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Today in History

1535
Pope Paul II excommunicates Henry VIII
1880
Her Majesty the Queen of the Netherlands born Wilhelmina Helena Pauline Maria in The Hague, Netherlands
1903
Radio and television personality, Arthur Godfrey born in New York City
1913
Physicist and radio astronomer Sir Alfred Charles Bernard Lovell born in Bristol, England
1924
Actor and comedian, Buddy Hackett born in Brooklyn, New York
1926
USSR, Afghanistan sign treaty
1945
Musician and Grammy Award winning singer, Van Morrison born in Belfast, Northern Ireland
1949
Golden Globe Award winning actor Richard Gere born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
1957
Drummer for the Go Go's, Gina Schock born in Baltimore, Maryland
1957
Independence Day in Malaya
1962
Independence Day in Trinidad - Tobago
1997
Princess Diana killed in Paris car crash
30
BC
Death of St. Paulinius of Trier
12
Caligula, 3rd Roman Emperor (37-41 AD) born
161
Commodus, 18th Roman Emperor (180-91) born
651
Death of St. Aidan of Lindisfarne
1057
Death of Leofric, husband of Lady Godiva
1186
Death of Baldwin V ("Baudouinet"), King of Jerusalem, age 9
1230
Utrecht bishop Willebrand grants Swells state justice
1310
German king Heinrich VII makes his son Johan king of Bohemia
1378
The government of Florence massacres the Ciompi
1422
Death of Henry V, King of England, at Bois de Vincennes
1476
Locusts ravage Poland, causing widespread famine
1521
Cortes and his Indian allies take Tenochtitlan
1522
Adrian VI (Netherlands) is crowned last non-Italian Pope until 1978 CE
1535
Pope Paul II deposes & excommunicates England's King Henry VIII
1569
Great mogol of India Djehangir born
1650
Cromwell retreats to Dunbar
1663
French physicist Guillaume Amontons born
1688
English Puritan author and preacher John Bunyan, author of Pilgrim's Progess, dies at age 69. He had been imprisoned several times between 1660 and 1672, Bunyan used these periods of isolation to pen his two literary masterpieces, Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners (1666) and Pilgrim's Progress (1678).
1696
Composer Johann Paul Kunzen born
1741
Composer Johann Paul Aegidius Martini born
1745
Bonnie Prince Charlie reaches Blair Castle Scotland
1748
Composer Jean-Etienne Despreaux born
1749
Writer Radistschew born
1751
English troops under sir Robert Clive occupy Arcot India
1755
Composer Johann Ignaz Walter born
1772
Hurricane destroy ships off Dominica
1775
Composer Francois de Paule Jacques Raymond de Fossa born
1824
American hymnwriter Anna B. Warner . She never married, but lived with her sister Susan in New York state. In 1860, a novel they co-authored contained a poem which became one of the most beloved of all children's hymns: 'I Know.' born
1834
Amicare Ponchielli was born in Cremona. He became an organist and small town conductor, but his operas were occasionally staged with some success. The first Ponchielli opera to be staged at La Scala did pretty well. born
1861
American hymnwriter, Jesse Brown Pounds. During her lifetime she published nine books, 50 cantatas and over 400 religious song texts. Three of her hymns remain popular today: "Anywhere With Jesus," "I Know That My Redeemer Liveth" and "The Way of the Cross Leads Home." born
1870
Italian educator Maria Montessori born
1886
An earthquake rocked Charleston, South Carolina, killing up to 110 people.
1887
Thomas A. Edison received a patent for his "Kinetoscope," a device which produced moving pictures.
1897
Actor Fredric March born
1903
A Packard automobile completed a 52-day journey from San Francisco to New York, becoming the first car to cross the nation under its own power.
1903
Entertainer Arthur Godfrey born
1908
Writer William Saroyan born
1913
Astronomer Sir Alfred Lovell born
1916
Broadcast journalist Daniel Schorr born
1924
Comedian Buddy Hackett born
1928
Actor James Coburn born
1928
"The Threepenny Opera" was premiered in Berlin. Kurt Weill and Bertolt Brecht wrote the music and words, and their wives Lotte Lenya and Helene Weigel sang in it. The brief overture is a witty, cynical, decadent little masterpiece all by itself.
1935
Baseball Hall-of-Famer Frank Robinson born
1935
President Roosevelt signed an act prohibiting the export of US arms to belligerents.
1937
Actor Warren Berlinger born
1939
Rock musician Jerry Allison (Buddy Holly and the Crickets) born
1940
Actor Jack Thompson born
1941
The radio program "The Great Gildersleeve" made its debut on NBC.
