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Today in History

1860
Rodeo sharpshooter Annie Oakley born Phoebe Ann Mosey in Darke County, Ohio
1899
Academy Award winning film producer and director, Alfred Hitchcock born in London, England
1927
Leader of a Communist Revolution in Cuba and its de facto dicator since 1959, Fidel Castro born in Birán, Cuba
1951
Singer, songwriter and musician, Dan Fogelberg born in Peoria, Illinois
1961
Berlin Wall erected
1998
Oxford English Dictionary publishers sanction split infinitives (... and thus it became grammatically correct to say "to boldly go where no man has gone before")
533
Election of Pope John I
554
Justinian, Emperor of Byzantium, begins to rebuild Italy
622
Death of St. Maximus the Confessor
900
Zwendibold, King of Lorraine, killed in battle
1099
Election of Paschal II as Pope
1169
Philip de Milly of Nablus enters the Templar Order
1173
Death of St. Narses the Gracious
1422
William Caxton, 1st English printer - 1st to print a book in English language: Recuyell of the Histories of Troy born
1438
Death of John Nider, philosopher
1521
Spanish conqueror Hernando Cortez captured present-day Mexico City from the Aztec Indians. Tenochtitlan was the chief.
1587
In Roanoke, Virginia, Manteo becomes the first Native American to be baptized as a Protestant, into the Church of England. He was converted by members of Sir Walter Raleigh's expedition to the New World.
1624
French King Louis the 13th named Cardinal Richelieu his first minister.
1630
General Albrecht von Wallenstein fired by Ferdinand II, Holy Roman Emperor
1642
Christiaan Huygens discovers the Martian south polar cap.
1654
Folli performs 1st blood transfusion (between animals)
1655
Johann Christoph Denner, invented the clarinet. born
1660
Charles II orders the suppression of pamphlets written by John Milton
1682
The first Welsh immigrants to the American colonies arrived in Pennsylvania. They were Quakers, and settled near modern Philadelphia.
1704
The Battle of Blenheim was fought during the War of the Spanish Succession, resulting in a victory for English and Austrian forces.
1727
Count Nicolaus Ludwig von Zinzendorf, then 27 years old, organizes Bohemian Protestant refugees into the Moravian community of "Unitas Fratrum" (united brotherhood)
1818
Social reformer Lucy Stone. born
1846
The American flag was raised for the first time in Los Angeles.
1860
Sharpshooter Annie Oakley born
1888
Scottish inventor John Baird, a pioneer in television technology. born
1889
William Gray patented the coin-operated telephone.
1895
Actor Bert Lahr. born
1899
Film director Alfred Hitchcock. born
1904
Actor Charles "Buddy" Rogers born
1907
The first taxicab took to the streets of New York City.
1908
Ira D. Sankey dies at the age of 68. He was Dwight Moody's song evangelist from 1870. During their revival crusades, Sankey penned many hymn tunes, of which the most enduring today are HIDING IN THEE and SANKEY.
1912
St. Joseph's College in Philadelphia, PA was granted the first experimental radio license - by the U.S. Department of Commerce .
1919
Television evangelist Rex Humbard. This pioneer radio and television evangelist established the Cathedral of Tomorrow in Akron, Ohio (1958), from which he afterward based his television ministry. born
1926
Fidel Castro Ruz, Cuban revolutionary and dictator. born
1929
Actor Pat Harrington born
1930
Singer Don Ho born
1930
Capt. Frank Hawkes set an air speed record by flying from Los Angeles to New York in 12 hours, 25 minutes.
1932
Adolf Hitler rejected the post of vice-chancellor of Germany, saying he was prepared to hold out "for all or nothing."
1933
Former US Surgeon General Joycelyn Elders born
1934
The satirical comic strip "Li'l Abner," created by Al Capp, made its debut.
1942
Blues singer-musician Son Seals born
1942
Walt Disney's animated feature ''Bambi'' premiered at Radio City Music Hall in New York City.
1944
Actor Kevin Tighe born
1947
Actress Gretchen Corbett born
1948
Opera singer Kathleen Battle born
1951
Dan Fogelberg, musician. born
1959
Actor Danny Bonaduce born
1960
Central African Republic proclaims independence from France.
1960
The first two-way telephone conversation by satellite took place with the help of "Echo One."
