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Today in History

LOTR...
Saruman enters the Shire
Terminator...
1997
Skynet becomes self-aware
1809
Physician, author and poet, Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr born in Cambridge, Massachusetts
1915
Academy Award winning actress, Ingrid Bergman born in Stockholm, Sweden
1938
Academy Award nominated actor, Elliott Gould born in Brooklyn, New York
1958
13 time Grammy Award winning singer, Michael Jackson born in Gary, Indiana
1966
The Beatles perform last public concert. It was at Candlestick Park in San Francisco.
1975
A star in Cygnus goes nova
2005
Hurricane Katrina hits New Orleans
30
Beheading of St. John, the Baptist (Traditional date)
70
Romans burn the gates and enter the Temple courtyards of Jerusalem. The temple is destroyed by fire. Within a month, Jewish resistance ends.
284
Gen Gaius Aurelius V Diocletianus Jovius (3) becomes emperor of Rome
284
Origin of Era of Diocletian (Martyrs)
1178
Anti-Pope Callistus III gives pope title to Alexander III
1179
Castle Chastelet falls to Saladin
1261
Election of Pope Urban IV
1387
Henry V, king of England (1413-22) and France (1416-19) born
1434
Hungarian poet and translator Janus Pannonius born
1475
England again invades France
1475
Treaty of Picquigny
1476
Kano Motonobu co-founder (Kano school of painting) born
1484
Election of Pope Innocent VIII
1512
Return of the Medici to Florence
1512
Capture of Prato by the Spanish
1526
The defeat of Hungarian army by Ottoman Turks; death of Lajos II, King of Hungary
1533
Atahualpa, last of the Inca rulers, was strangled under orders of Spanish conqueror Francisco Pizarro. The Inca empire died with him.
1561
German mathematician Bartholomeus Pitiscus (Trigonometry) born
1609
Italian painter Sassoferrato (Madonna) born
1619
French minister of Naval Jean-Baptiste Colbert born
1632
John Locke. He emphasized Reason over the supernatural, and argued that the essence of Christianity is the acknowledgement of Christ as Messiah, who was sent to our world primarily to spread the true knowledge of God. born
1645
Death of Grotius
1661
Death of Louis Couperin, French Baroque composer.
1792
Charles G. Finney, American revivalist and educator. Originally trained in law, he was converted to Christian faith at age 29, conducted revival services for eight years and, from 1835 until his death, maintained a close affiliation with Oberlin College in Ohio. born
1809
Oliver Wendell Holmes born
1811
Henry Bergh, founder of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals born
1828
This day, Robert Turner of Ward, MA, received a patent for his self-regulating, wagon brake.
1833
The Factory Act was passed in England. It was legislation to settle child labor laws.
1852
The Latter Day Saints first published their doctrine of "celestial marriage," popularly known as polygamy. The Mormon Church maintained this teaching until the Manifest of 1890 (and later Congressional legislation) outlawed the practice.
1859
Giuseppina married Giuseppe when a singer named Giuseppina Strepponi became Verdi's wife, after ten years of living with the composer.
1867
The Social Brethren were officially organized in Illinois. Today, there are about 1,000 total members of this small, evangelistic denomination, with most churches located in Illinois, Michigan and Indiana. Church doctrine is a blend of Methodist and Baptist polity.
1876
Automotive inventor Charles Kettering born
1877
The second president of the Mormon Church, Brigham Young, died in Salt Lake City, Utah.
1885
The first prize fight under the Marquis of Queensberry Rules was held in Cincinnati, Ohio. John L. Sullivan defeated Dominick McCaffery in six rounds.
1896
The Chinese-American dish chop suey was invented in New York City by the chef to visiting Chinese Ambassador Li Hung-chang.
1908
Death of Lewis H. Redner, 78, American Episcopal organist. Maintaining a keen interest in music all his life, Redner composed ST. LOUIS, the tune to which today is most commonly sung Phillips Brooks' Christmas hymn, "O Little Town of Bethlehem."
1912
Actor Barry Sullivan (Patrick Barry) (The Bad and the Beautiful, The Road West, Oh, God!, Earthquake, The Bastard) born
1914
'Arizonan' is the 1st vessel to arrive in SF via the Panama Canal.
1915
Actress Ingrid Bergman born
1916
Actor George Montgomery born
1917
Death of Ernest W. Shurtleff, 55, American Congregational clergyman and author of the hymn, "Lead On, O King Eternal." Shurtleff died during World War I, while doing relief work along with his wife.
1920
Actor Charles White born
1920
Musician Charlie (Charles Christoper) Parker, Jr. ('The Bird': saxophone: Now's the Time, Yardbird Suite Confirmation, Relaxin' at Camarillo) born
1921
Auto racer Wendell Scott. born
1923
Actor-director Sir Richard Attenborough (Jurassic Park, Miracle on 34th Street, Dr. Dolittle, The Great Escape; director: Chaplin, Ghandi, A Bridge Too Far) born
1924
Singer Dinah Washington (Ruth Lee Jones) ( What A Diff'rence a Day Makes, It Could Happen to You, Our Love is Here to Stay, For All We Know, Baby Get Lost) born
1938
Actor Elliott Gould born
1939
Movie director William Friedkin (The French Connection born
1941
TV personality Robin Leach born
1943
Responding to a clampdown by Nazi occupiers, Denmark managed to scuttle most of its naval ships.
