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Today in History

1813
British soldiers burn Buffalo, New York
1890
Battle of Wounded Knee
1891
Thomas Edison patents the radio
1936
Emmy, Golden Globe and Tony Award winning actress, singer, and dancer, Mary Tyler Moore born in Brooklyn, New York
1936
Pro Football Hall of Fame linebacker, Ray Nitschke born in Elmwood Park, Illinois
1938
Academy Award winning actor, Jon Voight born in Yonkers, New York
1946
Musician, singer, songwriter and actress, Marianne Evelyn Faithfull born in Hampstead, London
1947
College basketball player, Golden Globe and Emmy Award winning actor, Ted Danson born in San Diego, California
1950
Engineer, soldier and astronaut, Nancy Currie born in Wilmington, Delaware
1959
Emmy Award winning actress, Patricia Clarkson born in New Orleans, Lousiana
1963
Jacksonville, Florida hotel fire kills 22
1972
Film producer, director, and actor, Jude Law born in London, England
2001
Fire in Lima, Peru kills at least 274
1165
Canonization of Charlemagne (reduced to "Blessed" in 18th century.)
1170
Archbishop Thomas Becket was murdered in Canterbury Cathedral in England.
1607
Powhatan, the Indian Chief, spares John Smith's life after the pleas of his daughter Pocahontas. born
1610
Arrest, by Count Thurzo, of Countess Elizabeth Bathory, on over 650 charges of murder, torture, and "satanistic terror."
1616
Death of Stephen Bocskay, Prince of Transylvania
1721
Madam Jeanne Poisson de Pompadour, influential mistress of Louis XV. born
1778
British troops, attempting a new strategy to defeat the colonials in America, capture Savannah, the capital of Georgia. In some of the bloodiest fighting of the Revolutionary War, American and French troops failed to take Savannah.
1800
Industrialist Charles Goodyear born
1808
Andrew Johnson, 17th president of the United States born
1809
British statesman William Gladstone born
1813
The British burned Buffalo, New York, during the War of 1812.
1837
Canadian militiamen destroyed the "Caroline," a US steamboat docked at Buffalo, New York.
1845
Texas (comprised of the present State of Texas and part of New Mexico, Colorado, and Wyoming) admitted as the 28th state, with the provision that the area (389, 166 square miles) should be divided into no more than five states "of convenient size."
1848
Gas lights were installed at the White House for the first time. (some sources 1849)
1851
The first American Young Men's Christian Association was organized, in Boston.
1852
Emma Snodgrass arrested in Boston for wearing pants
1876
Pablo Casals Vendrell Catalonia Spain, violinist/conductor/composer born
1890
The last major conflict of the Indian wars takes place at Wounded Knee Creek in South Dakota after Colonel James W. Forsyth of the 7th Cavalry tries to disarm Chief Big Foot and his followers. Some 300 Sioux Indians were killed by US troops sent to disarm them.
1893
The sole string quartet of Claude Debussy was premiered in Paris.
1907
Robert C. Weaver, first black American to serve in FDR's cabinet born
1912
The composer Peggy Glanville-Hicks was born.
1917
Former Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley born
1921
Sears, Roebuck President, Julius Rosenwald, pledges $20 million of his personal fortune to help Sears through hard times.
1934
Japan renounced the Washington Naval Treaty of 1922 and the London Naval Treaty of 1930.
1934
ABC newscaster Tom Jarriel born
1937
Actress Mary Tyler Moore born
1938
Actor Jon Voight born
1940
During World War Two, Germany began dropping incendiary bombs on London.
1940
In a radio interview, President Roosevelt proclaims the U.S. is the arsenal of democracy.
1940
Country singer Ed Bruce born
1946
Singer Marianne Faithfull born
1946
Jockey Laffit Pincay born
1947
Actor Ted Danson born
1948
Tito declares Yugoslavia will follow its own Communist line.
1951
Singer-actress Yvonne Elliman born
1955
Barbra Striesand's 1st recording "You'll Never Know" at age 13.
1956
President Eisenhower asks Congress for the authority to oppose Soviet aggression in the Mideast.
1957
Singers Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gorme were married in Las Vegas, Nevada.
1959
Comedian Paula Poundstone born
1961
Rock singer-musician Jim Reid (The Jesus and Mary Chain) born
1965
A Christmas truce is observed in Vietnam, while President Johnson tries to get the North Vietnamese to the bargaining table.
1967
Star Trek's "The Trouble With Tribbles" airs for the first time.
1970
Rock singer-musician Glen Phillips (Toad The Wet Sprocket) born
1972
Eastern Tristar Jumbo Jet crashes near Everglades killing 101
1972
Actor Jude Law born
1975
Actor Shawn Hatosy born
1975
A bomb exploded in the main terminal of New York's LaGuardia Airport, killing eleven people.
