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Today in History

1519
Ferdinand Magellan embarks from Seville
1792
Storming of the Tuileries Palace
1833
The city of Chicago incorporated
1846
Smithsonian Institution chartered
1959
Golden Globe nominated actress, director and producer, Rosanna Arquette born in New York City
1960
Actor Antonio Banderas born in Malaga, Spain
1972
Fashion model and actress, Angie Harmon born in Dallas, Texas
1990
Magellan space probe reaches Venus
258
Death of St. Laurence, famous Roman martyrs. A deacon of Pope Sixtus II, whom he followed to death.
654
St. Eugenius was consecrated as pope. He served to 0657.
1296
John, King of Bohemia born
1303
Hugh de Pairaud, Treasurer of the Templars, signs a private agreement of mutual support with Philip IV ("the Fair") King of France
1397
Albert II, King of Germany born
1460
Coronation of James III as King of Scots
1471
Election of Sixtus IV as Pope
1492
Election of Alexander VI as Pope
1498
Henry VII of England rewards John Cabot for the discovery of Canada with 10 Pounds
1519
Magellan leaves Spain to circle the world
1536
Cartier enters the Gulf of St. Laurence, Canada
1556
Lutherian clergyman and song writer Philipp Nicolai. (O morning star! how fair and bright, Wake, awake for night is flying) born
1582
Russia makes peace with Poland and gives up claims to Livonia
1620
Richelieu persuades Marie de Medici into peace
1674
Anglican Clergyman William Vesey. Vessy street in New York City is named for him. born
1753
Edmund Jennings Randolph, the first U.S. attorney general born
1776
A committee of Benjamin Franklin, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson suggested the United States adopt "E pluribus unum" - `Out of many, one' - as the motto for its Great Seal.
1792
During the French Revolution, mobs in Paris attacked the palace of Louis XVI. The king was taken into custody, put on trial for treason later that year, and executed the following January.
1794
German Jewish scholar Leopold Zunz. Founder of the science of Judiasm. born
1809
Ecuador gains it's independence.
1821
Missouri became the 24th state.
1827
Theologian and author George P. Fisher. Professor of Yale Divinity School !1854-1901) born
1833
Chicago, Illinois was incorporated on this day, not as a village with a population of less than 200.
1841
Birth of Mary A. Lathbury, American Sunday School leader and poet. Daughter of a Methodist preacher, two of Lathbury's poems later became popular hymns: "Break Thou the Bread of Life" and "Day is Dying in the West." born
1846
Congress chartered the Smithsonian Institution, named after English scientist James Smithson, whose bequest of half a million dollars had made it possible.
1855
Anglican theologian, author and teacher Frederick J. F. Jackson. born
1859
The first milk inspectors in the U.S. were appointed for duty in Boston, Massachusetts.
1869
O.B. Brown of Malden, Massachusetts, patented the motion picture projector.
1873
Philosopher and author William E. Hocking. He emphasized the religious aspects of philosophy. (The Meaning of God in Human Experience) born
1874
Herbert Clark Hoover, the 31st president of the United States, was born in West Branch, Iowa.
1885
Leo Daft opened America's first commercially operated electric streetcar, in Baltimore, Maryland
1890
Paul Hutchinson, religious writer an editor. He was managing editor of Christian Century from 1924 - 1956. born
1893
The American composer Douglas Moore was born. born
1895
Do you know what the "Proms" are? Everyone in London knows the "Promenade Concerts," a summer series launched on this day by Henry Wood and Robert Newman.
1899
Actor Jack Haley born
1900
Actress Norma Shearer born
1914
Actor Jeff Corey born
1915
Pope Benedict XV issued a constitution which allowed priests to offer 3 masses of requium on All Saints Day.
1916
Actor Noah Beery, Jr. (Walking Tall, Seven Faces of Dr. Lao, Fastest Gun Alive, Million Dollar Kid) born
1921
Franklin D. Roosevelt was stricken with polio at his summer home on the Canadian island of Campobello.
1923
Actress Rhonda Fleming (Marilyn Louis) (Stage Door, The Best of Broadway, Little Egypt, Inferno) born
1926
Junior Samples (comedian born
1927
Bluegrass singer-songwriter Jimmy Martin born
1928
Singer Jimmy Dean born
1928
Singer Eddie Fisher born
1933
Baseball player Rocky (Rocco) Colavito (Cleveland Indians home runs in a row [6/10/1959]) born
1940
Singer Bobby Hatfield (The Righteous Brothers) born
1943
Singer Ronnie Spector born
1944
during World War Two, American forces overcame remaining Japanese resistance on Guam.
1945
On the day after the second atomic bombing, Japan announced its willingness to surrender to the Allies, provided the status of Emperor Hirohito remained unchanged.
