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Today in History

1758
Soldier, diplomat and fifth US President, James Monroe born in Westmoreland County, Virginia
1930
Actress Carolyn Jones born in Amarillo, Texas
1930
Baseball's first night game played in Independence, Kansas
1938
Emmy Award winning actress Madge Sinclair born in Kingston, Jamaica
1941
Dancer, singer, and Golden Globe Award winning actress, Ann Margret born in Valsjöbyn, Sweden
1948
Award winning author, Sir Terence David John Pratchett born in Beaconsfield, England
1948
Actress Marcia Strassman born in New York City
1950
Voice actor, comedian and Emmy Award winning host of NBC's The Tonight Show, Jay Leno born in New Rochelle, New York
1952
Academy Award nominated actress Mary McDonnell born in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania
1974
Zilog Z-80 microprocessor introduced
1978
Musician, singer and actor, Nate Richert born in Saint Paul, Minnesota
1988
Flight attendant CB Lansing killed near Hawaii when 737 fuselage rips open in mid-flight
1180
Marriage of Philip II, King of France, to Isabella of Hainaut
1197
Death of Rhys ap Gruffydd, King of South Wales
1220
Construction of Salisbury Cathedral begins
1282
The Sicilian uprising reaches Messina
1373
Yann IV of Brittany flees to England
1376
The "Good Parliament" convenes
1442
Edward IV, King of England born
1462
Pope Pius II issues a Bull protecting the ruins of Rome
1521
Cortes lays siege to Tenochtitlan
1559
Elizabeth's "Act of Uniformity" is passed by Parliament
1635
Virginia Gov. John Harvey, accused of treason, is removed from office
1758
The fifth president of the United States, James Monroe, was born in Westmoreland County, Virginia. born
1788
Maryland ratified the Constitution, becoming the seventh state of the Union.
1789
There was a mutiny on HMS Bounty as the crew of the British ship set Captain William Bligh and 18 sailors adrift in a launch in the South Pacific.
1817
Britain and the United States signed the Rush-Bagot Treaty, in which they agreed not to have guns or ships of war on the frontier waters of the Great Lakes.
1865
Meyerbeer's "L'Africaine" premiered in Paris. It was about the explorer Vasco da Gama.
1865
Giuseppi Verdi wrote a letter protesting critical reviews of his opera "Macbeth."
1880
Max Kalbeck, in the German Times of Vienna declared that Wagner was "the Antichrist incarnate in art."
1896
The Adressograph was patented by J.S. Duncan of Sioux City, Iowa.
1919
The first free-fall parachute jump was made by Leslie Ervin, who broke his ankle on landing. Until then, it was believed people falling "free" would become unconscious, unable to pull the ripcord.
1921
Syndicated columnist Rowland Evans born
1924
The Times of London compared Ravel's music to a pgymy's work: "clever but very small."
1926
Novelist Harper Lee ("To Kill a Mockingbird") born
1930
Former Secretary of State James Baker III born
1932
A vaccine against yellow fever was announced.
1933
Actress Carolyn Jones born
1937
The first animated-cartoon electric sign was displayed on a building on Broadway in New York City. The sign was the creation of Douglas Leight. The sign consisted of several thousand light bulbs.
1937
Iraqi President Saddam Hussein born
1938
Actress Madge Sinclair born
1940
Glenn Miller and his Orchestra recorded "Pennsylvania 6-5000" for RCA Victor.
1941
Actress-singer Ann-Margret (Olsson) born
1942
Pollster George Gallup said most Americans preferred to call the ongoing global conflict "World War II" or "The Second World War" (other suggestions had included "Survival War" or "War of World Freedom.)
1944
Exercise "Tiger" ended with 750 U.S. soldiers dead in a D-Day rehearsal after their convoy ships were attacked by German torpedo boats off Slapton Sands, on the southwest coast of England.
1945
Rock musician John Wolters (Dr. Hook) born
1945
Italian dictator Benito Mussolini and his mistress, Clara Petacci, were executed by Italian partisans as they attempted to flee the country.
1947
A six-man expedition sailed from Peru aboard a balsa wood raft named the "Kon-Tiki" on a 101-day journey that took them across the Pacific Ocean to Polynesia.
1948
Actress Marcia Strassman born
1949
Actor Bruno Kirby born
1950
"Tonight Show" host Jay Leno born
1952
War with Japan officially ended as a treaty that had been signed by the United States and 47 other nations took effect.
