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Today in History

LOTR...
An unexpected party
1934
"The Man With the Golden Ear", pop rock promoter Don Kirshner born in Bronx, New York
1961
Bay of Pigs invasion crushed by Castro forces
1961
Four time NFL Pro Bowl quarterback, Boomer Esiason born in West Islip, New York
1967
Guitarist, songwriter and singer, Liz Phair born in New Haven, Connecticut
1967
Final episode of Gilligan's Island
1970
Apollo 13 capsule returns safely to Earth
1973
Federal Express delivers its first package
1976
Gerald Ford appears on Saturday Night Live
858
Benedict III ends his reign as Catholic Pope
1492
A contract was signed by Christopher Columbus and a representative of Spain's King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella, giving Columbus a commission to seek a westward ocean passage to Asia.
1521
Martin Luther is excommunicated from the Roman Catholic Church.
1524
Giovanni da Verrazano reached present-day New York harbor.
1535
Antonio Mendoza is appointed first viceroy of New Spain.
1622
Poet Henry Vaughan born
1676
Frederick I, king of Sweden born
1741
Samuel Chase, signer of the Declaration of Independence born
1758
Frances Williams, the first African-American to graduate for a college the western hemisphere, publishes a collection of Latpoems.
1790
American statesman Benjamin Franklin died Philadelphia at age 84.
1808
Bayonne Decree by Napoleon I of France orders seizure of U.S. ships.
1824
Russia abandons all North American claims south of 54' 40'.
1861
Virginia become eighth state to secede from the Union.
1864
General Grant bans the trading of prisoners.
1865
Mary Surratt is arrested as a conspirator the Lincoln assassination.
1875
The game "snooker" is invented by Sir Neville Chamberlain.
1885
Danish author Karen von Blixen-Finecke born. She is also known by her pen names Isak Dinesen, Osceola and Pierre Andrézel. Blixen wrote works in Danish, French and English. Blixen is best known for Out of Africa, her account of living in Kenya, and her story, Babette's Feast, both of which have been adapted into Academy Award-winning motion pictures.
1894
Nikita S Khrushchev, Soviet premier (1958-64) during the Cold War. born
1895
China and Japan sign peace treaty of Shimonoseki.
1897
Novelist and playwright Thornton Wilder(Our Town and The Bridge of San Luis Rey) born
1923
Actor Lon McCallister born
1923
Harry Reasoner, American broadcast journalist born
1934
Rock promoter Don Kirshner born
1941
Yugoslavia surrendered to Germany World War Two.
1946
The last French troops leave Syria.
1947
Jackie Robinson bunts for his first major league hit.
1951
Actress Olivia Hussey born
1955
Rock singer-musician Pete Shelley (Buzzcocks) born
1958
Composer-musician Jan Hammer born
1959
Actress Teri Austis born
1961
About 1500 CIA-trained Cuban exiles launched the disastrous Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba a failed attempt to overthrow the government of Fidel Castro.
1964
Actress Lela Rochon born
1964
Jerrie Mock of Columbus, Ohio, became the first woman to complete a solo airplane flight around the world.
1964
Ford Motor Company unveiled its new "Mustang" model.
1967
Singer Liz Phair born
1969
A jury Los Angeles convicted Sirhan Sirhan of assassinating Senator Robert F. Kennedy.
1969
Czechoslovakian Communist Party chairman Alexander Dubcek was deposed.
1970
The astronauts of Apollo 13 splashed down safely the Pacific, four days after a ruptured oxygen tank crippled their spacecraft.
1975
Phnom Penh fell to Communist insurgents, ending Cambodia's five-year war.
1983
Warsaw, police route 1,000 Solidarity supporters
1989
The House Ethics Committee released its report accusing Speaker Jim Wright of violating House rules on the acceptance of gifts and outside income -- charges denied by the Texas Democrat.
1990
The Rev. Ralph D. Abernathy, the civil rights activist and top aide to Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., died in Atlanta at age 64.
1990
President Bush warned the Soviet Union against carrying out an economic blockade of Lithuania, hinting at "appropriate responses."
1991
Congress voted to put a quick end to a day-old nationwide strike by 235,000 rail workers (President George Bush signed the legislation early the next day).
1991
The Dow Jones industrial average closed above 3,000 for the first time, ending the day at 3,004.46.
1993
A federal jury Los Angeles convicted two former police officers of violating the civil rights of beaten motorist Rodney King; two other officers were acquitted.
1994
Bosnian Serb tanks entered the Muslim enclave of Gorazde; the UN Security Council issued a nonbinding statement that condemned the Serbs' escalating military activities, but made no threat of force to back its condemnation.
1995
An Air Force jet exploded and crashed in a wooded area in eastern Alabama, killing eight people, including an assistant Air Force secretary and a two-star general.
1995
President Clinton signed an executive order stripping the classified label from most national security documents that were at least 25 years old.
1996
Seeking to calm Pacific security jitters, President Clinton and Japanese Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto signed a joint declaration establishing new U.S.-Japan ties for a "stable and prosperous" Asia.
1996
A jury in Los Angeles opted to spare Erik and Lyle Menendez the death penalty, recommending that the brothers instead serve life in prison without parole for gunning down their wealthy parents.
