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Today in History

45
BC
Julian calendar takes effect
New Year's Day
1735
Silversmith, soldier and revolutionary, Paul Revere born in Boston, Massachusetts
1752
Seamstress Betsy Ross born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
1808
Importing slaves into US is banned
1909
Air Force Major General and five-time US Senator, Barry Morris Goldwater born in Phoenix, Arizona
1912
Republic of China established
1919
Soldier, cruise ship entertainer and author, J. D. Salinger born in Manhattan, New York
1922
Middleweight boxing champion Rocky Graziano born Thomas Rocco Barbella in New York City
1970
UNIX Epoch (time=0) begins at midnight GMT
1999
The Euro adopted by 11 European nations
45
BC
Julian Calendar introduced
379
Death of St. Basil
533
Death of St. Fulgentius
898
Death of Odo, King of the Franks; Charles "the Simple" becomes King
1189
Saladin abandons his siege of Tyre
1356
The Pope publishes the "Golden Bull"
1387
Death of Charles II, "The Bad", King of Navarre
1391
Jean Gerson preaches against warfare to the King of France
1449
Lorenzo de Medici born
1484
Huldrych Zwingli, Swiss Protestant reformer born
1500
Pedro Alvarez Cabral discovers the coast of Brazil
1511
Prince Henry of England, who survives no more than six weeks born
1515
Death of Louis XII, King of France
1531
Rio de Janerio, Brazil, discovered
1559
Death of Christian III, King of Denmark and Norway
1562
Huguenots abolish Catholicism in Castres, France
1618
Bartolom Esteban Murillo, Spanish Baroque artist (baptized) born
1651
King Charles II crowned King of Scotland, the last King crowned at Scone
1735
Paul Revere born
1752
Betsy Ross, who, according to legend, made the first American flag. born
1766
Old Pretender, son of James III dies.
1782
"The English Bach "John Christian Bach died. He composed operas in the Italian style but also played organ like his dad.
1797
Albany became the capital of New York state, replacing New York City.
1804
Haiti gains it's independence
1863
The Emancipation Proclamation, declared the previous September by Abraham Lincoln, took effect. It declared freedom for slaves in all areas of the Confederacy that were still in rebellion against the Union.
1879
The Brahms Violin Concerto was premiered in Leipzig on this day, with Brahms' close friend Joseph Joachim in the solo spotlight. Virtually no previous violin concerto had been so thickly orchestrated and symphonic in its mood.
1879
English novelist E.M. Forster born
1892
The Ellis Island Immigrant Station in New York formally opened.
1895
J. Edgar Hoover, FBI Dircetor. born
1900
Xavier Cugat (Francisco Deulogeo) Composer, band leader (The Lady in Red, Perfidia, Brazil, Begin the Beguine) born
1900
Musical Records, W.J. Henderson wrote "No gentleman would have written that thing. There are places for such music, but surely not before miscellaneous assemblages of ladies and gentlemen." It was the work of Strauss that he was offending, "Till Eulenspiegel."
1901
The Commonwealth of Australia was proclaimed.
1902
1st Rose Bowl game held in Pasadena, California.
1906
British Parliament curtails immigration for the insane, impoverished, criminal and diseased.
1907
The Pure Food and Drug Act becomes law in the U.S.
1909
Actor Dana Andrews (State Fair, The Best Years of Our Lives, A Walk in the Sun, Battle of the Bulge, Airport '75) born
1909
Barry Goldwater the 1964 Republican candidate for president born
1909
London astronomers hint of sightings of a planet beyond Neptune.
1912
British-born Soviet master spy Harold "Kim" Philby born
1919
J. D. Salinger, author of 'Catcher in the Rye'. born
1921
Champion prize fighter Rocky Graziano (Rocco Barbella) born
1923
Jazz musician Milt Jackson born
1923
Sadi Lecointe sets a new aviation speed record flying an average of 208 mph at Istres.
