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Today in History

1848
Gold found at Sutter's Mill near Sacramento
1917
US Navy seaman and award winning actor, Ernest Borgnine born in Hamden, Connecticut
1939
Grammy Award winning musician, songwriter and singer, Ray Stevens born in Clarkdale, Georgia
1941
Grammy Award winning musician, songwriter and singer, Neil Diamond born in New York City
1946
Actress, screenwriter and dancer, Haji born Barbarella Catton in Qu├ębec
1947
Grammy Award winning musician, singer and songwriter, Warren Zevon born in Chicago, Illinois
1949
Emmy Award winning actor, comedian and singer, John Adam Belushi born in the city of Chicago
1950
Centerfold model, actress and author, Gennifer Flowers born in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
1968
Olympic Gold Medalist gymnast, Mary Lou Retton born in Fairmont, West Virginia
1969
Data General's Nova introduced
1984
Apple Macintosh goes on sale
1996
Specialist Michael New gets bad conduct discharge for refusing to wear UN colors
41
Gaius Caesar (Caligula), Roman emperor from 37, was murdered. Caligula, or Little Boots, was a nickname he acquired as a child.
76
Hadrian, 14th Roman Emperor born
97
Death of St. Timothy
661
Murder of Ali by a Kharajite
772
Death of Pope Stephen IV
1076
The Synod of Worms took place at which German bishops renounced their allegiance to Pope Gregory, who in turn excommunicated Henry IV.
1376
Death of Richard, Earl of Arundel
1458
Matthias Corvinus elected King of Hungary
1521
Magellan discovers St. Paul's Island in the Pacific
1522
The town council of Wittenberg, Germany imposes an order regulating church finances and forms of worship
1656
1st Jewish doctor in US, Jacob Lumbrozo, arrives in Maryland
1712
Frederick II (the Great), King of Prussia. born
1800
British social reformer Sir Edwin Chadwick born
1818
Anglican clergyman John Mason Neale. He was one of the first to translate ancient Greek and Latin hymns into English. Neale thus rendered the hymns known today as "All Glory, Laud, and Honor," "Good Christian Men, Rejoice" and "O Come, O Come, Emmanuel." born
1848
Gold was discovered by James Wilson Marshall at his partner Johann August Sutter's sawmill on the South Fork of the American River, near Coloma, California. Initial press reports were largely ignored. Only when President Polk announced the news in December did the gold rush of '49 begin.
1862
Author Edith (Jones) Wharton (The Age of Innocence) born
1875
Saint-Saens's "Danse Macabre" premiered in Paris.
1888
Ernst Heinrich Heinkel, built 1st rocket-powered aircraft. born
1888
The typewriter ribbon was patented by Jacob L. Wortman of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
1895
Lord Randolph Churchill, British politician and influential leader of the Conservative Party, died.
1899
Humphrey O'Sullivan patented the rubber heel.
1899
The rubber heel is patented by Humphrey O'Sullivan.
1903
U.S. Secretary of State John Hay and British Ambassador Herbert create a joint commission to establish the Alaskan border.
1908
The first Boy Scout troop was organized in England by Sir Robert Baden-Powell, a general in the British Army.
1909
Actress Ann Todd The Human Factor, Scream of Fear, Madeleine, The Seventh Veil) born
1911
U.S. Cavalry is sent to preserve the neutrality of the Rio Grande during the Mexican Civil War.
1913
Composer Norman Dello Joio (New York) born
1915
TV game show producer Mark Goodson (Pop the Question, What's My Line, I've Got a Secret, Family Feud, The Price is Right) born
1916
U.S. Supreme Court finds the income tax is constitutional.
1917
Actor Ernest Borgnine (Marty, The Poseidon Adventure, The Dirty Dozen, McHale's Navy) born
1918
Evangelist Oral Roberts born
1919
Leon Kirchner born
1922
Carl Nielsen's 5th Symphony was premiered in Copenhagen.
1922
Christian K. Nelson of Onawa, Iowa, patented the Eskimo Pie.
1925
Prima ballerina Maria Tallchief born
1927
British expeditionary force of 12,000 is sent to China to protect concessions at Shanghai.
1931
The League of Nations rebukes Poland for the mistreatment of a German minority in Upper Silesia.
1935
Krueger Cream Ale, the first beer to be sold in cans, went on sale in Richmond, Virginia.
1936
Benny Goodman and his orchestra recorded one of the all-time greats: "Stompin' at the Savoy", on Victor Records.
