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Today in History

1633
Galileo Galilei tried in Rome before the Inquisition
1635
First US public school founded in Boston
1891
Painter Grant Wood born in Anamosa, Iowa
1932
Aviatrix, director, actress and Star Trek femme fatale, Susan Oliver born Charlotte Gercke in New York City
1934
Golden Globe Award winning stage and screen actor, George Segal born in Long Island, New York
1938
Actor Oliver Reed born in London, England
1942
Singer, and musician for The Monkees, Peter Tork born in Washington, DC
1945
Soviet Union captures Budapest, Hungary
1950
Flautist and Grammy Award winning vocalist, Peter Gabriel born in Chobam, England
1960
France tests atomic bomb
1974
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn exiled from USSR
1130
Death of Pope Honorius II
1476
French lay siege to Granson, Switzerland
1542
Catherine Howard, 5th wife of Henry VIII, is beheaded
1542
The fifth wife of England's King Henry the Eighth, Catherine Howard, was executed for adultery.
1566
Founding of St. Augustine, Florida
1570
End of the Massacre of Novgorod
1571
Death of Benvenuto Cellini, silversmith and sculptor
1580
Murder of Pommier, French peasant rebel leader
1590
Death of St. Katherine de'Ricci
1592
Death of Jacopo da Ponte, known as "Bassano," painter
1599
Alexander VII, Roman Catholic Pope born
1601
John Lancaster leads 1st East India Company voyage from London
1621
Bessie Harlow, Bessie Chalmers, Beatrice Mundie, Christiane Hamyltoun, Margaret Kent, and Marioun Chatto tried for witchcraft in Inverkiething, Scotland
1633
Italian astronomer Galileo Galilei arrived in Rome for trial before the Inquisition.
1635
The oldest public school in the United States, the Boston Public Latin School, was founded.
1682
Giovanni Piazzetta, painter born
1689
British Parliament adopts the Bill of Rights.
1741
"The American Magazine," the first magazine in the United States was published in Philadelphia. It beat Benjamin Franklin's "General Magazine" off the presses by three days.
1764
Talleyrand, Napoleon's foreign minister born
1795
The University of North Carolina became the first United States state university to open its doors to students.
1805
David Dudley Field, lawyer whose advocacy of law codification had international effects. born
1849
Lord Randolph Churchill, English politician, Winston's father born
1865
The Confederacy approves the recruitment of slaves as soldiers, as long as the approval of their owners is gained.
1866
Jesse James holds up his first bank. Another outlaw legend, Charles "Black Bart" Boles baffled Wells Fargo detectives during an eight year stint of stagecoach robberies.
1867
Johann Strauss' magnificent "Blue Danube Waltz" was played for the first time at a public concert in Vienna, Austria.
1875
Mrs. Edna Krause of Watertown, Wisconsin, gave birth to America's first quintuplets. Sadly, all five of the baby boys died within two weeks.
1885
Bess Truman, married to President Harry Truman born
1892
Artist Grant Wood (Anamosa, Iowa) Wood his remembered for his realistic paintings portraying the architecture, landscape and people of 1930's Midwestern United States. born
1900
Musician Wingy (Joseph) Manone (Nickel in the Slot, Flat Foot Floogie, Annie Laurie) born
1911
Actress Jean (Fullarton) Muir born
1913
College football coach Woody (Wayne) Hayes (Ohio State head coach for 33 years) born
1914
The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers, known as ASCAP, was founded in New York.
1915
Actor Lyle Bettger born
1920
The League of Nations recognized the perpetual neutrality of Switzerland.
1920
Singer Eileen Farrell born
1920
The National Negro Baseball League was organized.
1923
Former test pilot Charles E. "Chuck" Yeager born
1925
Singer Gene Ames (The Ames Brothers Rag Mop, Sentimental Me, Undecided, You You You, The Man with the Banjo, The Naughty Lady of Shady Lane, Tammy, Melodie d'Amour) born
1927
Folk singer Jim McReynolds (with Jim & Jesse Diesel on My Tail, Ballad of Thunder Road, Golden Rocket) born
1930
Singer Dotty McGuire (with McGuire Sisters Something's Gotta Give, He, Sugartime) born
1933
Actress (Marilyn) Kim Novak (Picnic, The Man with the Golden Arm, Bell Book and Candle, Vertigo) born
1934
Actor George Segal (Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, A Touch of Class, King Rat, Look Who's Talking Now, Taking the Heat, The Bridge at Remagen) born
1935
A jury in Flemington, New Jersey, found Bruno Richard Hauptmann guilty of first-degree murder in the kidnap-death of the infant son of Charles and Anne Lindbergh. Hauptmann was later executed.
1935
Golfer Tommy Jacobs born
1936
First social security checks are put in the mail.
1937
"Prince Valiant" comic strip appears; known for historical detail and fine detail drawing.
