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Today in History

1775
Paul Revere starts his ride
1857
Author and famed criminal defense attorney, Clarence Darrow born in Kinsman Township, Ohio
1906
Earthquake and fire destroy San Francisco
1921
Pinup model and Emmy nominated actress, Barbara Hale born in DeKalb, Illinois
1946
Oscar winning actress Haley Mills born in London, England
1947
Actress Cindy Pickett born in Sand Springs, Oklahoma
1949
Independence Day in Ireland
1953
Songwriter, impersonator and actor, Rick Moranis born in Toronto, Ontario
1955
Albert Einstein dies
1961
Emmy award nominated actress Jane Leeves born in London, England
1963
Emmy Award winning talk show host, Conan O'Brien born in Brookline, Massachusetts
1976
Director, singer and actress, Melissa Joan Hart born in Smithtown, New York
1983
Car bomb kills 63 at US Embassy in Beirut
1221
Jacques de Vitry writes to Pope Honorius III about "King David" (the KaKhan of the Mongols)
1318
Cornerstone laid for a monastery endowed by Othon de Grandson
1417
Frederick of Hohenzollern invested as Elector of Brandenburg
1454
Venice signs a treaty with the Turks
1479
Reconstruction of the Japanese Imperial Palace begins, after it, and the city of Kyoto were destroyed in a Civil War
1480
Italian duchess Lucrezia Borgia, daughter of Pope Alexander VI, born
1504
Filippino Lippi, Renaissance Florentine painter, dies
1506
Foundation stone for the new St. Peter's Basilica laid in Rome
1587
John Foxe, preacher, writer (Book of Martyrs), dies
1605
Composer Giacomo Carissimi, near Roma born
1636
Death of Sir Julius Caesar, English barrister
1775
American patriot Paul Revere began his famed ride through the Massachusetts countryside, crying out "The British are coming!" to rally the Minutemen.
1819
Franz von Suppe was born in the Croatian seaport of Split . Von Suppe became a well-known conductor and composer for the theater. The most popular von Suppe works are the "Poet and Peasant" and "Light Cavalry" overtures.
1846
The telegraph ticker was patented by R.E. House of New York City.
1857
Lawyer Clarence Darrow born
1868
San Francisco Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals formed.
1869
1st International Cricket Match, held in San Francisco, won by California
1880
Tornado kills 99 in Marshfield, Missouri
1882
Symphony conductor Leopold Stokowski born
1895
New York State passed an act that established free public baths. They were to be open 14 hours a day and provide hot and cold water.
1906
A devastating earthquake struck San Francisco, followed by raging fires. About 700 people died. It lasted 48 seconds and registered 8.25 on the Richter Scale, qualifying as America's worst ever earthquake.
1907
Movie composer Miklos Rozsa born
1921
Junior Achievement, created to encourage business skills in young people, was incorporated.
1922
Actress Barbara Hale born
1923
The first game was played in Yankee Stadium. The Yankees defeated the Boston Red Sox, 4-1. Fred Lieb of the New York Evening Telegraph dubbed the stadium as "The House that Ruth built," and the name stuck.
1924
Blues singer Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown born
1930
Actor Clive Revill born
1934
Actor James Drury born
1934
The first coin-operated laundry (called a "washateria") was opened by J.F. Cantrell in Fort Worth, Texas.
1937
Actor Robert Hooks born
1942
An air squadron from the USS "Hornet" led by Lieutenant Colonel James H. Doolittle raided Tokyo and other Japanese cities.
1942
The first World War II edition of The Stars and Stripes was published as a weekly newspaper for U.S. troops in Northern Ireland. (It became a daily paper the following November.)
1944
Leonard Bernstein's ballet "Fancy Free" - about sailors on shore leave - was premiered at the Metropolitan Opera in New York. The music was so well-received that Bernstein reworked the material into a musical called "On the Town."
1945
Famed American war correspondent Ernie Pyle, 44, was killed by Japanese gunfire on the Pacific island of Ie Shima, off Okinawa.
1946
The League of Nations went out of business. All of its assets were handed over to the United Nations.
1946
Actress Hayley Mills born
1947
Country musician Walt Richmond (The Tractors) born
1947
Actress Cindy Pickett born
1947
Actress-director Dorothy Lyman born
1947
Actor James Woods born
1949
The Republic of Ireland formally declared itself independent from Britain. With the Republic of Ireland Act Southern Ireland came into being.
