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Today in History

1827
First Mardi Gras in New Orleans, Louisiana
1844
Independence Day in Dominican Republic
1879
Discovery of artificial sweetener saccharin
1902
Pulizter Prize winning author John Steinbeck born in Salinas Valley, California
1930
Academy, Emmy and Golden Globe Award winning actress, Joanne Woodward born in Thomasville, Georgia
1932
Academy award winning actress Dame Elizabeth Rosemond Taylor born in London, England
1934
Attorney, consumer activist and three-time presidential candidate, Ralph Nader born in Winsted, Connecticut
1943
Bearcreek, Montana mine explosion kills 74
1974
People magazine published
288
Constantine born
425
Theodosius II, Emperor of Byzantium, founds a University
1458
George of Podebrad chosen King of Bohemia
1531
Schmalkaldic League formed
1549
Ivan IV, "the Terrible" opens the Zemsky Sobor
1556
Heller discovers a "terrifying, prodigious extraordinary star"
1558
Ivan IV, "the Terrible," opens commercial relations with England
1593
Elizabeth I, Queen of England, reminds Parliament of Her Perogatives
1700
The Pacific Island of New Britain is discovered.
1801
The District of Columbia was placed under the jurisdiction of Congress.
1807
Poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow born in Portland, Maine. (The Song of Hiawatha, Paul Revere's Ride, The Wreck of the Hesperus) born
1807
The Dominican Republic gained its independence after Haiti withdrew from the country.
1814
Napoleon's Marshal Nicholas Oudinot is pushed back at Barsur-Aube by the Emperor's allied enemies shortly before his abdication.
1827
The first Mardi-Gras celebration is held in New Orleans.
1861
Warsaw, Russian troops fired on a crowd protesting Russian rule over Poland; five marchers were killed.
1864
First Union prisoners arrive at Andersonville Prison in Georgia.
1867
Dr. William G. Bonwill of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, invented the dental mallet while watching a telegraph key sounder operate a Philadelphia hotel.
1869
Alice Hamilton, the American pathologist who played a significant role the development of workmen's compensation laws born
1873
Tenor Enrico Carusa in Naples, Italy. born
1883
Oscar Hammersteof New York City patented the first, practical, cigar-rolling machine. He was the grandfather of the music composer Oscar Hammerstein.
1886
Hugo Black, U.S. Supreme Court Justice [1937 - 1971] born
1890
Boxers Danny Needham and Patsy Kerrigan fought 100 rounds San Francisco before the match was declared a draw after more than 6 hours.
1891
David Sarnoff, RCA Board Chairman and a pioneer of U.S. television (Uzlian, Russia). born
1897
Opera singer Marian Anderson was born Philadelphia. She began her singing career as a member of the Union Baptist Church choir. She was the first African-American to sing with the New York Metropolitan Opera. born
1902
Champion golfer Gene Sarazen born
1902
American novelist John Steinbeck (Salinas, California) author of "Grapes of Wrath" and "Of Mice and Men." born
1905
Actor Franchot Tone (Mutiny on the Bounty, Advise and Consent, In Harm's Way) born
1908
Star # 46 was added to the U.S. flag -- for Oklahoma -- which had entered the union on November 16, 1807.
1910
Auto racer Ted Horn born
1913
American playwright and novelist Irwin Shaw (Rich Man Poor Man, The Young Lions). born
1917
Former Texas Govenor John Connally born
1920
The U.S. rejects a Soviet peace offer as propaganda.
1922
Commerce Secretary Herbert Hoover convened the first National Radio Conference Washington, D.C.
1922
The Supreme Court unanimously upheld the 19th Amendment to the Constitution that guaranteed the right of women to vote.
1925
Glacier Bay National Monument is dedicated in Alaska.
1927
Actor and writer James Herlihy born
1927
Singer (Al Cernick) Guy Mitchell (Singing the Blues, Heartaches by the Number, My Heart Cries for You, My Truly Truly Fair) born
1930
Actress Joanne Woodward (The Three Faces of Eve, Sybil) born
1932
Actress Elizabeth Taylor (Cat On A Hot Tin Roof, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, National Velvet, Cleopatra) born
1932
The Glass-Steagall Act is passed, giving the Federal Reserve the right to expand credit in order to increase money circulation.
1933
Germany's parliament building, the Reichstag, caught fire. The Nazis, blaming the Communists, used the fire as a pretext for suspending civil liberties.
1933
Pro Football Hall of Famer Ray Berry born
1934
Consumer advocate Ralph Nader born
1936
Singer Chuck Glaser (Lovin' Her Was Easier, Where Has All the Love Gone) born
1937
Actress Barbara Babcock born
1939
The Supreme Court outlawed sit-down strikes.
1940
Actor Howard Hesseman (WKRP in Cincinnati, Head of the Class) born
1942
British Commandos raid a German radar station at Bruneval on the French coast.
1943
Actress Mary Frann born
1946
The fourth of the "Road" films, "Road to Utopia", starring Bing Crosby, Bob Hope, Dorothy Lamour and Robert Benchley, opened in New York City.
