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Today in History

1227
Genghis Khan dies in battle
1587
Virginia Dare, first child of English parents on American soil, born
1774
Soldier and explorer, Meriwether Lewis born in Charlottesville, Virginia
1868
Helium discovered
1920
Academy Award winning actress, Shelley Winters born in St Louis, Missouri
1935
Golden Globe and Emmy Award winning actress, Gail Fisher born in Orange, New Jersey
1936
Academy Award winning director and actor, Robert Redford born in Santa Monica, California
1943
Painter, recording artist, comedian and actor Martin Mull born in Chicago, Illinois
1958
Golden Globe Award winning actress, Madeleine Stowe born in Los Angeles, California
1961
Peabody Award winning television journalist, Bob Woodruff born in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan
1969
Jimi Hendrix plays last day of Woodstock
1992
Wang Laboratories files Chapter 11
410
King Alarik I's Visigoten occupies & plunders Rome
472
Flavius Ricimer, general of the Western Roman Empire, kingmaker born
1227
The Mongol conqueror Genghis Khan died.
1274
Coronation of Edward I as King of England
1276
Death of Pope Adrian V
1289
Pope Nicolaus IV publishes degree "Supra montem"
1477
Marriage of Maximillian, Holy Roman Emperor, to Mary of Burgundy
1564
Spanish king Philip II joins Council of Trente
1571
Valletta, capital of Malta, completed and occupied by the Knights of St. John
1572
King Navarra Henri de Bourbon marries Margaretha van Valois
1579
Charlotte Flandrina van Nassau, daughter of Willem I of Orange born
1587
Virginia Dare became the first child of English parents to be born on American soil, on what is now Roanoke Island, North Carolina.
1634
Burning of Urbain Grandier for witchcraft
1685
Mathematician Brook Taylor, discoverer of Taylor's Theorem born
1698
After invading Denmark and capturing Sweden, Charles XII of Sweden forces Frederick IV of Denmark to sign the Peace of Travendal.
1750
Composer Antonio Salieri born
1759
The French fleet is destroyed by the British under "Old Dreadnought" Boscawen at the battle of Lagos Bay.
1774
American explorer Meriwether Lewis born
1792
Lord John Russel, Prime Minister of England from 1846 to 1852 and 1865 to 1866 born
1807
Charles F. Adams, U.S. diplomat and public official whose father was John Quincy Adams born
1834
Chicago department store founder Marshall Field born
1840
The organization of the American Society of Dental Surgeons was founded in New York City.
1846
US forces led by General Stephen W. Kearney captured Santa Fe, New Mexico.
1862
Chief Little Crow leads the Sioux in an uprising that lasts until defeated by Colonel Henry H. Sibley at Wood Lake, Minnesota, on September 23, that same year.
1873
Songwriter Otto Harbach ("Smoke Gets In Your Eyes") born
1894
Congress established the Bureau of Immigration.
1894
Marcel Proust went on holiday with a composer named Reynaldo Hahn. Proust told the 19-year-old Hahn that he would make him the main character of his new novel, and apparently Hahn was indeed the basis for the character Henri de Reveillon in the book "Jean Santeuil."
1904
Cosmetic mogul Max Factor born
1914
President Wilson issued his "Proclamation of Neutrality," aimed at keeping the United States out of World War One.
1916
Abraham Lincoln's birthplace in Kentucky was given to the U.S. government as a national shrine to the 16th president.
1917
Former Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger born
1919
The Anti-Cigarette League of America was formed in Chicago, Illinois.
1920
Tennessee became the 36th state to ratify the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, which guaranteed the right of all American women to vote.
1922
Actress Shelley Winters born
1927
Former First Lady Rosalynn Carter born
1929
The first cross-country women's air derby begins. Louise McPhetride Thaden wins first prize in the heavier-plane division, while Phoebe Fairgrave Omlie finishes first in the lighter-plane category.
1930
Actor Grant Williams ( Escape from Planet Earth, The Incredible Shrinking Man) born
1933
Movie director Roman Polanski born
1934
Baseball Hall of Famer Roberto Clemente born
1935
Actress Gail Fisher born
1937
Actor Robert Redford born
1938
President Roosevelt dedicated the Thousand Islands Bridge connecting the United States and Canada.
1939
Singer Johnny Preston born
1940
The United States and Canada established a World War II plan of joint defense against possible enemy attacks.
1941
Actor Christopher Jones born
1942
A Czech composer was murdered in a Nazi concentration camp. Erwin Schulhoff was 48. He had composed a cantata to the words of the Communist Manifesto. Schulhoff was one of many composers who never got a chance to prove themselves.
1943
Actor-comedian Martin Mull born
1943
The Royal Air Force Bomber Command completes the first major strike against the German missile development facility at PeenemŸnde. When the anticipated invasion of Britain failed to materialize in 1940, Londoners relaxed, but soon they faced a frightening new threat, Hitler's V-weapon offensive.
1952
Actor Patrick Swayze born
1954
Assistant Secretary of Labor James E. Wilkins became the first black to attend a meeting of a president's Cabinet as he sat in for Labor Secretary James P. Mitchell.
1958
Actress Madeleine Stowe born
1963
James Meredith became the first black to graduate from the University of Mississippi.
1968
Rock singer-musician Zac Maloy (The Nixons) born
1969
Actor Christian Slater born
1970
Actor Malcolm-Jamal Warner born
1976
President Ford was nominated in Kansas City, Mo., to head the Republican ticket. He lost the presidential race to Democrat Jimmy Carter in November.
