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Today in History

LOTR...
Bilbo rescued from Wargs by Eagles
1847
Independence Day in Liberia
1895
Actress and comedienne, Gracie Allen born in San Francisco, California
1943
Musician and lead singer of the Rolling Stones, Sir Michael Phillip "Mick" Jagger born in Dartford, England
1956
Martin & Lewis give a farewell performance in the Copa Room of the Sands Hotel
1956
Olympic Gold Medalist skater, Dorothy Hamill born in Chicago, Illinois
1959
Two-time Oscar winning actor, Kevin Spacey born in South Orange, New Jersey
1964
Actress Sandra Bullock born in Arlington, Virginia
1965
Independence Day in Maldives
363
Death of Julian the Apostate
657
Mu'awiyan defeats Caliph Ali in the Battle of Siffin in Mesopotamia.
796
Death of Offa, King of the English
811
Nicephorus I, Byzantine emperor, killed in battle with the Bulgars
1237
Edward I, King of England, did homage to Philip II, King of France, for his French holdings
1267
Pope Gregory X establishes the Inquisition
1471
Anti-Pope Benedict XIII deposed as a heretic
1471
Death of Pope Paul II
1526
Lucas Vasquez de Ayllon leaves Santo Domingo with several hundred settlers to found a colony in Florida
1527
Founding of Coro, Venezuela
1529
Pizarro authorized to conquer Peru, by the Crown of Spain
1581
The Estates-General of the Hague declares Philip II deposed
1603
James VI of Scotland was crowned King James I of England. He then 'authorized'an English translation of the Scriptures, first published in 1611 and known since as the'King James Version' of the Bible.
1643
Excise Tax in England
1645
Matthew Hopkins, "Witch-finder General," helps to condemn 26 persons as witches in Norfolk, England
1739
George Clinton, 4th VP (1805-12) born
1759
The French relinquish Fort Ticonderoga in New York to the British under General Jeffrey Amherst.
1775
Benjamin Franklin becomes the first Postmaster-General.
1788
New York became the eleventh state to ratify the US Constitution.
1796
Painter George Catlin born
1829
Auguste Beernaert Belgium (Nobel Peace Prize-1909) born
1847
Liberia became a republic, and Africa's first sovereign, black-ruled democratic nation.
1856
Playwright George Bernard Shaw born
1859
The French composer Jules Massenet won the Prix de Rome but for his piano playing ability rather than his composing.
1875
Carl Jung, founder of analytic psychology born
1888
Rimsky-Korsakov finished composing "Scheherazade". This four movement tone poem could be called a symphony, and it's almost a violin concerto since the concertmaster has a great deal to do by himself, but most people just think of "Scheherazade" as a very lovely work.
1892
Pearl S Buck US, novelist (The Good Earth) born
1894
Aldous Huxley England, author (Brave New World) born
1895
Robert Graves, poet and novelist who wrote I Claudius born
1902
Gracie Allen, Mrs George Burns/comedian (Burns & Allen) born
1908
Attorney General Charles Bonaparte created an investigative agency that was the forerunner of the FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation).
1908
Arnold Schoenberg, who has just been abandoned by his wife, himself abandoned tonality, writing atonal variations on a folk song which ends with the words "All is lost." You can hear this in the second movement of his second string quartet.
1912
Actress Vivian Vance born
1920
The 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, prohibiting discrimination in voting on the basis of sex, is ratified
1922
Movie producer Blake Edwards (10, SOB, Breakfast at Tiffany's) born
1922
Actor Jason Robards Junior (A Thousand Clowns, Act 1, Any Wednesday) born
1926
The sanctuary of Our Lady of Victory, in Lackawanna, NY, became the first RomanCatholic church in the U.S. to be consecrated a basilica.
1926
Actor James Best ("The Dukes of Hazzard") born
1928
Movie director Stanley Kubrick (2001, Dr Strangelove, Lolita, Clockwork Orange, Eyes Wide Shut) born
1929
Jean Shepherd humorist born
1935
The Open Bible Standard Churches was formed when two smaller revival movements with similar objectives merged. OBSCI is headquartered today in Des Moines.
