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Today in History

1840
New Zealand Day
1895
Voted greatest baseball player of all time, George Herman "Babe" Ruth, Jr born in Baltimore, Maryland [.342BA 714HR 2,217RBI]
1911
Lifeguard, soldier, actor, governor and 40th President of the United States, Ronald Reagan born in Tampico, Illinois
1931
Emmy Award winning screen and stage actor, Elmore Rual "Rip" Torn, Jr born in Temple, Texas
1945
Grammy Award winning reggae songwriter, musician and singer, Bob Marley born in Nine Mile, Jamaica
1959
First patent filing for integrated circuit
1959
First successful test firing of the Titan intercontinental ballistic missile
1971
Alan Shepherd hits golf ball on Moon
1985
Steve Wozniak leaves Apple Computer
743
Hisham ibn 'Abd al-Malik, 10th Moslem caliph, dies at about 52
1190
Jews of Norwich, England are massacred
1481
First Auto-da-Fe of the Spanish Inquisition
1512
Dean Coulet of St. Paul's Church speaks against clerical abuses
1519
Sir Walter Raleigh leaves England to explore Guiana
1537
Toyotomi Hideyoshi, unifier of Japan born
1564
Christopher Marlowe, English poet, dramatist (The Tragical History of Doctor Faustus) born
1593
Death of Jacques Amyot, scholar
1612
Death of Christopher Clavius, astronomer, calendar reformer
1626
Huguenot rebels and the French sign Peace of La Rochelle.
1626
Opening of Charles I's Second Parliament
1649
The "Rump" Parliament abolishes the House of Lords
1649
Charles II proclaimed King of Scotland
1756
Aaron Burr, 3rd U.S. Vice President.(Newark, New Jersey) The Republicans endorsed both Jefferson and Aaron Burr. born
1778
The United States won official recognition from France as the two nations signed a pair of treaties in Paris.
1788
Massachusetts became the sixth state to ratify the US Constitution.
1815
The state of New Jersey issued the first American railroad charter to John Stevens, who proposed a rail link between Trenton and New Brunswick. (The line, however, was never built.)
1843
The first minstrel show in America, "The Virginia Minstrels", opened at the Bowery Amphitheatre in New York City.
1885
Baseball player George Herman Ruth ('Babe Ruth' in Baltimore). born
1899
A peace treaty between the United States and Spain was ratified by the US Senate.The Spanish-American War ends.
1900
President McKinley appoints W.H. Taft commissioner to report on the Philippines.
1902
Attorney Louis Nizer born
1904
Japan's foreign minister severs all ties with Russia, citing delaying tactics in negotiations over Manchuria.
1911
Ronald Reagan, 40th President born
1912
Eva Braun, the wife of Adolf Hitler. They married the day before they committed suicide in their Berlin bunker in April 1945. born
1913
Actor John Lund (My Friend Irma, The Wackiest Ship in the Army) born
1916
Germany admits full liability for Lusitania incident, recognizes U.S. right to claim indemnity.
1917
Actress Zsa Zsa (Sari) Gabor born
1922
Actor Patrick Macnee (The Avengers, A View to a Kill, Battlestar Gallactica, This is Spinal Tap, Thunder in Paradise) born
1922
The Washington Disarmament Conference comes to an end with signature of final treaty forbidding fortification of the Aleutian Islands for 14 years.
1926
Mussolini warns Germany to stop agitation in Tyrol.
1926
The National Football League adopted a rule that made players ineligible for competition until their college classes graduate.
1929
Cross-country skier Sixten Jernberg born
1929
Germany accepts Kellogg-Briand pact.
1931
Isabel Peron, the Argentine dancer who became a political leader and followed her husband Juan as president from 1974-1976. born
1931
Actor (Elmore) Rip Torn (Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Extreme Prejudice, RoboCop 3, Beyond the Law, The President's Plane is Missing) born
1932
Director Francois Truffaut (Fahrenheit 451, The Bride Wore Black) born
1933
Actress (Joan Olander) Mamie Van Doren (High School Confidential, The Candidate, Three Nuts in Search of a Bolt, Teacher's Pet) born
1933
The 20th Amendment to the Constitution was declared in effect; the so-called "lame duck" amendment moved the start of presidential, vice-presidential and congressional terms from March to January.
