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Today in History

1812
Philanthropist, journalist and novelist, Charles Dickens born in Landport, England
1812
New Madrid, Missouri earthquake (7.7)
1885
Nobel prize winning author, poet and playwright, Sinclair Lewis born in Sauk Centre, Minnesota
1918
Artist Markey Robinson born in Belfast, Northern Ireland
1920
Computer engineer, inventor, and co-founder of Wang Laboratories, Dr An Wang born in Shanghai, China
1962
US bans all Cuban imports and exports
1962
Grammy Award winning musician, songwriter and singer, Garth Brooks born in Tulsa, Oklahoma
1964
The Beatles arrive in US first time
1972
Emmy Award nominated TV and film actress, Robyn Lively born in Powder Springs, Georgia
1974
Independence Day in Grenada
1978
Film and TV actor, Ashton Kutcher born in Cedar Rapids, Iowa
1992
The European Union is formed
457
Leo proclaimed Eastern Roman Emperor
1301
Edward I revives the title Prince of Wales, confers it on his son
1313
Robert, "the Bruce," captures Dumfries, Scotland
1478
Sir Thomas More, English statesman and writer. (Found guilty of treason, beheaded; Sainted in 1935) born
1550
Accession of Julius III as Pope
1554
Surrender of Thomas Wyatt and end of Wyatt's Rebellion
1569
King Philip II establishes the Inquisition in province of South America
1579
Francis Drake reaches Arica, Chile
1623
Treaty of Paris
1639
French Academy begins its great dictionary of the French language
1649
The "Rump" Parliament prohibits government by a single person or King
1783
The Siege of Gibraltar, which was pursued by the Spanish and the French since July 24, 1779, is finally lifted.
1795
The 11th Amendment to the Constitution was ratified. This curbed the power of the federal judiciary in relation to the states and reaffirmed the sovereignty of the states.
1804
John Deere, pioneer manufacturer of agricultural implements. born
1812
Charles Dickens in Portsmouth, England. (David Copperfield, A Christmas Carol, A Tale of Two Cities, Oliver Twist) born
1817
Frederick Douglass, the escaped slave whose oratorical and literary brilliance thrust him into the forefront of the U.S. Abolition Movement, was born in Tuckahoe, Maryland. born
1818
The first successful U.S. educational magazine, Academician, begins publication in New York City.
1827
French danseuse Mme. Francisquy Hutin introduced ballet to the United States with a performance of "The Deserter," staged at the Bowery Theater in New York. The scanty attire of the troupe caused a minor scandal.
1867
American author Laura Ingalls Wilder in Lake Pepin, Wisconsin. Her works included the "Little House" children's books. born
1882
The last bareknuckle fight for the heavyweight boxing championship took place in Mississippi City. John L. Sullivan punched KO'd Paddy Ryan in round nine.
1883
Pianist, bandleader and writer of 1,000 songs, James Herbert "Eubie" Blake in Baltimore, Maryland. "Eubie" died five days after his 100th birthday. born
1885
American novelist and social critic Sinclair Lewis was born in Sauk Centre, Minnesota. He won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1930, the first awarded to an American. born
1901
Fires rage at the Baku oil fields in Russia.
1904
A fire began in Baltimore that raged for about 30 hours and destroyed more than 1,500 buildings.
1905
Congress grants statehood to Oklahoma. New Mexico and Arizona are the only remaining territories.
1908
Olympic Gold medal swimmer & actor Buster (Clarence) Crabbe (Tarzan, Flash Gordon, Buck Rogers, Billy the Kid) born
1911
The Swiss national council votes to begin importing U.S. meat.
1913
Turks lose 5,000 men in a battle with the Bulgarian army in Gallipoli.
1915
Hindenburg moves on Russians at Masurian Lakes.
1917
The British steamer California is sunk off the coast of Ireland by a German U-boat.
1919
The new German President Ebert, denounces the terms of the armistice.
1920
Actor Eddie Bracken (National Lampoon's Vacation, Tales from the Darkside) born
1921
Country singer Wilma Lee (Leary) Cooper born
1922
Marie Curie is elected to the Academy of Sciences.
1922
Reader's Digest was first published. DeWitt and Lila Acheson Wallace offered 5,000 copies of their magazine for sale for the first time.
1923
Actor Keefe Brasselle born
1928
The U.S. signs an arbitration treaty with France.
1931
Amelia Earhart weds George Putnam in Connecticut.
1931
The American opera, "Peter Ibbetson", by Deems Taylor premiered at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York City.
1932
Author Gay Talese (The Kingdom and the Power, Unto the Sons) born
1934
Blues singer-musician Earl King born
1936
President Roosevelt authorized a flag for the office of the vice president.
