Today in History

LOTR...
Fellowship reaches Lorien
1706
Author, printer, politician, inventor, statesman, and diplomat, Benjamin Franklin born in Boston, Massachusetts
1814
Novelist Ellen Wood born in Worcester, England
1929
E. C. Segar's "Popeye the Sailor Man" makes his first appearance in a comic strip
1931
Emmy and Golden Globe Award winning actor, James Earl Jones born in Arkabutla, Mississippi
1933
12 time Emmy Award winning puppeteer and ventriloquist, Shari Lewis born in New York City
1942
Boxing legend Muhammad Ali born Cassius Marcellus Clay, Jr in Louisville, Kentucky
1949
Rythm & Blues guitarist, Mick Taylor born in Welwyn Garden City, England
1950
Thieves steal over $2 million from Brink's in Boston
1953
Blues guitarist Carlos Johnson born in Chicago, Illinois
1955
Political activist, Grammy Award winning musician, singer and songwriter, Steve Earle born in Hampton, Virginia
1962
People's Choice Award winning comedian and actor, Jim Carrey born in Ontario, Canada
1991
US lead UN-coalition attacks Iraq
1994
Northridge earthquake kills 16
1995
Kobe earthquake kills 6,200
356
Death of St. Anthony the Abbot
395
Death of Theodosius; division of Roman Empire into East and West (Often called the beginning of the Middle Ages)
1156
Death of Andre de Montbard, 5th Master of the Templars
1328
Louis IV crowned Holy Roman Emperor
1463
Frederick III the Wise, elector of Saxony, protector of Luther born
1465
Johann Guntenberg granted a civil pension for services to Mainz, Germany
1501
Leonhard Fuchs, Germany, botanist (History of Plants) born
1504
Pius V, Pope 1566-1572. born
1549
Arrest of Thomas Seymour
1560
Gaspard Bauhin, Swiss botanist, anatomist; named the potato born
1562
French Protestants (Hugenots)were recognized under the Edict of St. Germain.
1595
Henry IV, King of France, declares his intention to war on Spain
1600
Pedro Caldron de la Barca, Spanish poet, dramatist born
1601
Treaty of Lyons
1706
American statesman, scientist and author Benjamin Franklin born
1771
Charles Brockden Brown, father of the American novel. born
1806
James Madison Randolph (Jefferson's grandson) 1st born in White House born
1806
The first baby was born in the White House, the grandson of President Thomas Jefferson.
1860
Short story writer Anton Chekhov (The Party, The Darling) born
1863
David Lloyd George, British Prime Minister 1916-22 born
1871
1st Cable Car is patented by Andrew S. Hallidie.
1880
Mack Sennett, created Keystone Kops born
1883
Actor Noah Beery (Mark of Zorro, Vanishing American, The Drifter) born
1884
Silent movie producer (Michael Sinnott) Mack Sennett (Tillie's Punctured Romance, Kid's Auto Race, Mabel's Married Life, Cannonball, Dizzy Heights and Daring Hearts) born
1893
The 19th president of the United States, Rutherford B. Hayes, died in Fremont, Ohio, at age 70.
1893
Queen Liliuokalani of Hawaii was deposed in a bloodless revolution by a group of businessmen and sugar planters and a provisional government established, with annexation by the United States as its aim.
1899
Gangster Al Capone born
1900
Yaqui Indians in Texas proclaim their independence from Mexico.
1902
An earthquake in Mexico City kills 300.
1910
Thomas Crapper, the supposed inventor and developer of the flush toilet mechanism that most of us use, passed away on this day.
1911
An assassin attempts to kill Aristide Briand at Palais Bourbon.
1912
Robert Scott reaches the South Pole only a month after Amundsen.
1913
Raymond Poincare is elected president of France.
1916
The Professional Golfers Association (PGA) was formed in New York City.
1917
The United States bought 50 of the Virgin Islands in the West Indies from Denmark for $25 million.
1922
Actress Betty White born
1922
U.S. Secretary of State Charles Evans Hughes proposes an international board to maintain the open door policy in China.
1926
Ballerina-actress Moira Shearer born
1927
American composer Donald Erb born
1927
Singer-actress Eartha Kitt (C'est Si Bon, Santa Baby) Her birth certificate was not found until 1997. Eartha had always celebrated her birthday as January 26, 1928 -- and she still does. born
1929
Hockey Hall of Famer Jacques Plante born
1931
Actor James Earl Jones born
1933
Actress (Dawn Bethel) Sheree North (Marilyn Story, How to be Very Popular, Defenseless, Portrait of a Stripper) born
1934
Ventriloquist and puppeteer Shari (Hurwitz) Lewis born
1934
The Bach concerto for two violins was performed in New York to raise money to help scientists who had run afoul of Hitler. The second violin part was played by Albert Einstein.
