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Today in History

1894
3-time Academy Award winning actor, Walter Brennan born in Swampscott, Massachusetts
1907
Korea becomes a protectorate of Japan
1920
First transatlantic two-way radio broadcast
1954
Pro Football Hall of Fame running back, Walter Payton born in Columbia, Mississippi
1967
Actress Wendy Raquel Robinson born in Los Angeles, Califorina
1969
Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young debut. It was at the Fillmore East in New York City
1999
Lance Armstrong wins the Tour de France.
44
Death of St. James the Greater
325
The Council of Nicea closed. Regarded as the first 'ecumenical council,' its 300 attending bishops drafted the Nicene Creed and fixed the formula for Easter Sunday.
326
Constantine refuses to carry out the traditional pagan sacrifices.
975
Thietmar, Bishop of Merseburg (German chronicler) born
1139
Alphonso I, King of Portugal, defeats the Moors
1201
Death of Gryffud ap Rhys
1215
Coronation, again, of Fredrick II as King of Germany
1261
Michael VIII recovers Constantinople - end of Latin Empire of Romania
1345
John Chaucer, father of Geoffrey, summoned for non-payment of rent
1394
Charles VI of France issues a decree for the general expulsion of Jews from France.
1398
Francesco Filelfo born
1554
Marriage of Mary Tudor, Queen of England, to Philip of Spain
1564
Death of Ferdinand I, Holy Roman Emperor and Maximillian II becomes emperor of the Holy Roman Empire.
1567
Founding of Caracas, Venezuela
1570
Ivan IV, "the Terrible" Czar of Russia, attends the public execution of almost all of his advisers and ministers
1575
Astronomer Christoph Scheiner born
1582
Death of Philip Strozzi
1587
Japanese strong-man Hideyoshi bans Christianity in Japan and orders all Christians to leave.
1593
Henry IV, Protestant King of France, becomes a Catholic "Paris is worth a Mass!"
1609
Sir Thomas Gates and Sir Thomas Dale run aground at Bermuda
1616
Death of Andreas Libavius, German alchemist
1621
Captain William Norton sent to Jamestown, Virginia
1650
Death of the Reverend William Burkit
1750
Revolutionary War Gen. Henry Knox born
1775
Anna Symmes Harrison 1st lady born
1805
Aaron Burr visits New Orleans with plans to establish a new country, with New Orleans as the capital city.
1814
George Stephenson of England tested his first steam locomotive.
1825
Schubert, having gotten good notices for a composition, wrote his father not to be too pleased by that, because, he said, "a review, however favorable, can be ludicrous if the critic lacks normal intelligence, which is often the case."
1840
Flora Adams Darling founded Daughters of American Revolution born
1844
Artist Thomas Eakins born
1848
Arthur James Balfour, prime Minister of Great Britain, 1902-1905 born
1866
Ulysses S. Grant was named General of the Army, the first officer to hold the rank.
1868
Congress passed an act creating the Wyoming Territory.
1870
Artist Maxfield Parrish born
1871
The merry-go-round was invented by William Schneider of Davenport, Iowa.
1872
This day is known as the rain of black worms. Thousands of black worms fell from the sky over Bucharest, Rumania.
1880
American philosopher and mathematician Morris Raphel Cohen born
1883
The composer Alfredo Casella born
1894
Actor Walter Brennan born
1899
Stuart K. Hine. While an English missionary to the Ukraine, Hine penned the English words to an Swedish hymn, known today as 'How Great Thou Art.' born
1902
Philosopher and author of In Our Time Eric Hoffer born
1907
Actor Jack Gilford born
1909
French aviator Louis Bleriot flew across the English Channel a monoplane, traveling from Calais to Dover 37 minutes.The first person to fly a "heavier-than-air machine" across the English Channel.
1923
Actress Estelle Getty (Golden Girls) born
1934
Austrian chancellor Engelbert Dollfuss is shot and killed by Nazis.
1934
Jazz musician Don Ellis born
1935
Actress Barbara Harris (Plaza Suite, Family Plot. Tony award winning actress in The Apple Tree) born
1943
Benito Mussolini was dismissed as premier of Italy by King Victor Emmanuel the Third, and placed under arrest. (However, Mussolini was later rescued by the Nazis, and re-asserted his authority.)
