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Today in History

1892
Blues singer and guitarist, Mississippi John Hurt born in Carroll County, Mississippi
1916
Western Performers Hall of Fame singer and actor, Ken Curtis born in Las Animas, Colorado
1932
Founder of the Wendy's restaurant chain, Dave Thomas born in Atlantic City, New Jersey
1937
Amelia Earhart reported missing
1937
Golden Globe Award winning actress Polly Dean Holliday born in Jasper, Alabama
1947
An unidentified flying object crashes near Roswell, New Mexico
1951
Singer and actress, Cheryl Ladd born in Huron, South Dakota
1956
Actress and supermodel, Jerry Hall born in Gonzales, Texas
1962
First Wal-Mart store opens in Rogers, Arkansas
1986
Fashion model, singer and Nickelodeon Kids Choice Award winning actress Lindsay Lohan born in New York City
311
St. Militiades becomes Pope
936
Death of Henry I, "the Fowler," King of Germany
1187
Tiberias falls to Saladin
1323
Dame Alice Kyteler found guilty of witchcraft, but escapes, with Sarah de Meath
1439
Portuguese Royal permission given for settlement of the Azores
1450
Cade's Rebellion occupies London
1468
Marriage of Charles the Bold of Burgundy with Margaret of York
1489
Thomas Cranmer, Archbishop of Canterbury and a crucial figure in the English reformation, in Nottinghamshire. born
1504
Death of Stephen "the Great," Prince of Moldavia
1560
Michel de l'Hopital appointed Chancellor of France
1566
French astrologer, physician and prophet Nostradamus died in Salon
1591
Vincenzo Galilei, son of astronomer Galileo Galilei, was buried in Florence. The stargazer's son was a composer and lutenist.
1627
Lord Carlisle given all the Carribean Islands by the King of England
1714
German composer Christof Gluck who wrote more than 40 dramatic works. born
1776
The Continental Congress passed a resolution saying that "these United Colonies are, and of right, ought to be, Free and Independent States."
1777
Vermont became the first American colony to abolish slavery.
1865
William Booth founded the Salvation Army in London, England (Army of the Salvation).
1877
German novelist Herman Hesse 1877 (Stepenwolf). born
1881
President James Garfield was shot by Charles Giteau. He died September 19th.
1883
Novelist, Short Story Writer, Poet Franz Kafka born
1890
Congress passed the Sherman Antitrust Act.
1903
King Olav V of Norway born
1908
Former U.S. Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall born
1911
The conductor and pioneering Wagnerite Felix Mottl collapsed and died while conducting "Tristan and Isolde" in Munich.
1916
TV/Movie Actor (Gunsmoke's deputy Festus Haggen) Ken Curtis born
1918
Robert Sarnoff, president of the National Broadcasting Company (NBC) who converted the network to the first all-color television station. born
1922
Comedian Dan Rowan born
1925
Congolese statesman and prime minister from 1960- 1961, Patrice Lumumba. born
1926
The United States Army Air Corps was created.
1926
Civil rights activist Medgar Evers born
1927
Actor Brock Peters ("To Kill a Mockingbird") born
1929
Former Philippine first lady Imelda Marcos born
1930
Jazz musician Ahmad Jamal born
1931
TV/Stage Actor, (Quincy ME's Sam Fujiyama) Robert Ito born
1932
Businessperson, Wendy's Restaraunts founder Dave Thomas born
1937
Actress Polly Holliday born
1937
American aviator Amelia Earhart and co-pilot Frederick Noonan were reported lost over the Pacific Ocean. They were never found.
1939
Former White House chief of staff John Sununu born
1946
Actor Ron Silver born
1947
An object crashed near Roswell, New Mexico; the Air Force later insisted it was a weather balloon, but eyewitness accounts gave rise to speculation it might have been an alien spacecraft.
1947
Wagner's daughter-in-law Winifred was convicted of actively supporting the Nazis. Among other punishments, Winifred Wagner was banned for life from the Bayreuth Festival, which she had run since the death of her husband Siegfried.
