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Today in History

1622
King James I disbands British Parliament
1828
Author and pioneer of the science fiction genre, Jules Verne born in Nantes, France
1904
Japanese attack Port Arthur, China
1910
Boy Scouts of America founded
1921
Academy Award nominated actress, Lana Turner born in Wallace, Idaho
1925
US Navy ensign, Oscar, Emmy and Golden Globe award winning actor, Jack Lemmon born in Newton, Massachusetts
1931
Golden Globe award winning screen and stage actor, James Dean born in Marion, Indiana
1940
Journalist , ABC foreign correspondent and anchorman of Nightline for 25 years, Ted Koppel born in Liverpool, England
1941
Producer and Golden Globe award winning actor, Nick Nolte born in Omaha, Nebraska
1953
Academy award winning screen actress, Mary Nell Steenburgen born in Newport, Arkansas
1978
First radio broadcast of US Senate proceedings
1996
Communications Decency Act passes
412
St. Proclus, Patriarch of Constantinople born
1254
William of Rubrick records the use of oracles among the Mongols
1562
Jean Ribault leaves France to establish a Huguenot colony in Florida
1577
Robert Burton, writer, Anglican clergyman born
1587
Mary, Queen of Scots was beheaded at Fotheringhay Castle in England after she was implicated in a plot to murder her cousin, Queen Elizabeth I.
1591
Il Guercino [Giovanni Barbieri], near Ferrara, Italy, painter born
1601
The Earl of Essex rebels against Elizabeth I of England
1612
Samuel Butler, English poet, satirist born
1693
A charter was granted for the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia. The 2nd college in US.
1786
Operas by Mozart and Salieri were premiered together in Vienna. "The Impresario" by Mozart was followed by Salieri's opera "First the Music and Then the Words."
1802
Simon Willard patented the banjo clock.
1807
At Eylau, Napoleons Marshal Pierre Agureau attacks Russian forces in a heavy snowstorm.
1820
Civil War General William Tecumseh Sherman (The reason for the celebration of War is Hell Day) born
1828
Author Jules Verne was born. The "Father of Science Fiction" was the French author of "Around the World in Eighty Days" and "Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea." The reason for Science Fiction Is So Fantastic Day. born
1837
The only time in history, the Senate selected the vice president of the United States, choosing Richard Mentor Johnson after no candidate received a majority of electoral votes.
1861
Delegates from seceded states adopt a provisional Confederate Constitution.
1862
Battle of Roanoke Island, N.C.
1873
The Tchaikovsky's Second, which premiered, is an especially good symphony, with infectious rhythms worthy of Beethoven's Seventh.
1883
Louis Waterman begins experiments that invent the fountain pen.
1887
The Aurora Ski Club of Red Wing, Minnesota, became the first ski club in the United States.
1887
Congress passes the Dawes Act, which gives citizenship to Indians living apart from their tribe.
1888
Actress Dame Edith Evans (Scrooge, Look Back in Anger, David Copperfield, The Madwoman of Chaillot) born
1894
Film director King Vidor born
1896
The Western Conference was formed by representatives of Midwestern universities. Later, the group changed its name to the Big 10 Conference.
1900
General Buller is beaten at Ladysmith; the British flee over the Tugela River.
1904
In a surprise attack at Port Arthur, Korea, the Japanese disable seven Russian warships with that the Russo-Japanese War begins.
1906
Chester Carlson, inventor of the Xerox copying process born
1907
Revolution breaks out in Argentina.
1910
The United States became the 12th nation to join the international scouting movement. The Boy Scouts of America was incorporated by William D. Boyce of Chicago, Illinois.
1915
D.W. Griffith's motion picture epic about the Civil War, "The Birth of a Nation," premiered at Clune's Auditorium in Los Angeles. (The film caused a sensation with its innovative techniques, but was also denounced for racial stereotyping.)
1916
Demonstrators protest against food shortages in Berlin.
1918
"The Stars and Stripes," the weekly newspaper of the American Expeditionary Forces, was published for the first time.
1919
Bandleader (Moe Zudekoff) Buddy Morrow (Night Train, Hey Mrs. Jones, theme from Man with the Golden Arm) born
1921
Actress (Julia Jean) Lana Turner (Ziegfeld Girl, The Postman Always Rings Twice, Madame X, Love Finds Andy Hardy) born
1922
President Harding had a radio installed in the White House.
1924
The first execution by gas in the United States took place at the Nevada State Prison in Carson City. Gee Jon was put to death for murder.
1925
Actor (John Uhler III) Jack Lemmon (Mr. Roberts, The Apartment, Save the Tiger, The Odd Couple, Grumpy Old Men, Some Like It Hot, The China Syndrome, Airport '77, The Fortune Cookie, Irma La Douce, Days of Wine and Roses, Bell, Book and Candle) born
1926
Actress Audrey Meadows (The Jackie Gleason Show, The Honeymooners, That Touch of Mink) born
1931
Actor James Dean was born in Fairmount, Indiana. Dean is remembered for his roles in "Rebel Without a Cause," "Giant" and "East of Eden."" (The reason for Rebel Without A Cause Day) born
1932
Composer-conductor John Williams born
1936
The first National Football League draft was held. Jay Berwanger was the first to be selected. He went to the Philadelphia Eagles.
