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Today in History

1786
Frontier congressman, Davy Crocket who died during the defense of the Alamo born in Greene County, Tennessee
1890
Inventor of cruise control, Ralph R. Teetor born in Hagerstown, Indiana
1891
New York City's first public bath opens
1893
Playwright, screen writer and actress, Mae West born in Woodhaven, New York
1920
Singer, stage and screen actress, Maureen O'Hara born in Ranelagh, Ireland
1943
Academy and Golden Globe Award winning actor, Robert de Niro born in New York City
1959
Quake Lake is formed by a 7.5 earthquake
1960
Independence Day in Gabon
1972
Oscar winning actor, director and screenwriter, Ben Affleck born in Berkeley, California
1999
7.4 magnitude earthquake in İzmit, Turkey kills over 17,000
2004
MD5 collision found by Chinese researchers
754
Death of Carloman, King of the Franks
1153
William, first son of King Henry II of England. Died in infancy. born
1257
Death of St, Hyacinth of Cracow
1308
Three Cardinals interview the senior officers of the Templars at Chinon, France
1427
Gypsies denied entry into Paris
1498
Cardinal Borgia renounces his Office to marry a French princess
1559
Death of Pope Paul IV
1585
Antwerp surrenders to the Duke of Parma; sacked.
1586
German vicar and writer Johann V Andreae born
1590
John White, the leader of 117 colonists sent in 1587 to Roanoke Island (North Carolina) to establish a colony, returns from a trip to England to find the settlement deserted. No trace of the settlers is ever found.
1601
Mathematician Pierre de Fermat born
1629
John III Sobieski, King of Poland & Lithuania born
1635
English Puritan Richard Mather, 39, first arrived in Boston. A staunch defender of the congregational form of church government, Mather is remembered today for founding the "dynasty" to which was born his son Increase Mather in 1639, and his grandson Cotton Mather in 1663.
1655
Antonio Fernandez Carvajal is 1st Jew to receive English denizenship.
1686
Composer Nicola Antonio Porpora born
1720
French artist ans engraver Charles D J Eisen born
1743
By the Treaty of Abo, Sweden cedes southeast Finland to Russia, ending Sweden's failed war with Russia.
1761
Birth of William Carey, pioneer English missionary to India. He taught at the newly founded Fort William College of Calcutta from 1801 until his death, and helped found the Serampore Press, which made the Bible accessible to over 300 million people. born
1775
Composer Philippe Libon born
1779
Composer Franz de Paula Roser born
1780
Birth of George Croly, Irish churchman and author. He is primarily remembered today as author of the hymn, "Spirit of God, Descend Upon My Heart." born
1786
Frontiersman and politian Davy Crockett American who died in the defense of the Alamo. born
1790
The location of the capital city of the United States moved from New York City to Philadelphia.
1800
The violinist Ole Bull died in Bergen, the home of Grieg. Ole Bull was one of the world's greatest violinists in his day.
1807
Robert Fulton's "North River Steam Boat" (popularly known as the "Clermont") began heading up New York's Hudson River on its successful round-trip to Albany.
1809
In Pennsylvania, Thomas Campbell, 46, and his son Alexander, 20, formed the American Movement for Christian Unity, which later became the Disciples of Christ Church.
1812
Napoleon Bonaparte's army defeats the Russians at the Battle of Smolensk during the Russian retreat to Moscow.
1815
Napoleon arrived at Saint Helena for the beginning of his exile on this day.
1833
The first steam ship to cross the Atlantic entirely on its own power, the Canadian ship Royal William, begins her journey from Nova Scotia to The Isle of Wight.
1835
Solyman Merrick of Springfield, MA, patented the wrench.
1863
Federal batteries and ships bombarded Fort Sumter in Charleston harbor during the Civil War.
1877
F.P. Cahill became the first man to be mortally wounded by Billy the Kid
1882
Samuel Goldwyn (Goldfish) (movie pioneer born
1887
Black nationalist leader Marcus Garvey born
1890
Harry Hopkins, organized the Works Projects Administration under President Roosevelt born
1892
Actress Mae West. American actress in burlesque, vaudeville, Broadway, and movies born
1896
A prospecting party discovered gold in Alaska, a finding that touched off the Klondike gold rush.
1903
The first Pulitzer Prize was awarded this day as Joseph Pulitzer made a million dollar donation to Columbia University. This provided the funding for the Pulitzer Prize awards to be made in Joseph Pulitzer's name.
1904
Publisher-diplomat John Hay Whitney born
1915
Charles F. Kettering of Detroit, MI, patented the electric automobile self-starter.
1915
A Mob lynches Jewish businessman Leo Frank in Cobb County, Georgia after death sentence for the murder of 13-year-old girl commuted to life
1915
A hurricane struck Galveston, Texas, killing 275 people.
