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

Today in History

1790
First US patent issued to Samuel Hopkins
1944
Actress Geraldine Chaplin born in Santa Monica, California
1945
Drummer and leader of the Gary Lewis & the Playboys, Gary Lewis born Gary Harold Lee Levitch in Los Angeles, California
1951
Japan Airlines is established
1962
Martial artist, producer and actor, Wesley Snipes born in Orlando, Florida
1965
Author J.K. Rowling born in Yate, England
1975
Teamsters Union president Jimmy Hoffa is reported missing
1987
An F-4 tornado in Edmonton, Alberta kills 27
432
Election of Sixtus III as Pope
448
Death of St, Germanus of Auxerre
904
Moslems sack Thessalonica
1192
Richard I takes Jaffa back from Saladin (3rd Crusade)
1219
William de Chartres, Master of the Templars, wounded in battle before Damietta (5th Crusade)
1291
The Mameluks take Beirut - end of Latin presence in Palestine & Syria
1315
Gates of Paris treacherously opened for Charles, King of Navarre
1358
Death of Etienne Marcel, Provost of Paris
1367
Death of Giovanni Colombini
1401
Thomas Barton, procurator of Glastonbury Abbey, reasserts the Abbey's rights in the King's Court
1498
On his third voyage to the New World, Columbus discovered the island of Trinidad.
1527
Maximilian II, Holy Roman Emperor born
1547
John Knox captured by Royalists
1556
St. Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the Society of Jesus -- the Jesuit order of Catholic priests and brothers -- died in Rome.
1614
Countess Elizabeth Bathory writes her last Will and Testament
1750
Johann Sebastian Bach's funeral. It would be two centuries before his remains would be rediscovered during excavations to extend the foundations of the St. Thomas Church in Leipzig. He would then be reburied inside the church, Westminster Abbey-style.
1763
Author and jurist James Kent born
1777
The Marquis de Lafayette, a 19-year-old French nobleman, was made a major-general in the American Continental Army.
1790
The first U.S. patent was issued to Samuel Hopkins of Vermont on this day. Mr. Hopkins did not get Patent #1 as thousands of patents were issued before someone came up with the bright idea to number them. The inventor patented a process for making potash and pearl ashes.
1792
Director David Rittenhouse laid the cornerstone in Philadelphia for the United States Mint, the first building of the federal government.
1803
John Ericsson US, invented screw propeller, built USS Monitor born
1837
Confederate Army guerrilla leader William Quantrill, whose wartime raid on Lawrence, Kansas, left some 150 people dead. born
1841
George Melville polar explorer, naval engineer born
1845
The French Army introduced the saxophone to its military band this day. The musical instrument was the invention of Adolphe Sax of Belgium.
1867
S.S. (Sebastian Spering) Kresge (merchant five & dime stores) born
1875
The 17th president of the United States, Andrew Johnson, died in Carter Station, Tennessee, at age 66.
1894
Roy Bargy Mich, orchestra leader (Jimmy Durante Show) born
1900
Elmo Roper pollster (Roper Poll) born
1904
Arthur Daley sportswriter (NY Times-Pulitzer 1956) born
1911
George Liberace Menasha Wisc, violinist (Liberace Show) born
1912
Economist Milton Friedman born
1913
William Todman (game show producer Productions: The Price is Right, To Tell the Truth, Beat the Clock, I've Got a Secret, What's My Line) born
1914
The words of Richard Strauss, from this day, tell us much about the origins of World War One. He said: "Poets should be permitted to stay home. There is plenty of cannon fodder available critics, stage producers who have their own ideas, Moliere actors, etcetera."
1919
Sportscaster Curt Gowdy born
1919
Germany's Weimar Constitution was adopted.
1928
MGM's Leo, the lion, roared for the first time on this day. HE introduced MGM's first talking picture, White Shadows on the South Seas. Leo's dialogue was more extensive that the film's, whose only spoken word was, Hello.
1929
Actor Don Murray (Bus Stop, Knots Landing, Peggy Sue Got Married) born
1931
Jazz composer-musician Kenny Burrell born
1935
Actor Geoffrey Lewis born
1939
Actress France Nuyen born
1942
11 classic, I've Heard That Song Before, for Columbia Records this day. Helen Forrest sang on the million-seller.
