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Today in History

Perseid meteor shower (look north; three days)
1946
Author, lecturer, playwright and columnist, Marilyn vos Savant born in St Louis, Missouri
1950
Computer engineer and co-founder of Apple, inventor Steve Wozniak born in San Jose, California
1965
Riots in Watts (L.A.)
1965
First Ford Bronco
1966
First Chevy Camaro
1973
Swimsuit model and actress, Carolyn Murphy born in Panama City, Florida
1241
Death of Ogadai, Mongol KaKhan
1415
Henry V's fleet sets sail for France, at 3 Sunday
1456
Death of John Hunyadi, Regent of Hungary
1480
Turks capture the castle of Otranto, in southern Italy (Naples)
1492
Election of Alexander VI as Pope. He served until 1503. He initiated censorship of books and excommunicated Savonarola for heresy. He set the line of demarcation, separating Spanish from Portuguese lands in the New World.
1519
Johann Tetzel dies at the age of 54. He was the first public antagonist of Martin Luther because of his preaching of indulgences. This led to Luther's publishing of the 95 themes.
1587
Arrival in Virginia of Raleigh's second expedition of colonists
1635
Thomas Betterton born
1722
The Leipzig city council voted unanimously to hire George Philip Telemann as the city's music director, responsible for performances at the main churches and the care and feeding of the choir. Telemann would turn the job down.
1760
Philip Embury, the first Methodist clergyman in the United States, arrives in New York from Ireland. He founded the Wesley Chapel in 1768.
1817
William H. Odenheimer in Philadelphia. He was Bishop of New Jersey 1859 to 1874, and the first Bishop of Newark. born
1823
Novelist Charlotte M. Yonge. He books (The Heir of Radclyffe, The Daisy Chain) spread the influence of the Oxford Movement. born
1833
Author Robert Ingersoll born
1834
The Ursuline convent in Charlestown, Mass., was destroyed by fire as part of an anti-Catholic campaign.
1837
Methodist prelate and educator Charles H. Fowler. Editor of Christian Advocate from 1876 to 1880. born
1860
The nation's first successful silver mill began operation near Virginia City, Nevada.
1862
Songwriter Carrie Jacobs Bond ("I Love You Truly") born
1866
The world's first roller rink opens its doors, in Newport, R.I.
1874
Harry S. Parmelee of New Haven, CT received a patent for the sprinkler head.
1877
American astronomer Asaph Hall discovered the two moons of Mars, which he named Phobos and Deimos.
1884
The national religion of Japan was disestablished and freedom was given to all other religions.
1896
Harvey Hubbell of Bridgeport, CT, received a patent for the pull chain electric light socket.
1899
Art collector Joseph Hirshhorn born
1902
Actor Lloyd Nolan (The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial, Airport, Hannah and Her Sisters, Earthquake, Ice Station Zebra, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, Peyton Place, Julia, Martin Kane, Private Eye) born
1909
The steamship Arapahoe becomes the first American ship to use the S-O-S distress signal. A broken tail shaft left her drifting off the coast of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina
1912
Actress Jean Parker (Lois Green Zelinska) (Apache Uprising, The Gunfighter, The Texas Rangers, Little Women ) born
1919
Andrew Carnegie died at his summer home in Lenox, Mass.
1921
Author Alex Haley born
1924
The first newsreel pictures of U.S. presidential candidates were taken on this day in Washington, DC.
1925
Former TV talk show host Mike Douglas born
1925
Newspaper columnist Carl Rowan born
1926
The Mexican government ordered the seizure of the property administered by Catholic clergy.
1928
Actress Arlene Dahl born
1930
The American Lutheran Church was formed in Toledo, Ohio by the merger of the synods of Buffalo, Iowa and Ohio.
1933
Reverend Jerry Falwell born
1934
The first federal prisoners arrived at the island prison Alcatraz in San Francisco Bay.
1937
Actress Anna Massey born
1941
President Roosevelt and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill signed the Atlantic Charter on a warship in the western Atlantic.
1942
During World War II, Vichy government official Pierre Laval publicly declared that "the hour of liberation for France is the hour when Germany wins the war.""
1945
The Allies responded to Japan's offer to surrender provided Emperor Hirohito retain his sovereignty. The Allies said they would determine the emperor's future status.
1946
Country singer John Conlee born
1949
Singer Eric Carmen born
1949
Actor Ian Charleson ("Chariots of Fire") born
1950
Steve Wozniak, cofounded Apple Computer born
1951
WCBS-TV in New York City televised the first baseball doubleheader (in color). The Brooklyn Dodgers and the Boston Braves were featured.