1938
Actor Oliver Reed (The Prince and the Pauper, Women in Love, Oliver!) born
1939
Virginia Payne, already popular as the voice of "Ma Perkins", took on a new character in the soap opera, "The Carter's of Elm Street." The show was heard on NBC Radio.
1940
Earl 'Fatha' Hines and his Orchestra recorded the classic "Boogie Woogie On St. Louis Blues".
1941
Actor Bo Svenson (Delta Force, Heartbreak Ridge, Private Obsession) born
1942
Actress Carol (Jones) Lynley (The Poseidon Adventure, Return to Peyton Place, The Stripper, Fantasy Island, Spirits) born
1942
Singer-musician Peter (Torkelson) Tork (The Monkees to Clarksville, I'm a Believer, Daydream Believer)(Some sources 1944) born
1944
Talk show host Jerry Springer born
1944
Actress Stockard Channing born
1945
Allied planes began bombing the German city of Dresden.
1945
During World War Two, the Soviets captured Budapest, Hungary, from the Germans.
1949
A mob burns a radio station in Ecuador after the broadcast of H.G. Wells' "War of the Worlds."
1950
Singer Peter Gabriel born
1950
Albania recognizes Ho Chi Minh's Vietnamese government, becoming the sixth Eastern bloc country to do so.
1951
Actor David Naughton born
1953
The Pope asks the U.S. to grant clemency to convicted spies Ethel and Julius Rosenberg.
1956
Rock musician Peter Hook born
1960
Actor Matt Salinger born
1960
France exploded its first atomic bomb in the Sahara desert.
1961
Singer Henry Rollins born
1965
Sixteen-year-old Peggy Fleming won the ladies senior figure skating title at Lake Placid, New York. She was elected to the International Women's Sports Hall of Fame and the Olympic Hall of Fame.
1966
Singer Freedom Williams born
1968
Actress Kelly Hu born
1968
The U.S. sends 10,500 more combat troops to Vietnam. While the military is responsible for fighting a war, its civilian superiors determine how it will be fought.
1970
G.M. is reportedly redesigning automobiles to run on unleaded fuel.
1971
The Osmonds, a family singing group from Ogden, Utah, began a five-week stay at the top of the pop music charts with the hit, "One Bad Apple". The song, featured the voice of little Donny Osmond.
1972
Enemy attacks, in Vietnam, decline for the third day as the U.S. continues its intensive bombing strategy.
1974
Nobel Prize-winning author Alexander Solzhenitsyn was deported from the Soviet Union and stripped of Soviet citizenship.
1979
Actress Mena Suvari born
1980
Opening ceremonies for the 13th Winter Olympics were held in Lake Placid, New York.
1984
Konstantin Chernenko succeeded the late Yuri Andropov as the Soviet Communist Party's Central Committee.
1984
Konstantin Chernenko was chosen to be general secretary of the Soviet Communist Party's Central Committee, succeeding the late Yuri Andropov.
1985
The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at a record high of 1,297.92 after it topped the 1,300 mark earlier in the trading session.
1987
Martin A. Siegel, a leading Wall Street investment banker turned in by stock speculator Ivan F. Boesky, plead guilty to conspiracy and tax evasion as part of the insider-trading scandal.
1988
The 15th winter Olympics opened in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. President Reagan and Mexican President Miguel de la Madrid met in the Mexican resort of Mazatlan.
1989
The judge in the Iran-Contra trial of Oliver North sent the jury home amid a continuing disagreement between the prosecution and defense over protecting classified materials.
1990
The United States and its European allies forged an agreement with the Soviet Union and East Germany during an "open skies" conference in Ottawa on a two-stage formula to reunite Germany.
1990
Nelson Mandela received a hero's welcome when he returned to the black township of Soweto with a message of moderation and a pledge to end "the dark hell of apartheid."
1990
James "Buster" Douglas became the undisputed heavyweight champion of the world when his controversial knockout victory over Mike Tyson 2 days earlier was recognized by 2 holdout sanctioning bodies.
1991
Hundreds of Iraqi civilians were killed when a pair of laser-guided US bombs destroyed an underground facility in Baghdad identified by US officials as a military installation, but which Iraqi officials said was a bomb shelter.
1992
Donna Weinbrecht of the United States won the gold medal in women's freestyle skiing moguls at the Olympic games in Albertville, France.
1993
The government of Bosnia-Herzegovina began blocking the distribution of food in the capital of Sarajevo to protest ineffective international attempts to stop the war.
1994
At the Winter Olympics Games in Lillehammer, Norway, American Tommy Moe won the men's downhill, defeating local hero Kjetil Andre Aamodt by .004 of a second.
1995
A tribunal in the Netherlands indicted 21 Serbs for atrocities against Croats and Muslims interned in a Bosnian prison camp.
1996
The rock musical "Rent," by Jonathan Larson, opened off-Broadway.
1996
In the continuing drama of man versus machine, world chess champion Garry Kasparov asked for a draw in his third game against the IBM supercomputer named "Deep Blue," leaving the six-game match in Philadelphia tied at one and a-half games each.
