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Today in History

1732
Surveyor, planter, soldier and first president of the United States, George Washington born in Westmoreland County, Colony of Virginia
1932
US Senator from Massachusetts for over 40 years, Edward Moore "Ted" Kennedy born in Boston, Massachusetts
1951
Tony Award winning singer and actress, Ellen Greene born in Brooklyn, New York
1979
Independence day in Saint Lucia
1980
US Olympic ice hockey team defeats the Soviet Union team 4-3 in Lake Placid, New York
1997
Scottish scientists announce cloning of a sheep named "Dolly"
2006
Six men stage Britain's biggest robbery ever, stealing £53m in Tonbridge, Kent
606
Death of Pope Sabinian
1072
Death of St. Pietro Damiani
1076
Pope Gregory VII excommunicates, anethemizes and deposes the Emperor Henry IV, and releases his subjects from their oaths of obedience.
1077
Deadline set by Tribur for Emperor Henry IV of Germany to submit to Rome
1276
Coronation of Pope Innocent V
1297
Death of St. Margaret of Cortona
1349
Jews are expelled from Zurich, Switzerland.
1403
Charles VII, King of France born
1440
Ladislas, King of Bohemia and Hungary born
1452
Murder of William, the Earl of Douglas, by James II, King of Scots
1512
Death of Amerigo Vespucci
1595
Robert Southwell, English poet, hanged for becoming a Catholic priest
1613
Accession of Romanov dynasty to Russian throne
1630
Indians introduce pilgrims to popcorn, at Thanksgiving
1638
The call for a National Covenant of Scotland is published
1652
Earliest grant of tolerance to Jews in the New World in the Dutch West Indies
1732
The first president of the United States (1789-1796), George Washington, was born at his parents' plantation in the Virginia Colony. born
1749
Johann Nikolaus Forkel, musicologist & 1st biographer of Bach born
1778
American painter Rembrandt Peale born
1784
A US merchant ship, the "Empress of China," left New York City for the Far East.
1788
Philosopher and athiest Arthur Schopenhauser born
1819
Spain ceded Florida to the United States.
1821
Spain sells eastern Florida to the U.S. for $5 million.
1825
Russia and Britain establish the Alaska/Canada boundary.
1857
Lord Robert Baden-Powell, founder of the Boy Scout Movement born
1862
Jefferson Davis is inaugurated president of the Confederacy in Richmond, Va. for the second time. Jefferson Davis'
1864
Nathan Bedford Forrest's brother, Jeffrey, is killed at Okolona, Miss.
1865
Federal troops capture Wilmington, N.C.
1865
Tennessee adopted a new constitution abolishing slavery.
1879
Frank Winfield Woolworth opened a five-cent store in Utica, New York.
1889
President Cleveland signed a bill to admit the Dakotas, Montana and Washington state to the Union.
1892
"Lady Windermere's Fan," by Oscar Wilde, was first performed, at London's St. James's Theater.
1900
Hawaii becomes a US Territory.
1902
A fistfight breaks out in the Senate. Senator Benjamin Tillman suffers a bloody nose for accusing Senator John McLaurin of bias on the Philippine tariff issue.
1907
Actor Robert Young (Father Knows Best, Marcus Welby M.D.) born
1907
Actor Sheldon (Bershad) Leonard (It's a Wonderful Life, Guys and Dolls) born
1908
Actor Sir John Mills born
1909
The Great White Fleet returns to Norfolk, Va., from an around-the-world show of naval power.
1911
Canadian Parliament votes to preserve the union with the British Empire.
1918
Announcer Don Pardo born
1920
The American Relief Administration appeals to the public to pressure Congress to aid starving European cities.
1924
Columbia University declares radio education a success.
1924
Calvin Coolidge delivered the first presidential radio broadcast from the White House.
1926
Emmy Award-winning Director Bud Yorkin born
1926
Pope Pius rejects Mussolini's offer of aid to the Vatican.
1928
Actor Paul Dooley born
1931
Maurice Chevalier recorded "Walkin' My Baby Back Home" for Victor Records in New York City.
