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Today in History

70
Destruction of the Second Temple in Jerusalem by the Romans
1901
Grammy Award winning jazz singer and trumpet player, Louis Armstrong born in New Orleans, Louisiana
1914
Britain declares war on Germany one day after Germany declares war on France
1955
Academy Award winning screenwriter and actor, Billy Bob Thornton born in Hot Springs, Arkansas
1961
Author, attorney, teacher, Nobel Peace Prize recipient and 44th President of the United States, Barack Hussein Obama II born in Honolulu, Hawaii
1964
Bombing of North Vietnam begins
1971
Stock car racing champion, Jeff Gordon born in Vallejo, California
1995
Actress and singer, Jessica Sanchez born in Chula Vista, California
1060
Death of Henry I, King of France, Philip I becomes King of France
1100
Coronation of Henry I, King of England
1221
Death of St. Dominic
1222
Richard de Clare, 7th Earl of, 8th Earl of Clare, 6th Earl of Hertford Gloucester, the most powerful English noble of his time. He held estates in more than 20 English counties, including the lordship of Tewkesbury, wealthy manors in Gloucester, and the great marcher lordship of Glamorgan. born
1347
Calais surrenders to Edward III
1521
Pope Urban VII original name Giambattista Castagna, pope from Sept. 15 to Sept. 27, 1590. born
1693
Champagne is invented by Dom Perignon.
1735
Freedom of the media was established in the American colonies when John Peter Zenger, publisher of a New York City newspaper "New York Weekly Journal", was acquitted of libel charges.
1753
George Washington became a Master Mason on this day.
1755
Nicolas-Jacque Conte, invented the modern pencil. born
1776
Pierre-Simon Ballanche, a religious and social philosopher who influenced the Romantic writers and played an important part in the development of French thought in the early decades of the 19th century. born
1777
Retired British cavalry officer Philip Astley establishes the first circus.
1782
Wolfgang Mozart married Constanze Weber. He was 26; she was 19. Mozart wrote, "When we were wed, my wife began to cry and I did, too in fact, everybody cried, even the priests, at seeing our emotion."
1790
The Coast Guard had its beginnings as the Revenue Cutter Service.
1792
English poet Percy Bysshe Shelley. born
1792
Edward Irving a Church of Scotland minister whose teachings became the basis of the religious movement known as Irvingism, later called the Catholic Apostolic Church. born
1821
The Saturday Evening Post was published as a weekly for the first time this day.
1830
Plans for the city of Chicago were laid out.
1853
John Henry Twachtman painter and etcher, one of the first American Impressionists. born
1862
The first Federal Income tax was collected.
1870
Scottish comedian Sir Harry Lauder born
1884
Sigmund O.P. Mowinckel, Norwegian Old Testament scholar. Associated from 1917-54 with Oslo University, his most influential work was done in the Psalms. In 1951 he published "The Psalms in Israel's Worship". born
1892
Andrew and Abby Borden were axed to death in their home in Fall River, Massachusetts. Lizzie Borden, Andrew Borden's daughter from a previous marriage, was accused of the killings, but acquitted at trial.
1900
Arturo Umberto Illia, president of Argentina (1963-66) born
1900
The dowager Queen Elizabeth, mother of Britain's Queen Elizabeth II born
1901
Louis (Satchmo) Armstrong (jazz musician into Rock and Roll Hall of Fame born
1901
Jazz musician Louis Armstrong born
1909
Glenn Cunningham, the Kansas Ironman or the Kansas Flyer, American middle-distance runner who repeatedly broke world and national records for the mile in the 1930s. born
1910
William Schuman was born. Schuman grew up in New York City loving baseball and other regular parts of American life. He discovered classical music only as a teenager. Yet he would compose ten symphonies, of which all are recorded and several remain in the repertory.
1912
Raoul Wallenberg a Swedish businessman and diplomat who became a legendary figure through his efforts to rescue Hungarian Jews during World War II and through his disappearance while a prisoner in the Soviet Union. born
1914
Britain declared war on Germany, one day after Germany had declared war on France, thus beginning World War I. The United States initially declared itself neutral.
1916
The United States purchased the Danish Virgin Islands for $25 million.
1920
The dean of the White House press corps, Helen Thomas of United Press International born
1922
All 13 million telephones in the U.S. and Canada went dead as AT&T and the Bell Systems shut down all its switchboards and switching stations for one minute in memory of Alexander Graham Bell who died two days earlier.
