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Today in History

Songkran Day in Thailand
1743
Principal author of the Declaration of Independence and 3rd US president, Thomas Jefferson born in Shadwell, Virginia
1902
J.C. Penney opens first store
1923
Comedian and Emmy Award winning actor, Don Adams born in New York City
1935
Businessman and television actor, Lyle Waggoner born in Kansas City, Kansas
1957
Actress Saundra Santiago born in Bronx, New York
1963
Politician, author and Chess Grand Master, Garry Kasparov born in Baku, Azerbaijan
1964
Actress Page Hannah born in Chicago, Illinois
1970
Oxygen tank explosion aboard Apollo 13
1974
Communications satellite Westar 1 launched
1984
Pete Rose makes his 4,000th hit
1365
King Edward III bans football in favor of archery
1519
Catherine de' Medici born
1598
The Edict of Nantes grants political rights to French Huguenots.
1721
John Hanson, 1st US President under the Articles of Confederation born
1732
Frederick Lord North, British prime minister (1770-82) born
1742
Handel's oratorio, the ``Messiah'' is first performed in Dublin.
1743
The third president of the United States, Thomas Jefferson, in present-day Albemarle County, Virginia, born
1759
The French defeat the European allies in Battle of Bergen.
1775
Lord North extends the New England Restraining Act to South Carolina, Virginia, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Maryland. The act forbids trade with any country other than Britain and Ireland.
1796
The first elephant arrives in America from Bengal, India.
1852
Frank Woolworth, founder of the five-and-dime stores born
1861
After 34 hours of bombardment, Union-held Fort Sumter surrenders to Confederates.
1865
Union forces under Gen. Sherman begin their devastating march through Georgia.
1866
Butch Cassidy [Robert LeRoy Parker], American western outlaw and leader of the Wild Bunch. born
1869
The air brake is patented by George Westinghouse of New York.
1870
The Metropolitan Museum of Art was founded in New York.
1892
Sir Robert Watson-Watt. He invented a new apparatus for the "detection and location of aircraft by radio methods" for radar, while he was superintendent of the Radio Research Lab at Ditton Park, England. born
1899
Alfred Butts inventor of the game of ``Scrabble.'' born
1902
J.C. Penny opens his first store in Kemmerer, Wyoming.
1906
Irish dramatist and novelist Samuel Beckett He is known for his works ``Happy Days'' and ``Waiting for Godot.'' He won the Nobel Prize for literature in 1969. born
1907
Former Minnesota Gov. Harold Stassen born
1909
Author Eudora Welty born
1919
Atheist Madalyn Murray O'Hair born
1919
Actor Howard Keel born
1919
British forces kill hundreds of Indian nationalists in the Amritsar Massacre.
1924
Movie director Stanley Donen born
1926
Actor Don Adams born
1930
Actor Bradford Dillman born
1933
The first flight over Mount Everest is completed by Lord Clydesdale.
1933
Senator Ben Nighthorse Campbell (Republican, Colorado) born
1935
American actor Lyle Waggoner He is best known for his work on television's ``Carol Burnett Show.'' He also appeared in the films ``Dead Women in Lingerie'' and ``Wizards of the Demon Sword.'' born
1936
American magician, Howard Thurston died. He led the largest magic show in the world and was famous for his large stage illusions such as the ``floating lady.'' In his later years he gave one-hour shows in movie theaters.
1937
Actor Edward Fox born
1937
Playwright Lanford Wilson born
1939
Actor Paul Sorvino. His work includes the ``Law & Order'' television series and films ``Goodfellas'' and ``The Firm.'' born
1941
German troops capture Belgrade, Yugoslavia.
1942
Movie and TV composer Bill Conti born
1943
President Roosevelt dedicated the Jefferson Memorial.
1944
Rock musician Jack Casady (Jefferson Airplane) born
1945
Actor Tony Dow born
1945
Vienna falls to Soviet troops.
