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Today in History

Epiphany or Three Kings Day
1912
Emmy Award winning comedian, actor, and founder of St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Danny Thomas born in Deerfield, Michigan
1913
Academy, Emmy, and Golden Globe Award winning actress Loretta Young born in Salt Lake City, Utah
1920
Evolutionary biologist, geneticist and Fellow of the Royal Society, John Maynard Smith born in London
1924
Bluegrass banjo virtuoso, Earl Scruggs born in Shelby, North Carolina
1929
Mother Teresa arrives in Calcutta
1957
LPGA Championship golfer, Nancy Lopez born in Torrance, California
1959
Fashion model and actress, Andrea Thompson born in Dayton, Ohio
1961
Hotel fire kills 20 in San Francisco
1978
Crown of St Stephen returned to Hungary
1994
Nancy Kerrigan assaulted in Detroit
1066
Coronation of Harold II (Godwinson) as King of England
1286
Formal Coronation of Philip IV, "the Fair," King of France
1311
King Henry VII of Germany crowned King of the Lombards
1352
Jean II, King of France, founds the Order of the Star
1355
Charles IV crowned King of the Lombards
1367
King Richard II of England born
1373
Death of St. Andrew Corsini
1400
A conspiracy attempts the murder of Henry IV of England and his family
1401
Rupert crowned King of Germany
1412
St. Joan of Arc, Domremy, French martyr born
1425
Henry IV "The Impotent" King of Castile born
1449
Constantine XI becomes Emperor of Byzantium
1496
Moorish fortress Alhambra, near Grenada, surrenders to the Christians
1540
England's King Henry the Eighth married his fourth wife, Anne of Cleves. (The marriage lasted about six months.)
1639
Virginia becomes 1st colony to order surplus crops (tobacco) destroyed
1735
The finale of Bach's "Christmas Oratorio" was performed in Leipzig.
1759
George Washington married widow Martha Dandridge Custis.
1811
Charles Sumner, leading anti-slavery senator. born
1822
Archaeologist Heinrich Schliemann, who discovered the ruins of ancient Troy born
1838
Morristown, N.J., Samuel F.B. Morse and his partner, Alfred Vail, publicly demonstrated their new invention, the telegraph, for the first time.
1838
The composer Max Bruch was born in Cologne. his twenties he became known in Britain as a rousing choral composer. 1866, he composed the first of three Violin Concertos. born
1861
Governor of Maryland sends a message to the people of Maryland, strongly opposing Maryland's secession from the Union.
1878
Poet Carl Sandburg born
1880
Silent movie cowboy star Tom Mix born
1882
Samuel Rayburn, Speaker of the House (1940 - 1957) born
1896
The first, American, women's six-day bicycle race was held at Madison Square Garden in New York City.
1910
Union leaders ask President Taft to investigate U.S. Steel practices.
1911
Comedian Joey Adams born
1912
New Mexico becomes the 47th U.S. state.
1913
Actress (Gretchen) Loretta Young born
1914
Stock brokerage firm of Merrill Lynch founded.
1919
The 26th president of the United States, Theodore Roosevelt, died in Oyster Bay, New York, at age 60.
1921
Pollster Louis Harris born
1924
Bluegrass performer Earl Scruggs born
1925
Former automaker John Z. DeLorean born
1930
The first, diesel engine automobile trip was completed. It ran 792 miles -- from Indianapolis, IN to New York City.
1931
Author E.L. Doctorow. born
1936
The U.S. Supreme Court rules the Agricultural Adjustment Act unconstitutional.
1937
Singer Doris Troy born
1937
The U.S. bans the shipment of arms to war-torn Spain.
1941
Alice Marble made her professional tennis debut by defeating Ruth Hardwick of Great Britain at Madison Square Garden in New York City.
1941
President Franklin D. Roosevelt asks Congress to support the lend-lease plan to help supply the Allies.
1942
The Pan American Airways "Pacific Clipper" arrived in New York after making the first round-the-world trip by a commercial airplane.
1943
Actress Bonnie Franklin born
1945
George Herbert Walker Bush married Barbara Pierce in Rye, New York.