1927
Peace Bridge between US and Canada opened.
1929
Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat born
1934
Mel Ott became the first major-league baseball player to score six runs in a single game on this day.
1940
Crime Doctor introduced a new kind of radio hero to audiences on this day. The CBS Radio program presented Dr. Benjamin Ordway, the show's main character, who was a victim of amnesia. He once was a criminal, but got hit on the head and, suddenly, began to work as a crime fighter.
1940
Singer Frankie Ford born
1944
Actor-comedian Richard Belzer born
1944
Nazi police raided the secret annex of a building in Amsterdam and arrested eight people -- including 15-year-old Anne Frank, whose diary became a famous account of the Holocaust. (Anne died at the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp.)
1949
More than 6,000 people were killed when an earthquake leveled 50 towns in Ecuador.
1954
The uranium rush began in Saskatchewan, Canada this day.
1955
Actor-screenwriter Billy Bob Thornton born
1956
Wilhelm Herz was clocked at 210 miles per hour this day at Wendover, UT. He became the first person to race a motorcycle over 200 mph.
1958
Track star Mary Decker Slaney born
1962
Baseball pitcher Roger Clemens born
1962
Jamaica gains independence from Britain.
1964
The bodies of missing civil rights workers Michael H. Schwerner, Andrew Goodman and James E. Chaney were found buried in an earthen dam in Mississippi.
1968
Rock musician Rob Cieka (Boo Radleys) born
1969
Actor Michael DeLuise born
1971
US launches first satellite into lunar orbit from manned spacecraft.
1972
Arthur Bremer was found guilty of shooting and wounding Alabama Governor George Wallace. He was sentenced to 63 years in prison.
1977
President Carter signed a measure establishing the Department of Energy. The department officially opened for business on October 1, 1977.
1981
Rhythm-and-blues singer-actor Marques Houston (Immature) born
1983
Former Environmental Protection Agency aide Rita M. Lavelle was indicted on charges of lying to Congress about her role in a toxic waste case involving her former employer. Lavelle was subsequently convicted and sentenced to six months in prison.
1984
Carl Lewis won the gold medal in the 100-meter dash at the Los Angeles Olympics, the first of four medals he won altogether.
1984
The African Republic of Upper Volta changed its name to Burkina Faso, which means "the land of upright men."
1985
Two milestones were achieved in major league baseball as Tom Seaver of the Chicago White Sox gained his 300th victory and Rod Carew of the California Angels got his 3,000th hit.
1986
The United States Football League, having won only token damages in an antitrust suit against the National Football League, announced it was calling off its 1986 season.
1987
The Federal Communications Commission voted to rescind the Fairness Doctrine, which required radio and TV stations to present balanced coverage of controversial issues.
1987
US Representative Mario Biaggi (Democrat, New York) was convicted of charges that included conspiracy, extortion, tax evasion and acceptance of bribes in the "Wedtech" corruption scandal. (Sentenced to prison, Biaggi was paroled in 1990.)
1989
Iranian President Hashemi Rafsanjani offered to help end the hostage crisis in Lebanon -- prompting President Bush to say he was "encouraged.""
1990
The European Community imposed an embargo on imports of oil from Iraq and Kuwait to protest the Baghdad government's invasion of its oil-rich neighbor.
1991
Israeli Cabinet members overwhelmingly backed a Middle East peace conference under conditions set by Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir.
1991
The Greek luxury liner "Oceanos" sank in heavy seas off South Africa's southeast coast; all 402 passengers and 179 crewmembers survived.
1991
The PLO agreed to attend a regional peace conference and offered to compromise with Israel on the make-up of the Palestinian delegation.
1992
Actor Dylan Sprouse ("Grace Under Fire") born
1992
Actor Cole Sprouse ("Grace Under Fire") born
1992
The crew of the space shuttle "Atlantis" encountered difficulties as they tried to reel out a satellite attached to miles of thin cord as part of an electricity-producing experiment.
1993
A federal judge sentenced Los Angeles police officers Stacey Koon and Laurence Powell to two and a-half years in prison for violating Rodney King's civil rights.
1993
The Senate approved a $5.8 billion disaster bill for Midwestern flood victims.
1994
Serb-dominated Yugoslavia withdrew its support for Bosnian Serbs, sealing the 300-mile border between Yugoslavia and Serb-held Bosnia.
1995
Croat forces launched a massive attack on breakaway Serbs in their self-proclaimed capital of Knin.
