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Today in History

1865
Newspaper editor, poet, author and Nobel Laureate, Rudyard Kipling born in Bombay, India
1896
Author, ophthalmologist and social activist, José Rizal executed in Manila, Philippines
1920
Seaman, salesman and actor, Jack Lord born in Brooklyn, New York
1922
USSR formed
1924
Edwin Hubble announces the existence of other galaxies
1928
Grammy Award winning Rock & Roll Hall of Fame blues guitarist and singer, Bo Diddley born Ellas Otha Bates in McComb, Mississippi
1936
UAW stages its first sit-down strike
1940
First Los Angeles freeway dedicated
1942
Novelist, actor, musician, songwriter, and singer for The Monkees, Robert Michael Nesmith born in Harris County, Texas
1945
Songwriter and Grammy Award winning singer for the The Monkees, Davy Jones born in Manchester, England
1946
Artist, songwriter and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame singer, Patti Smith born in Chicago, Illinois
1975
PGA champion and golfing legend Eldrick "Tiger" Woods born in Cypress, California
2000
Bombings kill 22 in Manila, Philippines
2006
Saddam Hussein executed by hanging
39
Titus 10th Roman Emperor, conqueror of Jerusalem born
274
Death of St. Felix, Pope
961
The Japanese Emperor moved into his rebuilt Palace at Kyoto
1460
The Duke of York is defeated and killed by Lancastrians at the Battle of Wakefield.
1501
Marriage of Lucrezia Borgia to Alfonso d'Este
1573
Giambattista Giraldi, Italian novelist, poet, dramatist dies
1591
Death of Pope Innocent IX
1622
Robert Gorges is made Lieutenant-Governor of New England
1635
Jan Baptista van Helmont, physician, alchemist, dies
1642
Vincenzo da Filicaia, Florence, lyric poet born
1803
The United States takes possession of the Louisiana area at New Orleans with a simple ceremony, the simultaneous lowering and raising of the national flags.
1809
Wearing masks at balls forbidden in Boston.
1851
Asa Griggs Candler developed Coca-Cola born
1853
The United States bought 45,000 square miles of land along the Gila River from Mexico for $10 million. The deal is known ao the Gadsden Purchase. The area is now southern Arizona and New Mexico.
1862
The draft of the Emancipation Proclamation is finished and circulated around Lincoln's cabinet for comment.
1865
Rudyard Kipling, British author, best known for Jungle Book and Soldiers Three. born
1867
Simon Guggenheim, philanthropist. Everyone flying today is a beneficiary of the Guggenheim team's vision and largesse. (died aboard the Titanic) born
1869
Canadian economist and humorist Stephen Leacock born
1877
Brahms' Second Symphony premiered in Vienna.
1884
Tojo Hideki, Japanese Prime Minister during WWII. When the bellicose war minister and most powerful man in Japan, Army General Hideki Tojo, became prime minister in October 1941, there no longer was a chance of avoiding war with Britain and the United States. born
1903
Flames swept the Iroquois Theater in Chicago, killing 602 people. The fire led to safety regulations for theaters around the world.
1904
Dmitri Kabalevsky in St. Petersburg. born
1905
"The Merry Widow" was premiered in Vienna and was an instant success for Franz Lehar. was born.
1905
Governor Frank Steunenberg of Idaho is killed by an assassin's bomb.
1910
Composer and pianist Paul Bowles. born
1911
Sun Yat-sen was elected the first president of the Republic of China.
1914
Former Miss America Pageant master of ceremonies Bert Parks born
1922
At the first Soviet Congress, Russia, Ukraine and two other Soviet republics signed a treaty, creating the Soviet Union.
1927
The first subway in the Orient was dedicated in Tokyo, Japan. Its last extension was added in 1980, making the Tokyo underground railroad network the sixth longest in the world at 135 miles. It is surpassed only by Washington, DC, London, New York, Paris and Moscow.
1928
Rock `n' roll pioneer Bo Diddley born
1928
Actor Jack Lord (Steve McGarrett-Hawaii 5-0, God's Little Acre) born
1931
Singer Skeeter Davis born
1932
The USSR bars food handouts for housewives under 36 years of age. They must now work to eat.