1961
Berlin was divided as East Germany, closed the Brandenburg Gate, sealed off the border between the city's eastern and western sectors in order to halt the flight of refugees. Two days later, work began on the Berlin Wall.. The Berlin wall stood as a barrier to freedom for the East Germans until November 9, 1989.
1967
Actress Quinn Cummings born
1973
Country singer Andy Griggs born
1979
Exotic dancer Sally Rand died in Glendora, California. Rand, who was pushed out of Hollywood when sound came. She is famed as the most lauded fan dancer of the 20th century. Rand performed this sensual dance at the World's Fair in 1933 and was promptly arrested for being obscene.
1979
Lou Brock of the St. Louis Cardinals became the 14th player in major league baseball history to reach 3,000 career hit plateau.
1980
President Jimmy Carter was nominated for a second term by the Democratic National Convention in New York and picked Walter Mondale as his running mate. They lost in November to Ronald Reagan and George Bush.
1981
In a ceremony at his California ranch, President Reagan signed a historic package of tax and budget reductions.
1983
In his Saturday radio address, President Reagan complained that most Americans were confused about his Central America policy, and the U.S. was trying to combat the rise of "ruthless, communist dictators as in Cuba."
1984
An ebullient President Reagan personally congratulated America's medal-winners from the just-completed Summer Olympics at a breakfast in Los Angeles, calling them heroes who had shown the world that the U.S. is "truly a nation of champions."
1985
During a speech in Cameroon, Pope John Paul II asked modern Africans to forgive the Christians who for 400 years uprooted millions of Africans from their homes to be slaves in Europe and America.
1985
Eunice Kennedy Shriver announced the engagement of her daughter, CBS Morning News reporter Maria Shriver, to "Pumping Iron" and "Conan the Barbarian" star Arnold Schwarzenegger.
1986
The Senate approved President Reagan's request for $100 million in aid to the Nicaraguan contras.
1987
A rented Piper Cherokee airplane flew close to President Reagan's helicopter in restricted airspace over Southern California; the pilot and passenger of the plane were arrested.
1987
On the fifth anniversary of a bull market, the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at 2691.49 after briefly surpassing 2700.
1988
Vice President George Bush was contemplating a list of potential running mates as Republicans gathered in New Orleans for their party's national convention.
1989
Searchers in Ethiopia found the wreckage of a plane which had disappeared almost a week earlier while carrying Texas Congressman Mickey Leland and 15 other people. There were no survivors.
1990
Basketball star Magic Johnson postponed indefinitely his wedding to long-time fiancee Earletha Kelly. "We're still together and everything, but we're just going to wait," the three-time NBA Most Valuable Player said.
1990
President Bush ordered Defense Secretary Dick Cheney to the Persian Gulf for the second time since Iraq invaded Kuwait. Meanwhile, American combat troops in Saudi Arabia were told to prepare for a long stay.
1990
Iraq transferred between $3 billion and $4 billion in gold bullion, foreign currencies and goods seized from Kuwait to Baghdad, Arab bankers in London reported.
1991
Clark Clifford resigned as chairman of First American Bankshares Inc., a bank holding company the government said had been illegally acquired by the Bank of Credit and Commerce International. (Clifford and law partner Robert Altman were indicted in 1992 on charges of lying to regulators and receiving bribes from BCCI; Altman was acquitted at trial, and remaining charges against both men were dropped.)
1992
President Bush announced that Secretary of State James A. Baker the Third was leaving his diplomatic post to be White House chief of staff in a shakeup designed to energize his re-election campaign.
1992
Comedian, actor and director Woody Allen began legal action against actress Mia Farrow to win custody of their three children. A judge ruled against Allen in June 1993.
1992
A gunman dressed in military fatigues went on a shooting spree in a plant nursery in Watsonville, California, killing three people and wounding four others before killing himself.
1993
Negotiators for the United States, Canada and Mexico announced they had resolved side issues concerning the proposed North American Free Trade Agreement.
1994
Researchers at Harvard's Medical School reported that aspirin, long believed to help reduce the risk of heart disease, also helps prevent colon cancer.
1994
Veteran entertainer Red Skelton was among the inductees into the Radio Hall of Fame.
1994
In his weekly radio address, President Clinton put Congress on notice that he wouldn't give up an assault weapons ban as the price to revive a crime bill stalled on Capitol Hill.
1995
Baseball Hall of Famer Mickey Mantle died at a Dallas hospital of rapidly spreading liver cancer; he was 63.