1953
Wrestler-actor Hulk Hogan (Terry Bollea) born
1954
A formal peace took hold in Indochina, ending more than seven years of fighting between the French and Communist Viet Minh.
1956
Abstract artist Jackson Pollock died in an automobile accident in East Hampton, New York.
1957
Paul Hindemith's opera "The Harmony of the World" was premiered in Munich. "The Harmony of the World" was based on Johannes Kepler's planetary motion theories. Hindemith later produced an orchestral piece from the music of this opera.
1958
Elvis Presley received a gold record for the hit "Hard Headed Woman"
1961
Milwaukee Braves baseball pitcher Warren Spahn got his 300th victory, beating the Cubs 2-1. He's now a rancher in Oklahoma.
1962
The Soviet Union launched cosmonaut Andrian Nikolayev on a 94-hour flight.
1965
Rioting and looting broke out in the predominantly black Watts section of Los Angeles; in the week that followed, 34 people were killed and more than one-thousand injured.
1965
Twelve-year-old Karen Yvette Muir became the youngest person to break a world record when she swam the 100-yard backstroke in 1 minute, 8.7 seconds at Blackpool, England
1968
Rock guitarist Charlie Sexton born
1968
Rhythm-and-blues musician Chris Dave (Mint Condition) born
1970
Jim Bunning of the Philadelphia Phillies became the first pitcher since Cy Young to win 100 games in each of the two major leagues. Bunning, who later became a U.S. Senator, when the Phillies defeated Minnesota 6-5.
1971
Republican New York mayor John Lindsay switched from the GOP to the Democratic party.
1975
The United States vetoed the proposed admission of North and South Vietnam to the United Nations, following the Security Council's refusal to consider South Korea's application.
1976
Actor Will Friedle ("Boy Meets World") born
1977
"Pistol" Pete Maravich signs a five-year basketball contract with the New Orleans Jazz for $3 million.
1978
Rapper Chris Kelly (Kris Kross) born
1983
President Reagan met at the White House with his new 12-member commission on Central America, urging the panel to develop long-range economic and social reforms for the region.
1984
President Reagan sparked controversy when he joked during a voice test for a paid political radio address that he had "signed legislation that will outlaw Russia forever. We begin bombing in five minutes."
1984
Carl Lewis won his fourth gold medal of the 1984 Summer Olympics as he helped the U.S. men's 400-meter relay team to victory.
1985
Toxic gas leaked from the Union Carbide pesticide plant in Institute, West Virginia, prompting 135 people to seek medical treatment at hospitals.
1986
American and Soviet delegations met for eight hours outside Moscow to discuss arms control proposals.
1986
The Monkees first four LPs re-entered Billboard's top albums chart after almost 20 years.
1986
Baseball umpire Tom Gorman died at the age of 67. He was buried in his umpire uniform with the ball-strike recorder in his hand, showing 3 balls and 2 strikes.
1987
Britain and France ordered minesweepers to the Persian Gulf, but said they would not be used in combined operations with the United States as it escorted reflagged Kuwaiti ships.
1988
The U.S. Senate unanimously confirmed Dick Thornburgh to succeed Edwin Meese III as attorney general by a vote of 85-to-0.
1989
Poland's Solidarity-dominated Senate adopted a resolution expressing sorrow over Polish participation in the 1968 Soviet-led invasion of Czechoslovakia.
1990
Egyptian and Moroccan troops arrived in Saudi Arabia to join U.S. forces helping to protect the desert kingdom from possible Iraqi attack
1991
The space shuttle Atlantis returned safely from a nine-day journey.
1991
Shiite Muslim kidnappers in Lebanon released two Western captives: Edward Tracy, an American held nearly five years, and Jerome Leyraud, a Frenchman who'd been abducted by a rival group three days earlier.
1992
An electrical fire in the 62-story John Hancock office tower forced more than 3,000 workers in Boston's tallest building to flee down smoky, darkened stairwells.
1992
The Mall of America, the biggest shopping mall in the United States, opened in Bloomington, Minnesota.
1992
Washington, negotiators for the United States, Canada and Mexico continued to work out final details of the proposed North American Free Trade Agreement. The Mall of America, the biggest shopping mall in the US, opened in Bloomington, Minnesota.
1993
President Clinton named Army general John Shalikashvili to be the new chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, succeeding the retiring Gen. Colin Powell.
1994
A federal jury awarded more than 10,000 commercial fishermen $286.8 million for losses suffered as a result of the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill.
1994
The House of Representatives dismissed a sweeping $33 billion anti-crime bill.
