[an error occurred while processing this directive]
[an error occurred while processing this directive]

Today in History

1030
Olsok Eve in Norway
1874
Rain Day in Waynesburg, Pennsylvania
1938
Author and Emmy Award winning television news anchor, Peter Jennings born in Toronto, Ontario
1965
101st Airborne Division paratroopers land at Cam Ranh Bay in Vietnam
1966
Grammy Award nominated country singer, Martina McBride born in Sharon, Kansas
1972
Blogger, Trekkie and actor, Wil Wheaton born in Burbank, California
1981
Lady Diana marries Charles, Prince of Wales
479
Death of St. Lupus of Troyes
1014
Basil II captures & blinds a Bulgarian army in the Pass of Kleidion
1030
King Olav Haraldsson, patron saint of Norway, is killed in the battle of Stiklestad. His wholehearted (and often harsh) support for Christianity in that country was decisive in establishing the religion there.
1099
Death of St. Urban II, Pope
1187
Sidon falls to Saladin
1192
Saladin takes Jaffa, again
1214
Birth of Sturla Thordsson, Law Man, and Skald
1284
Death of Sturla Thordsson, Law Man, and Skald
1432
Hamburg, Germany spared by the Hussites
1492
First Almanac printed
1506
Death of Martin Behaim, constructor of the first known world globe
1565
Marriage of Mary, Queen of Scots, to Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley
1567
James VI crowned King of Scots
1602
Execution of the Duke of Biron
1603
Bartholomew Gilbert killed by Indians in North Carolina
1644
Death of Pope Urban VIII
1645
Matthew Hopkins, "Witch-finder General," charges 29 persons for witchcraft; all were condemned
1833
English abolitionist William Wilberforce dies a mere three days after England abolishes slavery.
1835
First sugar plantation in Hawaii begun.
1858
First commercial treaty between US and Japan is signed.
1869
Novelist Booth Tarkington born
1907
Melvin Belli, San Francisco's 'King of Torts' born
1914
First transcontinental phone link made. Between NYC and San Francisco
1920
First transcontinental airmail flight from New York to San Francisco
1924
Actor Lloyd Bochner born
1924
Actor Robert Horton ("Wagon Train") born
1934
Actor Robert Fuller born
1936
Former American Red Cross President Elizabeth H. Dole, now U.S. presidential candidate. born
1938
ABC News anchorman Peter Jennings born
1941
Actor David Warner born
1946
Rock musician Neal Doughty (REO Speedwagon) born
1948
Britain's King George VI opened the Olympic Games in London.
1949
Marilyn Tucker Quayle, wife of former Vice President Dan Quayle born
1949
Rock musician Simon Kirke (Bad Company) born
1950
RKO Pictures released the Walt Disney adaptation of the Robert Louis Stevenson literary classic "Treasure Island."
1953
Rock singer-musician Geddy Lee (Rush) born
1953
Documentary maker Ken Burns born
1956
Rock singer Patti Scialfa (Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band) born
1957
The International Atomic Energy Commission was established.
1957
Jack Paar made his debut as host of NBC's "Tonight Show.""
1958
President Eisenhower signed the National Aeronautics and Space Act, which created "NASA."
1963
Actress Alexandra Paul born
1966
Country singer Martina McBride born
1967
Rock musician Chris Gorman (Belly) born
1967
Fire swept the USS Forrestal, stationed in the Gulf of Tonkin, killing 134 servicemen.
1968
Pope Paul VI reaffirmed the Roman Catholic Church's stance against artificial birth control.
1968
Actor Rodney Allen Rippy born
1972
Actor Wil Wheaton born
1973
Rhythm-and-blues singer Wanya Morris (Boyz II Men) born
1973
Actor Stephen Dorff born
1975
President Ford became the first U.S. president to visit the site of the Nazi concentration camp Auschwitz in Poland as he paid tribute to the victims.
1980
A state funeral was held in Cairo, Egypt, for the deposed Shah of Iran, who had died two days earlier at age 60.
1981
Britain's Prince Charles married Lady Diana Spencer in an elaborate ceremony televised worldwide from St. Paul's Cathedral in London.
1983
Death claimed actor David Niven in Switzerland at age 73; movie director Luis Bunuel in Mexico at age 83; and actor Raymond Massey in Beverly Hills, California, at age 86.
1984
On the first day of competition at the Summer Olympics in Los Angeles, Americans won six gold medals in swimming and cycling events.
1985
The space shuttle Challenger began an eight-day mission that got off to a shaky start -- the spacecraft achieved a safe orbit even though one of its main engines had shut down prematurely after lift-off.
1985
Spring Hill, Tennessee, was selected as the new home of the Saturn automobile assembly plant. General Motors announced that it expected to produce up to 500,000 of the compact cars a year beginning in 1989.
1986
A federal jury in New York found that the NFL had committed an antitrust violation against the rival United States Football League. But in a hollow victory for the USFL, the jury ordered the NFL to pay $3.
1987
Testifying for a second day before the Iran-Contra congressional committees, Attorney general Edwin Meese strongly defended his inquiry into the affair.
1988
NASA officials delayed a critical launch-pad test-firing of the space shuttle Discovery's main engines, scheduled for Aug. 1, another three days. (The test finally took place August tenth, and was judged a success.)
1989
Poland's newly elected president, Wojciech Jaruzelski resigned his post as Communist Party general secretary, and was succeeded by Mieczyelaw Rakowski.
1990
Bruno Kreisky, Austria's longest-serving chancellor and an architect of its policy of neutrality, died at age 79.
1991
Jack Nicklaus became the second golfer to win the U.S. Amateur, the U.S. Open and the U.S. Senior Open golf tournaments.
