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Today in History

1796
Carl Gauss discovers all positive integers are representable as a sum of at most three triangular numbers
1856
Inventor and electrical engineer Nikola Tesla born in Smiljan, Austrian Empire
1921
First living woman whose portrait appeared on a US coin, Eunice Kennedy Shriver born in Brookline, Massachusetts
1926
Painter, author, singer and actor, Fred Gwynne born in New York City
1945
Actor Ron Glass born in Evansville, Indiana
1946
Golden Globe Award winning actress Sue Lyon born in Davenport, Iowa
1947
Musician and folk singer, Arlo Guthrie born in Coney Island, New York
1962
Telstar communications satellite launched
1973
Independence Day in The Bahamas
1980
Singer and actress Jessica Simpson, born in Abilene, Texas
138
Death of Hadrian, Roman emperor who sponsored the building of a wall across northern Britain to keep the Scots out of England. He provided a little relief in the persecution of Christians. He ordered cases against Christians tried, but he decreed that the defendants had to be proven guilty before they could be condemned. Slanderous attacks on them were forbidden. At the same time he was bitterly opposed to Judaism. For example, he had pagan altars erected on the site of the temple in Jerusalem leading to other Jewish uprisings.
938
Death of Pope Benedict VII
1024
Death of Pope Benedict VIII
1040
Lady Godiva rides through Coventry.
1073
Death of St. Anthony of the Caves
1086
Death of Canute IV, King of Denmark
1099
Rodrigo Diaz de Bivar, El Cid, died in Valencia, after the defeat of his forces against the Moors.
1187
Acre falls to Saladin
1290
Murder of Ladislaus IV, King of Hungary
1296
John Baliol surrenders to Edward I, King of England
1376
The "Good Parliament" closes
1451
James III, King of Scotland born
1472
Heroines of Beauvais force Charles the Bold to raise seige of Beauvais
1480
Death of Rene I, King of Naples, Sicily and Jerusalem
1509
Protestant theologian John Calvin born
1520
Cortes retreats from Tenochtitlan
1547
A duel was fought at Saint Germain-en-Laye, between Francois de Vivonne, and the Lord of Jarnac, Guy de Chabot. From this duel comes the fencing term of the "coup de Jarnac" or leg cut
1559
Henry II, King of France, dies of injuries sustained in a joust
1584
Assassination of William of Orange
1605
Assassination of Fyodor II, Czar of Russia
1733
Handel's oratorio "Athalia" was premiered in Oxford. The premiere had been delayed one night because commencement ceremonies the previous afternoon had last far later than anyone had intended.
1830
Camille Pissarro, French painter of the Impressionist group. born
1832
President Andrew Jackson vetoed legislation to re-charter the Second Bank of the United States.
1856
Nikola Tesla whose patents and theoretical work formed the basis of modern alternating current power (AC) systems, including the polyphase power distribution systems and the AC motor, born in Smiljan, Austrian Empire
1867
Finley Peter Dunne, journalist/humorist who created Mr. Dooley. born
1871
Marcel Proust French novelist whose masterpiece is the seven-volume Rememberance of Things Past born
1875
Edmund Clerihew - inventor of the humorous verse named for him. born
1889
Verdi wrote that he, quote, "won't think of obstacles, of age, of illness," and set to work composing an opera on the story of "Falstaff." Verdi was then 75 and "Falstaff" would be his last opera.
1890
Wyoming was admitted to the Union as the 44th state.
1895
Carl Orff was born into a military family in Munich. He composed songs and wrote short stories while still a child. Orff finished a large choral work based on "Also Sprach Zarathustra" when he was 17 and composed an opera the following year. born
1900
One of the most famous trademarks in the world, "His Master's Voice", was registered with the U.S. Patent Office. The logo of the Victor Recording Company, and later, RCA Victor, shows the dog, Nipper, looking into the horn of a gramophone machine.
1917
Don Herbert -science teacher born
1919
President Wilson personally delivered the Treaty of Versailles to the Senate, and urged its ratification.
1920
TV news anchor and commentator David Brinkley born
1921
Former boxer Jake LaMotta born
1921
Eunice Kennedy Shriver born
1925
The Scopes 'Monkey' Trial starts.
1925
The official news agency of the Soviet Union, TASS, was established.
1926
Fred Gwynne actor born
1927
Former New York City Mayor David N. Dinkins born
1928
George Eastman demonstrated his invention of the color movie.
1929
The U.S. Government began issuing paper money in the small size that is currently used.
