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Today in History

1645
Tonga archipelago discovered
1887
18.3 inches of rain in Brisbane, Australia
1919
Fashion model, pin-up girl and actress, Jinx Falkenberg born in Barcelona, Spain
1934
TV and film actress, Audrey Dalton born in Dublin, Ireland
1938
World renowned disk jockey, Wolfman Jack born Robert Weston Smith in Brooklyn, New York
1940
Life guard, soldier, actor, Golden Globe and Emmy Award winning actor, Telly Savalas born in Garden City, New York
1940
Golfing legend Jack Nicklaus born in Columbus, Ohio
1941
Folk singer and guitarist, Richie Havens born in Brooklyn, New York
1954
First nuclear-powered submarine, USS Nautilus launched from Groton, Connecticut
1956
Fashion model, Academy and Golden Globe award winning actress, Geena Davis born in Wareham, Massachusetts
1968
Battle of Khe Sanh begins
1976
Singer and songwriter, "Baby Spice" Emma Lee Bunton born in Barnet, England
1977
President Carter pardons Vietnam War draft evaders
259
Death of St. Fructuosus
861
Death of St, Meinrad
911
King Louis the Child, last Carolingian ruler of Germany, dies
1189
Phillip Augustus, King of France, Henry II, King of England, and Fredrick Barbarossa, Holy Roman Emperor, begin assembling the troops for the Third Crusade
1338
Charles V (the Wise), King of France born
1472
Great daylight comet of 1472 passes within 10.5 million km of earth
1506
Papal Swiss Guard first enters Rome
1525
Founding of the Anabaptists, by Grebel Conrad, in Zurich
1527
Death of Juan de Grijalva, discoverer of Mexico
1547
Execution of Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey
1548
"First Prayer-Book of Edward VI" approved by Parliament
1621
Colonists began putting up houses to begin the settlement at Plymouth, Massachusetts.
1648
Margaret Brent, first woman lawyer in the colonies, denied a vote in the Maryland Assembly
1677
America's first medical textbook is published in Boston.
1738
Soldier and Vermont folk hero Ethan Allen born
1743
John Fitch, had a working steamboat years before Fulton. born
1793
During the French Revolution, King Louis the 16th, condemned for treason, was executed on the guillotine.
1813
American explorer nicknamed ``The Pathfinder.'' John C. Fremont He mapped the territory between the Mississippi River and Pacific Ocean, was military governor of California and Arizona territory and the first Republican presidential candidate, in 1856. He was defeated by Democrat James Buchanan. born
1815
Horace Wells, dentist, pioneer in use of medical anethesia. born
1821
John Breckinridge, 14th U.S. Vice President. born
1824
Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson, Confederate General. born
1848
Henri Duparc a pupil of Cesar Franck's born
1853
An envelope-folding machine is patented by Dr. Russell Hawes of Worcester, Massachusetts.
1855
Firearms designer John Browning born
1861
Mississippi Sen. Jefferson Davis resigned from the U.S. Senate, 12 days before Mississippi seceded from the Union.
1884
Lawyer Roger Nash Baldwin founder of the American Civil Liberties Union. born
1900
Canadian troops set sail to fight in South Africa.
1901
Elisha Gray, the U.S. inventor who contested the first patent for the telephone with Alexander Graham Bell, died.
1905
Fashion designer Christian Dior born
1905
140,000 workers and peasants begin a march to the Czar's Winter Palace in St. Petersburg.
1908
In New York City, the first ``no smoking'' legislation is enacted, barring women from smoking cigarettes in public. Officials feared the air pollution created by cigarette smoke. (however, the measure was vetoed by Mayor George B. McClellan Junior).
1909
Tennessee bans liquor production for 1910.
1910
Japan rejects the U.S. proposal to neutralize ownership of the Manchurian Railway.
1915
The first Kiwanis Club was founded, in Detroit.
1917
anarchy and war.
1921
J.D. Rockefeller pledges $1 million for the relief of Europe's destitute. Ida Tarbell's expos of John D. Rockefeller and the oil monopoly contributed to the passage of antitrust legislation.
1922
Greek-American actor Telly Savalas born
1922
Actor Paul Scofield born
1924
The Soviet leader Lenin died of a brain hemorrhage. He had led the Bolsheviks to victory in the
1925
Popular British comedian Benny Hill born
1926
Actor Steve Reeves ("Hercules") born
1927
Albert Roussel's Suite in F Major premiered. The "Suite in Fa" is one of Roussel's finest pieces, with a nice perpetual motion sound at the beginning.
1933
The League of Nations rejects Japanese terms for settlement with China.The rise of militaristic nationalism led Japan down the road to Pearl Harbor and World War II.
1933
Actress Ann Wedgeworth born
1936
Blues singer-musician Snooks Eaglin born
1936
King Edward VIII is proclaimed in London.
