[an error occurred while processing this directive]
[an error occurred while processing this directive]

Today in History

1878
American Bar Association founded in New York
1936
Basketball great Wilt Chamberlain born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
1938
Singer, songwriter and actor, Kenny Rogers born in Houston, Texas
1939
Star of Mod Squad, actor Clarence Williams III born in New York City
1942
Nazi flag installed atop Mount Elbrus
1956
Golden Globe and Emmy Award winning actress, Kim Cattrall born in Liverpool, England
1959
Eisenhower signs executive order proclaiming Hawaii the 50th state of the union
1986
Toxic volcanic gases kill 1,800 in Cameroon
1131
Death of Baldwin II, King of Jerusalem
1160
Peter Lombard, theologian, writer, dies
1165
Philip Augustus, 1st great Capetian king of France (1179-1223) born
1192
Minamoto Yoritomo named Shogun
1241
Death of Pope Gregory IX
1535
Richard Layton, agent of Henry VIII of England, arrives at Glastonbury Abbey to inquire of conditions
1567
St. Francis de Sales, patron of writers born
1579
French Huguenot leader Henri II, Duke de Rohan-Gi born
1581
Francisco Chamuscado claims Arizona/New Mexico for Spain
1614
Death of Countess Elizabeth Bathory
1621
One widow and eleven maidens consigned to the Virginia colony were ordered to be sold at the rate of 120 pounds of tobacco for each
1642
Composer Johann Friedrich Treiber born
1643
Afonso VI, king of Portugal (1656-67) (mentally ill) born
1647
The bones of Picart, and the living body of Thomas Boulle, are burned
1660
Hubert Gautier, engineer, wrote 1st book on bridge building. born
1680
Pueblo Indians took possession of Santa Fe, New Mexico, after driving out the Spanish.
1689
Composer Jose Pradas Gallen born
1721
Dutch poet Lucretia W van Winter-van Merken born
1794
France surrenders the island of Corsica to the British.
1798
Jules Michelet, French historian who wrote the 24-volume Historie de France born
1808
Arthur Wellesley, later Duke of Wellington, and his British troops defeated the French at the Battle of Vimiero in the Iberian Peninsular War.
1810
One of Napoleon's generals, Marshal Bernadotte, was elected Crown Prince of Sweden using the name Charles John.
1831
Former slave Nat Turner led a violent insurrection in Virginia that kills 57 whites. (He was later executed.)
1841
John Hampton of New Orleans, LA, received a patent for venetian blinds this day.
1858
The famous debates between Senatorial contenders Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas began.
1872
Artist Aubrey Beardsley (Salome) born
1878
The American Bar Association was founded in Saratoga, New York.
1888
William Burroughs of St. Louis, MO, patented his adding machine on this day. It was an invention that bore the name of Burrough's office machine company for many years.
1904
William "Count" Basie, American band leader and composer born
1906
Friz Freleng animator (Bugs Bunny-Emmy 1982) born
1915
Italy declares war on Turkey.
1923
Sportscaster Chris Shenkel (Monday Night Fights) some sources say 1933 born
1928
Jazz musician Art Farmer born
1930
Britain's Princess Margaret born
1932
Actor-director Melvin Van Peebles born
1936
Basketball Hall-of-Famer Wilt Chamberlain born
1938
Singer Kenny Rogers born
1938
The classic recording, Ain't Misbehavin was made this day by Fats Waller.
1939
Actor Clarence Williams the Third born
1939
Singer Harold Reid (The Statler Brothers) born
1940
Exiled Communist revolutionary Leon Trotsky died in Mexico City from wounds inflicted by an assassin.
1942
U.S. Marines turn back the first major Japanese ground attack on Guadalcanal in the Battle of Tenaru. The Second Naval Battle of Guadalcanal spelled the difference between victory and defeat for the United States in the Pacific war.
1944
Singer Jackie DeShannon born
1945
Actress Patty McCormack ("The Bad Seed") born
1945
President Truman ended the Lend-Lease program that had shipped some $50 billion in aid to America's allies during World War Two.
1950
The United Nations moved into its new permanent facilities in York City on land donated by the Rockefeller family.
1951
T-V host Harry Smith born
1952
Rock musician Joe Strummer (The Clash) born
1954
Country musician Nick Kane (The Mavericks) born
1956
Actress Kim Cattrall born
1959
Football quarterback Jim McMahon born
1959
President Eisenhower signed an executive order proclaiming Hawaii the 50th state of the union.
