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Today in History

1882
Creator of Social Security, the New Deal, and four-term US President, Franklin Delano Roosevelt born in Hyde Park, New York
1914
Tony Award winning actor, David Wayne born in Traverse City, Michigan
1925
Naval radio technician and inventor of the computer mouse, computer scientist Dr Douglas C. Engelbart born in Portland, Oregon
1937
Academy, Golden Globe, Emmy and Tomy Award winning actress, Vanessa Redgrave born in London, England
1937
World Chess Grandmaster Boris Spassky born in Leningrad, Soviet Union
1948
Mahatma Gandhi assassinated
1950
Academy, Grammy and Golden Globe award winning songwriter, singer and musician, Phil Collins born in Chiswick, England
1958
Author, actress and comedienne, Brett Butler born in Montgomery, Alabama
1968
Tet Offensive begins
1973
G. Gordon Liddy and James W. McCord Jr convicted in Watergate incident
1974
Award winning actor Christian Bale born in Haverfordwest, Wales
435
Rome made peace with the Vandals, ending the "Fall" (Some mark this is the beginning of the Middle Ages)
680
Death of St. Bathild, Queen to Clovis II of France
1118
Election of Gelasius I as Pope
1167
Death of Matilda, Queen to William I of England
1328
King Edward III of England re-marries Phillippa of Hainaut
1349
Election of Guanther of Schwarzberg as King of Germany
1380
St. Catherine of Siena suffers a stroke
1563
Franciscus Gomarus Calvinist theologian and professor whose disputes with his more liberal colleague Jacobus Arminius over the doctrine of predestination led the entire Dutch Reformed Church into controversy. born
1592
Election of Clement VIII as Pope
1606
Sir Everard Digby, Thomas Winter, John Grant and Thomas Bates, conspirators in the Gunpowder Plot to blow up the houses of Parliament, were executed.
1616
William Sancroft, Archbishop of Canterbury born
1628
Charles I of England calls his third Parliament
1647
Scots agree to sell King Charles I to English Parliament for 400,000
1648
Treaties were signed ending the Eighty Years War between Spain and the United Provinces of the Netherlands. (Treaty of Westphalia)
1649
Beheading of Charles I, King of England, at 2 London for treason.
1798
A brawl broke out in the House of Representatives in Philadelphia, as Matthew Lyon of Vermont spat in the face of Roger Griswold of Connecticut.
1835
A gunman fired twice on President Andrew Jackson, the first attempt on the life of a U.S. president. Jackson was NOT injured.
1847
Yerba Buena renamed San Francisco.
1862
The USS Monitor launched at Greenpoint, Long Island.
1862
Walter Damrosch was born. Damrosch founded one of the orchestras that led to today's New York Philharmonic. He directed the first American performances of Wagner's "Parsifal," of Saint-Saens's "Samson and Delilah," of Brahms' Fourth Symphony. born
1882
The 32nd president of the United States, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, in Hyde Park, New York. Only president who thought himself important enough to serve more than 2 terms. born
1885
John Henry Towers, naval and aviation hero. born
1889
Crown Prince Franz Karl Josef Rudolf of Austria and his mistress, Marie Vetsera, committed suicide at the imperial hunting lodge of Mayerling, Austria.
1894
C.B. King, of Detroit, Michigan, earned a patent for the pneumatic hammer.
1900
British demand a larger army in South Africa.
1901
Women Prohibitionists smash 12 saloons in Kansas.
1905
Johann Hoch is arrested in New York for murdering 9 wives.
1910
Work began on the first board-track automobile speedway. The track was built in lovely Playa del Ray, California.
1911
Trumpeter Roy `Little Jazz' Eldridge born
1911
The first airplane rescue at sea was made by the destroyer, "Terry", when downed pilot, James McCurdy was forced to land in the ocean about 10 miles from Havana, Cuba.
1912
British Lords oppose House of Commons by rejecting home rule for Ireland.
1914
Actor John Ireland (Gunfight at the OK Corral, Little Big Horn, Spartacus, All the King's Men, Marilyn: The Untold Story, Messenger of Death) born
1914
The battleship Monroe sinks in a collision with the Nantucket off the Virginia coast.
1914
Actor David (McMeekan) Wayne (The Tender Trap, The Last Angry Man, The Three Faces of Eve, The Adromeda Strain) born
1917
The Original Dixieland Jazz Band recorded one of the first jazz compositions ever recorded. It became a classic for Columbia Records titled, "The Darktown Strutters Ball."
