[an error occurred while processing this directive]
[an error occurred while processing this directive]

Today in History

1796
Painter, printmaker and etcher, Jean-Baptiste Camille Corot born in Paris, France
1907
Academy, Golden Globe, and Emmy Award winning actress, Barbara Stanwyck born in New York City
1911
Academy Award winning actress, singer and dancer, Ginger Rogers born in Independence, Missouri
1945
First atomic bomb detonated at Alamagordo
1958
One of the National Geographic Society's Living Treasures, Irish step dancer Michael Flatley born in Chicago, Illinois
1963
Actress Phoebe Cates born Phoebe Belle Katz in New York City
1966
Eric Clapton, Jack Bruce and Ginger Baker form the rock band Cream
1973
Existence of Nixon tapes revealed
1998
Tsunami kills 3,000 in Papua, New Guinea
1054
The 'Great Schism' between the Western and Eastern churches began over rival claims of universal pre-eminence. (In 1965, 911 years later, Pope Paul VI and Patriarch Athenagoras I met to declare an end to the schism.)
1054
Excommunication of Michael Cerularius, Patriarch of Constantinople
1099
Crusaders herd the Jews of Jerusalem into a synagogue & set it afire
1216
Death of Pope Innocent III
1342
Death of Charles I, King of Hungary
1439
Kissing banned in England, in an attempt to stop the spread of pestilence and disease
1486
The Italian painter Andrea del Sarto. born
1493
Caterina da Vinci, mother of Leonardo, arrives in Milan
1498
Legation of Machiavelli to Caterina Sforza, the Countess of Imola and Forti
1519
The Disputation of Leipzig, in which Martin Luther argued that church councils had been wrong and that the church did not have ultimate doctrinal authority, ends.
1546
Anne Askew burnt in England for denying doctrine of transubstantiation
1647
Tommaso Aniello, known as "Masaniello," organizes a strike in Naples
1704
John Kay England, machinist, invented flying shuttle born
1723
Sir Joshua Reynolds England, portrait painter (Simplicity) The Pre-Raphaleites called him "Sir Sloshua." born
1746
Giuseppe Piazzi discovered 1st asteroid (Ceres) born
1769
Spanish Franciscan missionary Father Junipero Serra founded the San Diego deAlcala mission in California -- the first permanent Spanish settlement on America's westcoast.
1782
"The Abduction from the Seraglio" was premiered in Vienna. The reaction was mixed. Mostly it went over well, but there was a loud group of naysayers in the upper gallery. And Emperor Joseph the Second of Austria would later issue his own gentle criticism.
1790
Congress designated the District of Columbia as the permanent seat of the United States government.
1796
French painter Jean Baptiste Camille Corot. His large, grandiose paintings contrasted with the work of the Impressionists. born
1821
Mary Baker Eddy, founder of the Christian Science Church. born
1861
First major battle of the Civil War -- Bull Run.
1862
David G. Farragut became the first rear admiral in the United States Navy.
1863
Howard E. Smith, American church organist and composer of the melody to the popular hymn, 'Love Lifted Me.' born
1867
A patent for ready-mixed paint was granted to D.R. Averill, of Newberg, Ohio.
1872
Norwegian explorer Roald Admundsen was born. He was the first to reach the South Pole by land and navigated the Northwest Passage. born
1887
"Shoeless" Joe Jackson black sox player born
1888
Actor Percy Kilbride ("Pa Kettle") born
1906
TV director Vincent Sherman born
1907
Orville Redenbacher popcorn king (Orville Redenbacher's Gourmet) born
1907
Actress Barbara Stanwyck (born Ruby Stevens), (Dynasty II, Big Valley, Thorn Birds) born
1911
Actress-dancer Ginger Rogers (born Virginia Katherine McNath) born
1915
Actor Barnard Hughes born
1918
Russia's Czar Nicholas the Second, his empress and their five children were executed by the Bolsheviks.
1924
Bess Myerson NYC, 1st Jewish Miss America (1945) born
1927
Singer Mindy Carson born
1931
Missionary C.T. Studd, one of the famous "Cambridge Seven" and [missionary] to China, India, and Africa, dies.
