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Today in History

1789
Parisians storm the Bastille
1912
Poet, songwriter and folk singer, Woody Guthrie born in Okemah, Oklahoma
1918
Author and pioneering computer engineer, Jay Wright Forrester born in Climax, Nebraska
1928
Academy Award nominated actress, Nancy Olson born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin
1958
Iraqi monarchy overthrown
1965
Mariner 4 takes close-up photos of Mars
2002
French President Jacques Chirac escapes Bastille Day assassination attempt
664
Death of Erconberct, King of Kent
664
Death of Deusdedit, 6th Archbishop of Canterbury
1093
Death of St. Ulric of Zell
1099
Mining begins under the walls of Jerusalem (1st Crusade)
1187
Nablus falls to Saladin
1223
Death of King Philip II "Augustus" of France
1254
Death of Theobald IV, King of Navarre
1274
Philosopher, theologian, and mystic Bonaventura (born Giovanni Fidanza) dies.
1291
The Castle of the Sea (Sidon) falls to the Mameluks
1404
Treaty between Owain Glyn Dwr and France against England
1486
Andrea del Sarto, Italian painter born
1531
King Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon parted for the last time
1570
Reformed missal went into use in Roman Catholic churches
1602
Mazarin born
1614
Death of St. Camillus
1629
Pacification of Nimes
1634
Charles I, King of England, and his wife enter Oxford
1642
Empress Myosho of Japan moves into her new palace in Kyoto
1642
Benjamin Thompson, 1st native American poet born
1773
The first annual conference of the Methodist Church in America convened at St.George's Church in Philadelphia, PA.
1789
Mozart wrote a letter to his Baron Michael von Puchberg, reporting that he was in serious financial trouble because of illness and asking for a loan. He apologized for being "obliged to beg so shamelessly from my friend." The baron lent him the equivalent of several thousand dollars.
1789
During the French Revolution, citizens of Paris stormed the Bastille prison and released the seven prisoners inside.
1794
Scottish critic John Gibson Lockhart. He edited the influential Quarterly Review from 1823 to 1853. He married the daughter of Sir Walter Scott, whose biography he also wrote. born
1798
Congress passed the Sedition Act, making it a federal crime to publish false, scandalous or malicious writing about the United States government.
1800
Anglican clergyman Matthew Bridges. In 1848 he converted to Catholicism, under the influence of the Oxford Movement in England. He is remembered today for authoring the hymn, 'Crown Him with Many Crowns.' born
1833
Anglican clergyman John Keble preached his famous sermon on national religious apostasy. It marked the beginning of the Oxford Movement, which sought to purify and revitalize the Church of England.
1850
The first public demonstration of ice made by refrigeration.
1853
Commodore Matthew Perry relayed to Japanese officials a letter from former President Fillmore, requesting trade relations.
1858
British suffragist Emmeline Pankhurst born
1862
Austrian Art Nouveau painter Gustav Klimt born
1865
The first ascent of the Matterhorn.
1867
Alfred Nobel demonstrated dynamite.
1868
The patent for a tape measure was issued to A.J. Fellowes of New Haven, Connecticut.
1881
Outlaw William H. Bonney Junior, alias "Billy the Kid," was shot and killed by Sheriff Pat Garrett in Fort Sumner, New Mexico.
1888
The first American record company, North American Phonograph, was founded by a Pittsburgh businessman named Jesse Lippincott. This was more than thirty years before Pittsburgh would have the added distinction of hearing the first radio station K-D-K-A.
1892
The Baptist Young People's Union held its first national convention in Detroit. The founding of the BYP Union was inspired by the earlier work of Francis E. Clark, a Congregational pastor who founded the first 'modern' youth fellowship in 1881.
1895
British literary critic F.R. Leavis. born
1903
Irving Stone, the middlebrow author of fictional biographies of figures such as Michaelangelo (The Agony and the Ecstasy) and Van Gogh (Lust for Life) born
1904
Isaac Bashevis Singer in Radzymin, Poland. He wrote in Yiddish and English. He held American citizenship when he won the Nobel Prize for literature in 1978. born
1910
Animator William Hanna born
1912
Folk singer Woody Guthrie born
1913
Gerald Ford, 38th president of the United States (born Leslie King, but when his mother divorced King and married Gerald Ford, the boy's name was changed). He was the first President to serve without having been chosen in a National Election. born
1914
Robert Goddard was granted the first patent for a liquid-fueled rocket design.
1917
Three months after the declaration of war, the first American casualty of World War I was sustained at Arras, France.
