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Today in History

1452
Sculptor, writer, musician, mathematician, painter and inventor, Leonardo da Vinci born in Florence, Italy
1892
General Electric Company forms
1933
Emmy Award winning actress, Elizabeth Montgomery born in Los Angles, California
1938
Beauty contestant and film actress, Claudia Cardinale born in Tunis, Tunisia
1942
Television actress Julie Sommars born in Fremont, Nebraska
1947
Television producer and writer, Linda Bloodworth-Thomason born in Poplar Bluff, Missouri
1955
Ray Kroc opens the first McDonald's restaurant in Des Plaines, Illinois
1957
Four time Olympic Gold Medalist runner, Evelyn Ashford born in Shreveport, Louisiana
1990
Fashion model and actress, Emma Watson born in Paris, France
1992
Leona Helmsely imprisoned for tax evasion
2013
3 killed, 183 injured by 2 bombs planted near the finish line of the Boston Marathon
74
Suicide of the Defenders of Masada. (Evidence today indicates that a mass suicide may not have actually occured).
911
Death of Pope Sergius III
1053
Death of Godwine, Earl of the West Saxons of England
1205
Capture of Baldwin I of Rumainia by the Bulgarians at Adrianople
1257
Aybak, Sultan of Egypt, murdered by order of his wife
1285
A Ghost dances at the wedding of Alexander III, King of Scots, and Joleteta, daughter of the Count de Dreux, at Jedburgh
1446
Filippo Brunelleschi, Italian architect, dies at about 69
1452
Italian painter and inventor Leonardo da Vinci born
1469
Nanak, 1st guru of the Sikhs born
1532
The Submission of the Clergy is made to Henry VIII
1646
Christian V, King of Denmark and Norway born
1651
Thomas Hobbes dedicates "Leviathan" to Francis Godolphin
1707
Mathematician Leonhard Euler born
1755
Dr. Samuel Johnson, the English poet, journalist and lexicographer, had his famous dictionary published.
1770
English chemist Joseph Priestley coined the term ``eraser'' when he found that a small cube of latex could be used to rub out pencil marks.
1817
The first American school for the deaf opened in Hartford, Connecticut.
1843
Author Henry James born
1850
The city of San Francisco was incorporated.
1861
President Lincoln sent Congress a message recognizing a state of war with the Southern states and calling for 75,000 volunteer soldiers.
1861
Three days after the attack on Fort Sumter, President Lincoln declared a state of insurrection and called out Union troops.
1865
President Lincoln died at 7:22AM, hours after he was shot at Ford's Theater in Washington by John Wilkes Booth. Andrew Johnson became the nation's 17th president.
1889
Painter Thomas Hart Benton born
1890
Jacques Ibert was born. Ibert's tuneful music, French with Spanish accents, is contemporary with Ravel and "Les Six," and is still performed in Europe and Latin America.
1892
General Electric Co., formed by the merger of the Edison Electric Light Co. and other firms, was incorporated in New York state.
1912
The British luxury liner "Titanic" sank at 2:20AMin the North Atlantic off Newfoundland, less than three hours after striking an iceberg.
1915
Manuel de Falla's "El Amor Brujo," from which we get the famous showpiece "Ritual Fire Dance," was premiered in Madrid.
1922
Actor Michael Ansara born
1923
Dr. Lee DeForest's Phonofilm, the first sound-on-sound film motion picture was demonstrated for a by-invitation-only audience at the Rivoli Theatre in New York City. The guest saw "The Gavotte."
1923
Insulin becomes generally available for diabetics.
1933
Actress Elizabeth Montgomery born
1933
Country singer Roy Clark born
1934
Dagwood and Blondie Bumstead welcomed a baby boy, Alexander, to the comic strip "Blondie." The child would be nicknamed "Baby Dumpling."
1936
Bluesman Frank Frost born
1937
Country singer Bob Luman born
1939
Actress Claudia Cardinale born
1942
Actress Julie Sommars born
1944
Rock singer-guitarist Dave Edmunds (Rockpile) born
1945
President Franklin D. Roosevelt, who had died April 12, was buried at the Roosevelt family home in Hyde Park, New York.
1945
During World War Two, British and Canadian troops liberated the Nazi concentration camp Bergen-Belsen. The troops discovered 28,000 women, 12,000 men and another 13,000 unburied bodies.
