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Today in History

1810
Independence Day in Colombia
1938
Academy Award nominated actress Natalie Wood born in San Francisco, California
1938
Emmy and Tony Award winning actress, Dame Enid Diana Elizabeth Rigg born in Doncaster, England
1947
Grammy Award winning guitar virtuoso, Carlos Santana born in Autlan, Mexico
1969
Apollo 11 astronauts Neil Armstrong and Edwin 'Buzz' Aldrin land safely on the moon in the Eagle lunar module.
1976
Viking 1 lands on Mars
1031
Death of Robert II, King of France
1187
Jaffa falls to Saladin
1213
Archbishop Langton absolves John I, King of England
1247
The Ka-Khan of the Mongols demands homage of the Pope
1304
Petrarch born
1332
Death of Randolph, Earl of Moray, Regent of Scotland
1378
Uprising of the middle and lower classes in Florence, Italy
1474
Death of John II, King of Castile
1519
Pope Innocent IX born
1537
Death of St. Jerome Emiliani
1540
"The Association of Masters of Defence," a professional association of teachers and students of rapier &c., is recognized by Henry VIII, King of England
1545
Charles V outlaws Philip of Hesse and John Fredrick, the Elector of Saxony 1545
1592
Abel de la Rue, of Coulommiers, France, accused of witchcraft
1605
Samuel de Champlain reaches Cape Cod
1609
Federico Zuccari, Italian Mannerist painter, dies at about 69
1616
Death of "Red" Hugh O'Neill
1629
The Englishman Sir David Kirke siezes power in Quebec.
1648
The Westminster Larger Catechism is adopted by the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland at Edinburgh. This and the Shorter Catechism have been in regular use among Presbyterians.
1715
The English Riot Act, which prohibited assemblages of more than 12 people, took effect. If more than 12 people assembled, they were 'read the Riot Act' which called upon them to depart.
1810
Colombia declared independence from Spain.
1859
American baseball fans were charged an admission fee for the first time. 1,500 spectators each paid 50 cents to see Brooklyn play New York.
1861
The Congress of the Confederate States began holding sessions in Richmond, Virginia.
1871
British Columbia entered Confederation as a Canadian province.
1881
Sioux Indian leader Sitting Bull, a fugitive since the Battle of the Little Big Horn, surrendered to federal troops.
1890
Pioneering film actress Theda Bara (Theodosia Goodman) Bara is one of the most mysterious silent film stars. Very little is known about her and only three and a half of her films have survived. She attended college but dropped out in 1905 to pursue an acting career. She appeared in over forty films between 1914 and 1926. Director Frank Powell cast her as the "Vamp" in A Fool There Was (1915), making her an instant star. She died on April 7, 1955 in Los Angeles, California. born
1917
The draft lottery in World War One went into operation.
1919
New Zealand explorer Sir Edmund Hillary, who in 1953 conquered Mount Everest born
1920
Elliot Richardson, U.S. attorney general under President Nixon born
1924
Arnold Schoenberg's "Serenade," Op. 24, was premiered. It was his first work composed entirely by the 12-tone method. It had previously been used to some extent in the Suite for Piano, Op. 21, composed from 1921 to 1923.
1930
Actress-singer Sally Ann Howes born
1932
Video artist Nam June Paik born
1932
Rockabilly singer Sleepy LaBeef born
1938
Actress Diana Rigg (Original Avengers - Mrs. Peale) born
1938
Actress Natalie Wood born
1940
The first singles chart from Billboard appeared. The first #1 single was Tommy Dorsey's and Frank Sinatra's "I'll Never Smile Again."
1942
The first detachment of the Women's Army Auxiliary Corps -- later known as WACs -- began basic training at Fort Des Moines, Iowa.
1944
Country singer T.G. Shepherd born
1944
An attempt by a group of German officials to assassinate Adolf Hitler failed as a bomb explosion at Hitler's Rastenburg headquarters only wounded the Nazi leader.
1944
President Roosevelt was nominated for an unprecedented fourth term of office at the Democratic convention in Chicago.
1945
Rock musician John Lodge (The Moody Blues) born
1946
Singer Kim Carnes born
1947
Guitarist Carlos Santana born
1951
Jordan's King Abdullah Ibn Hussein was assassinated in Jerusalem.
1956
Rock musician Paul Cook (The Sex Pistols) born
1957
Actress Donna Dixon born
1959
Country singer Radney Foster born
1963
Actor Frank Whaley born
1964
Rock singer Chris Cornell born
1966
Rock musician Stone Gossard (Pearl Jam) born
1967
Actor Reed Diamond ("Homicide") born
1969
"Apollo Eleven" astronauts Neil Armstrong and Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin became the first men to walk on the moon as they stepped out of their lunar module.
1970
1st baby born on Alcatraz Island.
1976
America's "Viking One" robot spacecraft made a successful, first-ever landing on Mars.
1977
A flash flood hit Johnstown, Pennsylvania, killing 80 people and causing $350-million worth of damage.
1978
Actor Charlie Korsmo ("Hook") born
1985
Treasure hunter Mel Fisher located a Spanish galleon sunk by a 1622 hurricane off Key West, Fla. It contained $400 million worth of treasure.
1987
The UN Security Council voted unanimously to approve a US-sponsored resolution demanding an end to the Persian Gulf war between Iraq and Iran -- a move supported by Iraq and dismissed by Iran.
1988
Massachusetts Governor Michael Dukakis received the Democratic presidential nomination at the party's convention in Atlanta.