1932
Former Attorney General Dick Thornburgh born
1935
The first parking meters were installed, in Oklahoma City.
1939
Actor Corin Redgrave born
1939
Soul singer William Bell born
1942
Former tennis player Margaret Court born
1945
The United States exploded its first experimental atomic bomb, in the desert of Alamogordo, New Mexico. (Trinity Site)
1948
Pinchas Zukerman was born in Tel Aviv. Zukerman was a prodigy on the violin, one result of which was that he was never quite able to shake the childhood nickname of "Pinky." By his thirties Zukerman was also interested in conducting. born
1948
Actor-singer Ruben Blades born
1951
J.D. Salinger's Catcher in the Rye was published.
1952
Rock composer-musician Stewart Copeland born
1956
The last Ringling Bros. Barnum and Bailey circus held its last show under the canvas tent.
1957
Marine Major John Glenn set a transcontinental speed record when he flew a jet from California to New York in three hours, 23 minutes and eight seconds.
1958
Dancer Michael Flatley born
1963
Actress Phoebe Cates born
1964
In accepting the Republican presidential nomination in San Francisco, Barry M. Goldwater said "extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice" and that "moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue."
1967
Actor-comedian Will Ferrell born
1969
Actress Rain Pryor born
1969
"Apollo Eleven" blasted off from Cape Kennedy on the first manned mission to the surface of the moon. The astronauts onboard were: Neil Armstrong, Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin and Michael Collins.
1971
Actor Corey Feldman born
1971
Rock musician Ed Kowalczyk (Live) born
1973
During the Senate Watergate hearings, former White House aide Alexander P. Butterfield publicly revealed the existence of President Nixon's secret taping system.
1979
Saddam Hussein became president of Iraq.
1980
Ronald Reagan won the Republican presidential nomination at the party's convention in Detroit.
1985
The National League won baseball's 56th All-Star Game, defeating the American League 6-1 at the Metrodome in Minneapolis. The game marked the first program to be broadcast in stereo by a TV network. NBC gets the honor.
1986
Lawrence B. Mulloy, director of the space shuttle's solid rocket booster program at the time of the Challenger disaster, announced he was retiring from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.
1987
Former White House political director Lyn Nofziger was charged with violating federal ethics laws in a six-count indictment. (Nofziger was later convicted of three counts of illegally lobbying White House officials; however, those convictions were overturned by a federal appeals court.)
1988
The Reverend Jesse Jackson arrived in Atlanta for the Democratic national convention, telling cheering supporters he was seeking "shared responsibility" with nominee-apparent Michael Dukakis.
1989
Leaders of the seven major industrial democracies wrapped up their economic summit in Paris with a call for "decisive action" to fight global pollution.
1989
Conductor Herbert von Karajan died near Salzburg, Austria, at age 81.
1990
An earthquake measuring 7.7 on the Richter scale devastated the Philippines, killing over 1,600 people. A thousand more were missing. It was the worst earthquake in that part of the world since 1976.
1990
Soviet President Mikhail S. Gorbachev and West German Chancellor Helmut Kohl announced that Moscow had agreed to drop its objection to a united Germany's membership in NATO.
1991
Leaders of the group of Seven nations holding their economic summit in London issued a communiqu calling for a "new spirit of cooperation" in the international community.
1992
Bill Clinton delivered his acceptance speech a day after winning the Democratic presidential nomination at the party's convention in New York.
1992
To the dismay and anger of supporters, Ross Perot announced he would not run for president (however, he later changed his mind).
1992
A train carrying 2,200 tons of New York garbage that spent three weeks winding its way through the Midwest headed home for burial in a Staten Island landfill.
1993
The surging Mississippi River charged through a levee at West Quincy, Missouri, closing the Bayview Bridge, the only bridge across the river to Illinois for more than 200 miles.
1994
The first of 21 pieces of comet Shoemaker-Levy Nine smashed into Jupiter, to the joy of astronomers awaiting the celestial fireworks. The collision began a series of spectacular explosions.
1995
William Barloon and David Daliberti, the two Americans who were imprisoned in Iraq for crossing the border from Kuwait four months earlier, were released.
1996
President Clinton told the National Governors Association he was granting states new powers to deny benefits to recipients who refuse to move from welfare to work.