1945
Violinist Itzhak Perlman born
1945
Singer Van Morrison born
1949
Actor Richard Gere born
1954
Hurricane "Carol" hit the northeastern United States, resulting in nearly 70 deaths and millions of dollars in damage.
1957
Rock singer Glenn Tilbrook (Squeeze) born
1957
Rock musician Gina Schock (The Go-Go's) born
1959
Singer Tony DeFranco (The DeFranco Family) born
1960
Singer Chris Whitley born
1962
The Caribbean nation of Trinidad and Tobago became independent within the British Commonwealth.
1963
Rhythm-and-blues musician Larry Waddell (Mint Condition) born
1965
The U.S. House of Representatives joined the Senate in voting to establish the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
1969
Boxer Rocky Marciano died in a light airplane crash in Iowa, the day before his 46th birthday.
1969
Rock musician Jeff Russo (Tonic) born
1970
Singer-composer Debbie Gibson born
1972
At the Munich Summer Olympics, American swimmer Mark Spitz won his fourth and fifth gold medals, in the 100-meter butterfly and 800-meter freestyle relay; Soviet gymnast Olga Korbut won the gold medal in the floor exercises and the balance beam.
1977
Rhythm-and-blues singer Tamara (Trina & Tamara) born
1980
Poland's Solidarity labor movement was born with an agreement signed in Gdansk that ended a 17-day-old strike.
1983
Slain Philippine opposition leader Benigno S. Aquino Junior was buried in his homeland, ten days after he was shot dead as he ended a self-imposed political exile. Over a million mourners were addressed by his widow Cory.
1984
The crew of the space shuttle Discovery launched the second of three communications satellites from the spacecraft's cargo bay.
1985
Richard Ramirez, later convicted of California's "Night Stalker" killings, was captured by residents of an East Los Angeles neighborhood.
1986
An Aero-Mexico DC-9 collided with a single-engine plane over Cerritos, California, killing 82 people, including 15 on the ground.
1986
The Soviet passenger ship "Admiral Nakhimov" collided with a merchant vessel in the Black Sea, causing both vessels to sink; up to 448 people reportedly died.
1987
The Justice Department challenged the constitutionality of the 1978 Ethics in Government Act, which provided for the appointment of independent counsels. (The Supreme Court upheld the law.)
1988
Fourteen people were killed when a Delta Boeing 727 crashed during takeoff from Dallas-Fort Worth Airport. The airline later blamed crash the on the crew's failure to set the wing flaps in proper position.
1989
The Rolling Stones opened their first concert tour in eight years before 50,000 fans in Philadelphia.
1989
The fraud and conspiracy trial of PTL founder Jim Bakker in Charlotte, North Carolina, was interrupted after the former TV evangelist suffered an apparent breakdown in his attorney's office.
1989
Britain's Princess Anne and Mark Phillips announced they were separating after 16 years of marriage.
1990
U.N. Secretary-General Javier Perez de Cuellar met twice with Iraqi Foreign Minister Tariq Azizona in Amman, Jordan, trying to negotiate a solution to the Persian Gulf crisis.
1990
East and West Germany signed a treaty to harmonize their legal and political systems after merging on October 3.
1991
In Washington, D.C., hundreds of thousands of union members marched in a "Solidarity Day" protest.
1991
Uzbekistan and Kirghiziz declared their independence, raising to 10 the number of republics seeking to secede from the Soviet Union.
1992
White separatist Randy Weaver surrendered to authorities in Naples, Idaho, ending an eleven-day siege by federal agents that claimed the lives of Weaver's wife, son and a deputy US marshal.
1993
Hurricane "Emily" hit North Carolina's Outer Banks, killing three people.
1993
Russia withdrew its last soldier from Lithuania, the first Baltic nation to eject all former Soviet troops.
1993
Mideast peace talks resumed in Washington amid hopes that a historic agreement to establish Palestinian autonomous areas would be concluded within days.
1994
Russia officially ended its military presence in the former East Germany and the Baltics after half a century.
1994
The Irish Republican Army declared a cease-fire after 25 years of bloodshed in Northern Ireland.
1995
At the O.J. Simpson trial in Los Angeles, Judge Lance Ito ruled the defense could play only two examples of police detective Mark Fuhrman's racist comments from taped conversations with a screenwriter.
1996
Seven people drowned when their vehicle rolled into John D. Long Lake in Union, South Carolina; they had gone to see a monument to the sons of Susan Smith, who had drowned the two boys in October 1994.
1996
New York City police found the body of four-year-old Nadine Lockwood in her family's apartment; she'd been starved to death. (The girl's mother, Carla Lockwood, faces murder charges.)
