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Today in History

480
BC
Persia defeats Sparta
1842
US/Canadian border defined by the Webster-Ashburton Treaty
1909
Lawyer, diplomat and would be assassin of Adolf Hitler, Adam von Trott zu Solz born in Potsdam, Germany
1925
Developer of the "Huffman Codes" used for data compression, David A Huffman born in Ohio
1945
Atomic bomb dropped on Nagasaki
1957
Academy Award nominated actress Melanie Griffith born in New York City
1958
Actress, director and comedienne, Amanda Bearse born in Winter Park, Florida
1974
Richard Nixon resigns the US presidency
1986
The Headington Shark appears at Oxford
2010
Watching for 08/09/10 11:12
378
Battle of Adrianople; Visigoth cavalry defeats Roman Army
803
St. Irene, 1st Byzantine Empress, dies
1048
Death of Pope Damascus II. He was pope from July to August of 1048.
1378
The Election of Urban VI as Pope declared null
1391
300 Jews killed in Barcelona riots, for refusing baptism.
1420
Pierre d'Ailly, Bishop of Cambrai (1397-1420), died at the age of 70. He sought to end the papal schism at the Council of Constance.
1471
Sixtus IV was named pope. He served until 1484. He forstered the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception, condemed the abuses of the Inquisition and launched an extensive building program in Rome (Sistine Chapel, Sistine Bridge).
1483
First Mass celebrated in the Sistine Chapel.
1593
English author and angler Izaak Walton born
1603
Dutch theologian Johannes Cocceius. He based his theory of life on the Bible and recommended a life in and through the Scriptures rathr than the church and orthodoxy. born
1631
John Dryden born
1637
The funeral of Ben Jonson, playwright, held
1638
Jonas Bronck of Holland becomes 1st European settler in the Bronx
1645
Mohawks force peace to the New Netherlands' Indian War
1788
Adoniram Judson, American Baptist missionary. born
1790
The "Columbia" returned to Boston Harbor after a three-year voyage, becoming the first ship to carry the American flag around the world.
1797
The Methodist New Connection was formed by Alexander Kilham and three other Methodist clergymen in Leeds, favoring complete separation from the Church of England.
1842
The United States and Canada signed the Webster-Ashburton Treaty, resolving a border dispute.
1848
The Free-Soil Party nominated Martin Van Buren for president at its convention in Buffalo, New York.
1854
Henry David Thoreau published "Walden," in which he described his experiences while living near Walden Pond in Massachusetts.
1859
Nathan Ames, of Saugus, MA, patented the escalator
1862
Hector Berlioz conducted the premiere of his "Beatrice et Benedict" at Baden-Baden. Berlioz, who was as good a writer as a composer, described "Beatrice et Benedict" as, quote, "a caprice written with the point of a needle."
1884
Anglican theologian Sir Edward C. Hoskyns. born
1896
Pioneer Swiss child psychologist Jean Piaget born
1910
A.J. Fisher of Chicago, IL, received a patent for the electric washing machine.
1919
Ruggiero Leoncavallo died at the age of 61. Leoncavallo turned out to be a one-hit composer his brief but gripping "Pagliacci" is regularly performed together with another short opera, Mascagni's "Cavalleria Rusticana."
1919
Former baseball manager Ralph Houk born
1927
Robert Shaw England, actor (Deep, Jaws, Sting, Black Sunday) born
1927
Marvin Minsky Artifical intelligence computer scientist (MIT) born
1928
Percy Grainger was married to Ella Viola Strom. People talk about Grainger's excessively close relationship to his mother and his penchant for whipping himself, but Grainger also had a sense of fun, evidenced by the fact that his wedding took place at the Hollywood Bowl.
1930
Betty Boop animation (debutes in Max Fleischer's animated cartoon Dizzy Dishes) born
1934
Country singer-songwriter Merle Kilgore born
1936
Jesse Owens won his fourth gold medal at the Berlin Olympics as the United States took first place in the 400-meter relay.
