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Today in History

Australia Day
1788
Sydney, Australia settled
1808
Rum Puncheon Rebellion
1880
Medal of Honor recipient and General of the Army, Douglas MacArthur born in Little Rock, Arkansas
1920
Henry Leland forms Lincoln Motor Company
1925
Race car driver, director, philanthropist and Academy Award winning actor, Paul Newman born in Shaker Heights, Ohio
1946
Film critic Gene Siskel born in Chicago, Illinois
1952
EDVAC demonstrated
1955
Rock & Roll Hall of Fame singer and guitarist, Eddie Van Halen born in Amsterdam, Netherlands
1957
Eight time Grammy Award winning jazz singer, Anita Baker born in Detroit, Michigan
1958
Emmy Award winning actress, comedienne and talk show host, Ellen Lee Degeneres born in Metarie, Louisiana
1961
NHL All-Star hockey player, Wayne Gretzy born in Brantford, Ontario
1974
Author Shannon Hale born in Salt Lake City, Utah
1983
Lotus 1-2-3 is released
166
Death of St. Polycarp
404
Death of St. Paula
724
Death of Caliph Yazid II (of grief over the death of his favorite singing girl)
1100
Death of St. Eystein of Norway 1
1266
Charles of Anjou becomes King of Sicily
1316
Revolt in Wales by Llywelyn Bren
1347
University of Prague authorized by the Pope
1500
Vincent Pizon, captain of the "Nina", discovers the Amazon River & Brazil
1531
An earthquake strikes Lisbon, Portugal
1611
Maximilien de Bethune resigns as French Finance Minister
1630
Death of Henry Briggs, Eng. mathematician, inventor of long division
1715
French philosopher Claude Helvetius born
1763
King of Sweden & Norway Charles XIV French (1818-44) born
1784
In a letter to his daughter, Benjamin Franklin expressed unhappiness over the choice of the eagle as the symbol of America, and expressed his own preference: the turkey.
1788
The first European settlers in Australia, led by Captain Arthur Phillip, landed in present-day Sydney.
1790
The comic opera, "Cosi fan tutte", premiered in Vienna. It was a success, which probably made Mozart's 34th birthday, the next day, a quite festive occasion.
1802
The Cisalpine Republic was renamed the Italian Republic with Napoleon Bonaparte as president.
1802
Congress passed an act calling for a library to be established within the US Capitol.
1804
Novelist Eugene "Marie Joseph" Sue France born
1826
Julia Dent Grant, First Lady and wife of Ulysses Grant. born
1827
Peru ended its union with Colombia and declared independence.
1831
Writer Mary Mapes (Hans Brinker & the Silver Skates) born
1837
Michigan became the 26th state with signing bill by President Jackson.
1841
The British flag was raised on Hong Kong island, six days after China had agreed to cede it to Britain.
1852
Explorer Pierre Brazza (colonial administrator - French Africa) born
1861
Louisiana seceded from the Union.
1863
President Lincoln names General Joseph Hooker to replace Burnside as commander of the Army of the Potomac.
1870
Virginia rejoined the Union.
1875
George F. Green of Kalamazoo, Michigan, patented the electric dental drill for sawing, filing, dressing and polishing teeth.
1880
U.S. General of WWII Gen. Douglas MacArthur born
1891
Nikolaus August Otto, the German engineer and developer of the four-stroke internal combustion engine, died.
1893
Bessie Coleman, 1st black airplane pilot born
1905
The world's largest diamond, the Cullinan, was discovered near Pretoria, weighing 3,106 carats.
1906
The first General Assembly of the Church of God convened.
1907
Congress outlaws direct corporate campaign contributions.
1911
The Richard Strauss opera "Der Rosenkavalier" premiered in Dresden, Germany.
1912
Cora Baird puppeteer with husband Bill Baird Marionettes born
1913
Academy Award-winning composer Jimmy Van Heusen (Edward Chester Babcock)(Swinging on a Star,High Hopes, Call Me Irresponsible) born
1913
Jim Thorpe wrote to the chairman of the Amateur Athletic Union and revealed that he had played professional baseball in 1909 and 1910. He returned the two gold medals (decathlon and pentathlon) that he had won in the 1912 Olympic games in Stockholm, Sweden. Sixty years later, and twenty years after his death, the AAU restored Jim Thorpe's amateur standing and the Olympic honors.
1913
Actor William Prince (Destination Tokyo,The Taking of Beverly Hills, Spies Like Us) born
1915
Actor William Hopper (Rebel Without a Cause) born
1918
To promote food conservation during wartime, the U.S. government called for one meatless day, two wheatless days and two porkless days each week.
