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Today in History

1692
Five women hanged for witchcraft in Salem, Massachusetts
1883
Animation pioneer and inventor of the Rotoscope, Max Fleischer born in Kraków, Poland
1912
A 400 lb meteorite explodes over the town of Holbrook, Arizona
1940
Model and actor, Dennis Cole born in Detroit, Michigan
1966
Theater and movie actress, Nancy Walls born in Cohasset, Massachusetts
1996
Summer Olympics open in Atlanta, Georgia
379
Death of St. Macrina the Younger
532
Start of the Dionysian Pascal (Easter) Cycle
711
Rodric, King of Spain, defeated by the Moors
1372
Treaty between Yann of Brittany and Edward III of England against Charles V of France
1380
The Earl of Buckingham lands at Calais for a raid thru France
1525
Dessau League formed
1545
A French force lands on the Isle of Wight, England
1551
Treaty of Karlsburg
1553
Fifteen-year-old Lady Jane Grey was deposed as Queen of England after claiming the crown for nine days. King Henry the Eighth's daughter Mary was proclaimed Queen.
1588
Spanish Armada sighted from England
1660
Death of St. Vincent de Paul
1814
American firearms inventor Samuel Colt born
1834
French painter Edgar Degas born
1842
The British stiff upper lip was not to Felix Mendelssohn's liking. The likable composer wrote his mother on this day that Buckingham Palace was, as far as he was concerned, "the only friendly home in England."
1848
A pioneer women's rights convention called by Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucretia C. Mott convened in Seneca Falls, New York. "Bloomers," a radical departure in women's clothing, were introduced to the first women's rights convention in Seneca Falls, N.Y. They were named after Amelia Jenks Bloomer.
1865
Dr. Charles H. Mayo, co-founder of the Mayo Clinic born
1870
The Franco-Prussian war began.
1922
Former Senator George McGovern born
1924
Actor Pat Hingle born
1926
Actress Helen Gallagher born
1926
Country singer Sue Thompson born
1937
Country singer George Hamilton IV born
1940
Actor Dennis Cole born
1941
British Prime Minister Winston Churchill launched his "V for Victory" campaign in Europe.
1941
Singer Vikki Carr born
1942
Shostakovich's Seventh Symphony received its American premiere when Toscanini and the NBC Symphony performed it live over the radio from New York. The score had been smuggled out of Russia on microfilm.
1943
Allied air forces raided Rome during World War Two.
1945
Actor George Dzundza born
1946
Tennis star Ilie Nastase born
1946
Rock singer-musician Alan Gorrie (Average White Band) born
1947
Rock musician Bernie Leadon (formerly of Eagles, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band) born
1947
Rock musician Brian May (formerly of Queen) born
1948
Actress Beverly Archer born
1956
Actor Peter Barton born
1960
Rock musician Kevin Haskins (Love and Rockets; Bauhaus) born
1960
Movie director Atom Egoyan ("Exotica") born
1961
1st In-flight movie is shown (on TWA).
1962
Actor Anthony Edwards born
1962
Actor Campbell Scott born
1963
Country singer Kelly Shriver (Thrasher Shriver) born
1969
John Fairfax of Britain arrived at Fort Lauderdale, Fla., the first person to row across the Atlantic alone.
1971
Actor Andrew Kavovit ("The David Cassidy Story") born
1975
The "Apollo" and "Soyuz" space capsules that were linked in orbit for two days separated.
1984
US Representative Geraldine A. Ferraro (Democrat, New York) won the Democratic nomination for vice president by acclamation at the party's convention in San Francisco.
1985
Christa McAuliffe of New Hampshire was chosen to be the first schoolteacher to ride aboard the space shuttle. (McAuliffe and six other crew members died when the "Challenger" exploded shortly after lift-off.)
1986
Colin Davis concluded 15 years as music director of Covent Garden the longest tenure ever with a staging of "Fidelio" so avant garde that it was booed.
1987
Residents of Balch Springs, Texas, gathered at the Seagoville Road Baptist Church to mourn the ten teen-agers who died when a flash flood engulfed a church bus and van two days earlier.
1988
Jesse Jackson brought his 1988 presidential campaign to an emotionally charged close at the Democratic national convention in Atlanta, telling the party faithful to unite because "the only time we win is when we come together."
1989
112 people were killed when a United Air Lines DC-10 crashed while making an emergency landing at Sioux City, Iowa; 184 other people survived.
1990
Baseball's all-time hits leader Pete Rose was sentenced in Cincinnati to five months in prison for tax evasion.
1990
President Bush joined Republican predecessors Ronald Reagan, Gerald R. Ford and Richard M. Nixon at ceremonies dedicating the Nixon Library and Birthplace in Yorba Linda, California.
1991
Nine days of combat between Tamil rebels and Sri Lankan soldiers left 78 soldiers and 600 rebels dead in the fiercest fighting since 1983.
1991
The South African government acknowledged that it had been giving money to the Inkatha Freedom Party, the main rival of the African National Congress.
1991
President Bush toured the Souda Bay U.S. naval base during a visit to Greece.
1992
Secretary of State James A. Baker the Third opened a fresh round of Mideast diplomacy, meeting in Jerusalem with Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and other officials.