1934
Actor Russ Tamblyn born
1935
Sandy Koufax Dodger pitcher (Cy Young '63, '65, '66) born
1936
The famous feud between Jack Benny and Fred Allen was ignited on this night. After a 10-year-old performer finished a violin solo on "The Fred Allen Show", Mr. Allen said, "A certain alleged violinist should hide his head in shame for his poor fiddle playing." It didn't take long for Mr. Benny to respond. The humorous feud lasted for years on both comedian's radio shows.
1936
The United Auto Workers union staged its first "sit-down" strike, at the Fisher Body Plant Number One in Flint, Michigan.
1937
Singer John Hartford born
1937
Folk singer Paul Stookey born
1938
Actor Joseph Bologna born
1940
California's first freeway, the Arroyo Seco Parkway connecting Los Angeles and Pasadena, was officially opened.
1940
TV director James Burrows born
1942
Singer-guitarist Michael Nesmith born
1942
Actor Fred Ward born
1942
Frank Sinatra opened at New York's Paramount Theatre for what was scheduled to be a 4-week engagement (his shows turned out to be so popular, he was booked for an additional 4 weeks).
1944
King George the Second of Greece proclaimed a regency to rule his country, virtually renouncing the throne.
1945
Singer Davy Jones (Monkees-Last Train to Clarksville) born
1946
Singer Patti Smith born
1947
Rock singer-musician Jeff Lynne born
1947
King Michael of Romania agreed to abdicate, but charged he was being forced off the throne by Communists.
1948
Alfred Drake and Patricia Morrison starred as "Kiss Me Kate" opened at the New Century Theatre in New York City. Cole Porter composed the music for the classic play that was adapted from Shakespeare's comedy, "Taming of the Shrew".
1954
Pearl Bailey opened on Broadway in the play, "House of Flowers", about two madams with rival bordellos.
1955
Actress Sheryl Lee Ralph ("Moesha") born
1956
Actress Patricia Kalember born
1956
Country singer Suzy Bogguss born
1957
NBC newscaster Matt Lauer born
1959
Actress comedienne Tracey Ullman born
1961
Runner Ben Johnson born
1962
Singer Paul Crowder (The Adventures-Sea of Love) born
1963
Kim Hill born
1965
Ferdinand E. Marcos is sworn in as the Philippine Republic's sixth president.
1969
Peter, Paul and Mary received a gold record for the single, "Leaving On a Jet Plane". The song had hit #1 on December 20, 1969.
1969
Singer Jay Kay (Jamiroquai) born
1970
Paul McCartney sued the other three Beatles to dissolve the partnership and gain control of his interest. The suit touched off a bitter feud between McCartney and the others, especially his co-writer on many of the Beatles compositions, John Lennon. The partnership officially came to end in 1974.
1972
After two weeks of heavy bombing raids on North Vietnam, President Nixon halts the air offensive and agrees to resume peace negotiations with Hanoi representative Le Duc Tho.
1975
Golfer Tiger Woods born
1976
Governor Carey of New York pardons seven inmates to close the book on the Attica uprising.
1976
Actress Meredith Monroe ("Dawson's Creek") born
1978
Ohio State dismisses Woody Hayes as its football coach.
1978
Singer Tyrese born
1980
The longest-running series in prime time television history was canceled by NBC. "The Wonderful World of Disney" was canceled after more than 25 years on TV.
1983
Rachel & Ross Trudeau twins of Jane Pauley & Gerry Trudeau born
1986
US begins Military exercises in Honduras
1987
Manufacturers of all-terrain vehicles agreed to withdraw the three-wheel model from dealers' inventories, but stopped short of a recall, as demanded by groups who felt the ATV's were dangerous.
1988
Forty-nine-year-old director Peter Bogdanovich weds twenty-year-old Louise Hoogstratten, the younger sister of his murdered fiance, Dorothy Stratten.
1988
President Reagan and President-elect Bush were subpoenaed to testify as defense witnesses in the pending Iran-Contra trial of Oliver North. (The subpoenas, however, were subsequently quashed.)