1918
Swedish film director Ingmar Bergman born
1918
Jay Wright Forrester, invented random-access magnetic core memory. born
1919
Chouchou Debussy died of diphtheria at the age of fourteen. Chouchou was Debussy's only child and the inspiration for his suite "The Children's Corner," which includes "Golliwog's Cakewalk."
1923
Actor Dale Robertson born
1926
Actor Harry Dean Stanton born
1928
Actress Nancy Olson born
1930
Actress Polly Bergen (born Nellie Paulina Burgin) born
1932
Former football player Rosey Grier born
1933
Country singer Del Reeves born
1933
All political parties, except the Nazis, were officially suppressed in Germany.
1951
The George Washington Carver National Monument was dedicated in Diamond, MO.
1952
Actor Jerry Houser born
1952
Actor-director Eric Laneuville born
1958
Movie producer Scott Rudin ("The Truman Show") born
1958
The army of Iraq overthrew the monarchy.
1961
Actor Jackie Earle Haley born
1965
The American space probe "Mariner Four" flew by Mars, sending back photographs of the planet.
1965
US Ambassador Adlai E. Stevenson Junior, the Democratic presidential nominee in 1952 and 1956, died in London at age 65.
1966
Actor Matthew Fox born
1966
Rock singer-musician Tonya Donelly (Belly) born
1966
Eight student nurses were murdered by Richard Speck in a Chicago dormitory. (Speck died in prison in 1991, a day short of his 50th birthday.)
1970
Actress Missy Gold born
1975
Rhythm-and-blues singer Tameka Cottle (Xscape) born
1975
Hip-hop musician taboo (Black Eyed Peas) born
1976
Jimmy Carter won the Democratic presidential nomination by an overwhelming margin at the party's convention in New York.
1978
Soviet dissident Anatoly Shcharansky was convicted of treasonous espionage and anti-Soviet agitation, and sentenced to 13 years at hard labor. (Shcharansky was released in 1986.)
1981
The All-Star Game was postponed because of a 33-day-old baseball players strike. Still, some 15,000 fans showed up to boo the players and to see an imaginary game. The 52nd All-Star classic was not held until August 9.
1984
New Zealand's Labor Party, led by David Lange, won a landslide election victory, ending conservative Prime Minister Robert Muldoon's nine-year tenure.
1985
Doctors at Bethesda Naval Hospital said President Reagan was making a spectacular recovery from major abdominal surgery to remove an intestinal growth that proved to be cancerous.
1986
A federal judge in Los Angeles sentenced former FBI agent Richard W. Miller to two life terms plus 50 years in prison for spying for the Soviet Union.
1987
Lieutenant Colonel Oliver North concluded six days of testimony before the Iran-Contra committees.
1987
The National League took 13 innings to defeat the American League, 2-to-0, in the 58th All-Star Game in Oakland, California.
1988
Speaking before the UN Security Council, Iran's foreign minister, Ali-Akbar Velayati, denounced the US downing of an Iranian jetliner as "a barbaric massacre." Vice President Bush replied that the USS "Vincennes" had fired in self-defense.
1989
Leaders of the seven richest nations opened a summit in Paris, which was also celebrating the bicentennial of the French Revolution with pomp and pageantry.
1990
West German Chancellor Helmut Kohl arrived in Moscow for talks with Soviet President Mikhail S. Gorbachev that were aimed at soothing Kremlin concerns about German unification.
1991
American and Soviet negotiators in Washington continued work on trying to complete a treaty slashing long-range nuclear arsenals.
1991
Syrian President Hafez al-Assad accepted President Bush's compromise proposal for a Middle East peace conference.
1991
leaders of the group of Seven nations began gathering in London for their annual economic summit.
1992
The second day of the Democratic national convention heard from speakers who included former President Carter, the Reverend Jesse Jackson and AIDS activist Elisabeth Glaser.
1992
The American League won the All-Star game, defeating the National League team 13-to-6 at Jack Murphy Stadium in San Diego.
1993
President Clinton visited flood-stricken Iowa for the second time in ten days, telling flood victims to "hang in there."
1994
Scores of Hutu refugees from Rwanda's civil war flooded across the border into Zaire, swamping relief organizations.
1995
Under pressure from Congress, FBI Director Louis J. Freeh removed his friend Larry Potts as the bureau's deputy director because of controversy over Pott's role in a deadly 1992 FBI siege in Idaho.
1996
Fire crews were battling blazes covering more than 16-thousand acres in California, Colorado, Idaho, Oregon and Utah.
