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Today in History

1902
Author, inventor and aviation pioneer, Charles Lindbergh born in Detroit, Michigan
1913
Seamstress and civil rights activist, Rosa Parks born in Tuskegee, Alabama
1921
Feminist, social activist and author, Betty Friedan born in Peoria, Illinois
1938
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs opens
1943
Turing Award winner and co-creator of the Unix operating system, Ken Thompson born in New Orleans, Lousiana
1948
Rock legend Alice Cooper born Vincent Damon Furnier in Detroit, Michigan
1988
Afghanistan earthquake kills over 5,000
1997
OJ Simpson found civilly liable in deaths of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman.
211
Death of Septimus Severus of Rome
846
Death of St. Joannicius
855
Rabanus Maurus, archbishop of Mainz, dies
900
Coronation of Louis, "the Child," King of Germany
1189
Death of St. Gilbert of Sempringham
1194
Richard I, King of England, is freed from captivity in Germany.
1498
Death of Antonio Pollaivolo, sculptor
1505
Death of St. Joan of France, deposed Queen
1508
Proclamation of Trent.
1555
Canon John Rogers burnt for heresy
1600
Tycho Brahe & Johannes Kepler meet for 1st time, outside of Prague
1615
One "Leclerc" is condemned for witchcraft, in France
1657
Resettlement Day (of the Jews in England)
1715
A letter describes a German's visit to the Venice theater where Vivaldi was music director. The performance was praised, but the striking thing the letter reported was the habit of people in box seats of spitting on the people in cheap seats below.
1783
Britain declared a formal cessation of hostilities with its former colonies, the United States of America.
1787
Shays Rebellion, an uprising of debt-ridden Massachusetts farmers, fails.
1789
Electors unanimously chose George Washington to be the first president of the United States.
1793
Slavery is abolished in all French territories.
1801
John Marshall was sworn in as chief justice of the United States.
1802
Physician and educator Mark Hopkins born
1861
At a convention in Montgomery, Ala., six states- Alabama, Georgia, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi and South Carolina- elected Jefferson Davis president of the Confederacy.
1861
The Apache Wars began at Apache Pass, Arizona, when Army Lt. George Bascom arrested Apache Chief Cochise for raiding a ranch. The war lasted 25 years under the leadership of Cochise and later, Geronimo.
1881
French cubist painter Fernand Leger born
1902
Aviator Charles Lindbergh 'Lucky Lindy' born
1904
Russia offers Korea to Japan and defends its right to occupy Manchuria.
1906
The New York Police Department begins finger print identification.
1906
Dietrich Bonhoeffer born
1909
California law segregates Japanese schoolchildren.
1913
Louis Perlman of New York City received a patent for his "demountable tire-carrying rims."
1913
Civil rights activist Rosa Lee Parks born
1915
Germans decree British waters part of war zone; all ships to be sunk without warning.
1918
Actress Ida Lupino born
1921
Feminist author Betty Friedan born
1923
Actor Conrad Bain born
1923
Henry Finck was writing an article on Schoenberg for the next day's New York Post in which he attacked most of Schoenberg's music, but made an exception for "Transfigured Night," which he said held, quote, "some rather pretty things, buried in bombasts and gasbags."
1925
Artist and author Russell Hoban born
1927
British driver Malcolm Campbell broke the world land speed record in his car "Bluebird," driving at 174.224 miles per hour.
1932
New York Governor Franklin D. Roosevelt opened the Winter Olympic Games at Lake Placid.
1936
Actor Gary Conway born
1938
The Thornton Wilder play "Our Town" opened on Broadway.
1940
Actor John Schuck born
1940
Movie director George Romero ("Night of the Living Dead") born
1941
The United Service Organizations (USO) started.
1944
Singer Florence LaRue (The Fifth Dimension) born
1945
Comedian David Brenner born
1945
President Roosevelt, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and Soviet leader Josef Stalin began a wartime conference at Yalta.
1947
Former Vice President Dan Quayle born
1948
Rock singer Alice Cooper born
1948
The island nation of Ceylon -- now Sri Lanka -- became an independent dominion within the British Commonwealth.
1949
Actor Michael Beck born
1950
Actress Pamela Franklin born
1952
Actress Lisa Eichorn born
1957
Smith-Corona Manufacturing Inc. of New York began selling portable electric typewriters. The first machine was a 'portable' that weighed 19 pounds.
1959
Football player Lawrence Taylor born
1961
Rock musician Henry Bogdan (Helmet) born
1962
Country singer Clint Black born
1966
Senate Foreign Relations Committee begins televised hearings on the Vietnam War.
