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Today in History

1732
Astronomer, inventor, mathematician, and craftsman, David Rittenhouse born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
1867
First World's Fair begins in Paris
1950
India and Pakistan sign the Pact of Delhi
1963
Singer, songwriter and musician, Julian Lennon born in Liverpool, England
1968
Emmy Award winning actress Patricia Arquette born in Chicago, Illinois
1974
Hank Aaron's 715th home run breaks Babe Ruth's record
217
Caracalla (Marcus Aurelius Antonius), Roman emperor noted for his brutality, was assassinated as he launched a second campaign against the Parthians.
1513
Florida was discovered and claimed for Spain by Juan Ponce de Leon.
1818
August Wilhelm von Hofmann, German chemist noted for his work on formaldehyde and coal-tar products. born
1838
Isambard Kingdom Brunel's 236-foot steamship Great Western sailed from Bristol, England, on her maiden voyage. It was the first to cross the Atlantic regularly.
1889
Sir Adrian Boult, English conductor. In 1918 Gustav Holst asked him to conduct the first performance of "The Planets." born
1893
Actress Mary Pickford, born Canada as Gladys Smith. She was an astute businesswoman, and formed the United Artists company 1919 with Charlie Chaplin, D.W. Griffith and Douglas Fairbanks.
1904
The Anglo-French agreement known as the "Entente Cordiale" was signed. It settled all global differences between Britan and France, including disputes over Newfoundland, West Africa, Egypt and Morocco.
1913
The opening of China's first parliament took place Peking.
1918
Former first lady Betty (Elizabeth) Ford born
1926
Comedian Shecky Greene born
1939
One day after invading Albania, Italian troops took the capital, Tirana, and King Zog fled to Greece.
1940
Basketball Hall of Famer John Havlicek born
1944
Actor John Schneider ("Dukes of Hazzard") born
1946
Baseball Hall of Fame pitcher Jim ("Catfish") Hunter born
1946
Actor Stuart Pankin ("Not Necessarily the News") born
1953
Kenya, Jomo Kenyatta was convicted of involvement with the Mau Mau insurrection and was sentenced with five others to seven years' hard labor.
1963
Singer and songwriter Julian Lennon born
1963
Rock singer-musician Donita Sparks (L7) born
1965
Rapper Biz Markie born
1966
Actress Robin Wright Penn born
1968
Actress Patricia Arquette born
1970
Rock singer Craig Honeycutt (Everything) born
1971
Rock musician Darren Jessee (Ben Folds Five) born
1973
Pablo Picasso, Spanish painter, sculptor and pioneer of Cubism, died. Refusing to return to Spaduring the Franco regime, he spent most of his life France. His most noted works were "Demoiselles d'Avignon" and "Guernica."
1974
Henry "Hank" Aaron hit the 715th home run of his career, breaking Babe Ruth's record. The home run was hit Atlanta against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
1977
Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabib admitted he had violated the country's currency laws; he later resigned.
1984
Actor Taran Noah Smith ("Home Improvement") born
1986
Jennifer Guinness of the well-known brewing family was kidnapped Ireland for a 2 million pound ransom.
1986
Actor Clint Eastwood was elected mayor of Carmel, California.
1989
The Soviet Union acknowledged that one of its nuclear submarines had caught fire and sunk off Norway the day before. (The next day, the Soviet government said 42 lives had been lost.)
1990
Ryan White, the teen-age AIDS patient whose battle for acceptance gained national attention, died in Indianapolis at age 18.
1990
The cult series "Twin Peaks" premiered on ABC TV.
1991
Secretary of State James A. Baker the Third toured refugee camps near the Iraqi border, praising relief efforts but saying "hope must be given to these people for a return to home."
1991
Jockey Willie Shoemaker was left paralyzed in an automobile accident.
1992
PLO leader Yasser Arafat survived a plane crash the Sahara desert; the plane's three crew members were killed.
1994
Kurt Cobain, singer and guitarist for the grunge band Nirvana, was found dead in Seattle from an apparently self-inflicted gunshot wound; he was 27.
1994
South Africa's four key political leaders met at a bush camp lion country for a peace summit aimed at stopping violence threatening free and fair elections.
1994
Japanese Prime Minister Morihiro Hosokawa resigned over a loan scandal.
