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Today in History

Happy birthday Leaplings!
1504
Christopher Columbus uses his foreknowledge of a lunar eclipse to convince Native Americans to provide him with supplies
1692
Poet and inventor of a system of shorthand, John Byrom born in Manchester, England
1736
Founder of the Shakers, Ann Lee born in Manchester, England
1860
Statistician and punch card tabulation machine developer Herman Hollerith born in Buffalo, New York
1904
Jazz clarinetist, saxophonist, trumpeter, composer, and big band leader, Jimmy Dorsey born in Shenandoah, Pennsylvania
1916
Golfer, singer and actress, Dinah Shore born in Winchester, Tennessee
1916
Minimum working age is raised from twelve to fourteen in South Carolina
1920
César Award winning actress Michèle Morgan born in Neuilly-sur-Seine, France
1928
Burlesque star and motion picture actress, Tempest Storm born Annie Blanche Banks in Eastman, Georgia
1952
World Fantasy Award winning author Tim Powers born in Buffalo, New York
1960
Family Circus debuts
1996
Peruvian Boeing 737 crash in the Andes kills 123 people
642
St. Oswald, bringer of Christianity to northeastern England, is killed in battle.
1504
Christopher Columbus, stranded in Jamaica during his fourth voyage to the West, used a correctly predicted lunar eclipse to frighten hostile natives into providing food for his crew.
1736
Anne Lee , British blacksmith's daughter who emigrated to the USA and founded the religious group, the American Society of Shakers. born
1792
Gioacchino Rossini , Italian composer who wrote 36 operas, including The Italian Girl in Algiers, William Tell' The Barber of Seville and The Thieving Magpie - and invented a number of recipes, notably Tournedos Rossini. born
1796
President Washington proclaimed Jay's Treaty, which settled some outstanding differences with Great Britain, in effect.
1840
John Holland , Irish-American born
1880
The St. Gotthard tunnel, providing a rail link between Switzerland and italy, is completed.
1896
Ranchhodji Morarji Decal ,Indian prime minister who was imprisoned with Mahatma Gandhi. born
1904
President Theodore Roosevelt appointed a seven-member commission to facilitate completion of the Panama Canal.
1908
Heike Onnes, a scientist from Leyden, the Netherlands, announces he has succeeded in liquefying helium.
1920
Actress Michele Morgan born
1920
Actor Arthur Franz born
1920
Actor James Mitchell born
1928
Actor Joss Ackland born
1936
Former space shuttle astronaut Jack Lousma born
1936
Actor Alex Rocco born
1940
"Gone with the Wind" won eight Academy Awards, including best picture of 1939.
1944
Actor Dennis Farina born
1944
Actress Phyllis Frelich born
1956
President Eisenhower announced he would seek a second term of office.
1960
The first Playboy Club, featuring waitresses clad in "bunny" outfits, opened in Chicago. (Hugh Hefner closed the corporate-owned clubs in 1986, calling them "passe.")
1960
An earthquake in Morocco destroys much of Agadir and kills about 12,000 people.
1968
President Johnson's National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders (also known as the Kerner Commission) warned that racism was causing America to move "toward two societies, one black, one white -- separate and unequal."
1968
The discovery of the first "pulsar," a star which emits regular radio waves, was announced by Dr. Jocelyn Bell Burnell at Cambridge, England.
1972
Actor Antonio Sabato Junior born
1980
Former Israeli foreign minister Yigal Allon, who had played an important role in the Jewish state's fight for independence, died at age 61.
1984
Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau announced he was stepping down after more than 15 years in power.
1984
Death of Roland Culver, British stage and film actor who appeared in 24 films, including Bonjour Tristesse, French Without Tears and The Yellow Rolls-Royce' usually as the archetypal British gentleman.
1988
South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu and other religious leaders were arrested while kneeling near Parliament with a petition against government bans on anti-apartheid groups. (All were freed hours later.)
1992
Muslims and Croats in Bosnia-Herzegovina began casting ballots in an independence referendum; Serbs boycotted the vote, calling it illegal.
1996
About 30 television and entertainment industry executives met with President Clinton at the White House, where they promised to devise a TV ratings system.
1996
Daniel Green was convicted in Lumberton, North Carolina, of murdering James R. Jordan, the father of basketball star Michael Jordan, during a 1993 roadside holdup. (Green was sentenced to life in prison; an accomplice who had testified against him, Larry Demery, is also serving a life sentence.)
1996
A Peruvian commercial jetliner crashed in the Andes, killing all 123 people on board.
2008
Gene that causes deadly heart condition identified
2008
Wikileaks claims ‘abuse of process’ in court case that resulted in wikileaks.org being taken offline
2008
Crude oil price reaches new high
2008
Kenya negotiations resume; parliament to debate power sharing accord
2008
Prince Harry ordered to return home
2008
Iraq approves execution of 'Chemical Ali'
2008
".asia" domain applications near 300,000 on opening of registration
2008
USL football: Djekanovic to Whitecaps; O'Brien to Earthquakes
2008
National Hockey League news: February 29, 2008
2012
Maine Senator Olympia Snowe announces she won't seek reelection
2012
Three students killed in Ohio school shooting, others injured

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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