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Today in History

1513
Juan Ponce de León discovers Florida
1792
Coinage Act establishes the US Mint
1801
Britain destroys the Danish fleet
1902
First full-time movie theater opens in LA
1908
Vaudeville dancer, film and television star, Buddy Ebsen born Christian Rudolf Ebsen Jr in Belleville, Illinois
1914
Academy Award winning actor Sir Alec Guiness born in Sussex, England
1939
Grammy Award winning singer, songwriter, instrumentalist, and record producer Marvin Gaye born in Washington, DC
1942
Singer, songwriter, pianist, and guitarist, Leon Russell born in Lawton, Oklahoma
1947
Grammy Award winning singer, songwriter, and musician, Emmylou Harris born in Birmingham, Alabama
1953
Celebrity, actress and Hollywood agent, Debralee Scott born in Elizabeth, New Jersey
1982
Argentina invades the Falkland Islands
742
Charlemagne, founder of the Holy Roman Empire born
999
Election of Pope Sylvester II
1118
Death of BaldwI, King of Jerusalem; BaldwII becomes King
1250
The 7th Crusade surrenders to the Muslims
1272
Death of Richard, King of the Romans
1416
Death of Ferdinand I, King of Aragon
1501
Death of St. Francis of Paola
1502
Death of Arthur, Prince of Wales, elder brother of Henry VIII of England
1512
Holy Roman Emperor Maximillian I and Swiss joined the Holy League against France.
1513
Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de Leon landed Florida. He landed at the site that became the city of St. Augustine and claimed the land for the King of Spain.
1536
Malmo, Sweden surrendered to Denmark's King Christian II.
1559
Marriage of Philip II, King of Spain, to Isabella of France
1559
A peace treaty was signed at Cateau-Cambresis between England and France.
1566
Two hundred noblemen petition Margaret of Parma to abolish the Inquisition the Netherlands, and aquire the nickname "Les Gueux"
1595
Spain's King Philip II attempted to aid Earl of Tyrone's rebellion Ireland.
1595
Cornelius van Houtman and a Dutch fleet sets sail for the East Indies
1699
British Admiral Benbow was sent to West Indies to gain reparations from Spain for the destruction of British ships at Darien.
1725
Giacomo Girolamo Casanova, celebrated Italian writer and philanderer, was born Venice, Italy. born
1792
Congress passed the Coinage Act, which authorized establishment of the first U.S. Mint Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
1805
Storyteller Hans Christian Andersen was born Odense, Denmark. Andersen is well remembered for his fairy tales (he wrote over 150); many of them regarded as classics of children's literature. born
1814
Musicologist Charles Burney died.
1834
Frederic Auguste Bartholdi, the sculptor who created the Statue of Liberty, was born Colmar, France. The sculptor is also remembered for the Lion of Belfort Belfort, France. born
1840
French novelist Emile Zola born
1842
Classical music gained a stronger foothold the Western Hemisphere when Urieli Hill founded the Philharmonic Society of New York. The New York Philharmonic would give its first concert later the year.
1860
The first Italian Parliament met at Turin.
1865
Confederate President Davis and most of his Cabinet fled the Confederate capital of Richmond, Virginia.
1872
Samuel F.B. Morse, developer of the electric telegraph, died New York.
1872
G.B. Brayton of Boston, Massachusetts, received a patent for the gas-powered street car.
1875
Walter Chrysler, founded a car company. born
1877
The first White House Easter Egg Roll took place during the administration of Rutherford B. Hayes.
1889
Charles Hall patented aluminum.
1902
The first motion picture theater opened Los Angeles. The Electric Theater charged a dime to see an hour's entertainment, including the films "The Capture of the Biddle Brothers" and "New York a Blizzard."
1908
Actor Buddy Ebsen born
1914
Actor Sir Alec Guinness born
1917
President Woodrow Wilson asked Congress for a declaration of war against Germany.
1917
Actor Dabbs Greer born
1920
Jack Webb born
1928
The Archbishop of Chicago, Cardinal Joseph Bernardin born
1932
Aviator Charles A. Lindbergh and Dr. John F. Condon turned over $50,000 ransom to an unidentified man in a Bronx, New York, cemetery in exchange for Lindbergh's kidnapped son. (The infant, however, was not returned, and was found dead the following month.)
1935
Actress Sharon Acker born
1935
Watson Watt granted a patent for RADAR.
1938
Singer-songwriter Warner Mack born
1939
Soul singer Marvin Gaye born
1941
Singer Leon Russell born
1942
Glenn Miller and his orchestra recorded "American Patrol" at the RCA Victor studios Hollywood.
1943
Jazz musician Larry Coryell born
1943
Singer-musician (The Fortunes) Glen Dale (Richard Garforth) born
1945
Actress Linda Hunt born
1947
Singer Emmylou Harris born
1947
The U.N. Security Council appointed the United States as trustee for the Pacific Islands formerly under Japanese mandate, Britareferred the Palestine question to the United Nations.