1969
Bowie Kuhn became Commissioner of Baseball. He served a six-month term, succeeding General William Eckert.
1970
Actress Gabrielle Anwar born
1971
British carmaker Rolls Royce declared itself bankrupt
1974
Patricia Hearst, the 19-year-old daughter of San Francisco publisher Randolph Hearst, was abducted from her apartment in Berkeley, Calif., by urban guerrillas.
1974
Mao Tse-tung proclaims a new "cultural revolution" in China.
1975
Singer Natalie Imbruglia born
1976
An earthquake measuring 7.5 on the Richter Scale killed nearly 23,000 people in Guatemala and Honduras.
1976
Lourenco Marques, the capital of Mozambique, was renamed Maputo.
1976
Winter Olympics open in Innsbruck.
1977
11 people were killed when two cars of a Chicago Transit Authority train fell off elevated tracks after a collision with another train.
1980
Syria withdraws its peacekeeping force in Beirut.
1982
President Reagan announced a plan to eliminate all medium-range nuclear missiles in Europe.
1982
Great Britain's Laker Airways, a pioneer of cheap transatlantic fares, collapsed.
1983
Singer Karen Carpenter died in Downey, California, at age 32. Heart problems due to anorexia nervosa was the cause of death.
1983
President Reagan celebrated his 72nd birthday two days early when his wife, Nancy, surprised him with a cake during a nationally televised White House news conference.
1984
Space officials delayed the launch of a second satellite from the shuttle "Challenger," one day after the first satellite misfired and disappeared after deployment.
1985
President Reagan sent to Congress a fiscal 1986 budget totaling $973.7 billion and projecting a deficit of $180 billion.
1986
President Reagan, in his fifth State of the Union address, proclaimed "a great American comeback" from years of economic woes, and told a joint session of Congress that America was "growing stronger every day.""
1987
Flamboyant pianist Liberace, born Wladziu Valentino Liberace, died at his Palm Springs, California, home at age 67, Cause of death was AIDS.
1988
Senate Republican Leader Bob Dole twice confronted Vice President George Bush on the floor of the Senate, accusing his G-O-P presidential rival of condoning a campaign attack that amounted to "groveling in the mud."
1989
Soviet Foreign Minister Eduard Shevardnadze wrapped up four days of high-level talks in China, the first visit by a Soviet foreign minister in three decades.
1990
Hundreds of thousands of cheering protesters filled Moscow streets to demand that the Communists surrender their stranglehold on power.
1990
Nine people were killed as guerrillas attacked a bus carrying Israeli tourists near Cairo, Egypt.
1991
Iranian President Hashemi Rafsanjani offered to hold talks with Iraq and the United States in an attempt to mediate an end to the Gulf War.
1991
President Bush sent Congress a $1.45 trillion budget for fiscal 1992 containing a deficit of $280.9 billion.
1992
President Bush defended his economic recovery plan before a National Grocers Association meeting in Orlando, Florida.
1993
A jury in Atlanta found General Motors negligent in the fuel-tank design of a pickup truck and awarded 105-point-two million dollars to the parents of a teen-ager killed in a fiery 1989 crash.
1994
The Federal Reserve increased interest rates for the first time in five years in a announcement that triggered a huge sell-off on Wall Street; the Fed said the move was to head off any recurrence of high inflation.
1995
A standoff between the United States and China escalated into a trade war, with each country ordering stiff tariffs against the other.
1996
24 people were killed when a Colombian cargo plane in Paraguay caught fire shortly after takeoff and crashed into a suburban neighborhood.
1996
Secretary of State Warren Christopher concluded a three-nation visit to the Balkans as he met in Belgrade with Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic.
1997
A civil jury in Santa Monica, California, found O.J. Simpson liable for the deaths of his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend, Ronald Goldman, awarding $8.5 million in compensatory damages to Goldman's parents. (Six days later, the jury added $25 million in punitive damages to go to Nicole Brown Simpson's estate and Goldman's father.)
1997
President Clinton delivered his State of the Union address. Seventy-three Israeli soldiers were killed in the collision of two helicopters.
1998
An estimated five-thousand people were killed when an earthquake hit northeast Afghanistan with a magnitude of six-point-one.