1944
15,000 American troops marched down the Champs Elysees in Paris as the French capital continued to celebrate its liberation from the Nazis.
1952
Today is the anniversary of one of classical music's most unusual and influential compositions. An audience in Woodstock, New York, heard a composition by John Cage called "Four Minutes and Thirty-three Seconds" (4'33").
1953
Actress Deborah Van Valkenburgh born
1954
San Francisco International Airport opens.
1957
South Carolina Senator Strom Thurmond (then a Democrat) ended a filibuster against a civil rights bill after talking for 24 hours and 18 minutes.
1957
Igor Stravinsky began composing "Threni." "Threni" was inspired by the lamentations of Jeremiah. But Stravinsky began making notes for it while sitting at a piano in a nightclub in Venice.
1958
Singer Michael Jackson born
1962
Actress Rebecca De Mornay born
1965
"Gemini Five," carrying astronauts Gordon Cooper and Charles ("Pete") Conrad, splashed down in the Atlantic after eight days in space.
1966
Country musician Dan Truman (Diamond Rio) born
1966
The Beatles concluded their fourth American tour with their last public concert, at Candlestick Park in San Francisco.
1969
Singer Me'Shell NdegeOcello born
1970
Rhythm-and-blues singer Carl Martin (Shai) born
1971
Actress Carla Gugino born
1973
Judge John Sirica ordered President Nixon to turn over secret Watergate tapes. Nixon refused and appealed the order.
1975
Irish statesman Eamon de Valera died near Dublin at age 92.
1981
Broadcaster and world traveler Lowell Thomas died in Pawling, New York, at age 89.
1982
Rapper A+ born
1984
Edwin Moses won the 400-meter hurdles in track competition in Europe. It was the track star's 108th consecutive victory.
1985
Elena was upgraded from a tropical storm to a hurricane as it swept toward the Gulf Coast, prompting more than 125,000 people from Florida to Louisiana to flee.
1986
The Commerce Department reported America's foreign trade deficit had soared to $18 billion the month before, with imports twice as large as exports for the first time ever.
1986
The former "American Bandstand" studio at the original home of WFIL-TV in Philadelphia, PA, was placed on the National Register of Historic Places. The studio is located at 4548 Market Street.
1987
Academy Award-winning actor Lee Marvin died in Tucson, Arizona, at age 63.
1988
On the presidential campaign trail, Democrat Michael Dukakis sought to counter Republican George Bush's salvos against the Massachusetts prison furlough program, while Bush continued to charge that Dukakis was soft on defense.
1989
7 bombs blamed by police on drug traffickers exploded in Medillin and Bogota, Columbia.
1990
A defiant Iraqi President Saddam Hussein declared in a television interview that America could not defeat Iraq, saying, "I do not beg before anyone."
1991
In Kiev, the republics of Russia and Ukraine signed an agreement to remain in the Soviet Union and negotiate a loose federation.
1991
In a stunning blow to the Soviet Communist Party, the Supreme Soviet legislature voted to suspend the activities of the organization and freeze its bank accounts because of the party's role in the failed coup.
1992
The UN Security Council agreed to send three-thousand more relief troops to Somalia to guard food shipments.
1992
The FBI reported the number of violent crimes increased five percent in 1991; people under 25 accounted for nearly half of those arrested.
1992
About 13,000 people staged an anti-extremist rally in Rostock, Germany, even as right-wingers continued attacks on foreigners.
1993
Negotiations continued between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization, with Israel reported on the verge of recognizing the PLO.
1994
Bosnian Serb officials announced the results of a weekend referendum in which Bosnian Serbs overwhelmingly rejected what was billed as a last-chance peace plan.
1994
Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization signed a new agreement to shift West Bank administrative functions to the Palestinian National Authority.
1995
Georgian leader Eduard Shevardnadze survived an assassination attempt when a car exploded near his motorcade in Tbilisi, the capital.
1995
At the O.J. Simpson murder trial in Los Angeles, without the jury present, tape recordings of police detective Mark Fuhrman were played in which Fuhrman could be heard spouting racial invectives.
1996
A rousing climax to the Democratic convention in Chicago, President Clinton appealed for a second term, declaring, "Hope is back in America." The convention also nominated Al Gore for a second term as vice president.
1996
President Clinton's chief political strategist, Dick Morris, resigned amid a scandal over his relationship with a prostitute.
1997
Hooded men killed more than 300 people in an Algerian farm village in the worst carnage since an Islamic insurgency began.
1997
Japan's Supreme Court ruled that the country's Education Ministry broke the law by removing mention of a Japanese World War Two atrocity from historian Saburo Ienaga's high school textbook.