1996
Russian President Boris Yeltsin met a day late with Vice President Al Gore, easing some of the concerns about his fragile health.
1997
Hundreds of FBI agents, some handing out photos in gay bars and hotels, blanketed south Florida in the continuing hunt for alleged prostitute-turned-serial killer Andrew Phillip Cunanan, who was suspected of gunning down designer Gianni Versace.
1998
The US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia refused to block Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr from calling President Clinton's Secret Service protectors before a grand jury.
1999
Stanley Kubrick's final film, "Eyes Wide Shut" starring Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman, made its debut.
2000
Families and friends of the victims of the TWA Flight 800 explosion broke ground for a new memorial on the Long Island shore not far from where the plane went down, killing all 230 people on board.
2005
Concerns over China Oil subsidary of Unocal buying into US Energy infrastructure
2005
Suicide bombing in Kusadasi, Turkey
2005
Three British Army soldiers killed in Iraq
2005
Australian wins World Series of Poker
2005
Shell quits Irish fuel retail market
2005
Super Typhoon Haitang to make landfall in Taiwan
2005
Space Shuttle Discovery launch on indefinite hold
2005
Next season's Coppa Italia football tournament adopts new format
2005
Chinese General threatens U.S. with nuclear weapons over possible Taiwan Strait conflict, Beijing downplays comment
2005
U.S. retailers sue world’s largest credit card issuer
2005
Texas man arrested after rescuing drowning swimmer
2005
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince released
2005
Common Sense Advisory announces size of worldwide translation and localization market and ranking of top 20 language services companies
2005
Radio host sacked threatened freedom of speech in Hong Kong
2005
54 killed by suicide bomber at Musayyib gas station
2006
North Carolina to see minimum wage increase
2006
20 fleeing Lebanese villagers killed by Israeli missile
2006
Labour peer tells Blair to step down as Prime Minister
2006
UK soldier killed near Basra
2006
Arab League, Group of Eight leaders discuss crisis in the Levant
2006
Michael Schumacher wins French Grand Prix
2006
Hezbollah and Israel exchange fire for fifth day
2006
Seven Canadians killed by Israeli air strike
2007
Spanish police arrest 66 in child pornography raid
2007
UK transport firm Metronet facing administration
2007
Kwik-E-Mart promotion drawing thousands of visitors
2007
Erica Powell, Nkrumah's private secretary dies
2007
Australia: Indian doctor released on bail, detained under immigration laws
2007
Two strong earthquakes jolt Japan
2007
Home-invaders pose as NYC police
2007
United Kingdom expels four Russian diplomats
2007
Orange County bus strike ends as union, board approve contract
2007
AFC Asian Cup: Iran draw with China, Bahrain defeat Korea
2008
Woman fired over husband's email threat to Minnesota professor
2008
Intel launches Centrino 2 aiming for performance and mobility
2008
The Co-operative Group purchases Somerfield supermarket chain for over £1.5 billion
2008
Teenager arrested after hijacking Japanese bus
2008
Egyptian train crash at level crossing leaves dozens dead
2008
A false quake warning in Japan exposes problems for practical use
2008
KSTAR tokamak test reactor sees first plasma
2008
Zenit-3SL rocket launches Echostar XI satellite
2008
Cuban cyclist Pedro Pablo Perez to miss Olympics after car crash
2009
Tropical Storm Dolores now active
2009
U.S. Capitol Police kill man during traffic stop turned chase
2009
Tanker explodes on I-75 north of Detroit
2010
Robbie Williams rejoins British musical group Take That
2010
First international flight lands at Delhi airport's new Terminal 3
2010
Canada announces $9 billion plan to purchase 65 F-35 fighters
2010
Researchers discover last common ancestor of apes and monkeys
2010
Magnitude 3.6 earthquake shakes Washington, D.C.
2010
West Virginia governor names Carte Goodwin as new Senator
2010
US freezes assets of suspected terrorist
2012
Australian Centre for Paralympic Excellence unveiled
2012
SEABL Canberra Capitals win over Bendingo Braves in a thriller
2013
House of Lords approve same-sex marriage bill at third reading

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.

Select a section