1940
Singer Dobie Gray born
1941
Gen. Douglas MacArthur was named commander of U.S. forces in the Philippines
1943
Rock star Mick Jagger born
1943
Movie director Peter Hyams born
1945
Winston Churchill resigned as Britain's prime minister after his Conservatives were soundly defeated by the Labor Party. (Clement Attlee became the new prime minister.)
1946
Actress Helen Mirren born
1946
President Truman signed a order that called for the desegration of all U.S. armed forces.
1947
President Truman signed the National Security Act, creating the Department of Defense, the National Security Council, the Central Intelligence Agency and the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
1948
In an Executive Order, President Harry Truman calls for the end of discrimination and segregation in the U.S. armed forces.
1949
William M Shepherd,Capt USN/astronaut born
1950
Actress Susan George (Straw Dogs, Mandingo) born
1952
King Farouk the First of Egypt abdicated the wake of a coup led by Gamal Abdel Nasser.
1952
Adlai E. Stevenson was nominated for president by the Democratic national convention Chicago; John J. Sparkman was nominated for vice president.
1952
Argentina's first lady, Eva Peron, died Buenos Aires at age 33.
1953
Fidel Castro began his revolt against Fulgencio Batista with an unsuccessful attack on an army barracks eastern Cuba. (Castro ousted Batista 1959.)
1956
Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser nationalized the Suez Canal.
1956
Dorothy Hamill, ice figure skater (Olympic-gold-1976) born
1959
Actor Kevin Spacey born
1961
Rock singer Gary Cherone (Van Halen) born
1964
Actress Sandra Bullock born
1964
Teamsters president Jimmy Hoffa and six others were convicted of fraud and conspiracy in the handling of a union pension fund.
1965
Jennifer Ashe actress (As the World Turns) born
1965
Actor Jeremy Piven ("Ellen") born
1971
"Apollo 15" was launched from Cape Kennedy.
1973
Actress Kate Beckinsale born
1984
"The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson" became the first network television show to be broadcast in stereo.
1985
The U.N. Security Council approved a resolution condemning South Africa's declaration of a state of emergency and calling for limited, voluntary sanctions against the Pretoria government.
1986
American statesman Averell Harriman died in Yorktown Heights, New York, at age 94.
1986
Kidnappers in Lebanon released the Rev. Lawrence Martin Jenco, an American hostage held for nearly 19 months.
1987
Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger said on ABC TV the US Navy's anti-mine capabilities would be improved the Persian Gulf the wake of a mine explosion that damaged the tanker "Bridgeton."
1988
UN Secretary-General Javier Perez de Cuellar met twice with Iran's foreign minister in the first formal round of talks aimed at achieving a cease-fire in the eight-year-old war between Iran and Iraq.
1989
Mark Wellman, a 29-year-old paraplegic, reached the summit of El Capitan in Yosemite National Park after hauling himself up the granite cliff six inches at a time over nine days.
1990
The U.S. House of Representatives reprimanded Congressman Barney Frank, D-Mass., for ethics violations.
1990
President Bush signed into law the "Americans with Disabilities Act."
1990
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control reported that a young woman, later identified as Kimberly Bergalis, had been infected with the AIDS virus, apparently by her dentist.
1991
Secretary of State James Baker became the first Western diplomat to address the Mongolian parliament.
1992
Iraq agreed to permit weapons inspectors to search the Agriculture Ministry Baghdad. Miguel Induraof Spawon cycling's Tour de France for the second year a row. Singer Mary Wells died Los Angeles at age 49.
1993
President Clinton launched a new, harder sell for his budget at a conference in Chicago, accusing Republicans of gridlock.
1993
Retired General Matthew B. Ridgway died in Fox Chapel, Pennsylvania, at age 98.
1994
A car bomb heavily damaged the Israeli embassy in London, injuring 14; hours later, a second bomb exploded outside a building housing Jewish organizations in north London.
1994
The House Banking Committee opened limited hearings on the Whitewater controversy.
1995
The Senate voted 69-to-29 to unilaterally lift the U.N. embargo on arms shipments to Bosnia.
1995
Former Michigan Governor George W. Romney died at age 88.