1991
President Bush arrived in Moscow for a superpower summit with Soviet President Mikhail S. Gorbachev that included the signing of the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty.
1991
The Federal Reserve sought a $200 million penalty against BCCI for violating U.S. banking laws. It was the largest fine in the Federal Reserve's history.
1992
The U.S. 400-meter freestyle relay team won the gold medal at the Barcelona Summer Olympics.
1992
Former East German leader Erich Honecker was arrested on his return to his homeland and charged with manslaughter. He was later permitted to leave after he was diagnosed with terminal cancer.
1992
Former Secretary of Defense Clark Clifford and his law partner, Robert Altman, were indicted on charges of lying about their roles in the BCCI scandal.
1993
The Israeli Supreme Court acquitted retired Ohio autoworker John Demjanjuk of being Nazi death camp guard "Ivan the Terrible," and threw out his death sentence; Demjanjuk was set free.
1993
The Senate Judiciary Committee unanimously approved Judge Ruth Bader Ginsburg's nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court.
1993
Morihiro Hosokawa was chosen prime minister by the majority political coalition in the Japanese Diet (parliament).
1994
President Clinton ordered U.S. troops to Rwanda's capital to provide airport security for relief flights.
1994
Anti-abortion activist Paul Hill shot and killed Dr. John Bayard Britton and Britton's bodyguard, James H. Barrett, outside the Ladies Center clinic in Pensacola, Fla. (Hill was later convicted and sentenced to death).
1994
Supreme Court nominee Stephen G. Breyer won Senate approval.
1995
President Clinton and Republicans marked the 30th anniversary of Medicare by accusing one another of putting the program's future at risk.
1996
At the Atlanta Olympics, Carl Lewis won the gold medal in the long jump, becoming only the fifth Olympian to win gold medals in four straight games. Michael Johnson won the 400-meter dash, Allen Johnson the 110-meter hurdles.
1996
China detonated a nuclear test explosion that it promised would be its last, just hours before international negotiators in Geneva began discussing a global ban on such testing.
1997
Members of Congress from both parties embraced compromise legislation designed to balance the budget while cutting taxes.
1997
Minamata Bay, Japan, once a worldwide symbol of industrial pollution, was declared free of mercury 40 years after contaminated food fish were blamed for deaths and birth defects.
1998
Jerome Robbins, one of modern ballet's master choreographers and one of Broadway's major innovators, died in New York at age 79.
1998
President Clinton reached an agreement with Kenneth Starr to provide grand jury testimony via closed-circuit television in the Monica Lewinsky case.
1999
A day trader, apparently upset over stock losses, opened fire in two Atlanta brokerage offices, killing nine people and wounding 13 before shooting himself to death; authorities say Mark O. Barton also killed his wife and two children.
1999
California Govenor Gray Davis abandoned the state's effort to preserve Proposition 187, a divisive voter-approved ban on schooling and other public benefits for illegal immigrants.
2000
Yasser Arafat set off on a multi-country tour to drum up support for the Palestinians in the Middle East peace process.
2005
Australian Medical Association backs ethanol blended fuels
2005
Twenty injured by tornado in Birmingham, UK
2005
Armed police arrest two more 21 July bombing suspects in dramatic raids
2005
Controversy over Liverpool fan jailed in Bulgaria
2005
Fourth 21 July bomb suspect held in Rome
2005
Cyclist crosses Canada in 30 days for orphans
2005
No breakthrough in the WTO trade talks
2005
Visa of Brazilian killed in London reportedly expired two-years ago
2005
Football CL: Third qualifying round draw results
2006
Campaigning ends in landmark Congo elections
2006
Gunman kills one, injures five in Seattle Jewish Federation
2006
Hezbollah leader alleges prior Israeli-US planning of current conflict
2006
All Blacks retain Bledisloe Cup
2007
Disney to leave smoking out of their films
2007
Tour de France: Alberto Contador wins the grand tour
2007
Fred Thompson wins Georgetown County straw poll
2007
13 die in two aircraft accidents in Russia
2008
Earthquake strikes southern California
2008
Alaska senator Ted Stevens indicted in corruption scandal
2008
SEPTA buys rail cars from NJ Transit to deal with crowding
2008
Court sentences eight to death in Sudan over Omdurman rebel attack
2008
US father kidnaps daughter, may flee country in yacht
2008
Over 100 people protest exclusion of gender identity protection in ENDA outside HRC dinner
2008
American actor and star of 'Frasier' returns to hospital
2008
IOC lifts ban on Iraqi athletes participating in the Beijing Olympics
2008
British Airways enters merger talks with Iberia
2008
Google's search index hits one trillion page mark
2009
Ukrainian journalist Gongadze's skull may have been found
2009
Colombia's relations with Venezuela deteriorate over Swedish rockets
2009
Haitian migrants drown and many more still missing
2009
Seven million dollar Iraq bank heist leaves eight dead
2010
Loneliness unhealthy as smoking and alcoholism, new study says
2010
Oldest user of Twitter, Ivy Bean, dies at 104
2010
Ahmadinejad criticizes Paul the octopus
2010
Six killed in Sadr City bombing
2010
Tennessee Lieutenant Governor suggests that Islam is a 'cult'
2010
Gibraltar police investigate suspicious death
2011
National Museum of Scotland reopens after three-year redevelopment

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.

Select a section