1946
Singer Al Green. Among his hits were ``Can't Get Next to You'' and ``I'm Still in Love with You.'' He is an ordained minister. born
1950
Actor Ron Perlman. He is known for his role in the TV series ``Beauty and the Beast.'' His films include ``Name of the Rose,'' ``Romeo's Bleeding'' and ``Alien Resurrection.'' born
1951
Rock musician Max Weinberg Drummer (E Street Band) born
1951
Singer Peabo Bryson born
1957
Comedian Gary Kroeger born
1957
Actress Saundra Santiago born
1958
Van Cliburn became the first American to win the Tchaikovsky International Piano Contest in Moscow.
1960
The first navigational satellite is launched into Earth's orbit.
1961
Rock musician Joey Mazzola (Sponge) born
1961
The U.N. General Assembly condemns South Africa because of apartheid.
1963
Chess champion Garry Kasparov. He became the youngest world chess champion after defeating Anatoly Karpov in 1985. born
1964
Actress Page Hannah. born
1964
Baseball player Jose Rijo. The Cincinnati Reds pitcher beat the Oakland A's twice and claimed the MVP award during the 1990 World Series. born
1964
Sidney Poitier wins an Academy Award, for ``Lilies of the Field.''
1965
work as the first black page ever to serve in either chamber of Congress.
1965
Rock musician Lisa Umbarger (Toadies) born
1970
Actor Rick Schroder born
1970
Apollo 13, four-fifths of the way to the moon, was crippled when a tank containing liquid oxygen burst. (The astronauts managed to return safely.)
1972
The Major League Baseball strike ends as owners agree to add $500,000 to the players' pension fund.
1976
Actor Jonathan Brandis ("Seaquest DSV") born
1976
The U.S. extends the offshore fishing limit from 12 to 200 miles.
1976
The U.S. Federal Reserve begins issuing $2 bicentennial notes.
1979
The world's longest doubles ping-pong match ends after 101 hours.
1986
Pope John Paul the Second visited a Rome synagogue in the first recorded papal visit of its kind.
1987
The Population Reference Bureau reports the world's population had exceeded five billion.
1989
House Speaker Jim Wright delivered an emotional defense of his conduct against ethics charges, declaring he would "fight to the last ounce of conviction and energy" he possessed.
1990
Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev gives Lithuania a two-day ultimatum, threatening to cut off some supplies to the Baltic republic if it does not rescind laws passed since a March 11 declaration of independence.
1990
The Soviet Union accepted responsibility and apologized for the World War Two murders of thousands of imprisoned Polish officers in the Katyn Forest, a massacre the Soviets had previously blamed on the Nazis.
1991
An advance team of U.N. observers arrives in Kuwait City to set up a peacekeeping force along the Kuwait-Iraqi border.
1991
Speaking at Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery, Alabama, President Bush warned Iraq the United States would "not tolerate any interference" with the international relief effort for Kurdish refugees.
1992
Princess Anne, daughter of Britain's Queen Elizabeth II, begins divorce proceedings after a two-year separation from Capt. Mark Phillips.
1992
Construction workers breech a retaining wall in the Chicago River, sending water flooding through a tunnel system connecting buildings in the downtown area.
1994
Five Israelis are killed and another 30 wounded in a suicide bombing in a bus station in Hadera.
1995
A federal appeals court opened the way for Shannon Faulkner to become the first woman to take part in military training at The Citadel.
1995
Rep. Robert Dornan, R-California, announces his candidacy for the GOP presidential nomination.
1995
James M. McHaney, a prosecutor in the war crimes trials at Nuremberg, Germany, after World War II died.
1996
President Clinton used his weekly radio address to call on Congress to pass an anti-terrorism bill that had languished for a year despite a promise of quick action after the Oklahoma City bombing.
1997
Tiger Woods, 21, wins the Masters Tournament. He was the youngest Masters champion and the first African-American to win any of the four major professional golf tournaments for men.
1997
Indian Prime Minister H.D. Deve Gowda resigns.
1998
NationsBank and BankAmerica announced a $62.5 billion merger creating the country's first coast-to-coast bank while Banc One and First Chicago NBD said they would unite in a $28.9 billion deal.
1998
A 500-pound steel joint fell from the upper level of New York's Yankee Stadium, crashing onto seats below (fortunately, no fans were inside the park at the time)
1999
Right-to-die advocate Dr. Jack Kevorkian was sentenced in Pontiac, Michigan, to ten to 25 years in prison for second-degree murder in the lethal injection of a Lou Gehrig's disease patient.