1946
Ho Chi Minh wins North Vietnamese elections.
1950
Britain formally recognized the communist government of China.
1951
Rock singer-musician Kim Wilson (The Fabulous Thunderbirds) born
1952
A regular feature of Sunday funny papers debuted, as "Peanuts" was seen above the fold in newspapers across the country. The most successful syndicated comic strip in history, by Charles Schulz, continues to be a most popular feature worldwide.
1953
Singer Jett Williams born
1953
Rock musician Malcolm Young (AC-DC) born
1954
Movie director Anthony Minghella ("The English Patient") born
1955
Actor-comedian Rowan Atkinso born
1957
Golfer Nancy Lopez born
1960
Rhythm-and-blues singer Eric Williams (BLACKstreet) born
1962
Rock musician Michael Houser (Widespread Panic) born
1966
Duke Ellington's concert of sacred music, recorded at 5th Avenue Presbyterian Church in New York City, was broadcast on CBS-TV.
1967
US Marines and South Vietnamese troops launched Operation "Deckhouse Five," an offensive in the Mekong River delta.
1968
Movie director John Singleton born
1975
The Broadway premiere of "The Wiz" opened, receiving enthusiastic reviews. The show, a black version of "The Wizard of Oz" ran for 1,672 shows at the Majestic Theatre.
1976
Actor Danny Pintauro ("Who's the Boss?") born
1984
The first test-tube quadruplets, all boys, were born in Melbourne, Australia.
1984
The 100th Congress convened with Democrats controlling both the houses of Congress.
1987
Members of the U.S. Senate voted 88-4 to establish an 11-member panel to hold public hearings on the Iran-Contra affair.
1987
Astronomers report sighting a new galaxy 12 billion light years away.
1988
Soviet Foreign Minister Eduard Shevardnadze was quoted by the Afghan news agency as saying the Kremlin wanted to pull its estimated 115,000 soldiers from Afghanistan in the coming year.
1989
The United States presented photographic evidence to the UN Security Council to justify its shootdown of two Libyan jet fighters as self-defense, evidence the Libyan ambassador said was faked.
1990
Defense Secretary Dick Cheney told CNN the US invasion of Panama should not be viewed as heralding a new "Bush doctrine" under which the United States would be inclined to intervene militarily in countries where democratic elections had been subverted.
1991
Federal regulators seized banks owned by Bank of New England Corporation in Massachusetts, Connecticut and Maine.
1991
Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, in a television address, told his country to prepare for a long war against what he called "tyranny represented by the United States."
1992
The United States joined the U.N. Security Council in condemning Israel's planned deportation of 12 Palestinians.
1992
After two weeks of fighting, ousted Georgian President Zviad Gamsakhurdia fled the capital, Tbilisi.
1992
The Food and Drug Administration called on surgeons to stop using silicone gel breast implants because of safety questions, but stopped short of an outright ban.
1993
Ballet dancer Rudolf Nureyev died in Paris at age 54
1993
Jazz trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie died in Englewood, New Jersey, at age 75.
1993
Authorities rescued Jennifer Stolpa and her infant son, Clayton, after Mrs. Stolpa's husband, James, succeeded in reaching help following the family's eight-day ordeal in the snow-covered Nevada desert.
1993
Joshua Bell played the Sibelius Violin Concerto with the Boston Symphony under guest-conductor Yuri Temirkanov.
1994
Figure skater Nancy Kerrigan was clubbed on the right leg by an assailant at Cobo Arena in Detroit; four men, including Jeff Gillooly, the ex-husband of Kerrigan's rival, Tonya Harding, were later sentenced to prison for their roles in the attack; Harding, who denied advance knowledge of the attack, received probation after pleading guilty to conspiracy to hinder prosecution.
1994
President Clinton's mother, Virginia Kelley, died in Hot Springs, Arkansas, at age 70.
1995
Over the protests of refugee advocates, the US military began sending Haitians housed at Guantanamo Bay Naval Base in Cuba home against their will.
1996
President Clinton, bowing to months of Republican demands, offered a seven-year balanced-budget plan using Congressional Budget Office figures.
