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Today in History

1692
5 women and a clergyman executed for witchcraft in Salem, Massachusetts
1812
The USS Constitution, "Old Ironsides", defeats the British frigate Guerriere
1856
Gail Borden patents condensed milk
1902
Poet Ogden Nash born in Rye, New York
1906
Inventor of the first electronic television, Philo T Farnsworth born near Beaver, Utah
1921
B-17 combat pilot, producer, screenwriter and creator of Star Trek, Gene Roddenberry born in El Paso, Texas
1938
Actress Diana Muldaur born in New York City
1940
Actress Jill St John born in Los Angeles, California
1945
Author and lead singer for Deep Purple, Ian Gillan born in London, England
1946
42nd US president William Jefferson Clinton born in Hope, Arkansas
1965
Golden Globe award winning actress Kyra Sedgwick born in New York City
14
Augustus Caesar, 1st Roman Emperor, dies
440
Death of Pope Sixtus III
1153
Baldwin III, King of Jerusalem, takes Ascalon
1398
Poet Iigo Lpez, Spain, marques de Santillana (Comedieta de Ponza) born
1399
Richard II, King of England, surrenders to Henry, his cousin and heir and abdicates
1457
Andrea del Castagno, Italian painter, dies
1458
Election of Pius II as Pope
1493
Maximilian succeeds his father Frederick III as Holy Roman Emperor.
1503
Pope Alexander VI (Rodrigo Borgia) dies accidentally of poison intended for a guest
1521
Italian historian Lodovico Guicciardini (Descrittione di Tutti) born
1558
Dutch lawyer and historian Paulus Merula born
1570
Salamone Rossi was born in Mantua. Rossi composed both secular and synagogue music. And for a time Rossi collaborated with his more famous contemporary Monteverdi. born
1587
Sigismund III is chosen to be the king of Poland.
1596
Elisabeth Stuart, English daughter of James I born
1631
English poet John Dryden born
1646
John Flamsteed, 1st astronomer royal of England. born
1686
Composer Antonio Tonelli born
1772
Gustavus III of Sweden eliminates the rule of parties and establishes an absolute monarchy.
1779
Americans under Major Henry Lee take the British garrison at Paulus Hook, New Jersey.
1785
Connecticut clockmaker Seth Thomas born
1812
The USS Constitution earns the nickname "Old Ironsides" during the battle off Nova Scotia that saw her defeat the HMS Guerriere. Often venturing into harm's way, America's most famous sailing ship twice came close to oblivion--once at the hands of a British squadron, and once at the hands of her own navy.
1848
The New York "Herald" reported the discovery of gold in California.
1856
Gail Borden of Brooklyn, New York, patented his process for condensed milk. The milk from contented cows. This slogan was one of the great American advertising campaigns. Borden's is still in business and is one of the largest dairy product concerns in the world. The familiar flat-topped cans of Borden's condensed milk are still available, as are Borden's ice cream, cheese and other products -- all with the seal of approval by Borden's famous mascot, Elsie, the cow.
1870
Financier Bernard Baruch born
1871
Orville Wright born
1881
The composer Georges Enescu was born in the city of Dorohoiu, Rumania. Enescu's Rumanian-flavored music enjoyed some popularity in the first half of the 20th century but it is less often played nowadays. born
1883
Coco (Gabrielle) Chanel born
1886
The Christian Union was founded by Baptist clergyman Richard G. Spurling in Monroe County, Tennessee. In 1923, this pentecostal denomination changed its name to the Church of God. Headquartered today in Cleveland, Tennessee, its current membership is nearly 500,000.
1892
Actor Alfred Lunt (Tony Award for Quadrille ) born
1902
Ogden Nash born
1903
Novelist James Cozzens (Pulitzer Prize Guard of Honor born
1903
Actor Claude Dauphin (Franc-Nohain) ( Les Miserables, The Madwoman of Chaillot, Is Paris Burning, April in Paris) born
1907
Actress June Collyer (Heermance) (A Face in the Fog, The Ghost Walks, Drums of Jeopardy) born
1909
The first race run on the brick track at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indiana was held on this day.
1914
The British Expeditionary Force (BEF) lands in France.
1915
Author Ring Lardner (You Know Me, Haircut & Other Stories) born
1915
Two Americans were killed when a German U-boat torpedoed a British liner in the Atlantic Ocean, an incident that helped bring the United States into World War I.
1919
Publisher Malcolm Forbes, Sr. (Forbes magazine) born
1921
Producer - writer Gene Roddenberry Star Trek, Have Gun Will Travel) born
1927
Actor L.Q. Jones born
1929
The comedy program "Amos and Andy," starring Freeman Gosden and Charles Correll, made its network radio debut on NBC.
