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Today in History

LOTR...
Gandalf falls in Moria
St. Dwynwen's Day (Welsh patron saint of lovers)
1759
Celebrated poet Robert Burns born in Alloway, Scotland
1874
Playwright, short story writer and novelist, W. Somerset Maugham born in Paris, France
1882
Essayist and novelist, Virginia Woolf born Adeline Virginia Stephen in London, England
1890
United Mine Workers formed
1919
League of Nations founded
1921
Physicist and inventor of the neutron bomb, Samuel T Cohen born in Brooklyn, New York
1924
Record producer and pedal steel guitar player, Speedy West born Wesley Webb West in Springfield, Missouri
1931
US Navy seaman, singer, dancer and actor, Dean Jones born in Decatur, Alabama
1945
Stage, screen and TV actress, Leigh Taylor-Young born in Washington, DC
1958
First US meeting of ALGOL committee
1980
Middle school teacher, personal trainer and WWE wrestling champion Michelle McCool born in Palatka, Florida
1981
Grammy Award winning musician and singer, Alicia Keys born in Hell's Kitchen, New York
1981
Actress, TV host and singer, Clara Morgane born in Marseille, France
98
Death of Nerva, Roman Emperor
363
Death of Sts. Juventinus and Maximinus
477
Death of Gaiseric, King of the Vandals
749
Leo IV (the Khazar), Byzantine Emperor born
817
Consecration of Paschal I as Pope
1077
Emperor Henry IV submits to Pope Gregory VII at Canossa
1138
Death of Anacletus, anti-Pope
1356
Edward III, King of England, having no further use for him, pensions off Edward Balliol, "King" of Scots
1494
Death of Ferrante I, King of Aragon
1498
Vasco da Gama reaches Quelimane, on the Sofala coast
1502
Marriage of Margaret, daughter of Henry VII, King of England, to James IV, King of Scotland
1533
England's King Henry the Eighth secretly married his second wife, Anne Boleyn (who later gave birth to Elizabeth the First).
1559
Elizabeth I's first Parliament convenes
1579
The Treaty of Utrecht was signed, marking the beginning of the Dutch Republic.
1627
Irish natural philosopher Robert Boyle, a founder of modern chemistry born
1627
Death of Louis Hebert
1640
Death of Robert Burton
1759
Scottish poet Robert Burns born
1783
Soapmaker and philanthropist William Colgate born
1787
Shays's Rebellion suffered a setback when debt-ridden farmers led by Captain Daniel Shays failed to capture an arsenal at Springfield, Massachusetts.
1817
Rossini's version of "Cinderella" premiered in Rome.
1858
Mendelssohn's "Wedding March" was presented for the first time, as the daughter of Queen Victoria married the Crown Prince of Prussia.
1860
Charles Curtis, 31st U.S. Vice President. born
1874
Novelist, poet William Somerset Maugham (Of Human Bondage, The Razor's Edge) born
1878
A Turkish steamer became the first ship to be sunk by a torpedo, fired from a Russian boat.
1882
Novelist Virginia Woolf born
1890
Nellie Bly, a young New York reporter, completed a trip around the world in the astounding time of 72 days, six hours and 11 minutes.
1890
The United Mine Workers of America was founded.
1902
Russia abolishes the death penalty.
1904
Two-hundred coal miners are entombed in an explosion in Pennsylvania.
1908
Five San Francisco scientists photograph the corona of the sun.
1909
The controversial Richard Strauss opera "Elektra" was premiered in Dresden.
1913
Composer Witold Lutoslawski (Warsaw) born
1915
The inventor of the telephone, Alexander Graham Bell, inaugurated US transcontinental telephone service when Alexander Bell in New York calls Thomas Watson in San Francisco.
1918
Austria and Germany reject U.S. peace proposals.
1919
Journalist-author Edwin Newman born
1919
The League of Nation's plan is adopted by the Allies.
1924
Sportscaster Lou Groza born
1924
The first Winter Olympics began at Chamonix, France.
1925
Pianist Barbara Carroll born
1926
Basketball Hall of Famer Dick McGuire `Tricky Dick' born
1927
Jack Benny married Sadye Marks (Mary Livingstone).
1927
Actor Gregg Palmer born
1928
Georgian President Eduard Shevardnadze born
1929
Members of the New York Stock Exchange ask for an additional 275 seats.