1920
Actress Maureen O'Hara born
1939
Blues guitarist Luther Allison born
1939
The first movie to use the combination of black and white and color film -"Wizard of Oz", premiered on this night.
1940
President Roosevelt and Canadian Prime Minister William Mackenzie King met in Ogdensburg, New York, where they agreed to set up a joint defense commission.
1943
The Allied conquest of Sicily was completed as US and British forces entered Messina.
1945
Actor Robert DeNiro born
1946
Movie director Martha Coolidge ("Rambling Rose") born
1946
Arthur Honegger's Third Symphony, the "Liturgical," was premiered in Zurich. All five of Honegger's symphonies deserve more attention than they get, and the Third is a very moving experience when played well. The finale includes a particularly ominous march.
1949
Rock musician Sib Hashian (formerly with Boston) born
1951
Actor Robert Joy born
1953
Rock singer Kevin Rowland (Dexy's Midnight Runners) born
1955
Country singer-songwriter Kevin Welch born
1955
Rock musician Colin Moulding (XTC) born
1958
Singer Belinda Carlisle born
1960
Actor Sean Penn born
1960
Actor Bruce Penhall born
1960
American Francis Gary Powers pleads guilty at his Moscow trial for spying over the Soviet Union in a U-2 plane.
1961
The East German government began building the Berlin Wall.
1962
Rock musician Gilby Clarke (formerly with Guns N' Roses) born
1962
East German border guards shot and mortally wounded 18-year-old Peter Fechter, who had attempted to cross the Berlin Wall into the western sector.
1964
Singer Maria McKee born
1965
Rock musician Steve Gorman (The Black Crowes) born
1966
Rock musician Jill Cunniff (Luscious Jackson) born
1967
Actor David Conrad ("Relativity") is 30. born
1969
The Woodstock Music and Art Fair concluded near Bethel, New York.
1969
248 people were killed as Hurricane "Camille" slammed into the Gulf Coast.
1969
Singer Donnie Wahlberg born
1969
Rapper Posdnuos born
1970
Tennis player Jim Courier born
1973
Lee Trevino gets his first hole-in-one.
1978
The first successful trans-Atlantic balloon flight ended as Maxie Anderson, Ben Abruzzo and Larry Newman landed their "Double Eagle Two" outside Paris.
1983
Lyricist Ira Gershwin, who, with his composer brother George, wrote such classic songs as "A Wonderful" and "The Man I Love," died in Beverly Hills, Calif., at age 86.
1984
As delegates to the Republican national convention arrived in Dallas, the platform committee put finishing touches on its party doctrine, which said the GOP was seeing "a new dawn of the American spirit."
1985
Over 1,400 meat packers walked off the job at Geo. A. Hormel and Co.'s main plant in Austin, Minnesota, in a bitter strike that lasted just a little more than a year.
1986
Actor Bryton McClure ("Family Matters") born
1986
President Reagan praised a tax revision bill approved by House and Senate conferees the day before, calling it "a triumph for the American people and the American system."
1987
Kidnapped American journalist Charles Glass escaped and was rescued after being held hostage for 62 days in Lebanon.
1987
Rudolf Hess, the last member of Adolf Hitler's inner circle, died at a Berlin hospital near Spandau Prison at age 93, having apparently committed suicide by strangling himself with an electrical cord.
1988
Pakistani President Mohammad Zia ul-Haq and US Ambassador Arnold Raphel were killed in a mysterious plane crash (suspected of being an assassination).
1988
Vice President George Bush was nominated for president at the Republican national convention in New Orleans.
1989
The Commerce Department reported the U.S. trade deficit shrank to $8.7 billion dollars in June, the smallest monthly imbalance since December 1984.
1990
Actress/singer Pearl Bailey died in Philadelphia at age 72.
1990
Iraq said it would "play host" to all foreign citizens in the country who were from "aggressive nations," and place them in military and civilian targets until the threat of war was over.
1991
During an outdoor mass in Pecs, Hungary, Pope John Paul II expressed moral support for Croatians, but stopped short of endorsing Croatia's drive for independence.
1991
In Strathfield, Australia, a man armed with a machete and a rifle killed seven people at a shopping mall before taking his own life.
1992
President Bush arrived in Houston for the opening of the Republican national convention, which featured an address by former President Reagan.
1992
Actor-director Woody Allen admitted being romantically involved with Soon-Yi Previn, the adopted daughter of Allen's longtime companion, actress Mia Farrow. The breakup sparked a bitter child custody battle for the couple's three children.
1993
Joel Cohen and the Boston Camerata performed at Tanglewood. They did 17th, 18th and 19th century American folk hymns as well as spirituals from New England and New York.
