[an error occurred while processing this directive]
[an error occurred while processing this directive]

Today in History

1687
Military engineer and architect, Johann Balthasar Neumann born in Eger, Bohemia
1756
Composer Wolfgang Amadaeus Mozart born in Salzburg, Austria
1832
Mathematician, logician, photographer and author, Lewis Carroll born Charles Lutwidge Dodgson in Guildford, England
1850
Cigar maker and American Federation of Labor founder, Samuel Gompers born in London, England
1918
Seminal blues singer and slide guitarist, Elmore James born in Richland, Mississippi
1921
Academy and Golden Globe Award winning actress, Donna Reed born Donna Belle Mullenger in Dension, Iowa
1940
Oscar nominated actor, James Oliver Cromwell born in Los Angeles, California
1941
Astronomer, physicist, and Yale professor, Beatrice Tinsley born in Chester, England
1945
Liberation of Auschwitz death camp
1958
Aikido expert and award winning actress, Susanna Thompson born in San Diego, California
1967
Apollo I crew Gus Grissom, Ed White, and Roger Chafee, killed in launch-pad fire
1973
Vietnam War cease-fire signed
844
Death of Pope Gregory IV
847
Death of Pope Sergius II
1166
Marriage of Prince Henry of Germany to Constance of Sicily
1186
Fredrick Barbarossa crowned ruler of Burgundy
1302
Black faction in Florence sentences its opponents to exile or death, Dante is expelled from Florence.
1540
Death of St. Angela (de Medici) of Bresica
1550
Execution of Humphrey Arundell
1556
Death of Humayan, Moghul Emperor
1556
Thomas Whittle, Bartlet Green, John Tudson, John Went, Thomas Browne, Isabel Foster and Joan Warne (alias Lashford) burnt for heresy
1571
'Abbas I the Great, Safavid Shah of Persia (1588-1629) born
1591
Agnes Sampsoune tried, strangled, and burnt for a witch in Scotland
1614
Tokugawa Ieyasu outlaws Christianity in Japan
1629
Death of Abbas the Great. Shah of Persia
1731
Bartolomeo Cristofori, the Italian harpsichord manufacturer generally credited with the invention of the piano, died.
1756
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (Don Giovanni,The Marriage of Figaro, Symphony #41, Requiem, A Little Night Music) born
1785
The oldest state university in America, the University of Georgia, was chartered in Athens.
1822
Greece proclaimed its independence from Turkey.
1832
Mathematician and writer (Charles Dodgson) Lewis Carroll (Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, Through the Looking Glass,The Hunting of the Snark) born
1839
John Julian, famed English authority on sacred music. His undoubted masterwork is the monumental "Dictionary of Hymnology" which he published in 1892 (later revised, updated and reissued in 1957). born
1850
Labor union leader Samuel Gompers (1st president of the American Federation of Labor) born
1859
Kaiser Wilhelm II, German Emperor, forced to abdicate after World War I and fled to the Netherlands, where he lived until 1941. born
1862
Lincoln issues General War Order No. 1.
1870
Kappa Alpha Theta, the first American Greek letter sorority, was founded at DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana.
1880
Thomas Edison was granted a patent for an electric incandescent lamp.
1885
The father of the American musical, composer Jerome Kern (Show Boat, Ol' Man River, Smoke Gets in Your Eyes, Lovely to Look At, The Way You Look Tonight, The Last Time I Saw Paris) born
1886
New York Times music critic Olin Downes born
1888
The National Geographic Society was founded in Washington, DC.
1900
Foreign diplomats in Peking fear revolt and demand that the Imperial Government discipline the Boxer Rebels.
1900
U.S. Navy Admiral Hyman Rickover (Father of the Nuclear Navy' directed development of the Nautilus, the first nuclear reactor-powered submarine) born
1901
Verdi died at the age of 87, having outlived his contemporary Wagner.
1908
The New York Police Department deputizes dogs for duty.
1908
Publisher William Randolph Hearst Jr. born
1916
President Woodrow Wilson opens preparedness program.
1918
Communists attempt to seize power in Finland.
1918
Musical conductor Skitch (Lyle) Henderson born
1921
Actress Donna (Mullenger) Reed (From Here to Eternity, It's a Wonderful Life, The Benny Goodman Story, The Donna Reed Show) born
1924
Lenin's body is laid in a marble tomb on Red Square near the Kremlin.
1925
Alaska reports a diphtheria epidemic in Nome.
