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Today in History

1775
Battle of Lexington and Concord
1930
Actor, Dick Sargent born in Los Angeles, California
1933
Golden Globe Award winning actress, Jayne Mansfield born in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania
1935
Musician, comedian and Academy Award nominated actor, Dudley Moore born in Essex, England
1943
Warsaw Ghetto uprising
1946
Composer, dancer, rock musician, singer and Tony Award nominated actor, Tim Curry born in Chesire, England
1968
Actress Ashley Judd born in Granada Hills, California
1969
Singer and actress Shannon Lee born in Los Angeles, California
1989
Protests begin in Tiananmen Square
1995
9:02AM CST explosion at the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building kills 168
1012
Death of St. Alphege, Archbishop of Canterbury
1054
Death of St. Leo IX, Pope
1127
St. Felix of Valois born
1529
A Protestation against a decree of the Diet of the German Empire was published, from which event came the term "Protestants"
1560
Death of Philip Melanchthon
1587
English admiral Sir Francis Drake entered Cadiz harbor and sank the Spanish fleet, an action he referred to as "singeing the king of Spain's beard."
1588
Death of Paolo Caliari, known as "Veronese," painter
1621
Agnes Ratcleife hanged at Tyburn for witchcraft
1713
Holy Roman Emperor Charles VI issued the Pragmatic Sanction, giving women the rights of succession to Hapsburg possessions.
1721
Statesman Roger Sherman, a signer of the U.S. born
1768
Carl Philip Emanuel Bach became the cantor of the city of Hamburg. Johann Sebastian Bach's most successful son succeeded his own godfather in the position, Telemann. CPE Bach thus became, firstly, a leading musical figure in Germany.
1775
The American Revolutionary War began at the Battle of Lexington, Mass. Eight Minutemen were killed and 10 wounded in an exchange of musket fire with British Redcoats. The shot 'heard round the world.'
1782
The Netherlands recognized American independence.
1824
English poet Lord Byron died of a fever while aiding Greek rebels fighting the Turks.
1850
The Clayton-Bulwer agreement was signed by which Britain and the U.S. agreed not to obtain exclusive control of a proposed Panama canal.
1874
Barracks on Alcatraz Island destroyed in fire.
1877
Ole Evinrude, invented the outboard marine engine. born
1892
The prototype of the first commercially successful American automobile was completed in Springfield, Massachusetts, by Charles E. Duryea and his brother Frank. It was powered by a single-cylinder 4-horsepower engine.
1893
The Oscar Wilde play "A Woman of No Importance" opened at the Haymarket Theater in London.
1897
The first American Marathon Race (now known as the Boston Marathon) was run from Hopkinton, Massachusetts, to Boston. The 26-mile, 385-yard race was won by John McDermott in 2 hours, 55 minutes and 10 seconds.
1903
FBI agent Eliot Ness. Ness was the head of a nine-man team of law officers called the "Untouchables." born
1906
Pierre Curie, French chemist and physicist, was run over and killed in Paris.
1910
After weeks of being viewed through telescopes, Halley's Comet was reported visible to the naked eye in Curacao.
1925
Actor Hugh O'Brian (Krampke)- (some sources 1930) born
1927
Singer Don Barbour (The Four Freshmen) born
1933
Actress Jayne Mansfield born
1933
Actor Dick Sargent born
1933
The United States went off the gold standard.
1935
Actor-comedian Dudley Moore born
1937
Actress Elinor Donahue born
1939
148 years later than most, the state of Connecticut approves the Bill of Rights
1942
Singer-musician Larry Ramos Jr. (Hilario) born
1942
Musician-singer Alan Price (The Animals) born
1943
Singer Eve Graham (The New Seekers) born
1943
Jazz musician Czeslaw Bartowski born
1943
During World War Two, tens of thousands of Jews living in the Warsaw Ghetto began a valiant but futile battle against Nazi forces.
1945
The Rodgers and Hammerstein musical "Carousel," featuring the song, "You'll Never Walk Alone," opened on Broadway with Jan Clayton as Julie Jordan and John Raitt as Billy Bigelow.
1946
Actor Tim Curry born
1947
Pop singer Mark "Flo" Volman (The Turtles; Flo and Eddie) born
1949
Designer Paloma Picasso born
1951
General Douglas MacArthur, relieved of his command by President Truman, bid farewell to Congress, quoting a line from a ballad: "Old soldiers never die; they just fade away."
1951
Shigeki Tanaka, who survived the atomic blast at Hiroshima, Japan, in World War II, won the Boston Marathon.
1953
The longest recorded major league home run was hit by Mickey Mantle. It traveled 565 feet.
