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Today in History

Chinese New Year Holiday (3 days) in Taiwan
1937
Actor and comedian, Garrett Morris born in New Orleans, Louisiana
1942
Actor, poet, writer and comedian, Terry Jones born in Colwyn Bay, Wales
1948
Stage and screen actress, Elisabeth Sladen born in Liverpool, England
1949
RCA Victor unveils 45 rpm record player
1954
First TV soap opera Secret Storm
1968
Singer and songwriter, Lisa Marie Presley born in Memphis, Tennessee
2003
US Space Shuttle Columbia disintegrates during reentry on its 28th mission
523
Death of St. Bridgid 0772
1327
Coronation of Edward III as King of England.
1328
Death of Charles IV, "the Fair," King of France
1500
The city of Milan rebels against the French occupation
1552
Sir Edward Coke, English jurist, politician, defender of common law born
1587
Elizabeth I, Queen of England, signs the Warrant of Execution of Mary, Queen of Scots
1633
The codification of the Virginia tobacco laws takes place.
1644
Antonio Stradivari, Cremona, Italy, violin-maker born
1788
Isaac Briggs and William Longstreet patented the steamboat.
1790
The Supreme Court of the United States convened in New York City for its first session.
1793
France declared war on England and Holland.
1840
The world's first dental college opened in Baltimore, Maryland.
1859
Composer Victor Herbert (Babes in Toyland, Naughty Marietta, Ah Sweet Mystery of Life) born
1861
Texas voted to secede from the Union.
1862
"The Battle Hymn of the Republic" was first published in "Atlantic Monthly". The lyric was the work of Julia Ward Howe.
1867
Bricklayers start working 8-hour days.
1878
First woman elected to the U.S. Senate, Hattie Caraway (Arkansas) born
1884
The first volume of the Oxford English Dictionary was published.
1890
"Semi-barbaric." That was the word used to describe Tchaikovsky's Fourth Symphony in the New York Post. The Post reviewer went on to describe the symphony's orchestral colors as "decidedly too loud."
1893
Inventor Thomas A. Edison completed work on the world's first motion picture studio, his "Black Maria," in West Orange, New Jersey.
1894
The father of stride piano James P. Johnson. Through the 1920s, Johnson recorded with a stream of stars ranging from Jabbo Smith to Bessie Smith. born
1895
Film director (Sean O'Feeney) John Ford (The Informer, The Grapes of Wrath, How Green Was My Valley, The Quiet Man) born
1896
Puccini's opera "La Boheme" premiered in Turin.
1898
What's believed by some to be the first auto insurance policy was issued by the Travelers Insurance Company of Hartford, Connecticut, to a Dr. Truman J. Martin of Buffalo, New York. He paid $11.25 for the policy, which gave him $5,000 in liability coverage.
1901
American actor Clark Gable born
1902
Poet Langston Hughes (Way Down South) born
1902
U.S. Secretary of State John Hay protests Russian privileges in China as a violation of the "open door policy."
1904
Britain and France agree to stay neutral if Japan and Russia go to war.
1904
Humorist S. (Sidney) J. Perelman (Monkey Business, Horse Feathers, One Touch of Venus, Strictly from Hunger, Westward Ha!, Around the World in 80 Clichs) born
1904
Ellington band trombonist Joe ``Tricky Sam'' Nanton. Nobody ever played the plunger mute better on trombone. born
1905
Germany contests French rule in Morocco.
1908
King Carlos I of Portugal was assassinated together with his son in Lisbon.
1909
U.S. troops leave Cuba after installing Jose Miguel Gomez as president.
1915
Passport photographs were first required in Great Britain.
1919
The first Miss America was crowned, not in Atlantic City, but in New York City. Edith Hyde, it was discovered, was not a Miss. She was Mrs. Tod Robbins, the mother of two children.
1920
The 1st armored car is introduced.
1920
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police came into existence.
1924
The British government recognizes the U.S.S.R.
1928
Actor Stuart Whitman born
1931
Russian President Boris N. Yeltsin born
1934
Singer Bob Shane (Group Greenback Dollar, Where Have All the Flowers Gone) born
1936
Actor Stuart Whitman (Cimarron Strip, The Seekers, Trial by Jury, Private Wars, Omega Cop, Delta Fox, Those Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines, Rio Conchos, The Longest Day, Ten North Frederick, Silver Lode) born
1937
Singer Don Everly (Group Phil: Wake Up Little Susie, Bye Bye Love, Cathy's Clown, All I Have To Do Is Dream) born
1937
Actor Garrett Morris (Saturday Night Live, The Anderson Tapes, Almost Blue) born
1937
Singer Ray Sawyer (Dr. Hook and the Medicine Show) born
1938
Actor Sherman Hemsley (The Jeffersons, All in the Family, Dinosaurs, Amen, Mr. Nanny, Love at First Bite) born
1939
Bluegrass singer Del McCoury born
1939
Jazz musician Joe Sample born
1939
Benny Goodman and his orchestra recorded "And the Angels Sing", on Victor Records.
