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Today in History

Distaff Day
1610
Galileo Galilei observes four moons of Jupiter
1894
Patent issued for motion picture film
1912
Cartoonist for the The New Yorker, Charles Addams born in Westfield, New Jersey
1927
First transatlantic telephone call
1931
Professor, editor and author, E.L. Doctorow born in Bronx, New York
1948
Record producer, songwriter and singer Kenny Loggins born in Everett, Washington
1950
Davenport, Iowa hospital fire kills 41
1956
Filmfare Award winning actress, Reena Roy born in Bombay, India
1958
Singer and Golden Globe Award winning actress, Linda Kozlowski born in Fairfield, Connecticut
1959
Bass guitarist for the Go-Go's, Kathy Valentine born in Austin, Texas
1964
Academy Award winning actor, Nicolas Cage born Nicholas Kim Coppola in Long Beach, California
1980
President Jimmy Carter authorizes $1.5 billion Chrysler bailout
49
Roman Senate declares Caesar a public enemy unless he disbands his army
312
Martyrdom of St. Lucian
1131
Murder of St. Canute Lavard
1285
Death of Charles I of Anjou, King of Naples and Sicily
1327
Edward II is deposed. Edward II was the son of the great English Warrior, King Edward I.
1477
The body of Charles the Bold is found, half eaten by wolves
1502
Pope Gregory XIII born
1537
Assassination of Alessandro de Medici
1566
Pope Pius V elected
1598
Death of Czar Theodore of Muscovy
1598
Boris Godunov seizes the Russian throne on death of Theodore I
1610
Galileo, using his primitive telescope, discovered the four major moons of Jupiter: Io, Europa, Ganymede and Callisto.
1611
Second trial of Countess Elizabeth Bathory, for "satanic terror;" she is found guilty and walled up in her tower
1618
Francis Bacon appointed Lord Chancellor of England
1714
The typewriter is patented (It was not built years later)
1745
Frenchman Jacques Montgolfier, who, with his brother, invented the hot air balloon born
1785
The 1st balloon flight across the English Channel was completed. The flight was by balloonist Jean-Pierre Blanchard. Mr. Blanchard and his passenger had to shed all of their clothes as the wind died and the balloon's airbag cooled too quickly over the sea.
1789
The first nationwide U.S. presidential election was held. The electors chosen by the voters unanimously picked George Washington as president and John Adams as vice president.
1800
Millard Fillmore, 13th president of the United States (1850-1853) born
1809
Beethoven, fresh from the success of his Fifth and Sixth Symphonies, wrote to his publisher declaring that "nobody in Vienna has more enemies than I do. This is readily comprehended since the state of music here is growing worse and worse."
1844
Bernadette Soubirous, who became St. Bernadette. born
1845
Louis III, last King of Bavaria. born
1873
Film executive Adolph Zukor born
1894
One of the earliest motion picture experiments took place at the Thomas Edison studio in West Orange, New Jersey, as comedian Fred Ott was filmed sneezing.
1901
New York stock exchange trading exceeds two million shares for the first time in history.
1904
The distress signal, "CQD", was established this day. It didn't last long. Two years later, "SOS" became the radio distress signal because it was more convenient.
1926
George Burns and Gracie Allen were married by a Justice of the Peace in Cleveland, Ohio.
1927
Commercial transatlantic telephone service was inaugurated between New York and London.
1928
Author William Peter Blatty born
1929
"Tarzan", one of the first adventure comic strips appears.
1929
Sheffield Farms of New York begins using wax paper cartons instead of glass bottles for milk delivery.
1929
The comic strip "Buck Rogers 2429 A.D." appeared for the first time in newspapers around the nation. The comic strip title was later changed to: "Buck Rogers in the 25th Century."
1930
Country singer Jack Greene (There Goes My Everything) born
1931
As the Great Depression was getting under way, a report to President Hoover estimated that four-million to five-million Americans were out of work.