1938
Australian tennis star Rod Laver born
1939
Rhythm-and-blues singer Billy Henderson (The Spinners) born
1942
Comedian-director David Steinberg born
1944
Actor Sam Elliott born
1944
"Smokey the Bear" was created by the Forest Service and Wartime Advertising Council to represent forest fire prevention.
1945
The first network television broadcast originated from Washington, D.C., studios of W3XWT (now WTTG), then the DuMont television station. The program announced the second atomic bomb dropping on Nagasaki, Japan.
1945
Boxing Hall-of-Famer Ken Norton born
1945
Three days after the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, Japan, the United States exploded a nuclear device over Nagasaki, killing an estimated 74-thousand people.A B-29 bomber dropped an atomic bomb
1947
Singer Barbara Mason born
1955
Football player Doug Williams born
1955
Rock singer Benjamin Orr (The Cars) born
1957
Actress Melanie Griffith born
1958
Actress Amanda Bearse born
1959
Rapper Kurtis Blow born
1963
Singer Whitney Houston born
1964
Joan Baez and Bob Dylan shared the stage for the first time when the singers performed in a concert in Forest Hills, New York.
1965
Singapore proclaimed its independence from the Malaysian Federation.
1966
Actor Pat Petersen born
1967
Baseball player Deion Sanders born
1968
Actress Gillian Anderson ("The X-Files") born
1969
Actress Sharon Tate and four other people were found brutally murdered in Tate's Los Angeles home; cult leader Charles Manson and a group of his disciples were later convicted of the crime.
1971
Rapper Mack 10 born
1971
LeRoy satchel Paige, one of baseball's pitching legends, was inducted in the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York.
1972
Actress Liz Vassey born
1973
Nearly 500 delegates representing more than 200 Southern Presbyterian churches, meeting in Ashville, N.C., severed ties to the Presbyterian Church in the U. S. because of their liberal views.
1974
President Richard M. Nixon formally resigned as president of the United States becoming the first person in the history of the country to resign the top political office in the land. Gerald R. Ford became the nation's 38th chief executive.
1975
The New Orleans Superdome opened as the hometown Saints met the Houston Oilers in an exhibition football game. The Oilers won 31-to-7. The Superdome cost $163 million to construct.
1976
Actress Jessica Capshaw born
1983
Guatemala's new military leader, Brigadier General Oscar Humberto Mejia Victores lifted a 40-day-old state of alert imposed by the president he ousted, Efrain Rios Montt.
1984
At the 1984 Summer Olympics, Britain's Daley Thompson won his second successive Olympic decathlon.
1985
A federal judge in Norfolk, Virginia, found retired Navy officer Arthur J. Walker guilty of seven counts of spying for the Soviet Union.
1986
President Reagan underwent a urological examination at Bethesda Naval Hospital, and said afterward, "Everything's normal, everything's fine."
1987
Independent Counsel Lawrence E. Walsh, vowing to investigate the Iran-Contra affair "vigorously but fairly," told a meeting of the American Bar Association in San Francisco that he would not be deterred by the "popularity of persons involved."
1988
Hockey star Wayne Gretzky of the Edmonton Oilers was traded to the Los Angeles Kings per his request.
1988
President Reagan nominated Lauro Cavazos to be secretary of education; Cavazos became the first Hispanic to serve in the Cabinet.
1989
In Mexico, a train fell into the San Rafael River after a bridge collapsed, killing 112 people.
1989
Tishiki Kaifu was elected prime minister of Japan, succeeding Sousuke Uno.
1990
A week after Iraq invaded Kuwait, Western European diplomats and Arab witnesses reported that Iraq had virtually sealed its borders, preventing thousands of foreigners from leaving Iraq or Kuwait.
1991
In South Africa, hundreds of police battled neo-Nazis as pro-apartheid extremists tried to stop a speech by President F.W. de Klerk.
1992
Closing ceremonies were held for the Barcelona Summer Olympics, with the Unified Team of former Soviet republics winning 112 medals, the United States, 108.
1993
Reputed "Hollywood Madam" Heidi Fleiss pleaded innocent in Los Angeles to five counts of pandering and one count of selling cocaine. (Fleiss was convicted in 1994 of three counts of pandering and acquitted of the drug charge, but the verdicts were later thrown out due to jury misconduct. Fleiss eventually pleaded guilty to attempted pandering.)
