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Today in History

Lughnasadh festival in Ireland
1819
Author of Moby Dick, Herman Melville born in New York City
1933
Actor and comedian, Dom DeLuise born in Brooklyn, New York
1941
First Jeep is produced
1942
Singer, songwriter and lead guitarist of the Grateful Dead, Jerry Garcia born in San Francisco, California
1944
Warsaw uprising against Nazi occupation
1971
The Concert for Bangladesh takes place at Madison Square Garden
1972
Actress Tanya Reid born in Dryden, Ontario
10
Claudius, 4th Roman Emperor born
126
Publius Helvius Pertinax, Roman Emperor born
527
Justin I, Emperor of Eastern Rome born
902
The Aghlabids capture Sicily
984
Death of St. Ethelwold
1009
Large Danish army lands at Sandwich & attacks London
1096
1st Crusade, led by Peter the Hermit, arrives in Constantinople
1098
Death of Bishop Adhemar
1107
An assembly of Bishops, Abbots and nobles settles the "lay investiture" controversy between Anselm and Henry I
1137
Death of Louis VI, "the Fat," King of France
1252
Death of Carpini, Papal Legate and explorer of Mongolia
1291
The Everlasting League forms, the basis of the Swiss Confederation
1417
Henry V of England lands in France....again
1464
Piero de Medici becomes ruler of Florence
1498
Columbus discovers Venezuela
1543
Publication of Vesalius' "De Humanis Corporis Fabrica"
1578
Juliet Capulet (according to Shakespeare) born
1641
Court of Star Chamber abolished in England
1714
Britain's Queen Anne died; she was succeeded by George I.
1717
Bach became the Kapellmeister in Cothen. It wasn't a great gig but it was a means of escaping from Weimar, where the Duke had briefly jailed Bach for quitting.
1744
Jean-Baptiste Lamarck, believed in inheritance of acquired traits born
1770
William Clark, explored Pacific Northwest with Lewis born
1779
Francis Scott Key, composer of "The Star-Spangled Banner," born
1785
Caroline Herschel becomes first woman discoverer of a comet.
1789
U.S. Customs begins enforcing Tariff Act.
1790
The first United States census was completed, showing a population of nearly four million people.
1794
Whiskey Rebellion.
1815
Lawyer and writer Richard Henry Dana Jr., author of "Two Years Before the Mast" born
1818
Maria Mitchell (Nantucket Island), America's first woman astronomer born
1819
Author Herman Melville born
1843
Robert Todd Lincoln (son of U.S. President Abraham Lincoln; rescued from train accident by Edwin Booth, brother of man who assassinated President Lincoln) born
1847
The Musical Gazette of Paris contained this remark about Verdi: "There has not yet been an Italian composer more incapable of producing what is commonly called a melody."
1852
Black Methodists in San Francisco establish first black church, Zion Methodist.
1873
Inventor Andrew S. Hallidie successfully tested a cable car he had designed for the city of San Francisco.
1876
Colorado was admitted as the 38th state.
1881
Francisco Bay.
1892
John Philip Sousa quit the US Marine Corps Band to form his own hundred-piece band. Sousa was then 37 years old.
1901
Burial within San Francisco City limits prohibited.
1907
An Aeronautical Division was added to the Army Signals Corps, and this forerunner of the U.S. Air Force bought its first airplane. The aircraft was built by the Wright brothers.
1912
Actor Henry Jones born
1919
Oscar Hammerstein died. Hammerstein's not only contributed to the art form of musical, but he also built opera houses in New York, Philadelphia and London.
1922
Actor Arthur Hill born
1930
Composer-lyricist Lionel Bart born
1930
Actor-director Geoffrey Holder born
1931
Singer Ramblin' Jack Elliott born
1931
Cartoonist Tom Wilson ("Ziggy") born
1933
Actor-comedian Dom DeLuise born
1936
French fashion designer Yves St. Laurent born
1936
The Olympic games opened in Berlin with a ceremony presided over by Adolf Hitler.
1942
Jerry Garcia, co-founder of the Grateful Dead rock group born
1942
Actor Giancarlo Giannini born
1943
Race-related rioting erupted in New York's Harlem section, resulting in several deaths.
1944
An uprising broke out in Warsaw, Poland, against Nazi occupation, a revolt that lasted two months before collapsing.
1946
President Truman signed the Fulbright Program into law, establishing the scholarships named for Senator William J. Fulbright.
1946
The Atomic Energy Commission was established by President Truman.
1953
Blues singer-musician Robert Cray born
1956
Steve Green born
1957
The United States and Canada reached agreement to create the North American Air Defense Command ("NORAD").
1958
Rock musician Robert Buck (10,000 Maniacs) born
1958
years).
1959
Rock singer Joe Elliott (Def Leppard) born
1960
Rock singer-musician Suzi Gardner (L7) born
1960
Rapper Chuck D (Public Enemy) born
1963
Rapper Coolio born
1966
25-year-old Charles Joseph Whitman shot and killed 15 people at the University of Texas before he was gunned down by police.
1966
Country singer George Ducas born
1968
Country musician Charlie Kelley (Buffalo Club) born
1973
Actress Tempestt Bledsoe born
1977
Francis Gary Powers, pilot of a U-2 pilot spy plane shot down over the Soviet Union in 1960, was killed when his weather helicopter crashed in Los Angeles.
1981
Actress Taylor Fry born
1981
The rock music video channel MTV made its debut at 12 a.m. (EDT).
1984
Romania won the gold medal in women's team gymnastics at the Los Angeles Olympics. The U.S. won the silver medal with the help of perfect routines by Julianne McNamara on the uneven parallel bars and Mary Lou Retton on the vault.