1996
Amy Van Dyken became the first American woman to win four gold medals at a single Olympics as she captured the 50-meter freestyle in Atlanta.
1996
President Clinton rejected a clemency plea from Jonathan Pollard, who'd spent more than ten years prison for spying for Israel.
1997
President Clinton visited Lake Tahoe, bringing with him $26 million in new postal trucks and new sewage pipes as he committed himself to the lake's preservation.
1998
The White House said President Clinton's lawyers were working with prosecutor Kenneth Starr to avert Clinton's direct testimony to a grand jury about the Monica Lewinsky case. (The president ended up testifying via closed-circuit television.)
1998
AT&T and British Telecommunications PLC announced they were forming a joint venture that would combine their international operations and develop a new Internet system.
1999
Cary Stayner, a motel handyman, described in detail for an off-camera jailhouse interview with San Francisco TV station KBWB how he'd killed a naturalist and three Yosemite sightseers.
1999
Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and her Russian counterpart, Igor Ivanov, announced a second Washington-Moscow hot line would be installed to help avoid misunderstandings like those that had developed over Kosovo.
2000
George W. Bush and his just-chosen running mate, Dick Cheney, set out on their first campaign excursion together as they visited Cheney's former hometown of Casper, Wyoming.
2000
A federal judge in New York approved a $1.25 billion settlement between Swiss banks and more than a-half million plaintiffs who alleged the banks had hoarded money deposited by Holocaust victims.
2005
Murderer of Dutch filmmaker van Gogh gets life term
2005
Inter lead race to snap-up Figo
2005
Space Shuttle Discovery launches
2005
Press freedom watchdog 'outraged' by closure of Burundi radio station
2005
Last WWII Comanche 'code talker' dies
2005
U.S. magazine TV Guide to drop local editions in makeover
2005
U.S. consumer confidence drops
2005
Neighbours of Niger also facing food crisis
2005
Microsoft announces name of new version of Windows: Vista
2005
Windows Vista faces possible trademark challenges
2005
San Diego votes for new mayor
2005
Int'l Football: Liverpool beats Kaunas 3 - 1
2006
Toll to cancel Overlander train service
2006
Power and water return to Liberia
2006
Multiple sclerosis more often transmitted by fathers
2006
Saddam Hussein 'forced' back to trial
2006
Preliminary hearing for lawsuit against Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal rescheduled
2006
Buffalo, N.Y. city hall evacuated after alarms sound
2006
Historic Birmingham pub destroyed in Arson attack
2006
Missing Illinois student found dead
2006
Despite 6 warnings Israel bombed and killed 4 UN observers
2006
Red Cross ambulances hit by Israeli strike
2007
Tour de France: Daniele Bennati wins stage 17
2007
Wake Forest University basketball coach Skip Prosser dies
2007
Cat in Rhode Island, USA nursing home 'senses death'
2007
Strong earthquake strikes Indonesia
2007
NASA says worker tried to sabotage ISS
2007
Man charged following bomb threats which closed 14 Tesco supermarkets in UK
2007
FIA clears McLaren of allegations by Ferrari
2007
Weapons storage facility in Syria explodes killing 15 soldiers
2007
Partizan Belgrade kicked out of 2007/08 UEFA Cup
2008
SNP wins Glasgow East by-election in Scotland
2008
US Senate passes housing aid bill
2008
Six year old girl and five others killed, Hamas arrests 200 Palestinians
2008
Obama's private prayer published in Israeli newspaper
2008
Two nuclear leaks in two weeks trigger security and safety reviews in France
2008
US presidential candidate Barack Obama's lead in the polls increases
2009
Contador wins Tour de France; Cavendish wins six stages
2009
Iranian plane crashes on runway, 17 dead
2009
Rugby Union: Ballymore Cup North Queensland carnival
2009
Lewis Hamilton wins Hungarian Grand Prix
2010
Australian rules football: Gippsland Football League round 15 - Leongatha v Traralgon
2010
British snooker player Alex Higgins found dead at age 61
2010
North Korea warns of nuclear action
2012
Six die in France helicopter crash at Verdon Gorge
2012
UK border staff Olympic strike abandoned
2013
Ninth World Games open in Santiago de Cali, Colombia

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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