1978
Actor Mika Boorem ("The Tom Show") born
1982
The longest baseball game played at Wrigley Field in Chicago, IL, went 22 innings -- before the Los Angeles Dodgers defeated the Cubs 2-1. The game had started the previous day and had been postponed, after 17 innings, because of darkness.
1982
For the first time, volume on the New York Stock Exchange topped the $100 million level as 132.69 million shares were traded.
1983
Hurricane "Alicia" slammed into the Texas coast, leaving 22 dead and causing more than a billion dollars' worth of damage.
1985
Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev announced his country would extend its nuclear testing moratorium, which began in August 1985, until January 1, 1987.
1987
American journalist Charles Glass escaped his kidnappers in Beirut after 62 days in captivity. (Glass had been abducted June 17th with two Lebanese who were released after a week.)
1990
A U.S. frigate fired warning shots across the bow of an Iraqi oil tanker in the Gulf of Oman -- apparently the first shots fired by the United States in the Persian Gulf crisis.
1991
Soviet hard-liners launched a coup aimed at toppling President Mikhail S. Gorbachev, who was vacationing in the Crimea. (Gorbachev and members of his family remained effectively imprisoned until the coup collapsed three days later.)
1992
On the second night of the Republican national convention in Houston, Texas Senator Phil Gramm delivered the keynote address, denouncing Bill Clinton's economic program as "worse than sleaze."
1992
Basketball star Larry Bird announced his retirement after 13 years with the Boston Celtics. In his 13 years, he was MVP three times, played in 12 All-Star Games and got triple-doubles in 69 games.
1992
A convoy of 17 buses carrying 1,000 women and children left war-torn Sarajevo in the second such evacuation from Bosnia in a week.
1993
A judge in Sarasota, Florida, ruled that Kimberly Mays, the 14-year-old girl who had been switched at birth with another baby, need never see her biological parents again, in accordance with her stated wishes. (However, Kimberly later moved in with Ernest and Regina Twigg.)
1994
Florida Gov. Lawton Chiles declared an immigration emergency and demanded federal help to cope with the largest surge of Cuban refugees since the 1980 Mariel boatlift.
1995
Shannon Faulkner, who'd won a 21/2-year legal battle to become the first female cadet at The Citadel, quit the South Carolina military college after less than a week, most of it spent in the infirmary.
1996
Ross Perot, the presidential nominee of the Reform Party, launched his campaign with a speech in which he criticized the Republican and Democratic parties as captives of "special interests."
1996
On the eve of his 50th birthday, President Clinton was guest of honor at a trio of events in New York that combined celebrating with fund-raising.
1997
United Parcel Service and the Teamsters union reached a tentative agreement to end a 15-day-old strike. Beth Ann Hogan became the first coed in the Virginia Military Institute's 158-year history.
1998
A day after his grand jury testimony, President Clinton left Washington on a vacation with his family. Meanwhile, some lawmakers called for Clinton to resign in the wake of his admissions concerning Monica Lewinsky while a spokeswoman for Hillary Rodham Clinton said the first lady "believes in this marriage."
1999
A day after a deadly earthquake struck western Turkey, survivors denounced the rescue effort as sluggish and disorganized. (The death toll eventually topped 17,000.)
2005
Multiple computer worms released as "botwar" rages
2005
Pope visits World Youth Day in Cologne
2005
No 'mates' in Australia's Parliament House
2005
Baghdad morgue received over 1,000 bodies in July
2005
Chandra X-Ray Observatory illuminates Supernova 1987A
2005
Microsoft announces prices for new Xbox 360
2005
Virginians melee at used Apple iBook sale
2005
Israeli troops remove protesters from Gaza synagogues
2005
Madrid bombing suspect arrested in Belgrade
2005
U.S. Army intelligence had detected 9/11 terrorists year before, says officer
2005
Iraqi gasoline is the cheapest in the world at $.05 per gallon
2006
Two New Zealand men ran illegal text lottery
2006
Irish firm issues free energy challenge to scientists
2006
Muhammad cartoon row continues
2006
US senators on Greenland tour
2006
Cape Breton, Nova Scotia to have launch pad
2006
Chechen rebels surrender
2006
North Korea reportedly planning nuclear bomb test
2006
Canadian soldier killed in accidental shooting laid to rest
2006
North Korea to accept international aid
2006
Wikimedia servers unreachable for 3 hours due to network outage
2006
Man falls into 70 gallons of chocolate
2006
Web.com announces second quarter results
2006
Woman cleared in US liquid bomb scare
2007
Small plane makes crash landing in Massachusetts, USA
2007
Finland claims second world record for karaoke
2007
Materazzi reveals slur he uttered at 2006 FIFA World Cup
2007
Hurricane Dean forecasted to become "catastrophic" Category 5 storm
2007
Plane flying from Cyprus to Istanbul, Turkey hijacked
2008
Pakistan's Musharraf announces resignation
2008
McCain and Obama participate in Saddleback Church forum
2009
Tennis: Jelena Janković wins Cincinnati Masters
2009
Neville Chamberlain's War Diaries go on display
2009
Suspected hijackers of Arctic Sea detained by Russian Navy
2009
Australian receives bravery award for rescues in Indonesian air disaster
2009
Suicide bomber kills seven people in Afghan capital
2009
Lockerbie bombing appeal dropped
2010
Dozens dead after bus accident in Philippines
2010
Scottish based game-developer Realtime Worlds enters administration
2010
Lucas announces Star Wars for Blu-ray
2011
Scots report crime using Facebook
2011
News of the World: New document suggests cover-up
2011
SETI Institute set to re-open
2011
Former Governor-General of New Zealand Paul Reeves dies aged 78
2013
Noosa through to Sunshine Coast Rugby Union Grand Final

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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