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Today in History

1856
Juan Santamaría Day (Costa Rica)
1905
Einstein reveals his Theory of Relativity
1939
Actress Louise Lasser born in New York City
1941
Pulizter Prize winning journalist Ellen Holtz Goodman born in Newton, Massachusetts
1951
Stone of Scone is found at the site of the Arbroath Abbey altar
1966
R&B singer Lisa Stansfield born in Manchester, England
1970
Apollo 13 is launched
1370
Frederick I the Warlike, elector of Saxony born
1512
The forces of the Holy League are heavily defeated by the French at the Battle of Ravenna.
1689
William the Third and Mary the Second were crowned as joint sovereigns of Britain.
1713
The Treaty of Utrecht is signed, ending the War of Spanish Succession. France cedes Maritime provinces to Britain.
1770
George Canning, British prime minister (1827) born
1783
After receiving a copy of the provisional treaty on 13 March, Congress proclaims a formal end to hostilities with Great Britain.
1794
Edward Everett, governor of Massachusetts, statesman and orator born
1803
A twin-screw propeller steamboat was patented by John Stevens. The boat was 25-feet-long and four-feet-wide.
1814
Napoleon Bonaparte abdicated as emperor of France and was banished to the island of Elba.
1862
Charles Evans Hughs, 11th Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court who resisted President Franklin Roosevelt's attempts to "pack: the Supreme Court with judges favorable to the New Deal. born
1876
The stenotype was patented by John C. Zachos of New York City.
1893
Dean G. Acheson, U.S. secretary of state (1949-53) who helped create NATO. born
1898
President McKinley asked Congress for a declaration of war against Spain.
1899
The treaty ending the Spanish-American War was declared effect.
1907
Actor Paul Douglas (The Mating Game, Panic in the Streets, Executive Suite, This Could be the Night, The Gamma People) born
1912
Jazz musician John Levy (Played with George Shearing quintet) born
1913
Fashion designer Oleg Cassini born
1916
Movie producer Howard W. Koch born
1918
Actor Cameron Mitchell (Carousel, Code of Honor, Hollywood Cop, Terror in Beverly Hills, Silent Scream, Buck and the Preacher, Crossing the Line, Cult People, The Bastard) born
1919
Former New York State Governor Hugh Carey born
1921
Actress and singer Dorothy (Sims) Shay (The Park Avenue Hillbilly - Feudin' and Fightin') born
1921
Iowa became the first state to impose a cigarette tax.
1921
The first live sports event on radio took place this day over KDKA Radio. Pittsburgh sports writer, Florent Gibson, gave an account of the action in the lightweight boxing match between Johnny Ray and Johnny Dundee.
1928
Ethel Kennedy, wife of assassinated Senator Robert F. Kennedy (Some sources 1925) born
1931
Actor Johnny Sheffield (Tarzan Finds a Son, Tarzan's Secret Treasure, Tarzan's New York Adventure) born
1932
Actor Joel Grey born
1939
Actress Louise Lasser born
1940
Andrew Ponzi of New York set a world's record in a New York pocket billiards tournament. Ponzi ran 127 balls straight.
1941
Germany bombers blitz Conventry, England.
1941
Syndicated columnist Ellen Goodman born
1944
Movie writer-director John Milius born
1945
During World War Two, American soldiers liberated the notorious Nazi concentration camp Buchenwald Germany.
1947
Actor Peter Riegert born
1949
Actor Bill Irwis born
1951
President Truman relieved General Douglas MacArthur of his commands the Far East.
1956
Elvis Presley reached the top spot on the "Billboard" music chart with his first double-sided hit. The disk featured "Heartbreak Hotel" and "I Was The One." The RCA Victor record stayed at number one for eight weeks.
1957
Country singer-songwriter Jim Lauderdale born
1957
Songwriter-producer Daryl Simmons born
1961
Israel begins the trial of Adolf Eichman, accused of World War II war crimes.
1961
Soviet cosmonaut Yuri A. Gangarin became the first human in space and also the first human to orbit the earth in a spacecraft.
1961
Bob Dylan made his professional singing debut in Greenwich Village. He sang "Blowin' In The Wind".
1961
Actor Lucky Vanous born
1964
Country singer Steve Azar born
1965
Rock musician Nigel Pulsford (Bush) born
1965
For the second time, Jack Nicklaus won the Masters golf title.
1966
Singer Lisa Stansfield born
1968
President Johnson signed into law the Civil Rights Act of 1968, a week after the assassination of MartLuther King Junior.
1970
Rock musician Dylan Keefe (Marcy Playground) born
1970
Apollo 13 blasted off on its ill-fated mission to the moon. (The astronauts managed to return safely).
1974
The Judiciary committee subpoenas President Richard Nixon to produce tapes for impeachment inquiry.
1979
Idi Amwas deposed as president of Uganda as rebels and exiles backed by Tanzanian forces seized control.
1980
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission issued regulations specifically prohibiting sexual harassment of workers by supervisors.
1981
President Ronald Reagan returns to the White House from hospital after recovery from an assassination attempt.
1981
Wedding bells chimed this day for guitarist, Eddie Van Halen and actress, Valerie Bertinelli of "One Day At A Time" on CBS-TV.
1986
Kellogg's of Battle Creek, Michigan stopped its 80-year tradition of tours of the breakfast food plant on this day, saying that company secrets were at risk with spies from other cereal manufacturers.
1986
Dodge Morgan sails solo nonstop around the world in 150 days.
1989
Mexican officials unearthed the remains of 12 of 13 victims of a drug-trafficking cult near Matamoros. (One of the dead was University of Texas student Mark Kilroy, who had disappeared while on spring break.)
1990
Funeral services were held in Indianapolis for AIDS patient Ryan White, who had died three days earlier at age 18. Among the 15-hundred mourners were first lady Barbara Bush and singers Elton John and Michael Jackson.