1952
Dwight D. Eisenhower was relieved, at his own request, of the post of Supreme Allied Commander Europe and replaced by General Matthew Ridgway.
1953
Actress Mary McDonnell born
1953
Rock singer-musician Kim Gordon (Sonic Youth) born
1958
Vice President Nixon and his wife, Pat, began a goodwill tour of Latin America.
1959
Arthur Godfrey was seen for the last the last time in the final broadcast of "Arthur Godfrey and His Friends" on CBS-TV. The show had been part of the CBS lineup for 10 years.
1966
Rapper Too Short born
1966
Pro golfer John Daly born
1967
Heavyweight boxing champion Muhammad Ali refused to be inducted into the Army, the same day General William C. Westmoreland told Congress the US "would prevail in Vietnam."
1968
The musical "Hair" opened on Broadway at the Biltmore Theater for over 1,700 performances.
1969
French President Charles de Gaulle resigned his office after voters rejected major government reforms in a referendum.
1971
Actress Simbi Khali ("3rd Rock from the Sun") born
1971
Actor Chris Young born
1973
Rapper Big Gipp (Goodie Mob) born
1975
The last American civilians were evacuated from South Vietnam as North Vietnamese forces tightened their noose around Saigon.
1977
Andreas Baader and other members of the Baader-Meinhoff group were jailed for life after a trial lasting nearly two years in Stuttgart, Germany.
1978
Actor Nate Richert ("Sabrina the Teenage Witch") born
1980
President Carter accepted the resignation of Secretary of State Cyrus Vance, who had opposed the failed rescue mission aimed at freeing American hostages in Iran.
1983
President Reagan named former Sen. Richard Stone special envoy to Central America, despite the Florida Democrat's recent stint as a lobbyist for Guatemala.
1984
President Reagan, on a state visit to China, gave an interview to Chinese television, which again censored his criticism of the Soviet Union as well as his praise for freedom of thought and speech.
1985
Several thousand people attended a ceremony marking the 40th anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi concentration camp Dachau, near Munich.
1985
New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner fired Yogi Berra as manager and reinstated Billy Martin -- again. It was the 13th managerial change in 11 years for the Yankees.
1986
The Soviet Union announced the Chernobyl nuclear reactor fire had killed two people, with 197 hospitalized. Nine months later, it reported 31 had died and 231 suffered radiation sickness.
1987
For the first time, a compact disc of an album was released before its vinyl counterpart. "The Art of Excellence" by Tony Bennett, his first recorded work in a decade, went on sale.
1987
Contra rebels in Nicaragua killed Benjamin Ernest Linder, an American engineer working on a hydroelectric project for the Sandinista government.
1988
The winless Baltimore Orioles set an American League record by losing their 21st straight game, 4-2, to the Minnesota Twins.
1988
A flight attendant was killed and 61 persons injured when part of the roof of an Aloha Airlines Boeing 737 peeled back during a flight from Hilo (HEE'-loh) to Honolulu.
1989
Roy Medvedev, the Soviet historian persecuted for exposing Joseph Stalin's crimes in his study "Let History Judge," was re-admitted to the Communist Party after 20 years.
1989
President Bush announced the United States and Japan had concluded a deal on joint development of a new Japanese jet fighter, the FSX, despite concerns that U.S. technology secrets would be given away.
1989
Iran protested against the exhibition and sale of the novel "The Satanic Verses" by Salman Rushdie at the Geneva international book fair.
1990
Anti-abortion demonstrators marched in Washington, D.C.; authorities put the number of protesters at 200,000, but organizers claimed a turnout of about 700,000.
1990
The musical "A Chorus Line," the longest-running show in Broadway history at that time, closed after 6,137 Broadway performances, a Pulitzer Prize and nine Tony awards. It had opened on Broadway in July 1975.
1991
The space shuttle Discovery blasted off with seven astronauts aboard on a "Star Wars" research mission.
1992
The Agriculture Department unveiled its pyramid-shaped recommended-diet chart that had cost nearly $1 million to develop.
1992
The body of Grand Duke Vladimir Kirillovich Romanov, heir to the vacant Russian throne, was returned to St. Petersburg to be buried in the city of his Tsar ancestors. He died in Miami on April 21.
1992
The Afghan government formally ceded power to triumphant Islamic guerrillas in Kabul three days after Mujahideen forced entered the capital, ending 14 years of armed resistance and civil war.
1992
President Bush and Bill Clinton won the Pennsylvania presidential primary.
