disease sparks autism debate
2009
Fifty feared dead after boat capsizes in India
2009
At least 22 dead after typhoon hits Vietnam
2009
Homeopathy proponents jailed for allowing daughter to die
2009
30 civillians killed by roadside bomb in Afghanistan
2010
9/11 health care bill passed in US House of Representatives
2010
US undergraduate commits suicide after 'outing' via webcast
2011
Afghan employee kills U.S. citizen at Kabul CIA base
2011
Australian columnist 'offended, insulted, humiliated' fair-skinned Aborigines
2011
Unauthorised autobiography of Julian Assange sells less than 700 copies

In the early days of Unix, a date-tagged list of historical events was used by system administrators to add some interest to the system's Message of the Day. Whenever users logged in they would be presented with the latest system notices, perhaps some mildly amusing quotes and one or two lines of historical events, based on the current date.

Today in History (UNIX calendar) uses some of the entries from the original library but is updated with current events as well. Instead of plain text, each entry is now formatted in HTML and each day may include one or more icons of historical figures or celebrities.

Other things unique to the UNIX calendar are references to dates found in fictional literature such as Lord of the Rings, perhaps undue emphasis on people and events that were part of popular culture in the 70's and technical minutiae about computers and operating systems that might not be found in other places.

In association with Amazon, this symbol is a link to related products at amazon.com. Any proceeds resulting from the sales of these products are used to defray the cost of maintaining the Today in History site and editorial efforts.

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