1994
Major league baseball players went on strike following the conclusion of the day's games.
1994
The Tenth International Conference on AIDS concluded in Yokohama, Japan.
1995
President Clinton banned all U.S. nuclear tests, calling his decision ''the right step as we continue pulling back from the nuclear precipice.''
1995
A federal criminal investigation was opened into whether senior FBI officials covered up their approval of ''shoot-on-sight'' orders during a deadly 1992 siege at Ruby Ridge, Idaho.
1996
The Reform Party opened the first part of its two-stage convention in Long Beach, California, with Ross Perot and Richard Lamm battling for the presidential nod.
1997
President Clinton made the first use of the historic line-item veto approved by Congress, rejecting three items in spending and tax bills.
1999
White supremacist Buford O. Furrow, wanted in the wounding of five people at a Los Angeles Jewish community center and the shooting death of a mail carrier the day before, turned himself in to the FBI in Las Vegas, and waived extradition to Los Angeles.
1999
A tornado tore across Salt Lake City, killing one person.
2000
Pat Buchanan won the Reform Party presidential nomination in a victory bitterly disputed by party founder Ross Perot's supporters, who chose their own nominee, John Hagelin, in a rival convention.
2000
The National Transportation Safety Board released evidence reports in the October 31st, 1999, crash of EgyptAir Flight 990 off the New England coast; a transcript of the cockpit voice recording showed the chilling details of the pilot's futile struggle to save the Boeing 767 and its 217 occupants.
2005
Pakistan successfully tests cruise missile
2005
Haze crisis over Malaysia prompts talks with Indonesia
2005
Rolling Stones unleash new song critical of Bush
2005
Tropical Storm Irene to intensify, may hit U.S. coast
2005
Palmeiro benched on return to Major League Baseball
2005
Scientists warn thawing Siberia may trigger global meltdown
2005
Truck carrying explosives crashes, explodes in Utah
2005
U.S. government hiring more hackers
2006
Colombian reporter slain in home
2006
Chavez equates Israel invasion of Lebanon and occupation of Palestine with Nazi oppression of Jews
2006
Controversial Liverpool 'Evil Cabal' blog is legal
2006
Typhoon Saomai batters China
2006
Police in Britain uncover suspected terrorist plot
2006
7-Eleven acquires Chicago-based White Hen chain
2006
Green Party refines 'Buy Kiwi Made' scheme
2006
U.S. issues warning of terrorist attacks in India
2006
Australian immigration amendments may have difficulty passing in the Senate
2006
UN officials push for humanitarian access in Lebanon
2007
Internet posting says al-Qaeda plans dirty bomb attack in New York City
2007
Tony Wilson dies
2007
Mother, child found dead in Minneapolis collapse site
2007
Home video captures alleged UFOs in Haiti
2007
Canadian power worker says grid is 'String of Christmas Lights that’s been Running Since the 1950s'
2007
'Gouge' found on wing of Space Shuttle Endeavour
2008
Roadside bomb in Turkey kills nine soldiers, injures two
2008
Chloroform spill forces evacuation of building at Canisius College in Buffalo, New York
2008
Olympic highlights: August 11, 2008
2008
Russia advances into Georgia from Abkhazia
2008
Flight lands safely with help from mobile phone text messages
2008
Bill Cotton, former Controller of BBC One, dies in hospital age 80
2008
Two small planes collide in Wyoming, USA, killing three
2009
24 people rescued from roller coaster at California's Great America theme park
2009
Special Olympics founder Eunice Kennedy Shriver dies at age 88
2009
Fifth child dies after police chase that ended in crash in California
2009
Alleged rapist files charges against victim in Sweden on HIV infection grounds
2009
Thieves steal £40 million from London jeweller
2009
Michael Schumacher calls off Formula 1 comeback due to injury
2010
Chilean miners trapped after mine collapse; miscalculated drilling delays rescue
2010
Researcher claims solution to P vs NP math problem
2010
Letitia Long becomes first female director of a major US intelligence agency
2010
Indonesian goverment bans pornographic sites
2010
JetBlue flight attendant accused of cursing at passenger granted bail
2010
Mia Farrow, Carole White testify in Charles Taylor's war crimes trial
2010
Several injured at campground in Maine as storm topples trees
2010
One killed and nine injured in militant attack in Jammu and Kashmir
2010
Curfew imposed in Jammu and Kashmir, three injured and four killed
2011
Texas governor Rick Perry to announce his presidential intentions
2011
Sri Lankan cricketer Norton Fredrick dies aged 73
2013
Uni defeat Nambor as Sunshine Coast Rugby Union season ends

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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