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Today in History

LOTR...
Death of Boromir
1815
Napoleon Bonaparte escapes from Elba
1916
Composer, screen actor, and television comedy legend, Jackie Gleason born in Brooklyn, New York
1920
Dancer, raconteur, and Emmy Award winning actor, Tony Randall born in Tulsa, Oklahoma
1932
Grammy winning songwriter and Hall of Fame singer, J.R. "Johnny" Cash born in Kingsland, Arkansas
1953
Grammy Award winning songwriter and singer, Michael Bolton born in New Haven, Connecticut
1973
Olympic Gold Medalist Jenny Thompson born in Dover, New Hampshire
1991
Tim Berners-Lee unveils first web browser
1993
World Trade Center truck bombing kills 6
2001
Taliban destroys historic Buddha statues in Bamyan, Afghanistan
364
Valentinian becomes Emperor of Rome at Nicaea
493
Surrender of the Roman Army at Ravenna to the Ostrogoths
1147
Crusaders massacre the Jews of Wrzburg
1154
Death of Roger II, King of Sicily
1266
Death of Manfred, King of Sicily
1361
King Wenceslaus of Germany born
1522
Cuauhtmoc, last Aztec emperor, hanged by Corts after being tortured
1531
An earthquake in Lisbon, Portugal, killed an estimated 20,000 people.
1551
Execution of Thomas Arundell
1564
Baptism of Christopher Marlowe
1616
Inquisition delivers injunction to Galileo
1770
The composer Anton Reicha born
1797
The Bank of England issued one-pound notes for the first time.
1802
One of the great figures of French literature, Victor Hugo, was born Besancon, France. His best known works include the novel "Les Miserables" and "The Hunchback of Notre Dame." born
1815
Napoleon Bonaparte and 1,200 men left his exile on the Isle of Elba to start his 100-day campaign to re-gain France.
1829
Levi Strauss, creator of blue jeans born
1832
The Polish constitution was abolished and replaced by one imposed by Czar Nicholas I.
1832
John George Nicolay, private secretary to Abraham Lincoln born
1846
"Wild West" frontiersman-turned-showman William F. "Buffalo Bill" Cody in Scott County, Iowa. born
1848
London, England, Karl Marx published "The Communist Manifesto."
1848
The Second French Republic was proclaimed.
1852
Wagner met one of the loves of his life. Wagner had moved to Zurich and visited with his new neighbors, the Wesendoncks. He was a rich merchant; she was a beautiful woman. The relationship inspired the opera "Tristan and Isolde."
1852
John Harvey Kellogg was born Tyrone, Michigan. An American physician and health-food pioneer whose development of dry breakfast cereals was largely responsible for the creation of the flaked-cereal industry. born
1863
President Lincoln signs the National Currency Act.
1866
Herbert Henry Dow, pioneer in US chemical industry born
1870
New York City's first pneumatic-powered subway line was opened to the public.
1901
The leaders of the Boxer Rebellion China, Chi-hsui and Hsu Cheng-yu, were beheaded public.
1907
The U.S. Congress raised their pay to $7,500. Both House and Senate received the same pay. The Cabinet members and the Vice President would earn $12,000.
1916
General Henri Philippe Petain takes command of the French forces at Verdun.
1916
American musician, comedian and actor Herbert (John) Jackie Gleason was in Brooklyn, New York. born
1916
Mutual signed Charlie Chaplin to a film contract. Three years later, the Charlie Chaplin films were released and were very successful at the box office.
1917
President Wilson publicly asks congress for the power to arm merchant ships.
1919
Actor Mason Adams (Lou Grant, F/X, Houseguest). born
1919
Congress established Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona. The Grand Canyon National Park covers 1,218,375 acres. It measures 18 miles across, over 200 miles long and is a mile from its top to its bottom.
1920
Actor (Leonard Rosenberg) Tony Randall (The Odd Couple, Pillow Talk, Seven Faces of Dr. Lao, Fatal Instinct, The Alphabet Murders) born
1921
Actress (Elizabeth Thornberg) Betty Hutton (Annie Get Your Gun, The Greatest Show on Earth, Hollywood Clowns) born
1924
U.S. steel industry finds claims an eight-hour day increases efficiency and employee relations.
1928
Singer (Antoine) Fats Domino (Ain't That a Shame, Goin' Home, I'm in Love Again, Blue Monday, I'm Walkin', Blueberry Hill) born
1929
President Coolidge signed a measure establishing Grand Teton National Park.
1931
Political columnist Robert Novak. born
1932
Singer Johnny Cash (Folsom Prison Blues, I Walk the Line, Don't Take Your Guns to Town, A Boy Named Sue, Ring of Fire) born
1933
Ground is broken for the Golden Gate Bridge in San Franscisco.
1935
RADAR (Radio Detection and Ranging) was first demonstrated by Robert Watson-Watt.
