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Today in History

LOTR...
Gandalf visits Bilbo in the Shire
1915
"Father of the Chicago Blues", guitarist Muddy Waters born McKinley Morganfield in Mississippi
1928
Poet and author Maya Angelou born Marguerite Johnson in St Louis, Missouri
1948
The Allman Brothers Band bass player, Berry Oakley III born in Chicago, Illinois
1949
US National Medal of Science recipient, mathematician Shing-Tung Yau born in Shantou, Guangdong, China
1949
NATO Established
1963
Tandy Corp. acquires Radio Shack (9 stores)
1965
Golden Globe Award winning actor, Robert Downey Jr born in New York City
1968
Martin Luther King, Jr assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee
186
Caracalla, Emperor of Rome born
304
Deaths of Sts. Agape, Chionia, and Irene
397
Death of St. Ambrose
527
Justinian crowned co-Emperor of the East
636
Death of St. Isidore of Seville
896
Death of Pope Formosus
1284
Death of Alfonso X, King of Castile-Leon
1292
Death of Pope Nicolas IV
1297
James II, King of Aragon, given Corsica & Sardinia by the Pope
1305
Death of Joan, Queen to King Philip "the Fair" of France
1406
Death of Robert III, King of Scotland
1490
Death of Mathias, King of Hungary
1527
Abraham Ortelius born
1528
Pierre Attaingnant publishes "Chansons nouvelles musique a quartes partes," the first French publication of polyphonic music.
1558
Ivan IV, Czar of Russia, grants lands to Grigory Stoganov
1581
Queen Elizabeth dines on board the "Pelican," the ship in which Sir Francis Drake circumnavigated the World, and, after dinner, Knighted him
1581
Death of St. Benedict the Black
1588
Death of Fredrick II, King of Denmark and Norway
1593
Condemnation for witchcraft of three members of the Samuels family in Warboys, England
1617
Death of John Napier, inventor of logarithms
1625
Death of Prince Maurice of the Netherlands
1627
Quakers arraigned as Recusants
1648
Grinling Gibbons born
1758
French historical and portrait painter Pierre-Paul Prud'hon (a favorite of Napoleon) born
1792
American abolitionist Thaddeus Stevens was born in Danville, Vermont. born
1802
Social reformer Dorothea Dix born
1818
Congress decided the flag of the United States would consist of 13 red and white stripes and 20 stars, with a new star to be added for every new state of the Union.
1821
American portrait painter-inventor Linus Yale was born in Salisbury, New York. He invented the Yale infallible bank lock and developed the cylinder lock. born
1841
President William Henry Harrison died of pneumonia after serving for one month. He was the ninth U.S. president and the first to die in office.
1850
The city of Los Angeles was incorporated.
1859
Daniel Emmett introduced "I Wish I Was In Dixie's Land" (later renamed Dixie) in New York City. Just two years later, the song became the Civil War song of the Confederacy.
1877
A pianist performed in Philadelphia, and an audience heard the performance in New York. It was an important early demonstration of Alexander Graham Bell's new invention, the telephone.
1884
Japanese naval leader Isoroku Yamamoto was born. He planned the Pearl Harbor attack December 7, 1941. He was killed when his plane was shot down by U.S. aircraft.
1887
Susanna Medora Salter became the first woman elected mayor of an American community -- Argonia, Kansas.
1888
Baseball Hall-of-Famer Tristram Speaker born
1896
Gold is discovered in the Yukon.
1896
Author-playwright Robert E. Sherwood born
1902
British financier Cecil Rhodes left $10 million in his will to provide scholarships for Americans at Oxford University.
1906
Broadcaster John Cameron Swayze. He was one of television's first news anchors and began the popular 15-minute "Camel News Caravan" on NBC-TV from 1948-1956. born
1915
Blues musician Muddy Waters, born McKinley Morganfield born
1922
Composer Elmer Bernstein born
1925
Actress Elizabeth Wilson born
1928
Author-poet Maya Angelou born
1932
Recording executive Clive Davis born
1938
Former Baseball Commissioner and president of Yale University, A. Bartlett Giamatti was born in Boston, MA. One week prior to his death, he suspended Pete Rose for life for betting on baseball games. born
1938
Actor Michael Parks born
1939
Bandleader Hugh Masekela born
1939
Professor C.G. King of the University of Pittsburgh isolated Vitamin C after five years of research.
1941
The American composer George Chadwick died in Boston.
1942
Author-Celebrity biographer Kitty Kelley born
1943
Raoul Laparra, the music critic of the Paris newspaper "Le Matin," died in an Allied air raid.