1949
Actress Pamela Reed born
1952
Rock musician Leon Wilkerson (Lynyrd Skynyrd) born
1953
Actress Debralee Scott born
1954
Actor Ron Palillo born
1955
Actor-comedian Dana Carvey born
1956
Singer-songwriter Gregory Abbott born
1961
Singer (Bananarama) Keren Woodward born
1962
Country singer Billy Dean born
1974
French president Georges Pompidou died Paris.
1976
Actor Jeremy Garrett ("Legacy") born
1982
Argentine troops stormed the Falkland Islands, overwhelming the small British Royal Marine unit stationed there.
1984
John Thompson became the first black coach to lead his team to the NCAA college basketball championship. His Georgetown Hoyas defeated Houston 84-75 Seattle for the win.
1985
The NCAA Rules Committee adopted the 45-second shot clock for men's basketball beginning the '86 season. It was an effort to end game stalls that kept opposing teams from further scoring close contests.
1986
Alabama Gov. George C. Wallace announced he was retiring from public life.
1986
Four American passengers were killed when a bomb exploded aboard a TWA jetliner en route from Rome to Athens, Greece.
1987
The US Senate, rejecting a plea from President Reagan, overrode his veto of an $88 billion highway and mass transit bill that the president had denounced as containing "pork-barrel" items.
1988
Secretary of State George P. Shultz briefed Pope John Paul the Second on his Middle East peace proposals during a private audience the papal library at the Vatican.
1988
Iraq claimed its forces killed thousands of Iranian troops and overran bases of Kurdish rebels mountainous northeast.
1989
Soviet leader Mikhail S. Gorbachev began a visit to Cuba amid differences with President Fidel Castro over the type of reforms Gorbachev was instituting in the Soviet Union.
1990
Iraqi president Saddam Hussesaid he would use binary nerve gas weapons - outlawed since 1925 - against Israel if his country was attacked.
1990
A conciliatory gesture the president of Lithuania invited Kremlin officials to discuss the republic's secession drive.
1990
The University of Nevada at Las Vegas won the NCAA college basketball championship, defeating Duke 103-73.
1991
Iraq state media reported that only a few more days were needed to stamp out fighting with Kurdish rebels, who reported renewed skirmishes around the strategic oil center of Kirkuk.
1991
Consumer goods prices increased by as much as 1,000 percent the Soviet Union.
1992
French Premier Edith Cresson, who had served ten turbulent months as France's first woman prime minister, resigned after election setbacks for the ruling Socialists.
1992
The space shuttle Atlantis returned from a nine-day mission.
1992
Government organized demonstrators attacked the embassies of countries that imposed sanctions against Libya.
1992
Mob boss John Gotti was convicted New York of murder and racketeering; he was later sentenced to life prison.
1993
Soprano Barbara Hendricks lectured at Dartmouth. Hendricks is a crossover star, known not just to opera fans but also to jazz lovers who checked out her performance with Wynton Marsalis.
1993
The Bosnian Serb parliament rejected a peace plan drafted by UN and European mediators and already approved by Bosnian Muslims and Croats.
1993
President Clinton presided at a daylong conference Portland, Oregon, on how much logging should be allowed on federal land.
1994
President Clinton warned Americans against "demagogues of division" his weekly radio address, while calling for greater personal responsibility and cooperation to overcome the nation's problems.
1994
Consumer reporter Betty Furness died Hartsdale, New York, at age 78.
1995
Baseball owners accepted the players' union offer to play without a contract, ending the longest and costliest strike the history of professional sports.
1995
Members of the extremist group Hamas accidentally set off a bomb that tore through their hideout the Gaza Strip, killing six people.
1996
A federal appeals court rejected New York state laws banning doctor-assisted suicide, saying it would be discriminatory to let people disconnect life support systems while refusing to let others end their lives with medication.
1997
The White House released documents showing how eager it had been to exploit the money-drawing powers of President Clinton and Vice President Gore during the 1996 campaign while coordinating with the Democratic Party's fund-raising machine.
1998
Shaking their fists in rage, thousands of mourners marched in a funeral procession in the West Bank for a top Hamas bombmaker (Mohiyedine Sharif) hailed by Palestinians as a martyr and condemned by Israel as a terrorist.
1999
The Labor Department reported that the nation's unemployment rate fell to a 29-year low of four-point-two percent in March 1999.
2000
More than 600 people set out on a five-day, 120-mile protest march to Columbia, South Carolina, to urge state lawmakers to remove the Confederate flag from the Statehouse dome.
2000
Japanese Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi suffered a debilitating stroke (he died less than two months later).
2000
Connecticut won its second women's NCAA national championship with a 71-to-52 victory over Tennessee.
2001
President Bush demanded that China promptly return a U.S. spy plane and its crew members. (The plane had made an emergency landing in China after colliding with a Chinese fighter.)
2001
Duke won its third national men's basketball championship with an 82-to-72 victory over Arizona.