1932
Adolf Hitler is the Nazi Party candidate for the presidential elections in Germany. The election of Hitler was the beginning of the Thousand-Year Reich.
1932
Senator Edward M. Kennedy (Democrat, Massachusetts) born
1934
Baseball manager Sparky (George) Anderson born
1935
All plane flights over the White House are barred because they are disturbing President Roosevelt's sleep.
1936
Singer Ernie K-Doe born
1944
Movie director Jonathan Demme born
1948
Actor John Ashton ("Beverly Hills Cop") born
1949
Gorgeous George and Ernie Dusek ushered in a brand new era in professional wrestling on this night, with the debut of "flying leaps, sequins and schmaltz" according to the sports scribes covering the event.
1950
Basketball Hall-of-Famer Julius Erving born
1950
Actress Ellen Greene born
1950
Actress Julie Walters born
1950
Actress Miou-Miou born
1951
The Atomic Energy Commission discloses information about the first atom-powered airplane.
1952
The U.S. signs a military aid pact with Peru.
1958
U.S. is to install 60 Thor nuclear missiles in Britain.
1959
Actor Kyle MacLachlan born
1962
A Soviet bid for new Geneva arms talks is turned down by the U.S.
1963
Moscow warns the U.S. that an attack on Cuba would mean war.
1965
Filming began for the Beatles' second movie, "HELP!", in the Bahamas.
1967
A report from Africa indicates that the world's first white gorilla has been found.
1968
Actress Jeri Ryan ("Star Trek born
1971
Actor Jose Solano ("Baywatch") born
1971
Actress-singer Lea Salonga born
1972
President Nixon meets with Mao Tse-tung in Peking.
1972
Tennis player Michael Chang born
1973
The United States and Communist China agreed to establish liaison offices.
1975
Actress Drew Barrymore born
1980
In a stunning upset, the United States Olympic hockey team defeated the Soviets at Lake Placid, New York, 4-to-3. (The U-S team went on to win the gold medal.)
1984
Britain and the U.S. send warships to the Persian Gulf following an Iranian offensive against Iraq.
1987
Pop artist Andy Warhol died at a New York City hospital at age 58.
1988
Bonnie Blair of the US won the women's 500-meter speed-skating event at the Winter Olympic Games in Calgary, Canada.
1988
In Lebanon, the kidnappers of US Marine Lieutenant Colonel William R. Higgins released a videotape in which Higgins asked the US to meet his abductors' demands.
1989
Iran's Ayatollah Khomeini, who had sentenced author Salman Rushdie to death, said economic sanctions would not change his stance, and that publication of Rushdie's book, "The Satanic Verses," was a sign from God that Iran should not reach out to the West.
1990
Former President Reagan's videotaped testimony for the trial of former national security adviser John Poindexter was released in Washington; in his deposition, Reagan said he never had "any inkling" his aides were secretly arming the Nicaraguan Contras.
1991
President George Bush and America's Gulf War allies gave Iraq 24 hours to begin withdrawing from Kuwait, or face a final all-out attack. Iraq denounced the "shameful" U.S. ultimatum, aligning itself with a Soviet peace plan the United States had rejected.
1993
The UN Security Council unanimously approved creation of an international war crimes tribunal to punish those responsible for atrocities in former Yugoslavia.
1993
A jury was seated in Los Angeles in the federal trial of four police officers accused of violating Rodney King's civil rights.
1994
The Justice Department charged 31-year CIA veteran Aldrich Ames and his wife, Rosario, with selling US national security secrets to the Soviet Union. (Ames was later sentenced to life in prison; his wife received a five-year prison term.)
1995
France accused four American diplomats and a fifth U.S. citizen of spying, and asked them to leave the country.
1995
Security forces in Algiers crushed a prison uprising by Islamic extremists, resulting in 96 deaths by official count.
1996
The space shuttle Columbia blasted into orbit on a mission to unreel a satellite on the end of a 12.8 mile cord.
1996
President Clinton announced he would nominate Alan Greenspan to a third term as chairman of the Federal Reserve.