1931
Former jockey Willie Shoemaker born
1933
Actress Debra Paget (Tales of Terror, The Ten Commandments, Omar Khayyam, Love Me Tender, Prince Valiant) born
1934
A plebiscite in Germany approved the vesting of sole executive power in Adolf Hitler as Fuehrer.
1934
Tennis coach Renee Richards born
1936
Spanish poet Fredico Garcia Lorca is shot by Franco's troops after being forced to dig his own grave.
1938
Actress Diana Muldaur born
1939
Rock musician Ginger Baker (Cream, Blind Faith) born
1940
Singer Johnny Nash born
1940
Actress Jill St. John born
1942
About six-thousand Canadian and British soldiers launched a disastrous raid against the Germans at Dieppe, France, suffering about 50-percent casualties.
1943
Singer Billy J. Kramer born
1944
Country singer-songwriter Eddy Raven born
1944
In an effort to prevent a communist uprising in Paris, Charles DeGualle begins attacking German forces all around the city. Adolf Hitler had decreed that Paris should be left a smoking ruin, but Dietrich von Choltitz thought better of his FŸhrer's order.
1946
President William J. Clinton born
1948
Tipper Gore, wife of Vice President Al Gore born
1948
Actor Gerald McRaney born
1950
Edith Sampson becomes the first African-American representative to the United Nations.
1951
Rock musician John Deacon (Queen) born
1952
Actor Jonathan Frakes born
1953
Political consultant Mary Matalin born
1953
Israel's parliament conferred Israeli citizenship posthumously on all Jews killed by the Nazis during the years of the Holocaust (1933-45) in Europe.
1955
Actor Peter Gallagher born
1955
Floods hit the northeastern United States, killing 200 people.
1955
Severe flooding in the Northeast caused by the remnants of Hurricane "Diane" claimed some 200 lives.
1956
Actor Adam Arkin born
1960
A tribunal in Moscow convicted American U-2 pilot Francis Gary Powers of espionage.
1963
Actor John Stamos born
1965
Actress Kyra Sedgwick born
1965
Actor Kevin Dillon born
1966
Country singer Lee Ann Womack born
1967
M-T-V reporter Tabitha Soren born
1969
Actor Matthew Perry ("Friends") born
1969
Country singer Clay Walker born
1971
Tennis player Mary Joe Fernandez born
1976
President Ford won the Republican presidential nomination at the party's convention in Kansas City.
1977
One of the most powerful earthquakes in recorded history hit the eastern Indian Ocean between Australia and Indonesia, rattling buildings in Perth, Australia, 1,000 miles to the south.
1977
Comedian Groucho Marx died in Los Angeles at age 86.
1981
The final episode of "Charlie's Angels" was broadcast on ABC-TV. The show which starred Farrah Fawcett, Kate Jackson, Jaclyn Smith and the voice of John Forsythe, went into syndication.
1983
Southeastern Texas began cleaning up from the ravages of Hurricane Alicia, which had left 22 dead and a billion dollars worth of damage in its wake.
1984
Lee Trevino won the 66th PGA Championship - by four stroke. Trevino's payoff for the championship was $125,000. It was his first victory in three years.
1985
Actor J. Evan Bonifant ("Blues Brothers 2000") born
1985
Republican Sen. Paul Laxalt of Nevada, a close friend and adviser of President Reagan's, announced he would not seek re-election, citing personal reasons.
1986
A car bomb exploded during morning rush hour at the main square in central Tehran, killing 20 people. Iran first blamed "American agents," but later executed what it described as an "Iraqi agent."
1987
Consumer reporter David Horowitz was held at gunpoint -on camera. During a KNBC-TV newscast in Burbank, California, Horowitz was forced to read the assailant's rambling note. The program went off the air until police could remove the gunman.
1987
A third convoy of US warships and reflagged Kuwaiti tankers slipped into the Persian Gulf before dawn and headed up the waterway behind a screen of mine-seeking helicopters.
1987
In Britain's worst mass killing, gunman Michael Ryan shot and killed 16 people during a rampage through Hungerford.
1988
Hundreds of U.N. observers deployed along the Iran-Iraq war front on the eve of a cease-fire, the first step toward ending nearly 8 years of bloodshed.
1988
During a news conference in his hometown of Huntington, Indiana, Republican vice-presidential nominee Dan Quayle defended his service in the National Guard during the Vietnam War.
1990
Iraqi President Saddam Hussein offered to free all foreigners detained in Iraq and Kuwait provided the United States promise to withdraw its forces from Saudi Arabia and guarantee that an international economic embargo would be lifted.
1991
Soviet hard-liners announced that President Mikhail S. Gorbachev had been removed from power. Russian federation President Boris N. Yeltsin, defying the coup plotters, called for a general strike.
