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Today in History

1533
Essay creator, Michel de Montaigne born
1901
Nobel laureate for chemistry in 1954 and Nobel Peace Prize winner in 1962, scientist Linus Pauling born in Lake Oswego, Oregon
1940
Indy 500 winner and auto racing champion, Mario Andretti born in Montona, Istria
1940
Singer, songwriter and guitarist, Joe South born in Atlanta, Georgia
1940
Martin Kamen and Sam Ruben discover carbon-14
1942
Musician and founding member of The Rolling Stones, Brian Jones born in Hartfield, England
1944
Tony Award winning actress and dancer, Kelly Bishop born in Colorado Springs, Colorado
1948
Tony Award winning actress and singer, Bernadette Peters born Bernadette Lazzara in Queens, New York
1957
Singer, songwriter and founding member of The B-52's, Cindy Wilson born in Athens, Georgia
1961
Actress Rae Dawn Chong born in Edmonton, Alberta
1972
French Connection drug bust in Marseilles
1991
US, Iraq Gulf War cease fire
1993
ATF agents raid Branch Davidian compound in Waco, Texas beginning 51 day stand off
591
Gregory I becomes Pope
922
Death of St. Oswald of Worchester
1066
Westminster Abbey opens
1258
Tatars burn Baghdad
1533
Michael de Montaigne born
1572
Death of Catherine of Austria, third wife of Sigsimund II of Poland
1574
First burning of heretics by the Inquisition in the New World
1610
Thomas West is appointed governor of Virginia.
1616
Vincent Fettmilch, the leader of an attack on the Jewish ghetto of Frankfurt, beheaded for his part in the crime
1626
Cyril Tourneur, English poet, dramatist, dies at about 51
1638
National Covenant signed at Greyfriars Kirk, Edinburgh
1643
Roger Scott tried in Massachusetts for sleeping on the Sabbath
1648
Death of Christian IV, King of Denmark and Norway
1704
Indians attack Deerfield, Mass. killing 40 and kidnapping 100.
1743
The Baroque that gave us Bach also gave us Boccherini. Luigi Boccherini was born in Lucca. born
1784
John Wesley signed the "deed of declaration," formalizing the establishment of the Wesleyan faith, or Methodists.
1797
Mary Lyon, a pioneer the field of higher education for women and founder of Mount Holyoke Seminary, was born near Buckland, Massachusetts.
1820
Illustrator and cartoonist Sir John Tenniel born in London, England. He is best remembered for his illustrations for Lewis Carroll's "Alice's Adventures Wonderland" and "Through the Looking-Glass." born
1824
French acrobat and aerialist Charles Blond(Jean Francois Gravelet) in Saint-Omer, France. He owed his celebrity to his feat of crossing Niagara Falls on a tightrope 1,100 feet long. born
1825
A treaty was signed between Britaand Russia, settling the border between Canada and Alaska, then a Russian possession.
1827
The first U.S. railroad chartered to carry passengers and freight, the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Co., was incorporated.
1844
A 12-inch gun aboard the USS "Princeton" exploded, killing Secretary of State Abel P. Upshur, Navy Secretary Thomas W. Gilmer and several others.
1849
The ship California arrived San Francisco, carrying the first of the gold-seekers. The ship left New York Harbor on October 6, 1848.
1854
Some 50 opponents to slavery met at a schoolhouse Ripon, Wisconsin, to call for a new political group. The organization would later become known as the Republican Party.
1861
The Territory of Colorado was organized.
1890
Russian ballet dancer Vaslav Nijinsky born
1893
Edward G. Acheson of Monongahela, Pennsylvania, received a patent for Carborundum, an abrasive or refractory of silicon carbide, fused alumina and other materials.
1893
American journalist and screenwriter Ben Hecht born
1898
Actress Molly Picon born
1901
Chemist and physicist Linus Pauling, twice winner of the Nobel Prize born
1906
Gangster Benjam "Bugsy" Siegel born in Brooklyn, New York. Siegel started syndicate gambling Las Vegas, Nevada. born
1907
Cartoonist Milton Caniff (Terry and the Pirates, Steve Canyon) born
1908
Actress Billie Bird born
1909
President Roosevelt becomes the first U.S. president to visit the Austrian embassy.
1910
Movie director Vincente Minnelli born
1915
Actor Zero (Samuel) Mostel (A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Journey into Fear) born
1916
Haiti becomes the first U.S. protectorate.
1921
Russia and Afghanistan signed a treaty of friendship providing political and financial aid for the Afghans.
1922
Britain formally declared Egypt's independence, although still retaining control of the Suez Canal and the country's defense.
1923
Actor Charles Durning born
1924
NASA spokesman Chris Kraft (Voice of Mission Control during the Mercury and Gemini space missions) born
1924
U.S. troops are sent to Honduras to protect American interests during an election conflict.
1926
Svetlana Alliluyeva, daughter of Joseph Stalin. born
1927
Actor Stanley Baker (The Guns of Navarone, Knights of the Roundtable) born
1930
Ted Lewis and his Orchestra recorded "On the Sunny Side of the Street" for Columbia Records.
