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Today in History

55
BC
Julius Caesar's forces invade Britain.
1743
Scientist Antoine Lavoisier, who demonstrated that burning involves the combination of a substance with oxygen, born in Paris, France
1910
Nobel Peace Prize recipient, Mother Teresa born Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu in Skopje, Macedonia
1920
19th Amendment to US Constitution adopted
1935
First female Vice Presidential candidate, Geraldine Ferraro born in Newburgh, New York
1944
Singer, songwriter and Velvet Underground's drummer, Maureen "Moe" Tucker born in Levittown, New York
1968
The Beatles release Hey Jude
1987
President Reagan declares September 11th "9-1-1 Emergency Number Day"
846
Basilica of St. Peter plundered by Saracens, Rome
1278
Death of Attakar II, King of Bohemia
1346
Edward III of England defeated Philip VI of France at Crecy, in the first battle where an English cannon was used.
1429
Jeanne d'Arc enters Paris
1498
Michelangelo commissioned to make the "Pieta." The work was completed in 1501.
1541
Turkish Sultan Suleiman I takes Buda (again), annexes Hungary
1542
The Duchy of Lorraine becomes independent of the German empire
1545
Pietro Farnese establishes the Duchy of Parma and Piacenza. Pope Paul III names his son Pierluigi Farnese, duke of Parma.
1565
The "Chase-about Raid" forces Moray and his supporters to flee
1596
Frederik V, king of Bohemia (White Mountain) born
1618
Frederick V elected as King of Bohemia
1627
Composer Thomas Bullis born
1629
Cambridge Agreement pledged. Massachusetts Bay Co. stockholders agreed to emigrate to New England.
1666
Frans Hals, Dutch painter, dies
1676
British statesman Sir Robert Walpole born
1687
Dutch violinist and composer Willem the Fesch born
1740
France, aeronaut (ballooning) Joseph Montgolfier born
1743
French scientist Antoine Lavoisier, the founder of modern chemistry born
1791
John Fitch granted a US patent for his working steamboat
1811
Brig General Danville Leadbetter (Confederate Army), died in 1866 born
1813
Flemish painter Nicaise de Keyser (Battle of Guilder Tracks) born
1823
Composer Wilhelm Troszel born
1838
Actor John Wilkes Booth, shot and killed U.S. President Abraham Lincoln at Ford's Theatre in Washington, DC. born
1842
On this day the U.S. Congress established the fiscal year -- which begins on July 1st.
1846
Felix Mendelssohn led the premiere of his oratorio "Elijah" in the Town Hall in Birmingham, England. Its success made Mendelssohn an important figure in England, where the music of Handel had already created a strong oratorio performance tradition.
1847
Liberia was proclaimed an independent republic.
1871
Paper was invented by the Chines in 580. It took the Western World 100 years to catch up. Toilet paper took a while longer. It was first sold on a roll this day in 1871.
1873
Lee de Forest, known as the father of radio born
1873
The first kindergarten public school opens in St Louis.
1882
Vicar and church historian Johannes Lindeboom born
1882
James Franck, German naturalist (Nobel 1925) born
1883
The Dutch East Indies volcano Krakatoa began an explosive eruption that destroyed two-thirds of the island and killed 36,000 people. The blast was heard thousands of miles away.
1884
Author Earl Biggers ("Charlie Chan" detective series) born
1885
French novelist, playwright and poet Jules Romains (Men of Good Will) born
1900
Gabriel Faure's "Prometheus" was performed without much scenery at an open air concert in France. This was from necessity rather than choice, lightning had struck the sets.
1901
The New Testament of the ASV (American Standard Version) Bible was first published.
1906
Bacteriologist Albert Sabin, discoverer of an oral vaccine for polio born
1907
Houdini escapes from chains underwater at Aquatic Park in 57 seconds.
1910
Mahler was psychoanalyzed by Sigmund Freud. People have been psychoanalyzing Mahler's music ever since.
1915
Actor Jim Davis (Inferno in Paradise, Little Big Horn, The Outcast) born
1919
Singer / Actor Ronny Graham (Chico and the Man, The New Bill Cosby Show, The Hudson Brothers Show, The Bob Crane Show) born
1920
American women won the right to vote as the 19th amendment to the U.S. Constitution took effect.