1936
Adolf Hitler opened the first factory for the production of the "People's Car," the Volkswagen, Saxony, Germany.
1940
The United States Air Defense Command was created.
1942
"How Green Was My Valley" won best picture of 1941 at the Academy Awards Los Angeles; John Ford won best director, Gary Cooper won best actor for "Sergeant York," Joan Fontaine won best actress for "Suspicion."
1943
Actor-director Bill Duke born
1943
Roy Harris' Fifth Symphony was premiered. It was popular during World War Two because Harris dedicated it to the Soviet people on the 25th anniversary of the Red Army. After the war, the Soviet Union changed from friend to foe and the symphony wasn't heard again for years.
1943
Country-rock musician Paul Cotton (Poco) born
1945
Singer Mitch Ryder. (William Levise) born
1945
Rock artist (Canned Heat) "Bear" Bob Hite born
1945
A midnight curfew on night clubs, bars and other places of entertainment was set to go into effect across the nation.
1945
Syria declares war on Germany and Japan.
1947
Singer Sandie Shaw (Goodrich) born
1947
President Truman names Lewis W. Douglas as ambassador to Britain.
1950
Rock musician (Journey) Jonathan Cain born
1951
The 22nd Amendment to the Constitution was ratified, limiting a president to two terms of office.
1952
Prime Minister Winston Churchill announced that Britain had developed its own atomic bomb.
1953
Singer Michael Bolton. born
1955
Billboard magazine reported that for the first time since their introduction 1949, 45-rpm discs are outselling the old standard 78-rpm records.
1957
The Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award was established by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
1962
After becoming the first American to orbit the Earth, John Glenn told a joint meeting of Congress, "exploration and the pursuit of knowledge have always paid dividends in the long run."
1964
Lyndon B. Johnson signs a tax bill with $11.5 billion in cuts.
1965
Norman Butler is arrested for the murder of Malcom X.
1966
Actress Jennifer Grant ("Beverly Hills 90210") born
1968
Thirty-two African nations agree to boycott the Olympics because of the presence of South Africa.
1970
Five Marines are arrested on charges of murdering 11 South Vietnamese women and children.
1971
Singer Erykah Badu born
1972
Soviets recover Luna 20 with a cargo of moon rocks.
1972
Rhythm-and-blues singer Rico Wade (Society of Soul). born
1973
A publisher and 10 reporters are subpoenaed to testify on Watergate.
1979
A total solar eclipse cast a moving shadow 175 miles wide from Oregon to North Dakota before moving north into Canada.
1980
Egypt and Israel established diplomatic relations, marking the end of 30 years of war between the two countries.
1983
Britain's Queen Elizabeth II and her husband, Prince Philip, arrived San Diego Bay for a 10-day West Coast tour that included a Hollywood banquet and visits with President and Mrs. Reagan.
1984
The last American Marines the multinational peacekeeping force Lebanon left Beirut.
1985
Secretary of State George P. Shultz and U.S. arms negotiators told Congress the U.S. bargaining position would be seriously weakened if lawmakers refused to finance the MX missile.
1987
The Tower Commission declared White House chief of staff Donald Regan had "primary responsibility for the chaos" of the Iran-Contra scandal.
1988
Eric Arturo Delvalle, ousted as president of Panama by the country's National Assembly, called for a national strike to repudiate General Manuel Antonio Noriega.
1988
The Soviet Union's hockey team clinched the gold medal at the Winter Olympics in Calgary, Canada.
1989
President Bush's visit to China was marred by the refusal of Chinese authorities to allow dissidet Fang Lizhi to attend a banquet hosted by Bush.
1989
Defense Secretary-designate John Tower, dogged by questions about a possible drinking problem, publicly pledged not to imbibe in any alcohol during his term of office if confirmed by the Senate.
1990
Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega conceded defeat to his opponent, Violetta Barrios de Chamorro, a stunning election upset.
1990
The Soviet Union agreed to withdraw all of its 73,500 troops from Czechoslovakia by July 1991.
1991
Kuwaiti resistance leaders declared themselves in control of their capital, following nearly seven months of Iraqi occupation.
1991
Iraqi President Saddam Hussein announced on Baghdad Radio that he had ordered his forces to withdraw from Kuwait.
1992
The U-S Supreme Court ruled unanimously that sexually harassed students may sue to collect monetary damages from their schools and school officials.
1992
The Supreme Court of Ireland cleared the way for a 14-year-old girl to leave the country for an abortion.
1993
A bomb exploded in the parking garage of New York's World Trade Center, killing six people and injuring more than one-thousand others.
1994
A jury San Antonio acquitted 11 followers of David Koresh of murder, rejecting claims they had ambushed federal agents; five were convicted of manslaughter.
1995
The United States and China averted a major trade war by signing a comprehensive agreement.