1940
Nazis shot every 10th person in two Polish villages near Warsaw in reprisal for the deaths of two German soldiers.
1940
ABC News anchor Ted Koppel. born
1941
Actor Nick Nolte (Down and Out in Beverly Hills, The Deep, Blue Chips, 48 Hours, The Prince of Tides, Extreme Prejudice) born
1942
Comedian Robert Klein. born
1942
The Japanese land on Singapore.
1943
British General Wingate leads a guerrilla force of "Chindits" against the Japanese in Burma.
1948
Country singer Dan Seals. born
1948
Singer Ron Tyson born
1949
Actress Brooke Adams (Days of Heaven, Gas Food Lodging, O.K. Crackerby). born
1953
Actress Mary Steenburgen (Nixon, What's Eating Gilbert Grape, Back to the Future, Part 3, Parenthood, Melvin and Howard). born
1955
Author John Grisham (A Time to Kill, The Firm). born
1956
U.S. bans the launching of weather balloons because of Soviet complaints.
1960
Congress began investigating the influence of payola in the radio and record industries. Alan Freed and "American Bandstand" host, Dick Clark, among others, were called to testify.
1961
Rock singer Vince Neil (Motley Crue). born
1961
Rock singer-musician Sammy LLanas (The BoDeans) born
1962
The U.S. Defense Department reports the creation of the Military Assistance Command in South Vietnam.
1963
Lamar Hunt, owner of the American Football League franchise in Dallas, Texas, moved the operation to Kansas City. He named the new team, the "Chiefs."
1964
A speech by Rep. Martha Griffiths in Congress on sex discrimination resulted in civil rights protection for women being added to the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
1965
South Vietnamese bomb the North Vietnamese communications center at Vinh Linh.
1968
Actor Gary Coleman born
1968
George Wallace enters the presidential race.
1968
Robert F. Kennedy says that the U.S. cannot win the Vietnam War.
1968
Three college students were killed in a confrontation with highway patrolmen in Orangeburg, South Carolina, during a civil rights protest against a whites-only bowling alley.
1969
The last issue of the "Saturday Evening Post" was published, ending a magazine tradition that began in 1821.
1969
The Boeing 747, largest commercial plane, makes its first flight.
1969
Actress Mary McCormack ("Murder One," "Private Parts") born
1973
Senate leaders named seven members of a select committee to investigate the Watergate scandal, including the chairman, Democrat Sam J. Ervin Junior of North Carolina.
1974
Three American Skylab astronauts (Lt. Carr, Dr. Bison and Lt. Pogue) ended an 84-day orbital flight.
1974
Actor Seth Green ("Buffy the Vampire Slayer") born
1978
Deliberations of the US Senate were broadcast on radio for the first time as members opened debate on the Panama Canal treaties.
1978
Debate on the Panama Canal Treaties became the first deliberations of the U.S. Senate to be broadcast on radio.
1980
President Carter unveiled plans to reintroduce draft registration.
1983
An Israeli commission which had investigated the 1982 Beirut massacre of Palestinian refugees issued a report calling for the ouster of Defense Minister Ariel Sharon, accusing him of "blunders" that set the stage for the killings.
1984
The XIV Olympic Winter Games officially opened in Sarajevo, Yugoslavia,(now Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina) with the lighting of the Olympic flame after 1,500 athletes representing 49 countries marched into Kosevo Stadium.
1985
"The Dukes of Hazzard" ended its 6-1/2 year run on CBS television. The series was credited with using more stunt men than any other TV series in history. The show would use as many as eight cars per episode when the crash sequences got complicated. Waylon Jennings did the theme song, "The Dukes of Hazzard." My dad still watches the reruns nearly every weekday.
1985
South Korean opposition leader Kim Dae-jung was roughed up by authorities upon his return to his homeland after more than two years exile in the United States.
1986
Billy Olson broke an indoor pole vault record for the seventh time in four months. He vaulted 19 feet, 5-1/2 inches.
1987
In Lebanon, the kidnappers of American professor Alann Steen released a videotape in which Steen said he and three other men abducted with him would be killed if Israel failed to release 400 Arab prisoners.
1988
Bob Dole won a convincing victory in Iowa's Republican presidential caucuses, while among Democrats, Dick Gephardt came in first.
1988
Historians who examined the conduct of Austrian President Kurt Waldheim during World War Two said Waldheim had been aware of Nazi atrocities, but left open the question of his personal guilt.
1989
144 people were killed when an American-chartered Boeing 707 filled with Italian tourists crashed in the Azores.
1990
CBS News suspended resident humorist Andy Rooney for racial comments he'd supposedly made to a gay magazine, comments Rooney denied making.
1991
Defense Secretary Dick Cheney and Joint Chiefs Chairman Colin L. Powell met with American pilots in Saudi Arabia. Powell drew cheers as he described how allied troops would deal with the Iraqi force in Kuwait: "We'll cut it off and kill it."