1963
The South Vietnamese Army arrests over 100 Buddhist monks in Saigon. U.S. complicity in the overthrow of South Vietnam's president made it impossible to stay uninvolved in the war.
1968
Soviet forces invade Czechoslovakia because of the country's experiments with a more liberal government.
1971
Rock musician Liam Howlett (Prodigy) born
1975
Actress Alicia Witt ("Cybill") born
1982
A group of Palestinian guerrillas left Lebanon by ship under an evacuation plan mediated by the United States.
1983
Philippine opposition leader Benigno S. Aquino Junior, ending a self-imposed exile in the United States, was shot dead moments after stepping off a plane at Manila International Airport.
1984
Democratic vice-presidential nominee Geraldine Ferraro appeared before reporters in Queens, N.Y., for nearly two hours to field questions about her family's finances, conceding errors, but denying any wrongdoing.
1984
Victoria Roche of Belgium became the first girl to compete in a Little League World Series game. The reserve outfielder played in the annual event held in Williamsport, Pennsylvania - with her brother, starting outfielder Jeremy Roche.
1984
Clint Eastwood was honored with his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in front of the Mann's Chinese Theater.
1985
The United States accused the Soviet Union of using "spy dust" to track the movements of U.S. Embassy personnel in Moscow, a charge rejected by the Kremlin as "absurd."
1986
The Boston Red Sox made history against the Cleveland Indians. The Red Sox defeated the Indians 24-5 - the worst loss in the "Tribe's" 85-year history. Greg Swindell made his major-league pitching debut for the Indians.
1986
More than 1,700 died when toxic gas erupted from a volcanic lake in the West African nation of Cameroon.
1987
Sergeant Clayton Lonetree, the first Marine ever court-martialed for spying, was convicted in Quantico, Virginia, of passing secrets to the KGB after becoming romantically involved with a Soviet woman while serving as a US Embassy guard in Moscow. (Lonetree ended up serving eight years in a military prison, and was released in February 1996.)
1988
More than 1,000 people were killed in an earthquake on the Nepal-India border.
1989
Actress Hayden Panettiere born
1989
The U.S. space probe Voyager 2 fired its thrusters to bring it closer to Neptune's mysterious moon Triton.
1989
Columbian soldiers and police raided the estates of drug lords as part of a crackdown that followed the shooting death of a presidential candidate.
1990
Iraqi President Saddam Hussein delivered a speech in which he defended the detaining of foreigners in his country, and promised "a major catastrophe" should fighting break out in the Persian Gulf.
1991
The hard-line coup against Soviet President Mikhail S. Gorbachev collapsed in the face of a popular uprising led by Russian federation President Boris N. Yeltsin.
1992
The day after the close of the Republican national convention in Houston, the two major party candidates traded hard blows, with President Bush deriding Bill Clinton as a "wishy-washy" leader, and Clinton lashing back at Bush as a "great fearmonger."
1992
NBC News fired correspondent and Gulf War "scud stud" Arthur Kent following two weeks of wrangling over his turning down an assignment to war-torn Croatia.
1992
Fugitive neo-Nazi leader Randall Weaver opened fire on U.S. marshals from inside his Idaho mountaintop home. When the standoff ended 11 days later with his surrender, three people - a deputy marshall, Weaver's wife and teenage son - were dead.
1993
In a serious setback for NASA, engineers lost contact with the Mars Observer spacecraft as it was about to reach the Red Planet on a $980 million mission -- its fate remains unknown.
1994
The House, by a vote of 235 to 195, passed a $30 billion crime bill that banned certain assault-style firearms.
1994
Mexico held its presidential election, which was won by Ernesto Zedillo.
1995
A suicide bomber set off an explosion that tore through two crowded Israeli commuter buses, killing five others. A commuter plane crashed near Carrollton, Ga., killing nine people.
1995
A commuter plane crashed near Carrollton, Georgia, killing nine people.
1995
ABC News settled a $10 billion libel suit by apologizing to Philip Morris for reporting the tobacco giant had manipulated the amount of nicotine in its cigarettes.
1996
President Clinton signed the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, aimed at making health insurance easier to obtain and keep.