1994
A divided Senate opened formal debate on legislation to provide health insurance for millions of Americans without it.
1995
Jerry Garcia, lead singer of the Grateful Dead, died in San Francisco of a heart attack at age 53.
1996
A weary-looking Boris Yeltsin was sworn into his second term as president of Russia.
1996
Bob Dole telephoned Jack Kemp to ask him to be his running mate; Kemp accepted.
1997
An Amtrak train with nearly 300 people aboard derailed on a bridge near Kingman, Arizona; more than 100 people were injured.
1998
Americans, Kenyans and Tanzanians held church and memorial services to mourn those killed in a pair of US embassy bombing attacks.
1998
In China, engineers dynamited levees along the Yangtze River to ease the worst floods in 44 years.
1999
Russian President Boris Yeltsin dismissed Prime Minister Sergei Stepashin and the entire Cabinet, marking the fourth time in 17 months he had fired the government. Yeltsin named Vladimir Putin, a former KGB agent, the new prime minister.
2000
Bridgestone/Firestone Incorporated announced it was recalling six and a-half million tires that had been implicated in hundreds of accidents and at least 46 deaths.
2005
Oil for food scandal: UN releases third report
2005
U.S. Pentagon conference says weapons entered Iraq from Iran
2005
Anti-gay church protests U.S. at military funerals
2005
New entrance discovered to world's longest cave
2005
U.N. to begin forming response to Iranian nuclear program
2005
Shuttle Discovery given 'go' for landing at Edwards AFB
2005
Space Shuttle Discovery lands safely in California
2005
Municipal elections pushed back in Haiti
2005
U.S. war protest mom met Bush in 2004
2006
Brothers found guilty of killing schoolboy
2006
Fire at New Zealand hospital destroys laundry
2006
British soldier dies in Afghanistan
2006
Lieberman loses to Lamont in Connecticut primary
2006
Arrests over phone-tap of British royal family
2006
US base in Nuristan, Afghanistan attacked
2006
Coca-Cola and Pepsi face ban in Indian states
2006
Hearing testimony; U.S. soldiers took turns raping 14 year old Iraqi girl before killing her
2006
Edinburgh Fringe festival begins
2007
Iranian Islamic police raid concert arresting 230
2007
Reports: Design flaw caused Minneapolis, Minnesota bridge to collapse
2007
Magnitude 5.3 earthquake strikes Taiwan
2007
Tornado touches down in New York City
2007
Police capture escaped monkey in Wisconsin, USA
2008
Orville Moody, 1969 U.S open winner dies at age 74
2008
Fear and loathing on the campaign trail, July 2008
2008
Olympic highlights: August 9, 2008
2008
Georgia wants ceasefire in Ossetia war
2008
American actor and comedian Bernie Mac dies at age 50
2008
Georgian President declares country is in 'state of war'
2008
American tourist killed in Beijing
2009
Four children among seven killed after police chase ends in crash in US
2009
No bomb threat, hijacking of plane in China's Xinjiang region according to Afghan officials
2009
Typhoon prompts massive evacuations in China
2009
Police in Salinas, California identify teenage gunshot victim
2009
Christian band MercyMe's tour bus in fatal collision with car in Indiana
2010
Apple executive leaves company after iPhone 4 antenna issues
2010
German mosque used by September 11 militants closed
2010
US Defense Secretary announces cuts in Pentagon programs
2010
Papua New Guinea Culture and Tourism minister charged with attempted murder
2010
Technical troubles hold up International Space Station repairs
2010
Uproar over light sentence of Hong Kong judge's niece
2011
Allied WWII spy Nancy Wake dies aged 98
2011
Former Prime Minister of Finland Harri Holkeri dies aged 74
2011
U.S. Presidential candidate Fred Karger denied place at Fox News debate
2011
Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait recall ambassadors to Syria
2011
DNA components found in meteorites
2011
Rioting develops throughout England
2011
BMW announces 7.6% sales rise as US, China demand grows
2011
Scottish annual drug deaths coming down from record levels

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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