1944
Baseball player Rusty Staub was born. He was the first player to be Designated Hitter in all 162 games, in 1978 with the Detroit Tigers
1945
During World War Two, US forces liberated the Nazi death camp Ohrdruf in Germany.
1945
US troops on Okinawa encountered the first significant resistance from Japanese forces.
1945
Actor Walter Charles born
1945
Actress Catherine Spaak born
1946
Actor Craig T. Nelson born
1948
Rock musician Berry Oakley (The Allman Brothers Band) born
1948
Country singer Gail Davies born
1949
Representatives of 11 nations gathered in Washington, D.C., to sign the North Atlantic Treaty, creating the NATO alliance.
1950
Actress Christine Lahti born
1951
Country singer Steve Gatlin (The Gatlin Brothers) born
1960
Actress Lorraine Toussaint born
1962
Rock musician Craig Adams (The Cult) born
1965
Actor Robert Downey Junior born
1966
Actress Nancy McKeon born
1968
Civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated in Memphis.
1969
CBS canceled the popular Smothers Brothers comedy series. The hour-long show strongly influenced television humor during the two years it aired. Tom and Dick, however, frequently found themselves at odds with the censors over material that would be considered tame today.
1969
"Star Trek" was canceled by NBC, after a total of 79 episodes.
1970
Actor Barry Pepper born
1971
Country singer Clay Davidson born
1972
Rock musician Magnus Sveningsson (The Cardigans) born
1973
Singer Kelly Price born
1973
NBC's television broadcast of Elvis Presley's Aloha from Hawaii concert at the Honolulu International Center Arena on January 14. The original performance was broadcast live via satellite in Australia, South Korea, Japan, Thailand, the Philippines, and South Vietnam. The broadcast attracted 51% of the viewing audience. (Viewed in more American households than man's first walk on the moon.)
1974
Rhythm-and-blues singer Andre Dalyrimple (Soul For Real) born
1974
Hank Aaron of the Atlanta Braves tied Babe Ruth's home-run record by hitting his 714th round-tripper in Cincinnati.
1975
More than 130 people, most of them children, were killed when a US Air Force transport plane evacuating Vietnamese orphans crashed shortly after take-off from Saigon.
1979
Actress Natasha Lyonne born
1979
Actor Heath Ledger born
1979
Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, the deposed prime minister of Pakistan, was hanged after he was convicted of conspiring to murder a political opponent.
1981
Henry Cisneros became the first Mexican-American elected mayor of a major US city -- San Antonio, Texas.
1983
The space shuttle "Challenger" roared into orbit on its maiden voyage.
1983
Actress Gloria Swanson died in New York at age 84.
1983
The U.S. government granted political asylum to Chinese tennis champion Hu Na.
1985
Gary Dotson, who served six years of a prison sentence for rape, was freed on bail from the Joliet Correctional Center in Illinois after his accuser, Cathleen Crowell Webb, testified the attack had never occurred.
1987
During a visit to Chile, Pope John Paul the Second denounced torture and pleaded for reconciliation.
1988
The Arizona Senate convicted Governor Evan Mecham of two charges of official misconduct, and removed him from office. (Mecham was the first US governor to be impeached and removed from office in nearly six decades.)
1989
Democrat Richard M. Daley was elected mayor of Chicago, defeating Republican Edward R. Vrdolyak and independent Timothy C. Evans.
1990
Secretary of State James A. Baker III began three days of talks in Washington with his Soviet counterpart, Eduard Shevardnadze, to discuss the Lithuanian crisis and arms control issues.
1991
Sen. John Heinz, R-PA, and six other people, including two children, were killed when a helicopter collided with Heinz's plane over a schoolyard in Merion, Pennsylvania.
1992
His campaign acknowledged that Bill Clinton had received an induction notice in April 1969 while attending college in Oxford, England; Clinton said the notice arrived after he was due to report, and that his local draft board had told him he could complete the school term.
1993
President Clinton and Russian President Boris Yeltsin wrapped up their two-day summit in Vancouver, British Columbia. Clinton extended $1.6 billion in aid; Yeltsin proclaimed the two countries "partners and future allies."
1994
On Wall Street, stocks plummeted in violent spasms of selling that sent the Dow industrial down more than 40 points to a six-month low.
1994
The University of Arkansas won the NCAA basketball championship, defeating Duke 76-72.
1995
Francisco Martin Duran, who had raked the White House with semiautomatic rifle fire in October 1994, was convicted in Washington of trying to assassinate President Clinton. Duran was later sentenced to 40 years in prison.
1996
The former general manager of Daiwa Bank's New York branch pleaded guilty to aiding a $1.1-billion cover-up.
1996
President Clinton signed legislation severing the link between crop prices and government subsidies.