1996
On the final day of the Atlanta Olympics, Josia Thugwane became the first black South African to win a gold medal as he finished first in the marathon; the US women's basketball team defeated Brazil 111-to-87 to win the gold; David Reid won the only boxing gold medal for the US. A three-hour closing ceremony of music, dance and light brought the games to an official close.
1997
Teamsters went on a 15-day strike against United Parcel Service after talks broke down with nation's largest package delivery service.
1997
Jeanne Calment, at age 122 the world's oldest person, died at a retirement home in Arles, France.
1998
The Dow Jones industrial average plunged 299.43 points, the third-biggest point drop to that time (since then, the fifth-biggest to date), finishing at 8487.31.
1998
Turning aside an urgent White House appeal, Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist cleared the way for prosecutors to question White House lawyers about their advice to President Clinton in the Monica Lewinsky case.
1999
Actor Victor Mature died in San Diego County, California (his age, depending on references, ranged from 83 to 86).
1999
On the eve of congressional votes on the Republicans' $792 billion tax cut proposal, President Clinton again pledged a veto, saying the GOP package was "risky and plainly wrong."
2000
Democratic presidential candidate Al Gore mocked a Republican gathering as a special-interests-sponsored sham
2000
Philadelphia, GOP presidential nominee George W. Bush and running mate Dick Cheney began an air and rail tour of four swing states: Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan and Illinois.
2005
Former UK MP Mo Mowlam 'critically ill'
2005
Foreign investment rises in Romania by 19 percent
2005
South Korean scientists clone dog for first time
2005
Al Qaeda: 'Blair brought destruction to the heart of London'
2005
'Star Wars' headed to TV as weekly series
2005
U.S. President Bush: 'We're at war'
2005
Economy - Bush toughens up on Central America
2005
NATO to expand Afghanistan presence
2005
London 21 July suspect claims device was 'flour bomb'
2005
Two killed in Istanbul explosion
2006
James Cameron to use Weta Digital for next film
2006
Newcastle, Australia man arrested for selling stolen jewelery online
2006
Katcher died of drowning, coroner says
2006
From the eleventh century to the Digital Age, the Domesday Book is now online
2006
7/11 blasts suspect held in Kashmir
2006
East Timor, Kuwait start negotiations for investment in public works
2006
Car crash enrages bees
2006
Swan in German zoo tests positive for H5N1 virus
2006
United States plans to train and equip Lebanon military
2007
Death toll up to six in Minneapolis bridge collapse
2007
Body found in Cradle Mountain, Tasmania, Australia
2007
Foot-and-mouth confirmed at UK farm
2007
McLaren Mercedes drivers snatch the front row for Hungarian Grand Prix
2007
Phoenix spacecraft launches towards Mars
2007
Brazil to invest US $3.6bn on slums
2007
Asian monsoon rains force millions to flee
2007
Major League Soccer: Beckham will miss game against Toronto
2007
Panda gives birth at San Diego Zoo
2008
Boxing: Joshua Clottey of Ghana wins IBF welterweight title
2008
Stampede in India kills at least 140
2008
American actor Morgan Freeman in serious condition after car accident
2008
IEEE approves S1600 & S3200 transmission standards
2008
Death toll rises to eleven in K2 mountain avalanche
2008
US presidential candidates are statistically tied in the polls
2008
Heikki Kovalainen wins Hungarian Grand Prix
2008
Sixteen policemen killed in suspected terrorist attack in Xinjiang, China
2008
Unprecedented review to be held on Qantas after third emergency in two weeks
2009
Thomas Cook occupiers arrested, released; company to return to negotiating table
2009
Imprisoned American journalists in North Korea pardoned, to return to US
2009
The Socialist Left Party’s election initiative starts in Norway
2009
Melbourne terror raids nab suspects
2009
Formula One: Renault dismisses Piquet, Schumacher barred from practising
2009
New human HIV strain discovered in France
2010
California's same-sex marriage ban ruled unconstitutional; appeal expected
2010
One dead after small plane crashes near Phoenix
2010
Nine dead in shooting rampage at Connecticut beer warehouse
2010
Obama approval ratings hit new lows
2011
Yani Tseng captures Women's British Open title for a record fifth major
2011
Swaziland to receive financial bailout from South Africa
2011
Earl Anthony Wayne confirmed as U.S ambassador to Mexico
2013
Married couple die after being hit by car in Largs, Scotland

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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