1933
The Reich begins press censorship.
1936
Adolf Hitler opens the Fourth Winter Olympics in Garmisch-Partenkirchen.
1937
K. Elizabeth Ohi became the first Japanese woman lawyer as she received her degree from John Marshall Law School in Chicago, Illinois.
1939
Actor Mike Farrell (M*A*S*H, The Interns, The Man and the City) born
1940
NBC news anchorman Tom Brokaw born
1941
Actress Gigi Perreau (Journey to the Center of Time, The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit, Dance with Me Henry, The Betty Hutton Show, Follow the Sun) born
1941
The RAF clears the way as British take Benghazi, trapping thousands of Italians.
1943
Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower was named commander of Allied expeditionary forces in North Africa. He later became World War II Supreme Allied Commander in Europe.
1943
A Los Angeles jury acquitted actor Errol Flynn of three counts of statutory rape.
1943
Actress Gayle Hunnicutt (Scorpio, Dream Lover, Turnaround, The Wild Angels, Marlowe, Dallas) born
1943
Singer Fabian Forte born
1944
Actor Michael Tucker (L.A. Law, For Love or Money, Radio Days, Diner) born
1944
The Russians take Lutsk and Rovno.
1945
MacArthur reports the fall of Manila, and the liberation of 5,000 prisoners.
1949
Producer-director-writer Jim Sheridan ("My Left Foot") born
1950
Singer Natalie Cole (This Will Be, I've Got Love on My Mind; daughter of Nat `King' Cole) born
1952
Britain's King George the Sixth died; he was succeeded by his daughter, Elizabeth the Second.
1956
Actor Jon Walmsley ("The Waltons") born
1956
St. Patrick Center, the first circular school building in the United States, opened in Kankakee, Illinois.
1957
Actress Kathy Najimy born
1957
Actor-director Robert Townsend (The Meteor Man, The Mighty Quinn, Hollywood Shuffle, A Soldier's Story) born
1958
Actor Barry Miller (Biloxi Blues, Saturday Night Fever, The Last Temptation of Christ) born
1959
The United States successfully test-fired for the first time a "Titan" intercontinental ballistic missile from Cape Canaveral.
1960
Actress Megan Gallagher born
1962
Rock singer Axl Rose (Guns N' Roses) born
1962
Country singer Richie McDonald (Lonestar) born
1963
The U.S. reports that all Soviet offensive arms are out of Cuba.
1964
Paris and London agree to build a rail tunnel under the English Channel.
1964
Cuba blocks the water supply to Guantanamo Naval Base in rebuke of the U.S. seizure of four Cuban fishing boats.
1965
Seven U.S. GIs are killed in a Viet Cong raid on a base in Pleiku.
1966
Singer Rick Astley born
1968
Charles de Gaulle opens the 19th Winter Olympics in Grenoble.
1969
Rock musician Tim Brown (Boo Radleys) born
1971
NASA Astronaut Alan B. Shepard took a six-iron that he had stashed away inside his spacecraft and swung at three golf balls on the surface of the moon. Shepard whiffed the first swing, so, he got a `Mulligan' on that one.
1972
More than 500,000 pieces of mail arrived at CBS-TV when word leaked out that an edited-for-TV version of the X-rated movie, "The Demand," would be broadcast on the network.
1975
President Ford asks Congress for $497 million in aid to Cambodia.
1977
Queen Elizabeth marks her Silver Jubilee.
1978
Muriel Humphrey took the oath of office as a United States senator from Minnesota, filling the seat of her late husband, former Vice President Hubert Humphrey.
1982
Civil rights workers begin a march from Carrolton to Montgomery, Alabama.
1983
The 18-hour television mini-series "The Winds of War," based on the Herman Wouk novel about the early years of World War II, began airing on ABC.