1926
John Logie Baird of Scotland demonstrated the first television set, the iconoscope, a mechanical scanning system.This public demonstration was in London.
1930
Singer Bobby "Blue" Bland (That's the Way Love Is, Call on Me, Turn on Your Love Light, Ain't Nothin' You Can Do) born
1936
Actor (Merle Johnson) Troy Donahue (A Summer Place, Assault of the Party Nerds, The Godfather: Part 2, The Chilling) Some sources born
1939
Franklin D. Roosevelt approves the sale of U.S. war planes to France.
1940
Actor James Cromwell born
1943
Some 50 bombers struck Wilhelmshaven in the first all-American air raid against Germany during World War Two.
1945
Rock musician Nick Mason (Pink Floyd) born
1945
The Russians liberated the Auschwitz concentration camp, where the Nazis had murdered 1.5 million men, women and children, including more than one million Jews.
1946
Rhythm-and-blues singer Nedra Talley (The Ronettes) born
1948
Ballet star Mikhail Baryshnikov born
1948
1st Tape Recorder is sold.
1951
An era of atomic testing in the Nevada desert began as an Air Force plane dropped a one-kiloton bomb on Frenchman Flats.
1955
Country singer Cheryl White born
1955
Country singer-musician Richard Young (The Kentucky Headhunters) born
1956
Actress Mimi Rogers (Full Body Massage, Monkey Trouble, Dark Horse, The Rousters, Desperate Hours, The Mighty Quinn, Someone To Watch Over Me, Blue Skies Again) born
1958
Singer Little Richard abandoned his career and enrolled in the Oakwood Bible College in Huntsville, Alabama. He was inspired by a near-death experience. While on tour, the plane caught fire as they flew over the Philippines. His prayer to survive was answered.
1959
NASA selects 110 candidates for the first U.S. space flight.
1961
Rock singer Margo Timmons (Cowboy Junkies) born
1961
Rock musician Gillian Gilbert (New Order) born
1961
Leontyne Price made her debut at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York City. She sang in the role of Leonora in "Il Trovatore".
1962
The Soviet government changed the names of all places honoring Molotov, Kaganovich and Malenkov, participants in an attempt to oust Nikita Khrushchev in 1957.
1964
Actress Bridget Fonda (Point of No Return, The Godfather, Part 3, Aria, 21 Jump Street) born
1966
Soldiers seized control of Niger's government.
1967
Astronauts Virgil I. "Gus" Grissom, Edward H. White and Roger B. Chaffee died in a flash fire during a test aboard their "Apollo One" spacecraft at Cape Kennedy, Florida.
1967
Representatives from more than 60 nations signed a treaty banning the orbiting of nuclear weapons.
1968
Country singer Tracy Lawrence born
1968
Rock singer Mike Patton (Faith No More) born
1968
The Bee Gees played their first American concert, as a group. They earned $50,000 to entertain at the Anaheim Convention Center in California.
1968
Otis Redding's "(Sittin' on) The Dock of the Bay" was released, seven weeks after the singer's death. It became #1 on March 16, 1968 and remained at the top spot for a month.
1970
Rock musician Mark Trojanowski (Sister Hazel) born
1972
In Columbia, the white and black United Methodist conferences of South Carolina -- separated since the Civil War -- voted in their respective meetings to adopt a plan of union.
1973
The United States and North Vietnam signed a cease-fire agreement. The same day, the United States announced an end to the military draft.
1976
ABC's sitcom "Laverne and Shirley" premiered. It was a spin-off of the hit sitcom "Happy Days."
1977
The Vatican reaffirmed the Roman Catholic Church's ban on female priests.
1978
The State Supreme Court rules that the Nazis can display the Swastika in a march in Skokie, Illinois.
1981
Blues musician Jonny Lang born
1981
President Reagan greeted the 52 former American hostages released by Iran, telling them during a visit to the White House: "Welcome home."
1983
The Commerce Department imposed temporary tariffs on steel imports from 19 countries, drawing sharp criticism from some of the affected nations.
1984
At the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, singer Michael Jackson was filming a commercial for Pepsi when an accidental flare explosion ignited hair spray that had just been applied to his hair, and the conflagration that followed produced second-degree burns on his head and neck. Brother Tito doused the fire with Coca-Cola.
1984
Carl Lewis bettered his own two-year-old record by 9-1/4 inches when he set a new, world, indoor record with a long-jump mark of 28 feet, 10-1/4 inches.
1985
The secret three-day military-satellite mission of the space shuttle Discovery ended with a smooth landing in Florida.