1934
The U.S.S.R.'s first ambassador to the U.S. arrives in New York.
1934
Six-thousand pastors in Berlin defy the Nazis insisting that they will not be muzzled.
1942
The World War Two siege of Bataan began.
1942
Pop musician Paul Revere born
1944
The U.S. Air Force announces the production of the first jet-fighter, Bell P-59 Airacomet.
1946
Magazine publisher Jann Wenner born
1948
Singer Kenny Loggins born
1949
Singer-songwriter Marshall Chapman born
1951
Hostile demonstrations welcome Eisenhower to Paris talks on European defense strategy.
1952
Actor Sammo Hung ("Martial Law") born
1953
President Truman announced in his State of the Union address that the United States had developed a hydrogen bomb.
1955
Marian Anderson became the first African-American to sing at New York's Metropolitan Opera. She sang Ulrica in Verdi's "The Masked Ball." Marian Anderson was 53 before she got this opportunity.
1957
"Today" show co-host Katie Couric born
1959
Country singer David Lee Murphy born
1959
Rock musician Kathy Valentine (The Go-Go's) born
1959
The United States recognized Fidel Castro's new government in Cuba.
1960
Actor David Marciano born
1963
First Class postage raised from 4 cents to 5 cents.
1964
Actor Nicolas Cage born
1968
First Class postage raised from 5 cents to 6 cents.
1970
Actor Doug E. Doug ("Cosby") born
1972
Lewis F. Powell Junior and William H. Rehnquist were sworn in as the 99th and 100th members of the US Supreme Court.
1974
Country singer-musician John Rich (Lonestar) born
1976
Actor Dustin Diamond ("Saved by the Bell born
1979
Vietnamese forces captured the Cambodian capital of Phnom Penh, overthrowing the Khmer Rouge government.
1985
Yul Brynner returned to the Broadway stage as "The King and I" returned to where Yul first began his reign, 33 years before. Through his career to that date, Brynner appeared in 4,434 shows without missing a single performance.
1985
Vietnam seizes Khmer National Liberation Front headquarters near the Thai border.
1987
Assassins using a remote-controlled car bomb tried but failed to assassinate former Lebanese President Camille Chamoun. Four other people, however, were killed.
1988
Secretary of State George P. Shultz, seeking to smooth a rift caused by a United Nations vote, told reporters that overall American support for Israel remained "unshakable."
1988
British actor Trevor Howard died in Bushey, England, at age 71.
1989
Emperor Hirohito of Japan died at age 87; he was succeeded by Crown Prince Akihito.
1990
The president of El Salvador, Alfredo Cristiani, said in a nationally broadcast address that military men had carried out the massacre of six Jesuit priests, their housekeeper and her daughter the previous November.
1991
Pete Rose left an Illinois federal prison camp and checked into a halfway house in Cincinnati to complete his sentence for cheating on his taxes.
1991
Defense Secretary Dick Cheney canceled plans to purchase the A-12 stealth attack plane for the Navy.
1991
Loyalist troops in Haiti crushed a coup attempt that had threatened the transition of power to the country's first freely elected president, Jean-Bertrand Aristide.
1992
President George Bush arrived in Japan on a tough-talk trade mission.
1992
Serb forces shot down a European Community helicopter in Croatia, killing five truce observers.
1992
Pitchers Tom Seaver and Rollie Fingers were elected to baseball's Hall of Fame.
1993
A preliminary report prepared for the European Community said about 20,000 women in Bosnia-Herzegovina might have been raped by Serb fighters.
1993
US forces in Somalia unleashed tank, helicopter and rocket fire on two clan camps in Mogadishu where snipers had been taking potshots at the troops.
1994
The government reported the unemployment rate fell to a three-year low of 6.4 percent in December 1993.
1994
Nancy Kerrigan withdrew from the US Figure Skating Championships in Detroit, a day after her right leg was severely bruised in an attack following a practice session.
