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Today in History

1690
Massachusetts colony issues paper money
1811
Newspaper editor and congressman, Horace Greeley born in Amherst, New Hampshire
1870
Fifteenth Amendment to the US Constitution ratified, granting suffrage regardless of race
1874
Author, art collector and poet, Gertrude Stein born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
1894
Renowned American artist, Norman Rockwell born in New York City
1918
Rat Pack comedian and actor, Joey Bishop born in Bronx, New York
1945
Superbowl Champion quarterback, Bob Griese born in Evansville, Indiana
1950
Golden Globe award nominated actress, Morgan Fairchild born Patsy Ann McClenny in Dallas, Texas
1959
The Day the Music Died; Buddy Holly, Richie Valens, and JP "Big Bopper" Richardson killed in Mason City, Iowa plane crash
316
Martyrdom of St. Blaise
590
Election of Pope Gregory I, "the Great"
619
Death of St. Laurence of Canterbury
1116
Death of Koloman, King of Hungary
1238
The Mongols take over Vladimir, Russia.
1347
John VI Cantacuzenus enters Constantinople - end of the Civil War
1376
Massacre of the city of Cesena, Italy by Sir John Hawkwood
1468
Death of Johann Gutenberg
1472
Reconsecration of York Cathedral
1518
Silence imposed on Augustine Monks by the Pope
1521
Magellan discovers Shark Island in the Pacific
1690
The first paper money in America was issued by the colony of Massachusetts. (The currency was used to pay soldiers fighting a war against Quebec.)
1783
Spain recognized US independence.
1809
The territory of Illinois was created.
1809
Felix Mendelssohn was born in Hamburg. Felix wrote a dozen string symphonies while still a teenager, and his string "Octet," one of the greatest chamber works by any composer, was performed when Felix was 16. born
1811
Horace Greeley, told young men to go west born
1821
Elizabeth Blackwell, the first woman doctor of medicine born
1865
President Lincoln and Confederate Vice President Alexander H. Stephens held a shipboard peace conference off the Virginia coast. (The talks deadlocked over the issue of Southern autonomy.)
1869
Actor Edwin Booth opened his new theater in New York City. The first production was Romeo and Juliet. Tickets sold for as much as $125.00 for this presentation.
1870
The 15th Amendment to the Constitution was ratified. It granted that the right of citizens to vote shall not be denied on account of race, color or previous condition of servitude.
1874
Poet and novelist Gertrude Stein born
1876
Albert Spalding and his brother took $800 savings and started a sporting goods company. They manufactured the first official baseball, tennis ball, basketball, golf ball and football.
1883
American writer Clarence Mumford- creator of Hopalong Cassidy born
1894
Artist Norman Rockwell born
1904
Colombian troops clash with U.S. Marines in Panama.
1907
Author James Michener ( HAWAII ) born
1908
The U.S. Supreme Court rules that union-sponsored boycotts are illegal, and applies the Sherman Antitrust Act to labor as well as capital.
1909
Simone Well, French writer whose work was published posthumously born
1912
New U.S. football rules are set touchdown counts six points instead of five; four downs are allowed instead of three; and the kickoff is moved from midfield to the 40 yd. line.
1913
The 16th Amendment, allowing establishment of an income tax, became part of the U.S. Constitution after ratification by Wyoming.
1916
Canada's original Parliament Buildings, in Ottawa, burned down.
1917
The United States broke off diplomatic relations with Germany after a German declaration of unrestricted submarine warfare.
1918
Comedian Joey Bishop born
1920
The Allies demand that 890 German military leaders stand trial for war crimes.
1924
The 28th president of the United States, Woodrow Wilson, died in Washington at age 68.
1925
Actor John Fiedler born
1926
Comedian Shelley Berman born
1927
President Calvin Coolidge signed a bill into law that created the Federal Radio Commission "to bring order out of this terrible chaos."
1928
Singer Frankie Vaughn (Abelson) born
1930
The chief justice of the United States, William Howard Taft, resigned for health reasons. President Hoover appointed Charles Evans Hughes as Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court.
1935
Actor Jeremy Kemp (Edmund Walker) born
1940
Football Hall-of-Famer Fran Tarkenton born
1943
During World War Two, the U-S transport ship "Dorchester" sank after being hit by a torpedo. (Four Army chaplains gave their life belts to four other men, and went down with the ship.)
1943
Singer Dennis Edwards (formerly with The Temptations) born
1943
Actress Blythe Danner born
1943
Rock 'n Roll musician (The Hollies) Eric Haydock born
1944
The U.S. shell the Japanese homeland for the first time at Kurile Islands.
1945
Football Hall-of-Famer Bob Griese born
1945
The Allies drop 3,000 tons of bombs on Berlin.
1947
Singer-guitarist Dave Davies (The Kinks) born
1947
Singer Melanie (Safka) born
1947
Percival Prattis of "Our World" in New York City became the first black, news correspondent admitted to the House and Senate press gallery in Washington, D.C.