1931
Actor Gavin MacLeod (The Love Boat, The Mary Tyler Moore Show) born
1931
Basketball Hall of Famer Dean Smith born
1939
Entertainer-choreographer Tommy Tune (My One and Only) born
1940
Singer Joe (Souter) South (Walk a Mile in My Shoes, Games People Play; songwriter: Down in the Boondocks, Rose Garden) born
1940
Indy "500" driver Mario Andretti born
1940
The Superliner Queen Elizabeth is launched in Britain.
1940
The first televised college basketball games were broadcast, by New York City station W2XBS, as Pittsburgh defeated Fordham, 57-to-37, and New York University beat Georgetown, 50-to-27, at Madison Square Garden.
1942
Actor Frank Bonner born
1942
Japanese forces landed in Java, the last Allied bastion in the Dutch East Indies.
1945
U.S. tanks break the natural defense line west of the Rhine and cross the Erft River.
1945
Former football player Bubba Smith born
1946
The U.S. Army declares that it will use V-2 rocket to test radar as an atomic rocket defense system.
1947
Actress Stephanie Beacham born
1947
Britain and France sign a 50-year pact to curb Germany.
1948
Actress Mercedes Ruehl born
1948
Actress Bernadette (Lazzara) Peters (The Jerk, Annie, All's Fair) born
1950
The French Assembly in Paris decides to limit the sale of Coca-Cola.
1951
The Senate committee headed by Estes Kefauver (Democrat, Tennessee) issued a preliminary report saying at least two major crime syndicates were operating in the US.
1952
Vincent Massey took office as governor-general of Canada, the first Canadian to hold the office.
1953
Greece, Turkey and Yugoslavia sign a 5-year defense pact in Ankara.
1956
Basketball player Adrian Dantley born
1957
Rock singer Cindy Wilson (formerly of B52s) born
1957
Actor John Turturro born
1961
Actress Rae Dawn Chong born
1966
The famous Cavern Club in Liverpool, England closed because of financial difficulties. During its peak of success, the club was best known as the home of the Beatles.
1967
In Mississippi, 19 are indicted in the slayings of three civil rights workers.
1969
Actor Robert Sean Leonard born
1969
A Los Angeles court refuses Robert Kennedy assassin Sirhan Sirhan's request to be executed.
1970
Actress Maxine Bahns born
1971
The male electorate in Lichtenstein refuses to give voting rights to women.
1971
Jack Nicklaus, the 'Golden Bear', won the Professional Golfers' Association Championship for the second time.
1972
U.S. President Richard Nixon wrapped up an historic week-long visit to China, convinced the trip helped to create a new "generation of peace."
1974
The United States and Egypt re-established diplomatic relations after a seven-year break.
1983
The long-running TV series "M-A-S-H" ended after 11 seasons on CBS with a special 2.5-hour finale that was watched by an estimated 121.6 million people.
1984
It was Michael Jackson Night at the Grammy Awards in Los Angeles. The gloved one set a record for most wins by taking home eight of the gramophone statuette honors. He broke the previous record of six awards set by Roger Miller in 1965.
1985
Ailing Soviet President KonstantU. Chernenko made his second television appearance four days as he was shown receiving his credentials from the Russian Republic's parliament.
1986
Swedish Prime Minister Olof Palme was shot to death in central Stockholm.
1987
Soviet leader Mikhail S. Gorbachev announced the Kremlin was ready for a separate accord with the United States to rid Europe of medium-range nuclear missiles.
1988
The 15th Winter Olympic Games held its closing ceremony Calgary, Canada; the United States won six medals, two of them gold, its weakest Winter Games 52 years.
1988
Ethnic unrest broke out between Armenians and Azerbaijanis the city of Sumgait.
1989
In Chicago, Richard M. Daley, son of Mayor Richard J. Daley, defeated acting Mayor Eugene Sawyer in a Democratic primary election.
1989
Humorist-poet Richard Armour died in Claremont, California, at age 82.
1990
The space shuttle Atlantis blasted off from Cape Canaveral, Florida, on a secret mission to place a spy satellite orbit.
1991
Allied and Iraqi forces suspended their attacks as Iraq pledged to accept all United Nations resolutions concerning Kuwait.
1992
The U.N. Security Council warned Iraq its continued refusal to destroy its Scud missile facilities would bring "serious consequences."
1993
Three US planes carried out the first mission to drop relief supplies over Bosnia-Herzegovina.
1993
A "Te Deum" by Arvo Part was recorded for ECM New Series by Tonu Kaljuste and the Estonian Philharmonic and Choir and the Talinn Chamber Orchestra.
1993
A gun battle erupted at a compound near Waco, Texas, when Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms agents tried to serve warrants on the Branch Davidians; four agents and six Davidians were killed as a 51-day standoff began.
1994
Two US F-16 fighter jets downed four Serb warplanes that UN officials said had bombed an arms plant run by Bosnia's Muslim-led government.