1930
New York police rout a Communist rally at the Town Hall.
1931
Actor Dean Jones (The Love Bug, Tea and Sympathy, Beethoven) born
1932
The U.S.S.R. signs a non-aggression pact with Poland.
1933
The former president of the Philippines, Corazon Aquino born
1934
Actress Elizabeth Allen (The Paul Lynde Show, C.P.O. Sharkey, Bracken's World) born
1936
Actress Diana (Gentner) Hyland (The Boy in the Plastic Bubble, One Man's Way, Eight is Enough, Peyton Place) born
1937
NBC radio presented the first broadcast of "The Guiding Light". The program became the longest-running story line in daytime drama. The radio show remained until 1956. "The Guiding Light" began its long run on CBS-TV in 1952.
1938
Blues singer Etta James (Wallflower, Good Rockin' Daddy, All I Could Do Was Cry, Tell Me Mama, I've Found a Love) born
1940
Mary Martin recorded "My Heart Belongs to Daddy" -- for Decca Records.
1941
Auto racer Buddy Baker (Fastest win ever in the Daytona 500 177.602mph ) born
1942
Football Defensive end Carl Eller born
1943
Movie director Tobe Hooper ("The Texas Chainsaw Massacre") born
1944
Actress Leigh Taylor-Young (I Love You Alice B. Toklas, Soylent Green, Can't Stop the Music, Honeymoon Academy, Peyton Place, Dallas) born
1945
Baseball pitcher Wally Bunker born
1946
The United Mine Workers rejoined the American Federation of Labor.
1947
American gangster Al Capone died in Miami Beach, Florida, at age 48.
1949
1st Emmy Awards are given out.
1950
U.S. State Department official Alger Hiss was found guilty of perjury after he concealed his membership in the Communist Party.
1954
Songwriter and musician Richard Finch (Group Sunshine Band: Blow Your Whistle, Do It Good, Queen of Hearts, Rock Your Baby, Get Down Tonight, That's the Way [I like It], Please Don't Go) born
1955
Columbia University scientists develop an atomic clock that is accurate to within one second in 300 years.
1956
Khrushchev says that he believes that Eisenhower is sincere in his efforts to abolish war.
1957
Actress Jenifer Lewis born
1958
Actress Dinah Manoff (I Ought to be in Pictures, Soap, Empty Nest) born
1959
American Airlines opened the jet age in the United States with the first scheduled transcontinental flight of a Boeing 707. (LA to NY for $301).
1959
Pope John XXIII, 90 days after his election, announced his intention to hold an ecumenical church council. (The Vatican II Council officially opened October 11, 1962 and closed December 8, 1965.)
1960
Andy Cox born
1961
President Kennedy held the first presidential news conference carried live on radio and television.
1964
The Beatles reached the #1 spot on the music charts, as their hit single, "I Want to Hold Your Hand" grabbed the top position.
1966
Country musician Mike Burch (River Road) born
1969
Rhythm-and-blues singer Kina Cosper (Brownstone) born
1970
Richard Griece born
1971
Charles Manson and three women followers were convicted in Los Angeles of murder and conspiracy in the 1969 slayings of seven people, including actress Sharon Tate.
1971
Army officers led by Idi Amin deposed Milton Obote, and he became president of Uganda.
1972
Shirley Chisholm announces candidacy for president as Democrat.
1972
Actress China Kantner born
1972
Nixon airs the eight-point peace plan for Vietnam, asking for POW release in return for withdrawal.
1978
Muriel Humphrey was appointed to fill the Senate seat left vacant by the death of her husband, Hubert H. Humphrey of Minnesota.
1984
President Reagan endorses the development of the first U.S. permanently manned space station.
1986
NASA postponed the launch of the space shuttle Challenger, originally planned for the next day, because of an unfavorable weather forecast.
1988
His final State of the Union address, President Reagan declared America was "strong, prosperous, at peace," and called for approval of the INF Treaty by Congress and renewal of aid for the Nicaraguan Contras.
1988
Vice President George Bush and Dan Rather clashed on "The CBS Evening News" as the anchorman attempted to question the Republican presidential candidate about his role in the Iran-Contra affair.
1989
The Senate Armed Services Committee opened confirmation hearings on the nomination of John Tower to be secretary of defense.