1943
The government announced that shoe rationing would go into effect in two days, limiting consumers to buying three pairs per person for the remainder of the year.
1944
Bing Crosby and the John Scott Trotter Orchestra recorded "Swinging on a Star" for Decca Records in Los Angeles.
1944
During World War Two, the Germans launched a counteroffensive at Anzio, Italy.
1944
Helsinki is twice bombed by waves of Soviet planes.
1946
Football player Jeff Van Note born
1948
Rock musician Jimmy Greenspoon (Three Dog Night) born
1948
General Dwight D. Eisenhower resigned as Army chief of staff and was succeeded by General Omar Bradley.
1949
Hoover Commission recommends the removal of Postal Department from government control.
1949
Rock musician Alan Lancaster (Status Quo) born
1950
The U.S. recognizes Vietnam under the leadership of Emperor Bao Dai, not the radical Ho Chi Minh who was recognized by the Soviets.
1950
American skier Marilyn Cochran (First American to win a World Cup title: 1969 giant slalom champion; bronze medalist at 1970 World Championships) born
1950
Baseball pitcher Burt Hooten born
1954
Actor Miguel Ferrer (Twin Peaks, Stephen King's The Stand, Point born
1955
Former football kicker Rolf Benirschke born
1959
Reggae musician Brian Travers (UB40) born
1960
Rock musician David Bryan (Bon Jovi) born
1960
Country singer Garth Brooks (Friends in Low Places) born
1960
Actor James Spader (Crash, Wolf, Stargate, True Colors, sex,lies and videotape, Wall Street, Mannequin, Endless Love, The Family Tree) born
1963
The "Mona Lisa" is unveiled at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.
1964
The Beatles began their first American tour as they arrived at New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport. They are greeted by 25,000 fans upon their arrival.
1965
U.S. jets hit Don Hoi guerrilla base in reprisal for the Viet Cong raids.
1966
Actor-comedian Chris Rock born
1967
Actor Jason Gedrick born
1968
North Vietnamese use 11 Soviet-built light tanks to overrun the U.S. Special Forces camp at Langvei at the end of an 18-hour long siege.
1971
Women in Switzerland won the right to vote.
1974
The island nation of Grenada won independence from Britain.
1974
Barry Whites Love Unlimited Orchestra received a gold record for the disco hit, "Loves Theme."
1978
Ethiopia mounts a counter attack against Somalia.
1978
Actor Ashton Kutcher ("That 70's Show") born
1983
Iran opens invasion in the southeast of Iraq.
1983
President Ronald Reagan fired Environmental Protection Agency official Rita M. Lavelle after she refused a request from EPA administrator Anne M. Gorsuch that she resign.
1984
Space shuttle astronauts Bruce McCandless the Second and Robert L. Stewart went on the first untethered space walk.
1984
President Reagan announced he had ordered U.S. Marines in Lebanon to move to ships offshore.
1984
A 12-year-old boy publicly identified only as "David," born without immunity to disease, touched his mother for the first time after he was removed from a germ-free "bubble" at Texas Children's Hospital in Houston.
1985
Actress Tina Majorino ("Corinna, Corinna") born
1985
A court in Torun, Poland, found four security officers guilty of the murder of pro-Solidarity priest Jerzy Popieluszko, and handed out prison sentences ranging up to 25 years.
1985
"New York, New York" became the official anthem of the Big Apple.
1986
The Philippines held a presidential election marred by charges of fraud against the incumbent, Ferdinand E. Marcos.
1986
Haitian President-for-Life Jean-Claude Duvalier fled his country, ending 28 years of his family's rule.
1987
The crew of the Stars and Stripes, skippered by Dennis Conner, brought the America's Cup back to the United States to the cheers of about 60,000 people in San Diego.
1988
Leslie Manigat was sworn in as Haiti's president (however, he was removed from power the following June).
1989
Bowing to public outrage, both houses of Congress voted to kill their scheduled 51-percent pay increase.
1990
The Soviet Union's Communist Party agreed to let alternative political parties compete for control of the country, thereby giving up its monopoly on power.
1990
An 811-foot tanker, the American Trader, spilled hundreds of thousands of gallons of Alaskan crude oil off the coast of Huntington Beach, California.
1991
Defense secretary Dick Cheney and Gen. Colin L. Powell, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, left for a visit to the Gulf War zone.
1991
The Rev. Jean-Bertrand Aristide was sworn in as Haiti's first democratically elected president.
1992
Russian President Boris N. Yeltsin and French President Francois Mitterrand signed a cooperation treaty in Paris.
1993
Commerce Secretary Ron Brown acknowledged on NBC's "Meet the Press" that he'd failed to pay Social Security taxes for a domestic worker over a number of years.