1993
A prosecutor in Wayne County, Michigan, charged Dr. Jack Kevorkian under Michigan's six-month-old law against assisted suicide for aiding in the death of Thomas Hyde, who was suffering from Lou Gehrig's disease. (A jury later acquitted Kevorkian.)
1994
Deputy Treasury Secretary Roger Altman resigned under pressure, the latest Clinton administration official felled by the Whitewater controversy.
1995
James B. McDougal, McDougal's ex-wife, Susan H. McDougal, and Arkansas Gov. Jim Guy Tucker were indicted by the Whitewater grand jury. (James McDougal was convicted on 18 of 19 counts of fraud and conspiracy; Tucker was found guilty on one count of fraud and one count of conspiracy; Susan McDougal was convicted on four fraud-related charges.)
1996
A military cargo plane carrying gear for President Clinton crashed and exploded shortly after takeoff from Jackson Hole Airport in Wyoming; eight crew members and a Secret Service employee were killed.
1996
The Reform Party announced Ross Perot had won its nomination to be its first-ever presidential candidate.
1997
President Clinton urged both sides in the United Parcel Service strike to "redouble their efforts" to reach a deal, but hours later, negotiators recessed their intensive talks.
1998
Russia allowed the ruble to drop in value by up to 34 percent.
1998
The Federal Reserve Board approved the megamerger of NationsBank and BankAmerica.
1998
President Clinton gave grand jury testimony via closed-circuit television from the White House concerning his relationship with Monica Lewinsky; he then delivered a TV address in which he denied previously committing perjury, admitted his relatiogship with Lewinsky was "wrong," and criticized Kenneth Starr's investigation.
1999
More than 17,000 people were killed when a magnitude 7.4 earthquake struck Turkey.
2005
Israeli Army begins forced evacuation of Gaza settlements
2005
21 July bombing suspect to be extradited back to the UK
2005
Fiddle Legend Vassar Clements dead at 77
2005
Bangladesh hit by several bomb explosions
2005
Canadian gasoline tops $1 a litre, politicians consider options
2005
Two new schools open in Beslan
2005
New computer worm poised to cause massive outages
2005
Two injured in explosion at Toronto fairground
2005
"Camp Casey" moves to safer land, as Mother's protest continues
2006
Body of missing New Zealand student found
2006
New Zealand army Unimog crash leaves one solider dead
2006
House fire in Buffalo, N.Y. leaves two families homeless
2006
Liverpool's elected officials call in the Police
2006
Man confesses to 1996 murder of JonBenet Ramsey
2006
Indonesian health officials investigating possible human to human transmission of H5N1 Bird Flu virus
2006
Overnight battle for Sri Lanka's Jaffna peninsula
2006
US Airport evacuated in 'liquid bomb' scare
2006
Federal judge rules warrantless wiretaps illegal
2006
Hollywood notables condemn Hamas and Hezbollah
2006
Dutch sheep contaminated by bluetongue
2006
David Witt, father-in-law of Floyd Landis, commits suicide
2007
Two German scientists claim to have broken the speed of light
2007
US President George W. Bush's daughter announces engagement
2007
Nauru to hold parliamentary elections
2007
Three killed in Utah coal mine rescue
2007
Airplane crash in Alaska kills five
2007
Two die from overdoses and 83 arrested at New Jersey Ozzfest
2007
Russia to resume bomber patrols
2007
Richard Stallman, founder of GNU Project confirmed safe after earthquake
2007
Hurricane Dean now a Category 4 storm
2007
World Deaf Swimming Championships Day 5: A fantastic ending
2007
Exclusive report on New Zealand's digital TV service
2008
Beijing 2008: Michael Phelps wins eighth gold
2008
Merkel: Georgia will join NATO
2008
Five killed in mid-air collision over Warwickshire, England
2009
Accident at Russian hydroelectric plant kills ten
2009
Shri Shyam Bhajan Hindu religious festival held in Hyderabad
2009
12 injured after van carrying church group flips over on Buffalo, NY expressway
2009
Hurricane Bill gains strength over Atlantic
2009
Renault F1 team exclusion overturned
2009
It's a GLAM wrap: Curators meet collaborators at Canberra conference
2009
English Wikipedia publishes 3 millionth article
2010
Kevin Harvick wins fourteenth career NASCAR Sprint Cup race
2010
China's economy surpasses Japan's in second quarter
2010
US political columnist James J. Kilpatrick dies at age 89
2010
Celebrity plastic surgeon Dr. Frank Ryan dies in car accident aged 50
2010
Robert Wilson, bassist for The Gap Band dies aged 53
2011
Chinese human rights activist faces trial
2011
Indiana State Fair stage collapse kills four, injures forty
2011
Police social media frenzy threatens to prejudice alleged child killer trial
2012
News of the World Scotland editor charged with perjury, hacking
2013
Ryanair sue Associated Newspapers, Mirror Group

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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