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Today in History

1904
Automobile tire chain patented
1912
Academy and Emmy Award winning actor, singer and dancer Gene Kelly born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
1929
Typist, Miss Kansas, and actress, Vera Miles born Vera June Ralston in Boise City, Oklahoma
1934
Singer and actress, Barbara Eden born in Tuscon, Arizona
1949
Golden Globe and Emmy Award winning actress Shelley Long born in Fort Wayne, Indiana
1957
DEC founded
1966
Lunar Orbiter 1 photographs Earth
1973
Intelsat communication satellite launched
1990
Independence Day in Armenia
476
Odoacer proclaimed King of Italy
634
Abu Bakr, the Upright, 2nd Moslem Caliph, dies1244 expel the crusaders under Frederick II from Jerusalem.
1285
Death of St. Philip Benizi
1305
Scottish patriot William Wallace is hanged, drawn, beheaded, and quartered in London.
1358
Death of Isabella, widow of King Edward II of England
1486
Austrian diplomat Siegmund Freiherr von Herberstein born
1591
Death of Luis de Leon, writer and mystic
1593
Italian poet Fulvio Testi (Pianto d'Italia) born
1617
1st 1-way streets established (London)
1711
A British attempt to invade Canada by sea fails.
1727
Composer Friedrich Hartmann Graf born
1740
Ivan VI, Emperor of Russia 1740-41 born
1754
France's King Louis XVI was born at Versailles. King from (1774-93) eventually guillotined born
1755
French geographer Jean Baptiste Lislet-Geoffroy born
1769
French zoologist Georges Cuvier (La RŠgne Animal) born
1773
German philosopher Jakob F Fries born
1775
King George III of England refuses the American colonies' offer of peace and declares them in open rebellion.
1785
American naval hero Oliver Hazard Perry. born
1809
Polish poet Juliusz Slowacki (Trip to H Land) born
1819
Oliver Hazard Perry naval hero, dies on 34th birthday.
1838
One of the first colleges for women, Mount Holyoke Female Seminary in South Hadley, Massachusetts, graduated its first students.
1869
Poet and novelist Edgar Lee Masters born
1879
Composer Alfreds Kalnins born
1881
Dutch painter and graphic artist Louis Schelfhout born
1883
Gen. Jonathan Wainwright, hero of Bataan in World War II born
1884
Humorist Will Cuppy born
1886
Composer Gottfried Rudinger born
1887
Dutch actor and playwright Jo Sternheim (Fatherland) born
1900
Ernst Krenek was born in Vienna. Krenek's first and only major success came early, in 1927. "Jonny spielt auf," usually referred to in English as "Johnny Strikes Up the Band," is an opera that uses every musical style from atonality to jazz.
1900
Booker T. Washington forms the National Negro Business League in Boston, Massachusetts.
1905
Cartoonist Ernie Bushmiller (creator of "Nancy") born
1912
Dancer, actor Gene Kelly (Singin' in the Rain, An American in Paris, Anchors Aweigh,The Three Musketeers, Marjorie Morningstar, Inherit the Wind, North and South Book I; director: Singin' in the Rain, Hello, Dolly!, A Guide for the Married Man, The Cheyenne Social Club) born
1914
The Emperor of Japan declares war on Germany.
1917
Singer Tex Williams ( Smoke, Smoke, Smoke [that Cigarette], Shame on You, The Rose of the Alamo, Bluebird on Your Windowsill, Bottom of a Mountain) born
1920
Massachusetts Governor Michael S. Dukakis born
1926
Movie director Robert Mulligan ("Summer of '42") born
1926
Silent film star Rudolph Valentino died in New York at age 31. Italian-born heartthrob Rudolph Valentino died prematurely in New York City of peritonitis.The preeminent male sex symbol of the silent movie era, Rudolf Valentino brought millions of female fans into movie theaters and created Hollywood's prototypical "Latin Lover" character with his suave, passionate performances in films such as the "The Sheik". His funeral brought throngs of adoring women to tears and sent fans into hysteric mourning.
1927
Italian-born anarchists Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti were executed in Boston for the murders of two men during a payroll robbery
1931
(or 1929) Actress Vera Miles (The Wrong Man, Psycho, The FBI Story, Autumn Leaves, Into the Night, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, Sergeant Ryker, Jigsaw, Our Family Business) born
1932
Political satirist Mark Russell born
1933
California Governor Pete Wilson born
1934
Actress Barbara Eden born
1938
Actor Ronny Cox born
1939
Joseph Stalin and German Foreign Minister Joachim von Ribbentrop sign a non-aggression pact between the Soviet Union and Germany, freeing Hitler to invade Poland and Stalin to invade Finland. Less than two years later, Germany launched a blitzkrieg attack on Russia.
1940
Actor Richard Sanders born
1942
Ballet dancer Patricia McBride born
1942
German forces begin an assault on the major Soviet industrial city of Stalingrad. The Krummer Lauf allowed German infantry and motorized artillery units to actually fire around corners.