1921
Former "Washington Post" Executive Editor Benjamin C. Bradlee born
1922
Brodcast journalist Irving Levine born
1929
The first US roller coaster built
1933
Author Ben J. Wattenberg born
1935
Former Democratic vice-presidential nominee Geraldine Ferraro born
1937
Comedian Don Bowman born
1939
WXBS televised 2 games between the Cincinnati Reds and the Brooklyn Dodgers. These were the first televised major league baseball games.
1942
Singer Vic Dana (Red Roses for a Blue Lady) born
1946
George Orwell published "Animal Farm."
1948
Singer Valerie Simpson born
1949
Pop singer Bob Cowsill born
1952
Actor Michael Jeter born
1956
Actor Brett Cullen born
1957
The Soviet Union announced it had successfully tested an intercontinental ballistic missile.
1957
The Ford Motor Company rolled out the first Edsel automobile on this day. 110,847 of the cars were built before Ford pulled the plug due to lack of sales and the negative press received about the ugly car. The car was named Edsel for the company founder's son, Edsel Bryant Ford.
1960
Jazz musician Branford Marsalis born
1961
Country musician Jimmy Olander (Diamond Rio) born
1961
The official International Hockey Hall of Fame opened in Toronto.
1964
President Johnson was nominated for a term of office in his own right at the Democratic national convention in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Senator Hubert Humphrey was nominated as the Vice Presidential canidate on the Democratic ticket. They won in November.
1965
Actor Chris Burke ("Life Goes On") born
1969
Rock musician Adrian Young (No Doubt) born
1972
The summer Olympics games opened in Munich, West Germany.
1974
Charles Lindbergh -- the first man to fly solo, non-stop across the Atlantic -- died at his home in Hawaii at the age of 72.
1978
Cardinal Albino Luciani of Venice was elected the 264th Pope of the Roman Catholic Church following the death of Paul the Sixth. The new pontiff took the name Pope John Paul the First.
1980
Actor Macaulay Culkin born
1985
13-year-old AIDS patient Ryan White began "attending" classes at Western Middle School in Kokomo, Indiana, via a telephone hook-up at his home. School officials had barred Ryan from attending classes in person.
1986
In the so-called ''preppie murder'' case, 18-year-old Jennifer Levin was found strangled in New York's Central Park; Robert Chambers later pleaded guilty to manslaughter.
1987
In an attempt to eliminate a superpower stumbling block, West German Chancellor Helmut Kohl said his country would destroy its 72 "Pershing One-A" rockets if Washington and Moscow scrapped all their intermediate-range nuclear weapons.
1988
Republican presidential nominee George Bush denounced Democrat Michael Dukakis' criticism of Reagan administration drug policies as "an insult," one day after the Massachusetts governor had said US dealings with Panamanian General Manuel Noriega were "criminal."
1989
The Little League baseball team from Trumbull, Connecticut, won the Little League World Series in Williamsport, Penn., by defeating a team from Taiwan, becoming the first American team since 1983 to win the title.
1990
55 Americans who had been evacuated from the U.S. Embassy in Kuwait left Baghdad by car, headed for the Turkish border.
1990
The bodies of two slain college students were found in their off-campus apartment in Gainesville, Florida, three more bodies were discovered in the days that followed, setting off a wave of panic.
1991
In an address to the Supreme Soviet, the Soviet Union's national legislature, President Mikhail S. Gorbachev promised national elections in a last-ditch effort to preserve his government, but leaders of Soviet republics told him the hour of central power had passed.
1992
The US, Britain and France imposed a "no-fly zone" over the southern one-third of Iraq aimed at protecting Iraqi Shiite Muslims.
1992
A federal judge declared a mistrial in the Iran-Contra coverup trial of former CIA spy chief Clair George. (George was convicted of perjury in a retrial, but was then pardoned by President Bush.)
1993
Landlady Dorothea Puente was convicted in Monterey, California, of murdering three of her boardinghouse tenants; she was later sentenced to life without parole.
1993
Sheik Omar Abdel-Rahman and 14 co-defendants entered innocent pleas in federal court in New York, a day after their indictment on charges of conspiring to wage terrorism against the United States.
1994
Congressional leaders and White House officials all but conceded that a health reform bill was dead for the year.
1995
In his weekly radio address, President Clinton explained his decision to impose a two-year moratorium on mining claims on 4,500 acres of federal land near the northeast corner of Yellowstone National Park, saying the federal land was ''more priceless than gold.''
1996
Barbara Jewell, mother of security guard Richard Jewell, tearfully called on President Clinton to clear her son's name in connection with the Centennial Olympic Park bombing. (Jewell was later cleared by the Justice Department.)
