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Today in History

1842
Water quality and sanitation pioneer, MIT chemist Ellen Swallow Richards born in Dunstable, Massachusetts
1842
Flour industrialist Charles Alfred Pillsbury born in Warner, New Hampshire
1910
Paris is site of first neon light display
1931
Singer and game show panelist, Jaye P Morgan born in Mancos, Colorado
1948
Award winning singer John Michael "Ozzy" Osbourne born in Birmingham, England
1960
Environmentalist and award winning actress Daryl Christine Hannah born in Chicago, Illinois
1967
First successful human heart transplant
1982
Dioxin found in Times Beach, Missouri
1984
Pesticide leak kills 3,800+ in Bhopal, India
1154
Death of Pope Anastasius IV
1368
Charles IV, King of France born
1469
Death of Piero de'Medici
1557
Scots Protestants united by a National Covenant
1564
Ivan IV, "the Terrible," and the Russian Royal family leave Moscow
1596
Violin maker Nicolo Amati born
1621
Galileo invents the telescope.
1639
Bronx, New York, purchased from the Indians by Jonas Bronck
1729
Talented composer Antonio Soler born
1755
Presidential portrait painter Gilbert Stuart born
1818
Illinois was admitted as the 21st state.
1828
Andrew Jackson was elected president of the United States.
1833
Oberlin College in Ohio opened with an enrollment of 29 men and 15 women, the nation's first truly co-educational college.
1838
U.S. Weather Bureau meteorologist Cleveland Abbe, who initiated daily weather bulletins born
1857
English novelist Joseph Conrad born
1883
Anton von Webern was born in Vienna. Webern took instructions from Arnold Schoenberg for four years, culminating in the "Passacaglia," Opus 1, a remarkable piece which builds enormous drama in about 11 minutes. born
1894
Author Robert Louis Stevenson died in Samoa.
1919
Singer Sylvia Syms born
1922
The first successful Technicolor motion picture, "The Toll of the Sea" was shown at the Rialto Theatre in New York City.
1924
Prizefighter Jack Sharkey lost his boxing license when the New York State Boxing Commission revoked his boxing card after Sharkey knocked down referee Eddie Purdy during a match.
1925
The first jazz concerto for piano and orchestra was presented at Carnegie Hall in NYC. Commissioned by Walter Damrosch, American composer, George Gershwin presented "Concerto In F"; and was also the featured soloist playing a flugelhorn in a slow, bluesy style as one of his numbers.
1925
Country singer Ferlin Husky (Gone, Wings of a Dove) born
1927
Singer Andy Williams (Canadian Sunset, Moon River)(some sources 1930) born
1927
Soprano Phyllis Curtin born
1929
The Ford Motor Co. raised the pay of its employees from six to seven dollars a day despite the collapse of the American stock market.
1930
French film director Jean-Luc Godard (some sources 1925) born
1931
Singer Jaye P. Morgan (That's All I Want From You, The Longest Walk) born
1936
Baseball catcher Clay Dalrymple born
1937
Racercar driver Bobby Allison (Daytona 500 winner , oldest Daytona 500 winner ) born
1941
Actress Mary Alice born
1944
Frank Sinatra recorded "Old Man River" for Columbia Records.
1947
The Tennessee Williams play "A Streetcar Named Desire" opened on Broadway, starring Jessica Tandy as Blanche DuBois, Marlon Brando as Stanley Kowalski and Kim Hunter as Stella Kowalski.
1948
The "Pumpkin Papers" came to light as the House Un-American Activities Committee announced that former Communist spy Whittaker Chambers had produced microfilm of secret documents hidden inside a pumpkin on his Maryland farm.
1948
Rock singer Ozzy Osbourne born
1949
Actress Heather Menzies born
1949
Singer Mickey Thomas (Alive Alone) born
1951
Basketball player Jim Brewer born
1951
Basketball player Mike Bantom born
1952
Baseball player Larry Anderson born
1952
Hockey player Bob MacMillan born
1953
"Kismet" opened on Broadway in New York. The show ran for 583 performances.