1945
Singer Donna Theodore born
1946
The United States detonated an atomic bomb at Bikini Atoll the Pacific the first underwater test of the device.
1951
Rock musician Verdine White (Earth, Wind & Fire) born
1952
Puerto Rico became a self-governing commonwealth of the United States.
1955
Model-actor Iman born
1956
51 people died when the Italian liner "Andrea Doria" sank after colliding with the Swedish ship "Stockholm" off the New England coast.
1957
Cartoonist Ray Billingsley ("Curtis") born
1958
Rock musician Thurston Moore (Sonic Youth) born
1959
Vice President Richard Nixon squares off against Soviet Premier Nikita Khruschev during the so-called Kitchen debate in Moscow.
1963
The United States, the Soviet Union and Britain initialed a treaty Moscow prohibiting the testing of nuclear weapons in the atmosphere, space or underwater.
1965
Actress Illeana Douglas born
1965
Country singer Marty Brown born
1967
Actor Matt LeBlanc ("Friends") born
1968
Pope Paul VI published the encyclical 'Humanae Vitae.' It restated the Catholic position on the family, and condemned all artificial methods of birth control.
1976
"Einstein on the Beach" premiered. Philip Glass's opera, Minimalist in style and maximalist in scope, was sung at the Avignon Festival. French audiences responded well, especially after hearing that the composer was a New York taxi driver.
1978
Louise Joy Brown, the first "test tube baby," was born Oldham, England; she'd been conceived through the technique of in-vitro fertilization.
1979
President Carter issued a letter absolving Dr. Samuel Mudd, the physician who had treated the broken leg on John Wilkes Booth, of any role in the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln.
1982
Actor Brad Renfro born
1983
The lowest natural temperature ever recorded occurred in Antartica. The thermometer dropped to -129 degrees F.
1984
Soviet cosmonaut Svetlana Savitskaya became the first woman to walk space as she carried out more than three hours of experiments outside the orbiting space station "Salyut Seven."
1985
A spokeswoman for Rock Hudson confirmed that the actor, hospitalized in Paris, was suffering from "AIDS." (Hudson died the following October.)
1986
Masked Sikh extremists shot and killed 15 people, 14 of them Hindus, in an ambush on a bus at a railroad crossing in India's Punjab state.
1986
Movie director Vincente Minnelli, known for such film musicals as "Gigi," "An American in Paris," and "The Band Wagon," died in Los Angeles at age 76.
1986
Former Navy radioman Jerry Whitworth was convicted of selling U.S. military secrets to the Soviets through the John Walker spy ring. The government called it the most damaging espionage case since World War II.
1987
Commerce Secretary Malcolm Baldrige died of internal injuries he sustained while participating in a rodeo. (He was suceeded by C. William Verity.)
1988
A judge in New York ordered the feuding San Diego Yacht Club and a New Zealand challenger to settle the battle for the America's Cup with a September race. (The Americans used a two-hulled catamaran to easily defeat the New Zealanders' monohull, setting off a legal dispute that ended two years later in victory for the American team.)
1989
The pilot of the United DC-10 that crashed in Sioux City, Iowa, July 19th, Alfred C. Haynes, appeared at a news conference in which he dismissed descriptions of himself as a hero after he and his crew managed to save 184 of the 296 people aboard the crippled aircraft.
1990
The U.S. ambassador to Iraq, April Glaspie, met with Iraqi President Saddam Hussein to discuss Iraq's economic dispute with Kuwait.
1990
Comedian Roseanne Barr sparked controversy with an off-key rendition of the "Star-Spangled Banner" during a double-header at Jack Murphy Stadium in San Diego.
1990
Eastern Airlines and 10 present and former managers were indicted on federal charges of faking maintenance records.
1990
The Senate voted 96-0 to denounce Sen. Dave Durenberger, R-Minn., for ethics violations.
1991
Mikhail S. Gorbachev, the leader of the former Soviet Union, told Communist Party leaders that building Communism was no longer a realistic goan and that the party must reject "outdated ideological dogmas."
1991
A deadline for Iraq to provide full details of its weapons of mass destruction passed, with U.S. officials indicating military action was not imminent.
1991
The South African government admitted donating $35 billion in 1989 to support political parties opposing the South-West Africa People's Organization.
1992
The Italian government sent 7,000 soldiers to Sicily in a crackdown on the "Mafia."