1985
Pope John Paul says mass to one million in Venezuela.
1987
President Reagan acknowledged mistakes and accepted responsibility in the Iran arms scandal. He said his only major regret was that the gamble failed to open political channels and free American hostages in Lebanon.
1988
The Senate Judiciary Committee unanimously approved the nomination of Judge Anthony M. Kennedy to the US Supreme Court.
1989
President Bush held an informal White House news conference in which he defended a widely criticized pay raise for Congress scheduled to go into effect the following month.
1990
In Romania, four top associates of executed dictator Nicolae Ceausescu went on trial, charged with abetting genocide.
1991
U-S planes bombed the pipelines to Kuwaiti oil fields to cut off the flow of oil into the Persian Gulf.
1991
The New York Giants defeated the Buffalo Bills, 20-to-19, in Super Bowl 25, which was played amid extra-tight security at Tampa Stadium in Florida, because of fears of possible Iraqi-sponsored terrorism.
1993
President Clinton delayed for six months his campaign pledge to reverse the ban on homosexuals in the military while the issue is studied.
1993
A disgruntled ex-employee of a Tampa, Fla., insurance company opened fire in a cafeteria, killing three executives and critically wounding two others before fleeing and killing himself.
1994
Iran-Contra scandal figure Oliver North declared his candidacy for the Republican nomination for U.S. senator from Virginia. He would win the nomination but lose the election to Democratic incumbent Charles Robb.
1994
Figure skater Tonya Harding appeared before reporters in Portland, Ore., to say that while she'd had no prior knowledge of the attack on her rival, Nancy Kerrigan, she had failed to report "things I learned about the assault" afterward.
1994
The Senate passed a non-binding resolution, 62-38, calling on the Clinton administration to lift the U.S. trade embargo against Vietnam.
1995
A book by O.J. Simpson, I Want to Tell You, asserted his innocence in the killings of his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend, Ronald Goldman.
1995
About 5,000 mourners gathered at Auschwitz to commemorate the 50th anniversary of its liberation.
1995
House Majority Leader Dick Armey apologized for calling Massachusetts Democrat Barney Frank, an acknowledged homosexual, "Barney Fag" during an interview, saying it was an innocent slip of the tongue
1996
A man invaded a convent in Waterville, Maine, stabbing and beating four nuns, killing two of them (Mark Bechard was later found not criminally responsible because of mental illness).
1996
France conducted an open air nuclear test in the South Pacific.
1997
Switzerland's ambassador to the United States, Carlo Jagmetti, resigned after outraging Jewish groups and their supporters by likening his country's Nazi gold crisis to a war that had to be won.
1998
Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr dismissed as nonsense a charge made by Hillary Rodham Clinton that he was aligned with a right-wing conspiracy out to get her husband, President Clinton. "The first lady today accused this office of being part of a 'vast right-wing conspiracy.' That is nonsense," Starr said in a statement. "Our current investigation began when we received credible evidence of serious federal crimes."
1998
Shaken by scandal, President Clinton sought to reassert his leadership in a crucial State of the Union address, urging Congress to "save Social Security first" before cutting taxes or increasing spending.
1998
An overhead tram carrying commuters across New York City's East River crashed into a crane during the morning rush hour, injuring 10 passengers.
1998
First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton, appearing on NBC's "Today" show, charged the allegations against her husband were the work of a "vast right-wing conspiracy."
1999
The Republican-controlled Senate blocked dismissal of the impeachment case against President Clinton and then voted for new testimony from Monica Lewinsky and two other witnesses -- but by margins well short of the two-thirds needed to oust the president.
2000
President Clinton proposed a $350 billion tax cut, big spending increases for schools and health care and photo ID licenses for handgun purchases in his final State of the Union address.