2000
President Clinton, during a question-and-answer session with newspaper editors, heatedly said "I'm not ashamed" about being impeached and "I'm not interested" in being pardoned for any alleged crimes in the Monica Lewinsky scandal and Whitewater investigation.
2001
A high-ranking Chechen official in the republic's pro-Russian administration is killed when an explosion rips through a television studio where he was filming a broadcast.
2005
Britney Spears announces she is pregnant
2005
Death toll mounts in Nepal civil conflict
2005
IBM and National Geographic to launch DNA database project
2005
Four Romanian ambassadors recalled
2005
NZ Prime Minister In Mid-Air Emergency
2005
Romania to adopt euro between 2012 and 2014
2005
TAROM cancels all Bucharest-Arad flights
2005
European Parliament approves accession of Romania and Bulgaria to the EU
2005
Survey finds Spam tolerance growing
2005
India-China border-treaty hoped to improve ties, facilitate trade
2005
Indiana businessman held hostage in Iraq
2005
NASA rethinks abandoning Hubble
2005
Sit-in at Washington University, St. Louis enters ninth day
2005
Britons urged not to vote by post
2005
Microsoft releases low-cost Windows XP Starter Edition in Brazil
2005
Unions ballot to "shut down the BBC"
2005
Blair launches third and final manifesto
2005
Tory candidate in election gaffe
2005
New Zealand Cricket under pressure to stop Zimbabwe tour
2005
Torvalds codes temporary replacement for Bitkeeper
2005
Police investigate new lead in 'Chili Finger' case; Ayala abandons lawsuit
2005
Conservative Party launches manifesto
2005
New industrial area to be created in Arad county, Romania
2006
Islamic web forum releases videotape of Ayman al-Zawahiri
2007
NHL: Ducks charge to two game lead over Wild
2007
Research In Motion financial probe becomes formal investigation
2007
Nintendo releases final version of Opera internet browser for Wii
2007
MLB: Travis Hafner wins it for Indians
2007
Liberal Party of Canada makes deal with Green Party leader
2007
Cricket World Cup: Ireland vs Australia
2007
Google buys DoubleClick for $3.1 billion
2007
NHL: Turco shuts out Canucks in Stars victory
2007
New Jersey Governor hospitalized after car crash
2007
Football: Cristiano Ronaldo extends stay at United
2007
Television New Zealand announces job losses; news worst hit
2008
Teräsbetoni frontman J. Ahola on representing Finland at Eurovision & more
2008
Nine dead, scores injured after bombing in Iran
2008
Taipei AMPA: IT industry will pulse the growth of automotive industry
2008
Boao Forum for Asia starts with sectors on economy, environment, and the Internet
2008
Bristol Central Library reopens after being closed due to fire
2008
3000 homeless after fire breaks out in Chad refugee camp
2009
English Football: Roundup for Easter weekend
2009
Peruvian rebels kill thirteen soldiers
2009
Amazon.com de-ranks LGBT books, blames "glitch"
2009
Music producer Phil Spector convicted of murder
2009
30 brightly coloured mummies discovered in Egyptian necropolis
2009
Journalists deported from Fiji
2010
Landslide causes train derailment in Italy; nine dead
2010
Twitter announces advertising platform
2010
Abhisit Vejjajiva administration on brink of collapse
2010
Polish president and first lady lie in state ahead of funeral
2010
Study: Women susceptible to high dietary glycemic load
2011
Mubarak arrested in Egypt ahead of corruption probe
2011
A380 collides with regional jet at JFK airport
2011
Bob Dylan plays first concert in Vietnam
2011
Anniversary of Yuri Gagarin's spaceflight marks fifty years of human space travel
2011
Ohio executes two-time murderer
2011
NASA celebrates 30th anniversary of first shuttle launch; annouces new homes for retired shuttles
2012
First Algerian president Ahmed Ben Bella dies aged 95
2012
Nine Peruvians rescued from collapsed mine
2012
Kentucky men plead not guilty in gay hate crime case
2012
European Court of Human Rights rules Germany allowed to ban incest
2013
French Senate vote in support of same-sex marriage

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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