1933
Broadway composer Jerry Herman born
1933
Director Ivan Passer born
1938
Howard Hughes completed his flight around the world. It took him 91 hours to complete the Odyssey.
1940
During World War Two, the 114-day Battle of Britain began as Nazi forces began attacking southern England by air. By late October, Britain managed to repel the Luftwaffe, which suffered heavy losses.
1940
Actor Mills Watson born
1941
Actor Robert Pine born
1941
Jelly Roll Morton, American ragtime piano player and composer, (self proclaimed inventor of Jazz) dies in Los Angeles.
1943
Tennis star Arthur Ashe born
1943
During World War Two, US and British forces invaded Sicily.
1943
Rock musician Jerry Miller (Moby Grape) born
1945
Actor Ron Glass born
1945
Tennis player Virginia Wade born
1946
Actress Sue Lyon ("Lolita") born
1947
Folk singer Arlo Guthrie born
1951
Country-folk singer-songwriter Cheryl Wheeler born
1951
Armistice talks aimed at ending the Korean conflict began at Kaesong.
1954
Rock singer Neil Tennant (Pet Shop Boys) born
1958
Banjo player Bela Fleck born
1960
Country musician Hawkshaw Wilson (BR5-49) born
1962
The pioneer telecommunications satellite Telstar began relaying TV pictures between the United States and Europe. Telstar was the 1st geosynchonous communications satelite launched. Its concept based on the ideas of Arthur C. Clark.
1965
Rock musician Peter DiStefano (Porno for Pyros) born
1973
The Bahamas became independent after three centuries of British colonial rule.
1975
Cher filed for divorce from rocker Greg Allman, just ten days after the couple had married. She said that Allman had been moonlighting with an old flame.
1976
Actor Adrian Grenier born
1980
Actor Thomas Ian Nicholas born
1980
Actress Jessica Simpson born
1983
Schoolgirl Samantha Smith, invited to the Soviet Union by President Yuri V. Andropov, joined 200 members of a Soviet youth group for a Black Sea cruise, and tossed a bottle containing a message for peace into the water.
1984
The National League beat the American League 3-1 in the All-Star Game, played in San Francisco, in which pitchers Fernando Valenzuela and Dwight Gooden struck out six batters in a row to break a 50-year-old record.
1985
The Coca-Cola Company announced that the former (regular) Coke would return to the beverage shelves in stores. Consumers were just not happy with the New Coke. The original formula was renamed Coca-Cola Classic.
1985
The enviornmental protest ship "Rainbow Warrior was blown up and sunk in the horbor of Auckland, New Zealand. The ship was scheduled to leave on a trip to protest French nuclear tests in the South Pacific.
1986
The Federal Reserve Board cut its discount rate from 6.5 to 6 percent, its lowest level since early 1978.
1987
Lieutenant Colonel Oliver North told the Iran-Contra committees the late CIA director William J. Casey had embraced a fund created by arms sales to Iran because it could be used for secret operations other than supplying the Contras.
1988
Opposition party activists in Mexico blocked a bridge linking their country to the United States, charging that Mexico's recent presidential election was marked by widespread fraud.
1989
Mel Blanc, the "man of a thousand voices," including such cartoon characters as Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck and Porky Pig, died in Los Angeles at age 81.
1990
Mikhail S. Gorbachev handily won re-election as leader of the Soviet Communist Party.
1990
The American League shut out the National League, 2-0, in the 61st All-Star game.
1991
In Moscow, Boris Yeltsin was inaugurated as the first freely elected president of the Russian republic.
1991
President Bush announced he was appointing Alan Greenspan to a second term as Federal Reserve chairman.
1991
President Bush lifted economic sanctions against South Africa.
1991
Boris N. Yeltsin took the oath of office as the first elected president of the Russian republic.
1991
President Bush lifted economic sanctions against South Africa, citing its "profound transformation" toward racial equality.
1992
A New York jury found Pan Am responsible for allowing a terrorist bomb to destroy Flight 103 in 1988, killing 270 people.
1992
A federal judge in Miami sentenced former Panamanian leader Manuel Noriega, convicted of drug and racketeering charges, to 40 years in prison.
1993
President Clinton ended his visit to Japan, then traveled to South Korea, where in a speech to the National Assembly he denounced communist North Korea for raising the specter of "nuclear annihilation."
1994
In the first meeting of its kind, Russian President Boris N. Yeltsin joined leaders of the Group of Seven nations for political talks following their annual economic summit in Naples, Italy.
