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Today in History

1809
16th US President, Abraham Lincoln born in Hodgenville, Kentucky
1809
Author and naturalist Charles Darwin born in Shrewsbury, Shropshire, England
1912
China adopts Gregorian calendar
1945
Actress and two-time Bond girl, Maud Adams born in LuleƄ, Sweden
1952
Grammy Award winning singer, Michael McDonald born in Newark, New Jersey
1964
The Beatles play Carnegie Hall
1999
President William Jefferson Clinton's impeachment trial ends with his acquittal by the US Senate
2001
NEAR Shoemaker spacecraft lands on asteroid 433 Eros
881
Coronation of Charles III "the Fat," last Emperor of the Franks
1111
Henry V, uncrowned Holy Roman Emperor, kidnaps the Pope
1209
Death of Philippe de Plessiez, 13th Master of the Templars
1242
Death of Henry VII, King of Germany
1294
Death of Kublai Khan
1424
Marriage of James I of Scotland to Jane Beaufort
1502
Castile expels all unbaptized Moors
1541
Founding of Santiago, Chile, by Pedro de Valdivia
1541
Santiago, Chile founded.
1554
Lady Jane Grey, who'd claimed the throne of England for nine days, was beheaded after being charged with treason. She was about the age of 16.
1567
Thomas Campion, English composer, poet, physician born
1585
Caspar Bartholin, Malm, physician, theologian, writer on anatomy born
1631
John Donne preaches his sermon "Death's Duel" in St. Paul's of London
1733
English colonists led by James Oglethorpe founded Savannah, Georgia. He named the new colony Georgia for England's King George II.
1768
Francis II, Last Holy Roman Emperor born
1775
Louisa Adams, wife of John Quincy Adams born
1793
The first fugitive slave law is passed. This requires the return of all escaped slaves.
1797
the German national anthem, "Deutschland uber alles," was written by Haydn. He didn't write it for Germany, the Germans took the melody for their own after Haydn composed it as a national anthem for Austria.
1802
Abraham Lincoln, the 16th president of the United States (1861-1865), was born in present-day Larue County, Kentucky. born
1809
Author and naturalist Charles Robert Darwin, in Shrewsbury, England. born
1818
Chile gains independence from Spain.
1851
Edward Hargraves discovered gold at Summerhill Creek in New South Wales, triggering the Australian gold rush.
1870
Women in the Utah Territory gained the right to vote.
1878
Frederick W. Thayer, the captain of the Harvard University Baseball Club, patented the baseball catcher's mask.
1880
U.S. labor leader John L. Lewis (United Mine Workers of America) born
1880
The National Croquet League was organized in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
1892
President Lincoln's birthday was declared a national holiday.
1893
Five-star General Omar N. Bradley in Clark, Missouri. 'The GI General' born
1904
TV host (William Maguiness) Ted Mack (The Original Amateur Hour) born
1907
More than 300 people died when the steamer "Larchmont" collided with a schooner off New England's Block Island.
1908
The first round-the-world automobile race began in New York. (It ended in Paris the following August.)
1909
The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People was founded.
1913
A New York commission reports that there is widespread violation of child labor laws.
1915
The cornerstone for the Lincoln Memorial was laid in Washington D.C.
1915
Actor Lorne Greene ( Bonanza, The Silver Chalice, Earthquake, Battlestar Galactica) born
1918
All theaters in New York City were shut down in an effort to conserve coal.
1919
Actor Forrest Tucker (Sands of Iwo Jima, The Yearling, Thunder Run, F Troop) born
1921
Winston Churchill of London is appointed colonial secretary.
1923
Movie director Franco Zefferelli born
1924
George Gershwin's "Rhapsody in Blue" premiered in New York.
1924
Calvin Coolidge, known by many as the 'silent President', made the first presidential political speech on radio. The speech originated from New York City and was broadcast on five radio stations. An audience estimated to be some five-million people listened in to hear the President speak.
1925
Former Kansas Govenor Joan Finney born
1926
Baseball Hall-of-Fame sportscaster Joe Garagiola born
1929
Charles Lindbergh announces his engagement to Anne Morrow. The Guggenheims helped aviators like Lindbergh, Curtiss, and the Wright Brothers.
1930
Senator Arlen Specter (Republican, Pennsylvania) born
1931
Japan's first television broadcast is a baseball game.
1934
Basketball Hall-of-Famer Bill Russell born
1935
Rock musician Ray Manzarek (The Doors) born
1935
The Macon, the last U.S. Navy dirigible, crashes off the coast of California, killing two people.
1936
Actor Joe Don Baker (Cool Hand Luke, The Natural, Fletch, Citizen Cohn, Guns of the Magnificent Seven, Ring of Steel) born
1938
Author Judy Blume born
1938
Japan refuses to reveal naval data requested by the U.S. and Britain. The rise of militaristic nationalism led Japan down the road to Pearl Harbor and World War II.