1995
Major General Viktor Vorobyov, a senior commander leading Russian troops in their advance on the secessionist capital of Chechnya, was killed by a mortar shell.
1996
One of the biggest blizzards in U.S. history paralyzed the East. (More than 100 deaths were later blamed on the severe weather.)
1996
Republicans rejected President Clinton's budget plan and warned they would close government programs they didn't like if there were no agreement on a budget plan in the next few weeks.
1997
Newt Gingrich overcame dissension in the G-O-P ranks to become the first Republican re-elected House speaker in 68 years.
1998
The government of Canada apologized for past acts of oppression against the country's native peoples.
1998
A U.S. Customs agent died from injuries sustained while helping protect President Clinton in the U.S. Virgin Islands the previous week. Senior Special Agent Manuel Zurita, a 12-year veteran based in Puerto Rico, died while being treated for a punctured lung and other internal injuries. He was one of three customs agents injured when their boat hit a rock off St. Thomas, following an assignment assisting the Secret Service during the landing of Air Force One.
1998
Convicted Oklahoma City bombing conspirator Terry Nichols escaped the death penalty when a jury deadlocked over his punishment.
1998
Hundreds of villagers packed belongings and fled their homes in remote mountains in western Algeria after at least 600 men, women and children were massacred there the previous week.
1999
For only the second time in history, an impeached American president went on trial before the Senate.
2000
US Representative Dan Burton (Republican, Indiana), subpoenaed Elian Gonzalez to testify before Congress, a bid to keep Elian in the United States for at least another month while courts decided whether the six-year-old should be returned to Cuba. (Elian never actually testified.)
2005
Discovery of the most powerful explosion in the Universe
2005
'Noise' takes on 'Fockers' in weekend box office race
2005
Heavy Lift Delta IV Rocket Launches
2006
Australian government says technology could reduce emissions three times more than Kyoto
2006
Interview with Frank Warren, founder of PostSecret
2006
Tamil Tigers blamed for attack on Sri Lankan Navy
2006
20 people injured after stand collapse in the Carnival of Blacks and Whites in Colombia
2006
Michael Jackson sued for unpaid veterinarian bills
2006
Indonesian fishermen jailed for fishing offences in Australian waters
2007
ICANN top-level .xxx domain name not dead yet
2007
BrasilTelecom blocks YouTube
2007
Sunday Times says Israel is planning nuclear strike against Iran
2007
Warming oceans make it harder for fish to breathe
2007
Inventor of instant noodles passes away
2008
Police in Texas arrest man eating dead girlfriend
2008
Wikipedians support the Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity by bidding on Wikipedia DVDs
2008
TWTC Nangang will be included into Tour de Taiwan
2008
Kenya's leader Kibaki seeks Ghanaian president Kufuor's mediation
2008
U.S. Supreme Court hears arguments on constitutionality of lethal injection
2009
CNN medical correspondent to be named US Surgeon General
2009
Australian Tax Office warns against tax return scam
2009
Ice, snow, and cold strike throughout Europe
2009
China targets Google, Baidu and Internet portals over porn
2010
With US mid-term elections fast approaching, three prominent Democrats announce retirement
2010
Northern Ireland loyalist group lays down arms
2010
Obama's suspension of Guantanamo repatriations criticized
2010
Swiss millionaire gets record speeding fine
2010
Jonathan Ross announces departure from BBC
2010
Bank of England holds interest rates at record low
2010
Man accused of Holocaust Museum shooting dies
2011
Ivory Coast expels British, Canadian ambassadors
2011
Homeless Columbus, Ohio man with 'god-given gift of voice' becomes YouTube sensation
2011
'Suspicious' package closes half of Washington Dulles Airport terminal
2012
US government expands definition of rape to include men
2012
Six die in Nigeria church shooting
2012
Japan Airlines to relist shares
2013
Abby Wambach wins FIFA World Player of the Year

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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