1944
Former Surgeon General Antonia Novello born
1944
German SS engineers began placing explosive charges around the Eiffel Tower in Paris. Adolf Hitler had decreed that Paris should be left a smoking ruin, but Dietrich von Choltitz thought better of his Fuehrer’s order
1945
The conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic, Leo Borchard, was shot dead at an American checkpoint when his driver ignored an order to halt.
1947
An audience at the Hollywood Bowl heard President Truman's daughter, Margaret, give her first public concert as a singer.
1947
Country singer Rex Allen Junior born
1949
Actress Shelley Long born
1949
Actor-singer Rick Springfield born
1949
Country singer-musician Woody Paul (Riders in the Sky) born
1950
Up to 77,000 members of the U.S. Army Organized Reserve Corps are called involuntarily to active duty to fight the Korean War.
1951
Queen Noor of Jordan born
1951
Actor-producer Mark Hudson (The Hudson Brothers) born
1958
Marie Ashton completes playing piano a female record 133 hours
1960
Broadway librettist Oscar Hammerstein II died in Doylestown, Pennsylvania.
1961
Rock musician Dean DeLeo (Stone Temple Pilots) born
1970
Actor River Phoenix (Running on Empty, Stand By Me, This Thing Called Love, Sneakers, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Little Nikita, The Mosquito Coast, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers) born
1971
Actor Jay Mohr born
1972
The Republican national convention, meeting in Miami Beach, Florida, nominated Vice President Spiro T. Agnew for a second term.
1979
Soviet dancer Alexander Godunov defected while the Bolshoi Ballet was on tour in New York. He died May 18, 1995 at age 45
1982
Beirut Christian leader Beshir Gemayel was elected president of Lebanon. He was assassinated less than one month later and was succeeded by his brother, Amin.
1982
Gaylord Perry was tossed out of a game for throwing an illegal spitball. Perry, pitching for the Seattle Mariners, was given the heave-ho by the home plate umpire in the seventh inning of the game.
1984
South Fork Ranch, the home of the fictitious Ewing clan of the CBS-TV show "Dallas" was sold. The ranch, a 200-acre spread near Dallas, Texas, was to be transformed from a tourist site into a hotel, according to the new owners.
1984
President Reagan accepted the nomination of the Republican national convention in Dallas, declaring the Democrats were "openly committed to increasing your tax burden."
1985
Rev. Jerry Falwell said his statement calling South African Bishop Desmond Tutu a "phony" was a poor choice of words. But Falwell said he still believed Tutu did not speak for the majority of black South Africans.
1986
Gennady Zakharov, a physicist assigned to the United Nations, was arrested by the FBI and charged with espionage. (Zakharov's arrest was followed a week later by the arrest of American journalist Nicholas Daniloff in the Soviet Union.)
1986
Darrell Waltrip became the first race car driver to earn $7 million in a racing career.
1987
It was called a "Union of Great Minds," Robert Jarvik, who invented the artificial heart, and Marilyn Mach vos Savant, who has an IQ of 228, married.
1987
Seven Democratic presidential hopefuls traded gentle barbs at a debate in Des Moines, Iowa, with Massachusetts Governor Michael S. Dukakis repeatedly called upon to defend his claims of economic revival in his state.
1988
Some striking workers in Poland ended a walkout that had begun a week earlier, but 125 miners barricaded themselves in an underground shaft, vowing to stay until they'd won their demands.
1989
In a case that inflamed racial tensions in New York, Yusuf Hawkins, a 16-year-old black youth, was shot dead after he and his friends were confronted by white youths in the Bensonhurst section of Brooklyn.
1990
Iraqi state television showed President Saddam Hussein meeting a group of about 20 Western detainees, telling the group -- whom he described as "guest" -- that they were being held "to prevent the scourge of war."
1991
In the wake of a failed coup by hard-liners in the Soviet Union, President Mikhail S. Gorbachev and Russian President Boris N. Yeltsin acted to strip the Communist Party of its power and take control of the army and the KGB.
1992
Hurricane "Andrew" slammed into the Bahamas with 120 mile-an-hour winds.
1992
Three people were killed when their truck was struck at a railroad crossing by an Amtrak passenger train in Wallingford, Connecticut.
1992
James A. Baker the Third bowed out as Secretary of State after three and a-half years to become White House chief of staff.
1993
Los Angeles police confirmed that pop star Michael Jackson was the subject of a criminal investigation.
1993
Former Detroit police officers Larry Nevers and Walter Budzyn were convicted of second-degree murder in the fatal beating of black motorist Malice Green (however, both convictions were later overturned; Budzyn was subsequently convicted of involuntary manslaughter in a retrial and sentenced to time already served; Nevers was convicted of involuntary manslaughter in May, 2000. He was sentenced to 7-15 years in prison. In March, 2003 this conviction was overturned by the State Appeals Court, but in September, 2003, the State Supreme Court upheld that conviction. During this process Nevers was treated for lung cancer, and was released in 2001 to serve the rest of his sentence at home)
1994
Republican senators threatened to thwart a $30 billion anti-crime bill unless Democrats accepted changes in the House-passed measure; President Clinton appealed for bipartisan cooperation.