1997
Prince Charles brought Princess Diana home for the last time, escorting the body of his former wife to a Britain that was shocked, grief-stricken and angered by her death in a Paris traffic accident.
1998
Prices on the New York Stock Exchange plunged amid news of political chaos in Russia and North Korea's apparent firing of a missile over part of Japan.
1999
Detroit's teachers went on strike, wiping out the first day of class for 172,000 students in one of the largest teachers' strikes in years. (The walkout lasted nine days.)
1999
An LAPA Boeing 737-200 crashed on takeoff from Buenos Aires, Argentina, killing 72 people, including five on the ground.
2005
Several hundred killed after stampede in Baghdad
2005
Total evacuation of New Orleans planned
2005
Carnival style protest held in Sydney
2005
Italian petrol prices rocket to a record EUR 1.30 per litre
2005
Philippine impeachment unlikely to succeed
2005
Rhode Island District Court freezes Palestinian Authority assets in the US
2006
Edvard Munch's The Scream and Madonna found
2006
Bull kills New Zealand man
2006
FBI most-wanted fugitive, polygamist Warren Jeffs, arrested
2006
New UK donor laws may reduce organ shortages
2006
Hard shoulder gets the soft treatment on British motorways
2006
Canadian union upset over Scugog councilor lowering flag
2006
Astronomers witness supernova
2006
Portuguese troops leave for Lebanon in October
2006
Space shuttle Atlantis set to launch on September 6
2006
Pilot dies as Dutch F-16 fighter jet crashes in Afghanistan
2006
Annan demands Hezbollah free abducted soldiers and Israel lift blockade
2006
Kids TV star Lunar Jim to tour malls in Canada
2006
Plane carrying arms to Nepal detained in Gujarat
2007
Two trains collide near Rio de Janeiro
2007
Law banning same sex marriages in Iowa 'unconstitutional' says judge
2007
Jackpot rises on 'Mega Millions' lottery in US; breaks record
2007
Fire kills six, badly injures seven in Croatia
2007
White House spokesman Tony Snow stepping down
2007
Some Gaza Strip students to go without textbooks
2007
Peace talks between Sunnis and Iraqi Shi'ites begin in Finland
2007
Number of suspects in Finnish dogfighting case rises to ten
2007
U.S. Senator Larry Craig to resign
2007
10 years on Diana, Princess of Wales remembered
2007
Iran unveils part of its nuclear program
2007
Fred Thompson confirms US Presidential bid
2007
"Muslim Brotherhood" facing troubled times
2008
Mayor of New Orleans tells residents to evacuate ahead of hurricane
2008
Radical left computer activists capture data of Blood and Honour web forum with 31,948 users
2008
NASA considers continuing shuttle use after 2010
2008
Italy will give Libya US$5 billion as compensation for occupation
2009
Former terrorist arrested for 1970s murder of top German prosecutor
2009
Japan blames design, maintenance for explosion on China Airlines jet
2009
U.S. General McChrystal submits plan on Afghanistan to President Obama
2009
Hurricane Jimena intensifies off Mexican coast
2009
Reports suggest probe into Formula One race-fixing allegations
2009
Study shows that aspirin might do more harm than good
2009
Israeli navy fires on Gazan fishing vessels
2009
Australian rules football: West Gippsland Latrobe Football League Finals week one results
2010
Daughter of U.S ambassador Eric John dies after New York City fall
2010
As increase in digital music sales slows, record labels look to new ways to make money
2010
St. Lucian footballer Philip Tisson shot dead in Brooklyn, New York
2010
Algerian forces kill at least eight al-Qaeda rebels
2010
Two time Tour de France winner Laurent Fignon dies at age 50
2010
Rem Koolhaas wins Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement
2010
French film director Alain Corneau dies at age 67
2010
Last surviving participant of the 1930 FIFA World Cup Francisco Varallo dies aged 100
2010
Frenchman climbs skyscraper in 20 minutes without any equipment
2011
Wikileaks crashes under cyber attack
2012
Ukraine beats Great Britain women's sitting volleyball in straight sets at Summer Paralympics
2012
Day two of Paralympic judo underway in London
2012
Judo round of sixteen underway at London Summer Paralympics
2012
United States's Cynthia Paige Simon loses to Spain in women's 57kg judo quarter finals
2012
Great Britain's Powell loses to Germany's Matthias Krieger in judo event at Paralympics
2012
Egyptian President Morsi backs Syrian rebels in speech
2012
Frank Ponta inducted into the Paralympic Hall of Fame
2012
Australia and South Africa men's national wheelchair basketball teams play in their Paralympics opener
2012
Brazil women's national wheelchair basketball team loses first game in its Paralympic campaign
2013
Hawaiian Airlines announces iPad mini in-flight service

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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