1994
Moldova's maindependence party claimed a clear victory the country's first post-Soviet parliamentary elections.
1995
Denver International Airport opened after 16 months of delays and $3.2 billion in budget overruns.
1995
The brother of former Mexican President Carlos Salinas de Gortari, Raul Salinas de Gortari, was arrested connection with the slaying of Jose Francisco Ruiz Massieu, the No. 2 man the ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party.
1995
U.S. Marines swept ashore Somalia to protect retreating U.N. peacekeepers. early March the Marines completed Operation United Shield.
1996
Britain's Princess Diana agreed to divorce Prince Charles.
1996
Alanis Morissette's "Jagged Little Pill" won best rock album and album of the year at the Grammy Awards; Seal's "Kiss from a Rose" won for record and song of the year.
1996
President Clinton and the Congress agreed on a sanctions bill aimed at driving foreign investors from Cuba.
1997
In North Hollywood, California, two heavily armed masked robbers bungled a bank heist and came out firing, unleashing their arsenal on police, bystanders, cars and TV choppers before they were killed.
1997
Brushing aside congressional calls for a tougher stance against Mexico, President Clinton recertified the country as a fully cooperating ally in the struggle against drug smuggling.
1998
President Clinton interrupted a weekend with his wife and daughter at a Utah ski resort to fly to Los Angeles where he comforted victims of California.'s deadly mudslides and headed to Beverly Hills to raise more than $500,000 for his party from a galaxy of Hollywood stars.
1998
About 10,000 environmental activists angered by Hungary's decision to build a new Danube dam rallied in Budapest vowing to fight the plan. Their protest came a day after Hungary and Slovakia signed a protocol agreement on the principles of the dam to support Slovakia's controversial Gabcikovo hydro-electric project.
1998
Two naked women making an anti-fur protest were led away by police minutes after they emerged to cross a busy street in Hong Kong's central business district. The two women, members of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals pressure group, painted their nude bodies with leopard spots, drew cat-like whiskers on their whitened cheeks and carried a banner reading "Only animals should wear fur."
1999
Guerrillas detonated two bombs beside a military convoy in southern Lebanon, killing a brigadier general and three other Israelis; Israel retaliated with air raids on suspected guerrilla hideouts.
2000
Right-wing Austrian leader Joerg Haider resigned as head of the Freedom Party in an apparent bid to end Austria's international ostracism following his party's rise to power.
2005
Bank of America declares 1.2 million account records "lost"
2005
Cambridge Planning Board approves new science building at Harvard
2005
'Aviator,' 'Baby' dominate Academy Awards
2005
Romanian VAT to remain at 19 percent
2005
Construction for Romania-Italy pipeline to start in 2007
2005
Three Romanian ports closed due to heavy fog
2005
Rare antibody yields AIDS vaccine insight
2005
Gene switch turns stem cells into cancer killers
2005
Lebanese Government resigns amid protests
2006
Residents and business owners attend "private" meeting on Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal
2006
Thinktank recommends changes to Australian student fees
2006
Cyclone Emma crosses West Australian coast
2006
Former AWB chairman paid almost $1,000,000 by AusAID
2006
India and U.S.A. work toward nuclear fuel agreement
2006
Da Vinci Code publisher Random House in court
2006
Venezuela's government to restrict flights to the US
2006
"Aggressive" Bird Flu found in Sweden
2006
Two zoo bears killed after biting four-year-old boy
2006
English Wikipedia has over 1 million registered users
2007
New Zealand's anti-spam bill now law
2007
Canadian PM announces C$200 million for Afghanistan aid
2007
United States and North Korea to hold talks in New York
2007
Airbus announces job cuts of 10,000
2007
Prodi wins vote of confidence
2007
NHL: Brodeur shuts out the Penguins
2007
BBC denies "conspiracy" over 9/11 video
2007
US study finds that delinquent students claim to begin sex lives earlier
2008
National Hockey League news: February 28, 2008
2008
Rights groups: Forcing Wikileaks.org offline raises 'serious First Amendment concerns'
2008
Garuda Indonesia Flight 200 pilot forced to resign
2008
Claims from British quake may run into "low tens of millions of pounds" - Insurance association reps
2008
Kenyan government and opposition agree on power sharing
2008
Former PM Thaksin returns to Thailand
2009
Fatal US Army helicopter collision in Iraq blamed on enemy fire
2009
ACLU commemorates anniversary of US Supreme Court decision on student free speech
2009
Bangladesh mutiny leaves scores of officers dead
2010
7.0 magnitude earthquake strikes off Japanese coast
2010
Somali opposition group al-Shabaab to block WFP food aid
2011
Jeff Gordon wins the Subway Fresh Fit 500
2012
Australian women's water polo team takes test series against Great Britain
2012
U.S. Army identifies remains of last U.S. soldier unaccounted for in Iraq
2013
Austria wins friendly team competition at end of IPC Alpine World Championships
2013
British explorer Ranulph Fiennes leaves Antarctic expedition after frostbite

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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