1947
Rock singer-musician Ian Anderson (Jethro Tull) born
1947
William Odom set a solo record by completing a round-the-world flight in 73 hours and five minutes, landing at Chicago's Douglas Airport.
1948
Singer Patti Austin born
1948
Allen Funt's "Candid Camera" made its TV debut on ABC with the title "Candid Microphone," which was also the name of a radio program produced by Funt.
1949
Country musician Gene Johnson (Diamond Rio) born
1949
The National Military Establishment was renamed the Department of Defense.
1952
Actor Daniel Hugh Kelly born
1954
Workers at the Studebaker plant in South Bend, Indiana, agreed to take pay cuts of from $12 to $20 weekly in an attempt to help the faltering automaker. The plan didn't help and the automaker was soon out of business.
1954
Elvis Presley made one of his first professional appearances at Overton Park in his hometown of Memphis, Tennessee. He used the occasion to debut his new record, "That's All Right (Mama)." He was a big crowd pleaser.
1959
Actress Rosanna Arquette born
1960
Actor Antonio Banderas born
1961
Rock musician Jon Farriss (INXS) born
1962
Singer Julia Fordham born
1964
Singer Neneh Cherry born
1964
Singer Aaron Hall born
1967
Rhythm-and-blues singer Lorraine Pearson (Five Star) born
1967
Rock musician Todd Nichols (Toad The Wet Sprocket) born
1968
Singer-producer Michael Bivins born
1969
Leno and Rosemary LaBianca were murdered in their Los Angeles home by members of Charles Manson's cult, one day after actress Sharon Tate and four other people were slain.
1970
The composer Bernd Alois Zimmermann committed suicide in Konigsdorf. Zimmermann was 52 and despondent over learning that he was going blind.
1972
Actress Angie Harmon ("Law & Order") born
1973
For the first time in his golfing career, Arnold Palmer failed to make the cut for the final two rounds of the PGA Golf Championship. This one was in Cleveland, Ohio.
1977
Postal employee David Berkowitz was arrested in Yonkers, New York, accused of being "Son of Sam," the gunman responsible for six slayings and seven woundings.
1977
The United States and Panama reached agreement in principle to transfer the Panama Canal to Panama by the year 2000.
1980
Rhythm-and-blues singer Nikki Bratcher (Divine) born
1981
Pete Rose tops Stan Musial's record of 3630 hits.
1983
In Lebanon, leftist Druse gunmen kidnapped three Cabinet ministers, demanding the resignation of the entire Cabinet. The ministers were released unharmed the next day.
1984
Nevada's chief U.S. district judge, Harry Claiborne, was convicted on tax evasion charges. It was the first conviction of a sitting federal judge.
1984
The women's 3,000-meter race at the Los Angeles Summer Olympics ended for Mary Decker of the U.S. when she fell after colliding with South African-born Zola Budd. The race was won by Romanian Maricica Puica.
1985
In South Africa, relative calm returned to Durban's black and Indian townships, where days of rioting had claimed dozens of lives.
1985
Michael Jackson paid $47.5 million for ATV Music, the Northern Songs Catalogue of the Beatles' copyrights, which includes 251 songs written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney.
1985
Madonna's album,"Like A Virgin", became the first solo album by a female artist to be certified for sales of five million copies.
1986
Billy Martin's uniform number, "1," was retired by the New York Yankees. He was the 13th Yankee great to receive the honor.
1986
A team of U.S. arms control experts arrived in Moscow for special talks aimed at preparing for a new U.S.-Soviet summit.
1987
President Reagan said he would nominate C. William Verity Junior, a retired steel company executive, to replace the late Malcolm Baldrige as commerce secretary.
1987
The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed above 2600 for the first time.
1987
A Chorus Line celebrated its 5,000th performance. An estimated that 25 million theatre goers had seen the musical since it opened in 1975. A Chorus Line became the longest-running show on The Great White Way on September 29, 1983 and ended its Broadway run in 1990.
1988
President Reagan signed a measure providing $20,000 payments to Japanese-Americans interned by the US government during World War Two.
1989
Poland's Roman Catholic church suspended an agreement to move nuns from a convent on the edge of Auschwitz, blaming Jewish groups for creating what it called an "atmosphere of aggressive demands.""
1990
Washington, D.C., Mayor Marion Barry was convicted of a single misdemeanor drug charge and acquitted on another; the judge declared a mistrial on 12 other counts.
1991
Nine Buddhists were found slain at their temple outside Phoenix, Arizona. Two teenagers were later arrested in the killings; one pleaded guilty to murder, the other was convicted of murder.