1940
Hockey player Wayne Rivers born
1940
Frank Sinatra cut his first record with the Tommy Dorsey Band. The song was ``The Sky Fell Down.''
1942
The U.S. Pacific fleet batters Japanese bases in the Marshall and Gilbert Islands.
1942
Vidkun Quisling became prime minister of Norway.
1942
Comedian Terry Jones (Monty Python series; director Python series, Personal Services) born
1943
American tanks and infantry are battered at German positions in Fais pass.
1943
One of America's most highly decorated military units of World War Two, the 442d Regimental Combat Team, made up almost entirely of Japanese-Americans, was authorized.
1944
Actor Dennis Farina (Get Shorty, Street Crimes, The Hillside Strangler, Code of Silence, Crime Story) born
1944
U.S. forces take the beaches on the Marshall Islands.
1945
U.S. Rangers and Filipino guerrillas rescue 513 American survivors of the Bataan "death march".
1946
Norwegian statesman Trygve Lie was chosen to be the first secretary-general of the United Nations.
1951
Third A-bomb tests are completed in the desert of Nevada.
1952
Singer Rick James born
1954
Rock musician Mike Campbell (Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers) born
1954
Actor-writer-producer Bill Mumy (Palm Springs Weekend, Twilight Zone-The Movie, Lost in Space, The Rockford Files, Sunshine, Babylon 5) born
1956
Rock singer Exene Cervenka (X) born
1958
Egypt and Syria proclaimed the union of their two countries in a state to be known as "The United Arab Republic."
1960
Four black college students began a sit-in protest at a lunch counter in Greensboro, North Carolina, where they'd been refused service.
1963
Kamuzu Banda was sworn in as the first prime minister of Nyasaland (Malawi).
1964
President Lyndon B. Johnson rejects de Gaulle's plan for a neutral Vietnam.
1965
Princess Stephanie of Monaco born
1965
Actress Sherilyn Fenn (Twin Peaks, Fatal Instinct, Of Mice and Men, Diary of a Hitman, Wild at Heart, The Wild Life) born
1965
Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. and 770 others are arrested in protest against voter discrimination in Alabama.
1968
Richard M. Nixon enters the presidential race.
1968
Lisa Marie Presley, daughter of Elvis Presley born
1968
During the Vietnam War, Saigon's police chief (Nguyen Ngoc Loan) executed a Viet Cong officer with a pistol shot to the head in a scene captured in a famous news photograph.
1968
South Vietnam President Nguyen Van Thieu declares martial law.
1970
Comedian Pauly Shore born
1971
The soundtrack album from the movie, "Love Story", starring Ryan O'Neal and Ali McGraw, with music by Frances Lai, was certified as a gold record.
1971
Evonne Goolagong scored her first major senior singles victory as she defeated Margaret Court in the finals of the Victorian Open, played in Melbourne, Australia.
1974
More than 220 people died in a fire in a newly built skyscraper in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
1975
Rapper Big Boi (Outkast) born
1979
Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini received a tumultuous welcome in Tehran as he ended nearly 15 years of exile.
1982
Actor Jarrett Lennon born
1986
Two days of anti-government riots in Port-au-Prince result in 14 dead.
1987
Terry Williams of Los Gatos, California, won the largest slot machine payoff to that time, winning $4.9 million after getting four lucky 7s on a machine in Reno, Nevada.
1988
Denying any wrongdoing, Attorney General Edwin Meese the Third said he didn't recall a portion of a memo from a friend concerning a proposed Iraqi pipeline project that referred to a plan to bribe Israeli officials.
1989
In his first diplomatic mission of the Bush administration, Vice President Quayle began a trip to Venezuela and El Salvador.
1990
East Germany's Communist premier, Hans Modrow, appealed for negotiations with West Germany to forge a "united fatherland."
1991
Thirty-five people were killed when a US-Air jetliner crashed atop a commuter plane on a runway at Los Angeles International Airport.
1991
South African President F.W. de Klerk said he would repeal all remaining apartheid laws.
1992
George Bush and Boris Yeltsin held their first meeting since the collapse of the Soviet Union. The two presidents vowed to work together to democratize Russia.
1992
Ron Carey was sworn in as the first Teamsters president elected by the union's rank-and-file.
1992
Federal judge Irving R. Kaufman, who sentenced Julius and Ethel Rosenberg to death, died in New York at age 81.
1993
Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin announced his country would repatriate about 100 Palestinians deported to Lebanon, an offer rejected by the deportees.
1993
Eduardo Mata and the Dallas Symphony recorded on Dorian. It's an all-Respighi program, "The Pines of Rome," "Roman Festivals," and a far less known piece called "Brazilian Impressions."