1956
Tennis player Sue Barker born
1957
The first British ship paid an Egyptian toll to cross the Suez Canal.
1958
The San Francisco Giants and the Los Angeles Dodgers met for the first time as major-league baseball came to the West Coast.
1968
Pop singer Bekka Bramlett born
1968
Actress Ashley Judd born
1969
Actress Shannon Lee born
1971
The Soviet Union launched its first Salyut space station.
1972
The U.S. Apollo 16 spacecraft began orbiting the moon two days before astronauts landed on its surface.
1975
India announced it had launched its first satellite, from the Soviet Union atop a Soviet rocket.
1979
The Los Angeles Lakers won the coin toss in the first round of the college basketball draft. They chose Michigan State guard Ervin "Magic" Johnson.
1982
Astronauts Sally K. Ride and Guion S. Bluford Jr. became the first woman and first African-American to be tapped for U.S. space missions.
1983
President Reagan embraced a plan to build 100 M-X missiles and put them in existing launch silos, promising it would mean "a safer, more secure America.""
1984
A federal judge in Chicago held Standard Oil of Indiana and two subsidiaries liable for damages caused by the massive 1978 oil spill from the tanker Amoco Cadiz off the French coast.
1985
The space shuttle Discovery landed at Cape Canaveral, Florida, after a mission that was marred by a deployed satellite that failed to operate properly.
1986
Tens of thousands of demonstrators marched and burned American flags in Britain, West Germany, Italy and Sweden to protest the U.S. air raid on Libya.
1987
Actor Courtland Mead ("Kirk") born
1987
Argentinian President Raul Alfonsin obtained the surrender of dozens of armed rebel soldiers who had been holed up at a military base for three days.
1988
Republican George Bush and Democrat Michael Dukakis won the New York presidential primaries.
1988
After the Baltimore Orioles lost their 11th straight game, WIIY/Baltimore D.J. Bob Rivers vowed to stay on the air until they won. Eight games and 216 hours later, the O's won and Rivers finally got to sleep.
1989
Pro-Democracy demonstrations began in Beijing's Tiananmen Square.
1989
Forty-seven sailors were killed when a gun turret exploded aboard the USS "Iowa." It was one of the worst naval disasters since the war in Vietnam.
1990
Nicaragua's 9-year-old civil war neared its end as Contra guerrillas, the Sandinistas and the incoming government agreed to a truce and a deadline for the rebels to disarm.
1991
Soviet President Mikhail S. Gorbachev arrived in South Korea for talks with President Roh Tae-woo.
1991
Evander Holyfield won a unanimous decision over George Foreman to retain boxing's heavyweight title in Atlantic City, New Jersey.
1992
After six days, engineers plugged the tunnel leak under the Chicago River that caused an underground flood that had virtually shut down business in the heart of the city.
1993
The Pittsburgh Symphony visited Chicago. Loren Maazel led the ensemble in the Adagio from Penderecki's Fourth Symphony, followed by the Brahms First.
1993
The 51-day siege at the Branch Davidian compound near Waco, Texas, ended as fire destroyed the structure after federal agents began smashing their way in; dozens of people, including David Koresh, were killed.
1993
South Dakota Governor George S. Mickelson died in an Iowa plane crash; he was 52.
1994
The Supreme Court outlawed the practice of excluding people from juries because of their gender.
1994
Bosnian Serbs seized anti-aircraft guns from U.N. guards near Sarajevo and shelled a hospital and U.N. buildings in Gorazde.
1994
A Los Angeles jury awarded $3.8 million to beaten motorist Rodney King.
1995
A truck bomb exploded outside the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, killing 168 people, and injuring 500. Two suspects, Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols, were arrested in the case. (Timothy McVeigh was later convicted on federal murder charges and sentenced to death; Terry Nichols was sentenced to life in prison for conspiracy and involuntary manslaughter.)
1996
President Clinton, visiting Russia, paid tribute to the hundreds of thousands of Russians who died in the Nazi siege of Leningrad -- and to the victims of the Oklahoma bombing as well.
1996
On the first anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing, hundreds of mourners paused for 168 seconds of silence at the site where the federal building once stood.
1997
More than 50,000 residents abandoned Grand Forks, North Dakota, as the rising Red River overran sandbags.
1998
It was announced that Linda McCartney, the wife of Paul McCartney, had died two days earlier at age 56.
1998
Mexican poet-philosopher Octavio Paz died at age 84.
1998
Wang Dan, a leader of the 1989 Tiananmen Square pro-democracy protests, arrived in the United States after being freed by China.
1999
The Supreme Court ruled that a federal law aimed at limiting e-mail smut does not violate free-speech rights.
