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Today in History

1769
Emperor of France and King of Italy, Napoleon Bonaparte born on the Island of Corsica
1771
Author and poet, Sir Walter Scott born in Edinburgh, Scotland
1892
Nobel prize winning physicist, Louis Victor de Broglie born in Dieppe, France
1945
Liberation Day in South Korea
1947
Independence Day in India
1964
Actress Debi Mazar born in Queens, New York
1965
The Beatles play Shea Stadium in New York
1969
The Woodstock Music & Arts Fair opens on Max Yasgur's farm
465
Death of Libius Severus, Emperor of the West
717
Siege of Constantinople raised
778
Charlemagne's rear guard, returning from Spain, attacked by Basques; Death of Roland
1038
Death of St. Stephen, King of Hungary
1057
MacBeth, King of Scotland, killed by Malcolm MacDuncan, son of King Duncan.
1070
Lanfranc becomes Archbishop of Canterbury
1079
Malcolm III, King of Scotland, invades England
1096
The First Crusade sets out for Jerusalem
1195
St. Anthony of Padua born
1209
Surrender of Carcassone (Albegensian "Crusade")
1261
Michael VIII usurps the Byzantine throne
1281
The Kami Kaze, the "Divine Wind," destroys the invading Mongol fleet off Japan
1327
Slavs of Tver, Russia, massacre the Mongol population
1432
Poet Luigi Pulci, Italy born
1457
The completion of the "Mainz Psalter," the earliest specifically dated printed book. (3 years after Gutenberg.) The printer's names were Peter Schoeffer and Joachim Fust, which last is the origin of the legend of "Faust." The Psalter was printed in a calligraphic style, and all the books were "written" identically, giving rise to the story of Faust's pact with the Devil.
1464
Death of Pope Pius II
1534
Foundation of the Jesuits
1548
Mary, Queen of Scots, arrives in France
1619
Flemish cartoonist/copper plate Hubertus Quellinus, born
1620
"Mayflower" sets sail from Southampton with 102 Pilgrims
1635
1st recorded hurricane in America, Plymouth Colony
1649
Cromwell lands in Ireland
1688
Frederick-William I, king of Prussia (1713-1740) born
1702
Italian rococo painter and etcher Francesco Zuccarelli born
1725
Composer Ferdinando Bertoni born
1727
Composer Johann Georg Holzbogen born
1736
Composer Johann Christoph Kellner born
1769
Napoleon Bonaparte born on the island of Corsica. born
1771
Scottish novelist Sir Walter Scott (Ivanhoe, The Talisman) born
1803
Sir James Douglas, father of British Columbia. born
1807
Paganini helped Napoleon celebrate his birthday by playing a sonata on the G-string.
1848
M. Waldo Hanchett of Syracuse, NY patented the dental chair.
1859
Longtime Chicago White Sox owner Charles Comiskey born
1879
Actress Ethel Barrymore (Blythe) ( None But the Lonely Heart; The Farmer's Daughter) born
1887
Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Edna Ferber ( So Big, Show Boat, Cimarron, Saratoga Trunk, Ice Palace, Giant) born
1888
T.E. Lawrence, the British soldier who gained fame as "Lawrence of Arabia," (Tremadoc, Wales). born
1911
Procter & Gamble Company of Cincinnati, OH, introduced Crisco hydrogenated shortening this day.
1912
Cooking expert Julia Child born
1912
Actress Dame Wendy Hiller (Separate Tables; A Man for All Seasons, Murder on the Orient Express, Pygmalion, The Elephant Man, Toys in the Attic, David Copperfield) born
1914
An American ship sailed from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean, officially opening the Panama Canal.
1922
Composer Lukas Foss born
1924
Conservative activist Phyllis Schlafly born
1925
Rhythm-and-blues singer Bill Pinckney (The Drifters) born
1925
Country singer Rose Maddox born
1925
Actress Rose Marie (Curley) (The Dick Van Dyke Show, Hollywood Squares, The Doris Day Show, My Sister Eileen) born
1925
Actor Mike Connors (Krekor Ohanian) (Mannix, Tightrope, Today's F.B.I., Sudden Fear) born
1925
Jazz musician Oscar Peterson born
1928
Movie director Nicolas Roeg born
1931
Actress Janice Rule born
1932
Actress Abby Dalton born
1933
Actress Lori Nelson born
1934
Singer-producer Bobby Byrd born
1935
Civil rights activist Vernon Jordan born
1935
Actor Jim Dale born
1935
Humorist Will Rogers and aviator Wiley Post were killed when their airplane crashed near Point Barrow, Alaska.
1936
Actress Pat Priest born
1938
Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer born
1939
The M-G-M musical "The Wizard of Oz" premiered at the Grauman's Chinese Theater in Hollywood.
1944
During World War Two, Allied forces landed in southern France.