1985
The U.S. House of Representatives overwhelmingly approved economic sanctions against South Africa, by a vote of 380-to-48, but Senate conservatives were able to force postponement of final action.
1986
The Senate Foreign Relations Committee voted, 15-2, in favor of strict economic sanctions against South Africa to protest apartheid.
1987
Iranians attacked the Saudi Arabian and Kuwaiti embassies in Tehran as word spread of the rioting in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, the day before that had claimed some 400 lives, most of them Iranian pilgrims.
1988
Iran said it would honor an immediate cease-fire in its eight-year-old war with Iraq.
1989
The Revolutionary Justice Organization, a pro-Iranian group in Lebanon which threatened to kill American hostage Joseph Cicippio, extended its deadline a day after another group released a videotape of a body said to be William R. Higgins'.
1990
Moslem rebels surrendered in Trinidad and Tobago, five days after launching a coup and taking Prime Minister Arthur Robinson and 42 other hostage.
1991
President Bush, visiting the Ukrainian capital of Kiev, urged Soviet republics to show restraint in their demands for more autonomy.
1991
Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir accepted a U.S. formula for Middle East peace talks with the Arabs.
1992
The Supreme Court permitted the Bush administration to continue returning Haitians intercepted at sea to their Caribbean homeland.
1992
Gail Devers won the women's 100 meters, Linford Christie the men's 100 meters, at the Barcelona Summer Olympics.
1993
The city of St. Louis found itself besieged by the Mississippi and Missouri rivers, which had swelled to record levels after months of flooding in nine Midwestern states.
1994
Supporters of Haiti's military rulers declared their intention to fight back in the face of a U.N. resolution paving the way for a U.S.-led invasion.
1994
Michael Jackson and Lisa Marie Presley confirmed they had been secretly married 11 weeks earlier in the Dominican Republic.
1995
In the second TV network takeover in as many days, Westinghouse Electric Corporation struck a deal to buy CBS for $5.4 billion.
1996
At the Atlanta Olympics, Michael Johnson broke his world track record by more than three-tenths of a second, winning the 200 meters in 19-point-32 seconds.
1996
A political victory for President Clinton, a federal jury in Little Rock, Arkansas, acquitted two Arkansas bankers of misapplying bank funds and conspiracy to boost his political career. (The jury deadlocked on seven other counts.)
1997
President Clinton lifted a 20-year-old ban on the sale of high-performance aircraft and other advanced weapons to Latin America.
1997
The National Cancer Institute reported that fallout from 1950s nuclear bomb tests had exposed millions of children across the country to radioactive iodine.
1998
Dismissing as "an empty promise" GOP-backed legislation to create a patients' bill of rights, President Clinton in his Saturday radio address pressed Congress to pass a measure that would allow patients to sue their health insurers.
1999
A heat wave that had gripped the nation since mid-July finally broke; authorities attributed nearly 200 deaths to the heat and humidity.
2000
A US military court in Germany sentenced Army Staff Sergeant Frank Ronghi to life in prison without parole for sexually assaulting and killing Merita Shabiu, an eleven-year-old ethnic Albanian girl, while on peacekeeping duty in Kosovo.
2005
Australian warship sunk as artificial reef
2005
Burundian Hutu extremists have killed 300 civilians in the last two months
2005
Poland accuses Belarus of human rights violations
2005
Guantanamo prosecutors call trials a "fraud"
2005
King Fahd of Saudi Arabia announced dead
2005
Sudan’s Vice President killed in helicopter crash
2005
Lawmaker from Japan found hanged
2005
Three battalions of the Royal Irish Regiment to disband as part of NI peace process
2005
Rafael Palmeiro suspended for using steroids
2005
Black teenager murdered in racial attack in Liverpool, England
2005
Bush appoints John Bolton United States' ambassador to the United Nations
2006
Fidel Castro temporarily hands power to his brother Raul
2006
Heat gets worse in Canada
2006
North and South Korean border guards exchange fire
2006
Scientists crack age-old egg problem
2006
record heat wave moves across U.S. eastern seaboard
2006
Israeli bombardment spills 35,000 tons of heavy fuel oil
2006
Tropical storm Chris strengthens
2006
New Zealand suicide rate decreases
2007
News Corp. acquires Dow Jones & Co.
2007
Denmark withdraws troops from Iraq
2007
Bratz picture filmed at high school in rough area of Los Angeles, while in session
2007
Two strong earthquakes rock Vanuatu
2007
Sunnis withdraw from Iraqi government
2007
Argentine President harshly criticizes US border fence
2007
Fred Thompson's 'exploration’ causes confusion on USA election rules
2007
Philippine population census to begin today
2008
Tennis star Sharapova out of Olympics
2008
Suspect in 2001 anthrax attack dies of apparent suicide
2008
NASA to extend the Phoenix probe mission by 5 weeks
2008
Bell Canada to discontinue beaver mascots
2008
U.S. House Republicans continue speaking after lights turn off
2008
Potential Wikia mass exodus
2008
Harkishan Singh Surjeet, Indian politician dies at 92
2008
Bush claims violence in Iraq down to lowest level for four years
2008
Gunman kills three in Wisconsin shooting
2009
President Obama names 16 recipients of the Presidential Medal of Freedom
2009
Michigan student and California engineer sue Amazon for remote deletion of 'Nineteen Eighty-Four'
2009
American sailor jailed for murder of Japanese taxi driver
2010
Prosecutors drop assault case against former US VP Gore
2010
14,000-acre Southern California 'Crown Fire' at 82% containment, evacuation orders lifted
2011
US President Obama announces deal reached to avert government default
2011
More than 100 reported dead after Syrian troops move against protesters
2011
6.8 earthquake rocks northeastern coast of Papua New Guinea
2013
Woman awarded 18.6 million dollars in lawsuit against Equifax

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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