1935
The League of Nations votes to award Germany the Saar Basin on March 1, 1935.
1937
Actor Troy Donahue (Hawaiian Eye, Parrish, A Summer Place) born
1939
Talk show host Maury Povich born
1939
Denmark, Estonia, and Latvia sign a non-aggression pact with Germany, while Norway, Sweden and Finland refuse.
1939
The Reich issues an order forbidding Jews to practice as dentists, veterinarians and chemists.
1942
Heavyweight boxing champion (Cassius Clay) Muhammed Ali, who floats like a butterfly, stings like a bee. born
1944
Russia rejects a Polish proposal to negotiate a boundary dispute.
1945
Rhythm-and-blues singer William Hart (The Delfonics) born
1945
Soviet and Polish forces liberated Warsaw during World War Two.
1945
Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg, credited with saving tens of thousands of Jews, disappeared in Hungary while in Soviet custody.
1946
The United Nations Security Council held its first meeting.
1948
Rock musician Mick Taylor . born
1950
Nine bandits staged a $1.5 million robbery of a Brink's armored car in Boston.
1953
Sheila Hutchinson of the Emotions born
1955
Singer Steve Earle born
1956
Actor David Caruso (N.Y.P.D. Blue, An Officer and a Gentleman) born
1956
Singer Paul Young (Everytime You Go Away) born
1957
Singer Susanna Hoffs (The Bangles) born
1961
In his farewell address, President Eisenhower warned against the rise of "the military-industrial complex."
1962
Actor-comedian Jim Carrey (Cable Man, Dumb and Dumber, Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, The Mask, Batman Forever, Finders Keepers, The Duck Factory) born
1963
Soviet leader Khrushchev visits the Berlin Wall.
1966
Singer Shabba Ranks born
1969
The U.S. accuses IBM of monopolizing the computer market.
1969
Led Zeppelin released its first album.
1972
Highway 51 South...also known as Bellvue Street...in Memphis was renamed Elvis Presley Boulevard.
1973
Public Health Service links smoking to fetal and infant risks.
1977
Convicted murderer Gary Gilmore, 36, was shot by a firing squad at Utah State Prison in the first US execution in a decade.
1981
Singer Ray J born
1982
Country singer Amanda Wilkinson born
1985
Leonard Nimoy, of "Star Trek" fame, got his own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
1985
A jury in New Jersey rules that terminally ill patients have the right to starve.
1987
President Reagan signed a secret order permitting the covert sale of arms to Iran.
1988
Haiti held a presidential election run by the military-led junta that was boycotted by the opposition.
1988
The Washington Redskins won the NFC championship by defeating the Minnesota Vikings 17-to-10; the Denver Broncos beat the Cleveland Browns 38-to-33 to win the AFC title.
1989
Five children were shot to death at the Cleveland Elementary School in Stockton, California, by a drifter who then killed himself.
1990
A study concluded it is not oat bran itself, but substitution of oat bran or other foods for high-fat foods that cuts blood cholesterol.
1990
A federal judge in Miami set a March 1990 date for ex-Panamanian leader Manuel Noriega's drug trafficking trial to begin. (After initial delays, Noriega was tried and convicted of racketeering and conspiracy to distribute cocaine, and was sentenced to 40 years in prison, later cut to 30 years.)
1991
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 114.60, the second highest one-day point gain ever.
1991
On the first day of Operation Desert Storm, U.S.-led forces hammered Iraqi targets in an effort to drive Iraq out of Kuwait. A defiant Iraqi President Saddam Hussein declared that the "mother of all battles" had begun. Iraq attacked Israel with 10 Scud missiles.
1991
The U.S. Patriot defense missile was used in battle for the first time to shoot down a Scud fired at Saudi Arabia.
1991
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control reported that Florida dentist David Acer had infected three patients with the AIDS virus.
1993
The United States, accusing Iraq of a series of military provocations, unleashed Tomahawk missiles against a military complex eight miles from downtown Baghdad. President-elect Clinton, arriving in Washington for his inauguration, backed the action.
1994
A 6.7 magnitude earthquake struck Southern California, killing at least 61 people and causing $20 billion in damage.
1995
More than 6,000 people were killed when an earthquake with a magnitude of 7.2 devastated the city of Kobe, Japan.
1996
Russian forces unleashed a scorching barrage of rockets on Chechen rebels in Pervomayskaya. Sheik Omar Abdel-Rahman and nine followers were handed long prison sentences for plotting to blow up New York-area landmarks.