1998
The strongest winter storm of the season lashed the U.S. Atlantic seaboard, flooding rivers and coastal areas and dumping more than a foot of snow in eastern Kentucky and Tennessee. The storm, a classic northeaster, pounded beaches in Virginia and the Carolinas with strong winds and heavy surf and carried Atlantic moisture hundreds of miles inland where it fell as rain, sleet and wet snow. The storm swept through the Gulf Coast, whipping Florida and Cuba with heavy rain and wind, and intensified as it moved into the Atlantic, picking up moisture and dumping heavy precipitation.
1998
Microsoft Corp. Chairman Bill Gates got a face full of custard pie during his visit to Brussels. The attack took place as Gates was about to attend a reception given by the Belgian Flemish community. Organizers said five people, equipped with stocks of pies, appeared to be involved in what was believed to have been a prank with commercial intent.
1998
President Clinton vowed that "one way or the other" he would deny Iraq any weapons of mass destruction and said he was encouraged by an international consensus that Baghdad obey U.N. mandates.
1999
In a case which has drawn much controversy, Amadou Diallo, an unarmed West African immigrant, was shot and killed in front of his Bronx home by four plainclothes New York City police officers during a nighttime search for a rape suspect.
1999
Gravely ill with lymphatic cancer, Jordan's King Hussein left the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., and was flown home.
1999
Senators at President Clinton's impeachment trial voted to permit the showing of portions of Monica Lewinsky's videotaped deposition.
2000
Singer Doris Kenner-Jackson of the Shirelles died in Goldsboro, North Carolina, at age 58.
2000
Austrian President Thomas Klestil swore in a coalition government that included Joerg Haider's far-right Freedom Party, a development which triggered European Union sanctions.
2005
Australian immigration detains Aussie flight attendant for 10mths, and maltreats her
2005
Chandra telescope finds missing baryonic matter
2005
ConocoPhillips announces $1bn share repurchase
2005
BBC unveils plans for new Britain only iMP player
2005
Grey Wolves are Still Protected by the Endangered Species Act
2005
Iraq Election: Partial tally report shows support for Shiite candidates
2005
Cuba restores relations with European Union
2006
Egyptian passenger ferry sinks in Red Sea
2006
Scores killed in Manila game show stampede
2006
Gates pledges $600 million for Global Plan to Stop Tuberculosis
2006
New laws to combat 'endemic' Hong Kong bird flu
2006
Iran reported to U.N. Security Council
2006
New Zealand newspapers publish "Mohammad Cartoons"
2006
1,000+ of Saudi Arabia's guest workers feared drowned
2006
Danish and Norwegian embassies set on fire
2006
Portuguese Air Force Merlin helicopters enter service
2006
Eight dead in Goleta California rampage
2006
Indigenous Brazilians asserting their land claims
2006
Manipulation alleged in the "Mohammad Cartoons" affair
2006
President Bush to request USD$439.3B defense budget
2007
Seven bushfires near Perth, Western Australia
2007
Colts win Super Bowl XLI
2007
Scholar says Jehovah's Witnesses wrong about blood transfusions
2007
British Columbia could get an earthquake, survey warns
2008
Texans vote online for new license plate
2008
Thousands march against the FARC-EP
2008
LDS church names Monson their new president
2008
Google finds Microsoft bid for Yahoo 'troubling'
2008
Irish airline Ryanair shares fall by 12% following profit warning
2008
New York Giants upset New England Patriots' quest for perfect season
2008
Poland defeats Finland 1-0 in friendly football match
2008
100 turn out in Orlando, Florida for "Anonymous" protest against Church of Scientology
2008
Fall '08 styles at New York Fashion Week: rock 'n' roll is here to stay
2008
Church of Scientology: '"Anonymous' will be stopped"
2008
Tribunal considers role of Canadian minor in alleged war crimes
2009
Obama cabinet nominees withdraw over tax issues
2009
North Queensland Fury sign former Liverpool great Fowler
2009
Stanford physicists print smallest-ever letters 'SU' at subatomic level of 1.5 nanometres tall
2009
Regulator bans UK video-on-demand service
2009
Report: Man tries to hang himself on an American Airlines flight
2009
Australian teenager sentenced to three months in jail for graffiti
2009
UK television presenter sacked after "golliwog" comment
2010
Pakistan arrests 35 people suspected in US soldiers' death
2010
Monster.com aquires Yahoo's HotJobs service for $225 million
2010
Interview with Liz Mumby, independent candidate in Australian by-election for the Victorian state electorate of Altona
2010
China and US clash over currency
2011
Egyptian president will not seek re-election in September after protests
2012
Susan G. Komen Foundation reneges on Planned Parenthood funding cuts
2012
Unarmed man killed by narcotics officer in The Bronx

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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