1922
Comedian Dick Martin (Emmy Award-winning comedian Martin's Laugh-In) born
1925
Actress Dorothy (Maloney) Malone (Written on the Wind, Beach Party, Basic Instinct, Battle Cry, Man of a Thousand Faces) born
1928
Producer-director Harold Prince (A Little Night Music, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street) born
1928
R&B and Jazz singer Ruth Brown (So Long, Teardrops from My Eyes, Hours, Mambo Baby, Lucky Lips, This Little Girl's Gone Rockin') born
1930
Actor Gene Hackman (some sources 1931) (The French Connection, Bonnie and Clyde, Hawaii, Mississippi Burning, The Poseidon Adventure, Postcards from the Edge, Superman, The Firm, Crimson Tide) born
1931
The U.S. awards civil government to the Virgin Islands.
1931
Baseball player Charlie Neal born
1933
Louis Rukeyser, host of television's "Wall Street Week" born
1933
Adolf Hitler became chancellor of Germany.
1933
The first episode of the "Lone Ranger" radio program was broadcast on station WXYZ in Detroit.
1934
Actress Tammy Grimes (The Runner Stumbles, Backstreet Justice) born
1935
The U.S.S.R. doubles the size of its army to 940,000.
1936
Governor Harold Hoffman orders a new inquiry into the Lindbergh kidnapping.
1936
Pianist Horst Jankowski (A Walk In The Black Forest) born
1937
Country singer Jeanne Pruett born
1937
World Champion chess player Boris Spassky born
1937
13 leading Communists were sentenced to death for allegedly participating in a plot, led by Leon Trotsky, to overthrow the Soviet regime and assassinate its leaders.
1937
Actress Vanessa Redgrave (Julia, Mary Queen of Scots, A Man for All Seasons) born
1938
Country singer Norma Jean born
1941
Former defense secretary Dick Cheney born
1942
Rock singer Marty Balin born
1943
Baseball player and manager Dave Johnson born
1948
Indian political and spiritual leader Mahatma Gandhi was murdered by a Hindu extremist.
1949
In India, 100,000 pray at the site of Gandhis assassination on the first anniversary of his death.
1949
Rhythm-and-blues musician William King (The Commodores) born
1951
Actor Charles S. Dutton (A Time to Kill, The Piano Lesson, Alien 3, Runaway, Crocodile Dundee 2, Cat's Eye, Roc) born
1953
President Eisenhower announces that he will pull the Seventh Fleet out of Formosa to permit the Nationalists to attack Communist China.
1958
Actress-comedian Brett Butler born
1959
Singer Jody Watley (Shalamar) born
1962
Two members of the "Flying Wallendas" high-wire act were killed when their seven-person pyramid collapsed during a performance in Detroit.
1963
Francis Poulenc died of a heart attack at the age of 64. Poulenc's "Concerto for Organ, Strings and Timpani" had an international reputation at that time.
1964
The United States launched "Ranger Six," an unmanned spacecraft carrying television cameras that was to crash-land on the moon.
1968
The Tet Offensive began as Communist forces launched surprise attacks against South Vietnamese provincial capitals.
1969
The Beatles performed together in public for the last time. The show took place on the roof of their Apple Studios in London, England, but it was interrupted by police after they received complaints from the neighbors about the noise.
1970
Lesotho's prime minister, Chief Leabua Jonathan, declared a state of emergency and suspended the constitution, claiming malpractices had been discovered in recent elections.
1972
13 Roman Catholic civil rights marchers were shot to death by British soldiers in Northern Ireland on what became known as "Bloody Sunday."
1972
Pakistan left the Commonwealth in protest against imminent recognition of Bangladesh by Britain, Australia and New Zealand.
1973
Gordon Liddy and James McCord were convicted of burglary, wire-tapping and attempted bugging of the Democratic headquarters at the Watergate building in Washington, D.C.
1974
Actor Christian Bale born
1976
The U.S. Supreme Court bans spending limits in campaigns, equating funds with freedom of speech.
1979
The civilian government of Iran announced it had decided to allow Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, who'd been living in exile in France, to return.
1980
Actor Wilmer Valderrama ("That 70's Show") born
1980
The first-ever Chinese Olympic team arrives in New York for the WinterGames.
1980
Professor Longhair...whose real name was Henry Byrd...died at the age of 62.
1985
UN Ambassador Jeane J. Kirkpatrick told President Reagan she intended to leave her diplomatic post.