1947
Luci Baines Johnson Turpin, daughter of President Johnson born
1948
Actor Saul Rubinek born
1949
Rock musician Roy Bittan (Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band) born
1951
Actress Cheryl Ladd born
1956
Actress-model Jerry Hall born
1961
Actor Jimmy McNichol born
1961
Author Ernest Hemingway shot himself to death at his home in Ketchum, Idaho.
1964
President Johnson signed into law a sweeping civil rights bill passed by Congress.
1970
Actress Yancy Butler born
1974
President Nixon and Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev agreed in Yalta on limitation of undergound nuclear testing and on a lower ceiling for defense missiles.
1976
The Supreme Court ruled the death penalty was not inherently cruel or unusual.
1979
Susan B. Anthony dollar, the first U.S. coin to honor a woman, is issued.
1980
President Jimmy Carter reinstates draft registration for males 18 years of age.
1982
Larry Walters using a lawn chair hoisted by 42 helium-filled weather balloons, rose to 16,000 after taking off from San Pedro, CA.
1984
Actress Vanessa Lee Chester ("The Lost World Park") born
1986
Actress Lindsay Lohan born
1987
18 illegal immigrants were found dead inside a locked boxcar near Sierra Blanca, Texas, in what authorities called a botched smuggling attempt; a 19th man survived.
1988
Nineteen-year-old Steffi Graf defeated eight-time Wimbledon winner Martina Navratilova, 5-7, 6-2, 6-1, to capture her first Wimbledon crown.
1989
Former Soviet Foreign Minister Andrei Gromyko died in Moscow at age 79.
1990
More than 1,400 Muslim pilgrims were killed in a stampede inside a pedestrian tunnel leading to Mecca in Saudi Arabia.
1990
The Soviet Union's 28th Communist Party congress opened with an address by President Mikhail S. Gorbachev, who conceded mistakes while defending perestroika.
1991
A European Community-brokered truce between Yugoslavia and the breakaway republic of Slovenia was shattered as the federal army battles Slovene militias.
1991
Actress Lee Remick died in Los Angeles at age 55.
1992
The Labor Department reported that the nation's unemployment rate the previous month had risen to an eight-year high of 7.8 percent, compared to 7.5 percent in May.
1992
Braniff Airlines goes out of business.
1992
President George Bush vetoed the so-called "motor-voter" registration bill (but President Clinton later signed a revised version into law).
1993
Sheik Omar Abdel-Rahman, some of whose followers were accused in the World Trade Center bombing, surrendered to immigration officials in New York.
1993
The White House acknowledged that it had erred in firing seven travel office employees and urging the FBI to investigate them.
1994
A USAir DC-9 crashed in poor weather at Charlotte-Douglas International Airport in North Carolina, killing 37 of the 57 people aboard.
1994
Columbian soccer player Andres Escobar was shot to death in Medellin, 10 days after accidentally scoring a goal against his own team in World Cup competition.
1994
Conchita Martinez won the women's title at Wimbledon, defeating Martina Navratilova 6-4, 3-6, 6-3.
1995
In Denver, representatives of 34 countries ended an economic summit by endorsing an open-market zone throughout the Western Hemisphere - excluding Cuba.
1996
Seven years after they shot their parents to death in the family's Beverly Hills mansion, Lyle and Erik Menendez were sentenced to life in prison without parole.
1996
Electricity and phone service was knocked out for millions of customers from Canada to the Southwest after power lines throughout the West failed on a record-hot day.
1996
The movie "Independence Day" was released in the movie theaters in USA; it grossed a record $96.4 million in its first weekend (six days) and $83.5 million since July 3, and hit $100 million in only seven days, a record; it also hit $50.2 million Fri-Sun, shy of Batman Forever's $52.8 million.
1997
Actor James Stewart died in Beverly Hills, California, at age 89.
1998
Apologizing to viewers and Vietnam veterans for "serious faults" in its reporting, Cable News Network retracted a story alleging US commandos had used nerve gas to kill American defectors during the war.