1943
Singer Lobo born
1943
Actress Susan Flannery born
1944
Movie studio executive Sherry Lansing born
1944
Actress Geraldine Chaplin born
1945
Pierre Laval, premier of the pro-Nazi Vichy government, surrendered to U.S. authorities in Austria; he was turned over to France, which later tried and executed him.
1946
Singer Gary Lewis born
1946
Rock singer Bob Welch (formerly of Fleetwood Mac) born
1948
President Truman helped dedicate New York International Airport (later John F. Kennedy International Airport) at Idlewild Field.
1950
Actor Barry Van Dyke born
1951
Tennis player Evonne Goolagong Cawley born
1953
Actor James Read born
1953
Senator Robert A. Taft of Ohio, known as "Mr. Republican," died in New York at age 63.
1955
17 year old Marilyn Bell of Toronto, Canada, became the youngest person to swim the English Channel.
1956
Actor Michael Biehn born
1957
Rock singer-musician Daniel Ash (Love and Rockets) born
1958
Rock musician Bill Berry (R.E.M.) born
1962
Actor Wesley Snipes born
1964
The American space probe "Ranger Seven" transmitted pictures of the moon's surface.
1964
Country Music Hall of Famer, Jim Reeves, died when his single-engine Beechcraft crashed near Nashville, TN on this day.
1966
Actor Dean Cain born
1969
Actor Loren Dean born
1970
Chet Huntley retires from NBC, ending 'Huntley-Brinkley Report' (No more "Goodnight, David" "Goodnight, Chet")
1971
The first men to ride in a vehicle on the moon did so on this day in the LRV (lunar rover vehicle). The sort of lunar dune buggy carried Apollo 15 astronauts, David R. Scott and James B. Irwin for five miles on the lunar surface.
1972
Democratic vice-presidential candidate Thomas Eagleton withdrew from the ticket with George McGovern following disclosures Eagleton had once undergone psychiatric treatment.
1974
Watergate figure John Ehrlichman was sentenced to 20 months in prison for his role in the break-in at the office of Daniel Ellsberg's psychiatrist. Ellsburg was the Pentagon consultant who leaked the "Pentagon Papers," documents about the war in Vietnam.
1977
Actor Robert Telfer ("Saved by the Bell") born
1981
The leader of Panama, Gen. Omar Torrijos, was killed in a plane crash.
1981
The seven-week-old major league baseball players strike ended as the players and owners agreed on the issue of free agent compensation.
1984
The U.S. men's gymnastics team won the team gold medal at the Los Angeles Summer Olympics in a major upset over the Chinese that included perfect performances by Mitch Gaylord, Bart Conner and Tim Daggett.
1985
House and Senate negotiators reached agreement on legislation to impose economic sanctions against South Africa, in the wake of that country's growing unrest and state of emergency.
1985
Singer Shannon Curfman born
1986
President Reagan, citing executive privilege, refused to allow senators to see Justice Department memos written between 1969 to 1971 by William H. Rehnquist, who was facing confirmation hearings to become chief justice of the United States.
1987
Iranian pilgrims and riot police clashed in the Muslim holy city of Mecca in Saudi Arabia, resulting in some 400 deaths, according to the Saudi government, which blamed the Iranians for the violence.
1988
In a televised speech, Jordan's King Hussein called for an independent Palestinian state in the Israeli-occupied territories as he told the Palestinians to take affairs into their own hands.
1989
A pro-Iranian group in Lebanon released a grisly videotape purportedly showing the body of American hostage William R. Higgins dangling from a rope, a day after his kidnappers threatened to kill him.
1990
Pitcher Nolan Ryan of the Texas Rangers became the 20th major leaguer to win 300 games as he led his team to victory over the Milwaukee Brewers 11-3.
1990
Shoal Creek, a private country club in Birmingham, Alabama, that drew criticism for being all-white, announced it had accepted a black businessman as an honorary member.
1991
Seven people were killed when a bus carrying Girl Scouts crashed in Palm Springs, Calif.
1991
The Senate overturned a 43-year-old law and voted to allow women to fly military warplanes in combat.
1991
Seven people were killed when an Amtrak passenger train derailed near Camden, S.C.
1991
President Bush and Soviet President Mikhail S. Gorbachev signed the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty in Moscow.
1992
Summer Sanders became the first American athlete to win four gold medals at the Barcelona Olympics as she won the gold in the women's 200-meter butterfly.
1992
The space shuttle "Atlantis" blasted off from Cape Canaveral, Florida, on a problem-plagued scientific mission.