1944
Author-journalist Linda Ellerbee born
1945
Proclaimed "V-J Day" by the Allies, a day after Japan agreed to surrender unconditionally. In a recorded radio message, Emperor Hirohito called upon the Japanese people to "bear the unbearable" and lay down their arms.
1946
Songwriter Jimmy Webb born
1947
India became independent after some 200 years of British rule. Jawaharlal Nehru became India's first prime minister.
1948
The Republic of Korea was proclaimed.
1950
Actress Tess Harper born
1950
Britain's Princess Anne born
1951
Artur Schnabel died in Switzerland. He was 69. Schnabel was the first man to record all 32 of Beethoven's piano sonatas.
1952
34 people were killed when rain-swollen streams carrying boulders and other debris tore through Lynmouth, England.
1955
Actor Larry Mathews ("The Dick Van Dyke Show") born
1957
Actor Zeljko Ivanek born
1960
The Congo (Brazzaville) gains it's independence.
1961
Rock singer-musician Matt Johnson born
1961
East German workers began building the Berlin Wall.
1964
Actress Debi Mazar born
1968
Actress Debra Messing ("Will and Grace") born
1969
The Woodstock Music and Art Fair opened in upstate New York. The three-day concert on or near Yasgur's Farm in Bethel, New York, featured 24 bands and drew a crowd of more than 400,000 people.
1971
President Nixon announced a 90-day freeze on wages, prices and rents.
1972
Actor Ben Affleck born
1974
Actress Natasha Henstridge born
1974
South Korean President Park Chung-hee escaped an assassination attempt in which his wife was killed.
1979
Andrew Young resigned as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations after criticism for an unauthorized meeting with the U.N. observer for the Palestine Liberation Organization.
1981
Lionel Richie and Diana Ross hit number one on the pop music charts this day, with "Endless Love." It remained number one for nine weeks.
1983
Six-month-old Lisa Harap of Queens Village, New York became the youngest, identifiable living person to appear on the cover of "Time Magazine.""
1983
President Reagan, speaking in New Orleans, likened his Central America policy to the citizens' crime-fighting program "Neighborhood Watch," saying that "outside troublemakers and bullies will think twice.""
1984
America's Olympic medal winners were honored with a ticker-tape parade in New York, an event marred when a scaffold rail collapsed, injuring about a hundred spectators.
1984
Pete Rose returned to become player and manager of the Cincinnati Reds after being away from his hometown for six years. Rose had been in Philadelphia and Montreal.
1985
South African President P.W. Botha delivered an internationally broadcast speech in which he rejected calls to dismantle apartheid, saying it would lead white South Africans "on a road to abdication and suicide."
1986
The U.S. Senate voted 84-14 to approve a strengthened package of economic sanctions against South Africa, including a ban on importing South African steel, textiles, uranium, coal and agricultural produce.
1987
More than 13.5 inches of rain drenched the Chicago area, causing more than $100 million in damage.
1987
Thousands of people marched past the grave of Elvis Presley in Memphis, Tennessee, as they began an all-night vigil marking the tenth anniversary of his death.
1988
President Reagan bade a sentimental farewell on the first night of the Republican national convention in New Orleans, and praised the man destined to succeed him, Vice President George Bush.
1989
F.W. de Klerk was sworn in as acting president of South Africa, one day after P.W. Botha resigned as the result of a power struggle within the National Party.
1990
In an attempt to gain support against the U.S.-led coalition in the Persian Gulf, Iraqi President Saddam Hussein offered to make peace with longtime enemy Iran, saying he would pull troops out of territories seized from the Iranians.
1991
The U.N. Security Council, by a vote of 13-1, authorized Iraq to export $1.6 billion worth of oil in a tightly controlled sale to pay for desperately needed food and medicine.
1991
The congressional budget office disclosed that the federal deficit would rise to a record $362 billion.
1992
While Republicans were gathering in Houston for their national convention, President Bush was spending a weekend at Camp David, his renomination secure.
1992
4 people were killed and as many as 20 wounded in a shooting spree at a Caribbean nightclub near Miami.
1992
Vietnam blamed Hollywood for creating the "myth" that U.S. servicemen are still being held in Indochina.
1993
Nearly 400 Palestinians who'd been deported from Israel to southern Lebanon in 1992 agreed to Israel's terms for their return.
1993
Pope John Paul the Second ended his four-day US visit with a farewell address at Denver's Stapleton International Airport in which he denounced the "culture of death" of abortion and euthanasia.
1993
An Egyptian surrendered peacefully after hijacking a Dutch jet to Germany to demand the US release Muslim cleric Sheik Omar Abdel-Rahman.
1993
Pope John Paul II conducted mass for up to 400,000 people at the World Youth Day festival south of Denver.
