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Today in History

1653
Oliver Cromwell dissolves British Parliament
1893
Director, stunt man and silent film actor, Harold Lloyd born in Burchard, Nebraska
1937
Actor George Takei born in Los Angeles, California
1949
Waitress, fashion model and Academy Award winning actress, Jessica Lange born in Cloquet, Minnesota
1961
Record breaking hitter and NY Yankees bench coach, Don Mattingly born in Evansville, Indiana
1961
US invasion of Cuba at Bay of Pigs fails
1971
US Supreme Court rules in favor of busing to achieve racial desegregation
1972
Singer, model and actress, Carmen Electra born Tara Leigh Patrick in Sharonville, Ohio
1977
Apple announces the Apple ][
121
Marcus Arelius born
1314
Death of Pope Clement V
1492
Italian poet Pietro Aretino born
1534
Execution of Elizabeth Barton, the "Nun of Kent"
1534
Jacques Cartier left France on his first voyage of Canadian exploration
1545
Massacre of the Waldensians in Provence, France
1559
Elizabeth I declared "Supreme Governor" of the Church of England
1627
Spanish fleet burned by the English at Santa Cruz
1632
Nicolas Antione, a convert to Judaism, burned at the stake in Geneva
1648
The future King James II of England escapes the Parliamentarians by sailing to Holland
1653
Oliver Cromwell dissolves the "Rump" Parliament
1657
Asser Levy & Jacob Barsimson become 1st Jews granted full American citizenship (New Amsterdam)
1792
France declared war on Austria, marking the start of the French Revolutionary Wars.
1808
French Emperor Napoleon III born
1812
The fourth vice president of the United States, George Clinton, died in Washington at age 73, becoming the first vice president to die while in office.
1832
Hot Springs National Park, the first national park in the U.S., was established by an act of Congress. It had been a reservation prior to becoming a national park.
1836
The Territory of Wisconsin was established by Congress.
1881
Nikolai Miaskovsky was born in the town of Novogeorgievsk in Russian Poland. Miaskovsky would become a prolific symphonist and an active figure in the Soviet cultural life. In the West his music was seldom performed until emigres like Mstislav Rostropovich began to program it from time to time.
1882
Holland Smith, the father of amphibious warfare. Holling "Howling Mad" Smith developed techniques for amphibious assaults that involved coordination of land, sea and air forces. born
1889
Adolf Hitler born in Braunau, Austria.
1893
Silent film comedian Harold Lloyd born
1893
Spanish surrealist painter Joan Miro. Miro's works are filled with fanciful shapes and intense colors. born
1894
Some 136,000 coal miners went on strike in Columbus, Ohio.
1902
Scientists Marie and Pierre Curie isolated the radioactive element radium.
1913
Jazz musician Lionel Hampton born
1920
Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens born
1923
Bandleader Tito Puente born
1924
Actress Nina Foch born
1935
"Your Hit Parade," starring Kay Thompson, Charles Carlyle, Gogo DeLys and Johnny Hanser was first broadcast on radio. The show would remain on radio for 24 years.
1939
Singer Johnny Tillotson born
1940
Actor George Takei born
1940
RCA publicly demonstrated its new and powerful electron microscope.
1941
Actor Ryan O'Neal born
1945
During World War Two, allied forces took control of the German cities of Nuremberg and Stuttgart.
1948
Rock musician Craig Frost (Grand Funk; Bob Seger's Silver Bullet Band) born
1948
United Auto Workers president Walter P. Reuther was shot and wounded at his home in Detroit.
1949
Actress Jessica Lange born
1949
Willie Shoemaker won his first race as a jockey aboard Shafter V at Golden Gate Fields in Albany, California.
1951
Singer Luther Vandross born
1958
Actor Denis Leary born
1959
Actor Clint Howard born
1959
Actress Catherine Mary Stewart born
1959
13-year-old Dolly Parton released her first single, "Puppy Love," on the Gold Band label.
