Today in History

1911
38th US Vice President Hubert H. Humphrey born in Wallace, South Dakota
1922
Actor Christopher Lee born in London, England
1923
Secretary of State and Nobel Peace Prize laureate, Henry Kissinger born in Bavaria, Germany
1935
Miss America 1955, actress Lee Meriwether born in Los Angeles, California
1937
Golden Gate Bridge opens
1939
First Batman comic book published
1961
Actress Cathy Silvers born in New York City
1961
Screen Actors Guild Award winning actress Peri Gilpin born Periwinkle Kay O'Brien in Waco, Texas
1995
Actor Christopher Reeve was paralyzed when thrown from his horse during a jumping event in Charlottesville, Virginia
1647
The first recorded American execution of a "witch" took place in Massachusetts.
1703
Czar Peter the Great founded St. Petersburg as the new capital of Russia.
1794
Financier Cornelius Vanderbilt born
1818
American social reformer Amelia Jenks Bloomer, who popularized the ``bloomers'' garment that bears her name, born in Homer, N.Y. born
1819
Poet Julia Ward Howe, writer of the lyrics for ``The Battle Hymn of the Republic'' born
1836
Financier and railroad developer Jay Gould born
1837
Frontiersman "Wild Bill" Hickok born
1878
Dancer Isadora Duncan born
1888
Louis Durey, one of the lesser known members of "Les Six", was born. born
1894
Detective novelist Dashiell Hammett born
1896
255 people were killed when a tornado struck St. Louis, Missouri, and East St. Louis, Illinois.
1911
Vice President Hubert Humphrey born
1911
Actor Vincent Price born
1912
Golfer Sam Snead born
1915
Novelist Herman Wouk born
1922
Actor Christopher Lee born
1923
Former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger . born
1933
Walt Disney's Academy Award-winning animated short "The Three Little Pigs" was first released.
1933
The Chicago World's Fair opens "A Century of Progress International Exposition" with liability coverage provided by Zurich General Accident & Liability Insurance Co
1935
The Supreme Court struck down the National Industrial Recovery Act.
1935
Actress Lee Meriwether born
1935
Jazz musician Ramsey Lewis born
1936
The Cunard liner "Queen Mary" left England on its maiden voyage.
1936
Actor Louis Gossett Junior born
1937
The newly completed Golden Gate Bridge connecting San Francisco and Marin County, California, was opened to the public.
1939
Country singer Don Williams. born
1941
Amid rising world tensions, President Roosevelt proclaimed an "unlimited national emergency."
1941
The British Navy sunk the German battleship "Bismarck" off France, with a loss of 2300 lives.
1943
Actor Bruce Weitz (Hill Street Blues) born
1943
Singer Cilla Black born
1945
Singer Bruce Cockburn born
1957
Singer Siouxsie Sioux (Siouxsie and the Banshees) born
1957
Rock musician Eddie Harsch (The Black Crowes) born
1958
Rock singer-musician Neil Finn (The Finn Brothers) born
1961
Actress Cathy Silvers born
1964
Independent India's first prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, died.
1965
Actor Todd Bridges born
1966
Rock musician Sean Kinney (Alice Chains) born
1968
The U.S. nuclear submarine Scorpion disappeared in the Atlantic with 99 men aboard.
1969
Actor Dondre Whitfield born
1971
Rhythm-and-blues singer Left Eye (TLC) born
1974
Rapper Andre (Outkast) born
1977
New York City fined "human fly" George H. Willig $1.10 -- one penny for each of the 110 stories of the World Trade Center he'd scaled the day before.
1985
In a brief ceremony in Beijing, representatives of Britain and China exchanged instruments of ratification on the pact returning Hong Kong to the Chinese in 1997.
1987
The Reverend Jerry Falwell, responding to comments by Jim Bakker, denied hoodwinking Bakker into giving up control of the PTL ministry.
1988
The Senate voted 98-5 in favor of the U.S.-Soviet treaty to abolish intermediate-range nuclear missiles.
1989
Leaders of the Chinese student protest movement proposed that demonstrators hold one more rally, then end their occupation of Tiananmen Square, an idea that was later abandoned.
1990
Cesar Gaviria, 34, was elected president of Colombia after a campaign in which three candidates were killed. He vowed to make no deals with the cocaine cartels.
1990
Soviet President Mikhail S. Gorbachev tried to calm his nation's economic nerves with a hastily scheduled television address.
1990
The political opposition of Burma (Myanmar) won the country's first free, multiparty elections in three decades.
1991
In a commencement speech at Yale University, President Bush announced he would ask Congress to extend most-favored-nation trade benefits to China for another year.
1991
Ethiopia ordered its troops to lay down their arms in the face of a rebel advance.
1992
The 12-nation European Community imposed trade sanctions on Serbia to stop its interference in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
1993