1994
President Clinton sent Congress his $1.5 trillion budget plan, declaring cuts in hundreds of programs would achieve a deficit-reduction record unequaled since President Truman's administration.
1995
Ramzi Yousef, the alleged mastermind of the World Trade Center bombing, was arrested in Islamabad, Pakistan, after two years as a fugitive.
1996
Ten years to the day after the collapse of the Duvalier family dictatorship, Rene Preval became Haiti's second freely elected president.
1996
During a Central America tour, Pope John Paul II received a warm welcome in Nicaragua, his first there since 1983.
1997
The Air Force suspended all its flights in restricted training areas on the East Coast after a pair of close calls between National Guard jets and civilian airliners.
1997
Mindful of Boris Yeltsin's ailments, President Clinton agreed to shift their March summit meeting from the United States to Helsinki, Finland.
1998
It was announced that Carl Wilson, a founding member of The Beach Boys, had died in Los Angeles from complications of lung cancer; he was 51.
1998
The Winter Olympic Games opened in Nagano, Japan.
1999
NASA launched the Stardust spacecraft on a mission to chase a comet in hopes of collecting a sample of comet dust.
1999
Jordan's King Hussein died of cancer at age 63; he was succeeded by his eldest son, Abdullah.
2000
With an astonishing comeback to win the Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, Tiger Woods gained his sixth straight PGA Tour victory, becoming the first player since Ben Hogan in 1948 to win six in a row.
2000
The Web site Yahoo! came under a "denial of service" attack by Internet vandals who overwhelmed the site with junk messages that blocked legitimate users from gaining access.
2000
Yugoslav Defense Minister Pavle Bulatovic was gunned down in a Belgrade restaurant and died later in a hospital.
2000
Magician Doug Henning died in Los Angeles at age 52.
2005
Thaksin Shinawatra leads party to stunning victory in Thailand
2005
Inquiry to be held into Australian immigration detention of Australian woman
2005
Chinese New Year to be celebrated in Bucharest for the first time
2005
Brazilian Carnival season is opened
2005
Sibiu International Airport to be modernised
2005
American Indian Movement protests against Professor Ward Churchill
2005
List of Communist spies leaks on the internet
2005
Pirates killed 30 sailors in 2004
2005
Shi'a leaders call for religious state
2005
EasyJet passenger figures rise almost 24%
2005
Cocaine smugglers robbed while fleeing authorities in Honduras
2005
Ellen Macarthur sets round the world solo sailing record
2006
Norway-led peacekeeper base attacked in Afghanistan
2006
Mother seals fight gallantly for their pups
2006
Iran demands that IAEA end surveillance of its nuclear program
2006
U.S. expels Venezuelan diplomat
2006
Journals tackle scientific fraud
2006
Outrage in Mexico after Sheraton Hotel evicts Cuban officials
2006
9/11 conspirator Moussaoui ejected from court
2006
Danish mission in Beirut set ablaze
2006
Six year old suspended for sexual harassment
2006
New South Wales set to adopt harsher anti-cannabis laws
2006
Hamshahri newspaper plans cartoon response
2006
BHP Mine remains closed during death probe
2007
Halton MP Garth Turner joins the Liberal Party of Canada
2007
Celtics lose, extend streak
2007
Mitt Romney to announce presidential campaign
2007
Big Brother star meets Tony Blair
2007
Hamas, Fatah leaders begin talks to end clashes
2007
Wal-Mart to face court trial
2007
US army admits to private security contract in Iraq
2008
'Top Model' winner CariDee English on her modeling career and her battle with psoriasis
2008
Kenyan humanitarian crisis deepens as talks continue
2008
UN Secretary-General expresses concern about crises in Chad, Kenya, Sudan
2008
Space Shuttle Atlantis launches on mission STS-122
2008
Turkish ship on fire off Croatia
2008
Mitt Romney suspends his United States presidential campaign, McCain and Huckabee remain fighting for GOP nomination
2008
Concern as Garuda Indonesia Flight 200 pilot arrested and charged
2008
White House defends CIA's use of 'waterboarding' interrogation technique
2009
Microsoft Flight Simulator series grounded after layoffs
2009
Kyrgyzstan announces decision to close US base
2009
14 killed by bushfires in Australia
2009
UN halts aid to Gaza after tons of food aid is seized
2009
Southern Gaza hit by new Israeli air strikes
2010
Former mayor receives two year sentence for underwear theft in Lancashire, England
2010
Seven civilians killed in Afghan police mistake
2010
Major snowstorm sweeps across Eastern US
2012
Santorum neologism gains prominence during US election cycle
2013
Same-sex marriage in the UK passes second reading in Commons

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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