1960
Actress Daryl Hannah born
1960
"Camelot" opened at the Majestic Theatre in New York City. Richard Burton and Julie Andrews played the leading roles in the musical written by Lerner and Loewe. Robert Goulet got rave reviews in the show for his songs, "If Ever I Would Leave You", "Then You May Take Me to the Fair" and "How to Handle a Woman", among others. "Camelot" had a run of 873 performances.
1965
The National Council of Churches asks the U.S. to halt the massive bombings in North Vietnam.
1967
Surgeons in Cape Town, South Africa, led by Dr. Christiaan Barnard performed the first human heart transplant on Louis Washkansky, who lived 18 days with the new heart.
1967
The "Twentieth Century Limited," the famed luxury train, completed its final run from New York to Chicago.
1968
The O'Kaysions received a gold record for the single, "Girl Watche."
1968
Actor Brendan Fraser ("George of the Jungle") born
1968
The rules committee of Major League Baseball announced that in 1969 the pitcher's mound would be lowered from 15 to 10 inches in order to "get more batting action."
1969
Actor Royale Watkins ("Built to Last") born
1975
Actress Lauren Roman ("All My Children") born
1979
Eleven people were killed in a crush of fans at Cincinnati's Riverfront Coliseum, where the British rock group The Who was performing.
1980
Actress Anna Chlumsky ("My Girl") born
1981
Actor Brian Bonsall born
1983
In his final season as head basketball coach of the DePaul Blue Demons, Ray Meyer won game number 700.
1984
More than 4,000 people died after a cloud of gas escaped from a pesticide plant operated by a Union Carbide subsidiary in Bhopal, India.
1984
Miss America 1971, wife of the Governor of Kentucky and an heiress to the Kentucky Fried Chicken fortune, Phyllis George signed a multiyear contract with CBS-TV. Her work as coanchor of the "CBS Morning News" began in January 1985.
1985
The space shuttle Atlantis returned safely to Earth, completing a week-long mission that included the launching of three satellites and experiments involving space construction techniques.
1986
Saying, "clearly, mistakes were made," Vice President George Bush defended the administration's secret dealings with Iran, and denied knowing anything about the diversion of funds to Nicaraguan rebels.
1987
Actor Michael Angarano born
1987
Four days before his summit with Soviet leader Mikhail S. Gorbachev to sign a treaty banning intermediate-range nuclear missiles, President Reagan said in an interview with TV network anchormen that there was a reasonably good chance of progress toward a treaty on long-range weapons.
1988
In South Africa, eleven black funeral mourners were slain in Natal Province in an attack blamed on security forces.
1988
Barry Sanders of Oklahoma State University won the Heisman Trophy.
1989
President Bush and Soviet President Mikhail S. Gorbachev held the second day of their summit talks off Malta aboard the Soviet cruise liner Maxim Gorky; the two leaders then held a joint news conference.
1989
East German Communist leader Egon Krenz, the ruling Politburo and the party's Central Committee, resigned.
1990
President Bush began a five-nation South American tour as he arrived in Brazil.
1990
A Northwest Airlines DC-9 collided on the ground with a Northwest Boeing 727 at Detroit Metropolitan Airport, resulting in a fire that claimed eight lives.
1991
Radicals in Lebanon released American hostage Alann Steen, who'd been held captive nearly five years.
1991
Embattled White House Chief of Staff John H. Sununu resigned; he was succeeded by Samuel K. Skinner.
1992
The Greek tanker "Aegean Sea" spilled 21 and a-half million gallons of crude oil when it ran aground at La Coruna, Spain.
1992
The UN Security Council unanimously approved a US-led military mission to help starving Somalia.
1993
Lewis Thomas, the great science writer, died. Thomas was also a great music fan. One of his books was called "Late Night Thoughts on Listening to Mahler's Ninth Symphony." But his favorite composer was Bach.
1993
Britain's Princess Diana, saying she was fed up with the media's intrusions into her life, announced she would be limiting her public appearances.
1993
Angola's government and its rebel foes agreed to a cease-fire in their 18-year war.
1994
Rebel Serbs in Bosnia failed to keep a pledge to release hundreds of UN peacekeepers, some of whom had been held for more than a week.
1994
AIDS activist Elizabeth Glaser, who along with her two children were infected with HIV because of a blood transfusion, died in Santa Monica, California, at age 47.