1995
Barings PLC, Britain's oldest investment banking firm, collapsed after Nick Leeson, a 28-year-old securities dealer, lost over $1.4 billion by gambling on Tokyo stock prices.
1996
President Clinton moved to step up economic sanctions on Cuba response to Cuba's downing of two unarmed airplanes belonging to the Cuban-American exile group Brothers to the Rescue.
1997
Israel's Cabinet voted to build a new Jewish neighborhood in disputed east Jerusalem.
1997
"Change the World" won four Grammy awards, including record of the year; Celine Dion's "Falling Into You" won album of the year and best pop album.
1997
President Clinton defended White House fund-raising tactics as "entirely appropriate," a day after the disclosure of documents putting Clinton at the center of all-out fund-raising efforts.
1998
A jury in Amarillo, Texas, rejected an $11 million lawsuit brought by Texas cattlemen who blamed Oprah Winfrey's talk show for a price fall after a segment on food safety that included a discussion about mad-cow disease.
1998
White House damage-control expert Sidney Blumenthal accused independent counsel Kenneth Starr of trying to intimidate him to keep him from talking with journalists about prosecutors on Starr's team. "I never imagined that in America I would be hauled before a federal grand jury to answer questions about my conversations with members of the media," Blumenthal said after a morning of grand jury testimony.
1998
Five New York City police officers were indicted in federal court on charges of violating the civil rights of a Haitian immigrant who said he was beaten and sexually tortured in a Brooklyn precinct house.
1998
Britain's Princess Margaret was admitted to hospital in London for further medical treatment after a mild stroke.
1999
President Clinton, outlining foreign policy goals for the final two years of his administration, urged continued American engagement in the quest for peace and freedom abroad.
2000
Pope John Paul the Second visited Mount Sinai in Egypt, where he prayed for religious tolerance in a garden under the peak revered as the place where Moses received the Ten Commandments.
2005
The British minimum wage goes up in October
2005
Explosion in central Tel Aviv nightclub
2005
British Iraq abuse case soldiers jailed
2005
Bacteria thrive deep under sea floor
2005
Founder of Amnesty International dies, aged 83
2005
US serial killer suspect arrested after 25 years in hiding
2006
First Australian convicted under new anti-terrorism laws
2006
Anglican Church offers landmark compensation deal
2006
Investigation wanted into the murders of Iraqi academics
2006
Opposition may boycott Thai election; demonstrators want Thaksin out
2006
U.S. appeals court to reconsider Hawaiians-only admission policy
2006
Boston College defeats NC State in double overtime
2007
Virginia legislature issues apology for slavery
2007
Sherry Lansing thankful for Hersholt Humanitarian Oscar
2007
Chelsea beats Arsenal in Carling Cup
2007
Canada's Astral Media Inc. to aquire Standard Radio
2007
Scorsese finally scores Oscar gold with "The Departed"
2007
Golfer sues law firm over Wikipedia article defacement
2007
CBS to invest in Electric Sheep Company
2008
Microsoft Network users experience international outage
2008
Michael Jackson's Neverland Ranch to be auctioned off
2008
Massive blackouts hit Florida
2008
Kenya peace talks put on hold
2008
George Bush meets with US governors
2008
Thousands protest privatisation of Australian electricity industry
2008
Judge to decide on Nigerian election re-run
2008
Nigerian election result will not be annulled
2008
N.Y. orchestra helps forge relations with North Korea
2008
Pakistan's ban on YouTube lifted
2008
Lobby groups oppose plans for EU copyright extension
2008
Jersey child abuse case 'was not covered up'
2008
Video hosting website Stage6 to shut down
2008
National Hockey League news: February 26, 2008
2009
Baldwin, Seymour among attendees at Oscar viewing party held by Children Uniting Nations
2009
Australian state of Queensland will go to the polls on March 21
2009
Engine failure may have been factor in Amsterdam plane crash
2009
Hilda Solis begins new job as US Secretary of Labor
2009
Al-Shabaab and AU peacekeepers clash in Somalia
2010
Thai court strips ex-Prime Minister of $1.4 billion
2010
Russian Wikipedia reaches half a million articles
2010
At least fifteen dead after stampede at Mali mosque
2010
Three Google executives found guilty over Italian video
2010
Rwandan army officer sentenced to 25 years for genocide
2011
Space Shuttle Discovery arrives at International Space Station
2011
Candle knocked over during voodoo sex ritual causes apartment fire
2011
Opposition Leader predicts 'people's revolt' in Australia over carbon tax
2011
France calls on Libyan leader to step down
2012
Two United States officers killed in Afghan ministry
2013
France finishes IPC Alpine World Championships on top of medal ladder
2013
Austria regains medal leadboard after fourth competition day of IPC Alpine World Championships
2013
Scottish Cardinal Keith O'Brien resigns amid sex abuse allegations

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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