1984
Actor Brandon Hammond ("The Gregory Hines Show") born
1984
A second satellite launched from the space shuttle Challenger misfired and went off course in the third major failure of the mission, following the faulty deployment of the first satellite and the explosion of a target balloon.
1985
President Reagan delivered his State of the Union address in which he called for a "second American Revolution of hope and opportunity."
1985
The French mineral water company, Perrier, debuted its first new product in 123 years. They added water with a twist of lemon, lime or orange to their well-established product line.
1986
The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed above the 1,600 level for the first time, ending the day at 1,600.69.
1986
The commission investigating the Challenger disaster opened its hearings into the cause of the space shuttle tragedy that killed all seven crew members.
1987
Reporter Gerald Seib of The Wall Street Journal was released after being detained six days in Tehran. He'd been accused of being a spy for Israel. Iran said the detention was a result of misunderstandings.
1987
President Ronald Reagan turned 76 years old this day, adding another year to the record of being the oldest U.S. President in history. President Dwight D. Eisenhower had been the previous recordholder, by serving the country from the Oval Office at age 70.
1988
Presidential hopefuls stormed through a final weekend of campaigning before Iowa's precinct caucuses, with a poll for the "Des Moines Register" giving Bob Dole the lead among Republicans and Dick Gephardt a narrow lead among Democrats.
1989
Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Barbara W. Tuchman died in Greenwich, Connecticut, at age 77.
1990
Soviet Communist Party leaders decided to extend a two-day party session by an extra day amid controversy over Soviet leader Mikhail S. Gorbachev's proposals to revamp the country's political structure.
1991
Actor-comedian Danny Thomas, founder of St. Jude's Children's Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee, died after suffering a heart attack.
1991
Jordan's King Hussein tilted sharply toward Iraq in the Gulf War, describing the conflict as an effort by outsiders to destroy Iraq and carve up the Arab world.
1992
Democratic presidential candidate Bill Clinton denied he'd tried to avoid the Vietnam draft, saying he gave up a draft deferment in the fall of 1969 because he "didn't think it was right to keep it.""
1992
President Bush unveiled a health care plan for most Americans.
1992
Sixteen people were killed when a C-130 military transport plane crashed in Evansville, Indiana.
1993
Tennis hall-of-famer and human rights advocate Arthur Ashe died in New York at age 49.
1994
A day after a mortar shell killed 68 people in a Sarajevo marketplace, President Clinton called on the United Nations to determine who was to blame; UN Secretary-General Bhoutros Bhoutros-Ghali sought NATO authority for air strikes.
1994
Actor Joseph Cotten died in Los Angeles at age 88.
1995
Siddig Ibrahim Siddig Ali, the alleged mastermind of a campaign of violence, pleaded guilty in New York to plotting urban terrorism.
1995
President Clinton unveiled his $1.61 trillion budget for 1996, mixing mild tax relief and spending reductions.
1995
The space shuttle Discovery flew to within 37 feet of the Russian space station Mir in the first rendezvous of its kind in two decades.
1996
A Turkish-owned Boeing 757 jetliner crashed into the Atlantic Ocean shortly after takeoff from the Dominican Republic, killing 189 people, mostly German tourists.
1996
Patrick Buchanan won the Louisiana Republican caucus, upsetting Phil Gramm.
1997
President Clinton sent Congress a $1.69 trillion budget for fiscal 1998, saying it would erase deficits by 2002 and for 20 years beyond. (Republicans scoffed that the plan was brimming with costly new programs and phantom savings, but said they were ready to bargain.)
1998
President Clinton and British Prime Minister Tony Blair redoubled their pledge to use military force against Iraq if necessary; during a joint news conference in which the subject of Monica Lewinsky came up, Clinton said he would "never" resign.
1998
A record-breaking winter storm layered more snow on the Appalachian Mountains, while West Coast residents endured another fierce blast of rain packing the wallop of a hurricane.
1998
Two U.S. Marine Corps F-18 fighter jets collided in mid-air and crashed in the Persian Gulf but both pilots were rescued from the sea.
