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Today in History

1719
Great Britain enacts first law regulating copyright
1794
Commodore Matthew Perry born in South Kingston, Rhode Island
1829
Founder of the Salvation Army, William Booth born in Sneinton, England
1915
Actor Harry Morgan born in Detroit, Michigan
1921
Professional basketball and baseball player, actor Chuck Connors born in Placentia Bay, Newfoundland
1929
Donista Award winning actor Max von Sydow born in Lund, Sweden
1929
Actress Liz Sheridan born in Westchester County, New York
1936
NFL Hall of Fame player, head coach and commentator, John Madden born in Austin, Minnesota
1938
NFL quarterback, commentator and entertainer, Don Meredith born in Mount Vernon, Texas
1951
Aikido instructor and actor, Steven Seagal born in Lansing, Michigan
1954
Bagpipe player and Emmy Award winning actor, Peter MacNicol born in Dallas, Texas
1970
Paul McCartney announces end of the Beatles
1978
Volkswagen becomes first foreign manufacturer to build cars in the US
1984
Actress and singer Mandy Moore born in Nashua, New Hampshire
1583
Hugo Grotius of Holland, father of the science of international law born
1790
The U.S. patent system is established.
1794
Matthew Calbraith Perry, American Navy Commodore, opened Japan to trade with the west born
1809
Austria declares war on France and her forces enter Bavaria.
1827
Lew Wallace, Civil War general, lawyer, diplomat and author of Ben Hur born
1847
American newspaperman Joseph Pulitzer born in Mako, Hungary.
1849
Walter Hunt of New York City patented the safety pin on this day. He thought the safety pin to be a temporary convenience and sold the patent for a total of $400.
1862
Union forces begin the bombardment of Fort Pulaski in Georgia along the Tybee River.
1865
At Appomattox, General Robert E. Lee issues his last order.
1866
The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals was incorporated.
1870
Russian premier from 1917 to 1924, Lenin born Vladimir Illyich Ulanov
1880
Frances Perkins, labor secretary, first woman cabinet member in an American Administration born
1885
Merchant Bernard Gimbel (Gimbel's Department Stores) born
1902
South African Boers accept British terms of surrender.
1903
Clare Boothe Luce, reporter and U.S. ambassador to the Vatican born
1912
The luxury liner RMS Titanic set sail from Southampton, England, on its ill-fated maiden voyage.
1915
Actor Harry (Bratsburg) Morgan (M*A*S*H, Dragnet, You Can't Take It with You, Pete and Gladys, HEC Ramsey, December Bride, The D.A., Aftermash) born
1921
Country singer Sheb Wooley (Rawhide, High Noon, Rocky Mountain, Giant, Hoosiers) born
1921
Actor Chuck Connors (The Rifleman) born
1924
David Halberstam, New York Times correspondent, author, Pulitzer Prize winner in 1964 born
1925
The novel "The Great Gatsby," by F. Scott Fitzgerald, was first published by Scribner's of New York.
1927
"Ballet Macanique" was presented for the first time at Carnegie Hall in New York City. This was the first symphonic work that called for an airplane propeller and other mechanical contraptions not normally associated with the ballet.
1929
Actress Liz Sheridan ("Seinfeld") born
1929
Actor Max Von Sydow (Dune, The Exorcist, The Seventh Seal, The Emigrants, Flash Gordon, Hannah and Her Sisters, Hawaii, The Quiller Memorandum, Quo Vadis, Three Days of the Condor) born
1930
The first synthetic rubber is produced.
1932
Actor (Michael Shalhoub) Omar Sharif (Lawrence of Arabia, Dr. Zhivago, Funny Girl, Funny Lady, Peter the Great, Anastasia: The Mystery of Anna, Beyond Justice, Crime & Passion) born
1932
German president Paul Von Hindenburg was re-elected, with Adolf Hitler coming second.
1936
Sportscaster John Madden born
1936
Rhythm-and-blues singer Bobbie Smith (The Spinners) born
1938
Sportscaster Don Meredith born
1938
Germany annexes Austria.
1941
U.S. troops occupy Greenland to prevent Nazi infiltration.
1945
German Me 262 jet fighters shoot down ten U.S. bombers near Berlin.
1947
Reggae artist Bunny Wailer born
1947
Jackie Robinson becomes the first black to play major league baseball as he takes the field for the Brooklyn Dodgers.
