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Today in History

LOTR...
Crowning of King Elessar
1500
Pedro Cabal claims Brazil for Portugal
1564
Poet and playwright William Shakespeare born in Stratford-upon-Avon, England
1928
Diplomat and Academy Award winning actress, Shirley Temple born in Santa Monica, California
1936
Legendary Rock & Roll pioneer, singer and songwriter, Roy Kelton Orbison born in Vernon, Texas
1939
High school athletics hero and actor, Lee Majors born Harvey Lee Yeary in Wyandotte, Michigan
1944
Actress Sandra Dee born Alexandra Zuck in Thousand Oaks, California
1946
Tony Award winning actress, Bonnie Blair Brown born in Washington, DC
1954
Hank Aaron hits his first home run
1955
Academy Award nominated actress, Judy Davis born in Perth, Australia
1960
Actress Valerie Bertinelli born in Claymont, Delaware
1984
AIDS virus identification announced by researchers
290
Martyrdom and Day of St. George, Patron of England and Portugal
997
Death of St. Adalbert of Prague
1016
Death of Aethelred, "the Redeless," King of England
1154
Nur-ad-Din seizes Damascus
1374
Geoffrey Chaucer granted a pitcher of wine daily by King Edward III
1445
Marriage of Henry VI, King of England, to Margaret of Anjou
1484
Italian scholar Julius Caesar Scaliger born
1500
Landing of Pedro Alvarez de Cabral in Brazil
1564
This is the generally accepted birthdate of the English poet and dramatist William Shakespeare. He died on the same date 52 years later.
1605
Boris Godunov, Tsar of Muscovy, dies and Fyodor II proclaimed Czar of Russia
1616
The Spanish poet Cervantes died in Madrid.
1616
William Shakespeare died in Stratford-on-Avon, England.
1643
An English invasion of Cornwall is repulsed
1759
British seize Basse-Terre and Guadeloupe in the Antilies from France.
1789
"Courier De Boston" was first published in Boston, Massachusetts. It was the first Roman Catholic magazine in the United States.
1789
President-elect Washington and his wife moved into the first executive mansion, the Franklin House, in New York.
1791
James Buchanan, 15th president of the United States born
1813
Stephen Douglas, the "Little Giant", debated Lincoln born
1826
Missolonghi falls to Egyptian forces.
1857
Ruggiero Leoncavallo, the composer of "Pagliacci" born in Naples, Italy
1872
Charlotte E. Ray became the first black woman lawyer in ceremonies held in Washington, D.C.
1882
Albert Coates born
1891
Russian composer Sergei Prokofiev born
1896
The "Vitascope" system for projecting movies onto a screen was demonstrated at a music hall in New York City.
1898
The U.S. government asked for 125,000 volunteers to fight against Spain in Cuba.
1899
Services were held at the first movable church. Rev. Charles Preston preached from a horse drawn vehicle in Coanicut Island, Rhode Island.
1899
Russian-American author Vladimir Nabokov was born in St. Petersburg. born
1900
The word, "hillbilly," was first used in print in an article in the New York Journal. It was spelled "Hill-Billie" and used in a story of a "free and untrampled white citizen of Alabama who lived in the hills."
1920
Janacek's opera "The Excursions of Mister Broucek" was premiered. This opera is about a man traveling to the Moon and back in the 1400s.
1921
Actress Janet Blair born
1926
Virgil I (Gus) Grissom, Mercury and Gemini astronaut born
1928
Child actress-turned-diplomat Shirley Temple Black born
1930
Actor Alan Oppenheimer born
1931
Child actress Shirley Temple, then 3 -years-old, made her film debut with the release of "Stand Up and Cheer."
1932
Designer Halston (Roy Frowick) born
1939
Singer Ray Peterson born
1939
Actor David Birney born
1940
Actor Lee Majors born
1940
About 200 people died in a dance hall fire in Natchez, Mississippi.
1941
At an "America First" rally in New York City, aviator Charles Lindbergh said "it is obvious that England is losing the war." Lindbergh opposed U.S. entry into World War II.
1942
Actress Sandra Dee (Alexandra Zuck) born
1943
Actor Herve Villechaize born
1947
Irish nationalist Bernadette Devlin McAliskey born
1948
Actress Blair Brown born
1948
Johnny Longden became the first race jockey to ride 3,000 career winners as he set the mark at Bay Meadows in San Mateo, California.
1949
Actress Joyce DeWitt born
1949
Writer-director Paul Brickman born
1951
Associated Press began use of a new service -- "teletypesetting." The AP provided a perforated, paper-tape message to a news bureau in Charlotte, North Carolina. The message was then fed into a monitor.