1992
Actress Karle Warren ("Judging Amy") born
1992
The 16th Olympic Winter Games opened in Albertville, France.
1993
General Motors sued NBC, alleging that the "Dateline NBC" program had rigged two car-truck crashes to show that 1973-to-87 GM pickups were prone to fires in side impact crashes. (NBC settled the lawsuit the following day.)
1994
President Clinton's health care proposal suffered a blow as the Congressional Budget Office released an analysis saying that the plan would not shrink federal deficits, but instead drive them higher.
1995
The U.N. Security Council approved sending 7,000 peacekeepers to Angola to cement an accord ending 19 years of civil war.
1995
Surgeon General nominee Henry Foster said in an ABC interview he'd performed 39 abortions more than three times as many as previously stated.
1996
In a ceremony at the Library of Congress, President Clinton signed legislation revamping the telecommunications industry, saying it would "bring the future to our doorstep."
1997
President Clinton announced in his weekly radio address that he was releasing the first of a $200 million program of grants to provide schools with computers and Internet training.
1998
A man enraged by a fight in a Brooklyn bar drove his truck into 10 people on the sidewalk. The victims ranging in ages from 18 to 24, were taken to four area hospitals and were in stable condition by the following morning.
1998
William Lambert, a Pulitzer prize-winning reporter whose 1969 Life magazine story led to the resignation of Supreme Court Justice Abe Fortas, died of respiratory failure. He was 78.
1998
Olga Danilova of Russia won the first gold medal of the Nagano Winter Games in 15-kilometer classical cross-country skiing.
1999
The Senate heard closing arguments at President Clinton's impeachment trial, with House prosecutors challenging senators to "cleanse the office" and the president's attorney dismissing the case as one of partisan retribution.
1999
Jordan's King Hussein was laid to rest during a five-hour funeral in Amman attended by dignitaries from all over the world, including President Clinton and former presidents Bush, Carter and Ford.
2000
Internet vandals continued an unprecedented campaign of electronic assaults against the biggest names in cyberspace, disrupting access for consumers to popular Web sites including eBay, Amazon.com and CNN.com.
2000
Republican George W. Bush won the Delaware presidential primary.
2005
Romanian agricultural head sent to prison for corruption
2005
Production of GM soy crops surges in Romania
2005
Microsoft to buy antivirus firm Sybari Software
2005
Abbas, Sharon declare truce at Middle East summit
2005
Tiny planet discovered in mini solar system
2005
Romania, 14th most attractive country for business relocation
2005
India tops list of top offshoring locations
2005
Hubble Space Telescope to be burnt up; Jupiter Icy Moons Orbiter cancelled
2006
Military presence increased in Melbourne for Commonwealth Games
2006
RU486 debate enters Australian Senate
2006
One of the "Lackawanna Six" may have been among Yemeni prison escapees
2006
Bird Flu found in Africa
2006
Jyllands-Posten reconsiders printing holocaust denial cartoons
2006
Insurgency targeting of teachers causes south Thailand school closures
2006
Albuquerque Academy Chargers Win Final Game to Finish 13-1
2006
Opposition attacks government over involvement in wheat kickbacks as Australian Parliament resumes sitting
2007
Playmate, actress and celebrity Anna Nicole Smith was found dead of unexplained causes in a Hollywood, Florida hotel room leaving behind a three-way paternity dispute over her 5-month-old daughter, Dannielynn, an apparent heiress to an estate worth millions
2007
Garth Turner makes his debut with Canada's Liberals
2007
New stars found in Southern Cross
2007
U.S. helicopter crash in Iraq kills 7
2007
New edition of Canada's Food Guide released
2007
Snow causes disruption in UK
2007
Birks to create 2010 Olympic, Paralympic jewelery; wines on menu
2007
Four alarm fire in Old City, Philadelphia
2007
Anna Nicole Smith dies
2007
Burlington, Markham, and York South-Weston election results
2007
China vows effective fight against internet piracy
2008
65 journalists killed in 2007 according to Committee to Protect Journalists
2008
Greece defeats Finland 2-1 in friendly football match
2008
Wayne Allyn Root wins Missouri Libertarian primary
2008
Judge dismisses copyright lawsuit against Uri Geller
2008
Nebraska court bans the electric chair
2008
Woman attacks aircraft pilots in New Zealand hijacking attempt
2008
House approves Senate amended economic stimulus package
2008
Gunman opens fire at Missouri city council meeting
2009
One person dead, hundreds rescued from ice drift in Lake Erie in US
2009
Automobile manufacturer Toyota triples annual loss prediction
2010
Super Bowl XLIV: Saints defeat Colts, 31-17
2010
12-year-old girl dies after collapsing in school in Northamptonshire, England
2010
"Black box" found near crash site of Ethiopian Airlines flight
2010
'Criminal in uniform': Senior London policeman jailed for attempting to frame Iraqi
2010
Government poll indicates 85.6% of Japanese support death penalty
2010
Illinois man charged in Facebook harassment case
2012
European cold spell kills hundreds
2012
Komen executive resigns and criticizes Planned Parenthood

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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