1996
Republican candidates kicked off the 1996 presidential campaign year by shadowboxing with absent front-runner Bob Dole at a televised debate in Columbia, South Carolina.
1997
House Speaker Newt Gingrich met behind closed doors with Republican lawmakers, answering questions about his admitted ethics violations as he appealed for support in the speaker's election to be held the next day.
1998
A low-cost robot explorer blasted off from Florida, headed for a year-long mission to probe the moon for minerals and water ice. Lunar Prospector, NASA's first moon shot since men last set
1998
In a new bid to expand health insurance, President Clinton unveiled a proposal to offer Medicare coverage to hundreds of thousands of uninsured Americans between the ages of 55 to 64. Under the plan, people aged 62 to 65 would be allowed to buy into Medicare by paying a premium of $300 per month. Once they became eligible for Medicare at the regular age of 65, they would pay a surcharge of $10 to $20 per month for every year that they had bought into the program.
1998
The woman suing President Clinton for sexual harassment revealed that the Treasury Department is investigating whether there was any political pressure on the IRS to audit her tax returns. Lawyers for Paula Jones said the Treasury's Inspector General was probing the IRS decision to audit, which came shortly after Jones rejected an offer from White House lawyers to settle the suit out of court.
1998
The United Nations has approved an Iraqi food distribution plan for the latest phase of its oil-for-food program, opening the way for a resumption of limited Iraqi oil sales.
1998
Over 140 dead dolphins washed up on the coast of Venezuela's La Tortuga island in the Caribbean. Dead or dying dolphins were still arriving on the beach of the tiny island 19 miles from the mainland, but the cause was not known. An environmental group said it was unlikely to be because of man-made pollution because no other sea creatures had been affected.
1999
The 106th Congress convened with Dennis Hastert taking over as the new House speaker.
1999
Buckingham Palace announced that Prince Edward, the youngest son of Queen Elizabeth the Second, would marry his longtime girlfriend, public relations executive Sophie Rhys-Jones, later in the year.
2000
Republican presidential candidates debated in Durham, New Hampshire, with such issues as taxes and gays in the military dominating the discussion.
2000
In Miami, demonstrators angered by the US government's decision to send Elian Gonzalez back to Cuba skirmished with police, with hundreds blocking intersections and cutting off access to the busy Port of Miami.
2005
Pinochet arrested after Supreme Court ruling
2006
DNA re-test ordered on executed Virginia man
2006
CBS Corporation begins trading on New York Stock Exchange
2006
Comedian Jon Stewart to host 78th Academy Awards
2006
Ponting breaks cricket records
2006
Singer Lou Rawls dies of cancer
2006
Australia exports less to US despite FTA
2006
Bill Sweetenham cleared of bullying allegations
2006
New Zealand Maori Queen on dialysis
2006
Televangelist Pat Robertson suggests Sharon's stroke is act of God in response to Gaza withdrawal
2006
Two companies plea 'guilty' to Birmingham theatre stage collapse
2006
Record-breaking 2005 Atlantic Hurricane Season officially ends
2006
Canada wins gold at IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship
2006
Second Turk dies from bird flu, more suspected to be infected
2007
A1GP New Zealand speeds its way into record books
2007
Vancouver stadium dome damaged
2007
Southeast United States hit with strong storms
2007
Avalanche buries cars in Colorado
2007
Meteorite falls through roof of house in New Jersey
2008
Six die in Alaskan plane crash
2008
Bush urges US allies in Middle East to support Israeli-Palestinian peace talks
2008
Israel to welcome President Bush with 'open arms'
2008
London Knights trade Steve Mason to Kitchener Rangers
2008
Mikheil Saakashvili re-elected President of Georgia
2009
Australian Jews condemn Israeli ground attack on Gaza
2010
No debt yet: Iceland's President vetoes repayment of Icesave losses
2010
Croatian ruling party expels ex-PM from membership
2010
Explosives pass security checks in Slovakia, arrive in Ireland in failed test
2010
Giant tuna sold for $177,000 at Japanese fish market
2012
31 die in Mexico jail violence
2012
Indiana Democrats block session to halt labor bill
2012
New York firebomb suspect arraigned

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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