1996
Christie Lee Woods, 18, of Texas, crowned 14th Miss Teen USA
1996
Netscape Browser 3.0 is released
1997
Hudson Foods Company's plant in Nebraska closed, agreeing to destroy some 25 million pounds of hamburger after the largest meat recall in US history.
1997
Typhoon Winnie kills 140, injures 3,000 in East China
1998
Samuel Bowers, a 73-year-old former Ku Klux Klan leader, was convicted in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, of ordering a 1966 firebombing that killed civil rights activist Vernon Dahmer.
1999
President Clinton urged Americans to contribute to the relief effort for Turkey, where the death toll from an earthquake four days earlier topped 12,000; it eventually reached 17,000.
2005
Australian parliamentary security officers allowed to address members as 'mates' again
2005
One million pilgrims attend open-air mass with Pope
2005
Gastric bypass surgery performed by remote control
2005
Inter Milan victorious in Italian Super Cup
2005
Space shuttle Discovery back in Florida
2006
Australia to detain Burmese boatpeople on Nauru
2006
NASA chooses Woomera, South Australia for rocket launch site
2006
Indian shehnai Maestro Ustad Bismillah Khan Passes Away
2006
New Zealand riot police use batons to disperse unruly pub-crawl
2006
Channel Tunnel closed after smoke seen coming from train
2006
JonBenet Ramsey murder suspect back in America
2006
Google re-opens online word processor service
2006
Demand for biofuel irrigation worsens global water crisis
2006
UK soldier killed in Afghanistan named by Ministry of Defence
2006
NASA discovers new evidence of dark matter
2006
Manhunt underway after woman and her three children found dead
2006
11 suspects in UK air bomb plot charged
2006
Hungary's St Stephen's Day hit by storm: 3 left dead
2006
Manhunt underway for 2 murders in Virginia; Virginia Tech closed
2006
Buffalo, N.Y. restaurant to end nearly 30-year tradition
2007
Tarantino wades through Manila floods
2007
John Key admits to visiting strip clubs
2007
Last missing body from Minnesota bridge collapse found
2007
HiNet, WCG, and WGT 3-in-1 Taiwan Gaming Athletes Qualification: A brand new lineup
2007
Space Shuttle Endeavour to return to Earth on Tuesday
2007
Team formed to investigate suspicious Pakistan PNSC office fire
2007
West Virginia University regains title as number 1 party school
2007
Weakening Dean makes landfall on Mexican coast
2007
MAKS Airshow opens up in Russia
2007
25 killed as bus crashes into river gorge in Kashmir, Pakistan
2007
Floods in midwest and plains kill over 20
2007
Finnish unemployment rate hits 16-year low at 5.9% for July
2007
England beat India in one-day cricket series opener
2007
Helicopter accident in Afghanistan wounds three Italian soldiers
2007
NFL star, Michael Vick, pleads guilty to dog fighting charges
2008
Olympic highlights: August 21, 2008
2008
Garlic bread that turns blue is recalled in Australia
2008
Former Georgian Minister accuses Saakashvili of war mongering
2008
Eldest son of Khadr family denied bail; purchased weapons for Afghan militants
2008
Campaign offices for John McCain evacuated in Centennial, Colorado and Manchester, New Hampshire, USA
2008
Iran tries to launch satellite with Safir carrier rocket
2008
US Congresswoman Stephanie Tubbs Jones dies at age 58
2008
Shooting at school leaves one dead in Tennessee, United States
2009
Michael Jackson's burial postponed
2009
Convicted murderer Leonard Peltier again denied parole
2009
Stock markets worldwide rise on hopes of US economic recovery
2009
Police charge two people for leaking database of BNP members
2009
Formula 1: Barrichello and Alonso top timesheets at European GP Friday Practice
2009
Presidential election held in Afghanistan
2010
Australian judge delivers verdict on burqas in court
2010
Gas leak causes panic in Santa Cruz, Chile
2010
Australian remake of Iron Chef launched
2010
Stockholm chief prosecutor quashes arrest warrant for Wikileaks editor-in-chief
2011
Egypt recalls envoy in Israel
2011
Guyana president's libel case heard in court
2011
Officer held after phone-hacking investigation 'leak'
2011
La Liga fixtures face delay due to players' strike
2012
Pressure mounts on US Senate candidate Todd Akin to withdraw after controversial rape comments
2012
Greg Smith named as Australia's Paralympic Games flag-bearer
2017
Next total solar eclipse visible from North America.

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.

Select a section