1938
Auto Racer Johnny Rutherford (Indianapolis 500 winner '76, '80) born
1940
The U.S.S.R. signs a trade treaty with Germany to aid against the British blockade.
1940
The radio play "The Adventures of Superman" debuted on the Mutual network with Bud Collyer as the Man of Steel.
1944
Country singer Moe Bandy (Blacker) born
1944
Wendell Wilkie enters the American presidential race.
1945
Actress Maud Adams born
1945
Actor Cliff DeYoung born
1949
Moslem Brotherhood chief Hassan el Banna is shot to death in Cairo.
1950
Actor Michael Ironside born
1950
Rock musician Steve Hackett born
1952
Actor Simon MacCorkindale born
1952
Rock singer Michael McDonald born
1953
Actress Joanna Kerns born
1953
The Soviet Union broke off diplomatic relations with Israel after a bomb exploded at the Soviet Legation in Tel Aviv.
1955
Actor-former talk show host Arsenio Hall born
1959
Barbie the doll born
1964
The Beatles played two concerts at Carnegie Hall in New York City, concluding a very successful American tour.
1965
Actress Christine Elise born
1966
The South Vietnamese win two big battles in the Mekong Delta. In Vietnam's Mekong Delta, Navy SEALs were the military's eyes and ears, providing vital intelligence on enemy operations.
1968
Singer Chynna Phillips born
1968
"Soul on Ice" by Eldridge Cleaver was first published.
1969
Actor Josh Brolin born
1970
Rock musician Jim Creeggan (Barenaked Ladies) born
1971
Rhythm-and-blues musician Keri Lewis (Mint Condition) born
1972
Senator Kennedy advocates amnesty for Vietnam draft resisters.
1973
The State of Ohio went metric on this day, becoming the first in the U.S. to post metric distance signs along Interstate 71. These new signs showed the distance in both miles and kilometers.
1973
The first release of American prisoners of war from the Vietnam conflict took place.
1974
Symbionese Liberation Army asks the Hearst family for $230 million in food for the poor.
1980
Actress Christina Ricci born
1980
The Lake Placid Winter Olympics open in New York.
1983
Composer-pianist Eubie Blake, who wrote such songs as "I'm Just Wild About Harry" and "Memories of You," died in New York City, five days after turning 100.
1987
Three Wall Street brokers - Robert Freeman, Richard B. Wigton and Timothy L. Tabor - were arrested on charges of insider-trading. (The charges against Wigton and Tabor were dropped. Freeman pled guilty to one felony.)
1987
A Court in Texas upholds $8.5 billion of a fine imposed on Texaco for the illegal takeover of Getty Oil.
1988
Alexander M. Haig dropped out of the race for the Republican presidential nomination.
1988
The Pentagon charged that two Soviet Navy vessels deliberately bumped two US warships in the Black Sea as the American vessels sailed through waters claimed by the Soviet Union.
1989
The special prosecutor in the Iran-Contra case and the Justice Department reached an agreement on protecting classified materials aimed at allowing the trial of Oliver North to proceed.
1990
President Bush rejected Soviet President Mikhail S. Gorbachev's new initiative for troop reductions in Europe, but predicted a "major success" on arms control at the superpower summit in June.
1991
Iraqi President Saddam Hussein met with Soviet envoy Yevgeny Primakov, who brought with him a message from President Mikhail S. Gorbachev.
1991
In China, two longtime democracy activists, Wang Juntao and Chen Ziming, were sentenced to 13 years in prison.
1991
Former New York City Mayor Robert Wagner died at age 80.
1992
Democratic presidential candidate Bill Clinton released a letter he had written in 1969 in which he said he had decided to give up a draft deferment in order to "maintain my political viability."
1992
President Bush formally announced his bid for re-election.
1993
In a crime that shocked Britons, two ten-year-old boys lured two-year-old James Bulger from his mother at a shopping mall in Liverpool, England, then beat him to death.
1994
The XVII Winter Olympic Games opened in Lillehammer, Norway.
1994
President Clinton signed an $8.6 billion relief package for victims of the Northridge earthquake in southern California.
1995
Jurors from the O.J. Simpson murder trial toured the scene where Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman had been slain, then visited the estate of the former football star.
1996
Bob Dole eked out a victory in Iowa's Republican presidential caucuses, while Pat Buchanan came in a surprisingly strong second.
1997
The highest-ranking official to flee communist North Korea, Hwang Jang Yop, asked for political asylum at South Korea's consulate in Beijing.
1997
The Clinton administration gave permission to ten US news organizations to open bureaus in Cuba.