1994
Ilich Ramirez Sanchez, the terrorist known as "Carlos the Jackal," was jailed in France after being captured in Sudan.
1995
The Justice Department agreed to pay $3.1 million to white separatist Randy Weaver and his family to settle their claims over the killing of Weaver's wife and son during a 1992 siege by federal agents at Ruby Ridge, Idaho.
1995
Pioneering TV journalist and Timex watch pitchman John Cameron Swayze died in Sarasota, Florida, at age 89.
1996
Frederick Martin Davidson, a graduate student at San Diego State University, shot and killed three engineering professors (Davidson was later sentenced to three life terms in prison).
1996
Bob Dole claimed the Republican presidential nomination at the party's convention in San Diego, offering himself as the "bridge to a time of tranquility" and describing himself as "the most optimistic man in America."
1997
The Justice Department decided against prosecuting senior FBI officials in connection with an alleged cover-up that followed the deadly 1992 Ruby Ridge siege in Idaho.
1997
The government expanded its recall of ground beef sold under the Hudson brand name to 1.2 million pounds because of new evidence of possible contamination by E. coli bacteria.
1998
Twenty-nine people were killed by a car bomb that tore apart the center of Omagh, Northern Ireland; a splinter group calling itself the Real IRA claimed responsibility.
1999
President Clinton and his family went house hunting in Westchester County, N.Y. (They later settled on a house in Chappaqua.)
1999
Tiger Woods won the PGA Championship, becoming the youngest player to win two majors since Seve Ballesteros.
2005
Orioles' Palmeiro gets mixed baseball fan greeting
2005
Gaza Strip pullout under way
2005
Chelsea signs Essien for £26 million
2005
60th anniversary of the end of the war in Asia and Pacific commemorated
2005
U.S. study of gay sheep may shed light on sexuality
2005
Third Ashes test ends in a draw
2005
Former northeastern US Republican campaign director charged with conspiracy
2005
Car bombing in Chechnya kills boy
2005
Coroner makes first post mortems of Athens airliner crash victims; text message was a hoax
2006
New Zealand pilot selling uniform online
2006
New Zealand Maori Queen dies
2006
Heavy hailstorms leave Sydney appearing snowed in
2006
Victoria, Australia - fuel theft on the increase
2006
Australian company to make solar power with space technology
2006
Rae gains support in Canadian Liberal leadership race
2006
Former Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon develops double pneumonia
2006
Tanker spills 1000s of tonnes of crude oil off Nicobar Islands
2006
CBC looks for Winnipeg news program host
2006
Dell recalls potentially incendiary laptop batteries
2006
Israel pulling back from Lebanon
2006
AIDS Conference: Clinton and Gates defend Bush program
2006
New drug for smoking cessation is under investigation
2006
Ex-President Gerald Ford admitted to Mayo Clinic
2006
Experiment on frozen sperm raises hopes of "restoring" extinct mammals
2007
Former NBA ref surrenders to charges he bet on games he officiated
2007
Reports: US to label Iran's Revolutionary Guard as 'terrorist organization'
2007
Three men arrested under suspicion of organising dog fights in southern Finland
2007
Yasser Arafat may have had HIV
2007
Big Island residents prepare for arrival of Flossie
2007
Former US Speaker of the House Hastert planning to retire
2007
Mathematical summer school in Turkey closed for "teaching without a permit"
2007
World Deaf Swimming Championships Day 4: Three athletes break world record
2007
Tropical storm Erin forms in Gulf of Mexico
2008
Ukraine implements tougher rules on Russian navy
2008
Sensitive Canadian document found on rainy streets
2008
Olympic highlights: August 15, 2008
2008
Fire destroys fourth floor of hotel in Darlington, England
2008
Ceasefire signed in Georgian-Russian conflict
2008
Former Chadian leader receives death sentence
2008
Swedish wrestler throws away Olympic bronze medal, leaves
2008
Founder and CEO of Rockmount Ranchwear Jack Weil dies at age 107
2008
'Bigfoot' hunters claim to have found corpse of mythical creature in Georgia, USA
2008
United States and Poland sign missile-defence deal angering Russia
2008
Musharraf spokesperson denies resignation
2009
Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi moves to drop Lockerbie bombing appeal
2009
Venice hotel sells rooms for one cent a night after pricing error
2009
Cargo ship Arctic Sea may be found
2010
Four killed, four others injured in Buffalo, New York shooting
2010
Islamic insurgents kill three in Thailand
2010
Second earthquake in eleven days hits New Britain, Papua New Guinea
2011
Syrian naval vessels, ground troops attack port of Latakia
2011
Glasgow, Scotland shooting leaves two hospitalised
2011
U.S. Presidential candidate Michele Bachmann narrowly edges Ron Paul in Ames Straw Poll
2013
Explosion sinks Indian Navy submarine

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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