1996
Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman got life in prison and 16 others were also sentenced to jail for plotting to bomb the United Nations.
1996
David Watkins, who wrote the memo the White House sent to Congress two weeks earlier, testified before Congress that he felt pressure from the first lady but was never actually told to fire travel office staffers.
1996
Former U.S. Rep. Barbara Jordan died in Austin, Texas, at age 59.
1997
Speaker Newt Gingrich agreed to submit to a reprimand by the House and pay a $300,000 penalty as punishment for his ethics violations.
1997
Israel handed over its military headquarters in Hebron to the Palestinians, ending 30 years of Israeli occupation of the West Bank city.
1997
A court in Ireland granted the first divorce in the Roman Catholic country's history.
1998
The Citadel announced that it had received 62 applications from women seeking to enroll the following year (1999). A spokesman for the South Carolina military college said they were on track to double the number of women at the school. This was the 3rd year women were allowed to attend the once all-male military school.
1998
President Clinton gave a deposition in Paula Jones' sexual harassment lawsuit against him; during the nearly six hours of sworn testimony, Clinton denied having a sexual relationship with former White House intern Monica Lewinsky.
1999
The defending Super Bowl champion Denver Broncos defeated the New York Jets, 23-to-10, to win the American Football Conference title; the Atlanta Falcons upset the Minnesota Vikings, 30-to-27, to win the National Football Conference championship.
2000
Decrying the Confederate flag as a symbol of slavery and racism, nearly 50,000 people marched to South Carolina's Statehouse on Martin Luther King Day to demand the banner be taken down.
2000
British pharmaceutical firms Glaxo Wellcome PLC and SmithKline Beecham PLC announced a merger to form the world's largest drug maker.
2005
Woman aged 66 gives birth
2005
Purged Chinese leader Zhao Ziyang dies at 85
2005
Colombia releases official notice in response to Venezuela
2005
Hong Kong Makes First File-Sharing Arrest
2005
Mars lander website opens
2006
Norwegian scientist published fake findings in Lancet
2006
Former US President Gerald Ford hospitalized with pneumonia
2006
Pakistanis condemn US airstrike
2006
Australia to explore a national identity card
2006
Iran lifts ban of CNN
2006
Rooney and Ferguson face inquiry over unsightly language
2006
Couple takes lawyer hostage and said to have explosives
2006
Southampton contemplate Theo Walcott transfer
2006
Clarence Ray Allen is executed
2006
Abductors of American journalist Jill Carroll release videotape with demands
2006
Pakistani Official claims 'foreign terrorists' among civilians killed in U.S. airstrike
2006
U.S. F-15 crashes near Okinawa
2006
Terrorism expert says Osama Bin Laden could be dead
2006
Chelsea's Robben sent off after "over celebrating"
2007
Canadian CEO surrenders to police
2007
New Zealanders being urged to become condom testers
2007
Bravitude and Chair of the Wikimedia Foundation on the main French TV network
2007
Sex industry plans live sex-on-demand video for hotels
2007
Apple concerned with iPhone icons' alleged misuse
2007
Israeli head of military Dan Halutz resigns
2007
Report says US military gear sold to Iran and China
2007
New Zealand's NCEA results due today onwards
2008
Tom Cruise Scientology promotional video leaked to the Internet
2008
Four paparazzi members arrested after chasing Britney Spears' car
2008
Cricket: Australia vs India 3rd test - Day 2
2008
Dam removal proposal for Klamath River
2008
British Airways flight lands short of runway at London Heathrow Airport
2008
Cricket: Australia vs India 3rd test - Day 1
2008
UN appeals for US$42 million to assist victims of Kenya violence
2009
Cadillac unveils Obama's 'Beast', the Presidential State Car
2009
Israeli shelling on UN school on the Gaza Strip kills six
2009
22 million counterfeit cigarettes found in Wales
2009
Man arrested in Mississippi over Internet assassination threats against Barack Obama
2010
US TV host Conan O'Brien leads in late night ratings
2010
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg spent US$108 million on third term bid
2010
Seven killed in Kenyan protest for radical Islamic cleric
2010
Woman killed after train and car crash in Herefordshire, England
2010
New York's JFK airport evacuated, reopened
2011
Apple Inc. CEO Steve Jobs on medical leave
2012
Online retailer Zappos.com hit by hackers
2012
Wikipedia, Reddit in 'blackout' against SOPA, PROTECT IP laws
2012
Woman gives birth on New Jersey PATH train
2012
Jon Huntsman ends U.S. presidential campaign, endorses Mitt Romney

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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