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Today in History

346
St. Nicholas Day
1886
Soldier, journalist and poet Alfred Joyce Kilmer born in New Brunswick, New Jersey
1896
Lyricist Ira Gershwin born in New York City
1900
Golden Globe, and Emmy award winning actress, Agnes Moorehead born in Clinton, Massachusetts
1913
Olympic Gold Medalist swimmer, actress, singer, and interior designer, Eleanor Holm born in Brooklyn, New York
1917
Independence Day in Finland
1949
Grammy Award winning singer and songwriter, Linda Creed born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
1956
The Blood in the Water match, Hungary vs. USSR at the Melbourne Olympics
1962
Author and actress, Janine Turner born in Lincoln, Nebraska
1969
The Rolling Stones play Altamont
346
Death of St. Nicholas
1240
Mongols take Kiev, Russia
1273
St. Thomas Aquinas ceases writing
1323
John of Nottingham and Robert Marshall of Leicester undertake the murder of Edward II, King of England, by witchcraft
1352
Death of Pope Clement VI
1362
Coronation of Pope Urban V
1421
England's King Henry VI born
1478
Baldassare Castiglione, Italian diplomat, writer born
1491
Marriage of Duchess Anne of Brittany to Charles VII of France
1560
Charles IX becomes King of France
1648
"Pride's Purge;" Army control of the English Parliament
1778
French chemist Joseph Gay-Lussac born
1790
Congress moved from New York to Philadelphia.
1821
Beethoven finished his piano sonata, Opus 109.
1822
John Eberhard, built 1st large scale pencil factory in US. born
1846
"The Damnation of Faust" premiered. It was a failure, but not for musical reasons. Political disturbances and bad weather kept a lot of people away from the performance. Berlioz's work is a dramatic legend in four parts, not an opera.
1862
President Lincoln orders the hanging of 39 of the 303 convicted Indians who participated in the Sioux Uprising in Minnesota. They are to be hanged on Dec. 26.
1870
William S. Hart, star of silent Western movies born
1873
America's first international football (soccer) game was played in New Haven, CT this day. Yale defeated Eton (England) 2-1.
1876
Jack McCall is convicted for the murder of Wild Bill Hickok and sentenced to hang.
1884
Army engineers completed construction of the Washington Monument.
1886
Poet Joyce (Alfred) Kilmer (Trees) born
1887
Actress Lynn Fontanne (The Pirate with Alfred Lunt) born
1889
Jefferson Davis, the first and only president of the Confederate States of America, died in New Orleans.
1896
Lyricist (Israel Gershvin) Ira Gershwin (Lady Be Good, The Man I Love, The Man That Got Away) born
1903
Baseball Hall of Famer Tony Lazzeri born
1906
Actress Agnes Moorehead (Bewitched) born
1913
Swimmer Eleanor Holm born
1917
More than 1,600 people died in an explosion when a Belgian relief ship and a French munitions vessel collided in the harbor at Halifax, Nova Scotia.
1917
In the aftermath of the Bolshevik victory in the Second Russian Revolution, the Finnish Parliment declared Finland independent of Russia today.
1917
Former Czar Nicholas II and family are made prisoners by the Bolsheviks in Tobolsk.
1920
Jazz musician Dave Brubeck (Take Five) born
1921
Football player Otto Graham (Cleveland Browns 1950-55) born
1922
The Irish Free State, forerunner of the modern Republic of Ireland, was officially proclaimed.
1923
A presidential address was broadcast on radio for the first time as President Coolidge spoke to a joint session of Congress.
1930
Actor, dancer Bobby (Stein) Van (Small Town Girl) born
1933
Americans crowded into liquor stores, bars and cafes to buy their first legal alcoholic beverages in 13 years, following the repeal of Prohibition.
1940
Singer Steve Alaimo (Every Day I Have to Cry Some) born
1941
Country singer Helen Cornelius born
1942
Singer Len Barry born
1944
"Red Bank Boogie", Count Basie's salute to his hometown, was recorded on Columbia Records. The tune is a tribute to Red Bank, New Jersey.
1945
Baseball shortstop Larry Bowa born
1945
Actor James Naughton born
1947
Everglades National Park in Florida was dedicated by President Truman.
1948
Senator Don Nickles (Republican, Oklahoma) born
1948
Songwriter, singer Jonathan King (Everyone's Gone to the Moon) born
1948
"Arthur Godfrey's Talent Scouts" debuted on CBS-TV. The show ran for almost 10 years and the redhead introduced such talent as Pat Boone, The Chordettes, Carmel Quinn, The McGuire Sisters, Rosemary Clooney, Tony Bennett, Connie Francis, Steve Lawrence, Al Martino and many others.