1954
Actor Rick Moranis born
1955
Physicist Albert Einstein died in Princeton, New Jersey.
1956
Actor John James born
1956
Actor Eric Roberts born
1956
Actress Grace Kelly married Prince Rainier of Monaco in a civil ceremony. (A church wedding took place the next day.)
1956
Actress Melody Thomas Scott ("The Young and the Restless") born
1958
Rock musician Les Pattinson (Echo and the Bunnymen) born
1960
Actor Eric McCormack ("Will and Grace") born
1960
The Mutual Broadcasting System was sold to the 3M Company of Minnesota for $1.25 million. Previously, the network had been owned by MONY (Mutual of New York).
1963
Talk show host Conan O'Brien born
1963
Actress Jane Leeves born
1966
Bill Russell was named player-coach of the Boston Celtics, the first African-American coach in the National Basketball Association.
1967
Actress Maria Bello ("E-R") born
1970
Rock musician Craig Eklund (Everclear) born
1974
The Washington District Court conducting the Watergate proceedings issued a subpoena on President Richard M. Nixon to produce tape recordings and other material demanded by the Special Prosecutor.
1976
Actress Melissa Joan Hart ("Sabrina the Teenage Witch") born
1978
The U.S. Senate voted 68-32 to turn the Panama Canal over to Panamanian control on Dec. 31, 1999.
1980
Rhodesia became the independent nation of Zimbabwe as the British flag was lowered at a ceremony in Salisbury.
1983
62 people, including 17 Americans, were killed at the US Embassy in Beirut, Lebanon, by a suicide bomber.
1983
Pulitzer Prizes went to Alice Walker for her novel "The Color Purple" and Marsha Norman for her play "'night, Mother."
1984
Two unarmed U.S. Army helicopters, one of them carrying two American senators, made forced landings after coming under fire on a flight over Honduras near the border with El Salvador.
1985
Amid controversy over his plans to visit a German military cemetery, President Reagan told news editors in Washington that the German soldiers had been "victims" of the Nazis "just as surely as the victims in the concentration camps.""
1986
A Titan rocket carrying a secret military payload exploded seconds after liftoff from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.
1987
President Reagan used his weekly radio address to express hope the superpowers could reach an agreement to sharply reduce the threat of intermediate-range nuclear weapons.
1988
An Israeli court convicted John Demjanjuk, a retired auto worker from Cleveland, of committing war crimes at the Treblinka death camp more than 40 years earlier. (Israel's Supreme Courtl later overturned Demjanjuk's conviction.)
1989
Thousands of Chinese students demanding democracy tried to storm Communist Party headquarters in Beijing.
1990
The Soviet Union shut off a pipeline that supplied the rebellious republic of Lithuania with crude oil ; a day later, the Soviets severely reduced the flow of natural gas.
1990
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that states may make it a crime to possess or look at child pornography, even in one's home.
1991
Soviet President Mikhail S. Gorbachev ended his summit in Japan without winning the major aid package he'd been hoping for.
1991
The Census Bureau estimated its 1990 census had failed to count up to 6.3 million people.
1991
President Bush unveiled his America 2000 education strategy, which included a voluntary nationwide exam system and aid pegged to academic results.
1992
Serbia issued a protest to the United States, accusing Washington of siding with Bosnia-Herzegovina and Croatia in the Yugoslav crisis.
1992
Democrat Jerry Brown met with black leaders in Philadelphia while front-runner Bill Clinton visited a Phillies-Pirates ballgame as the two courted Pennsylvania primary voters.
1993
The government of Bosnia-Herzegovina agreed to a truce, effectively relinquishing besieged Srebrenica. Meanwhile, Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic threatened to boycott further U.N. peace talks if tougher U.N. sanctions were implemented.
1994
Former President Nixon suffered a stroke at his home in Park Ridge, New Jersey, and was taken to New York Hospital-Cornell Medical Center; he died four days later.
1994
The Federal Reserve boosted short-term interest rates for the third time in 1994, from 3.5 to 3.75 percent.
1995
Quarterback Joe Montana retired from professional football.
1995
The Houston Post newspaper closed after more than a century.
1995
President Clinton held a prime-time news conference in which he said he was satisfied that he remained relevant in a Republican-dominated capital, and challenged Congress to send him an acceptable welfare bill.
1996
Congress passed and sent to President Clinton long-awaited legislation giving federal law officers new powers to use against terrorism.