1998
A federal judge threw out President Clinton's new line-item veto authority. U.S. District Judge Thomas Hogan ruled that the law - which gives the president the power to strike items from tax and spending measures without vetoing the entire bill - violates the traditional balance of powers between the various branches of government.
1998
The American Medical Association called for a voluntary five-year moratorium on human cloning, rather than the outright ban President Clinton has backed. The board of trustees of the largest U.S. doctors' group said it supports research that is important to human health. It urged Congress not to interfere with current human, animal or cellular cloning research that is not directly aimed at producing a human being.
1998
At Nagano, Norwegian Bjorn Daehlie became the first man to win six Winter Olympic gold medals, as he placed first in the ten-kilometer classical cross-country race.
1998
A minor earthquake occurred early in the New Madrid, Mo., region, but no damage or injuries were reported, the U.S. Geological Survey said. Spokeswoman Kathleen Gohn said preliminary data showed the quake had a magnitude of 3.0 on the Richter scale and occurred at 4:38 ET a.m. Gohn said the epicenter was about 15 miles northeast of Blytheville, Ark., or about 70 miles north-northeast of Memphis, Tenn., and was felt in the towns of Hayti and Steele, Mo.
1998
An appeals panel reinstated Canadian snowboarder Ross Rebagliati's gold medal, a day after he was stripped of the honor for testing positive for marijuana.
1999
Swarms of anxious travelers were left stranded when American Airlines again scrubbed more than 1,000 flights after its pilots defied a court order and continued their mass sickout.
2000
Charles M. Schulz, creator of the "Peanuts" comic strip, died in Santa Rosa, California, at age 77.
2000
Hall-of-Fame football coach Tom Landry, who led the Dallas Cowboys to five Super Bowls, died in Irving, Texas, at age 75.
2000
Michelle Kwan won her third straight US Figure Skating Championships crown, while Michael Weiss successfully defended the men's title.
2005
French television authority stops broadcasts of Iranian station for antisemitic content
2005
Fans jumping for Juno tickets
2005
Estonia becomes European leader in Internet usage
2005
AIDS 'super bug' diagnosed in New York
2005
New Zealand Recorded Crime Statistics available online
2005
French economy picks up but falls short of government's hopes
2005
Former Google employee says he was fired because of blog comments
2005
Hamas considers ceasefire talks after Abbas meeting
2005
California public school requires RFIDs on students
2006
Michelle Kwan withdraws from Olympics
2006
Sondhi may face legal action from Thai Rak Thai party
2006
Jaafari nominated Iraq PM
2006
Newspaper alleges U.S. drawing up plans to attack Iran
2006
Record snowfall in Northeastern United States
2006
US vice president shoots man in hunting accident
2006
Oklahoma student paper publishes new controversial cartoon
2007
New Zealand political party asks for names of schools under NZQA investigation
2007
IBM to launch software that works on Linux, Windows and Macintosh
2007
Cars big winner as 34th Annual Annie Awards handed out
2007
US claims Iraqi militants armed with Iranian weapons
2007
Ontario, Canada Health Minister set to marry this summer
2007
Dixie Chicks, Blige, Underwood big Grammy winners
2007
Australian Prime Minister targets Obama on Iraq
2008
Broken pipes cause flood in Darwin D. Martin House in Buffalo, New York
2008
U.S. entertainment writers' strike may end this week
2008
Four new breeds in the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show
2008
Taipei International Book Exhibition Preview: An exposition with different cultures
2008
New 'Star Wars' film to be released in August
2008
Australian parliament to apologise to Stolen Generations
2008
Finnish internet censorship critic blacklisted
2008
TIBE joins International Publishers Association for publishing industry in Taiwan
2008
France's Sarkozy to meet with Brazilian president da Silva
2008
Newspaper campaigns to elevate Vancouver Olympic character from sidekick status
2009
Fake impotence drugs linked to low blood sugar outbreak
2009
Pakistani nuclear scientist released from house arrest
2009
Canadian lawyer urges Prime Minister to repatriate Omar Khadr
2009
Many US TV stations preparing to make digital switch despite new legislation
2010
Indonesian anti-corruption chief convicted of murder
2010
Reports issued after jets collided twice in same spot at UK airport
2010
At least seventeen dead after clashes in Somalia
2010
United States Representative Charlie Wilson dies at 76
2010
British fashion designer Alexander McQueen found dead at age 40
2010
Three shot dead at University of Alabama in Huntsville
2010
Wheaton Academy, Illinois boys basketball team plays Benet Academy, suffers first in-state loss
2010
Walter Frederick Morrison, inventor of frisbee, dies at age 90
2011
Air Canada back in the black in 2010
2012
Anti-ACTA activists protest across Europe
2012
Amartya Sen among the scholars for US National Humanities Medal
2012
American pop star Whitney Houston dies at 48

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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