1987
Calling it a "budget-buster," President Reagan vetoed a measure renewing the Clean Water Act that was expected to cost up to 20 billion dollars through 1994. (Congress, however, overrode the veto.)
1988
Israeli troops fired on hundreds of demonstrators in the West Bank while protests also rocked the Gaza Strip, shattering three weeks of relative quiet in the occupied territories.
1989
Lebanon's warring Shiite groups, the Syrian-backed Amal militia and the pro-Iranian Hizbollah, signed a peace accord, ending a yearlong feud.
1989
Former criminal lawyer Joel Steinberg was convicted in New York of first-degree manslaughter in the death of his illegally adopted six-year-old daughter, Lisa.
1990
A federal judge ordered former President Reagan to provide excerpts of his personal diaries to John M. Poindexter for the former national security adviser's upcoming Iran-Contra trial. (However, the judge later reversed himself, deciding the material was not essential.)
1991
The first major ground battle of the Gulf War was fought at the frontier port of Khafji in Saudi Arabia; eleven US Marines were killed, seven of them by "friendly fire."
1992
The space shuttle "Discovery" landed in California, ending an eight-day mission.
1992
Irish Prime Minister Charles Haughey announced his resignation.
1992
President Bush and other world leaders gathered for an unprecedented UN Security Council summit to coordinate policy on peacekeeping, disarmament and quelling aggression.
1992
Argentina opened the files on scores of Nazis who fled to South America after World War II, a move Jewish leaders said would help the hunt for war criminals.
1993
Los Angeles inaugurated its Metro Red Line, the city's first modern subway.
1993
On the 60th anniversary of Hitler's swearing-in as chancellor of Germany, more than 300,000 Germans carried candles to denounce the Nazi era.
1993
parents donated portions of their own lungs to their daughter with cystic fibrosis in pioneering transplant surgery in Los Angeles.
1994
The Dallas Cowboys won its second straight Super Bowl -- a 30-13 victory over the Buffalo Bills, which saw its fourth straight Super Bowl loss.
1994
The U.S. granted Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams a visa to attend a New York conference on Northern Ireland.
1995
The Smithsonian Institution abandoned plans for a major exhibit on the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, yielding to critics who charged the exhibit would have portrayed America as the aggressor and Japan as the victim in World War II.
1995
42 people were killed when a car bomb exploded in Algiers, Algeria.
1995
The U.N. Security Council authorized deployment of 6, 000
1995
Boyz II (to) Men was the big winner at the 22nd annual American Music Awards...winning three awards.
1996
Hasan Muratovic was formally appointed prime minister of Bosnia Herzegovina's central government.
1996
Ron Wyden won a close race to become Oregon's first Democratic US senator in 30 years, replacing Bob Packwood.
1996
In an election billed as an early barometer for the national political season, Ron Wyden won a close race to become Oregon's first Democratic U-S senator in 30 years, replacing Bob Packwood.
1997
The Marine Corps opened an investigation of two videotaped hazing incidents in 1991 and 1993 known as "blood pinnings" in which elite paratroopers had golden jump pins beaten into their chests. (The 1993 incident led to a recommended discharge for a sergeant.)
1998
Microsoft Corporation Chairman Bill Gates said in an interview he expected to match or top the $1 billion donation offered to the UN the previous year by CNN founder Ted Turner. Gates also said he did not take too personally" some criticism of Microsoft's business practices. "Well, at age 42, I've given at this point a little over $500 million to foundations that are doing some things I really believe in." (I don't know if Bill has given any money yet to the UN, but at this date Ted still has not yet given any of the promised money to the UN)
1998
Ricky Sanderson, who stabbed 16-year old Suzi Holliman to death in 1985 and buried her alive was executed in the gas chamber at Central Prison in Raleigh, North Carolina. Sanderson, 38, who had been on death row for nearly 13 years, waived appeals that could have kept him alive longer. His last words included a criticism of abortion. He said, "33 million babies that have been aborted in this country died for no reason. I'm dying for a deed I did. I deserve death for it. I'm glad Christ forgave me." Sanderson underwent a jailhouse conversion to Christianity, and chose to die in the gas chamber.
1998
Three thousand people gathered in Belfast to protest a wave of murders in Northern Ireland which threatens fragile multi-party peace talks on the region's future. "The message I want the terrorists to get from the rally is that ordinary people want an end to the killings," trade unionist Tom Gilleno told the crowd.
1998
An aviation pact was reached between Washington and Tokyo enabling American travelers to fly to Japan and other Asian points from several more US cities.
