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Today in History

1933
Wiley Post completes first round the world solo flight (7 days, 18 hours, 45 minutes)
1940
Emmy Award winning game show host Alex Trebek born in Sudbury, Ontario
1942
War time gasoline rationing begins in the US
1943
Singer Bobby Sherman born in Santa Monica, California
1944
Singer with the Ronettes, Estelle Bennett born in New York City
1946
Actor and social activist, Danny Glover born in San Francisco, California
1983
Martial law ends in Poland
1999
MSN Messenger released
259
St. Dionysius becomes Pope
1099
Godfrey of Boullion elected first Christian ruler of Jerusalem
1209
Capture of Beziers, France by the Albigensian "Crusade;" the Papal Legate says "Kill them all; God will know His own."
1212
Marriage of King Otto IV of Germany to Beatrix of Swabia
1246
John of Plato Carpini arrives at Karakorum, for the inauguration of Guyuk as KaKhan
1461
Death of Charles VII, King of France
1478
Philip I "the Handsome," King of Spain born
1515
An alliance is formed between the Holy Roman Empire and Bohemia
1559
St. Lawrence of Brindisi born
1587
A second English colony -- also fated to vanish under mysterious circumstances -- was established on Roanoke Island off North Carolina. (John White delivers 177 colonists to Roanoke Island)
1598
Shakespeare's "Merchant of Venice" entered on the Stationers' Register
1612
Agnes Browne, Joan Vaughan, Mary Barber, Hellen Jenkenson and Arthur Bill executed in England for witchcraft
1613
Coronation of Michael Romanov, Czar of Russia
1620
A small congregation of English Separatists, led by John Robinson, began their emigration to the New World. Today, we refer to these folks as 'Pilgrims.'
1627
Execution of the Compte de Boutteville and the Compte de Rosmadec des Chapelles for the death of the Marquis de Bussy d'Amboise in a duel
1643
Cornish army invades Devon and besieges Parliamentarians in Bristol
1647
St. Marguerite Marie Alacoque born
1650
Cromwell invades Scotland
1796
Cleveland, Ohio, was founded by General Moses Cleaveland (correct spelling of his name - it seems that the city spells its name wrong).
1812
English troops under the Duke of Wellington defeated the French at the Battle of Salamanca Spain.
1822
Austrian monk Gregor Mendel, discoverer of the first laws of heredity born
1833
Hector Berlioz, when he attended the premiere of "Ali Baba," the last opera of Cherubini, shouted out "Twenty francs for an idea!" during the first act. In the second act he offered forty; in the third act, eighty.
1836
Emily E. S. Elliott, Anglican missions supporter and hymnwriter. She penned the words to the hymn 'Thou Didst Leave Thy Throne.' born
1844
Rev. William Archibald Spooner, invented 'spoonerisms' born
1847
The first large company of Mormon immigrants entered the Salt Lake Valley, in what was still Mexican territory. Soon after, Mormon leader Brigham Young founded Salt Lake City,Utah.
1849
Poet Emma Lazarus, whose poem "The New Colossus" is carved at the base of the Statue of Liberty born
1864
In the first battle of Atlanta, Confederate troops under Gen. John Hood were defeated by Union forces under Gen. William Sherman.
1865
Peter P. Bilhorn, composer of sacred music. He produced over 1,400 hymns in his life, including 'I Will Sing the Wondrous Story' and 'Sweet Peace, The Gift of God's Love.' born
1870
Josef Strauss died in Vienna at the age of 42. When Johann Strauss died, his band wound up being led by Johann Strauss the Younger. When he left the band to compose it was brother Josef who took the baton, giving up a career in architecture to do so.
1882
Painter Edward Hopper born
1890
Kennedy family matriarch Rose Kennedy born
1916
A bomb went off during a Preparedness Day parade in San Francisco, killing ten people.
1923
Former Senate Majority Leader and one time presidential candidate Bob Dole (Republican, Kansas) born
1924
Singer Margaret Whiting born
1928
Actor-comedian Orson Bean born
1931
Actor Perry Lopez born
1932
Fashion designer Oscar de la Renta born
1933
Wiley Post completed his first solo flight around the world in seven days, 18 hours and 45 minutes.
1934
Actress Louise Fletcher born
1934
A man identified as bank robber John Dillinger was shot to death by federal agents outside Chicago's Biograph Theater.
1936
Director John Korty born
1937
The Senate rejected President Roosevelt's proposal to add more justices to the Supreme Court.
1937
Rhythm-and-blues singer Chuck Jackson born
1939
Actor Terence Stamp born
1940
Game show host Alex Trebek born
1940
Singer George Clinton born
1943
Actor-singer Bobby Sherman born
1943
American forces led by General George S. Patton captured Palermo, Sicily.