1996
Russia and the head of the International Monetary Fund reached a deal for a loan of more than $10 billion dollars to back up free-market reforms.
1997
Cutbacks began under new welfare law limiting childless adults, under age 50 and able to work, to three months of food stamps in any three-year period.
1997
Albert Shanker, the leader of the American Federation of Teachers who championed public school reforms, died in New York at age 68.
1998
Abraham A. Ribicoff, the former Connecticut governor and senator who served as President Kennedy's secretary of Health, Education and Welfare, died in Riverdale, New York, at age 87.
1998
The Czech Republic defeated Russia 1-to-0 to win men's hockey as the Nagano Winter Olympics came to a close.
1998
Monica Lewinsky's lawyer said there was no "quid pro quo" for the help presidential confidant Vernon Jordan gave the former White House intern to find a public relations job.
1999
Levi Strauss, falling victim to a fashion generation gap, announced it was closing 11 plants.
2000
John McCain won Republican primaries in Michigan and his home state of Arizona.
2005
Canada's next ambassador to U.S. instigates outrage over missile defense
2005
6.4 magnitude earthquake hits Iran
2006
Arsenal beat Real Madrid 1-0
2006
Australian resort manager faces possible 10-year prison sentence in Indonesia
2006
Preparations for inaugural Bathurst International Motor Festival begin
2006
Baltimore police seek sex offender for failure to register
2006
Hope fades for families of trapped Mexican miners
2006
RadioShack CEO resigns
2006
Tibetans protest Google on Valentine's Day
2006
Mozambique and Zimbabwe struck by earthquake
2007
Telecom New Zealand reviews itself, finds fault
2007
On bereavement and acceptance: Yale study of grief process
2007
Large study provides new insights in autism's genetic code
2007
One of Canada's last WWI veterans dies at age 107
2007
Pakistani minister assassinated for not wearing veil
2007
Elton John AIDS Foundation Party to mark the Academy Awards
2008
Draft treaty to ban cluster bombs reached in New Zealand
2008
Robert Gates hopes to continue US troop cuts in Iraq
2008
Steve Wright, killer of five women in Suffolk, England, sentenced to life imprisonment
2008
Australian drug regulator requires warning on Zolpidem
2008
Barack Obama wins Democrats Abroad primary
2008
Turkey sends thousands of troops into northern Iraq
2008
Taipei International Book Exhibition: Rain causes traffic jam around exhibition hall
2008
American Airlines plane diverted to Miami after landing gear problem
2008
46-passenger Venezuelan plane reported missing
2008
National Hockey League news: February 22, 2008
2009
Over a dozen injured, one killed in bomb blast in Egypt
2009
Number of cholera cases in Zimbabwe reaches 80,000
2009
Endangered Luzon Buttonquail photographed alive by Philippines documentary
2009
Australian football: Adelaide United defeat Queensland Roar, through to A-League Grand Final
2009
Adela Lupșe, outburst TV presenter, gives her side
2009
Bulgarian chess grandmaster attempts to break chess record
2009
California's violent video game ban law ruled unconstitutional by US Court of Appeals
2009
Launch of space shuttle Discovery delayed indefinitely
2009
At least 73 dead after blast in Chinese coal mine
2010
Lufthansa pilots begin strike
2011
Runways 'destroyed' at Libya’s Benina International Airport
2011
Australian Governor-General travels to Kuwait amidst terror threats
2011
Egyptian man names daughter 'Facebook'
2011
Magnitude 6.3 earthquake hits New Zealand's South Island; dozens dead
2011
Libya blocks access to Internet
2011
Phones without Internet access join the Facebook revolution
2012
Scottish prosecutors keeping quiet about Lanarkshire surgical deaths
2012
UK's Wright Stuff comments about Liam Aitchison murder 'resolved', Ofcom concludes
2012
Tameside Council seek to ban English Defence League rally
2012
Golf: Tseng successfully defends her title in Thailand
2012
Writs issued for Queensland election
2013
Austria leads medal count after second day of IPC Alpine World Championships
2013
Second day at IPC Para-alpine World Championships at La Molina delivers surprises

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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