1919
Actor Derek Bond (Nicholas Nickleby, Svengali, The Hand) born
1922
Ralph Vaughan Williams's Third Symphony, the "Pastoral," was premiered in London under the baton of Adrian Boult.
1922
Pianist Page (Walter) Cavanaugh (Page Cavanaugh Trio Much I Love You) born
1923
Actress Ann (Carmichael) Jeffreys (Dick Tracy) born
1924
Petrograd is renamed Leningrad.
1925
Actress (Agnes Brodell) Joan Leslie (Yankee Doodle Dandy, Rhapsody in Blue, Born to be Bad, High Sierra) born
1925
Actor Paul Newman (The Color of Money, Cool Hand Luke, Hud, The Sting, The Hudsucker Proxy, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, The Verdict) born
1928
Movie director Roger Vadim (Barbarella, And God Created Woman born
1928
Singer Eartha Kitt (remember I stated earlier that her actual birthdate is 1/17/27) born
1929
Pulitzer prize-winning Cartoonist Jules Feiffer born
1931
Mahatma Gandhi was released from prison to hold talks with the government during his civil disobedience campaign.
1932
Sportscaster-actor Bob Uecker born
1934
Roy Harris's "1933" Symphony was premiered by Serge Koussevitsky and the Boston Symphony Orchestra.
1934
The Apollo Theatre opened in New York City as a 'Negro vaudeville theatre'.
1936
Franco and his forces captured Barcelona in the Spanish Civil War.
1940
Museum of Modern Art in New York receives works by Botticelli,Raphael and Michelangelo on loan from Italy.
1942
Actor Scott Glenn born
1942
The first American expeditionary force to go to Europe during World War Two went ashore in Northern Ireland.
1943
Soviet troops defeat all but 12,000 Germans trapped at Stalingrad and free three of the main railways.
1943
Singer Jean Knight born
1944
Activist Angela Davis born
1946
Movie critic Gene Siskel born
1949
Actor David Strathairn born
1950
India officially proclaimed itself a republic as Rajendra Prasad took the oath of office as president.
1951
The Temple Beth Israel of Meridian, Mississippi became the first Jewish congregation to allow women to perform the functions of a rabbi.
1951
Washington freezes prices and wages in order to curb inflation.
1953
Singer Lucinda Williams born
1956
Buddy Holly had his first of three 1956 recording sessions for Decca Records and producer, Owen Bradley, in Nashville.
1956
The Winter Olympics open in Cortina d'Ampezzo, Italy.
1957
Rock singer-musician Eddie Van Halen born
1958
Singer Anita Baker (Sweet Love, Rhythm of Love) born
1958
Actress-comedian Ellen DeGeneres born
1960
Pete Rozelle was elected commissioner of the National Football League. He stayed there for more than 25 years.
1961
Hockey star Wayne Gretzky born
1961
President John F. Kennedy appointed Dr. Janet G. Travell (Mrs. John Powell) as the first woman to hold the post of 'personal physician to the President'.
1962
The United States launched the Ranger III spacecraft to land scientific instruments on the moon -- but the probe missed its target by some 22,000 miles.
1963
Musician Andrew Ridgeley (Wham!) born
1963
Rhythm-and-blues singer (Beresford Romeo) Jazzie B. (Soul II Soul) born
1964
Eighty-four people are arrested in a segregation protest in Atlanta.
1965
Hindi became the official language of India leading to riots in the south of the country. The following month the government announced that English would continue as an associate official language.
1965
Premier Hassan Ali Mansour of Iran dies of an assassin's bullet.
1966
Jane Nartare Beaumont (9), Arnna Kathleen Beaumont (7), and Grant Ellis Beaumont (4) disappeared without a trace from a beach near Adelaide, Australia
1969
California is declared a disaster area after two days of flooding and mud slides.
1970
Gospel singer Kirk Franklin born
1972
Ya Kid K born
1973
Edward G. Robinson, the U.S. film actor, died.
1979
Former Vice President Nelson A. Rockefeller died in New York at age 70.
1980
Six Americans who were hidden for three months in the Canadian Embassy in Tehran were smuggled out of Iran by Canadian diplomats.
1985
Pope John Paul II arrived in Caracas, Venezuela, to begin a tour of South America.
1986
Yoweri Museveni triumphed after a five-year guerrilla war in Uganda against former military ruler Tito Okello.