1992
Opening ceremonies were held in Barcelona, Spain, for the 1992 Summer Olympics. Antonio Rebollo, a bronze medalist archer from Madrid, shot a flaming arrow into the cauldron touching off the flame that would burn during the 15-day games.
1992
Actor-singer Alfred Drake died New York at age 78.
1993
Israelis launched a week of raids on guerrilla bases in south Lebanon, while guerrillas fired rockets into Israel; the fighting ended July 31st with a US-brokered cease-fire.
1994
Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Raband Jordan's King Husse signed a declaration at the White House ending their countries' 46-year-old formal state of war.
1995
A U.N. war crimes tribunal indicted Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic, army commander General Ratko Mladic, and 22 other Serbs for war crimes.
1995
A bomb exploded on a Paris subway, killing seven people and injuring at least 60.
1996
Divers searching the wreckage of TWA Flight 800 off Long Island, New York, recovered the flight data and cockpit voice recorders.
1997
Autumn Jackson, the young woman who claimed to be Bill Cosby's out-of-wedlock daughter, was convicted by a federal jury in New York of trying to extort $40 million from the entertainer.
1997
K.R. Narayanan was sworn in as India's president, becoming the first member of the "untouchable" Dalits caste to do so.
1997
Golfer Ben Hogan died in Fort Worth, Texas, at age 84.
1998
Two government officials revealed that special prosecutor Kenneth Starr had subpoenaed President Clinton to testify before a federal grand jury about the Monica Lewinsky case.
1998
The US Capitol was reopened, a day after a gunman killed two police officers; a wounded suspect, Russell E. Weston Junior, was charged with murder.
1999
Lance Armstrong rode to victory in the Tour de France. Morocco held a funeral for King Hassan II.
1999
The Woodstock '99 music festival in Rome, N.Y., ended in fires and looting.
2000
A New York-bound Air France Concorde crashed outside Paris shortly after takeoff, killing all 109 people on board and four people on the ground; it was the first-ever crash of the supersonic jet.
2000
Texas Governor George W. Bush selected Dick Cheney to be his running mate.
2005
Fifth bomb discovered in London after July 21 attacks
2005
Rules may be bent to launch Discovery
2005
Britain's Royal Windsor Castle to get hydro-electric power plant
2005
Bush likely to appoint Bolton during congressional recess
2005
A 5.6 Richter quake hits Western Montana
2005
Brazilians call for arrest of UK policemen after shooting death
2005
First Chinese tourists arrive in the UK
2006
California students continue struggle with Exit Exam in classrooms, courtroom
2006
Jewel in King Tut's necklace created by possible asteroid impact
2006
Doha round of trade talks suspended after negotiations fail
2006
Man's romantic e-mail goes worldwide
2006
Scandal Appeals see Lazio and Fiorentine reinstated back into Serie A
2006
US Marine Corps sets up MySpace profile
2006
New Zealand man arrested for murdering teacher
2007
Tour de France: Michael Rasmussen wins stage 16
2007
Tour de France: Yellow jersey Rasmussen withdrawn
2007
ETA places explosives on Tour de France route in Spain
2007
Former MLB player Rollie Stiles dies
2007
Taliban execute one Korean hostage; reports of release denied
2007
Auckland International Airport may become a hub for Emirates Airline
2007
Changes in Fred Thompson US Presidential campaign
2007
UK's Liverpool FC unveils plans for new stadium
2007
Gas tanks explode at facility in Texas, US
2008
"Last Lecture" Professor Randy Pausch dies at age 47
2008
Hole in fuselage causes Qantas flight to make emergency landing
2008
British boy drowns while on holiday with family in Portugal
2008
Minimum wage in United States increases to $6.55
2009
Fernando Alonso takes pole at Hungarian Grand Prix, Felipe Massa badly injured
2009
Tilting train derails in Croatia, six dead
2010
Venezuelan army on high alert after Chávez cuts diplomatic ties with Colombia
2010
Hong Kong teenager murders mother and sister
2010
BP CEO Tony Hayward to resign, say analysts
2010
Stampede at German music festival kills nineteen
2010
Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez cuts relations with Colombia
2010
Brush fire starts in Hawaii's Makua Valley
2010
Open Rights Group holds first conference in London
2013
77 die in train crash in Santiago de Compostela, Spain

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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