1991
The Revolutionary Justice Organization, one of the groups holding hostages in Lebanon, announced it would release an American within 72 hours. (the next day, Edwards Tracy was freed.)
1991
China agreed in principle to sign the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty.
1992
President Bush met at his Kennebunkport, Maine, vacation home with Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin; afterward, Bush announced that Mideast peace talks would resume in two weeks in Washington.
1993
Ruth Bader Ginsburg was sworn in as the second female justice on the U.S. Supreme Court.
1993
President Clinton signed a massive deficit-reduction bill into law.
1994
President Clinton claimed presidential immunity in asking a federal judge to dismiss, at least for the time being, a sexual harassment lawsuit filed by Paula Corbin Jones, a former Arkansas state employee.
1994
Three men were arrested in Germany after undercover police confiscated 13 ounces of plutonium smuggled into the country aboard a flight from Moscow.
1995
Michael Fortier, who'd been implicated in the April bombing of the federal building in Oklahoma City, pleaded guilty in a plea-bargain agreement that required him to testify for the prosecution.
1995
Norma McCorvey, "Jane Roe" of the 1973 Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion, announced she had joined the anti-abortion group Operation Rescue.
1995
Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols were charged with 11 counts in the Oklahoma City bombing (they later pleaded innocent).
1996
Cascading power outages hit parts of nine western states.
1996
Bob Dole completed the Republican ticket by announcing former housing secretary Jack Kemp as his running mate.
1997
US envoy Dennis Ross met separately with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat in an attempt to restart the Mideast peace process.
1998
Secretary of State Madeleine Albright announced a $2 million reward for information leading to the conviction of the terrorists who bombed US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, killing 224 people, including 12 Americans.
1999
A gunman opened fire at a Jewish community center in Los Angeles, wounding three boys, a teen-age girl and a woman; hours later, a gunman shot and killed letter carrier Joseph Ileto; a suspect, white supremacist Buford O. Furrow, faces charges in both shootings.
2000
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez met with Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, defying the United States by being the first head of state to visit Iraq since the Gulf War
2005
Oil in Alberta spill may be carcinogenic
2005
Detroit chemical plant experiences explosions, fire; residents evacuated
2005
Volcanic activity expands McDonald Island off Australia
2005
Greenpeace tries to thwart Chesapeake Bay fishing fleet
2005
Fourteen dead as passenger helicopter crashes off Estonia
2005
NAFTA dismisses US claims of Canadian violation of Trade Agreement rules in softwood lumber dispute
2005
Slovenian alpinist rescued from Himalayan peak
2005
Detroit chemical plant experiences explosions, fire; residents evacuated/Brief
2006
Israel pushes further into Lebanon
2006
New Zealand Maori angry over US tattoo kit
2006
Google to warn users about "bad" websites
2006
War Crimes Act amendments to indemnify retroactively
2006
Kim Gevaert wins women's 100m final at European athletics championships
2006
Londoner hit by train, Underground closed at Marble Arch Station
2006
Senior Chinese official executed for spying for Taiwan
2007
Opera singer Luciano Pavarotti hospitalized
2007
Human Rights Torch Relay Night held in Taiwan
2007
Markets dragged down by credit crisis
2007
Migrant workers in Dominos Pizza 'slavery'
2007
Third death following RAF helicopter crash in North Yorkshire, UK
2008
Swimmer Michael Phelps of the U.S. wins first gold medal of Summer Olympics, breaks world record
2008
Georgia withdraws from South Ossetia
2008
Olympic highlights: August 10, 2008
2008
Eight killed in suicide bombing in Algeria
2008
Soul singer Isaac Hayes dies at age 65
2008
Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish dies at age 67
2008
Swiss mountain claims two lives
2008
Several large explosions reported in Xinjiang, China
2008
Russian minister: South Ossetia reporting biased in Western media
2008
Massive explosion in North Toronto, Ontario
2009
No tsunamis after two major earthquakes strike islands near India and Japan
2009
Pilot error blamed for July crash of Aria Air Flight 1525 in Iran
2009
Al-Jazeera poll shows many Pakistanis identify America as 'biggest' threat
2009
600 people missing after typhoon hits Taiwan
2009
British man charged with double murder in Iraq
2010
Bronislaw Komorowski sworn in as president of Poland
2010
Juan Montoya wins second career NASCAR Sprint Cup race
2010
Former US Senator Ted Stevens among five killed in Alaska plane crash
2010
British scholar Tony Judt dies aged 62
2010
Actress Patricia Neal dies aged 84
2011
Fiona Donnison jailed for murdering her children in UK
2011
Riots in England continue for a fourth night
2011
Finnish police to receive guidance on Internet 'hate speech'
2012
Ghana buries late President Mills

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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