1996
Northern Ireland, a car bomb ravaged a country hotel soon after the building was evacuated. (A shadow group calling itself "Continuity" claimed responsibility for the blast.)
1997
The international war crimes tribunal for the former Yugoslavia sentenced Dusan Tadic, a Bosnian Serb, to 20 years in prison for turning on his Muslim and Croat neighbors in a deadly campaign of terror and torture.
1997
O.J. Simpson's California mansion was auctioned off for $2.6 million dollars.
1998
The city of Los Angeles sued 15 tobacco companies for $2.5 billion over the dangers of secondhand smoke.
1999
Iranian hard-liners answered a week of pro-democracy rallies with one of their own, sending 100,000 people into the streets of Tehran.
1999
Major league umpires voted to resign Sept. 2 and not work the final month of the season (the strategy collapsed, with baseball owners accepting the resignations of 22 umpires).
1999
Race-based school busing in Boston ended after 25 years.
2000
A Florida jury ordered five major tobacco companies to pay smokers a record $145 billion in punitive damages.
2000
The 13th International AIDS Conference came to a close in Durban, South Africa.
2000
Actress Meredith MacRae of TV's "Petticoat Junction" died in Manhattan Beach, California, at age 56.
2005
London bombing suspects are all British nationals
2005
Two-minute silence for London bombings marked across the EU
2005
Australia commits more troops to Afghanistan
2005
Hurricane Emily hits Grenada
2005
Palestinian rocket attack kills Israeli woman
2005
Building partially collapses in New York City's Upper West Side
2005
Hillary Clinton demands video-game smut enquiry
2005
First Active offer 100% mortgages in Ireland
2005
Metropolitan Police release photographs of one of the London bombers
2005
Serbian government gives scholarships to students studying abroad
2005
Married couple scheme issues phony driver's licenses in Virginia
2005
Rail manslaughter charges are dropped in Hatfield, England
2005
NHL lockout ends
2005
Palestinian security forces clash with militants, Palestinian Interrior Minister Nasser Yousef declares state of emergency
2005
Age of Britain's Toldpuddle Martyr tree discovered
2005
Israeli Air Force attacks targets in Gaza
2005
Arsenal lets Vieira go
2005
São Paulo crowned Copa Libertadores champions
2006
Juventus, Lazio and Fiorentina relegated from Italy's Serie A
2006
Hezbollah-Israel war continues for a third day
2007
Man takes armoured vehicle on rampage through Western Sydney
2007
Political pundits debate Fred Thompson's younger wife
2007
Australian police charge Indian doctor over failed UK bombings
2007
Creationist who threatened biologists threatened others at university
2007
Tour de France: Linus Gerdemann wins stage 7
2007
Fast evolution observed in butterflies
2007
Two teenagers charged in alleged school attack plot
2007
Rural New Zealand crash leaves one child dead
2007
FIFA U20 World Cup: Austria eliminates Americans in Quarter Finals
2007
AFC Asian Cup: Iraq shock Australia, Japan overcome UAE
2007
Reports: Bomb threats close 14 supermarkets in UK
2008
13 missing from ship off coast of Madagascar; two rescued
2008
Details emerge on Norway Rock Festival deaths as Motörhead hold minute's silence
2008
Sulpicio names companies hired for 'Princess of the Stars' salvage
2008
Spain-based Santander agrees to purchase of UK bank Alliance & Leicester
2009
Javier Velásquez named as Peru’s new Prime Minister
2009
'Monster' fish killed in Swiss lake after biting swimmers
2009
British conductor Edward Downes and wife die in double assisted suicide
2009
Microsoft announces web version of Office
2009
US wildfire reaches Interstate 5 near Los Angeles
2009
Two French journalists kidnapped by Somali gunmen
2009
Tropical Storm Carlos re-strengthens over the Pacific
2009
U.K. National Portrait Gallery threatens U.S. citizen with legal action over Wikimedia images
2010
Drunken man is surprised crocodile bit him
2010
Facebook and UK government clash over tributes to killer
2010
Woman hospitalized after allegedly stabbing daughter to death at Fort MacArthur, California
2010
US hands Iraq high-profile prisoners
2010
Crash data suggests driver error in Toyota accidents
2010
Tax breaks promised by Australian Prime Minister as election fast approaches
2010
Man claims 84 percent ownership of Facebook
2010
Intel posts best ever quarterly results
2012
Chelsea F.C. captain John Terry cleared of racial abuse charge
2013
George Zimmerman found not guilty in Trayvon Martin case

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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