1988
Australians celebrated the 200th anniversary of their country as a grand parade of tall ships sailed in Sydney Harbor, re-enacting the voyage of the first European settlers and a re-enactment of the arrival first shipload of prisoners from England.
1988
The Andrew Lloyd Webber musical "Phantom of the Opera" opened at Broadway's Majestic Theater.
1989
L. Douglas Wilder, the lieutenant governor of Virginia, launched his successful campaign to become the first elected black governor of a US state.
1990
Hurricane-force winds pounded the British Isles and much of Northern Europe, killing 92 people and knocking out power to nearly 1 million people.
1990
Attorneys for deposed Panamanian leader Manuel Noriega challenged the jurisdiction of the U.S. court system to try their client on drug-trafficking charges, and said Noriega should be declared a prisoner of war.
1991
The Chinese student leader Wang Dan was sentenced to four years in prison for his role in the 1989 pro-democracy movement.
1991
An estimated 200- to 300,000 people across the country demonstrated in support of, or in opposition to, Operation Desert Storm.
1991
Iraq fired Scuds at Israel and Saudi Arabia, but most were intercepted by Patriot missiles.
1991
Soviet President Mikhail S. Gorbachev granted the KGB and Soviet Interior Ministry sweeping search-and-seizure powers to combat economic crime.
1993
Former Czechoslovak President Vaclav Havel was elected president of the new Czech Republic.
1993
A federal court jury in Midland, Texas, awarded $200,000 to a San Antonio man who claimed actress Zsa Zsa Gabor reneged on a contract to spend a weekend mingling with ordinary people who'd paid money for the privilege.
1993
UN Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali called on the Security Council to take "whatever measures are necessary" to compel Israel to readmit 400 deported Palestinians.
1994
A scare occurred during a visit to Sydney, Australia, by Britain's Prince Charles as a young man lunged at the prince, firing two blank shots from a starter's pistol.
1994
Russian President Boris Yeltsin accepted the resignation of Finance Minister Boris Fyodorov, who warned of economic collapse and social unrest.
1994
Romania became the first former Cold War foe of NATO to sign a partnership document with the military alliance.
1995
The House passed a constitutional amendment that'd require Congress, beginning in 2002, to approve a federal budget that was balanced.
1996
Hours before a midnight deadline, a confrontation-weary Congress voted to avert a third federal shutdown and finance dozens of agencies for seven more weeks.
1996
Olympic wrestler Dave Schultz was fatally shot at the suburban Philadelphia estate of John E. du Pont; du Pont surrendered 48 hours later.
1996
The U.S. Senate ratified SALT II. President Bush and Russian President Boris Yeltsin had signed the arms reduction agreement three years before.
1996
Hillary Rodham Clinton testified before a grand jury connected to the Whitewater probe.
1997
The Green Bay Packers beat the New England Patriots 35-to-21 to win their first Super Bowl in 29 years.
1998
Stung by a drop in profits, AT&T said it would cut at least 15,000 jobs, freeze executive salaries and shake up management to reduce costs.
1998
Hundreds of people were evacuated as floodwaters swamped an Australian outback town. Police and emergency service personnel moved about 600 people to higher ground around the Northern Territory town of Katherine, saying the floods could prove to be the worst in 40 years.
1998
A pack of wild monkeys swooped down and attacked people in a Japanese seaside town, injuring 26 people. The monkeys appeared in gardens and streets, biting people in the back and legs. The injuries were slight and all of the victims received injections for rabies.
1998
President Clinton forcefully and with anger denied having an affair with a White House intern, telling reporters, "I want to say one thing to the American people ... I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky," Clinton also said he "never told anybody to lie."
1999
Jordan's King Hussein turned over the temporary operation of his country to his eldest son and flew back to the United States for urgent medical care.
1999
President Clinton welcomed a frail Pope John Paul the Second as the pontiff began his seventh pilgrimage to the United States in St. Louis.
2000
The botched saga of Elian continues as the grandmothers of Elian Gonzalez hugged and kissed the six-year-old boy during a tense, 90-minute meeting in Miami Beach, Florida, that had been arranged by the U-S government.
2000
Tennis great Don Budge, who in 1938 became the first Grand Slam winner, died in Scranton, Pennsylvania, at age 84.