1925
Edwin Hubble announces our galaxy is just one among billions of others
1927
Massachusetts becomes the first state to require automobile insurance.
1934
Alcatraz officially becomes a Federal Prison.
1940
Actor Frank Langella born
1942
Rock singer-musician Country Joe McDonald born
1943
Writer-comedian Don Novello born
1945
France was admitted to the United Nations.
1950
Country singer Steve Ripley (The Tractors) born
1953
Country singer Hank Williams Senior, 29, died of a drug and alcohol overdose while en route to a concert date in Canton, Ohio.
1956
Sudan gains it's independence
1958
Rapper Grandmaster Flash. born
1958
Treaties establishing the European Economic Community went into effect.
1959
Fidel Castro led Cuban revolutionaries to victory over Fulgencio Batista.
1964
Actress Dedee Pfeiffer ("Cybill") born
1969
Actor Verne Troyer ("Austin Powers born
1970
Writer-director Paul Thomas Anderson ("Boogie Nights"; "Magnolia") born
1975
A jury convicted former Attorney General John Mitchell and former White House aides John Ehrlichman and H.R. Haldeman on all counts in the Watergate cover-up case.
1979
The United States and China held celebrations in Washington and Beijing to mark the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries.
1984
The break-up of AT&T took place as the telecommunications giant was divested of its 22 Bell System companies under terms of an antitrust agreement.
1986
Soviet television aired a five-minute greeting from President Reagan and Americans got the same from Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev in the first such exchange between the superpowers.
1987
More than 2,000 Chinese students, defying a government ban, held a pro-democracy rally in Beijing's Tiananmen Square.
1988
British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher distanced herself from US vows to punish whoever bombed Pam Am Flight 103, saying in a TV interview that revenge "can affect innocent people."
1988
President Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev exchanged optimistic New Year's greetings, expressing mutual hope they would reach an arms control treaty on strategic weapons within six months.
1990
David Dinkins was sworn in as New York City's first black mayor.
1991
President Bush called top advisers to the White House for a fresh assessment of the Persian Gulf crisis.
1992
President Bush became the first American leader to address the Australian Parliament, telling lawmakers the U.S. would continue to subsidize its agricultural exports, despite protests by Australia's farmers.
1992
Boutros Boutros-Ghali succeeded Javier Perez de Cuellar as secretary-general of the United Nations.
1993
President Bush continued to tour Somalia, greeting hundreds of cheering youngsters and foreign relief workers at an orphanage in Baidoa. Czechoslovakia peacefully split into two new countries, the Czech Republic and Slovakia.
1994
In Mexico, the Zapatista National Liberation Army launched a rebellion to press for better living conditions for Indian peasants in Chiapas.
1994
Actor Cesar Romero died in Santa Monica, California, at age 86.
1994
The North American Free Trade Agreement went into effect.
1995
A cease-fire supposed to last four months began in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Sweden, Finland and Austria joined the European Union.
1995
Fernando Henrique Cardoso took office as Brazil's 37th president.
1996
Some 100,000 Bangladeshi women rallied to protest Islamic clerics' attacks on female education and employment.
1996
Two buses collided in northern Mexico, killing 25 people.
1996
Retired U.S. Adm. Arleigh Burke, remembered for his World War II heroics, died at Bethesda Naval Hospital at age 94.
1997
An off-duty Israeli soldier with a history of mental problems opened fire on a crowded vegetable market in Hebron, wounding five people and touching off a stone-throwing demonstration by angry Palestinians.
1997
Kofi Annan assumed the title of United Nations secretary-general.
1998
A new anti-smoking law went into effect in California, prohibiting people from lighting up in bars.
1998
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced that 2% milk no longer "low fat." Also, in a move to reduce birth defects, food manufacturers were required to add the nutrient folic acid to enriched breads, flours, corn meals, pastas, rice and other grain products.