1992
In Palermo, Sicily, a car bomb claimed the life of chief prosecutor Paolo Borsellino.
1993
Former U.S. House postmaster Robert Rota pleaded guilty to conspiring to embezzle public funds.
1993
President Clinton fired FBI Director William Sessions, citing "serious questions" about Sessions' conduct and leadership.
1993
President Clinton announced a compromise allowing homosexuals to serve in the military, but only if they refrained from all homosexual activity, known as the "don't ask, don't tell, don't pursue" policy.
1994
Funeral services were held for North Korean dictator Kim Il Sung, who had died July 8 at age 82.
1994
A bomb ripped apart a Panama commuter plane, killing 21, including 12 Jews, a day after a car bomb destroyed a Jewish community center in Buenos Aires, Argentina, killing 95 people.
1995
In the busiest trading day in history, the Dow Jones industrial average ended at 4,628.87, down 57.41, after plunging more than 130 points earlier in the session.
1995
President Clinton firmly rejected calls for dismantling affirmative action programs.
1995
A pair of House subcommittees held a joint hearing on the federal government's raid on the Branch Davidian compound near Waco, Texas.
1996
Opening ceremonies were held in Atlanta for the 26th Summer Olympic Games.
1996
A Food and Drug Administration advisory committee recommended, with some conditions, that the abortion-inducing drug RU-486 be approved.
1996
Bosnian Serb official Radovan Karadzic yielded to international pressure to give up all political power.
1997
Eleven armored carriers from NATO gathered in a show of force near the home of ousted Serb leader Radovan Karadzic, Bosnia's number-one war crimes suspect.
1997
The Irish Republican Army declared a new cease-fire and opened the way for supporters to join peace talks with Northern Ireland's pro-British Protestants.
1998
Seeking to break a 16-month deadlock, Israel and the Palestinians held their first high-level talks in months.
1998
Hundreds of Serb police battled secessionist guerrillas for control of the central Kosovo town of Orahovac.
1999
Federal officials said radar data showed the plane piloted by John F. Kennedy Jr. dropped 1,100 feet in just 14 seconds. Sen. Edward Kennedy released a statement saying, "We are filled with unspeakable grief and sadness by the loss of John and Carolyn and of Lauren Bessette."
2000
President Clinton shuttled between Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak, Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat and his own experts during peace talks at Camp David after delaying departure for an economic summit in Japan.
2005
Deadly forest fire in Spain claims lives of firefighters
2005
14,500 job cuts announced by Hewlett-Packard
2005
Niger facing food shortages after drought
2005
Remote Assistance service of Windows OS vulnerable to attack
2005
Bush nominates John G. Roberts for U.S. Supreme Court
2005
SABMiller acquires Colombian Grupo Bavaria brewery
2005
Nearly 25,000 Iraqi civilians killed in Iraq, watchdog group claims
2005
Vivaldi Atlantic 4 break Canada-Europe record
2005
Suspected 'mastermind' of London bombings no longer a suspect
2006
Stem cell bills passed by US House and Senate
2006
Row over NZ Police memo on issuing traffic tickets
2006
Heatwave hits the UK and Ireland
2006
Second quake in two days strikes Indonesia
2006
Indian Big Brother to have ban on "hanky-panky"
2006
DNA in underwear matches Philippines rape victim
2006
Bush uses his first veto ever on stem cell bill
2006
Slave workers in Italy freed by police
2007
Hospitals declare "code red" in Wellington, New Zealand
2007
Tour de France: Robbie Hunter wins stage 11
2007
Documents show Fred Thompson worked for Pro-Choice group
2007
Russia expels four UK diplomats
2007
Dow Jones Industrial closes above 14,000 for first time ever
2007
After F1 test, Bourdais hopes to return to winning form in Edmonton
2007
17 troops killed in bombing on Afghanistan-Pakistan border; Separate bombing kills dozens of civilians
2007
Web browser Firefox increases market share in Europe
2007
Skull study supports theory of human origin in Africa
2007
Wreckage of gas tanker removed after crash onto railway line in County Durham, England
2008
Leisure Taiwan launched in Taipei World Trade Center
2008
Magnitude seven earthquake hits Japan, tsunami warning issued then withdrawn
2008
Former Beatle set for Quebec City concert amid protests
2008
Gambian magistrate to acquit all people detained without charge for 72 hours
2008
French police search for missing explosives
2009
Redcar, UK steelworkers march to save their jobs
2009
Torchwood star John Barrowman in high speed crash
2009
British Formula Two driver Henry Surtees dies after race accident
2009
Report from Royal International Air Tattoo 2009
2010
One dead after bus and bicycle crash in Hampshire, England
2010
Gunmen kill seventeen at party in Mexico
2010
Many dead in Indian train crash
2010
43 dead in Iraqi bomb blast
2010
ROV detects leaks in Deepwater Horizon well cap
2010
Oil spewing from crack in seafloor of Gulf of Mexico was fifty feet from Deepwater Horizon well
2010
Australian rules football: Traralgon defeat Warragul in round 14 of Gippsland Football League season
2012
Australian Rollers roll over Great Britain men's wheelchair basketball team
2012
The Lancet study suggests inactivity now as deadly as smoking
2012
Australian Gliders beat Germany women's national wheelchair basketball team on day two of Rollers & Gliders World Challenge

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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