1944
Singer Estelle Bennett (The Ronettes) born
1946
Movie writer-director Paul Schrader born
1946
Illinois Governor Jim Edgar born
1946
Jewish extremists blew up a wing of the King David Hotel Jerusalem, killing 90 people.
1947
Actor-comedian-director Albert Brooks born
1947
Actor Danny Glover born
1947
Rock singer Don Henley born
1955
Actor Willem Dafoe born
1961
Rhythm-and-blues singer Keith Sweat born
1963
Folk singer Emily Saliers (Indigo Girls) born
1963
Actress Joanna Going born
1963
Actor Rob Estes born
1963
World Heavyweight Champion Sonny Liston was able to retain his boxing title by knocking out Floyd Patterson in the first round of a match in Las Vega, Nevada.
1964
Actor John Leguizamo born
1964
Actor-comedian David Spade born
1965
Actor Patrick Labyorteaux born
1965
"Till Death Us Do Part" debuted on England's BBC. The show was so popular it became a TV series in Great Britain. The show was the forerunner of the 1971-72, CBS-TV hit, "All In The Family," starring Carroll O'Connor.
1967
Actress Irene Bedard ("Pocahontas") born
1967
Actor Rhys Ifans born
1969
Apollo XI astronauts Neil Armstrong, Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin and Michael Collins, safely reunited aboard the command module, blasted out of lunar orbit for the start of their journey home after the first manned mission to the moon.
1973
Rock musician Daniel Jones born
1975
The House of Representatives joined the Senate voting to restore the American citizenship of Confederate General Robert E. Lee.
1979
Frenchman Bernard Hinault won the "Tour de France" in 103 hours, 6 minutes and 50 seconds. It was his second time to have won the event, having won the previous year. He would win again in 1981, 1982 and 1985.
1979
The first Sony Walkman went on sale.
1981
A Rome court sentenced Turkish extremist Mehmet Ali Agca to life in prison for the assassination attempt on Pope John Paul II.
1982
Reverand Sun Myung Moon married 2,200 couples in New York City, making this the biggest mass wedding in history.
1982
A Tucson, Arizona, TV station's antenna was struck by lightning 20 times in 10 minutes.
1985
The Reagan administration issued a statement blaming apartheid for being "largely responsible for the current violence" in South Africa, but stopped short of criticizing the government's declaration of a state of emergency.
1986
For the first time in a half-century, the House of Representatives impeached a federal official. Judge Harry E. Claiborne was later convicted by the Senate of tax evasion and bringing disrepute on the federal courts.
1986
The United States began its policy of escorting re-flagged Kuwaiti tankers up and down the Persian Gulf to protect them from possible attack by Iran.
1987
Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev agreed to a U.S. proposal to ban medium- and short-range nuclear weapons.
1988
Iran and Iraq said they would send their foreign ministers to New York to meet with UN Secretary-General Javier Perez de Cuellar, after Iran said it would accept a UN cease-fire resolution.
1989
Nearly 200,000 Palestinian children returned to classrooms in the West Bank after the Israeli army lifted an order that had kept their schools closed for most of the Palestinian "intefadeh."
1990
Voters in Mongolia began casting ballots in their Communist-ruled nation's first multiparty election ever.
1990
American Greg Lemond won his third Tour de France title. He finished the event in 90 hours, 43 minutes and 20 seconds.
1991
Police in Milwaukee arrested serial killer Jeffrey L. Dahmer, who was later murdered in prison.
1991
Desiree Washington, a Miss Black America contestant, charged she'd been raped by boxer Mike Tyson in an Indianapolis hotel room. (Tyson, convicted of rape, served three years prison.)
1991
President Bush returned from a nine-day trip that included the G-7 summit in London.
1992
Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar escaped from his luxury prison near Medell. (He was slain by security forces in December 1993.)
1993
Japanese Prime Minister Kiichi Miyazawa agreed to resign, following big election losses by the scandal-plagued Liberal Democrats.
1993
Leonard Slatkin conducted the Boston Symphony at Tanglewood. Elliott Carter's "Holidays" Overture launched the program, which concluded with "Rite of Spring." In between, the Beethoven Second Piano Concerto was performed by Christian Zacharius.
1994
President Clinton ordered round-the-clock aid flights to Zaire's border area to help millions of Rwandan refugees.
1994
A federal judge ordered The Citadel, a state-financed military college in Charleston, South Carolina, to open its doors to women.
1994
O.J. Simpson pleaded innocent to the slayings of his ex-wife, Nicole, and her friend, Ronald Goldman.