1950
Actress Morgan Fairchild born
1951
The Tennessee Williams play, "The Rose Tattoo," opened on Broadway in New York.
1954
Millions greet Queen Elizabeth in Sydney on her first royal trip to Australia.
1956
Christian artist Dan Dean (Phillips, Craig & Dean) born
1956
Actor Nathan Lane born
1956
Rock musician Lee Renaldo (Sonic Youth) born
1956
Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins and Johnny Cash recorded a two-and-one-half hours session in the Sun studios.
1959
Actor Thomas Calabro ("Melrose Place") born
1959
A plane crash near Clear Lake, Iowa, claimed the lives of rock-and-roll stars Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and J.P. "The Big Bopper" Richardson.
1959
Rock musician (The Cure) (Laurence) Lol Tolhurst born
1961
Actor-director Keith Gordon born
1962
President John F. Kennedy bans all trade with Cuba.
1962
Actress Michele Greene born
1964
Country singer Matraca Berg born
1965
Actress Maura Tierney born
1965
Rock musician Nick Hawkins (Big Audio) born
1966
Soviet Luna 9 achieves soft landing on the moon.
1969
The Endangered Species Act was signed into law by President Nixon.
1969
The Palestine National Congress appointed Yasser Arafat head of the Palestine Liberation Organization.
1971
OPEC decides to set oil prices without consulting buyers.
1977
Musician Grant Barry (Reel Big Fish) born
1983
U.S. and Israeli officials agreed to a boundary separating their military forces in Beirut, Lebanon, following repeated confrontations between U.S. Marines and Israeli troops.
1984
The EPA orders a ban on the pesticide EDB for grain products.
1984
The space shuttle Challenger blasted off from Cape Canaveral, Florida, on a problem-plagued mission that included the faulty deployment of two satellites and a target balloon.
1985
Pope John Paul II, on a visit to Peru, pleaded with leftist rebels to lay down their arms, saying, "The cruel logic of violence leads nowhere."
1986
President Reagan appointed a 12-member commission to investigate the failure of the Challenger, which broke apart 73 seconds after launch, claiming the lives of the entire crew.
1987
The San Diego Yacht Club celebrated the victory of skipper Dennis Conner and the "Stars and Stripes" over Australia's "Kookaburra Three" to sweep the America's Cup series.
1988
The US Senate voted unanimously to confirm Anthony M. Kennedy to the US Supreme Court.
1988
The US House of Representatives handed President Reagan a major defeat, rejecting his request for at least $36.25 million in aid to the Nicaraguan Contras by a vote of 219-to-211.
1989
Alfredo Stroessner, president of Paraguay for more than three decades, was overthrown in a military coup.
1990
The parliament of Bulgaria elected economist Andrei Lukanov to replace a hard-line Communist as premier.
1991
The rate for a first-class postage stamp rose to 29 cents.
1991
U.S. military officials confirmed that seven of 11 Marines who were killed in combat on January 30 died from "friendly fire.""
1992
Japanese Prime Minister Kiichi Miyazawa sparked controversy by saying American workers were losing the drive "to live by the sweat of their brow."
1993
Marge Schott was suspended as Cincinnati Reds owner for one year for her repeated use of racial and ethnic slurs (the suspension was lifted after eight months).
1993
The federal trial of four police officers charged with civil rights violations in the videotaped beating of Rodney King began in Los Angeles.
1993
Violinist Chee-Yun and pianist Akira Eguchi recorded sonatas by Saint-Saens, Faure and Debussy for the Denon label.
1994
Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan dismissed his aide, Khalid Abdul Muhammas, for making anti-Semitic remarks.
1994
The Senate confirmed William Perry to be defense secretary.
1994
President Clinton lifted the 19-year-old U.S. trade embargo against Vietnam.
1994
The space shuttle Discovery lifted off, carrying Sergei Krikalev, the first Russian cosmonaut to fly aboard a U.S. spacecraft.
1995
At the O.J. Simpson trial in Los Angeles, prosecution witness Denise Brown wept on the stand as she described the humiliation and abuse of her sister, Nicole Brown Simpson, at the hands of the former football star.
1995
The space shuttle Discovery blasted off with a woman, Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Eileen Collins, in the pilot's seat for the first time in NASA history. 1
1996
An earthquake measuring 7.0 rocked southwestern China, killing at least 302 people and injuring 15,000.
1996
Sergeant First Class Donald A. Dugan, 38, became the first U-S soldier killed while on duty in Bosnia when a piece of ammunition exploded in his hands.
1996
Actress Audrey Meadows died in Los Angeles at the age of 71.
1997
The Army announced that a retired female sergeant major had accused Sergeant Major of the Army Gene McKinney of sexual assault and harassment. (McKinney, who ended up being accused of sexual misconduct by six women, is scheduled to face court-martial beginning February third.)