1999
Former Northwestern University basketball coach Ricky Byrdsong was shot to death in Skokie, Ill.; authorities believe he was the victim of a three-day shooting rampage by white supremacist Benjamin Nathaniel Smith that targeted minorities in Illinois and Indiana. (One other person was killed and several wounded before Smith committed suicide.)
1999
"Godfather" author Mario Puzo died on Long Island, N.Y., at age 78.
2000
Workers at the Hanford nuclear reservation were allowed to return, following a 191,000-acre fire that disrupted thousands of lives and raised fears about possible radiation releases. The fire, started June 27 by a fatal traffic accident, destroyed 20 homes and scores of other buildings.
2000
France beat Italy 2-to-1 in the European Championship soccer final in Rotterdam, Netherlands.
2000
Mexicans surged to the polls, turning out by the tens of millions to elect opposition candidate Vicente Fox as their next president, shocking and delighting themselves by ending their country's 71 years of one-party rule.
2005
Live 8 concerts around the world to "End Poverty Now"
2005
Judge orders Baltimore City prison to produce plan for improvement
2005
Four channels to be launched on Viasat in the Nordic and Baltic countries
2005
Truex Jr. beats Harvick in the Winn-Dixie 250
2005
Microsoft to pay IBM US $775 million in Antitrust settlement
2005
Explosion in Russia kills 10: authorities suspect Chechen involvement
2005
Federal Judge puts California's Prison Health Care system into receivership
2005
CNet News launches reader wiki
2005
Canada's Health Minister will attempt to stop Americans from buying prescription drugs in bulk
2005
CNOOC submits Unocal Bid Details to Federal Regulators
2005
Discovery Space Shuttle Launch scheduled for July 13
2005
Soul musician Luther Vandross dies at age 54
2005
MTV debuts 'Logo' cable channel targeting gay market
2005
Serbia and Montenegro military announces mandatory service shortening
2006
Canada Day celebrated at Parliament Hill
2006
Australian Big Brother contestants removed for alleged sexual assault
2006
5 charged, 12 taken to hospital after Sydney rave
2006
Israeli barrage of Gaza continues with strike on PM's office
2006
Chavez asks Africa to unite against U.S.
2006
Sadr City suicide bomber uses fruit truck to kill 66 on market day
2006
Former Japanese Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto dies
2006
Wiki sites share ad revenue with editors
2006
David Beckham resigns as captain of England football team
2006
Rally in Australian forests to oppose woodchip industry
2006
Michael Schumacher wins United States Grand Prix
2006
African Union summit: Sudan says no to UN troops
2006
"Armageddon" rock misses Earth by Moon's distance
2007
America's Cup: seventh race postponed
2007
Hugo Chavez meets Iran's Imam Khamenei
2007
Further arrests following terror attacks in London and Glasgow
2007
Suicide attack at Yemen shrine leaves nine dead
2007
Michael Moore's controversial new documentary 'Sicko' opens strongly
2007
'Scooter' Libby jail sentence commuted by US President George Bush
2007
Collection of signatures for the free part of the beach in Maiori, Italy
2007
Neola North wildfire in Utah blamed for three deaths
2007
Princes William and Harry host the Concert for Diana
2008
Edmonton prison conflict wounds eight
2008
Mongolia declares state of emergency after violent protests, five people killed
2008
Zimbabwean opposition leader rejects calls for power sharing talks
2008
Tennis: Nadal beats Murray in Wimbledon quarter final
2008
Nine oil workers die as helicopter crashes in Siberia
2008
Palestinians storm Egyptian border near Rafah
2008
Íngrid Betancourt and others rescued, says Colombia
2008
Four killed, dozens injured in Jerusalem attack on bus
2008
Suspect in eight murders arrested in Illinois, United States
2008
Government Accountability Office requests rerun of US Air Force tanker bid
2008
Nelson Mandela taken off US terrorist list
2009
Honduras interim government rejects orders to reinstate deposed president
2009
2.8 magnitude earthquake rattles northern Delaware, southwest New Jersey
2010
Progress spacecraft fails to dock with International Space Station
2011
US children who celebrate Independence Day more likely to become Republicans, says Harvard study
2011
Congressman Thad McCotter to run for U.S. President

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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