1997
Space shuttle "Columbia" blasted off from Cape Canaveral on what was supposed to have been a 16-day mission -- however, a defective power generator forced the shuttle's return four days later.
1998
During a visit to Haiti, Secretary of State Madeleine Albright urged leaders to stop political infighting that had paralyzed the Caribbean nation for nearly a year.
1998
Sixty-three people were killed in an explosion inside a Ukrainian coal mine.
1999
The Colorado Rockies beat the San Diego Padres 8-to-2 in baseball's first season opener held in Mexico.
1999
NATO warplanes and missiles attacked an army headquarters, oil refineries and other targets in and around Belgrade.
2000
In a volatile day on the US stock market, the Nasdaq composite index and the Dow Jones industrial average each plunged more than 500 points before reversing course as buyers flooded back into the market.
2001
Sudan's defense minister and 14 other military officers are killed when their plane crashes on takeoff. The loss comes during a critical point in country's civil war. _________________________________________________________________
2005
Voyager space probes face shutdown
2005
NASA prepares to roll orbiter Discovery to launch pad
2005
HBO plans expansion of TV channels in Asia
2005
13 pilot whales returning to sea, off Western Australia
2005
Hunter S. Thompson obituary spawns "murder" theory
2005
US blocks use of mapping technology in China
2005
Desmond Tutu calls for election of African pope
2005
Funeral of Pope John Paul II will be Friday 8 April at 10.00
2005
Venezuela buys more weapons, now from Spain
2005
India and China to discuss energy: cooperation or competition?
2005
MPAA's Valenti signs Betamax tapes for EFF protesters as Grokster case continues in US Supreme Court
2005
Terri Schiavo cremated
2005
Royal wedding delayed as Prince plans for Pope's funeral
2005
Legendary Canadian football coach Frank Clair has died
2005
Al Gore-owned cable news channel to relaunch August 1 with viewer-created content
2005
Lebanese-Syrian meetings reach full withdrawal accord
2005
Talks held to avert Nigerian oil production strike
2006
Third of Thais vote 'none of the above'
2006
Iran tests its second missile
2006
Judge throws out petition case against Patrick Murphy in PA Congressional race
2006
Collyer brothers to bid for Everton F.C.?
2006
Thailand's Prime Minister announces resignation
2006
Berlusconi in trouble over use of bad word
2006
Tom DeLay will not seek re-election; to resign from Congress
2006
Flooding Danube threatens thousands
2006
Waikiki beaches reopen after sewage spill
2007
MLB: Twins defeat Orioles 3-2
2007
Pupils in detention forced to wear orange overalls
2007
One killed at CNN Atlanta shooting
2007
Cricket World Cup: Sri Lanka vs England
2007
Ahmadinejad to free British navy personnel
2007
Fifth-graders have sex in class, charged with obscenity
2007
6.2 earthquake reported in Solomon Islands
2008
US bomber aircraft catches fire after landing at airbase in Qatar
2008
Major explosion at Mt. Redoubt volcano in Alaska
2008
Moldovan president tells NATO over half a million Moldovans held hostage in separatist Transnistria
2008
Sony Fair starts in Taipei, Taiwan with "HD Entertainment Park"
2008
UK sex offenders to be banned from some websites
2008
Two arrests after murder in Bristol, United Kingdom
2009
Canadian convicted of murder in HIV case
2009
At least 3 police officers killed in Pittsburgh shootings
2009
US stocks log gains for fourth week in a row
2009
Interview with US political activist and philosopher Noam Chomsky
2009
Boeing 737 makes emergency landing at Vnukovo airport in Moscow
2009
13 killed in U.S. air strike in Pakistan
2009
Bomb blast kills 5 policemen in Islamabad, Pakistan
2009
Alaska GOP calls for Begich resignation for Senate revote
2010
US to alter aviation security policy
2010
Pakistan: 38 Talibani insurgents killed in two seperate attacks in Orakzai area
2010
Ten security personnel killed by Maoists in Orissa, India
2010
30 dead in Baghdad bomb blasts, hundreds of people injured
2010
7.2 quake rattles lower Colorado River area in Mexico
2010
Earthquakes hit Dominican Republic, Ryukyu Islands and Tonga
2010
Homage to Chilean politician Jaime Guzmán nineteen years after his death
2010
Chinese ship leaking oil near Great Barrier Reef
2011
Barack Obama announces 2012 re-election bid
2011
Genetically modified dairy cows produce 'human milk'
2011
Female boxer shot before fight by stepfather in Berlin
2012
Brazzaville picks up the pieces after ammo depot explosion
2012
China ends retaliation on social media sites
2012
UK police arrest woman over William Davis murder
2012
On the campaign trail, March 2012
2013
Uruguay Senate gives green light for same-sex marriage

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.

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