1952
Musician Narada Michael Walden (Mahavishnu Orchestra) born
1953
Actor James Russo born
1954
Singer-musician Captain Sensible (Ray Burns) (The Damned) born
1954
Hank Aaron of the Milwaukee Braves hit the first of his record 755 major-league home runs, in a game against the St. Louis Cardinals. (The Braves won, 7-to-5.)
1955
Actress Judy Davis born
1957
Actress Jan Hooks born
1960
Actor Craig Sheffer ("A River Runs Through It") born
1960
Actress Valerie Bertinelli born
1963
Pete Rose of the Cincinnati Reds got his first hit in the major leagues. It was a triple off the Pirates' Bob Friend. "Charlie Hustle" went on to break Ty Cobb's all-time hitting record 20 years later.
1964
Rock musician Gen (Jesus Jones) born
1965
US Olympic gold medal skier Donna Weinbrecht born
1965
More than 200 U.S. planes struck North Vietnam in one of the heaviest raids of the Vietnam War.
1968
Country musician Tim Womack (Sons of the Desert) born
1968
The Methodist Church and the Evangelical United Brethren Church merged to form the United Methodist Church.
1969
Sirhan Sirhan was sentenced to death for assassinating New York Senator Robert F. Kennedy. (The sentence was later reduced to life imprisonment.)
1970
Actor Scott Bairstow ("Party of Five") born
1983
President and Mrs. Reagan solemnly welcomed home the bodies of 16 of the Americans killed in the bombing of the U.S. Embassy in Beirut during ceremonies at Andrews Air Force Base outside Washington.
1984
British authorities deported a Libyan student, less than a week after gunfire from the Libyan Embassy in London killed a policewoman and wounded a group of anti-Gadhafi demonstrators.
1985
The former Sen. Sam Ervin died at age 88. The North Carolina Democrat directed the Senate Watergate investigation that led to the resignation of President Richard M. Nixon.
1985
The Coca-Cola Company announced it was changing the secret flavor formula for Coke (negative public reaction forced the company to resume selling the original version).
1985
Former Senator Sam Ervin died at age 88. The North Carolina Democrat directed the Senate Watergate investigation that led to President Nixon's resignation.
1985
The flamboyant Liberace first appeared on the soap opera "Another World." Later in the day Liberace appeared as a guest video jockey on MTV.
1985
The first musical to win a Pulitzer Prize in over a decade was "Sunday in the Park with George." Studs Terkel earned his first Pulitzer for "The Good War: An Oral History of World War II.""
1986
President Reagan, addressing the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, said the recent raid on Libya showed "no one can kill Americans and brag about it."
1986
Death claimed composer Harold Arlen at age 81
1986
Movie director Otto Preminger died at age 80.
1987
Twenty-eight construction workers were killed when an apartment complex being built in Bridgeport, Connecticut, suddenly collapsed.
1987
"Business Week" magazine announced its list of the nation's highest paid executives. Lee Iacocca of Chrysler Corporation topped the list, followed by Paul Fireman of Reebok International.
1988
A federal ban on smoking during domestic airline flights of two hours or less went into effect.
1989
Troy Aikman of UCLA became the first player chosen in the NFL draft in New York City when he was selected by the Dallas Cowboys.
1990
Freed American hostage Robert Polhill, released in Lebanon the day before, enjoyed his first full day of freedom at the U.S. Air Force hospital in Wiesbaden, West Germany.
1991
President Bush welcomed General H. Norman Schwarzkopf, the just-returned Gulf War commander, at the White House.
1991
NASA scrubbed the launch of the space shuttle Discovery after a sensor on one of the main engines failed during fueling.
1992
Fighting erupted in the Bosnian capital of Sarajevo just hours after the warring parties signed a truce amid sniper fire.
1992
McDonald's opened its first fast-food restaurant in the Chinese capital of Beijing.
1993
President Clinton said he was giving "serious consideration" to limited US air strikes against Bosnian Serb positions.
1993
Krystian Zimerman gave a piano recital at Carnegie Hall and most of the program was Debussy. He played the whole first book of Etudes. The program's finale, though was Schubert's late sonata in B-flat Major.
1993
Labor leader Cesar Chavez died in San Luis, Arizona, at age 66.
1994
Mourners from around the world left red roses, burning candles and cards at the Richard Nixon Library & Birthplace in Yorba Linda, California, in memory of the 37th president of the United States, who had died the day before at age 81.
1994
Physicists at the Department of Energy's Fermin National Accelerator Laboratory discovered the subatomic particle called the top quark.
1995
Lawyer turned sportscaster Howard Cosell died in New York at age 77.
1995
The nation observed a national day of mourning for the victims of the Oklahoma City blast.
1995
Former Sen. John C. Stennis died in Jackson, Mississippi, at age 93.
1996
A three-night auction of the late Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis' possessions began at Sotheby's in New York with a bidding frenzy.