1939
American disc jockey Wolfman Jack born
1940
Golfer Jack Nicklaus born
1941
Opera singer Placido Domingo born
1941
Singer Richie Havens born
1941
The U.S. lifts the ban on arms to the U.S.S.R.
1942
North Africa, Rommel launches a drive to push the British eastward.
1942
Count Basie and His Orchestra recorded "One O'Clock Jump" in New York for Okeh Records.
1942
Singer Mac Davis born
1942
Singer Edwin Starr born
1943
A Nazi daylight air raid kills 34 in a London school.
1943
Bela Bartok made his final concert appearance. The composer and his wife played the starring roles in his ``Concerto for Two Pianos and Percussion.'' At one point Bartok lost his concentration and began making stuff up.
1947
Actress Jill Eikenberry born
1947
The Swiss city of Basel was again the scene of a world premiere. This time it was Honnegger's 4th Symphony, subtitled "Basle Delights." This is one of Honnegger's lighter symphonies.
1950
A federal jury in New York found former State Department official Alger Hiss guilty of perjury.
1950
Singer-songwriter Billy Ocean born
1950
George Orwell (Eric Arthur Blair), author of "1984," died in London.
1954
The first atomic submarine, the USS "Nautilus," was launched at Groton, Connecticut.
1956
Actor Robby Benson born
1957
Actress Geena Davis born
1957
Patsy Cline appeared on ``Arthur Godfrey's Talent Scouts.''
1959
Director and producer Cecil B. deMille dies. ( ``The Ten Commandments.'')
1963
Basketball player Hakeem Olajuwon born
1965
Hassan Ali Mansur, the prime minister of Persia, was assassinated.
1965
Rap DJ Jam Master Jay (Run-DMC) born
1968
Actress Charlotte Ross ("Days of Our Lives") born
1969
Actress Karina Lombard born
1970
Rapper Levirt (B-Rock and the Bizz) born
1974
The U.S. Supreme Court decides that pregnant teachers can no longer be forced to take long leaves of absence.
1976
Leonid Brezhnev and Henry Kissinger meet to discuss Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty (SALT).
1976
The supersonic Concorde jet was put into service by Britain and France.
1977
President Carter pardoned American Vietnam War-era draft evaders and ordered a case-by-case study of deserters.
1977
President Carter urges 65 degrees as the maximum heat in homes to ease the energy crisis.
1978
Singer Emma "Baby Spice" Bunton (The Spice Girls) born
1979
Rhythm-and-blues singer Nokio (Dru Hill) born
1984
Britain's first test-tube triplets -- a girl and two boys -- were born to a couple in London. The mother was Anne Maaye.
1988
An anti-acne drug known as "Retin-A" got a boost with the release of a study published in the "Journal of the American Medical Association" that said the skin cream could also reduce wrinkles caused by exposure to the sun.
1989
Former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke led a field of seven candidates in an open primary to advance to a runoff election for a Louisiana state House seat.
1990
Washington Mayor Marion Barry said he would seek help but did not publicly concede he had used illegal drugs. He left the next day for a treatment program in Florida.
1990
In the Soviet republic of Azerbaijan, mutinous military cadets fired on troops patrolling the capital during a crackdown on a nationalist uprising.
1991
Iraq announced it would use hostages as human shields against allied warplanes. President Bush denounced Iraq's treatment of POW's, and said Iraqi President Saddam Hussein would be held responsible.
1991
CBS News correspondent Bob Simon, CBS News London bureau chief Peter Bluff, a cameraman and soundman were captured by Iraqi forces; they were released almost six weeks later.
1992
Billy Idol pleaded guilty to misdemeanor battery charges for punching a woman he'd just met at a Los Angeles restaurant.
1993
It's announced that Hillary Clinton will work out of a White House office near the Oval Office, an unprecedented move in first lady history.
1993
Two US warplanes fired on and bombed an Iraqi air defense radar site in northern Iraq after radar was turned on them -- Iraq denied provoking the attack.
1994
Lorena Bobbitt is found innocent by reason of insanity in the June 1993 attack on her husband, John. She'd cut off his penis while he slept. The organ was surgically reattached.
1995
President Clinton, addressing the Democratic National Committee, implored members to "bear down and go forward" despite the results of the 1994 elections.
1996
At the 53rd annual Golden Globes, "Sense and Sensibility" won best dramatic picture; "Babe" won best comedy; best dramatic acting awards went to Nicolas Cage for "Leaving Las Vegas" and Sharon Stone for "Casino," while awards for acting in a comedy or musical went to Nicole Kidman for "To Die For" and John Travolta for "Get Shorty."
1997
American composer Irwin J. Levine died. ( ``Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Old Oak Tree.'' The song is tied with the Beatles' ``Yesterday'' as the most recorded song in the history of music. He also wrote ``Knock Three Times'' and ``This Diamond Ring.'')