2005
Report: British serial killer murdered 250
2005
One hundred dead after air raid in Darfur, Sudan
2005
World Social Forum in Porto Alegre The World Social Forum kicks off in Porto Alegre
2005
Row intensifies between Sinn Féin & the Irish Government
2005
New York radio station apologises after 'humorous' tsunami song
2005
Palestinian Authority bans citizens from carrying weapons
2005
World Social Forum-Brazil coverage The first day of the World Social Forum wraps up
2005
28 alleged Putin insulters freed from police custody
2005
China detains and beats mourners for Zhao Ziyang
2005
Driver who caused Los Angeles train crash charged with murder
2005
Saskatchewan town asks for return of "accidental" tsunami donation
2006
GM posts first annual loss since 1992
2006
West Papuans refugees forced to fly 4000ks despite tuberculosis fears
2006
Storms a mixed blessing for Victorian firefighters
2006
Aboriginal Sovereignty Day Declared
2006
Former German president Johannes Rau dies at 75
2006
Saudis boycott Danish dairy produce
2006
German Wikipedia to be printed
2006
Bloggers investigate social networking websites
2006
Eastern Indonesia struck by earthquake
2006
Chantelle wins Celebrity Big Brother
2006
Halonen and Niinistö neck-and-neck heading into Sunday's run-off election in Finland
2006
O'Reilly begins using open editing of its books before publishing them
2006
Death of the Catholicos
2006
Queensland's biggest oil spill in 35 years
2007
Canadian government apologizes to deportation victim Arar
2007
Students insulted on returned New Zealand exam papers
2007
Martial law lifted in 41 provinces of Thailand
2007
Technology developed to detect fake drugs quickly
2007
U.S. Army to court-martial Abu Ghraib officer
2007
Discriminatory job ad by Central Bank of Turkey asks for men only
2007
Iran's official radio silent about U.N. resolution against Holocaust denials
2007
North Korea denies cooperation with Iran on nuclear programs
2007
Thousands protest Iraq war in Washington D.C.
2007
Microsoft disgruntled with partner Dell's interest in open source
2007
West Indies wins the third match of the cricket series against India
2008
Viktor Schreckengost dies at 101
2008
Disabled U.S. spy satellite to fall to Earth
2008
Former Indonesian President Suharto dies at 86
2008
At least 45 killed in new wave of violence in Kenya
2008
Chamber of Commerce defeats Buderim XI in Australia Day Match
2008
'The Regime' hacks 711chan.org in response to 'Anonymous' attack on Scientology; takes web site off line
2008
Obama wins South Carolina primary
2008
National Hockey League to open 2008-09 season in Stockholm and Prague
2009
British Airways issues profits warning
2009
Woman gives birth to octuplets
2009
Fast food chain McDonald’s set to open up 1000 more stores by end of year
2009
Tamil Tigers promise to fight back against Sri Lankan forces
2009
Widespread strike action may hit France
2009
Obama to Muslims: 'Americans are not your enemy'
2009
Two British footwear chains enter administration
2009
SLM shareholders led by Martin Garbus sue Spider-Man creator Stan Lee and Marvel for $750m
2009
Accident on set of British television program Heartbeat
2009
Anger and unrest continue over US raid in Laghman, Afghanistan
2009
Belgium's Queen Fabiola seriously ill
2009
Sprinter Allan Davis wins the Tour Down Under
2009
Search and rescue beacons soon to make the digital jump
2009
Iceland's coalition government falls in economic crisis
2009
Israeli foreign minister says another war with Hamas possible
2010
Japanese company recalls two million needles in US
2010
Obama to announce partial "spending freeze"
2010
Votes in Sri Lankan presidential elections counted
2010
Guinea swears in civilian prime minister
2010
McDonald's unfairly dismissed worker for giving a colleague free cheese, says Dutch court
2010
Baghdad bombing kills several people, scores injured
2010
Man jailed for murder of doctor in South Yorkshire, England
2010
South Korean economy grew 0.2% in last quarter
2010
World Economic Forum security chief found dead on eve of summit
2010
UK bans export of fraudulent bomb detector; arrests director of manufacturer
2010
UK cabinet minister Jack Straw ignored advice that Iraq invasion was illegal
2010
Suicide bomber attacks US base in Afghanistan
2010
North and South Korea exchange fire
2010
Haiti's banks reopen
2010
Healing ozone layer may contribute to global warming
2010
UK Attorney General Lord Goldsmith admits to changing mind over Iraq war
2010
Blast in Pakistan kills one, injures ten
2010
Former Guatemalan president arrested
2010
5.8 magnitude earthquake hits Peru
2010
Dead children found in car in Sussex, UK
2010
Seventeen-year-old shot dead in Merseyside, England
2011
Indonesians charged with people-smuggling following Christmas Island wreck
2011
Massive anti-government protests in Egypt continue into second day, several killed
2011
Ivory Coast trade embargo backed by US
2011
Car bomb kills at least three in Dagestan, Russia
2011
Australia announces levy bill to offset cost of Queensland floods
2011
BBC World Service to drop five languages
2011
Boy arrested for murder after seventeen-year-old run over by bus
2012
Report indicates Texas state parks still suffering following worst drought on record
2013
Australian Manns Mitre 10 hardware store closes after rent dispute

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.

Select a section