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Today in History

1784
US ratifies peace treaty with England
1836
Painter and lithographer, Henri Fantin-Latour born in Grenoble, France
1841
Impressionist painter, Berthe Morisot born in Bourges, France
1875
Theologian, musician, philosopher, physician and Nobel Peace Prize recipient, Albert Schweitzer born in Kaysersberg, Alsace-Lorraine
1901
Singer, dancer, and actress, Bebe Daniels born in Dallas, Texas
1907
Kingston, Jamaica quake kills over 1,000
1919
Humorist, author and broadcast journalist, Andy Rooney born in Albany, New York
1941
Academy, Golden Globe and Emmy Award winning actress, Faye Dunaway born in Bascom, Florida
1943
Biochemist and astronaut, Shannon Lucid born in Shanghai, China
1944
National Public Radio legal affairs correspondent, journalist Nina Totenberg born in New York City
1967
First "Be-In" held in Golden Gate Park
1994
Clinton and Yeltsin sign Kremlin accords
2005
Huygens space probe lands on Saturn's moon Titan.
936
Death of Rudolph, King of the Franks
1208
Murder of Pierre de Castelnau, Papal Legate, which touched off the Albigensian "Crusade"
1237
Marriage of King Henry III of England to Eleanor of Provence
1331
Death of Odoric, missionary to China
1478
Novgorod surrenders to the Czar
1526
Treaty of Madrid
1552
Alberico Gentili, Italian jurist, a founder of international law born
1604
James I, King of England, meets with Puritan leaders and the principal Bishops
1639
The first constitution of Connecticut -- the "Fundamental Orders" -- was adopted.
1690
Clarinet is invented, in Nrnberg, Germany
1699
Massachusetts holds day of fasting for wrongly persecuting "witches"
1730
William Whipple, Declaration of Independence signer. born
1741
American general and turncoat Benedict Arnold born
1742
English astronomer Edmond Halley, who observed the comet that now bears his name, died at age 85.
1784
The United States ratified a peace treaty with England ending the Revolutionary War.
1797
Napoleon Bonaparte defeats Austrians at Rivoli in northern Italy.
1858
French emperor Napoleon the Third escaped an attempt on his life.
1864
General Sherman tears up railroad tracks and destroys buildings in Meridian, Mississippi.
1874
Thornton Waldo Burgess, author of "Peter Rabbit," born
1875
The medical missionary, organist and musicologist Albert Schweitzer was born in Alsace. born
1892
Silent comedy film director Hal Roach born
1898
Author Charles Lutwidge Dodgson -- better known as "Alice in Wonderland" creator Lewis Carroll -- died in Guildford, England, less than two weeks before his 66th birthday.
1900
"Tosca" premiered in Rome despite a bomb scare and death threats. Rivals of Puccini were blamed, and sympathy for the composer only increased the opera's success.
1906
Actor William Bendix (For Love or Money, Babe Ruth Story, Blackbeard the Pirate, The Detective Story, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court, Guadalcanal Diary, Wake Island, Star Spangled Rhythm, The Life of Riley) born
1908
Singer, bandleader, songwriter Russ Columbo ( You Call It Madness, Let's Pretend There's A Moon, Prisoner of Love) born
1911
The Arkansas, the largest U.S. battleship, is launched from the yards of NY Shipbuilding Company.
1914
Henry Ford introduced the assembly line method of manufacturing cars, allowing completion of one Model-T Ford every 90 minutes.
1915
The French abandon five miles of trenches to the Germans near Soissons.
1916
British authorities seize German attache von Papen's financial records confirming espionage activities in the U.S.
1919
Emmy Award-winning news writer Andy Rooney born
1920
Former CBS newsman George Herman born
1920
Berlin is placed under martial law as 40,000 radicals rush the Reichstag; 42 are dead and 105 are wounded.
1929
Country singer Billy Walker (Thank You for Calling, Charlie's Shoes, Word Games) born
1931
Singer Caterina Valente (The Breeze and I, Malaguena) born
1936
Blues singer Clarence Carter born
1937
Country singer Billie Jo Spears born
1938
Singer Jack Jones (Lollipops and Roses, Wives and Lovers, The Impossible Dream, Lady, The Race is On, Love Boat theme) born
1938
Singer-songwriter Allen Toussaint born
1940
Civil rights activist Julian Bond born
1941
Actress Faye Dunaway (Network, Don Juan DeMarco, Casanova, Beverly Hills Madam, Christopher Columbus, Mommie Dearest, Voyage of the Damned, Three Days of the Condor, The Towering Inferno, Chinatown, The Deadly Trap, Little Big Man, The Arrangement, Bonnie & Clyde) born
1942
President Franklin D. Roosevelt orders all U.S. aliens to register with the government.