1996
President Clinton addressed the Japanese Parliament, hailing security ties between the two countries as the cornerstone of stability in Asia.
1996
Israeli shells killed 91 Lebanese refugees in a U.N. camp (Israel called the attack an "unfortunate mistake").
1996
Gunmen opened fire at a hotel in Egypt, killing 18 Greek tourists.
1997
President Clinton held a news conference in which he warned Republicans that a balanced-budget deal may not come quickly, while reassuring nervous Democrats that he would not abandon the party's prized social programs.
1998
Despite fierce internal dissent, Northern Ireland's main Protestant party, the Ulster Unionists, approved a peace agreement.
1998
The remains of Pol Pot were cremated, three days after the Khmer Rouge leader blamed for the killings of up to two million Cambodians died at age 73.
1998
Former North Carolina governor and US senator Terry Sanford died in Durham at age 80.
1999
NATO launched its most active day of airstrikes in its assault on Yugoslavia, pummeling refineries, bridges and dozens of other targets in the 25th straight day of attacks.
1999
Wayne Gretzky played his last National Hockey League game as his New York Rangers lost to Pittsburgh 2-1 in overtime at Madison Square Garden.
2000
In a defeat for the United States, a United Nations commission in Geneva voted 22-18 against censuring China's human rights record.
2000
Robert L. Yates Jr. was arrested in Spokane, Wash., and charged with murdering a teen-age prostitute. (Yates later confessed to killing 13 people, and was sentenced to 408 years in prison.)
2000
In his first game back following a 12-game suspension for making disparaging remarks about minorities, gays and immigrants, Atlanta's John Rocker pitched a scoreless ninth inning in a 4-3, 12-inning victory over Philadelphia.
2005
Movie industry looks toward bitTorrent as possible video distribution method
2005
India, China to jointly construct Buddhist temple in Henan Province
2005
Five anti-hail centres to be set up in Romania
2005
Romanian government to sell 10 percent of its shares in Romgaz
2005
Adobe to Purchase Macromedia for $3.4 Billion
2005
Survivors gather to remember 1906 San Francisco quake
2005
Armstrong announces retirement from professional cycling
2005
Virgin billionaire suggests hybrids to save MG Rover
2006
US allegedly committed acts of violence in Iran using ex-members of MEK during past year
2006
Dead body found in suitcase floating in Auckland harbour
2006
Missing nun found dead
2006
Illinois Ex-Gov. Ryan found guilty of corruption charges
2006
Greenpeace report says Chernobyl death toll has been underestimated
2006
Four Korean women accuse JMS leader Jeong Myeong-seok of rape
2006
Man attacks, kills mental patient
2007
Outage leaves tens of thousands of New Zealanders without Internet
2007
Bell Canada Enterprises might be taken private
2007
More dog and cat food recalled in the United States
2007
Cricket World Cup: Ireland vs Sri Lanka
2007
US Supreme Court upholds ban on partial birth abortions
2007
Virginia Tech gunman sent package to NBC
2007
Electronic voting disputed in France
2007
Iran's Supreme Leader wants religious army
2007
Football: Roma defeats Inter 3-1 in Milan
2007
Turkey's Army chief proposes unarmed flights over Aegean Sea
2008
Ariane rocket launches Vietnam's first satellite
2008
Controlled explosion in Bristol, United Kingdom; man arrested on suspicion of terrorism
2008
YouTube accounts of Scientology critics suspended
2008
Minor earthquake shakes Illinois
2008
Robert Mugabe denounces Britain and opposition
2008
Public disclosure made of final report on deaths of nine in Finnish school shooting
2008
Stagnant air spreads across England
2008
Putin orders Russian government to normalize relations with Georgia
2008
Police have one week to question terror suspect caught in Bristol, UK
2009
Jailed American journalist in Iran sentenced to eight years in prison
2009
Eighteen killed in mine blast in China, officials say
2010
Poland: Around 100,000 people attend public memorial for victims of plane crash
2010
North Korea denies involvement in sinking of South Korean warship
2010
Fourteen dead in two attacks in Somalia
2010
6.3 magnitude quake strikes Papua New Guinea
2010
Champaign, Illinois mayor doubts Obama's natural-born citizenship; local politicians divided on whether mayor should resign
2010
Man shot after attempting to drive through US-Mexico border
2011
Schoolboy dies in Israel after bus hit by rocket from Gaza
2011
NASCAR: Johnson beats Bowyer for victory in Aarons' 499
2012
Texas college student found dead on campus

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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