1998
A new glue meant to replace painful stitches won the vote of a panel that advises the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The glue, called Dermabond, can hold a wound closed and keep it sterile and flexible while it is healing. Makers Closure Medical said Dermabond can seal off wounds quickly without the need for painful shots.
1999
NATO authorized its secretary general to launch military action in Yugoslavia if the warring parties failed to negotiate an agreement for autonomy in Kosovo.
2000
The St. Louis Rams won Super Bowl 34, defeating the Tennessee Titans 23-to-16.
2000
A Kenya Airways plane crashed shortly after takeoff from Abidjan, Ivory Coast, killing 169 people.
2000
Elian Gonzalez's grandmothers returned home to a hero's welcome in Cuba, vowing to continue the struggle to wrest the six-year-old shipwreck survivor from relatives in Miami.
2005
Ephraim Kishon dies at 80
2005
Ex UK Minister Chris Smith was HIV Positive for 17 years
2005
French goat is found to have BSE
2005
First free Iraqi election begins; insurgents strike
2005
Habib back in Australia, thankful to supporters
2005
Zapatero builds left axis in South America
2006
Two people charged over burning bodies in drums
2006
SAG Awards handed out
2006
Teacher confesses to having sex with student
2006
First Iraqi case of Avian Flu reported
2006
Accident in Jacksonville, Florida, releases low-radioactive gas
2006
Bosnian administrator outlines plans
2006
Hamas leader discusses future of Palestinian State and Israel
2006
Fatah assaults European Union office
2006
Congressional staff actions prompt Wikipedia investigation
2007
Iran to expand military and economic ties with Iraq; will reconstruct nation
2007
Primary camera on Hubble Space Telescope shut down
2007
Postal suspension lifted in Hamilton, New Zealand
2007
Greek actor Nikos Kourkoulos dies at 73
2007
T-Wolves extinguish Suns, end Phoenix streak
2007
NBA announces starters for All-Star Game
2007
MySpace shares its database of sex offenders
2007
Senator Arlen Specter challenges President Bush
2007
Home of Stonehenge builders found
2007
Zenit rocket explodes on launch pad
2007
Philippine commission holds retired general responsible for killings
2007
Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission endorses Children's Song
2007
Hewlett-Packard to expand partnership with SAP
2007
White House refuses to release climate policy documents
2008
Major League Baseball: Twins trade Cy Young winning pitcher Johan Santana to Mets
2008
McCain captures Florida, Giuliani drops out
2008
Winter Carnival partially thaws in Saint Paul
2008
Man claims Blue Man Group put camera down throat; allegations denied
2008
Police arrest former NFL player Alonzo Spellman
2008
John Edwards drops out of US presidential race
2008
Zimbabwe opposition calls for constitutional reform, may boycott elections
2009
Israel resumes attacks in Gaza, Rice asks for war crimes investigations
2009
Post-probe, problematic peanut paste products pulled
2009
Mass industrial walkouts in UK
2009
Illinois governor Blagojevich removed from office
2009
North Korea cancels all military, political agreements with South Korea
2009
Musician John Martyn dies at age 60
2009
Nebraska senators may not support stimulus plan
2009
Winners and losers on UK's East Coast rail line
2009
Proposition 8 donors to be named
2009
Zimbabwe opposition agrees to join government
2009
Lawmakers ask US Secretary of State for Gaza crisis help
2009
Failed suicide bomber imprisoned for life
2010
Woman dies after being struck by fire truck hose in Cambridge, Massachusetts
2010
Hamas claims Israel assassinated commander in Dubai
2010
Toyota recalls up to 1.8 million automobiles
2010
Pentagon proposes Taiwanese arms sale
2010
Regional council fights to keep sustainable growth on Australian Sunshine Coast
2010
No people or animals hurt in rural Australian fire
2010
Google phases out IE6 support
2010
Russia announces Libyan arms deal
2010
Interpreter shoots two US soldiers in Afghanistan
2010
Honda recalls fire risk cars
2010
Alex Reid wins UK's Celebrity Big Brother 2010
2010
Gandhi ashes scattered off South African coast
2010
Suicide bomber hits checkpoint in Pakistan
2010
At least twelve die in Mogadishu attacks
2010
Ten confirmed dead, scores missing as overcrowded boat capsizes in India
2012
Queensland state election shorts: January 30, 2012
2013
January tornadoes, severe weather in southern, midwestern US cause fatalities
2013
Queen Beatrix to abdicate throne

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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