1936
Singer Jack (Scafone) Scott (My True Love, Goodbye Baby, What In the World's Come Over You, Burning Bridges) born
1936
Cajun musician Doug Kershaw (Louisiana Man, Diggy Liggy Lo) born
1937
Singer songwriter Bobby Scott (Chain Gang, A Taste of Honey) born
1939
Singer-songwriter Ray (Ragsdale) Stevens ( Everything Is Beautiful, Mr. Businessman; #1 novelty recording artist: Ahab, the Arab, Gitarzan, The Streak) born
1941
Singer-songwriter Neil Diamond born
1941
Singer Aaron Neville born
1943
President Roosevelt and British Prime Minister Churchill concluded a wartime conference in Casablanca, Morocco.
1944
Actress Julie Gregg (From Hell to Borneo, The Seekers) born
1944
Minnesota Vikings corner back Bobby Lee Bryant born
1946
The UN establishes the International Atomic Energy Commission. The Commission was established after the atomic bombing of Hiroshima in 1945.
1946
Actor Michael Ontkean born
1947
Singer Warren Zevon (Werewolves of London, She Quit Me Man, Hasten Down the Wind, Poor, Poor Pitiful Me, Roland, the Headless Thompson Gunner, The Envoy) born
1949
Comedian John Belushi (Second City improvisational troupe, original cast: Saturday Night LiveThe Blues Brothers) born
1950
Country singer-songwriter Becky Hobbs born
1951
Comedian Yakov Smirnoff born
1951
Indian leader Nehru assails the U.S. and demands the UN to name Peking as an aggressor in Korea.
1952
The British appoint Vincent Massey as the first Canadian to serve as Governor General of Canada.
1960
Actress Nastassja Kinski (Terminal Velocity, The Hotel New Hampshire, Paris Texas, Exposed, Tess, For Your Love Only) born
1961
A U.S. B-52 bomber with two 24-megaton nuclear bombs crashed near Goldsboro, North Carolina.
1963
Country musician Keech Rainwater (Lonestar) born
1965
Winston Churchill died in London at age 90.
1968
Olympic gold-medal gymnast Mary Lou Retton born
1969
General Franco declared martial law in Spain following disturbances which led to nearly 300 arrests. It lasted until March 25.
1970
Rhythm-and-blues singer Pat "Sleepy" Brown (Society of Soul) born
1972
Japanese soldier Shoichi Yokoi was discovered on Guam, having spent 28 years hiding in the jungle thinking the war was still going on.
1972
The Supreme Court struck down laws that denied welfare benefits to people who had resided in a state for less than a year.
1973
`Little' Donny Osmond, of the famed Osmond Brothers, received a gold record for his album, "Too Young."
1978
A nuclear-powered Soviet satellite, Cosmos 954, plunged through Earth's atmosphere and disintegrated, scattering radioactive debris over parts of northern Canada.
1979
Actress Tatyana Ali ("The Fresh Prince of Bel Air") born
1980
A rebuff to the Soviets, the U.S. announces intentions to sell arms to China.
1982
A draft of Air Force history reports that the U.S. secretly
1986
The "Voyager Two" space probe swept past Uranus, coming within 50,679 miles of the seventh planet of the solar system.
1987
Gunmen in Lebanon kidnapped educators Alann Steen, Jesse Turner and Robert Polhill and Mitheleshwar Singh (all were later released).
1987
About 20,000 civil rights demonstrators marched through predominantly white Forsyth County, Georgia, a week after a smaller march was disrupted by Ku Klux Klan members and supporters.
1988
The government of Haiti declared Leslie Manigat winner of that country's presidential election. (However, Manigat was overthrown by Haiti's military leader, Lieutenant General Henri Hamphy, the following June.)
1989
Confessed serial killer Theodore Bundy was put to death in Florida's electric chair for the 1978 kidnap-murder of 12-year-old Kimberly Leach.
1989
The Rev. Barbara C. Harris, 55, of Boston, was confirmed as the first female bishop in the 450-year history of the Anglican Church.
1990
The House of Representatives voted, 390-to-25, to override President Bush's veto of legislation protecting Chinese students from deportation (however, Bush prevailed in a Senate vote the next day).
1991
Japan pledged $9 billion more to the Gulf War effort, which brought angry rejoinders from Iraq.
1993
Thomas A. Dorsey, known as the father of gospel music for adding rhythm to church hymns, died at age 93.
1993
Retired Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall died in Bethesda, Maryland, at age 84.
1993
Keith Jarrett recorded most of the major Bach keyboard series for ECM New Series, including the entire "Well-Tempered Clavier", the "Goldberg Variations," and the "French Suites."