1948
General Dwight D. Eisenhower stood by an earlier newspaper report in which he said that a professional soldier should not seek high political office. It was only four years later that General Eisenhower would find himself as President of the United States.
1950
Baseball player Ken Griffey (Father of Ken Griffey, Jr.; the first father-son combination to play in the major leagues at the same time) born
1951
Actor Steven Seagal born
1953
Folk-pop singer Terre Roche (The Roches) born
1953
Eddie Fisher was discharged from the Army and arrived home to a nice paycheck of $330,000 in record royalties. Fisher sold 7 million records for RCA Victor while on furloughs.
1953
The three-dimensional horror movie "House of Wax," produced by Warner Brothers and starring Vincent Price, premiered New York.
1954
Actor Peter MacNicol born
1957
Rock musician Steven Gustafson (10,000 Maniacs) born
1958
Singer-producer Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds born
1958
Dick Clark devoted an hour of his "American Bandstand" afternoon TV show to the memory of Chuck Willis who had died earlier in the day from peritonitis.
1959
Rock singer-musician Brian Setzer born
1959
Japan's Crown Prince Akihito married a commoner, Michiko Shoda.
1960
Rapper Afrika Bambaataa born
1960
The U.S. Senate passes a landmark Civil Rights Bill.
1961
Actor Jeb Adams born
1961
Gary Player of South Africa became the first foreign golfer to win the Masters Golf Tournament in Augusta, Georgia. Player, age 25, won by just one stroke over both Charles Coe, an amateur, and defending champion Arnold Palmer.
1962
Olympic gold medal speedskater Cathy Turner born
1963
The nuclear-powered submarine USS Thresher failed to surface off Cape Cod, Massachusetts, a disaster that claimed 129 lives.
1965
Rock musician Tim "Herb" Alexander born
1967
The 13-day strike by the American Federation of Radio-TV Artists (AFTRA) came to an end less than two hours before the 39th Academy Awards presentation went on the air.
1968
President Johnson replaces General Westmoreland with General Creighton Abrams in Vietnam.
1970
Singer Kenny Lattimore born
1971
The American table tennis team arrives in China.
1972
The United States and the Soviet Union joined some 70 nations signing an agreement banning biological warfare.
1972
The song, "Theme from 'Shaft'" received an Academy Award for Best Original Song in a film in 1971. Isaac Hayes, the composer and artist for the recording, received a standing ovation during the presentation of his Oscar.
1974
Golda Meir announced her resignation as prime minister of Israel. And Yitzhak Rabin replaces resigning Israeli Prime Minister, Golda Meir.
1981
Imprisoned IRA hunger striker Bobby Sands is elected to the British Parliament.
1983
Actor Ryan Merriman ("The Pretender") born
1984
Singer Mandy Moore born
1985
Eddie Murphy's "Beverly Hills Cop" made it to the top ten on the list of top-grossing motion pictures. The film, at number nine on the list, was the only R-rated and non-summer movie to make the list.
1988
Actor Haley Joel Osment born
1989
Federal drug czar William J. Bennett unveiled details of the Bush administration's plan for fighting drug abuse and drug-related crime the nation's capital.
1990
Three European hostages - a French woman, a Belgian man and their two-year-old daughter, who was born in captivity - were released in Lebanon by the Abu Nidal Palestinian guerrilla group following an appeal by Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi.
1991
A day after Mikhail Gorbachev appealed for a moratorium on all strikes, demonstrations and rallies, an estimated 200,000 workers in Byelorussia defied the Soviet president by staging a work stoppage in the capital, Minsk.
1994
Two US F-16 fighters bombed Bosnian Serb targets Gorazde - NATO's first-ever attack on ground positions. (A second air strike took place the following day.)
1995
Senator Bob Dole launched his third bid for the White House in Topeka, Kansas.
1996
President Clinton vetoed a bill that would have outlawed a technique used to end pregnancies in their late stages.
1998
The Northern Ireland peace talks concluded as negotiators reached a landmark settlement to end 30 years of bitter rivalries and bloody attacks.
1999
Bad weather hampered NATO's bombing campaign against Yugoslavia, but the allies warned Slobodan Milosevic the lull wouldn't last. The Pentagon, meanwhile, announced that 82 U-S planes would join the force conducting airstrikes over Yugoslavia.