1988
Iranian leader Ayatollah Khomeini accepted a truce with Iraq, even though he said the decision was like drinking poison.
1989
President Bush called for a long-range space program to build an orbiting space station, establish a base on the moon and send a manned mission to the planet Mars.
1990
Supreme Court Justice William Brennan, one of the court's most liberal voices, announced he was planning to retire from the nation's highest court.
1990
A federal appeals court set aside Oliver North's Iran-Contra convictions, reversing one outright.
1991
Lebanon joined Syria in agreeing to participate in Mideast peace talks with Israel.
1991
Russian President Boris N. Yeltsin banned political activity in government offices and republic-run business, effectively curtailing the influence of the Communist Party.
1992
Vaclav Havel, the playwright who'd led the "Velvet Revolution" against communism, formally stepped down as president of Czechoslovakia.
1993
White House deputy counsel Vincent Foster Junior was found shot to death in a park near Washington DC, a suicide.
1993
A day after firing William Sessions as FBI director, President Clinton named federal judge Louis Freeh to replace him.
1993
Harry Ellis Dickson conducted the Boston Pops Orchestra at Tanglewood in "A Centennial Salute to Arthur Fiedler."
1994
Bosnian Serbs rejected an international peace plan sponsored by the United States, Russia, France, Britain and Germany.
1995
Baseball Hall-of-Famers Duke Snider and Willie McCovey pleaded guilty in New York to tax evasion.
1995
Leaders of the University of California voted to drop affirmative action policies on admission and hiring.
1996
In his weekly radio address, President Clinton paid tribute to America's Olympic athletes at the just-opened Atlanta games as well as 16 high school students from Montoursville, Pennsylvania, who died in the crash of TWA Flight 800.
1996
At the Atlanta Olympics, Renata Mauer of Poland won the games' first gold, in the ten-meter air rifle.
1997
Seven people were arrested after New York City police found scores of deaf Mexicans who were being kept in slave-like conditions and forced to peddle trinkets for the smugglers who had brought them to the US.
1998
Russia won an $11.2 billion loan from the International Monetary Fund to help avert the devaluation of its currency.
1998
A smoky fire broke out aboard the cruise ship "Ecstasy" just two miles from the Florida shore, forcing the ship's return to port.
1999
After 38 years at the bottom of the Atlantic, astronaut Gus Grissom's Liberty Bell 7 Mercury capsule was lifted to the surface.
2000
A federal grand jury indicted two former Utah Olympic officials for their alleged roles in paying one million dollars in cash and gifts to help bring the 2002 games to Salt Lake City.
2000
The Mideast summit, resurrected only hours after its reported demise, moved forward with Secretary of State Madeleine Albright stepping in for President Clinton, who had left for an economic summit in Japan.
2005
British Army soldiers to be court martialled for war crimes
2005
Prayer does not help heart patients, study finds
2005
Press freedom groups condemn two-day radio station ban in Burundi
2005
James Doohan, Star Trek's 'Scotty', dies at 85
2005
Canada becomes 4th nation to allow same-sex marriage
2005
New U.S. immigration bill proposes time-limit and employer scrutiny
2005
Parents aid jailbreak of 18 year old Swede convicted of rape
2005
UEFA CL: First qualifying round winners are now known
2005
Low morale reported among U.S. soldiers in Iraq
2006
Four children among six Canadians killed in Israeli attack on Lebanon
2006
Carbon trading scheme proposed by British MP
2006
Villagers evacuating as Mayon volcano erupts
2006
Many hurt on Alton Towers ride
2006
International bodies express concern over Israel-Hezbollah conflict
2006
Somali tensions rise as Ethiopia sends in troops
2006
Death toll rises in Nigeria building collapse
2006
JetBlue launches service from Raleigh, North Carolina to New York
2006
Poorly performing high schools in North Carolina threatened with closure
2006
New Zealand policewoman found moonlighting as prostitute
2006
FDA officials question safety of antibiotic 'Ketek'
2006
Brooten, Minnesota man killed in rollover accident
2006
CBC's new show The One sparked some controversy over simulcast
2007
Rocket launcher found in yard of New Jersey home
2007
Violence erupts after game at FIFA U-20 World Cup
2007
Toll of the phosphor accident in Ukraine still rising
2007
Argentina's first lady launches presidential bid
2007
European Court of Justice rules ISPs not obliged to reveal identity of people suspected of illegal sharing
2007
Tour de France: Tom Boonen wins stage 12
2007
US Boy Scouts and hikers airlifted from wildfire in Utah
2007
NFL star Michael Vick indicted for running dog fighting operation
2007
Heavy rain causes flooding across the UK
2007
Polish homosexuals flee persecution by new right-wing government
2007
Body found on jetliner from China to United States
2008
Crane collapse in Houston, Texas, kills 4, injures 7
2008
Lewis Hamilton wins German Grand Prix
2008
Golf: Harrington wins British Open
2008
Human cells grow blood vessels in mice
2008
Bombs rock Spanish tourist resorts
2008
Released video: Israeli soldier shoot bound man at short range
2008
Betancourt calls for release of all FARC hostages
2009
Two separate fighter jet crashes kill two, injure two in Afghanistan
2009
Helicopter crash kills sixteen at NATO base in Afghanistan
2009
Fortieth anniversary of first manned Moon landing
2009
Taliban publicize video of captured U.S. soldier Bowe Bergdahl
2010
Singapore police arrest death penalty book author
2010
Turkish protesters march against Internet censorship
2012
UK border officers go on Olympic strike
2012
Australian Gliders glide past China women's national wheelchair basketball team

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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