1995
Former secretary of defense Robert S. McNamara, in an interview with AP Network News and "Newsweek" magazine to promote his memoirs, called America's Vietnam War policy "terribly wrong."
1996
Yugoslavia and its former republic of Macedonia signed a treaty to normalize relations.
1996
Stock prices plunged on Wall Street amid concerns over stronger-than-expected employment data. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 88.51 to end at 5594.37.
1998
The nation's major cigarette makers withdrew support for a historic tobacco settlement, saying Congress had twisted their offer to help cut teen smoking into a harsh attack on their industry and sharp tax increases for American smokers.
1998
Thirty-six people were killed by tornadoes which struck Alabama, Mississippi and Georgia.
1999
At a White House news conference, President Clinton said NATO could still win in Kosovo by air power alone, and he expressed hope for an early release of three American POW's; also at the session with reporters was visiting Chinese Premier Zhu Rongji, who promised to cooperate in investigations of alleged nuclear-weapons spying and illegal campaign contributions by Beijing.
2000
The Central Intelligence Agency confirmed that personnel action had been taken following the mistaken bombing of the Chinese embassy during the NATO war against Yugoslavia; one employee was reportedly fired.
2000
Actress Claire Trevor died in Newport Beach, California.
2001
The Dalai Lama wraps up a 10-day visit to Taiwan during which he stresses that Taiwan's future should be decided by the Taiwanese people. But he avoids directly addressing Taiwanese and Tibetan independence.
2005
First Iraq Medal of Honor recipient receives memorial headstone at Arlington
2005
Iranian opposition group declares all acts of current government void
2005
Sex, mental and physical exercise, fight dementia
2005
Police search home of Las Vegas woman who found finger in her chili at Wendy's
2005
Bill Clinton to visit Romania
2005
Romanian president meets with EU officials in Bucharest
2005
Romanian PM and Siemens discuss Electroputere privatisation
2005
Funeral of Pope John Paul II takes place
2005
Wikimedia announces Yahoo! support
2005
Cairo blast kills 3
2005
Music promoter Mean Fiddler sold for almost £38m
2005
Spam mailer gets 9 year jail sentence
2005
Eric Rudolph pleads guilty to avoid death sentence
2005
Brazilian cardinal criticizes President after inquired about Brazilian Pope
2006
Electronic Frontier Foundation files motion to stop AT&T from forwarding Internet traffic to NSA
2006
Australian provisional driver caught doing more than twice the speed limit
2006
Men pose as police on Australian freeway, commit assault and robbery
2006
Honolulu man dies after fall into sewage-contaminated harbor
2007
NCAA Football: Three Gopher players arrested following rape allegations
2007
NHL: Heatley scores 50th goal in Sens win over Bruins
2007
US strikes suspected Iraqi insurgents
2007
Fernando Alonso wins Malaysian Grand Prix
2007
Captain of sunken cruise ship charged
2007
Indian foreign minister injured in road accident
2007
Cricket World Cup: England vs Australia
2007
Afghan translator reported killed by Taliban captors
2007
Zach Johnson wins Masters Golf Tournament
2007
Program Ecumenical Hellenism starts second decade of action
2008
Soyuz TMA-12 launches
2008
UEFA Champions League: April 8, 2008
2008
Boy killed by shark in Australia
2008
Gen. Petraeus, Amb. Crocker testify before US Armed Services Committee
2009
Arson charge for man who cleaned home with gasoline
2009
5.6-magnitude aftershock earthquake strikes Italy
2009
United States Senate candidate Al Franken increases lead in recount
2009
Boeing 757 makes emergency landing at Vnukovo airport in Moscow
2009
Fox News movie reviewer fired for downloading film
2010
Eurozone economy did not grow at all in last quarter of 2009
2010
US air carrier Spirit Airlines announces $45 carry-on baggage fee
2010
UK interest rates remain at 0.5%
2011
Microsoft to release patches for 64 security flaws on Tuesday
2011
Britain touts private security contractors for Libya
2011
Two shot on nuclear submarine in Southampton, England
2011
Australian opposition may oppose plain packaging on cigarettes
2011
Wreckage, victims of Air France Flight 447 found
2011
New South Wales Premier criticised over government structure
2012
Pump leak and fire shuts down nuclear reactor in France
2012
Report: North Korea planning third nuclear bomb test
2012
News briefs: April 7, 2012
2013
Former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher dies aged 87

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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