The New York Philharmonic gave the world premiere of Karel Husa's Violin Concerto. Glenn Dicterow soloed and Kurt Masur conducted.
1993
Five people were killed when a car bomb exploded near an art gallery in Florence, Italy. A few paintings by relatively minor artists were destroyed but masterpieces by Botticelli and Michaelangelo survived.
1993
U.S. sailor Terry Helvey was sentenced to life in prison after pleading guilty to murder in the October 1992 death of gay shipmate Allen Schindler in Sasebo, Japan.
1993
The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra wound up its European tour when it performed at Germany's "Bodensee Festival." Hugh Wolff led America's only full-time professional chamber orchestra in Ravel's "Tombeau de Couperin," and Shostakovich's First Piano Concerto.
1994
Nobel Prize-winning author Alexander Solzhenitsyn returned to Russia to the emotional cheers of thousands after spending two decades in exile.
1995
Actor Christopher Reeve was paralyzed when thrown from his horse during a jumping event in Charlottesville, Va.
1996
Russian President Boris Yeltsin negotiated a cease-fire to the war in Chechnya in his first meeting with the rebels' leader.
1997
The Supreme Court ruled Paula Jones could pursue her sexual harassment lawsuit against President Clinton while he is in office.
1997
Arie Luyendyk won the Indianapolis 500 for the second time.
1997
Twenty-seven people were killed when a tornado struck Jarrell, Texas.
1998
Michael Fortier, the government's star witness in the Oklahoma City bombing case, was sentenced to 12 years in prison after apologizing for not warning anyone about the deadly plot.
1999
A U.N. tribunal indicted Slobodan Milosevic for crimes against humanity, holding the Yugoslav president personally responsible for the horrors in Kosovo and brutal purge of ethnic Albanians.
1999
The space shuttle Discovery blasted off on a mission to carry supplies to the new international space station.
1999
In Milan, Italy, the latest restoration of "The Last Supper" by Leonardo da Vinci, an effort that took 22 years, went on display during a VIP-only showing.
2000
Freight cars loaded with hazardous chemicals crashed and exploded in Eunice, Louisiana, forcing the evacuation of thousands.
2004
Telephone conversation transcripts released on this date show President Richard M. Nixon jokingly threatening to drop a nuclear bomb on Capitol Hill as Congress was moving to impeach him over the Watergate scandal in March of 1974
2005
Schapelle Corby found guilty, sentenced to 20 years
2005
Armagh man charged with 1998 bombing murders
2005
How tall is tallest? Chinese researchers measure tallest mountain
2005
Saudi Arabia's King Fahd admitted to hospital
2006
No diplomas for now; California Exit Exam appeal must wait
2006
Ahern, Blair to lead Northern Ireland talks
2006
Gang violence continues in East Timor
2006
Tamiflu maker on alert after bird flu deaths in Indonesia
2006
Cricket: West Indies win ODI series, beat India 3-1
2006
Peacekeepers take control in East Timor
2006
New toll proposal on U.S. Interstate 95 nearing passage
2006
Sale Sharks defeat Leicester Tigers to win Guinness Premiership
2006
Pope Benedict XVI visits Poland
2006
Crusaders win Super 14 final in eerie mist
2006
Earthquake kills thousands in Indonesia
2007
Canada, U.S. to tighten security between 'cross-border' library
2007
Fernando Alonso wins Monaco Grand Prix
2007
Myanmar prayer rally calls for release of democracy leader Suu Kyi
2007
Dalai Lama no-show at mass untouchable conversion in India
2008
FIFA suspend Asian Cup football (soccer) champions Iraq
2008
Long March rocket launches first Fengyun-3 weather satellite
2008
Google claims that lawsuit threatens Internet
2008
Canadian foreign affairs minister resigns amid controversy
2008
At least 30 dead after bus crashes off cliff and into river in South Africa
2008
Football: Thomas Sørensen ready for new club
2009
Workers at Swansea auto parts plant vote to strike
2009
Left-wing EU parliament candidates debate in Cardiff
2009
Fanime convention winds down in San Jose, California
2010
Bottled water concerns health experts
2010
BP says Gulf oil spill slowed as estimates of oil spilled increase
2010
Sudanese president sworn in to another term
2010
Art Linkletter, creator of "Kids Say the Darndest Things", dies peacefully at 97
2010
Head of US Minerals Management Service resigns following BP oil spill response
2010
Vanuatu hit by 7.2 magnitude earthquake
2010
Blagojevich defense team wants to restart jury selection in Illinois corruption trial
2010
Obama to suspend Arctic oil drilling
2010
Atlantis lands at Kennedy Space Center
2011
UN accuses Australia of 'demonising asylum seekers'
2012
Miami police shoot, kill naked man chewing face of male victim
2013
Catholic pilgrimage in Donglü blocked by Chinese police again

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.

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