1950
'America's Sweetheart', Shirley Temple, became Shirley Temple Black as she married Charles Black, a socialite and business executive from San Francisco.
1953
Actress JoBeth Williams born
1953
Actor Tom Hulce born
1953
Actor Kin Shriner born
1953
Talk show host Wil Shriner born
1954
Actor Miles Chapin born
1955
Country singer Bill Lloyd (Foster and Lloyd) born
1955
Singer Tish Hinojosa born
1955
Rock musician Rick Buckler (The Jam) born
1955
Comedian Steven Wright born
1956
Rock musician Peter Buck (R.E.M.) born
1957
America's first attempt at putting a satellite into orbit blew up on the launch pad at Cape Canaveral, Florida.
1957
AFL-CIO members voted to expel the International Brotherhood of Teamsters. (The Teamsters were readmitted in 1987.)
1960
Eileen Farrell debuted at the Metropolitan Opera House in NYC in the title role of Gluck's "Alcestis."
1962
Rock musician Ben Watt (Everything But The Girl) born
1962
Actress Janine Turner born
1968
The Commissioner of Baseball, William Eckert was told, "Yer outta here!" after serving three years of his 7-year contract. Bowie Kuhn was his replacement.
1969
Musician, Cab Calloway turned actor as he was seen in the "Hallmark Hall of Fame" presentation of "The Littlest Angel" on NBC. The big band singer, known for such classics as "Minnie the Moocher", became a movie star in "The Blues Brothers" (1980) with John Belushi and Dan Ackroyd.
1969
"Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye", by Steam, reached the #1 spot on the top 40. It stayed at the top for two weeks and was the only major hit for the group.
1970
Rock musician Ulf "Buddha" Ekberg (Ace of Base) born
1973
House minority leader Gerald R. Ford was sworn in as vice president, succeeding Spiro T. Agnew.
1976
Democrat Tip ONeill is elected as Speaker of the House.
1982
Eleven soldiers and six civilians were killed when a bomb planted by the Irish National Liberation Army exploded in a pub in Ballykelly, Northern Ireland.
1984
Martina Navratilova's 74-game winning streak over 11+ months came to an end. The 19-year-old tennis star was defeated by Helen Sukova in the semifinals of the Australian Open.
1985
John Cougar Mellencamp promised 24,000 people at a New York City concert that he would refund their $17.50 tickets. A power outage caused a 20-minute interruption during this, his debut concert.
1986
University of Miami quarterback, Vinny Testaverde won the Heisman Trophy.
1987
One day before the arrival of Soviet leader Mikhail S. Gorbachev, hundreds of thousands of demonstrators pressing for free emigration of Soviet Jews marched in Washington.
1987
Moscow, security agents roughed up Jewish activists and journalists during rival demonstrations for and against Kremlin policy.
1988
Rock-and-roll pioneer Roy Orbison died near Nashville, Tennessee, at age 52.
1988
Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev arrived for his second US visit to address the United Nations and meet with President Reagan and President-elect Bush.
1988
The space shuttle "Atlantis" landed in California.
1989
Fourteen women were shot to death at the University of Montreal's school of engineering by a man who then took his own life.
1989
Egon Krenz resigned as leader of East Germany.
1990
Vice President Dan Quayle was enshrined in the Little League Museum's Hall of Excellence.
1990
Iraq announced that it would release all its hostages, saying foreigners could begin leaving in two days.
1991
Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-MA, testifying at the trial of his nephew, William Kennedy Smith, denied hearing screams on the night Patricia Bowman said she was raped by Smith at the Kennedy estate in West Palm Beach, Florida.
1992
Bowing to anti-foreigner sentiment, Germany's main political parties agreed to tighten postwar asylum laws.
1992
India, thousands of Hindu extremists destroyed a mosque, setting off two months of Hindu-Muslim rioting that claimed at least two-thousand lives.
1993
A judge in New Bedford, Massachusetts, sentenced former priest James R. Porter, who'd admitted molesting 28 children in the 1960's, to 18 to 20 years in prison for sexual assault.
1993
When John Cage died in 1992, Manfred Reichert and his group Ensemble 13 assumed they would never hear the music they had commissioned from the composer, who had indicated that it was incomplete. But it was not. A complete score was found in Cage's papers.
1993
Actor Don Ameche died in Scottsdale, Arizona, at age 85.