1990
Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto gave birth to a girl, the first-ever head of government to give birth while still in office.
1990
A Colombian jetliner with little fuel left crashed in Long Island, N.Y., after missing its first approach to Kennedy Airport. 73 people were killed.
1990
Actress Ava Gardner died in London at age 67.
1990
The Senate failed by four votes to override President Bush's veto of a statutory guarantee of asylum for Chinese students in United States.
1991
Utah Govenor Norman Bangerter signed into law the strictest anti-abortion measure in the nation.
1991
Military officials said Iraq had sabotaged Kuwait's main supertanker loading pier, dumping millions of gallons of crude oil into the Persian Gulf.
1991
Missiles fired from western Iraq struck in the Tel Aviv and Haifa areas, killing one Israeli and injuring more than 40 others.
1993
A gunman shot and killed two CIA employees outside agency headquarters in Virginia (a Pakistani national, Mir Aimal Kansi, was later tried and convicted of the shootings).
1993
President Clinton appointed his wife, Hillary, to head a committee on health-care reform.
1993
Sears Roebuck & Co. announced it was shutting down its pioneering catalog operation.
1994
The United States launched "Clementine One," an unmanned spacecraft that was to study the moon before it was "lost and gone forever."
1994
Michael Jackson reached an out-of-court settlement in the civil lawsuit brought by a teenage boy who accused the performer of molesting him.
1994
President Clinton delivered his State of the Union address in which he challenged Congress to pass comprehensive health care reforms.
1995
A missile fired by Norway as part of a scientific research program triggered an air defense alert in Russia.
1995
The defense gave its opening statement in the O.J. Simpson trial in Los Angeles, saying Simpson was the victim of a "rush to judgment" by authorities who had mishandled evidence and ignored witnesses.
1996
The Council of Europe parliamentary assembly voted to admit Russia to the 38-nation body despite fierce criticism of its military crackdown in Chechnya and its human rights record.
1996
With Republicans bruised by two government shutdowns, the House overwhelmingly approved legislation to keep federal agencies running through March 15th, 1996.
1997
Responding to recent cases of deadly food poisoning, President Clinton said in his weekly radio address that he would seek 43 million dollars to implement a state-of-the-art early warning system for food contamination.
1997
As predicted astrologer Jeane Dixon died in Washington DC at age 79.
1998
Pope John Paul the Second ended his historic journey to Cuba. The pope criticized Cuba's state education system, called for political prisoners to be "reinserted into society" and urged freedom of expression and religious freedom.
1998
American astronaut Andrew Thomas moved from the space shuttle "Endeavour" into the Russian space station "Mir" as the relief for David Wolf.
1998
The Denver Broncos won their first Super Bowl title in four tries, defeating the Green Bay Packers, 31-to-24. A spontaneous Super Bowl street party stared peacefuly but ended with helmeted police using tear gas to disperse revelers who were overturning cars and looting. Twenty people were arrested and 40 were injured during the celebration by an estimated 20,000 jubilant fans.
1999
A powerful earthquake rocked Colombia, killing more than one-thousand people.
1999
The Supreme Court ruled, five-to-four, that the 2000 census could not use statistical sampling to enhance its accuracy.
1999
In Louisville, Kentucky, a man who'd lost his left hand received the first hand transplant in the United States.
1999
Jury selection began in Jasper, Texas, in the trial of John William King, accused in the dragging death of James Byrd Junior.
2000
Under government orders, the Florida relatives of Elian Gonzalez agreed to make the boy available for a meeting with his Cuban grandmothers at a neutral site.
2000
Lesbian pro tennis player, Martina Navratilova entered the International Tennis Hall of Fame.
2005
Lab creates petrified wood
2005
Google launches Video Search
2005
Mars Rover tracks viewed from orbit
2005
Rumsfeld Skips Munich Security Conference
2005
City of São Paulo celebrates 451 years of existence
2005
Frank Hsieh named new Taiwanese premier
2005
Don Brash at Orewa: 'Whatever happened to personal responsibility?'