1993
Belgium's King Baudouin I died at age 62; he was succeeded by his brother, Prince Albert.
1993
A US-brokered truce halted Israel's weeklong military offensive in southern Lebanon, which was launched in retaliation for guerrilla attacks that killed seven Israeli troops.
1994
The U.N. Security Council authorized member states to use "all necessary means" to oust the military leadership in Haiti.
1995
In the second-largest takeover in U.S. corporate history, the Walt Disney Company agreed to acquire Capital Cities-ABC, Inc. in a $19 billion deal.
1996
The White House won agreement with key Republican lawmakers on a package of anti-terrorism measures.
1996
After Clinton's announcement that he would sign it, 98 Democrats joined the House's Republican majority to pass a historic welfare overhaul bill.
1997
In Brooklyn, New York, police seized five bombs believed bound for terrorist attacks on New York City subways.
1998
IBM's Russian subsidiary agreed to pay $8.5 million in federal fines for selling powerful computers ultimately destined for a Russian nuclear weapons laboratory.
1998
President Clinton said he would "completely and truthfully" answer prosecutors' questions about Monica Lewinsky in testimony to be beamed by closed-circuit television to a grand jury.
1999
Chicago authorities said as many as 46 more residents had died as a result of a relentless heat wave that enveloped much of the nation and produced the hottest July on record in New York City.
2000
The Republican national convention opened in Philadelphia, with George W. Bush's name put into nomination for president.
2000
Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak survived a no-confidence vote. North and South Korea agreed to reopen border liaison offices and reconnect a railway linking their capitals.
2005
Milošević may be jailed in Russia
2005
Anti-Mubarak protesters in Cairo beaten by the police
2005
London police question captured bombing suspects
2005
U.S. President given clean bill of health at annual checkup
2005
Former ECB chief Wim Duisenberg dies
2005
Kazakhstan gets hit with bird flu
2005
Hollywood-like car hijacking in Belgrade
2005
Serbian goal keeper debuts in Croatian football club Rijeka
2005
Nine babies' bodies found in Germany
2006
New Zealand's new small change
2006
Lesbians lose High Court marriage bid
2006
Israeli jets attack southern Lebanon despite partial halt to air strikes
2006
Obrador supporters block streets in Mexico City
2006
U.S. says Israel has agreed to suspend air strikes for 48 hours after deadly strike on Qana
2006
Landis asks for additional test
2006
Mel Gibson makes anti-semitic statements while drunk
2006
676,000 Canadian census forms unfilled countrywide
2006
Security Council sets deadline over Iran nuclear program
2007
UK PM Brown meets with US President Bush at Camp David
2007
Cricket: India defeat England in second Test
2007
US Chief Justice John Roberts hospitalized
2007
Scholarships awarded to isolated pacific islanders in Micronesia
2007
Facebook down for "upgrades"; multiple blogs suggest site was hacked
2007
UN to send troops to Darfur, Sudan
2007
Alan Turing Building opens at University of Manchester
2007
US basketball: Cleveland Cavaliers and partner Flash Seats sue Ticketmaster
2007
New Zealand's copyright bill report strikes criticism
2008
England's historic Weston-super-Mare Grand Pier destroyed by fire
2008
Chinese Wikipedia unblocked across China
2008
British hacker may face Guantanamo, 60-year sentence
2008
Israeli PM Olmert to step down in September
2008
Southern Minnesota plane crash kills eight
2008
British doctor killed while on honeymoon
2008
TICA highlights open source applications at Linux Forum & Expo
2008
Man decapitated on Greyhound bus in Manitoba
2008
United States confirms first military death sentence since 1957
2008
Sony refreshes VAIO brand for business and entertainment
2009
South African President Jacob Zuma chooses new Police Chief
2009
Vestas delays closure of Newport plant
2009
Former Philippine President Corazon Aquino dies at age 76
2010
Afghans riot after civilians die in crash
2010
US President Barack Obama test drives Chevy Volt in Michigan
2010
Deadly flooding in Pakistan kills hundreds
2010
US Q2 economic growth slows to 2.4%
2010
After 100 days, Deepwater Horizon oil spill still threatens Gulf coast
2010
Bus crash kills six, injures Iraqi minister in Jordan
2011
British police launch computer hacking investigation
2012
British male gymnasts pick up medal despite last-minute appeal by Japan

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