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Today in History

1804
Napoleon Bonaparte crowned Emperor
1914
Tony Award winning actor Ray Walston born in New Orleans, Lousiana
1924
White House Chief of Staff, Commander of NATO Forces, and 59th Secretary of State, Alexander Haig born in Philadelphia
1927
Ford announces the Model A
1968
Waitress, film producer and award winning actress, Lucy Liu born in Queens, New York
1976
Fidel Castro becomes President of Cuba
1981
Grammy Award winning singer, Britney Spears born in McComb, Mississippi
1991
Apple releases version 1 of QuickTime
2001
Enron files Chapter 11 bankruptcy
537
Death of St. Silverius, Pope
1001
Danish settlers in England massacred
1431
Henry VI, King of England, crowned King of France at Paris
1547
Death of Hernando Cortez
1804
Napoleon was crowned emperor of France.
1816
1st savings bank in US opens as the Philadelphia Savings Fund Society
1823
President Monroe outlined his doctrine opposing European expansion in the Western Hemisphere.
1853
French Artist George Seurat (some sources 1859) born
1859
French painter Georges Seurat (Sunday Afternoon on the Island of Grand Jatte) born
1859
Abolitionist John Brown was hanged for his raid on the federal arsenal at Harper's Ferry, West Virginia.
1863
Circus co-founder Charles Ringling born
1899
The conductor John Barbirolli was born.
1904
Journalist Hy Gardner born
1906
Engineer Peter Carl Goldmark, the inventor of the long-playing record born
1909
Actress June Clyde born
1909
J.P. Morgan acquires majority holdings in Equitable Life Co.
1914
Actor Ray Walston born
1914
Musician Eddie Sauter born
1915
Actor-playwright Adolph Green (screen writer with Betty Comden: Singin' in the Rain, On a Clear Day You Can See Forever) born
1917
Actor Ezra Stone (Feinstone) born
1918
Armenia proclaims independence from Turkey.
1918
Bandleader Milton Delugg born
1921
The first successful helium dirigible, C-7, makes a test flight in Portsmouth, Virginia.
1922
Actor Leo Gordon born
1923
Opera singer Maria (Kalogeropoulou) Callas born
1924
Former Secretary of State Alexander M. Haig born
1925
Actress Julie Harris (Knots Landing, I Am a Camera, Member of the Wedding) born
1926
The first aluminum street cars were put in service in Cleveland, Ohio this day.
1927
The Model A Ford was introduced as the successor to the Model T. The price of a Model A roadster was $395.
1931
Former Attorney General Edwin Meese the Third born
1932
"The Adventures of Charlie Chan" was first heard this day on the NBC-Blue radio network. The Chinese detective became even more popular on the movie screen between 1937 and 1940.
1942
The Atomic Age was born when scientists demonstrated the first self-sustaining nuclear chain reaction at a laboratory below the stands at the University of Chicago football stadium.
1950
Vic Toweel, of South Africa, set a record for knockdowns - in a title fight in Johannesburg, South Africa. He floored Danny O'Sullivan of England 14 times in 10 rounds before the bantamweight fight was stopped. During a post-fight interview, O'Sullivan told reporters, "Adkeivhaep oi er," then, keeled over, again.
1950
Country singer John Wesley Ryles born
1952
Actor Keith Szarabajka born
1952
Denver's KOA-TV transmitted, for 49 stations on the NBC network, the first human birth to be seen on TV. It was a part of the program, "The March of Medicine."
1952
Keeping his campaign promise, President-elect Dwight D. Eisenhower arrived in Korea to promote a settlement to end hostilities in that war-ravaged country.
1952
George Jorgensen, a former G.I. who had gone to Denmark in 1950, prepared to return to the U.S. - as Christine Jorgensen. George had undergone 2,000 hormone injections and six operations performed by sex change surgeons.
1954
The Senate voted to condemn Senator Joseph R. McCarthy (Republican, Wisconsin) for "conduct that tends to bring the Senate into dishonor and disrepute."
1954
N-B-C news broadcaster Stone Phillips born
1954
Actor Dan Butler born
1955
Actor Dennis Christopher born
1956
Actor Steven Bauer born
1960
Rock musician Rick Savage (Def Leppard) born
1961
Cuban leader Fidel Castro declared himself a Marxist-Leninist who would lead Cuba to Communism.