2005
Condoleezza Rice confirmed as U.S. Secretary of State by Senate vote
2005
Rice new Secretary of State
2005
The British referendum question is published today
2005
Sharon to open discussion with Abbas
2005
Bush requests $80bn to pay for on-going military operations
2005
Expedition 10 completes first spacewalk
2005
White House cuts Hubble from budget
2005
People killed as three trains crash in Los Angeles
2005
Iraq: Marines killed in helicopter crash
2005
Distributed computing climate change model gives bleak results
2005
ESA's Smart-1 takes its first close-up images of the Moon
2005
MST creates Marxist school in Brazil
2005
China commutes Tibetan monk's death sentence
2005
Zhao Ziyang's funeral scheduled for Saturday
2005
Sun donates Solaris operating system, 1,600 patents to community
2006
Rural Victorian fires worsen
2006
US ambassador links India's civil nuclear initiative to Iran vote
2006
Hamas wins Palestinian election
2006
Thai government reportedly planning Internet censorship
2006
Microsoft to licence Windows source code
2006
New Canadian leader vows to push Canadian sovereignty over the Arctic Passage
2006
Michael Jackson shops in women's clothes
2007
Labatt USA to move headquarters to Buffalo, New York
2007
Mummified baby found In Florida self-storage unit
2007
US soldier in the Philippines apprehended for violating gun ban
2007
Nicole Kidman injured during movie stunt
2007
New host announced for Netball World Championships
2007
Four women killed in Papua New Guinea witchhunt
2007
Yahoo's new Internet ad sales system is a progress
2007
Black Box from missing Indonesian plane may have been found
2007
Microsoft sales go higher than expected in last quarter
2007
Locals and officer claim to have seen a UFO in Charlotte, North Carolina
2007
Carbon monoxide protects against paralysis in MS mice
2007
Aussies ignore flag ban at Big Day Out festival
2007
Series of earthquakes hit Taiwan, Turkey, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Indonesia
2007
Snow falls in New Mexico
2008
British Airways Flight 38 investigation focuses on fuel system
2008
Australia to withdraw troops from Iraq this year
2008
16-year-old arrested over alleged plot to hijack US airliner
2008
George Bush announces trip to Africa
2008
Underdogs beaten by Liverpool in FA Cup
2008
Guyana shooting is country's worst in 30 years
2008
Iraqi PM al-Maliki announces "decisive" offensive against al-Qaeda
2009
Republican leaders in US want more tax relief in economic stimulus
2009
Sumo: Asashoryu wins New Year Grand Tournament
2009
Death sentences in 2008 Chinese tainted milk scandal
2009
BBC and Sky networks reject Gaza appeal
2009
Confusion over British cannabis status
2009
Bolivia's Evo Morales wins referendum on a new leftist constitution
2010
Unreported tainted milk incident publicised in China
2010
Apple, Inc. has record quarter profits
2010
EU to send police officers to Haiti
2010
Man throws shoe at President of Sudan during public conference
2010
2,000 stranded in Machu Picchu, Peru after torrential rains
2010
Italian chocolatemaker Ferrero rules out buying UK's Cadbury
2010
UK mother cleared of attempted murder of ME-suffering daughter
2010
One killed, one injured as vehicle crashes into tree in Worcestershire, England
2010
Two injured in two car crash on Isle of Man
2010
European Union offers to train Somali troops as fighting breaks out
2010
Canadian diplomat and whistleblower Richard Colvin files complaint against Harper government
2010
Interview: PRS, the UK's music royalty collection society
2010
Pakistan security forces airstrikes kill several Taliban militants
2010
Scientists improve cancer research techniques
2010
UK economy grows in last quarter of 2009; recession ends
2010
John Constable painting location mystery solved after 195 years
2010
Mayor of Camden, London, arrested in benefit fraud inquiry
2010
Marine scientist says Australia's blobfish faces extinction
2010
Two killed, two seriously injured after boulder collapses onto house in Stein an der Traun, Germany
2010
Anglican bishop abducted in Nigeria
2010
World-record wind speed confirmed
2010
Wales railway upgrade proposals would cost £5bn, says expert
2010
Officials say crashed Ethiopian plane didn't follow suggested tower directions
2010
Dubai World refused permission to use QE2 as floating hotel in Cape Town
2010
French MPs call for ban on veils for Muslim women
2010
British military secrets leaked on social networking sites
2010
Cricket: 'Politicians and Pals' defeat Buderim XI in Australia Day Twenty20 match
2010
Welsh air route in difficulties, call for funding cut
2010
'Avatar' becomes highest-grossing film of all time
2011
Toyota recalls 1.7m cars after new concerns
2012
'Davos man' versus 'Camp Igloo'; 42nd World Economic Forum convenes in Swiss alps
2012
Queensland state Premier announces March 24 election date

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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