1995
During a memorial service at Fort Myer, Va., President Clinton eulogized three U.S. diplomats killed in a road accident near Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina, and vowed to carry on the struggle for peace in the Balkans.
1995
Life magazine photographer Alfred Eisenstaedt died on Martha's Vineyard at age 96.
1996
President Clinton imposed limits on peddling cigarettes to children as he unveiled Food and Drug Administration regulations declaring nicotine an addictive drug.
1996
A jury in Indianapolis found cigarette companies were not responsible for the lung cancer death of a 52-year-old lawyer who began smoking at age five.
1997
In his weekly radio address, President Clinton said he would ask Congress to renew his authority for speedy negotiation of trade agreements, saying the "fast track" approach was needed to make US companies more competitive worldwide.
1998
Boris Yeltsin again dismissed the Russian government, replacing his 36-year-old prime minister, Sergei Kiriyenko, with the Soviet-style leader he'd fired five months earlier, Viktor Chernomyrdin.
1999
Fifty years after the German government moved to the capital of Bonn, Berlin reclaimed its role as a center of power in Germany with the arrival of Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder.
1999
The Dow Jones industrial average soared 199.15 to a new record of 11,209.84.
2005
Hiker missing from US state of Utah wilderness found in Australia
2005
New Zealand general election: National, Labour TV debate
2005
Massive floods in Bavaria, Austria, Switzerland
2005
Religious broadcaster Pat Robertson calls for assassination of Venezuela's president
2005
UK guinea pig farm to close after owner's family grave robbed
2005
Indiana senator testing waters for 2008 U.S. presidential bid
2005
Israel completes Gaza strip, West Bank pull-outs
2005
Australian current affairs TV program accused of inciting religious hatred
2005
Canada considers trade retaliation against the U.S.
2005
Thousands expected to protest at Forbes Global CEO conference in Sydney
2005
Lance Armstrong accused of EPO doping
2005
Draft constitution pushed into Iraqi parliament
2005
Officials of Fanmi Lavalas party threaten boycott
2005
'Piano Man' speaks and is identified, returns home to Germany
2005
Archaeologists find 1.8M-year-old Homo erectus skull
2006
Australia to subsidise Herceptin for early-stage breast cancer
2006
Bobby Robson to undergo cancer surgery
2006
New Zealand Governor-General sworn in
2006
Amnesty International accuses Israel of "war crimes" in Lebanon
2006
Woman and man arrested over multiple deaths
2006
Thousands watch Boobs on Bikes parade in Auckland
2006
Bobby Robson recovering from operation
2006
Disease outbreak feared after mass hysteria over "sweet" water in Mumbai
2006
Forest fire in Chalkidiki peninsula causes political tension in Greece
2006
US Box Office Breaks Out for August 23, 2006
2006
Pakistani-born Australian sentenced to 20 years over terrorism offences
2006
Karr waives extradition, will face charges in Colorado
2006
Canadian soldier kills 10 year old Afghan boy
2006
Tottenham comfortably beat Sheffield United 2-0
2006
12 arrested after India-bound flight escorted back to Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport
2007
Virgin opens up service in New Zealand
2007
New fossils from 10 million year old ape found in Ethiopia
2007
Scottish archaeology student discovers 5,000 year old chewing gum in Finland
2007
FIFA U-17 World Cup: Ghana vs. Germany
2007
Salvage operation begins to retrieve black boxes from Adam Air Flight 574
2007
Utah mine co-owner: this will be the last chance for the missing miners
2007
Two arrests made over Croxteth shooting
2007
U.S. heat wave kills at least 50
2008
US candidate Barack Obama announces Joe Biden as his running mate via text message
2008
Calls for bottled water bans grow in Canada
2008
Small plane crashes in Utah, USA killing all aboard
2008
First Obama–Biden campaign rally held in Illinois, United States
2008
Olympic highlights: August 23, 2008
2008
Pakistan's President Musharraf resigns; new elections to be held
2009
Director of design for the 2010 Winter Olympics dies suddenly at 40
2009
Greece wildfires force thousands to evacuate
2009
Over 100 Shiite rebels killed in Yemen, government says
2009
Afghan election rival accuses incumbent Karzai of vote rigging
2009
Australian offshore drilling rig leaks oil, could take weeks to plug
2010
Tropical Storm Danielle forms in Atlantic Ocean
2010
German director Christoph Schlingensief dies at age 49
2010
Lou Piniella retires after fifty years of baseball
2010
Australian federal election 2010: Parliament hung
2010
Former Yugoslavian footballer Stjepan Bobek dies aged 86
2011
Former Wikileaks employee destroys unpublished leaked documents
2011
Pakistan government must investigate killings and abductions of journalists, says UN
2011
New York executive files $60 million libel lawsuit over insurance scandal
2011
Social networks asked to visit UK Home Office after riots
2011
Magnitude 5.8 earthquake in Virginia felt up and down U.S. east coast, Pentagon evacuated
2012
South African farm worker gets life for Terre'Blanche murder
2012
1964 Australian Paralympic medalist Trevor French dies
2013
Syrian army bombs Damascus suburbs after allegedly using chemical weapons on them

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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