1989
A Northwest Airlines DC-10, which had been the target of a telephoned threat, flew safely from Paris to Detroit with 17 passengers aboard amid extra-tight security.
1990
Iraq's information minister (Latif Nussayif Jassim) said President Bush "must have been drunk" when he suggested Iraq might withdraw from Kuwait, and added: "We will show the world America is a paper tiger."
1992
President Bush embarked on the final foreign trip of his term in office, heading to a Black Sea summit with Russian President Boris Yeltsin, with a stopover in Somalia to visit US troops helping famine victims.
1993
Israel and the Vatican agreed to recognize each other.
1993
Hollywood agent Irving "Swifty" Lazar died in Beverly Hills, California, at age 86.
1993
Israel and the Vatican agreed to recognize one another.
1994
US Army helicopter pilot Bobby Hall walked to freedom 13 days after he was captured by North Korea in a shootdown that claimed the life of co-pilot David Hilemon.
1994
A gunman walked into a pair of suburban Boston abortion clinics and opened fire, killing two employees and wounding five other people (John C. Salvi the Third was later convicted of murder; he committed suicide in prison)
1995
A US military policeman, Martin John Begosh, became the first American injured in NATO's fledgling Bosnia peace mission when his Humvee hit an anti-tank mine.
1996
About three dozen people were killed when a bomb exploded on an Indian commuter train; a militant group claimed responsibility.
1997
The single deadliest massacre in Algeria's insurgency began in four mountain villages as armed men killed 412 men, women and children in an attack that lasted from dusk until dawn the following morning.
1998
Weak but radiant with pride, Nkem Chukwu, the mother of the Houston octuplets, went home from the hospital.
1999
Sarah "Sadie" Clark Knauss, listed by the Guinness Book of Records as the oldest person with a verifiable date of birth, died in Allentown, Pennsylvania, at age 119.
1999
Former Beatle George Harrison fought off a knife-wielding intruder who broke into his mansion west of London and stabbed him in the chest. (Michael Abram was later acquitted of attempted murder by reason of insanity.)
1999
In Tampa, Florida, a gunman opened fire inside a hotel, killing four workers before shooting a fifth person dead as he tried to escape. (A suspect, Silvio Izquierdo-Leyva, has pleaded innocent.)
2005
Australian refugee contractor accused of breaching its duty of care
2005
Mario Draghi succeeds Antonio Fazio as Bank of Italy governor
2005
Million Dollar Homepage is close to achieving million-dollar goal
2005
United States Justice Department opens investigation into White House leaks
2005
Bolivia's new president-elect brands Bush 'the only terrorist'
2005
Distributed computing discovers largest known prime number
2005
Teenager in Florida, United States skips school, goes to Iraq
2005
Uproar over sexual EU spoof posters in Austria
2005
Colorado College Tigers win 41st annual Great Lakes Invitational tournament
2005
Al-Qaeda releases video of Sudanese hostages
2006
Reasons for Litvinenko's conversion to Islam revealed
2006
Christmas Island preparing for New Year
2006
Explosion hits Madrid Airport's terminal 4
2006
Putin's critic dismisses Kremlin's accusations in Litvinenko's case as 'science fiction'
2006
Saddam Hussein executed by hanging
2006
Hepatitis scare at New Zealand McDonald's restaurant
2007
New England Patriots go undefeated in NFL regular season
2007
Bilawal Bhutto, son of Benazir, to assume leadership of PPP
2007
Jessica Alba anounces engagement to Cash Warren
2008
Bangladesh elects new Prime Minister
2009
UK hostage Peter Moore released in Iraq
2009
Times Square shuts down due to suspicious vehicle
2009
California congressman George Radanovich to leave office
2009
Oldest duck in UK dies at age 22
2009
Gary Megson sacked as manager of Bolton Wanderers F.C
2009
Canadian Parliament suspended until March
2009
Twenty dead after double suicide bombing in Iraq
2009
Airline bombing suspect spent months in Yemen
2010
'Very serious': Chinese government releases corruption report
2010
US pool player Wade Crane dies in car accident age 66
2010
Sergei Sidorsky replaced as Belarusian prime minister

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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