1994
United Nations Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali backed the use of air power in Bosnia.
1994
Jeff Gillooly, Tonya Harding's ex-husband, pleaded guilty in Portland, Oregon, to taking part in the attack on figure skater Nancy Kerrigan. Gillooly struck a plea bargain under which he confessed to racketeering charges in exchange for testimony implicating Harding.
1995
Communist Vietnam raised its red flag in Washington for the first time 20 years after the end of the Vietnam War as the two old foes began a new chapter, opening liaison offices in each others' capital.
1995
The Federal Reserve boosted interest rates by 0.5 percent, the seventh rate hike in a year. House Republicans pushed through a bill restricting the federal government's ability to impose unfunded mandates on states.
1996
Both houses of Congress voted overwhelmingly to rewrite the 61-year-old Communications Act, freeing the exploding television, telephone and home computer industries to jump into each other's fields.
1996
Poland's president named Wlodzimierz Cimoszewicz, an ex-communist leader who had often stood outside his dominant party's mainstream, as prime minister to lead the country out of political crisis.
1997
Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori said he would open a "preliminary dialogue" with rebels holding 72 hostages in Lima, but again rejected their main demand that the government release their jailed comrades.
1997
Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist Herb Caen died in San Francisco at age 80.
1998
With Israeli and Palestinian leaders digging in their heels, Secretary of State Madeleine Albright conceded she'd made little progress in a whirlwind visit to the region to prod the two sides closer together.
1999
With the promise of huge federal surpluses, President Clinton proposed a $1.77 trillion budget for fiscal 2000.
1999
Former White House intern Monica Lewinsky gave a deposition that was videotaped for senators weighing impeachment charges against President Clinton.
2000
Senator John McCain defeated Texas Governor George W. Bush to win the Republican New Hampshire primary; Vice President Al Gore edged Bill Bradley to win the Democratic primary.
2005
Mother of first Australian soldier killed in Iraq expresses anger
2005
US guards kill four in Iraqi prison riot
2005
Poll shows Romanians are optimistic about current government
2005
Blair says Iraq election was blow against global terrorism
2005
Iraqis vote in massive numbers
2005
Venezuela-Colombia crisis:Castro intervenes, Chavez and Uribe scheduled to meet
2005
Colombia releases detailed report about the FARC
2005
Brazil forbids previous release of statistical data
2005
Australian Prime Minister to visit Aceh
2005
Microsoft releases new MSN Search
2005
Human rights group critical of US opposition to ICC in Darfur
2005
Nepal’s King Gyanendra dismisses the government, claims power for himself
2006
Don Brash gives third Orewa speech
2006
AT&T sued over NSA eavesdropping
2006
Online retailers in Canada experience strong growth
2006
Scientists shocked at Great Barrier Reef bleaching
2006
Rumsfeld explains renaming of war
2006
Australia to send 200 more troops to Afghanistan
2006
President Bush delivers State of the Union Address
2007
January floods wreak havoc in Singapore
2007
US minimum wage moves to Congressional negotiations
2007
US Singer Brandy involved in fatal car crash; sued for $50 million
2007
Sony may cut PS3 prices
2007
Microsoft to establish its R&D center in Shanghai
2008
Vermont town to vote on charging US President, Vice President of war crimes
2008
Microsoft bids $44 billion for Yahoo!
2008
International manhunt for alleged kidney harvester
2008
Chad military clashes with rebels in N'djamena
2008
High level al-Qaeda leader reported dead
2008
Envelopes containing white powder sent to Church of Scientology locations in southern California, USA
2008
Taipei Game Show review: Variations differ from past years
2009
Fast track offer if Iceland applies to join EU
2009
New Icelandic government to take office today
2009
Cyprus detains weapon-laden ship
2009
National Guard mobilized in Kentucky ice storm aftermath
2009
15 killed and 22 injured after fire in Chinese bar
2009
Israeli military launches airstrikes into Gaza Strip
2009
Derailments close Australian rail routes
2009
British PM condemns walkouts
2009
Tarja Turunen reveals working title for new album
2010
US nationals arrested for alleged abduction of Haitian children
2010
Ban Ki-Moon says Cyprus solution "possible"
2010
Building collapses, leaving four dead in Hong Kong
2010
Kidnapped British couple "need urgent help"
2010
Cricket: Caloundra defeat Glasshouse in Sunshine Coast, Queensland division one limited overs final
2010
Moscow detains anti-Kremlin protesters
2011
Egypt protests: Army say they will not use force on demonstrators as Mubarak announces cabinet
2012
California teacher arrested after photos indicated lewd acts on children
2013
United States economy shrinks by 0.1% in last quarter of 2012
2013
British Prime Minister David Cameron makes unannounced visit to Libya

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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