1998
A US military plane sliced through the cable of a ski gondola in Italy, sending the car plunging hundreds of feet, killing all 20 people inside.
1998
Stamps commemorating Princess Diana went on sale across Britain with the Post Office guaranteeing a minimum donation US$9.9 million to her favorite charities. The set of five stamps showed both formal and informal poses of the princess taken by famous British photographers and have a purple border as a mark of respect. " The profits went to the Memorial Fund, to benefit charities ranging from AIDS to the homeless and anti-landmine campaigns.
1998
The state of Texas executed Karla Faye Tucker for the pickax killings of two people in 1983; she was the first woman executed in the United States since 1984.
1998
A former teacher just released from jail on child rape charges was arrested after being caught with the 14-year-old father of her baby in violation of her parole, authorities said. Mary Kay LeTourneau, 36, was arrested about 3 a.m. when police searching a south Seattle neighborhood for a stolen car came across a "suspicious vehicle" with steamed-up windows and discovered the couple inside, Seattle police spokeswoman Christie-Lynne Bonner said. Officers recognized LeTourneau and arrested her for violating conditions of her release, which required her to have no contact with the boy.
1999
The Clinton administration told Congress a NATO-led peacekeeping force could be needed in Kosovo for three to five years and might include up to 4,000 American troops.
2000
The flight data recorder from Alaska Airlines Flight 261 was recovered from the Pacific Ocean off California.
2000
Richard Kleindienst, who had served as U-S attorney general during the Nixon administration and resigned during the Watergate scandal, died in Prescott, Arizona, at age 76.
2000
The Senate voted 89-to-four to confirm Alan Greenspan for a fourth term as chairman of the Federal Reserve.
2005
Severe flooding in Melbourne, Australia
2005
Short-tailed bats to be transferred to Kapiti Island, New Zealand
2005
PM of Georgia dies of gas poisoning
2005
Beslan siege organiser speaks
2005
UN IIC report faults former "Oil-for-Food" director
2005
Cambodian opposition leader stripped of immunity, flees country
2005
China forbids 50 electronic games
2006
Report details British billionare donations to Australian political party
2006
Tensions continue to rise in Middle East over "Mohammad Cartoons"
2006
Indonesia warns Australia over West Papuan asylum seekers
2006
'Kama Sutra' worm set to strike
2006
Federal judge calls EPA head's post 9/11 conduct "conscience-shocking".
2006
Leisel Jones sets two new swimming world records at trials
2006
RU486 Abortion pill hearings begin in Australia
2006
New pre-Iraq war memo leaked
2006
Cialis blog controversy is major war of words
2006
Iraqi police find 14 tortured dead bodies
2006
Pentagon's Quadrennial Defense Review released
2007
Policeman killed in football-related violence in Italy
2007
Tornado kills 19 in Florida
2007
"Shrinking Cities" debuts in Detroit, Michigan
2007
Bird Flu confirmed in 1,000 UK turkeys
2007
Assassin of Turkish-Armenian journalist 'treated as national hero'
2007
Iraqi suicide bomber kills 121, injures over 200 others
2007
Missing airplane possibly found near Blackpool, England
2007
Ferry collision on the river Mersey
2007
H5N1 hits Britain
2007
Turkish government proposes to outlaw LGBT websites
2008
Egypt seals border with Gaza after 11 days
2008
Sentences handed down over Paraguay's worst fire
2008
Drug-resistant flu rising, says WHO
2008
Fall '08 styles at New York Fashion Week: the miniskirt is back again
2008
At least 30 killed by earthquakes in Rwanda and Congo
2008
Tadić re-elected President of Serbia
2009
Yahoo announces closure of Briefcase
2009
Automobile sales in the United States down sharply
2009
GM, Chrysler offer buyouts and early retirement to workers
2009
Scandinavian Airlines System to cut 8,600 jobs
2009
Baby in California born with 12 functioning fingers and toes, in a rare case of polydactylism
2009
Shoe thrown at Chinese PM during speech at Cambridge University in the UK
2009
Man arrested in India after mid-air hijack threat on domestic flight
2010
At least seven dead after bomb blast in Northwestern Pakistan
2010
Chilean President visits Pichilemu to inaugurate Agustín Ross Cultural Centre
2010
Poland issues EU warrant for Swede suspected of stealing Auschwitz sign
2010
Concorde crash trial begins
2010
IPCC chief refuses to apologize for glacier error
2010
UNHCR: Somalia violence killed 258 civilians last month; tens of thousands displaced
2010
Actor Justin Mentell dies in road accident at age 27
2010
Ex-minister says UK Cabinet was "misled" about legality of Iraq war
2010
NATO oil tanker torched in Pakistan
2012
Chris Huhne resigns from UK Cabinet to face charges
2012
On the campaign trail, January 2012
2013
Reports of at least fourteen dead this week due to gun-related suicides in the United States
2013
Five accused of Delhi gang rape and murder plead not guilty
2013
Armenian presidential elections at stake after attack on candidate

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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