2005
Abbas fires security chiefs for failure to curb lawlessness
2005
Ted Koppel to step down from Nightline
2005
Fourth Lebanon bomb rocks shopping mall
2005
Flora springing into Spring in Mid-Atlantic coastal region, USA
2005
SBC teams with Scientific-Atlanta for cable TV rollout in 13 US states
2005
Violence in Rio ends in 30 deaths
2005
American comedian Mitch Hedberg dies on tour at 37
2005
Australia, NATO enhance ties
2005
Vatican releases statement on health of Pope
2005
Australian Treasurer told to 'try harder on welfare'
2005
Australian rescue helicopter crash in Indonesia: nine dead
2005
China releases 'Human rights report' on US
2005
Google doubles Gmail storage, adds text formatting
2005
Pope John Paul II dies
2005
Iraqi insurgents attack Abu Ghraib
2005
Inspectors close Chicago landmark Healthy Food restaurant after finding dead mouse in cooler
2005
Abbas orders more security reforms, hundreds of security officers to be forced to retire
2005
Gmail 1st Birthday; Storage capacity increased to 2GB
2005
Telescope takes first image of planet outside our solar system
2006
Stanisław Lem dies at 84
2006
Flooding in Honolulu wreaks havoc
2006
Thais head to the polls for snap election
2006
Rice and Straw arrive unannounced in Baghdad
2006
IAEA chief, Russia, China express concerns about threats against Iran
2006
Blasts rock Thai polling stations
2006
British military denies secret meeting regarding action against Iran
2006
Herb Sendek leaves NC State
2006
US helicopter crashes in Iraq; 2 unaccounted for
2006
British report says the U.K. is preparing 'mass graves' for humans if Bird Flu mutates
2006
Greek President attends inauguration of Greek Orthodox Church in Egypt
2006
Photo Essay: Cherry Blossoms Bloom in DC
2006
TV stations are watching the flood in Dresden
2006
UK government links London 2005 attacks to the occupation of Iraq
2006
President Bush to limit congressional oversight in PATRIOT amendment act
2006
Mayor of Dzerzhinskiy city near Moscow shot dead
2007
Children killed during suicide attack in Afghanistan
2007
New Zealand PM drops in on Microsoft
2007
New video of captured British troops aired; protests at UK embassy in Tehran
2007
Twins announcer Herb Carneal dies at 83
2007
Cricket World Cup: Bangladesh vs New Zealand
2007
Canadian Public Safety Minister: New RCMP commissioner will be hired in June
2007
Seinfeld on HBO award: "Awards are stupid"
2007
NCAA Basketball: Florida Gators win Men's Basketball Championship
2007
Woman charged with offering her child for sex
2007
Nicolas Cage spotted in Washington DC filming National Treasure sequel
2008
UEFA Champions League: April 2, 2008
2008
Taiwan Textile Foundation markets "Taipei In Style" in Cross-Straits
2008
Hser Nar Moo, missing Utah girl, found dead
2008
New legal British tender revealed
2008
AMBER alert issued in Maryland for missing teenaged boys
2008
Two UN contract workers kidnapped in Somalia
2008
SAHTECH, SEMI, and Semiconductor Industry to promote "SEMI Safety Guideline" in Taiwan
2008
US Air Force tests Minuteman III missile
2008
Bertie Ahern to resign as Irish premier
2008
Vandalism on online epilepsy forum triggers convulsions
2008
Former Iraqi police commander was working with insurgents
2009
Gold mine in Tanzania collapses, at least 20 dead
2009
Former NZ Prime Minister confirmed as head of UNDP
2009
Pirates seize tourist yacht near Seychelles, troops deployed
2009
Former Texas nurse charged with murder for allegedly injecting bleach into patients
2009
Chechen and Russian mothers in shock after baby mix-up
2010
Chile tsunami first reached Pichilemu, SHOA reports
2010
Jack Diesing Sr., former chairman of the College World Series, dies age 92
2010
Three injured in Gaza after Israeli airstrikes
2010
Oldest living European person reaches age 114
2010
Former United States press secretary Jerald terHorst dies at age 87
2011
Nine killed as protests spread to Kandahar over Qur'an burning
2011
Police officer killed as car bomb explodes in Omagh, Northern Ireland
2011
Bosnia and Herzegovina national football team banned by FIFA
2011
UN workers killed by Afghans over burning of a Qur'an in Florida
2011
Southwest Airlines flight diverts due to 'rapid decompression in the cabin'
2011
Polar bear Knut's death linked to encephalitis
2011
Man charged with two counts of attempted murder in south London, England
2011
Daily and Sunday Sport owners to enter administration
2012
First female bishop in NSW and Canberra consecrated
2012
Aung San Suu Kyi claims a seat in the Parliamentary elections in Myanmar
2013
Sydney plans loss of rainbow
2013
Authorities at Jakarta Airport, Indonesia seize 687 endangered pig-nosed turtles
2013
Greg Barns named Australia's Wikileaks Party national campaign director
2013
Cyclists Jason English and Liz Smith win 24 Solo in Australia

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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