2005
FBI places limitation on public viewing of files
2005
Academy Award Nominees Announced
2006
Fears about Songhua settled
2006
New report details strain on US Army
2006
Iran accused of blocking BBC Website
2006
Iran promises retaliation for Israeli action against nuclear facilities
2006
Scientists discover Earth-like planet
2006
Business jet crashes in California killing four
2006
CIA "rendition" confirmed in Europe CIA
2007
Two major political parties protest placards used in Armenian-Turkish journalist's funeral
2007
Study says to clean your sponge, microwave it
2007
Militant group 'protests' placards used in Armenian-Turkish journalist's funeral
2007
Sex offender pretends to be 12 years old; enrolls into seventh grade
2007
Ontario Green Party leader to run in byelection
2007
Living fossil caught off coast of Japan
2007
Amsterdam pet shop owner creates beer for dogs
2007
Four killed in sectarian clashes in Beirut
2007
New Zealand police defend decision to charge speeding policeman
2008
"Unauthorized" Tom Cruise bio hits number one on Amazon.com, New York Times best sellers list
2008
Oregon court lets child decide on own circumcision
2008
International participants showcase different industry cultures at Taipei Game Show
2008
Thomas Cecil Gray, pioneer in anesthesiology, dead at 94
2008
Sony Computer Entertainment announce talent project to help digital content industry in Taiwan
2008
Monte Carlo hotel and casino in Las Vegas, Nevada catches fire
2008
Car bomb in Beirut kills 6, including top police investigator
2008
President Bush, Congress agree on economic stimulus package
2008
Toronto Maple Leafs name Fletcher interim GM
2008
Argentina: TV channel taken off the air in Mendoza at rival’s request
2009
Thousands of jobs to go at Corus
2009
Indian Premier Manmohan Singh undergoes heart bypass; Pranab Mukherjee takes charge
2009
Hurricane-force winds kill 15 people as storm hits Europe
2009
Former Prime Minister of Senegal Mamadou Dia dies
2009
British newspaper makes House of Lords bribery claims
2009
Thousands of pounds worth of damage caused to railway station and stonework in Bath, England
2010
Explosion in Afghanistan kills British soldier
2010
People limited to 150 friends, despite Facebook, says academic
2010
Man caught driving 111 kph over limit in Australia
2010
Ethiopian airliner crashes into Mediterranean Sea
2010
Inuk hunter adrift on arctic ice floe
2010
Shooting near mine in Indonesia wounds at least six
2010
Three Yemeni troops killed in shooting
2010
Haitian minister: Over 150,000 dead in capital after earthquake
2010
US flight from Washington, DC diverted after man reportedly tries to open door
2010
"Osama to Obama": Bin Laden addresses US President
2010
Seven-year-old raises £100,000 for Haiti in sponsored bike ride
2010
English "Lady in the Lake" killer found dead in prison cell
2010
Ambidextrous children more likely to have problems at school, say researchers
2010
Bomb explosion in Somaliland kills four cops
2010
Spokesman: Saudi government donating US$50 million to Haiti
2010
48 whales beached in New Zealand
2010
Sam's Club to cut 11,000 jobs
2010
Bill Gates: Full economic recovery could take years
2010
Bomb explosions kill several people in central Baghdad
2010
Iranian passenger flight catches fire
2010
David Abraham appointed as new chief executive of British Channel 4
2010
Iranian air politician blames pilot error for yesterday's jet crash
2010
Gordon Brown: Extra troops for Afghanistan, Yemen security the focus for int'l conference
2010
Technical problem on Airbus A400M maiden flight
2010
US home sales fall at fastest pace on record
2010
Woman killed in house fire in South Yorkshire, England
2010
Chicago man pleads "not guilty" to Mumbai attack plot charges
2010
Iraq executes "Chemical Ali"
2010
Leaders of UK, Ireland meet for emergency justice talks
2010
Trial begins for Canadian soldier accused of murder in battlefield killing
2011
Final US manufacturer ceases production of lethal injection drug; executions delayed
2012
One year on: Egyptians mark anniversary of protests that toppled Mubarak
2012
Geoffrey Rush named Australian of the Year
2013
UK government formally launches same-sex marriage legislation in Parliament
2013
Syrian refugees continue to enter Jordan as situation becomes 'critical'
2013
Mumbai 2008 attack plotter sentenced to 35 years
2013
British 4G mobile spectrum auction underway
2013
UK economy shrinks by 0.3% in fourth quarter of 2012
2013
Israelis re-elect Netanyahu, centre-left rises

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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