1960
Rock musician Paul Humphreys (Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark) born
1960
The US Olympic hockey team defeated the Soviets, three goals to two, at the Winter Games in Squaw Valley, California. (The US team went on to win the gold medal.)
1961
Basketball player James Worthy born
1962
Actor Adam Baldwin born
1962
Actor Grant Show ("Melrose Place") born
1962
South Vietnamese president Ngo Dinh Diem is unharmed as two planes bomb the presidential palace in Saigon.
1963
The U.S.S.R. says that 10,000 troops will remain in Cuba.
1963
Mickey Mantle of the New York Yankees signed a contract worth $100,000. In 1949, Mantle had signed his first Yankee contract for $1,100.
1965
Rock musician Mike Cross (Sponge) born
1969
Thousands of students protest President Nixon's arrival in Rome.
1970
Simon and Garfunkel received a gold record for the single "Bridge over Troubled Water."
1971
Rhythm-and-blues singer (TLC) Chilli born
1972
President Nixon and Chinese Premier Chou En-lai issued the Shanghai Communique at the conclusion of Nixon's historic visit to China.
1973
Rhythm-and-blues singer Roderick Clark born
1973
U.S. Supreme Court rules that a Virginia pool club can't bar residents because of color.
1973
Members of the American Indian Movement occupied the hamlet of Wounded Knee in South Dakota, the site of the 1890 massacre of Sioux men, women and children. (The occupation lasted until May.)
1973
Baseball star, Dick "Don't Call Me Richie" Allen, signed a three-year pact with the Chicago White Sox for a reported $675,000 after leaving the Philadelphia Phillies.
1974
A new magazine was issued by Time-Life (now Time-Warner). The magazine was "People." It had an initial run of one million copies.
1979
Jane M. Byrne confounded Chicago's Democratic political machine as she upset Mayor Michael A. Bilandic to wtheir party's mayoral primary. (Byrne went on to win the election.)
1980
First Daughter Chelsea Clinton born
1980
Rhythm-and-blues singer (Mista) Bobby Wilson born
1983
Britain's Queen Elizabeth II and her husband, Prince Philip, attended a church service San Diego, then flew on to Palm Springs, California, as they continued their tour of the West Coast.
1985
Former Ambassador Henry Cabot Lodge, who had served three terms as a U.S. senator and ran as the 1960 Republican vice presidential nominee, died Beverly, Massachusetts, at age 82.
1985
Former vice-presidential candidate, Geraldine Ferraro, was seen in a TV commercial in an ad for a diet soft drink.
1985
Dale Berra started his first day as a New York Yankee. It marked the first significant father-son combination in major-league baseball.
1986
The US Senate approved telecasts of its debates on a trial basis.
1986
President/dictator Ferdinand Marcos decided to get out of the Philippines while he still could. The widow of a slain anti-Marcos politician, homemaker Corazon Aquino had been elected President earlier in the month.
1987
The longest-running program on the Public Broadcasting System (PBS), "Washington Review," celebrated its 20th anniversary.
1987
President Reagan replaced his White House chief of staff, Donald T. Regan, with former Senator Howard H. Baker.
1988
Katarina Witt won the gold medal in women's figure skating at the Winter Olympics in Calgary, Canada, with Elizabeth Manley of Canada placing second and Debi Thomas of the United States, third.
1989
President Bush warned of what he called the "fool's gold" of trade protectionism as he addressed South Korea's National Assembly before returning home.
1990
The Exxon Corporation and Exxon Shipping were indicted on five criminal counts relating to the
1990
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that prison officials could force inmates to take powerful anti-psychotic drugs without a judge's consent.
1991
President Bush declared that "Kuwait is liberated, Iraq's army is defeated," and announced that the allies would suspend combat operations at midnight. General H. Norman Schwarzkopf, the US commander in the Gulf, briefed reporters in detail on the successful allied offensive.
1992
William Aramony resigned as president of United Way of America amid charges of financial mismanagement and lavish spending.
1993
President Clinton, in his weekly radio address, promised to find out who was behind the huge explosion at New York's World Trade Center, a bombing later blamed on Islamic militants.
1993
Actress Lillian Gish died in New York at age 99.
1994
The Winter Olympic Games ended Lillehammer, Norway.
1995
Court-appointed salvagers swarmed into Britain's oldest investment bank to evaluate the remaining assets of Barings PLC after Nick Leeson, a 29-year-old trader, ruined the firm by gambling on Tokyo stock prices.
1996
Bob Dole won the North Dakota and South Dakota primaries, while Steve Forbes captured Arizona's winner-take-all primary.
1997
A jury in Fayetteville, North Carolina, convicted former Army paratrooper James N. Burmeister of murdering a black couple so he could get a skinhead tattoo. (He was later sentenced to life in prison.)
1997
Divorce became legal in Ireland. Legislation banning most handguns in Britain went into effect.
1998
Condemning tobacco companies for targeting children, Vice President Al Gore unveiled a $7.5 million national advertising campaign to encourage retailers to stop selling cigarettes to minors. Gore, who owes his livelyhood to the tobacco industry, also urged Congress to pass comprehensive, bipartisan legislation by this summer that would reduce the number of teen smokers.