1994
President Clinton promoted William J. Perry, the Pentagon's number-two man, to the post of defense secretary.
1994
The Supreme Court ruled unanimously that protesters who block access to abortion clinics or in other ways conspire to stop women from having abortions may be sued under federal anti-racketeering statutes.
1994
A federal judge upheld a subpoena from the Senate Ethics Committee for the diaries of Sen. Bob Packwood, R-Ore., who was facing allegations of sexual harassment and other possible misconduct.
1995
A U.S. airman and his 10-year-old son given up for dead in snow-covered mountains in Turkey were found alive after living on snow
1995
The prosecution gave its opening statement at the O.J. Simpson murder trial.
1995
President Clinton appealed for common ground as he delivered his second State of the Union address, this time before a Republican-led Congress.
1996
Chechen rebels released 42 hostages seized in a raid in southern Russia after a two-week ordeal in which dozens of separatist fighters and many Russian soldiers were killed.
1996
The Warsaw military prosecutor launched a formal probe into allegations Prime Minister Jozef Oleksy had spied for Moscow.
1996
The fat substitute Olestra was approved for sale by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
1997
Publix Super Markets, accused of relegating women to dead-end, low-paying jobs, agreed to pay $81.5 million to settle a class-action lawsuit.
1997
The White House released guest lists showing that in the year and a-half before his re-election, President Clinton invited more than 400 of his party's top financial supporters to coffee klatches for informal chats about his policies.
1998
Pope John Paul the Second, delivering blunt political messages during his visit to Cuba, called for the release of "prisoners of conscience" and respect for freedom of expression, initiative and association.
1998
President Clinton, in his weekly radio address, unveiled a proposal to root out Medicare fraud.
1999
Olympic leaders recommended the expulsions of six International Olympic Committee members in an unprecedented response to the biggest corruption scandal in the history of the games.
1999
House prosecutors interviewed Monica Lewinsky, a move that triggered fresh partisan convulsions in President Clinton's impeachment trial.
2005
Top Zarqawi ally captured
2005
Militant group declares war on Iraq poll
2005
Relativity turns 100
2005
Northeast US blizzards create havoc
2005
Woman appointed as Bucharest prefect
2005
Romanian PM visits Brussels
2005
Romanian Social Democrats criticise flat tax
2005
Lithuania plans to adopt euro in 2007
2005
Venezuela-Colombia crisis continues
2005
Taiwan's cabinet resigns
2005
Google plans free Internet phone service
2005
China Hands Stiff Sentences to 27 Farmers Over Land Seizure Protest
2005
Report: The Pentagon's new powers
2006
The WB and UPN networks to become the CW network
2006
Canadian federal elections underway
2006
Conservative party wins minority government in Canada
2006
Montenegro trainwreck kills 44, injures over 100
2006
Exclusive: David Anderson talks about the Stardust@home project
2006
Interview: Danny O'Brien of the Electronic Frontier Foundation
2006
No jail for army interrogator over death of Iraqi general
2006
Disney buys Pixar
2006
U.S. Democrats highlight water quality issues for troops in Iraq
2006
Australian Prime Minister announces results of reshuffle
2006
Study: Partisan political thought is predominantly unconscious & emotional
2006
Julian McGauran defects from Australian National Party
2007
US troops in the Philippines to resume activities
2007
New Zealand policeman caught speeding discharged
2007
Economy center stage in French elections
2007
MySpace to display AMBER Alerts
2007
Glastonbury headliners announced
2007
Senate panel votes 12-9 against troop increase in Iraq
2007
Man attacked by shark now safe in hospital
2007
Microsoft offers to pay blogger to 'correct' Wikipedia article
2007
Papua New Guinea police chief attacked, houses torched in response
2008
Pakistan army says scores of Islamic militants killed, captured
2008
Texas UFOs were actually jets, Air Force says
2008
Gaming executives gather for the Taipei Game Show
2008
Title of 22nd "James Bond" movie announced
2008
Italian PM Prodi loses confidence vote, resigns
2008
Dennis Kucinich quits U.S. Presidential race
2008
Suicide bomb kills Iraqi police chief at site of previous attack
2008
Asteroid to fly by Earth
2008
Italy's PM Prodi faces confidence vote
2009
Details emerge on fatal stabbing at Belgian day care centre
2011
'Bang bang': UK mercenary charged with murdering colleagues gives evidence in Iraq
2012
Self-immolating law grad dies in Morocco
2012
Russia leases submarine K-152 Nerpa to India for ten years
2013
Pentagon announces end to ban on women in combat
2013
'Imminent threat' as Foreign Office urges Britons to leave Benghazi

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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