1995
President Clinton, wrapping up a five-day European trip, authorized a vanguard of 700 American troops to open a risky mission in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
1995
former South Korean president Chun Doo-hwan was arrested for his role in a 1979 coup that was followed by the most violent crackdown in the nation's history.
1996
The Justice Department barred 16 Japanese army veterans suspected of World War Two atrocities from entering the United States.
1996
A judge in Hawaii ruled that the state had to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, prompting an appeal.
1996
Four people were killed in a subway bombing in southern Paris.
1997
South Korea struck a deal with the International Monetary Fund for a record $55 billion bailout of its foundering economy.
1997
President Clinton hosted his first town hall meeting on America's race relations in Akron, Ohio.
1998
Republicans jettisoned campaign fund-raising from their impeachment inquiry, clearing the way for a historic House Judiciary Committee vote over President Clinton's relationship with Monica Lewinsky and his effort to cover it up.
1999
Six firefighters died while battling a fire in an abandoned Worcester, Mass., industrial building.
1999
Tori Murden of the United States became the first woman to row across the Atlantic Ocean alone as she arrived at the French Carribean island of Guadeloupe, 81 days after leaving the Canary Islands near the coast of Africa.
1999
Billionaire banker Edmond Safra suffocated in a smoke-filled bathroom in his Monaco apartment; American nurse Ted Maher confessed to setting the fire that killed the 67-year-old Safra.
1999
Oscar-nominated actress Madeline Kahn died at age 57.
1999
Scientists failed to make contact with the Mars Polar Lander after it began its fiery descent toward the Red Planet; the spacecraft is presumed destroyed.
2005
Tennessee town mulls 'stop work order' as construction of controversial grain tanks begins
2005
East Timor - Australia problematic billion-dollar gas and oil accord
2005
Military admits planting news in Iraq
2005
Judge allows student to sue school for revealing sexuality
2005
Thousands demand climate change action
2005
Compensation funding agreement reached for Australian asbestos victims
2005
New prince is born in Norway
2006
Russia wins Junior Eurovision Song Contest 2006
2006
Ed Stelmach elected new Alberta premier
2006
Chief of Fijian military claims that he is in control of Fiji
2006
Former Chilean President Pinochet suffers heart attack
2006
Philippine typhoon toll may hit 1,000
2006
Rumsfeld memo recognizes need for 'major adjustment' in Iraq
2006
Taliban claim: Helicopter in Afghanistan shot down
2006
UCLA defeats USC, ends Trojans' BCS title hopes
2007
Belgian formation talks: King consults incumbent PM
2007
Chinese officials say man dies of H5N1 Avian Flu virus
2007
Teacher jailed over teddy bear given pardon
2007
New Australian Prime Minister signs Kyoto
2007
Bali climate change conference begins
2007
Al Sharpton speaks out on race, rights and what bothers him about his critics
2007
Calls for "critical breakthrough" in the opening speeches of Climate Conference in Bali
2007
Kevin Rudd sworn in as Prime Minister of Australia
2007
Neste Oil to build world's largest biodiesel plant in Singapore
2007
Sefton, UK ex-mayor jailed
2007
Venezuela's constitutional reform referendum fails to pass
2007
US: Iran nuclear weapons initiative ended in 2003
2007
English FA Cup third round draw
2007
Russian opposition presents alleged evidence of election fraud
2008
Car accident was an act of God, says driver
2008
Local council in Australia rejects McDonald's development plan
2008
.tel top-level domain launched
2008
Republican Senator from Georgia wins run-off election
2009
At least fifteen killed after suicide bombing in Somali hotel
2009
UK Government to look again at drink-drive limit
2009
FIFA to make changes after Thierry Henry handball
2009
Iran releases five detained Britons
2009
Pakistani prime minister says Osama Bin Laden not in the country
2009
UK's oldest museum reopened
2010
'Critical safety issue' with A380 engines
2010
British warship HMS Invincible put up for auction online
2010
U.S. Army revives next-generation Ground Combat Vehicle program
2011
'Have them all shot': BBC gets 21,000+ complaints over Jeremy Clarkson's public sector striker comments
2012
Kansas City Chiefs athlete commits murder-suicide

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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