1996
At their convention in San Diego, Republicans delivered a blistering critique of President Clinton's record, portraying the Democratic incumbent as an unprincipled liberal conning voters with pretend election-year conservatism.
1997
US envoy Dennis Ross wrapped up a four-day mission to the Middle East, during which he'd persuaded the Palestinians to resume security cooperation with Israel.
1998
President Clinton led the nation in mourning 12 Americans killed in a pair of US embassy bombings in Africa. Standing before black hearses carrying ten of the bodies, the president pledged to seek justice "for these evil acts."
1999
Gunmen shot to death Colombian humorist Jaime Garzon in a killing that authorities later blamed on the leader of the country's right-wing paramilitary.
1999
Tennis player Steffi Graf retired from the sport she had dominated for two decades.
2000
Somalia swore in legislators for its first central government after almost a decade of internecine warfare.
2000
On the eve of the Democratic National Convention in Los Angeles, 3500 protesters demonstrated against police brutality and in support of Mumia Abu-Jamal, on death row for killing a Philadelphia police officer.
2005
Sri Lanka's foreign minister killed in sniper attack
2005
Ministry reveals the details of their new album
2005
Concerns about health situation in UK and Austria
2005
Israeli greenhouses to be preserved after Gaza pullout
2005
Veteran U.S. attorney appointed to oversee Plame inquiry
2005
Talks with TGWU and Gate Gourmet to resume later today
2005
Palestinians arrested in West Bank raids
2005
Iraqi constitution met by Sunni resistance
2005
Activists remember Burundi's Gatumba massacre
2006
H5N1 bird flu confirmed in the Netherlands
2006
Australian government to introduce electronic Medicare rebates
2006
Firefighters tackle industrial blaze in Manchester
2006
South Africa sets deadline in land transfer scheme
2006
Dead British soldier named
2006
Forest fires continue to rage in Spain
2006
International AIDS conference begins in Toronto
2006
UK terror alert downgraded to "Severe"
2006
Most Tokyo power restored after blackout
2007
Karl Rove, senior political advisor to President Bush will resign
2007
World Deaf Swimming Championships Day 2: An intensive matchday
2007
Merv Griffin dies at 82
2007
Russian polar submarine TV footage faked
2007
India wraps up Test cricket series win in England
2007
American philanthropist Brooke Astor dies at 105
2007
Annual Perseids meteor shower visible in northern hemisphere
2007
World Deaf Swimming Championships Day 1: European swimmers rise up
2007
Christian youth camp directors charged with dragging 15-year-old girl behind van
2008
Officials admit that China faked part of Olympics opening ceremony
2008
Olympic highlights: August 13, 2008
2008
Hezbollah strengthening, according to Israeli Defense Minister
2008
Sandy Allen, world's tallest woman dies at age 53
2008
US to deliver humanitarian aid to Georgia
2008
Arkansas Democratic party chairman assassinated by gunman
2009
American professional wrestler Karl Von Hess dies at the age of 90
2009
Woman found guilty of killing fiancé by drink driving in Bath, England
2009
Vestas plant in Newport, England shuts down
2009
India begins shutdowns in Mumbai to limit spread of H1N1 swine flu virus
2009
Women’s boxing to be included in the 2012 Olympics for the first time
2009
Golf and rugby set to return to the Olympic Games
2009
Iranian passenger jet's wheel catches fire
2009
US 'Big Brother' "live" eviction taped for the first time
2009
France and Germany resume growth, exit recession
2009
Gas explosion reported in Hammersmith, London
2009
Two roadside bombs kill at least 14 in Afghanistan
2009
Government shuts off water to California farms in controversial effort to help threatened species
2009
British gemstone expert killed by mob in Voi, Kenya
2009
Westchester County, NY to build affordable housing for non-whites
2009
Number of unemployed in the UK climbs to 2.4 million
2010
Apple Japan to replace overheating iPod Nanos
2011
Phone hacking scandal prompts media review in Australia
2011
Renewed concern over nuclear response following atomic bomb anniversary
2011
China sends its first aircraft carrier to sea
2011
David Cameron responds to rioting, promises changes on policing
2011
Shell reports oil leak at North Sea platform
2013
Russian government confirms gay protesters to be arrested at Olympics
2013
44 worshippers shot dead at Nigerian mosque

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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