1947
Jackie Robinson, modern baseball's first black major league player, made his official debut with the Brooklyn Dodgers on opening day.
1948
TV producer Linda Bloodworth-Thomason born
1948
"Musique Concrete". Pierre Schaeffer, a radio technician in Paris, generally gets the credit for mixing sound effects and other natural recordings to make music of a sort.
1950
Actress Amy Wright born
1950
Actor Michael Tucci born
1951
Newspaper columnist Heloise Cruse Evans (Hints from Heloise) born
1952
Rock singer Phil Mogg (UFO) born
1955
Ray Kroc opened the first McDonald's in Des Plaines, Illinois. Kroc began his career selling milkshake machines. On his first day of business, sales of 15-cent hamburgers and 10-cent french fries totaled $366.12.
1956
The world's first, all-color, TV station was dedicated in Chicago, Illinois. It was named WNBQ-TV and is now WMAQ-TV.
1956
General Motors announced that the first, free piston, automobile had been developed.
1957
Olympic gold medal track athlete Evelyn Ashford born
1959
Actress-screenwriter Emma Thompson (some sources list April 14) born
1959
Cuban leader Fidel Castro arrived in Washington to begin a goodwill tour of the United States.
1966
Singer Samantha Fox born
1966
Rock musician Graeme Clark (Wet Wet Wet) born
1968
Rock musician Ed O'Brien (Radiohead) born
1970
Actor Flex born
1971
Actor George C. Scott won Best Actor at the Academy Awards but refused the Oscar for his role in "Patton." He had said previously that "It is degrading to have actors in competition with each other."
1980
Existentialist philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre died in Paris at age 74.
1983
Roy L. Williams agreed to resign as president of the Teamsters union as part of a bargain with federal prosecutors. (Williams was succeeded by Jackie Presser.)
1984
Six Ku Klux Klansmen and three Nazi Party members were acquitted of civil rights violations in the killings of five Communist Workers Party members in Greensboro, North Carolina, in 1979.
1985
U.S. officials in Seattle indicted 23 members of a Neo-Nazi group, the "Order," for robbery and murder.
1985
South Africa said it would repeal laws prohibiting sex and marriage between whites and non-whites.
1986
French dramatist Jean Genet died in Paris at age 75.
1986
The United States launched an air raid against Libya in response to the bombing of a discotheque in Berlin on April fifth; Libya says 37 people, mostly civilians, were killed.
1987
A jury in Northampton, Massachusetts, found Amy Carter, Abbie Hoffman and 13 other protesters innocent of charges stemming from a demonstration against CIA recruiters at the University of Massachusetts.
1988
Former White House spokesman Larry Speakes resigned from Merrill Lynch and Co. less than a week after disclosing that he had, on two occasions, fabricated quotations attributed to President Reagan.
1989
Students in Beijing launched a series of pro-democracy protests after former Communist Party leader Hu Yaobang died; the protests culminated in the Tiananmen Square massacre.
1989
Ninety-five people died in a crush of soccer fans at Hillsborough Stadium in Sheffield, England.
1990
Actress Greta Garbo died in New York at age 84.
1991
Turkey began moving thousands if Iraqi Kurds from a border settlement to camps farther inside Turkey, in a major policy shift of President Turgut Ozal's government. Refugees were previously kept in the mountains.
1992
Countries barred Libyan jets from their airspace and ordered diplomats to go home because of Libya's refusal to turn over suspects in the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103.
1992
Hotel magnate Leona Helmsley began serving a prison sentence for tax evasion (she was released from prison after 18 months).
1992
Russia's deeply divided Congress of People's Deputies formally endorsed President Boris Yeltsin's economic reforms.
1993
The Group of Seven nations unveiled a $28.4 billion aid package for Russia after an emergency meeting in Tokyo.
1994
Ministers from 109 countries signed a 26,000-page world trade agreement known as the "Uruguay Round" accords in Marrakesh, Morocco.
1995
In his weekly radio address, President Clinton asked Congress to protect a short list of key legislation, saying he was giving the highest priority to welfare reform, targeted tax cuts and a crime bill preserving assult weapons ban.
1996
Funeral services were held in Pescadero, California, for Jessica Dubroff, the seven-year-old girl who died trying to become the youngest person to fly across America.
1996
Japan and the U.S. announced the closure of six more U.S. military facilities on the southern Japanese island of Okinawa, reducing the amount of land occupied by American forces there by a fifth.