1999
The Miami Heat humiliated the Chicago Bulls, 82-to-49, holding the Bulls to the lowest point total since the introduction of the shot clock.
2000
South Korea and North Korea announced a June date for their first summit since the Korean peninsula was divided in 1945.
2000
The Washington Post won three Pulitzer Prizes, including the public service award for the second year in a row; The Wall Street Journal took two honors, and The Associated Press won for investigative reporting on the killing of civilians by US troops at the start of the Korean War.
2000
Actor Larry Linville, one of the stars of the situation comedy "M*A*S*H," set during the Korean War, died in New York at age 60.
2001
South Africa becomes the first country in the world to approve a solution that can be used in place of blood in transfusions.
2005
Maine, USA, Land Use Regulatory Commission approves reconstruction of camps on protected Allagash River
2005
Cambridge, Mass., city council recommends construction firm W. R. Grace remain under DEP supervision for asbestos contamination
2005
Hard drive technology breaks storage density record
2005
Australia unemployment at 30-year low, but under-employed also at 5.1%
2005
Thousands march on Baghdad in anniversary protest
2005
Scientists proudly display oldest crystal on Earth
2005
Panic in Sumatra after new earthquake
2005
FDA recalls "Mama's" brand smoked salmon
2005
Runners, fans prepare for 109th Boston Marathon
2005
Anti-Japan protests spread to more Chinese cities
2006
Detroit woman dies after child's 911 calls are neglected
2006
Farmhouse raided as investigation into Ontario massacre continues
2006
Defense systems of Air Force One exposed on the Internet
2006
State Bank of India employee strike settled
2006
France to replace controversial youth worker law
2006
First results from Italian election
2006
Voyager 1 signal received by radio amateurs
2006
Phil Mickelson wins Masters
2006
Seven south Thailand constituencies face one horse race
2006
NASA plans to send probe into Moon's surface
2006
Coroner's inquest rules two British men were intentionally shot by Israeli soldiers
2007
Football: Fulham FC sacks coach Chris Coleman
2007
Florida and Puerto Rican manatees may be removed from 'endangered species list'
2007
Cricket World Cup: South Africa vs West Indies
2007
Football: Manchester United thrash Roma 7 - 1
2007
Johnny Hart of "B.C." fame passes away
2007
UK reverses position on Navy personnel selling their stories
2007
New South Wales anti-drug campaign to target teens
2007
Airplane hijacker surrenders in Turkey
2008
UK nears US in cyber-crime, ahead of Nigeria, Romania
2008
Automobile, motorcycle, and electronic industries center at TWTC & TWTC Nangang
2008
Israel undergoes major emergency drill
2008
UEFA Cup: April 10, 2008
2008
Man alleged to be former US prisoner faces 21 charges in Gambia
2009
Iraqi PM, Russian leaders discuss energy deals
2009
Two dead in Michigan college shooting
2009
Nintendo Wii sales decrease in Japan
2009
Canadian province declares April 13 "Corner Gas Day" to honour retiring TV sitcom
2009
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration launches VORTEX2 to study tornadoes
2009
Fiji's President abrogates constitution
2009
Dungeons & Dragons co-creator Dave Arneson dies
2009
Bainimarama sworn in as Fiji caretaker PM
2009
Australia and New Zealand condemn Fiji takeover
2010
Polish President Lech Kaczyński dies as his plane crashes in Russia
2010
Baseball: Oakland Athletics defeat LA Angels 10 to 4
2010
US military to carry out review following Wikileaks release of classified 2007 video
2010
Junior Canadian cabinet minister leaves amid scandal
2010
Four dead after US helicopter crashes in Afghanistan
2011
Investigation launched after small aircraft crashes on Philippines mountain, killing two
2011
Mubarak summoned by Egyptian prosecutors to face allegations of killings and corruption
2011
Guatemalan president and first lady granted divorce
2011
Matt Kenseth wins NASCAR Samsung Mobile 500
2011
Facebook to share the technology 'behind its servers'
2011
Baseball player Manny Ramirez retires after testing positive for performance-enhancing drug
2011
Nigeria votes in parliamentary elections
2012
Manson Family leader Charles Manson to seek parole in California murders
2012
CBS News correspondent Mike Wallace dies at 93

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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