1961
The Federal Communications Commission gave approval for FM stations to begin "Stereo" broadcasting.
1961
Baseball player Don Mattingly born
1965
Blackout of New York, New England, and Eastern Canada
1968
Pierre Elliott Trudeau was sworn in as prime minister of Canada.
1969
Country singer Wade Hayes born
1971
The US Supreme Court upheld the use of busing to achieve racial desegregation in schools.
1972
The manned lunar module from Apollo 16 landed on the moon with astronauts John Young and Charles Duke aboard. Thomas Mattingly remained in orbit around the moon aboard the command module This was the third landing.
1972
MTV host Carmen Electra born
1976
Actor Joey Lawrence born
1976
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that federal courts could order low-cost housing for minorities in a city's white suburbs to ease racial segregation.
1977
The US Supreme Court said car owners could refuse to display state mottoes on license plates, such as New Hampshire's "Live Free or Die."
1978
A Korean Air Lines Boeing 707 crash-landed in northwestern Russia after being fired on by a Soviet interceptor after entering Soviet airspace. Two passengers were killed.
1980
The first Cubans sailing to the United States as part of the massive Mariel boatlift reached Florida.
1983
President Reagan signed a $165 billion Social Security rescue plan designed to prevent bankruptcy of the trust fund for the elderly.
1984
State Department officials disclosed that six Eastern European countries had been told to stop supporting "international terrorists" and halt espionage operations if they wanted to improve relations with the U.S.
1985
In his Saturday radio address, President Reagan called for more U.S. aid to the Nicaraguan rebels, saying that "Russian military personnel" were in battle zones.
1986
Some 200 people died when a double-decker ferry sank in rough weather in Bangladesh.
1986
Following an absence of six decades, Russian-born pianist Vladimir Horowitz performed in the Soviet Union to a packed audience at the Grand Hall of the Tchaikovsky Conservatory in Moscow.
1987
Karl Linnas, sentenced to death by the Soviets in 1962 for running a World War II concentration camp, became the first Nazi war criminal returned by the United States to the Soviet Union against his will. (Linnas, who maintained his innocence, died of heart disease in Leningrad the following July.
1988
Gunmen who'd hijacked a Kuwait Airways jumbo jet were allowed safe passage out of Algeria under an agreement that freed the remaining 31 hostages and ended a 15-day siege in which two passengers were slain.
1989
The Oliver North case went to the jury in his Iran-Contra trial.
1989
Ramon Salcido, a California winery worker later convicted of killing six relatives and a co-worker, was deported from Mexico to the U.S.
1990
Former junk bond financier Michael Milken agreed to plead guilty to six felonies and pay $600 million in penalties to settle the largest securities fraud case in history.
1990
Pete Rose, already banished from baseball for gambling, pleaded guilty to two felony counts alleging he concealed nearly $300, 000 in income from the Internal Revenue Service.
1991
U.S. Marines landed in northern Iraq to begin building the first center for Kurdish refugees on Iraqi territory. Gen. H. Norman Schwarzkopf, the U.S. commander of Operation Desert Storm, left Saudi Arabia for home.
1992
The Russian congress adopted a resolution affirming Russia's membership in the Commonwealth of Independent States in a victory for President Boris Yeltsin.
1992
Defending champion Ibrahim Hussein of Kenya became the sixth three-time winner of the Boston Marathon, while Russia's Olga Markova won the women's division.
1992
Madonna signed a multi-million-dollar deal with Time Warner to form an entertainment company that would make her the highest paid female pop star in the world.
1993
President Clinton told a news conference he accepted responsibility for the decision to try to end the 51-day siege at the Branch Davidian compound in Texas, but said David Koresh bore "ultimate responsibility" for the deaths that resulted.
1993
Mexican comedian Cantinflas died in Mexico City at age 81.