1997
On Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrial average broke through the 7,000 barrier for the first time, ending the day at 7022.44.
1997
"Discovery's" astronauts hauled the Hubble Space Telescope aboard the shuttle for a one-billion-mile tuneup to allow it to peer even deeper into the far reaches of the universe.
1998
The United Auto Workers reached a tentative contract agreement with Caterpillar Incorporated. (Union members rejected the agreement, which was revised and later ratified, ending a bitter, six-and-a-half-year dispute.)
1998
President Clinton forcefully sought to persuade Iraqi President Saddam Hussein to permit U.N. inspectors to search his country for chemical, biological and nuclear weapons but said Washington could not "walk away" if he did not. "I hope and I pray that he will permit qualified, honest, nonpolitical, technically competent inspectors to have access to those sites which have been forbidden," Clinton told reporters.
1998
Dr. David Satcher was sworn in as surgeon general during an Oval Office ceremony.
1998
The World Health Organization announced that a potentially fatal parasitic disease transmitted by female sandflies had struck thousands of people in Ethiopia, Eritrea and Sudan. It said there had been a high mortality rate since the last months of 1997. Untredted the disease, visceral leishmaniasis, has a mortality rate of nearly 100%. Drugs essential for treating the disease were lacking in the region.
1998
The government agreed to delay stricter salt standards for foods labeled as "healthy" until 2000, instead of its previous deadline of November 1997. The USDA also said it might consider changing the definition of "healthy" for labels if food makers show that tougher salt restrictions are unrealistic.
1999
A federal judge held American Airlines' pilots' union and two top board members in contempt and promised sizable fines against them, saying the union did not do enough to encourage pilots to return to work after a court order.
1999
In his weekly radio address, President Clinton said as many as 4,000 American troops would go to Kosovo as part of a NATO peacekeeping force if warring Serbs and ethnic Albanians reached a political settlement.
2000
Charles Schulz's final "Peanuts" strip ran in Sunday newspapers, the day after the cartoonist died in his sleep at his California home at age 77.
2000
Tiger Woods saw his streak of six consecutive victories come to an end as he fell short to Phil Mickelson in the Buick Invitational.
2005
Somalians protest against deployment of African Union troops
2005
Pfizer and Microsoft team up against Viagra spam
2005
Chicago chef invents edible menu
2005
Howard Dean elected chairman of U.S. Democrats
2005
UN troops accused of rape in Congo; UN staff suspended due to Iraq Oil-for-Food corruption
2005
New Ariane 5 ECA rocket launch a success
2005
The Aviator and Vera Drake scoop top prizes at the Orange BAFTA Film Awards
2005
Shiites win dominating role in Iraq
2005
Gunman opens fire at upstate New York shopping mall
2006
Day 2 Results - Olympic Winter Games
2006
Melbourne police raid hydroponic cannabis growers
2006
Australian PM links cannabis use to mental illness
2006
The Independent questions Wikipedia's accuracy
2006
Day 3 Results - Olympic Winter Games
2006
Wikipedia suffers outage
2006
First of the Bali nine sentenced
2007
Fatal shooting at Salt Lake City mall
2007
Vancouver will run out of office space in 5 years
2007
Mobile phones to help fight AIDS in Africa
2007
Major snowstorm hits midwestern United States
2007
Romney announces presidential candidacy
2007
UN troops target violent gangs in Haitian slum raid
2008
Huckabee shifts campaign to Wisconsin
2008
George Bush meets with Mali president Amadou Touré
2008
Malaysian Prime Minister dissolves Parliament, makes way for elections
2008
'Top Model' winner Jaslene Gonzalez on her career and being a Latina role model
2008
Australian Parliament apologises to the Stolen Generations
2008
Astronauts replace ISS nitrogen tank in spacewalk
2008
McCain, Obama win "Potomac Primary" states
2008
German court upholds surveillance of Scientology
2008
Billy West, voice of Ren and Stimpy, Futurama, on the rough start that shaped his life
2008
'Bright' idea lights its way to win NASA contest
2008
Writers Guild of America ends strike
2008
Danish police arrest three in cartoonist murder plot
2009
Japan, Australia draw in World Cup qualifier
2009
Russian and US satellites collide
2009
Judd Gregg withdraws as US Commerce Secretary nominee
2009
US lawmakers reach stimulus package deal
2009
Fifty killed in commuter plane crash in Clarence Center, New York
2010
Landmark coalition offensive launched in Afghanistan
2010
Georgian Olympian luge competitor dies in training accident
2010
Airborne laser successfully destroys ballistic missile
2011
Algiers protest takes place despite ban
2011
Pakistani court seeks Musharraf's arrest over Bhutto murder
2011
Canada's social insurance assets pass $140 billion in fourth quarter
2011
NASCAR: Kurt Busch wins Budweiser Shootout
2013
Texas man appears before judge following fatal mall shooting
2013
'Banana Joe' wins Westminster

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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