1997
Speaker Newt Gingrich was reprimanded and fined as the House voted for first time in history to discipline its leader for ethical misconduct.
1997
Trying to improve its tarnished image, the Democratic National Committee announced it would no longer accept money from people or companies with foreign ties and would limit contributions from labor unions and wealthy benefactors.
1998
Pope John Paul the Second began a historic pilgrimage to Cuba.
1998
Actor Jack Lord of "Hawaii Five-O" fame died in Honolulu at age 77.
1998
John Gotti Jr., who allegedly runs the Gambino mob his jailed father once headed, was arrested for his alleged role in a far-reaching racketeering and extortion ring. Gotti, 33, of Mill Neck, N.Y. was among 32 defendants rounded up by law enforcement authorities in pre-dawn raids at numerous locations in metropolitan New York.
1998
President Clinton denied having an "improper" relationship with the then 21-year-old woman, Monica Lewinsky, or that he tried to cover it up by urging her to lie to lawyers. He also has denied sexually harassing Jones or anyone else.
1998
Iraq asked the UN to freeze arms inspections at sensitive "presidential sites," a move immediately condemned by the chief UN weapons inspector as "flying in the face" of Security Council demands.
1998
Opening arguments were held in a lawsuit by Texas cattlemen who charge that talk-show hostess Oprah Winfrey drove down livestock prices in a 1996 program about mad cow disease. The cattlemen, led by feedlot owner Paul Engler, say a Winfrey show, in which she swore off hamburgers because of concerns about contracting mad cow disease, cost them $12 million.
1999
Raul Salinas de Gortari, the brother of a former Mexican president, was convicted of masterminding the murder of rival Jose Francisco Ruiz Massieu and sentenced to 50 years.
1999
Former Senator Dale Bumpers told the Senate impeachment trial of Bill Clinton the president was guilty of a "terrible moral lapse" but not of conduct warranting or even permitting his removal from office.
2000
The grandmothers of Elian Gonzalez traveled to the United States to plead for the boy's return to Cuba.
2005
Methane Rain in Titan's Rivers
2005
Beazley may face challengers for leadership
2005
Romanians to pay power bills via SMS
2005
Romanian band to hold concert for tsunami victims
2005
Romanian president warns of high-level corruption
2005
Bob Jones III to retire
2005
Jan Nowak-Jezioranski Dies
2005
NASA's Swift detects possible birth of black hole
2005
Unrest in Belize Civil Unrest in Belize
2005
Conference discusses the credibility of blogs
2006
London whale dies
2006
Ayman al-Zawahiri releases new tape
2006
Euromillions lottery jackpot set to rise to £100m
2006
Many SAG Awards presenters announced
2006
Rescue teams try to save London whale
2006
Rescuers find remains of West Virginia miners
2006
Maryland Judge throws out law banning gay marriages
2006
Kosovo president Ibrahim Rugova dies
2006
Portugal to produce new Volkswagen model in 2008
2006
Alan Carpenter "effectively" new Western Australian Premier
2006
Australian Defence Minister resigns
2006
Experts fear for the health of London whale
2007
UK freedom of information acts come into effect
2007
Sydney councils pay investigators to have sex with prostitutes
2007
A1 Grand Prix Taupo, New Zealand results
2007
UK firms encouraged to make the Web speak
2007
Oil leaking container ship might cause environmental catastrophe
2007
Suspected assassin of Turkish-Armenian journalist arrested
2007
Series of earthquakes hit Korea, Indonesia, Turkey and Norway
2007
Ricky Hatton regains IBF light welterweight title
2007
Fire breaks out in Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park, Australia
2007
Europe hit by storms, 45 deaths reported
2008
World stocks plunge on fears on US recession
2008
Martin Luther King day commemorated by US citizens
2008
Israeli spy satellite launched by Indian rocket
2008
Nikolić wins first round of Serbian presidential election
2008
Widening rift between Islam, West: Gallup poll
2009
Portland, Oregon mayor admits to sexual relationship he previously denied
2009
UN chief visits Gaza, demands investigation into attacks on UN facilities
2009
Australian writer Harry Nicolaides jailed for three years for insulting Thai Royal Family
2009
ASEAN basketball league moves closer to reality
2010
Scott Brown wins special election for Massachusetts's Senate seat in upset victory
2010
67th Annual Golden Globe Award highlights
2010
Eight killed in Virginia shooting, suspect surrenders
2010
TV host Conan O'Brien accepts US$45 million settlement with NBC
2010
UK woman convicted of 'mercy' murder of son
2011
Injured NASA astronaut replaced on crew of upcoming mission
2012
US singer Etta James dies aged 73
2012
First Czech Winter Olympics champion Jiří Raška dies at age 70
2012
Gujarat high court refutes Modi's objection to Lokyukta's appointment
2013
AFCON 2013: Hosts South Africa draw 0-0 with Cape Verde Islands

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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