1981
President Reagan curtails Soviet trade in reprisal for Polish policy.
1983
Country singer Jessica Andrews born
1983
The United States announced its withdrawal from UNESCO.
1986
Former British Prime Minister Harold Macmillan died at his home in Sussex, England, at age 92.
1987
NASA announced it was delaying the planned June launch of the space shuttle -- the first since the "Challenger" disaster -- because of the failure of a motor component during a test-firing of the shuttle's redesigned booster rocket.
1988
The Federal Aviation Administration, responding to the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103, announced tightened security measures for US air carriers at 103 airports in the Middle East and Western Europe.
1989
Playwright Vaclav Havel was sworn in as the first non-communist president of Czechoslovakia since 1948.
1990
Olympic gymnist Mary Lou Retton weds Shannon Kelley
1990
Iraq denied a report that it was engaged in secret contacts with the US to avert war, and might withdraw from Kuwait before the January 15th United Nations deadline.
1992
The United States and Russia announced agreement on a nuclear arms reduction treaty. Brazilian President Fernando Collor de Mello resigned.
1992
New York Governor Mario Cuomo commuted the prison sentence of Jean Harris, the convicted killer of "Scarsdale Diet" author Herman Tarnower.
1992
David and Sharon Schoo of St. Charles, Illinois, were arrested at O'Hare International Airport in Chicago upon their return from vacation for leaving their young daughters at home, alone.
1993
The six-volume complete set of the orchestral music of Paul Hindemith was completed.
1993
Nearly three weeks after the orbiting Hubble Space Telescope was repaired by the crew of the space shuttle Endeavour, scientists reported "absolutely no sign of problems."
1994
US officials confirmed the release of US Army helicopter pilot Bobby Hall from North Korean custody (due to the time difference, it was December 30th in Korea when Hall crossed the demilitarized zone to freedom).
1995
Japan's finance minister (Masayoshi Takemura) announced the resignation of the deputy finance minister (Kyosuke Shinozawa) over several scandals, including the ministry's cover-up of trading losses at Daiwa Bank's New York office.
1996
War-weary guerrilla and government leaders in Guatemala signed an accord ending 36 years of civil conflict. North Korea apologized for sending a spy submarine into South Korean waters.
1997
Hong Kong began killing 1.4 million chickens to stem the spread of a mysterious bird flu that had already killed four people.
1998
Two top Khmer Rouge leaders apologized for the deaths of as many as two million people during their regime in the 1970s, and asked Cambodians to forget the past.
1999
The Nasdaq composite index closed above 4,000 for the first time, ending the day at 4041.46.
2005
US consumer confidence up
2005
69-year-old Australian mother and son on drugs charges
2005
Man buys his stolen camera on eBay
2005
South Korea begins sending indictments via SMS
2005
Melbourne Victory held to draw by Perth Glory
2005
New text message encryption method developed
2005
Former Chilean president Augusto Pinochet fingerprinted
2006
Sydney FC to lose competition points
2006
Train collides with bus in Mexico
2006
High definition anti-piracy DRM possibly hacked
2006
Custody of Saddam Hussein given to Iraq, to be executed 'today or tomorrow'
2006
Donald Trump reacts to 'Pimp' comments
2006
Ice shelf breaks free in Canadian Arctic
2006
Islamist militia driven out of Mogadishu, vow to keep fighting
2006
FDA backs clone meat
2006
New Zealand doctor starts smoking in protest
2007
South African prosecutors charge ANC leader Jacob Zuma with corruption
2007
Australian David Hicks is released from Yatala Labour Prison
2007
World Trade Organization allows Antigua to ignore US$21 million of US copyright per year
2007
UK rail regulator launches investigation into line closure at short notice
2007
Celebrities draw attention on 2008 UK New Year Honours list
2007
Scottish footballer Phil O'Donnell collapses during game and dies
2007
Musharraf orders strong action against rioters in Pakistan
2008
Four UK retailers call in administrators during the week of Christmas
2008
NFL: Packers defeat Lions 31–21, Lions become first team to finish season with 0-16 record
2008
Nine dead after armed Santa Claus opens fire in LA suburb
2009
Fireworks found on US domestic flight
2009
Apartment block blaze kills nine in Mississippi, US
2009
British national Akmal Shaikh executed in China
2009
Somali pirates capture two ships
2009
Avenged Sevenfold drummer James "The Rev" Sullivan found dead at age 28
2009
US charges homeless man after plane stolen and crashed in Maryland
2011
Russian court rejects move to ban Hindu scripture
2011
U.S. presidential candidate Gary Johnson leaves GOP to vie for the LP nom
2012
Anti-poverty charity Oxfam criticises UK media portrayal of Africa

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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