1962
Tennis Hall-of-Famer Tracy Austin born
1965
A weird piece of performance art was put on at UCLA. "Playable Music Number 4" by Nam June Paik calls for a performer to cut his arm slowly with a razor. An enthusiastic member of the audience is said to have yelled, "Encore! Encore! Use your throat!"
1967
Cardinal Francis Spellman died in New York at age 78.
1967
Singer Jimmie Rodgers ("Honeycomb", "Kisses Sweeter Than Wine") was found in a car in Los Angeles, near death, suffering from a fractured skull. He had been the victim of a "mysterious assault."
1968
Rock musician Nate Mendel (Foo Fighters) born
1968
Rock singer Jimi (cq) Haha (Jimmie's Chicken Shack) born
1970
The Environmental Protection Agency began operating under director William Ruckelshaus.
1970
Rapper Treach (Naughty By Nature) born
1970
The U.S. Senate votes to give 48,000 acres of New Mexico back to the Taos Indians.
1972
Motown's Temptations reached the #1 spot on the top 40 charts this day with "Papa Was a Rollin' Stone". It was the fourth #1 hit for the Temptations, joining "My Girl" (1965), "I Can't Get Next to You" (1969) and "Just My Imagination" (1971).
1973
Tennis player Monica Seles born
1978
Singer Nelly Furtado born
1981
Singer Britney Spears born
1982
In the first operation of its kind, doctors at the University of Utah Medical Center implanted a permanent artificial heart in the chest of retired dentist Dr. Barney Clark, who lived 112 days with the device. He died on March 23, 1983.
1984
Dan Marino connected for four touchdown passes and set an NFL record for TD passes in a season (40). Miami's Dolphins lost the game, however, to the Los Angeles Rams 45-34. It marked the Dolphins' first home loss of the season following six wins.
1984
In a speech to Egypt's Parliament, Jordan's King Hussein criticized the U.S.-sponsored Camp David peace accords and insisted the PLO be a full partner in Middle East peace talks.
1985
A Philippine civilian court acquitted armed forces chief Gen. Fabian C. Ver and 25 other defendants of charges related to the 1983 shooting death of opposition leader Benigno S. Aquino.
1985
The highest-rated "Monday Night Football" telecast was seen this night on ABC-TV. The Miami Dolphins beat the Chicago Bears 38-24. The Miami win snapped a 12-game winning streak of the Bears.
1986
President Ronald Reagan announced that former CIA official Frank Carlucci would be his new national security adviser, succeeding Vice Admiral John M. Poindexter, who resigned as the Iran-Contra affair unraveled.
1987
After a chaotic six-and-a-half-hour meeting that had begun the night before, the Chicago City Council elected Eugene Sawyer acting mayor, succeeding the late Harold Washington.
1988
Benazir Bhutto was sworn in as prime minister of Pakistan.
1988
The space shuttle "Atlantis" was launched on a secret four-day mission.
1989
President Bush and Soviet President Mikhail S. Gorbachev held the first talks of their wind-tossed Malta summit aboard the Soviet cruise ship Maxim Gorky.
1989
V.P. Singh was sworn in as prime minister of India.
1990
, Chancellor Hekmut Kohl's center-right coalition easily won the first free all-German elections since 1932.
1990
Composer Aaron Copland died in North Tarrytown, New York, at age 90.
1990
Actor Bob Cummings died in Woodland Hills, California, at age 82.
1990
The Midwest section of the U.S. braced for a massive earthquake predicted by Iben Browning. Nothing happened.
1991
Testimony began in West Palm Beach, Florida, in the trial of William Kennedy Smith, for the rape of Patricia Bowman at his family's estate.
1991
American hostage Joseph Cicippio, held captive in Lebanon for more than five years, was released.
1992
Germany's lower house of parliament voted overwhelmingly in favor of the Maastricht Treaty on European unity.
1992
The space shuttle "Discovery" blasted off with five astronauts and a spy satellite aboard.
1993
Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar was shot to death by security forces in Medellin.
1993
The space shuttle "Endeavour" blasted off on a mission to fix the Hubble Space Telescope.
1993
An unemployed man opened fire at a California unemployment agency in Oxnard, California, killing three workers; he killed a police officer during a chase that ended in Ventura, where the man himself was gunned down.
1994
The government agreed not to seek a recall of allegedly fire-prone General Motors pickup trucks, striking a deal with GM under which the automaker would spend more than $51 million on safety and research.