1998
Former grade-school teacher Mary Letourneau, whose affair with one of her ex-pupils caused a national scandal, was sent to prison for 7-1/2 years for seeing the boy again. Letourneau, 36, who had a child with the boy - now aged 14 - was declared in violation of her parole and ordered to return to prison to finish her full term.
1998
President Clinton signed a bill changing the name of Washington National Airport to Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport.
1999
The public finally got to see and hear Monica Lewinsky as excerpts of the former White House intern's videotaped testimony were shown at President Clinton's impeachment trial.
1999
President Clinton requested legislation to require background checks on buyers at gun shows.
2000
Nine people were killed when a train filled with Alpine ski vacationers derailed south of Cologne, Germany.
2000
The NFC defeated the AFC 51-to-31 in the Pro Bowl.
2000
An Ariana Airlines Boeing 727 was hijacked after leaving Kabul, Afghanistan, making stops in Central Asia and Russia before arriving at Stansted airport outside London the next day.
2000
Social Democrat Tarja Halonen edged out her rival in a run-off to become Finland's first female president.
2000
Hillary Rodham Clinton launched her successful candidacy for the US Senate.
2005
G7 announce debt relief plan
2005
Brazil receives Cuban Foreign Minister
2005
Sports footwear companies progress towards eliminating sweatshops
2005
Coup in Togo after President dies
2005
Twenty-seven die as bus falls into gorge in Kashmir
2005
UN says no genocide in Darfur
2005
UN board supported Saddam Hussein's regime, says Iraq's ambassador
2005
New London police commissioner blames middle-class cocaine users for violence in Colombia and on British housing estates
2005
Astronomer proposes Hubble replacement
2005
Tropical cyclone Meena strikes Cook Islands
2006
New South Wales to introduce 'parenting contracts'
2006
New Zealand marks Waitangi Day, 2006
2006
Conservative Canadian government sworn in
2006
Danish and Austrian embassies in Tehran attacked
2006
Google removes German BMW from search results
2006
Catholic priest murdered during prayer
2006
Latham to face court on assault, stealing and malicious damage charges
2007
Canadian Liberal Gerard Kennedy to run in Parkdale-High Park
2007
New UK Jewish group formed; differs with Board of Deputies over Israel
2007
Iranian diplomat kidnapped by men with Iraqi defense ministry IDs
2007
Further demolition of Hare Krishna homes in Kazakhstan seems imminent
2007
Apple Inc., Apple Corps resolve trademark dispute
2007
Astronaut to face attempted murder charge
2007
Furry fans flock to Further Confusion 2007
2007
Princeton library joins Google project to digitise books
2007
US Basketball: Jazz win, maintain Northwest Division lead
2007
Poll: New Zealand Labour and Greens parties gain support
2008
Many killed in tornadoes across southern U.S.
2008
US lawmakers to question Pentagon officials about war costs
2008
1960's guru icon Maharishi Mahesh Yogi dies
2008
Niece of Scientology's leader goes public with criticism
2008
Space shuttle Atlantis set for launch with Columbus module
2008
Juno Award nominees announced
2008
David S. Touretzky discusses Scientology, Anonymous and Tom Cruise
2008
UK firm designs hypersonic passenger jet
2008
Clinton and Obama in tight race, McCain surges in Super Tuesday voting
2008
Police track kidney doctor to Brampton, Canada
2008
CIA Director confirms use of waterboarding on terror suspects
2009
Plane makes emergency water landing in Darwin Harbour
2009
Obama expands Bush's faith-based initiatives
2009
Zimbabwean parliament passes unity government bill
2009
British court 'threatened' by United States
2009
Denny's Super Bowl free 'Grand Slam Breakfast' brings 2 million diners
2009
US swimmer Phelps suspended over 'pot pipe'
2009
US job cuts last month highest since 1974, unemployment rate rises
2009
Somali pirates agree to release Egyptian ship with fertiliser cargo and 28 crew
2010
US unemployment rate falls in January
2011
Investigation launched after two military aircraft nearly collide with passenger airliner
2013
Moscow experiences the snowiest winter in 100 years
2013
Record size 17.4 million-digit prime found
2013
German education minister stripped of PhD for plagiarism

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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