1991
U.N. Security Council issues formal cease fire with Iraq.
1991
The space shuttle "Atlantis" landed safely after an extended, 93-orbit mission that included deployment of an observatory.
1991
The musical "Miss Saigon," denounced by detractors as racist and sexist, opened on Broadway.
1994
The White House disclosed that President and Mrs. Clinton had failed to report $6,498 income that the first lady made commodities trading 1980; the couple wrote checks totaling $14,615 back taxes and interest.
1995
President Clinton expressed sympathy for Pakistan's anger over the blocked sale of American fighter jets, telling visiting Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto that it was "not right" for the United States to keep the planes and refuse to give the money back.
1996
Forty-three African nations sign the African Nuclear Weapons Free Zone Treaty.
1996
Seven-year-old Jessica Dubroff, who'd hoped to become the youngest person to fly cross-country, was killed along with her father and flight instructor when her plane crashed after takeoff from Cheyenne, Wyoming.
1998
The executive committee of the Ulster Union Party voted 55-to-23 to support the Northern Ireland peace accord and its leader, David Trimble, who had outmaneuvered rebels his ranks.
1999
The Justice Department reported that more than a third of the women in state prisons and jails said they were physically or sexually abused as children.
1999
Jose Maria Olazabal won the Masters by two shots over Davis Love the Third.
2000
Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak met with President Clinton at the White House in what a senior US official described as a good, productive, serious discussion.
2000
A British judge branded historian David Irving an anti-Semite racist and an apologist for Adolf Hitler, ruling that an American scholar was justified in calling him a Holocaust denier.
2001
Israeli tanks and bulldozers rumble into the Khan Yunis Refugee Camp in Palestinian-controlled territory, damaging 30 homes and triggering fighting that kills two Palestinians and wounds more than two dozen.
2005
Romanian government to strengthen laws against tax evasion
2005
Romanian investor kidnapped in the Democratic Republic of the Congo is safe
2005
Israeli president shakes hands with leaders of Syria, Iran at Pope's funeral
2005
South African former apartheid party dissolves
2005
Arsenic and Thalidomide may be used to fight cancer
2005
Las Vegas 'chili finger' woman has history of lawsuits
2005
Sesame Street to promote healthy lifestyles
2005
German Wikipedia DVD sells out first 10,000-copy run
2005
German Wikipedia DVD on P2P networks
2005
EU accession treaty for Romania published on the Internet
2005
'Sahara' goes blockbuster on first weekend
2005
Visiting students detained in Louisiana, USA, while photographing ExxonMobil chemical plant
2005
NASA announces daily video feed for new Discovery mission
2006
NY Post columnist suspended over extortion allegation
2006
Israeli PM Ariel Sharon declared 'permanently incapacitated'
2006
Buckingham Palace releases trivia about Queen Elizabeth II
2006
Australia's deputy PM faces Iraqi kickback inquiry
2006
Former Iranian president Rafsanjani states Iran is enriching uranium
2006
Prodi claims victory in Italian election; Berlusconi refuses to concede
2006
Straw and Bush respond to Iran situation
2006
Five charged in Ontario killings
2006
State Farm Insurance allegedly destroying papers
2006
Rapper Proof (D12) shot and killed outside Detroit nightclub
2006
Protest outside Cole inquiry
2007
MLB: Alex Rodriguez hits sixth HR in seven games
2007
Cricket World Cup: Bangladesh vs England
2007
Terrorist attacks in Algiers, Algeria kill 23 people and wound 162
2007
Two Canadian soldiers killed, three injured in Afghanistan
2007
Former "crossover" Canadian MP to leave politics Former
2007
NHL: Nasty start to playoffs for Penguins, Senators
2007
NHL: Sharks defeat Predators, take 1-0 lead in series
2007
NHL: Vancouver comes out on top after four overtimes
2007
NHL: Ducks edge Wild in Playoff opener
2007
Fire burns home of late singer Johnny Cash
2008
AutoTronics Taipei: Participants from IT industry to participate COMPUTEX uncertainly
2008
Football: PFA release award nominations
2008
Deadly illegal sexual enhancement products appear on the Singaporean market
2008
Public consultation on Avonmouth Wind Farm proposal ends
2008
TARC to showcase R&D achievements in AutoTronics Taipei
2009
U.S. tugboat latest victim of Somali pirates
2009
Somali pirates demand $2 million ransom for US captain held hostage
2009
One in five Americans finds socialism superior, poll says
2009
President of Algeria wins third term in office in landslide victory
2010
Clashes leave 21 dead in Thai capital
2010
Pakistan: Twelve suspected Taliban rebels die in airstrikes
2010
Eurozone offers Greece 30 billion euro in loans
2010
Officials: Almost 100 killed in air raids in Pakistan
2010
Australian Muslim killed by her hijab in go-carting accident
2010
Spain hit by 6.3 magnitude earthquake
2010
Australian rules football: Gippsland Football League round 1 - Moe v Traralgon
2010
Rodeo: Cristóbal Cortina and Víctor Vergara win Chile Championship
2011
Gbagbo detained by opposition forces and taken to meet Ouattara in Ivory Coast hotel
2011
Passenger dies after fire in toilet on train in Bedfordshire, England; serious rail disruption
2011
British seaman appears in court, charged with murder after shooting on nuclear submarine
2011
Shiites protest against discrimination in Bahrain
2011
Iceland voters reject deal to repay billions to UK, Dutch
2012
Former teacher makes FBI's top 10 most wanted list
2012
Massive earthquake hits Indonesia, no tsunami risk
2012
Airlines modify flight routes amid North Korea rocket launch plans
2012
Rick Santorum drops U.S. presidential bid

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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