1998
A Thai military team collected evidence from the body of Pol Pot, former chief of Cambodia's Khmer Rouge guerrillas, to lay to rest doubts that one of the century's worst tyrants was truly dead.
1999
The first of three bombs to explode in London within a two-week period went off in Brixton, a racially mixed neighborhood, injuring 39 people.
1999
Gen. Wesley Clark, NATO's commander, warned Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic to change his policies in Kosovo or see his military machine destroyed.
2000
World finance officials in Washington closed out the most tumultuous meetings in the history of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank with renewed pledges to hasten debt relief for poor countries and increase support for fighting the AIDS epidemic.
2000
Kenya's Elijah Lagat won the Boston Marathon; Catherine Ndereba became the first female Kenyan winner.
2005
Kenyan aviation union threatens government with strike
2005
Lebanese cabinet talks re-started by new PM
2005
Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA, releases study of local emissions
2005
Body of missing Florida girl found
2005
Littlewoods plans to axe 3,200 jobs
2005
Internet censorship study group reports on China
2005
Famed classical works rediscovered
2005
Croke Park opens to soccer and Rugby
2005
Freak wave rocks luxury liner--4 hurt
2005
Harvard University declines to discipline professor who plagiarized
2005
Childhood exposure to TV linked to bullying
2005
Unconfirmed: 20 dead, hundreds hurt after protest in Iranian city of Ahwaz
2005
ACLU, Minutemen trade accusations of misbehavior
2005
Manchester United 4-1 Newcastle United
2005
Russian Soyuz docks with International Space Station for crew change
2005
Papal conclave attracting more bets than the Oscars
2005
British National Fingerprint Database begins without parliamentary consultation
2006
Suspect in Oklahoma girl's murder blogged about depression, "dangerously weird" fantasies
2006
Greenpeace founder supports nuclear energy
2006
Explosion in Tel Aviv injures at least 40, kills at least 8
2006
Sondhi may face arrest over lèse majesté allegations
2006
Still no action in standoff in Ontario town
2006
Canada confirms fifth case of Mad Cow Disease
2006
British National Party to tempt voters in May local elections
2006
Rail accident in northern Greece
2007
France knew of and told CIA about al-Qaeda hijack plans prior to 9/11
2007
NHL: Sens edge out Pens to take commanding 3-1 series lead
2007
St. Edwards University, Texas evacuated due to bomb threat
2007
Cricket World Cup: England vs South Africa
2007
Mayor of Nagasaki dies after being shot
2007
Football: Manchester United push past Sheffield
2007
Israel marks Holocaust Memorial Day
2007
Ontario may adopt new voting system
2007
NHL: Flames burn Red Wings in Calgary
2007
NHL: Rangers dominate Thrashers, lead series 3-0
2007
Virginia Tech shooter identified, witness reports emerge
2008
Indonesia angered as nation's airlines all remain banned in EU airspace
2008
Brazilian President: not continuing to use biofuels would be a 'crime against humanity'
2008
George Bush meets with Gordon Brown
2008
'Expelled' producers accused of copyright violations
2008
Japan Airlines fined US$110 million for price fixing
2008
All metal cladding taken off Cabot Circus Tower due to fault
2008
Bomb hurt seven police in Basque city of Bilbao
2008
Eric Bogosian on writing and the creative urge
2008
Computex Preview: WiMAX, threat? opportunity?
2009
Maoist guerrilla attacks kill at least 17 on first day of Indian elections
2009
Swedish court finds administrators of The Pirate Bay guilty of contributory copyright infringement
2009
Fijian regime appoints vice-president
2009
Anti-tax tea parties held across the USA
2009
Small plane crash in Florida destroys home
2009
Asexual ants discovered
2010
Australian rules football: Gippsland Football League round 2 - Traralgon v Wonthaggi
2010
Europe's airline chaos: in depth
2010
US bank Goldman Sachs accused of fraud
2010
Tobacco manufacturers and retailers fined over UK price fixing
2010
UK politician Nick Clegg wins historic first televised political debate
2010
Toyota to recall Sienna minivan in North America
2010
30 people die in bombing in northwestern Pakistan
2010
Thai anti-government leaders escape capture
2010
Pakistan: Eight killed in hospital blast
2010
Australian rules football: Gippsland Football League round 2 - Leongatha v Morwell
2010
Officials: Seventeen insurgents killed in Orakzai, Pakistan
2010
Chilean musicians perform concert for Peralillo, Chile residents
2010
UN report says death of Benazir Bhutto preventable; fault of government
2011
Australian Defence Force faces a mass of sexual abuse lawsuits
2011
'Outraged' LaHood unveils plans to tackle fatigued U.S. air traffic controllers
2011
Bloomberg and Clinton create green alliance
2011
Syrian protests met with crackdown
2011
Australian carbon tax plans hit road block
2011
Former Australian athlete jailed for eighteen years for murdering her baby
2011
Poverty rises as food prices increase
2012
Supreme Court of Pakistan criticizes authorities over Bhutto murder
2012
UK hospital discharges footballer Fabrice Muamba
2012
Taliban raids Pakistan prison, 384 escape
2013
High Court of Australia dismisses appeal against conviction, compulsory voting

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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