1996
A Cuban court convicted fugitive US financier Robert Vesco of economic crimes.
1996
Democrats opened their 42nd national convention in Chicago.
1996
The former military ruler of South Korea, Chun Doo-hwan, was sentenced to death for mutiny, treason and embezzlement.
1997
Former South African President F.W. de Klerk, who shared the Nobel Peace Prize for helping to end apartheid, resigned as leader of the party that had created the practice.
1998
Attorney General Janet Reno reopened the investigation of the assassination of civil rights leader Martin Luther King Junior, focusing on two allegations of a conspiracy beyond James Earl Ray.
1998
Hurricane "Bonnie" drifted ashore in North Carolina and began creeping up the coast, packing heavy rains and high winds.
1999
Attorney General Janet Reno pledged that a new investigation of the 1993 Waco, Texas, siege would "get to the bottom" of how the FBI used potentially flammable tear gas grenades against her wishes and then took six years to admit it.
2005
Controversial Berlin opera features interactive drug usage
2005
Man allowed to keep deceased friend in warehouse freezer
2005
Iberia burning: forest fires rage across Portugal
2005
World Health Organization declares tuberculosis emergency in Africa
2005
Montreal lab questions ethics of recent EPO doping claims against Lance Armstrong
2005
Hurricane Katrina strikes Florida, kills seven
2005
Hotel quarantined after anthrax scare in US state of Michigan
2005
Tropical Storm Katrina threatens Florida, Bahamas
2006
Courtrooms in Ontario to get cameras
2006
Congo electoral commissioner condemns Kinshasha clashes
2006
Umpire Darrell Hair offers to quit ICC elite panel for $500,000
2006
All-Ferrari front row on Turkish Grand Prix
2006
Iran inaugurates heavy-water production plant
2006
Bloc Quebecois says no to reversing gay marriage
2006
South Africa lose to the All Blacks at rugby in Pretoria
2006
Pakistan: Nawab Akbar Bugti Killed in Baluchistan
2006
British Airways flight makes emergency landing in Iceland, terrorism ruled out
2006
Four year-old boy battered with a brick in East Yorkshire
2006
The Green Party of Canada to elect new leader
2006
Elizabeth May elected leader of Canada's Green Party
2006
Freesolo rock climber John Bachar injured in fatal car accident
2007
130M-year-old fossil crocodile skull unearthed on coast of Dorset, UK
2007
Truck crashes into British Columbia wedding party, killing six
2007
FIFA U-17 World Cup: Germany tops Group F
2007
Health Canada issues further warning on toothpaste from India
2007
13 dead as cargo plane crashes in Congo
2007
Building collapse in Barbados traps family
2007
Investigators discover hole in fuel tank of burnt-out China Airlines jet
2007
South African cricket team in Zimbabwe - 3rd ODI
2007
Person from Indiana wins $314 million Powerball jackpot
2007
Loss of integrity in underground city tunnel causes evacuation of Downtown Montreal
2007
Stabilized forest fires in Greece intensify again; 2 arrested
2008
Study: Herd animals detect Earth's magnetic field
2008
US presidential race tied as the Democratic National Convention starts
2008
Staffs for US presidential candidates John McCain and Barack Obama caught making questionable edits to Wikipedia
2009
Tropical Storm Danny to threaten the U.S. East Coast this weekend
2009
Afghan president Karzai widens lead in early voting count
2009
Senator Ted Kennedy dies at age 77
2009
Pakistan Taliban say Baitullah Mehsud is dead
2009
Wikipedia plans to introduce new editing restrictions on articles
2009
Obama renominates Bernanke as US central banker
2009
White House predicts US debt will double in 10 years
2011
Retired policeman arrested in connection with murdered journalist Anna Politkovskaya
2012
New research shows over 400 languages originated in Turkey
2012
US astronaut Neil Armstrong dies
2012
Paralympic Village occupied by competitors as nations ready for the Games
2012
Algerian Paralympic coaches express optimism
2013
Hundreds of Czech far-right activists detained after anti-Roma protests
2013
Drone smartphone app to help heart attack victims in remote areas announced
2013
Migrant train derails in Tabasco, Mexico
2013
Australian tennis ace Stosur splits with long-term coach on verge of US Open
2013
United States spies accused of illegally bugging the United Nations headquarters
2013
China hit by biggest cyberattack to date

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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