1998
A Cuban airliner crashed during takeoff from Quito's international airport in Ecuador, killing 80 people. Northwest Airlines pilots went on strike after their union rejected a last-minute company offer.
1999
Hurricane Dennis wallowed along the coast toward the Carolinas, prompting evacuation orders for the fragile Outer Banks barrier islands.
2005
First fifty-star United States flag up for sale
2005
Bush attendance at Australia CEO conference a hoax
2005
Wreck of August 6 airliner crash recovered from sea off Italy
2005
Sydney, protesters reach agreement with police
2005
Sixteen additional suspects revealed in Zotob worm case
2005
Little Caesars Pizza to open eight stores in Ireland
2005
CN Health & Safety Plan planned to be cancelled
2005
Hurricane Katrina causes upwards of $12bn of damage; oil prices surge
2006
Sri Lanka - Government Army strikes at Tamil Tiger enclaves in the north east
2006
Case against Karr dropped: no DNA link to JonBenet Ramsey murder
2006
Watchdog group StopBadware.org warns against free AOL software
2006
5 killed as bus from New York City to Montreal crashes
2006
New Zealand police want bus driver to pay reparation
2006
4,400 kilograms of drugs seized in New Delhi
2006
HUD hoaxer calls attention to lack of affordable housing
2006
25 drown as van plunges into Krishna river in India
2006
Turkey to decide on sending troops to Lebanon
2006
Mexican ruling boosts Calderon, rival vows parallel government
2006
BC man is selling the boat from old TV series Gilligan's Island
2006
U.S. commuter blows up section of Washington D.C. Bridge
2006
India's Secretary-General candidate Tharoor suggests UN reform agenda
2006
GAO report says federal anti-drug Ad-campaign ineffectual
2006
Film from Nunavut in Canada's north to open TIFF
2006
Ugandan ceasefire takes effect
2006
Water level of Great Lakes is falling
2006
President Bush mocked in two Canadian ad campaigns
2006
Alberta's opposition filibuster anti-gay marriage bill
2006
Canadian MP Benoit Sauvageau dies in car crash
2006
Canadian Idol top four perform
2006
Iran voices defiance towards nuclear deadline
2006
Historian Beckett names Thatcher & Attlee greatest Brit PMs
2007
Prison officers' strike ends in England and Wales
2007
Wal-Mart owes back taxes, according to State of Wisconsin
2007
First signs of recovery from horse flu outbreak
2007
Nelson Mandela statue unveiled in Parliament Square, UK
2007
UK PM's speechwriter awaits sentence
2007
Comedian Colin Mochrie to host Canadian "5th Grader" game show
2007
Nokia launches internet music store
2007
Greece declines Finland's offer of helicopters, personnel to help fight forest fires
2007
Teenager arrested for stabbing twin brothers
2007
Officer dies after accident in President Bush's motorcade
2007
U.S. Senators call for Idaho Senator Larry Craig to resign
2007
Arung Samudera refloated and under tow to Brisbane
2007
UEFA Champions League 2007/08: Celtic 1-1 Spartak Moscow
2007
Fred Thompson campaign staffer leaves, Thompson's political past scrutinized
2007
Comair Flight 5191 co-pilot, pilot's widow sue FAA, airport, chart manufacturer
2007
Transfer: Aston Villa sign Zat Knight from Fulham
2007
English Premier League 2007/08: Clubs seek Brazilian stars
2007
UEFA Champions League 2007/08: Fear can drive Celtic - Strachan
2007
F-Secure detects security flaw in Sony memory sticks
2008
Alaskan governor Sarah Palin chosen by McCain as Vice Presidential running mate
2008
Iraq plans 'Baghdad Eye' to draw in tourists
2009
British Army chief General Sir Richard Dannatt stands down
2009
Noel Gallagher quits Oasis
2009
Space Shuttle Discovery successfully lifts off on mission STS-128
2009
American disc jockey "DJ AM" dies at 36 of suspected drug overdose
2010
Japanese researchers create smell sensor using genetically engineered frog eggs
2010
Mount Sinabung erupts in Sumatra, Indonesia
2010
UK scientists discover multiple antibiotics used by fungus-farming ants to protect colonies
2010
Canadian professional wrestler Luna Vachon dies aged 48
2011
Sudanese President releases all detained journalists
2011
Freshwater lakes in Texas show signs of extreme drought
2012
Mitt Romney officially nominated at Republican National Convention
2012
Paralympic cyclists test out the London Velodrome
2012
Vanuatu sends lone Paralympian to London
2012
Colombian President announces peace talks with FARC rebels
2012
Turkey men's wheelchair basketball team practices ahead of Summer Paralympics
2012
Canadians express optimism regarding medal potential at Summer Paralympics
2013
Estimated 300-ton radioactive leak at Fukushima rated 'serious incident' by watchdog
2013
Archbishop of Canterbury: Church's attitude to same-sex marriage considered 'wicked' by the young

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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