1943
Actress Holland Taylor born
1943
President Roosevelt and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill opened a 10-day World War II strategy conference in Casablanca, Morocco. In doing this he became the first U.S. President to fly in an airplane while in office
1943
Italian occupation authorities refuse to deport any Jews living on their territories in France.
1944
Golfer Graham Marsh born
1948
Actor Carl Weathers ( Happy Gilmore, Dangerous Passion, Hurricane Smith, Rocky series, Force 10 from Navarone, Semi-Tough) born
1948
Singer-producer T-Bone Burnett born
1949
Movie writer-director Lawrence Kasdan born
1949
The U.S. brings a monopoly suit against AT&T.
1952
NBC's "Today" show premiered.
1953
"Sinfonia Antartica" premiered. Ralph Vaughan Williams made this, the seventh of his nine symphonies, from soundtrack music he wrote for a movie.
1953
Josip Broz Tito was elected president of Yugoslavia by the country's Parliament.
1959
Rock singer Geoff Tate (Queensryche) born
1963
Movie writer-director Steven Soderbergh born
1963
George C. Wallace was sworn in as governor of Alabama with a pledge of "segregation forever."
1965
Rapper Slick Rick born
1966
Actor Dan Schneider ("Head of the Class") born
1967
Actor-comedian Tom Rhodes ("Mr. Rhodes") born
1967
Actress Emily Watson ("Breaking the Waves") born
1968
Rapper-actor (James Todd Smith) LL Cool J born
1969
Actor Jason Bateman (Little House on the Prairie, Breaking the Rules, Necessary Roughness, A Taste for Killing) born
1969
25 crew members of the US aircraft carrier "Enterprise" were killed in an explosion that ripped through the ship off Hawaii.
1969
Rock singer-musician Dave Grohl (Foo Fighters) born
1972
Comedian Redd Foxx, whose last name was really Sanford, debuted on NBC-TV in "Sanford & Son". Demond Wilson starred as Fred Sanford's son.
1973
The Miami Dolphins became the first NFL team to go undefeated
1980
UN votes 104-18 to deplore the Soviet Afghan acts.
1985
The British pound sank to a record low, $1.11, and the Bank of England raised interest rates to halt the decline.
1985
Former Miss America, Phyllis George, joined Bill Kurtis as host of "The CBS Morning News".
1986
Appearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, former Secretary of State Cyrus Vance called the Reagan administration's decision to secretly sell arms to Iran an expensive blunder.
1988
The UN Security Council voted 14-to-zero -- with the United States abstaining -- to call on Israel to stop deporting Palestinians and to allow those already expelled to return.
1989
President Reagan delivered his 331st nd last weekly radio address, telling listeners, "Believe me, Saturdays will never seem the same. I'll miss you."
1990
The Denver Broncos and the San Francisco 49ers earned a trip to the Super Bowl by winning the American and National Football Conference championships.
1992
Historic Mideast peace talks continued in Washington, with Israel and Jordan holding their first-ever formal negotiations, and the Israelis continuing exchanges with Palestinian representatives.
1993
Retreating from a campaign promise, President-elect Clinton said he would continue President Bush's policy of forcibly returning Haitian boat people to Haiti. Talk show host David Letterman announced he was moving from NBC to CBS.
1994
In post-Cold War breakthroughs, President Clinton and Russian President Boris Yeltsin signed Kremlin accords to stop aiming missiles at any nation and to dismantle the nuclear arsenal of Ukraine.
1994
In Phoenix, Arizona, Shane Stant, who admitted to being the "hit man" in the clubbing assault on figure skater Nancy Kerrigan, surrendered to authorities.
1995
Russian troops in the breakaway republic of Chechnya captured the Council of Ministers building, a key rebel position in the capital Grozny.
1995
Pope John Paul the Second addressed a huge rally in Manila, urging young people to reject cynicism.
1996
Several thousand government, Serb and Croat troops withdrew from their front-line trenches and bunkers across central and northeastern Bosnia, beating a deadline to create buffer zones.