1996
A Bronx civil-court jury ordered Bernhard Goetz to pay $43 million to paralyzed Darrell Cabey, one of four young men he shot on a subway car in 1984.
1997
Doctors at University of Southern California announced that a child was born in late 1996 to a 63-year-old woman on hormone therapy.
1997
Golfer Fuzzy Zoeller, again apologizing for racial comments about Masters winner Tiger Woods, withdrew from the Greater Greensboro Chrysler Classic.
1997
The military confirmed that two pieces of wreckage found on a snowy Rocky Mountain peak were from the Air Force warplane that vanished on a training mission over Arizona.
1998
James Earl Ray, the ex-convict who confessed to assassinating the Reverend Martin Luther King Junior in 1968 and then insisted he was framed, died at a Nashville hospital at age 70.
1999
On the first day of a 50th anniversary NATO summit in Washington, Western leaders pledged to intensify military strikes against Yugoslavia and vowed "no compromise" on demands that Slobodan Milosevic withdraw his troops from Kosovo.
2000
A group of 21 tourists and workers were kidnapped from a Malaysian diving resort by Abu Sayyaf rebels.
2000
Elian Gonzalez spent a secluded Easter with his father at Andrews Air Force Base outside Washington, a day after the six-year-old boy was removed from his Miami relatives' home in a pre-dawn raid by immigration agents.
2005
Boston Cyberarts Festival opens with Hotel@MIT gala
2005
Woman arrested in Wendy's chili finger case and larcenous mobile home sale
2005
Elite Boston Marathon runner Emily Levan discusses life and running
2005
Female sponge contraceptive re-approved for US market
2005
Texas Same-Sex Couples could be prohibited from fostering children
2005
Estonia to sign border treaty with Russia in a few weeks
2005
Romania will do everything possible to spare journalists kidnapped in Iraq
2005
Controversial Queensland Premier of 19 years dies at 94
2005
Moussaoui Pleads Guilty to 9/11 Attacks
2005
New rodent discovery leads to new mammal family
2005
American who owns BenedictXVI.com wants "one of those hats"
2005
VoIP penetrates emergency calling infrastructure
2005
Dermot Mannion becomes new Aer Lingus CEO
2005
Sir John Mills dies at 97
2005
Widespread insurgencies in Iraq
2005
Judges rule patrons may sue nude bars for lap-dance overcharges
2005
Immigration and asylum turn voters off UK Tories
2005
Google translates Gmail to 12 languages, asks for volunteers to target 144 more
2006
Nagin, Landrieu advance to runoff in New Orleans mayoral election
2006
South Thailand election reruns hit by violence
2006
Michael Schumacher breaks Formula One record for most poles
2006
Swazi King says political parties are no longer banned
2006
US Congress drafting bill that may affect Internet freedoms
2006
Aljazeera airs new audiotape by Osama bin Laden
2007
Australians and News Zealanders increasingly support shared currency
2007
Iran: no sign of former FBI agent
2007
Boris Yeltsin, former president of Russia, dies at 76
2007
Earthquake in Chile triggers landslide
2007
Archbishop says abortion and euthanasia are 'terrorism with a human face'
2007
New kids' drink sparkles up debate
2007
India's first commercial satellite launch
2007
Snowy Mountains Hydro could be closed as drought tightens on Australia
2008
Postal worker saves baby's life
2008
Stanley Cup playoffs enter second round
2008
McCain launches tour of US states
2008
Some results released in recount of Zimbabwe election results
2008
Skype launches "Unlimited" monthly service to change communication style
2008
Skeletons found under home in Hertfordshire
2008
Semi truck crashes into viaduct in Buffalo, New York
2008
Hillary Clinton wins Pennsylvania, cuts Obama's lead
2009
Darling announces UK budget for 2009
2009
US interrogation techniques received early approval, report suggests
2010
Oil rig in Gulf of Mexico sinks after explosion; eleven missing
2010
US vice president Biden says Iran sanctions likely by early May
2010
Ben Shephard announces departure from GMTV
2010
Brazil's Minas state stops sales of Toyota Corolla
2010
Chilean actor Oscar Garcés accused of sexual abuse
2010
Bombings in Iraq kill dozens
2010
6.2 magnitude aftershock provokes panic in southern Chile
2010
Greece formally asks for EU-IMF loans
2010
British poet Peter Porter dies at age 81
2011
U.S. drones enter Libya conflict
2011
Apple collecting location data from iPhone, iPad
2011
Murderer of road accident victim sentenced to death
2012
Prince Harry of Wales to be awarded for humanitarian work
2012
Netherlands train crash kills one, injures at least 117
2012
Doctor diagnoses Mexican artist Frida Kahlo's infertility
2012
Wolverhampton Wanderers relegated from English Premier League
2012
Texas 'roadeo' lets school bus drivers show their mettle
2013
Six dead after shooting spree in Belgorod

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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