1994
Barbara Streisand launched her first concert tour in 27 years at London's Wembley Arena. Tickets ranged from $50 to $350.
1994
Israeli and PLO negotiators wrapped up an agreement transferring civilian government powers to Palestinians in the Gaza Strip and Jericho.
1995
In the aftermath of the Oklahoma City bombing, the FBI announced it was looking for two men suspected of renting the truck used to carry the explosive.
1996
Russia and the leaders of the world's seven richest democracies agreed in Moscow to end nuclear tests by the fall and pledged new steps to keep nuclear materials out of the wrong hands.
1997
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu escaped indictment in an influence-peddling scandal, with prosecutors saying they lacked evidence.
1997
Hwang Jang Yop, the highest-ranking North Korean to defect, arrived in South Korea, ending a 67-day odyssey that began in China.
1998
In an unusual use of a racketeering law designed to fight the mob, a federal jury in Chicago ruled that anti-abortion protest organizers had used threats and violence to shut down clinics. The federal jury in Chicago awarded more than $85,000 in damages to two women's health clinics. The clinics, along with the National Organization for Women, had filed a class-action lawsuit, asserting that abortion opponents were using threats and extortion to try to shut them down.
1998
A Boeing 727 leased to Air France crashed in Bogota, Colombia, killing all 53 people aboard.
1999
Students Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold shot and killed 12 classmates and one teacher before taking their own lives at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado.
2000
Littleton, Colo., paused to remember the victims on the first anniversary of the Columbine High School massacre.
2005
U.S. federal communications agency revisits do-not-call registry
2005
Google Maps, Google Local launches for Britain and Ireland
2005
Australian blitz on fish poaching
2005
Infrared technology enables recovery of lost classical writings
2005
Italian PM Berlusconi resigns to form stronger coalition
2005
New version of Opera web browser released
2005
Norwegian whaling season starts with highest quota in a decade
2005
Iraqi President Talabani speaks on 50 dead found in Tigris River
2006
White House press secretary McClellan resigns; advisor Rove reassigned
2006
UK Political Parties discuss green issues in run up to local elections
2006
Mayan mob lynch couple in Guatemala
2006
Native protesters repel police raid in Caledonia, Ontario
2007
Islamic vigilantes acquitted of murder by Iran supreme court
2007
RAF Hawk jet crashes in the United Kingdom
2007
Sealing ships trapped in ice off coast of Newfoundland
2007
Worker dies on bridge project in Toledo, Ohio
2007
Cricket World Cup: Australia vs New Zealand
2007
Vatican abolishes Limbo
2007
Research In Motion comments on BlackBerry outage
2007
Gunman kills self and hostage in Texas NASA building
2007
Strong earthquakes strike Japan; Tsunami warnings issued
2008
Families evacuated in Bristol, United Kingdom not allowed to return to home
2008
Italian ambassador to South Africa dies in accident
2008
11 killed in Mexican military helicopter crash
2008
Condoleezza Rice in Iraq for surprise visit
2009
US Marine arrested at Logan International Airport for possessing bomb making material
2009
South Africa prepares for elections
2009
British author J. G. Ballard dead at 78
2009
Father accused of trying to sell daughter, child star of 'Slumdog Millionaire'
2009
CanJet Flight 918 hijacked
2009
Scientist Stephen Hawking rushed to hospital in ambulance
2009
Date announced for by-election to replace former New Zealand PM Clark
2010
The explosion of the BP Deepwater Horizon oil platform kills 11 people and leads to an oil spill that contaminated a vast area of the Gulf of Mexico, impacting wildlife, the local fishing industry, and regional tourism.
2010
Roadside bomb kills NATO soldier in Afghanistan
2010
Magnitude 5.2 earthquake hits Kalgoorlie, Western Australia
2011
Surfer dies at beach in Pichilemu, Chile
2011
Standard & Poor's lowers the U.S. credit outlook to 'negative'
2012
Dick Clark dies at 82

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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