1995
Susan Smith was convicted by a jury in Union, South Carolina, of first-degree murder for drowning her two sons. (She was later sentenced to life in prison.)
1996
Friends and families gathered on a Long Island, New York, beach for a tearful memorial service dedicated to the 230 victims of the crash of TWA Flight 800.
1997
More than 2,000 people gathered in Milan, Italy, for a memorial Mass for slain fashion designer Gianni Versace; the mourners included Princess Diana, singer-songwriter Elton John and supermodels Naomi Campbell and Eva Herzigova.
1998
President Clinton, with Republican lawmakers at his side, signed a bill designed to mold the Internal Revenue Service into a friendlier, fairer tax collector.
1998
The Senate Armed Services Committee rejected, on a 9-to-9 vote, Daryl Jones' bid to become Air Force secretary.
1999
Family members watched mournfully from the deck of a Navy destroyer as the ashes of John F. Kennedy Jr., his wife, Carolyn, and her sister, Lauren Bessette, were cast into the sea off Martha's Vineyard, consigned to the depths where they died.
2000
President Clinton, in Japan for a Group of Eight summit, addressed US troops on Okinawa, where he said they "need to be good neighbors" with the island's residents.
2005
Rep. Barbara Lee calls for U.S. Congress probe into Iraq War planning
2005
U.S. House votes to renew expiring Patriot Act
2005
Armed police shoot man dead on London Underground
2005
Quaker website editor launches music podcast programme
2005
U.S. Rep. Tom Tancredo clarifies 'nuke Mecca' comments
2005
Fisherman in Virginia charged with killing alligator
2005
MG Rover sold to Nanjing Auto
2005
Many horses in Sweden lack passport
2005
Metropolitan Police release photographs of July 21st suspects
2005
Armed police briefly surround a mosque in east London
2005
Major police operation in west London
2005
Crossrail set to only compensate £50 for land rights, London, UK
2005
Bomb explodes on busy Beirut street
2005
Legendary bluesman Long John Baldry dead at 64
2005
Many dead in Egyptian resort blasts
2005
Small plane crashes in central Berlin
2005
Man arrested in connection with July 21 London bomb attempts
2005
Peace tax campaigners turned down by UK judge
2005
250 Young Quakers to light up lake
2005
Ross on Wye Friends win gold for garden
2005
Wolfgang Tilmans donates image to Quaker Social Action
2005
World Gathering of Young Friends starts in Lancaster
2005
Haitian priest Jean-Juste held in relation to the murder of a journalist
2006
All Blacks defeat South Africa in Tri Nations rugby
2006
After Bush leaves Russia, Voice of Russia commentary questions President's intellect
2006
Death toll in Indonesian tsunami continues to rise
2006
Iconic gay couple split
2006
British box office record set for UK films
2006
86 victims of Israel's attacks buried in mass grave
2006
Somali Islamists halt peace talks with government
2007
Emaar Properties claims Burj Dubai as world's tallest building
2007
Tammy Faye Messner, 65, dies after long battle with cancer
2007
Sprint Nextel customer service rep. harasses client; Sprint cancels his account
2007
Polish pilgrims killed in French bus crash
2007
Tour de France: Alberto Contador wins stage 14
2007
Fernando Alonso wins European Grand Prix
2007
Politicians call for action after floods cause havoc in the UK
2007
Japan to request IAEA inspection of quake-damaged nuclear plant
2007
Australia to honour Steve Irwin with nature park
2007
Ireland's Pádraig Harrington wins British Open in playoff
2007
Macedonia declares state of emergency due to heat wave
2007
Power outage traps 180 people in Gateway Arch
2008
Alleged war criminal Radovan Karadžić caught in Serbia
2008
US military confirms three deaths after B-52 crash off Guam
2008
American actress Estelle Getty dead at age 84
2008
Tropical Storm Dolly kills seventeen in Guatemala
2008
Kosmos-3M launches final SAR-Lupe satellite
2008
Israeli-Arab Hebrew University students charged with operating al-Qaeda cell
2008
Garuda Indonesia Flight 200's pilot's trial to begin this week
2008
Paramedics protest outside New South Wales parliament
2009
Former U.S. Presidential candidate Gene Amondson dies following a stroke
2009
Ukranian former official admits to murdering journalist
2009
Foxconn employee commits suicide over missing iPhone in China
2010
Former Illinois Governor Blagojevich rests in corruption trial
2010
Delta Airlines flight makes emergency landing
2010
'Misleading' Burger King advert banned in the United Kingdom
2010
Facebook reaches 500 million users
2010
Kosovo independence ruled legal by International Court of Justice
2012
Australia Rollers victorious against Great Britain men's national wheelchair basketball team
2013
Chris Froome wins Tour de France

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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