1996
The Pittsburgh Steelers defeated the Indianapolis Colts, 20-to-16, to win the AFC championship. The Dallas Cowboys beat the Green Bay Packers, 38-to-27, to win the NFC championship.
1997
The House ethics committee's ranking Democrat, Jim McDermott of Washington state, removed himself from the investigation of Speaker Newt Gingrich, bowing to pressure that built quickly concerning his role in the handling of an illegally taped phone call involving the House leader.
1998
Whitewater prosecutors questioned Hillary Rodham Clinton at the White House for ten minutes about the gathering of FBI background files on past Republican political appointees. (Sources quoted Mrs. Clinton as saying she knew nothing about any such collection of files.)
1998
NBC agreed to pay Warner Bros. $13 million per episode to retain the highly-rated TV show "ER."
1998
A jury convicted Luis "El Gallo" Cano and his right-hand man of running a vast cocaine-trafficking network supplying the New York market. Cano, 37, organized the smuggling of more than 35,000 pounds of cocaine from Colombia into the U.S. He laundered about $28 million in cocaine profits.
1998
Iraq prevented an American-led U.N. arms inspection team from doing its work for the second successive day. Team leader Scott Ritter, accused by Iraq of being a spy, said Iraqi monitors had failed to show up at U.N. headquarters, despite being told that his team would be waiting for them at 9 a.m. (local time) to begin work.
1998
Bristol-Myers Squibb won approval for the first migraine headache medication available to U.S. consumers without a prescription. Bristol-Myers, which sells the Excedrin, Bufferin and Nuprin products received approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to market Excedrin Migraine.
1999
Before a jury of 100 silent senators, House prosecutors demanded President Clinton's removal from office, charging he had "piled perjury upon perjury" and obstructed justice.
2005
Viacom delays launch of gay cable channel
2005
Australia to deport asylum seekers to Tsunami Zone
2005
'Electra'-fying competition faces 'Fockers'
2005
El Salvador presents Flores as OAS candidate
2005
Long Island-sized iceberg to ram Antarctic coast
2005
Prado Dam area evacuated
2005
Huygens probe lands on Saturn's moon Titan, returns pictures
2006
Augustine volcano erupts
2006
Iran to end nuclear cooperation
2006
Huge star cluster discovered in neighbourhood of Milky Way
2006
Actress Shelley Winters dies of heart failure
2006
Gordon Brown calls for national day to celebrate 'Britishness'
2006
Liberal Democrat leadership contenders address party members
2006
Hussein trial judge submits resignation
2006
Israeli tourism ministry reconsidering Pat Robertson deal on Christian Heritage Center
2006
Ariel Sharon's brain shows activity
2006
Brazil, Bolivia promise cooperation
2006
Venezuela will buy Spanish planes with European technology
2006
Symantec admits security flaw
2006
U.S. airstrike targeting Ayman al-Zawahiri leaves 18 dead in Pakistani village
2006
Sondhi continues using Thailand Weekly show to attack PM
2007
Toxic wetlands may be cause of thousands of bird deaths in Western Australia
2007
Fifth person killed by serial killer in Mumbai
2007
New Zealand Green party rates other parties on climate change policies
2008
Construction accident in New York City, one reported dead
2008
Scientists grow beating rat heart in lab
2008
NASA spacecraft to begin collecting data on Mercury
2008
George Bush arrives in Saudi Arabia as part of his Middle East visit
2009
Paris rail terminus temporarily shut down by unplanned strike
2009
Clinton confirmation hearing raises concerns about funding for husband's foundation
2009
British Columbia avalanche death toll rises
2010
Sri Lankan reporter Tissanayagam released on bail
2010
Ugandan president distances himself from anti-gay bill
2010
Author of My Billion Year Contract reflects on life in elite Scientology group
2010
An interview with Paul Campbell, founder of Amazing Radio UK
2010
Suspected US drone attack kills at least fourteen in Pakistan
2010
South Africa reopens beaches after fatal shark attack
2010
UK research indicates big bums are healthy
2010
Cocaine found at Kennedy Space Center
2010
Countries around the world send aid, help to Haiti
2011
Persons from Punta Arenas, Chile on strike after government announcement to increase gas prices
2011
Fifteen flu sufferers die in Wales in one week
2012
Man killed in police shooting in Brooklyn, New York
2013
Healthcare workers, public officials struggle to address influenza outbreak across much of U.S.

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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