1993
The first "Take Our Daughters to Work Day," promoted by the New York-based Ms. Foundation, was held in an attempt to boost the self-esteem of girls by having them visit a parent's place of work.
1994
Former CIA official Aldrich Ames, who had betrayed U.S. secrets to the Soviet Union and then Russia, pleaded guilty in Alexandria, Virginia, to espionage and tax evasion charges, and was sentenced to life in prison without parole.
1995
In Taegu, South Korea, a gas line exploded in the middle of an intersection crowded with morning traffic, killing 101 people and injuring about 125 others.
1996
President Clinton gave four and a-half hours of videotaped testimony as a defense witness in the criminal trial of his former Whitewater business partners.
1996
A man armed with a semiautomatic rifle opened fire on tourists on the Australian island of Tasmania, killing 35 people; he was captured by police after a 12-hour standoff at a guest cottage.
1997
President Clinton and three of his predecessors -- George Bush, Jimmy Carter and Gerald Ford -- began drafting a national army of community service volunteers during the Presidents' Summit for America's Future in Philadelphia.
1998
The Senate opened a new round of hearings on alleged abuse and mismanagement at the Internal Revenue Service.
1998
In a breakthrough for the government's tobacco investigation cigarette maker Liggett and Myers agreed to tell prosecutors whether the industry had hidden evidence of health damage from smoking.
1999
A 213-213 tie vote in the House of Representatives killed a measure expressing support for NATO's five-week-old air campaign against Yugoslavia; the House also voted 249-180 to limit President Clinton's authority to use ground forces in Yugoslavia.
1999
Actor Rory Calhoun died in Burbank, Calif., at age 76.
2000
Five people, apparently targeted because of their race or ethnicity, were killed in a shooting rampage in suburban Pittsburgh; a suspect, Richard Scott Baumhammers, was arrested.
2005
Hunter Tylo to rejoin the cast of "Bold and Beautiful"
2005
Munch's "The Scream" might have been burned Munch's
2005
European human rights body condemns U.S. "torture" at Guantanamo Bay
2005
CIA gives up search and interrogation on Iraq WMDs
2005
Berlusconi warns U.S. on agent's killing
2005
General Pavkovic pleads not guilty
2005
Rare woodpecker discovered in Arkansas
2005
UK govt concealed Attorney General's doubts over Iraq invasion
2005
UK Party leaders questioned on BBC 'Question Time'
2005
Indiana Pacers beat Boston Celtics again to lead series 2-1 in US basketball playoffs
2006
Pakistani militants behead suspected US informant
2006
Iran nuclear impasse continues
2006
Opposition leader Alaksandar Milinkievič jailed in Belarus
2006
Full-mast flag generates controversy at Parliament Hill
2006
Criticism over Qingzang Railway as opening nears
2007
NHL: Sharks Nab Game 1 in Detroit
2007
Canadian Broadcasting Corporation gets new chairman
2007
MLB: Twins defeat Tigers after pinch hit scores two
2007
Earthquake strikes Kent, England
2007
U.S. nonprofit news agency shuts down
2007
The White Stripes to tour 'Great White North'
2007
Clashes over World War II monument in Estonia continue
2007
U.S. Director of Foreign Assistance Randall L. Tobias resigns
2007
Russian cellist Rostropovitch dies at 80
2007
Canadian inspectors to test food ingredients from China
2007
Prosecutor investigates possible terrorist training camps in Belgium
2007
Suicide bomber narrowly misses Pakistani Minister
2007
St. Paul Mayor's vehicle hit by drunk driver
2007
Australia defeats Sri Lanka in Cricket World Cup Final
2008
PSLV rocket launches ten satellites
2008
Eos Airlines files for bankruptcy
2008
Zenit rocket launches AMOS-3 satellite
2008
Journalists banned from Mount Everest
2008
Two trains collide in China killing dozens and injuring hundreds
2009
Swine flu reported in more countries; WHO warns of possible pandemic risk
2011
US Federal Reserve Chairman gives first news conference
2011
Afghan pilot kills nine Americans
2012
News briefs: April 28, 2012
2012
Capital Punishment mountain bike race won by Shaun Lewis
2012
Darcy Richardson suspends Democratic Party presidential campaign
2012
Florida man accused of threatening to bomb animal shelter
2013
As Italy prepares for new government, shots fired near prime minister's office
2013
Chicago Bears select Marquess Wilson in seventh round of NFL draft

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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