1998
Adventurer Steve Fossett completed the first full day of a planned circumnavigation of the globe, aiming his balloon toward wind currents that will carry him over the Atlantic Ocean toward Europe. Fossett, cruising at an altitude of about 22,000 feet, was
1998
A group of at least 1,000 Hutu rebel killed 150 people in an attack on a village and military camp near Bujumbura airport. Col. Jean-Bosco Daradangwe said the attack was the biggest by Hutu rebels since 1993.
1998
Mexico's majestic Popocatepetl volcano boomed out a loud eruption, spewing out a massive gas cloud and setting off a series of tremors reaching up to 3.3 on the Richter scale. Television Azteca showed video of a giant cloud extending some four miles above the peak, which is 17,992 feet above sea level.
1999
The euro, the new single currency of eleven European countries, officially came into existence with the start of the New Year.
1999
Cuban President Fidel Castro, marking the 40th anniversary of his rise to power, portrayed his socialist nation as a defender of humanity against rapacious capitalism.
2000
The arrival of 2000 saw no terrorist attacks, Y2K meltdowns or mass suicides among doomsday cults, but instead saw seven continents stepping joyously and peacefully into the New Year.
2000
On his first full day as acting president, Vladimir Putin assured Russians there would be no "vacuum of power" after Boris Yeltsin's surprise resignation.
2000
Wisconsin beat Stanford, 17-to-9, to become the first Big Ten team to win consecutive Rose Bowls.
2002
Twelve European nations adopted the euro in the most ambitious currency changeover in history.
2002
Michael Bloomberg succeeded Rudolph Giuliani as New York City's mayor.
2002
Eduardo Duhalde was named Argentina's fifth president in two weeks.
2005
Tsunami deaths mount to more than 120,000
2005
Republicans seek to reduce ethics rules
2005
DirecTV tunes out Trio, network in limbo
2005
Australian National Archives release Loans Affair documents
2005
Aid pledges rise; Japan promises 500,000,000 USD
2006
New Zealand citizenship requirements tighten in 2006
2006
World celebrates new year for Gregorian Calendar
2006
Tropical Storm Zeta becomes second cross-season tropical storm in history
2006
Russia cuts off gas supplies to Ukraine
2006
Four-team trade may be in the works in Major League Baseball
2006
Boyfriend forces Missouri woman to swallow cell phone
2006
Error hits Greenpeace donations
2006
Australian volunteer firefighters kept busy on New Year's Day
2007
Bangkok hit with further New Year bomb blasts
2007
1 million people welcome in Sydney
2007
New UN Secretary General assumes post
2007
Slovenia adopts euro
2007
World reacts to execution of Saddam Hussein
2007
Boston rings in the new year
2007
New Zealand MP to be present at state funeral of Gerald Ford
2007
Young child dies imitating Hussein's execution
2007
Australian 1976 Cabinet papers released
2008
South Australian Premier Rann wants apology from Hicks
2008
Cyprus and Malta adopt the euro
2008
US diplomat shot and killed in Sudan
2008
Finnish actor Markku Peltola dies at 51
2008
Senior security official: "Hardly any chance" to ban German Church of Scientology
2008
NHL game held outdoors in stadium; Pittsburgh defeats Buffalo in shootout
2008
Fire kills three and closes main transport route into Western Australia
2008
Violent clashes in Kenya kill scores
2008
Taipei 101 shows "Love Taiwan" mark after New Year's Eve in Taipei, Taiwan
2009
Mount Everest plane crash blamed on pilot error
2009
New Year fire kills at least 59, injures 212 more at Bangkok pub
2009
Mathematician Martin Taylor awarded knighthood
2010
Afghanistan: two kidnapped French journalists believed to be in good health
2010
At least eighteen dead after storms in Brazil
2012
Nationalised bank Northern Rock sold to Virgin Money
2012
UK's Commission on Assisted Dying to recommend law change
2012
On the campaign trail, December 2011

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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