1994
Reputed "Hollywood Madam" Heidi Fleiss was convicted in Los Angeles of three counts of pandering.
1994
In Pensacola, FL, Paul Hill was given two life sentences for murdering a doctor and security guard outside an abortion clinic in July 1994. Hill was convicted of violating the new federal law protecting abortion clinics.
1995
Financier Charles Keating Junior, a central figure in the most notorious savings-and-loan debacle of the 1980s, won a new federal trial because jurors had learned of his prior fraud conviction in state court before convicting him of fraud and racketeering.
1995
NASA launched a U.S.-European observatory on a $1 billion dollar mission to study the sun.
1995
In Baumholder, Germany, President Clinton told 4,000 American troops who were on their way to Bosnia-Herzegovina for peacekeeping duty to strike "immediately and with decisive force" if threatened.
1997
Attorney General Janet Reno declined to seek an independent counsel investigation of telephone fund-raising by President Clinton and Vice President Al Gore, concluding they did not violate election laws, a decision that drew jeers from Republicans.
1999
Relative calm took over in Seattle, where a meeting of the World Trade Organization was greeted earlier with sometimes violent demonstrations.
1999
In Northern Ireland, a power-sharing Cabinet of Protestants and Catholics sat down together for the first time.
1999
All six Republican presidential hopefuls, including Texas Gov. George W. Bush, debated in Manchester, N. H.
2005
Australian Van Nguyen executed in Singapore
2005
Man charged with Huxley attack
2005
Search continues for missing plane of George F. Baker III off coast of Nantucket, Massachusetts
2005
Joseph De Veuster voted greatest Belgian
2005
Court finds random bag searches in NYC subway constitutional
2005
Australian Senate sits for extra day, passes industrial relations legislation
2005
Arias leads opinion polls in Costa Rica
2005
Best's body arrives in Northern Ireland
2005
Federal Opposition hounds Treasurer over appointment to RBA board, Gerard resigns
2006
Genetically modified seeds got into New Zealand
2006
Ignatieff tops first ballot in Canadian Liberal convention
2006
USA tracks information on travelers
2006
An account of the Esperanza Fire from an animal rescuer
2006
Warlords gang-rape a woman in Badakhshan province of Afghanistan
2006
Taiwan President's daughter-in-law back in Taiwan for birth
2006
Canadian Liberal vote heads to third ballot
2006
Cuba asks to re-open negotiations with United States
2006
Dion leads Ignatieff heading into final ballot of Canadian Liberal vote
2006
Hezbollah-led protestors stage Beirut sit-in
2006
Dion wins Canadian Liberal leadership on fourth ballot
2006
Stephen Hawking believes going to other planets is necessary for human survival
2006
CNet Reporter James Kim, family missing
2006
England in a good position after day two of Adelaide test match
2006
China loosens press restrictions
2007
Draw results for UEFA Euro 2008 announced
2007
Taiwanese government supports IT industry by participating in Taipei IT Month
2007
Ozzy Osbourne's personal possessions fetch $800,000 for charity
2007
Russians vote in parliamentary election
2007
Uranium smugglers arrested in Slovakia and Hungary
2007
World AIDS Day events held around the globe
2008
Obama's transition website 'frees the content'
2008
Thai PM barred from politics, three parties dissolved
2008
International community marks the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People
2008
Minyama residents promise to keep fighting to stop McDonald's development
2008
Number of Zimbabwe cholera deaths nears 500
2008
Arrest made in Jennifer Hudson family killings
2009
Pakistani Member of Parliament killed by suicide bomber
2009
US President Obama delivers address on Afghanistan plan
2009
Religious and political leaders criticise Swiss ban on minarets
2009
British actress Maggie Jones dies age 75
2009
British sailors detained, released after yacht accidentally crosses into Iranian waters
2010
FIFA announce Russia to host 2018 World Cup, Qatar to host 2022 World Cup
2010
Pentagon 'don't ask don't tell' poll shows support for repeal
2010
Prime Minister of Vanuatu ousted in vote of no confidence
2010
Interpol orders arrest of Wikileaks founder to face rape charges
2011
On the campaign trail, November 2011
2011
Australian woman claims Church of Scientology imprisoned her for twelve years
2012
Leaked Syrian government emails indicate weapons supplied to Hamas

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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