1996
South Africa's "truth commission," looking into abuses during the apartheid era, began its public hearings.
1996
President Clinton began a weeklong, round-the-world trip, heading for a three-day visit to Japan after a brief stopover in Cheju, South Korea.
1997
The Justice Department inspector general reported that FBI crime lab agents produced flawed scientific work or inaccurate testimony in major cases such as the Oklahoma City bombing.
1997
In Saudi Arabia, fire destroyed a tent city outside Mecca, killing at least 343 Muslim pilgrims.
1997
Jackie Robinson's number 42 was retired 50 years after he became the first black player in major league baseball.
1998
Pol Pot, the notorious leader of the Khmer Rouge, died at age 73, evading prosecution for the deaths of two million Cambodians.
1999
A gunman opened fire at the Mormon Family History Library in Salt Lake City, killing two people and wounding four others before being shot to death by police.
2000
Cal Ripken of the Baltimore Orioles became the 24th player to reach three-thousand hits when he lined a clean single to center off Twins reliever Hector Carrasco. (The Orioles won the game, 6-to-4.)
2000
The world's leading financial officials, meeting in Washington, pledged cooperation to promote global prosperity. Meanwhile, anti-globalization protesters swarmed through the heart of the nation's capital.
2001
Two years following its restoration, a 30-meter stretch of the ancient Aurelian wall ringing Rome collapses into a pile of brick fragments dating to the 3rd century. The cause of the collapse was suspected to be heavy rains.
2005
United States arrests 10,340 fugitives in first-of-kind nationwide sweep
2005
U.S. Federal Judge overturns ephedra ban
2005
France Telecom significantly increases its share in Orange Romania
2005
British Airways launches three new weekly flights from Bucharest to London
2005
Australian police seize one tonne shipment of ecstacy
2005
Last British volume car manufacturer closes down
2005
Two astronauts blast off to their new home--International Space Station
2005
Lebanese Prime Minister steps down
2005
Romanian economy predicted to maintain steady growth until 2008
2006
U.S. claims of Iraqi bioweapons labs contradicted in classified Pentagon report filed on 27 May 2003
2006
Police confirm lagoon bodies are boys missing from Milwaukee, Wisconsin
2006
Iran President warns Israeli government is heading towards annihilation
2006
Flight 93 cockpit recorder played in Moussaoui trial
2007
Motorsport: A1GP Shanghai, China results
2007
Palestinian group claims murder of BBC reporter
2007
Cricket World Cup: Bangladesh vs Ireland
2007
Pro-secular Turks rally against Erdogan's possible presidential candidacy
2007
NHL: Senators regain series lead over Penguins
2007
NHL: Detroit defeats Calgary to take control of series 2-0
2007
NHL: Ducks take commanding three game lead on Wild
2007
NHL: Canucks steal series lead from Stars in overtime
2007
Chicago wins 2016 USOC Olympic Bid
2007
French presidential elections: Ségolène Royal calls for gentle reforms
2008
MLB: Joba Chamberlain leaves Yankees to be with ill father
2008
Bush marks 265th anniversary of birth of Thomas Jefferson
2008
Bombings in Iraq kill scores
2008
US airlines Delta and Northwest agree to merge
2009
Golf: Ángel Cabrera wins Masters Tournament
2009
Nine dead and more than 70 injured after bridge collapses in Peru
2009
Scottish woman on 'Britain's Got Talent' becomes YouTube sensation
2009
Australians missing out on full sports coverage, media outlets say
2009
Court participates in traffic ticket amnesty program
2010
US Library of Congress plans archive of Twitter
2010
Current polls show high probability of hung parliament in UK general election
2010
Somali radio stations stopped from playing music by Islamist militants
2010
Cyclone in eastern India kills 31
2010
Ash from Iceland volcano could affect UK flights
2010
Deposed Kyrgyz President flees to Kazakhstan
2010
Rescue efforts underway after China earthquake
2010
European airspace closed by volcanic ash
2011
Senior U.S. aviation official resigns after crisis in control towers termed 'unacceptable'
2013
Multiple explosions hit Boston Marathon
2013
Nuclear weapons protest at Faslane leads to 47 arrests
2013
Two people confirmed dead in Boston Marathon bombing
2013
Researchers create rat kidneys in a laboratory

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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