1998
President Clinton and his wife Hillary celebrated daughter Chelsea's 18th birthday at an exclusive ski resort high in the Rocky Mountains. They borrowed a vacation home owned by Hollywood executive Jeffrey Katzenberg for the weekend.
1998
The FBI arrested suspected serial killer Tony Ray Amati in Atlanta, just 4 days after he was listed as one of the 10 most wanted fugitives in the U.S.
1998
The teen-age leader of a cult of self-professed vampires was sentenced to die in the electric chair for the beating deaths of a Florida couple. In 1996, Ferrell inducted 15-year-old Heather Wendorf into his vampire clan then bludgeoned her parents to death with a crow bar hours later.
1998
With the approval of Queen Elizabeth the Second, Britain's House of Lords agreed to end 1,000 years of male preference by giving a monarch's first-born daughter the same claim to the throne as any first-born son.
1999
Nigerians voted to elect Olusegun Obasanjo their new president as the country marked the final phase of its return to democracy.
1999
The Rev. Henry Lyons, president of the National Baptist Convention USA, was convicted in Largo, Fla., of swindling millions of dollars from companies seeking to do business with his followers.
2000
Texas Governor George W. Bush's campaign released a letter to New York Cardinal John O'Connor in which the Republican presidential candidate said he "deeply" regretted "causing needless offense" by making a campaign appearance at Bob Jones University, a South Carolina school whose leaders had espoused anti-Catholic views.
2005
Romania announces 18 percent increase in tourists in 2004
2005
Two-headed baby has second head removed
2005
Nine rescued from roof of blazing Taiwanese skyscraper
2005
Pope John Paul II makes surprise appearance at window of his hospital room
2005
Ireland beat England 19-13 in the RBS Six Nations
2006
Australian government accused of neglecting regions
2006
Australian government announces study of tax system
2006
Eva Hassett, VP of Savarino Construction Services Corp. answers questions on Buffalo, N.Y. hotel redesign
2006
London Mayor Ken Livingstone to appeal over suspension
2006
Accidental explosion occurs in Israel
2006
Reaction to Ken Livingstone suspension
2006
POWER inquiry calls for radical power shift in British democracy
2006
Australian Prime Minister blames asylum seekers for "Children Overboard" scandal
2006
6 Teenagers die in car accident in Victoria, several others injured
2006
Five month old girl injured in "deliberate" house fire
2007
Liberals in Quebec gain support over separatist Parti Québécois
2007
New Zealand's state broadcaster plans to dismiss 160 workers
2007
Dress code threats close Peshawar schools
2007
Microsoft to acquire health information search engine
2007
Egypt sentences blogger to four years for insulting Islam
2007
US and Italian ambassadors attacked in Sri Lanka
2007
Billboard holds benefit Oscar party for Children Uniting Nations
2007
Man United hold on for FA win at Reading
2007
Explosion near Afganistan base kills at least 19, U.S. Vice President may have been target
2007
Canadian stock exchange plummets
2007
NHL: Tampa Bay Lights Up the Night
2007
U.S. stocks plummet amid global sell-off
2008
Seeds placed in Norwegian vault as agricultural 'insurance policy'
2008
Sports-heavy broadcast day for BBC One receives complaints; BBC responds
2008
Wladimir Klitschko unifies IBF, WBO heavyweight titles
2008
Iraq demands immediate withdrawal of Turkish troops
2008
Van Canto's Stefan Schmidt on a capella metal, Wacken, Nightwish, piracy & more
2008
EU fines Microsoft $1.35 billion for non-compliance with antitrust decision
2008
French president insults passerby at national agriculture convention
2008
Climate campaigners scale UK Parliament and hang protest banners from the building
2008
Minor earthquake shakes England
2008
Sudan boycotts Danish goods
2008
Journalist William F. Buckley dies at age 82
2008
Stan Lai: Volunteers will play the greatest key role at 2009 Summer Deaflympics
2008
Visa seeks to issue largest IPO in US history
2008
National Hockey League news: February 27, 2008
2008
Biological Encyclopedia website too popular on first day, crashes
2008
School in Edinburgh, Scotland sealed off; put on radioactive alert
2008
Executives from global Internet industry meet at APRICOT
2009
Australian Sex Party to run independents in Queensland election
2009
Wedding next year for Sweden's crown princess
2009
Former Serbian president Milutinovic acquitted of war crimes
2009
Obama budget calls for record US deficit
2010
Inquest held after air rifle shot kills 10-year-old boy in Swansea, Wales
2010
Snow-laden branch kills man in Central Park
2010
8.8 magnitude earthquake hits Chile; tsunami warnings issued throughout Pacific rim
2010
Pacific Rim braces for tsunami following major Chilean earthquake
2010
Chile's President-elect's battle with delinquency becomes personal
2010
Libya's Gaddafi calls for holy war on Switzerland
2012
Orkney, Scotland crash kills two

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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