1994
Former Associate Attorney General Webster Hubbell pleaded guilty to defrauding his former law partners and clients of nearly $400,000 while he was a private attorney at the Rose law firm in Little Rock, Arkansas.
1994
Orange County, California, one of the richest communities in the nation, filed for bankruptcy protection due to investment losses of about $2 billion. They were the largest municipality ever to do so.
1994
Treasury Secretary Lloyd Bentsen announced his resignation.
1995
The House ethics committee sent a highly critical letter to House Speaker Newt Gingrich, saying he had committed three ethics violations.
1995
The New York Times columnist James Reston died in Washington at age 86.
1995
President Clinton vetoed a seven-year Republican budget-balancing plan.
1996
Stock markets around the world plunged after comments by Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan were taken to mean that US stock prices were too high.
1996
Former NFL commissioner Pete Rozelle died in Rancho Santa Fe, California, at age 70.
1997
69 or more people were killed when a Russian military cargo plane crashed in the Siberian city of Irkutsk seconds after takeoff.
1998
Endeavour's astronauts connected the first two building blocks of the international space station in the shuttle cargo bay.
1998
In Venezuela, former Lieutenant Colonel Hugo Chavez, who staged a bloody coup attempt against the government six years earlier, was elected president. people.
1999
The Supreme Court, reconsidering its landmark Miranda ruling, agreed to decide whether police still must warn criminal suspects that they have a "right to remain silent."
1999
SabreTech, an aircraft maintenance company, was convicted of mishandling the oxygen canisters blamed for the cargo hold fire that caused the 1996 ValuJet crash in the Everglades that killed 110
2005
David Cameron elected new UK Conservative Leader
2005
Former South African official Jacob Zuma charged with rape
2005
Both sides of Kenya's constitution dispute are negotiating
2005
Australian Government passes new terror laws
2005
Ford pulls ads from gay media facing AFA boycott
2005
Military plane crash in Iran, at least 100 dead
2005
Witnesses testify in former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein's trial
2005
Kansas Professor assaulted by angry intelligent design supporters
2005
US passes 1000 executions in 30 years
2005
Lawsuit filed against CIA for the use of torture
2005
Stevie Wonder to perform pre-game show for Superbowl XL
2006
Apple launches iTunes in New Zealand
2006
Texas Tech coach may move to University of Miami
2006
France24 non-stop news channel on air today
2006
US Senate confirms Robert Gates as new Secretary of Defense
2006
Body of James Kim found in U.S. wilderness; wife and children survived
2006
Iraq Study Group Report: Iraq could be on a slide towards chaos
2006
Australian MPs suggest Australia and New Zealand unification
2007
Girls sweep Siemens science competition for US high schools
2007
Taipei IT Month: Gaming industry battle from high-definition AV market to recreation and sports
2007
Scientists take strong stance for cutting emissions at Climate Conference in Bali
2007
German polar bear Knut turns one year old
2007
US Senate Panel approves bill to reduce greenhouse gas emissions
2007
Girl shot six times protecting her mother in Michigan, US
2008
Leaked online: UK Home Office non-disclosure agreement with ID card companies
2008
Southern California hit by 5.1 earthquake
2008
Brazil blames human error for 2006 midair airliner collision
2008
Honda quits Formula One racing
2008
O. J. Simpson sentenced to 15 years in prison
2008
Passengers rescued from stranded Antarctic cruise ship
2009
Martial law declared in Philippine province after massacre
2009
US unemployment rate down to ten percent
2009
Obiang reelected as president of Equatorial Guinea after elections
2009
Guinean junta head in 'stable' condition after shooting, soldiers searching for gunman
2009
Explosion in Russian nightclub kills at least 94
2009
Official results say Namibian president reelected after polls
2009
First snowfall of the season impacts the Northeast US
2009
Obama delays arrival to Copenhagen summit by one week
2009
Three peacekeepers in Sudan killed by gunmen
2009
Tens of thousands protest in London before Copenhagen climate change summit
2009
Western Sahara campaigner still blocked from returning home by Moroccan authorities; on twentieth day of hunger strike
2009
Liberal Party of Australia win Bradfield, Higgins by-elections
2009
Rescuers in Egypt end search for victims of ferry crash
2011
Alleged racist tram ranter remanded after court hearing
2011
India seeks web crackdown after failed talks with industry
2012
Tanks, APCs deployed to presidential palace in Cairo, Egypt after deadly clashes
2012
Sandra Fluke gives keynote speech at Nebraska women's health event

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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