1999
Joseph Chebet of Kenya won the Boston Marathon, in 2 hours, 9 minutes, 52 seconds; Fatuma Roba of Ethiopia won the women's
1999
The German parliament inaugurated its new home in the restored Reichstag in Berlin, its prewar capital.
2000
The worst air crash in Philippine history killed 131 people aboard an Air Philippines Boeing 737-200.
2000
President Clinton knelt among 158 empty chairs memorializing each victim of the Oklahoma City bombing and declared the site "sacred ground" in the soul of America during a fifth-anniversary dedication ceremony.
2005
Angolan Marburg virus still threat
2005
Ukrainian president to visit Romania
2005
Thermoelectric plants in Arad, Romania to be modernised
2005
Romanian Ministry of Communications and IT discusses future objectives
2005
MiniMax Discount to open inaugural stores in southern Romania
2005
Elwood Norris receives Lemelson-MIT Prize for invention
2005
Man arrested on charge of murdering Christa Worthington
2005
Simon's Rock College tests Alan Turing theories with 'Imitation Game' experiment
2005
German Cardinal Ratzinger elected Pope Benedict XVI
2005
British retailer Littlewoods plans to axe 3,200 jobs
2005
109th Boston marathon takes place
2005
Afghan coalition forces repel Taliban ambush: 8 killed, 16 captured
2005
Associated Press changes online fee structure to meet Internet demands
2005
New mass grave discovered in Kosovo
2005
Barry Prime becomes Swim Ireland's new National Performance Director
2005
North Korea shuts down its main nuclear reactor
2005
Teen tram thief may yet work as tram driver
2006
Accused have denied guilt in suitcase murder case
2006
Sudan reports first bird flu case
2006
New Zealand, Australia fly in extra personnel to help quell Solomon Island riots
2006
India sends special envoy to Nepal
2006
George Galloway exposes News of the World 'fake sheikh'
2006
President Bush receives anti-free speech award
2006
Vodafone launches new video news service for mobile phones, New Zealand
2007
Bomb blasts in Iraq kill nearly 200
2007
Nearly a dozen killed in suicide bomber attack in Iraq
2007
Bible publishing firm in Turkey attacked; 3 killed
2007
Canadian soldier falls from tower, dies afterwards
2007
Molten steel kills 32 workers in Liaoning,China
2007
380 million year old fossilized trees found in New York, USA
2007
Cricket World Cup: West Indies vs Bangladesh
2008
California student arrested in criminal threats made on Wikipedia
2008
Bus crash in Spain leaves 9 Finnish tourists dead
2008
Pope addresses UN in NY as US visit continues
2008
10 arrested over Ugandan school fire as death toll reaches 20
2008
First funeral for Elim students
2008
Zimbabwe begins vote recount
2008
Zimbabwe bound Chinese arms ship heads for Angola
2008
Second controlled explosion to be carried out in Bristol, United Kingdom
2008
French anthropologist Germaine Tillion dies at 100
2008
Halema`uma`u crater erupts in Hawaii, USA
2008
Former US President Jimmy Carter meets with Hamas Leader
2008
Soyuz TMA-11 spacecraft lands
2008
Zimbabwe bound arms ship flees from South Africa
2008
Chinese hackers call off attack on CNN website
2009
Suicide bomb kills at least twenty in northwestern Pakistan
2009
65th human bird flu case reported In Egypt
2009
Six-year-old boy on vacation in Venezuela dies in plane crash
2009
Pirate attack on Norwegian ship foiled by NATO forces
2009
Sebastian Vettel wins wet Chinese Grand Prix
2009
Afghanistan women protest Shia Family Law
2009
Belgian ship hijacked off Horn of Africa by Somali pirates
2009
Twelve injured in Washington after ride at fair topples over
2009
Iran warns against Israeli invasion
2009
Egyptian archaeologist finds artifacts which may lead to Cleopatra's tomb
2010
Senior al-Qaeda leaders in Iraq killed
2010
Half of Europe's flights could take off Monday, EU says
2010
Suicide car bomber kills seven in Kohat, Pakistan
2010
European airlines question flight bans
2010
Suicide bomber kills 24 in Peshawar, Pakistan
2010
Cuban tobacco grower Alejandro Robaina dies at age 91
2010
Long Island teen found guilty of hate crime
2010
Son of Illinois Senate President charged with driving under the influence
2010
Formula One: Jenson Button wins Chinese Grand Prix
2010
Toyota to pay US government $16.4 million over recalls
2011
UK union ups strike stakes at services for unemployed
2011
Afghanistan general Stanley McChrystal cleared of wrongdoing
2012
US Secret Service agents face investigation for Colombian sex scandal
2012
China, UN rebuke North Korea for rocket launch
2013
Gun background checks a no-go in US Senate

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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