1992
The third night of the Republican national convention in Houston, billed as "family values night," featured first lady Barbara Bush and Marilyn Quayle, wife of Vice President Quayle, as speakers.
1993
Dr. George Tiller was shot and wounded outside an abortion clinic in Wichita, Kansas, by Rachelle Shannon, who was later sentenced to eleven years in prison.
1993
Schubert's "Unfinished" Symphony was performed at Tanglewood by the Boston Symphony under Bernard Haitink. But that's just the appetizer. Most of the evening consisted of them and several soloists performing the Third Act of Wagner's "Gotterdammerung."
1994
President Clinton abruptly halted the nation's three-decade open-door policy for Cuban refugees, ordering the Coast Guard to intercept boat people at sea and take them to the U.S. Navy base at Guantanamo Bay.
1995
Three top U.S. diplomats heading to peace talks in Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina, were killed when their armored vehicle plunged off a muddy road and exploded.
1996
A judge sentenced former Arkansas Governor Jim Guy Tucker to four years' probation for his Whitewater crimes.
1996
Ralph Nader accepted the presidential nomination of the Green Party in Los Angeles, denouncing tax breaks for corporations and calling for a "political alternative" to the two mainstream parties.
1997
Carl Drega, a 67-year-old resident of Colebrook, New Hampshire, shot and killed a part-time judge, two state troopers and a newspaper editor before being killed in a gun battle with police.
1998
President Clinton spent a quiet 52nd birthday with his family on Martha's Vineyard as controversy continued to swirl over his admissions to a grand jury concerning his relationship with Monica Lewinsky.
1999
Confronting questions about possible past drug use, Republican presidential candidate George W. Bush told reporters he had not used illegal drugs in 25 years, and added that if voters insisted on knowing more "they can go find somebody else to vote for."
2005
Next Shuttle flight delayed to next year; ISS crew begin spacewalk
2005
Former rebel becomes President of Burundi
2005
Moroccan gets seven years in German 9/11 retrial
2005
Rocket attack on USS Ashland docked in Jordan; another rocket fired at Israeli town
2005
Australian Air Force crews "at war" with Veterans' Affairs over compensation
2005
Merck & Co. found liable for $253.4 million in Texas man's Vioxx-related death
2005
Former British Northern Ireland secretary Mo Mowlam dies
2005
Syrian-born youth killed while building bomb in Norway
2005
China and Russia continue joint army exercise
2005
Explosion in San Francisco injures one, cause unknown
2006
Lebanese security source: Israeli jets open fire in eastern Lebanon
2006
War on Terrorism could continue longer than the Cold War: Australia's Treasurer
2006
Dead mountaineer found after seventeen years
2006
German bomb suspect arrested by police
2006
Ford announces deep production cuts in response to growing losses
2006
Annan: Israel violates cease-fire
2006
Sri Lanka bombs LTTE, aid workers seek access
2006
Top Hamas official seized by Israel
2006
Virtual orchestra opens in London
2006
All Blacks win Tri Nations rugby series
2007
Alice Cooper sets up Christian at-risk youth center in Phoenix, US
2007
Second fire in Pakistani office building this year kills one, injures four
2007
U.S. House Ethics Committee to examine congressional press secretary vandalizing Wikipedia articles with government computer
2007
Tennis: Justine Henin defeats Jelena Jankovic to win Rogers Cup
2007
Utah mine vice president: miners may not be found
2007
HiNet, WCG, and WGT unite holding Taiwanese Gaming Athletes' Qualification
2007
Silesian language granted ISO code
2007
Settlers allegedly steal Palestinian water in the West Bank
2008
Biden's Georgia visit raises speculation about VP nod
2008
Egypt's Shura Council parliament building on fire
2008
New York City residents lift bus off pregnant woman
2008
Teen sex conviction in Australia for Mi-Sex manager
2009
Arrest made over murder of UK gemstone expert in Kenya
2009
Reality TV star sought after model found dead in California dumpster
2009
Michael Jackson doctor posts message on YouTube
2009
F1 driver Massa speaks about accident: "I wasn't scared"
2009
Hurricane Bill now a Category 4 storm
2009
UK film board rejects Japanese horror 'Grotesque'
2010
Nelson Mandela charity official resigns over 'blood diamonds'
2010
US combat forces pull out of Iraq
2012
US Marine Corps blame deadly Morocco Osprey plane crash on pilots
2012
Multiple planes perform aerial spraying over greater Dallas, Texas in effort to combat mosquitoes
2013
Caboolture to play Maroochydore in Sunshine Coast Rugby Union Preliminary Final
2013
General of Egyptian army intends to use full force to stop protests

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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