1995
The defense opened its case at the O.J. Simpson murder trial in Los Angeles.
1995
President Clinton embraced mandatory ratings for TV programs and legislation to put parental-control chips in new sets.
1995
Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi was freed from her almost six-year-long house arrest in Rangoon, Burma.
1996
Ross Perot said on CNN he would make a second run for president if nominated by the Reform Party -- putting him in contention with former Colorado Governor Richard Lamm, who'd announced his candidacy the day before.
1996
A tough speech to Congress laying out conditions for Mideast negotiations, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu demanded that Syria and the Palestinians stop terrorists from attacking Israel.
1997
NATO forces captured one Serb war crimes suspect and killed another.
1997
President Clinton, visiting Poland, told a Warsaw square filled with cheering Poles that "never again will your fate be decided by others" following his successful drive to bring Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic into NATO by 1999.
1997
Scientists in London say DNA from a Neanderthal skeleton supported a theory that all humanity descended from an "African Eve" 100,000 to 200,000 years ago.
1998
Bringing to a close one of the biggest sex scandals ever to hit the Roman Catholic Church, the Diocese of Dallas agreed to pay $23.4 million to nine former altar boys who said they'd been molested by a priest.
1999
The U.S. women's soccer team won the World Cup, beating China 5-4 on penalty kicks after 120 minutes of scoreless play at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California.
2000
Texas Governor George W. Bush, facing a skeptical audience, told the NAACP convention in Baltimore that "the party of Lincoln has not always carried the mantle of Lincoln," and promised to work to improve relations.
2000
Israeli President Ezer Weizman resigned, effectively ending a seven-year term that turned sour when he was found to have acted improperly by accepting gifts while in office.
2005
Mixed reactions to G8 summit
2005
Newspaper refuses to utilize leaked documents in article
2005
Responsibility claim for London attacks questioned by experts
2005
Luxembourg votes Yes to the EU treaty
2005
UK remembers end of World War II sixty years on
2005
North Korea to rejoin six-nation talks
2005
New Enterprise Linux distribution on the horizon
2005
Birmingham UK threat was 'real and very credible'
2006
Argentina qualify for Rugby World Cup in France next year
2006
Building collapses in Manhattan
2006
Four more U.S. soldiers charged with rape of 14-year-old girl, murders
2006
45 feared dead in Pakistan air crash
2006
Auckland Zoo otter Jin has been found alive
2006
Queensland cabinet commits to dams
2006
Zinedine Zidane named the best player
2007
Al-Qaeda threatens UK over Rushdie's knighthood
2007
NASA readies Mars lander for launch
2007
Top two aides quit US presidential candidate McCain's campaign
2007
Cyprus and Malta to adopt the euro
2007
Argentina celebrates its independence day covered in white
2007
Plane crash in Florida kills five
2007
Self-Defence party to stay on in the governing coalition of Poland
2007
US Immigrants protest Green Card delays with flowers
2007
Tour de France: Yellow jersey Cancellara surprises sprinters
2007
Pakistani army storms Red Mosque; Ghazi is killed
2007
Polish Deputy Prime Minister Andrzej Lepper sacked
2008
Uzbekistan arms depot explosions leave three dead
2008
Polish leaders discuss the anti-missile shield negotiations
2008
Large earthquake hits Southern Peru, one killed
2008
British Airways give medals to Flight 38's crew
2008
British teenager finds baby bat in her bra
2008
Iran tests more missiles as war games continue
2008
Salmonella outbreak sickens over one thousand in United States
2008
Karl Rove refuses to testify before House Judiciary Committee
2008
Poland announces Olympians for the Summer Olympics in Beijing
2008
UK car crash in Leicestershire kills six
2008
UK mathematician Nick Higham wins Fröhlich Prize
2008
Sudan ambush leaves seven peacekeepers dead, more than a dozen wounded
2009
G8 leaders set new emissions target
2009
Major fire reported in Soho, London
2009
Canada pursues new nuclear research reactor to produce medical isotopes
2010
US prisoner in North Korea 'attempts suicide'
2011
British Gas to increase electricity, gas prices
2011
Murdoch empire in crisis after newspaper closes: BSkyB bid halted, former editor arrested, anger at chief executive
2011
South Sudan gains independence
2011
US government reports decline in teen birth rate and binge drinking, rise in poverty and drug abuse
2012
'Imagine a world without free knowledge', in Russia
2012
Australian Paralympic swim team announced
2013
Stefan Millar to appeal Liam Aitchison murder conviction

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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