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

Today in History

1747
Captain of the Bonhomme Richard, John Paul Jones born in Kirkcudbright, Scotland "I have not yet begun to fight"
1907
Artist Frida Kahlo born in Coyoacán, Mexico
1917
Lawrence of Arabia captures Aqaba
1925
Singer, pianist, and talk show host, Merv Griffin born in San Mateo, California
1925
Rock & roll guitarist and singer, Bill Haley born in Highland Park, Michigan
1927
Actress Janet Leigh born in Merced, California
1931
Jazz singer Della Reese born in Detroit, Michigan
1942
Anne Frank goes into hiding in Amsterdam
1946
Academy Award nominated screenwriter and actor, Sylvester Stallone born in Hell's Kitchen, New York
1947
Actress Shelley Hack born in Greenwich, Connecticut
1957
John Lennon and Paul McCartney meet
1974
A Prairie Home Companion premieres
1975
Independence day in Comoros
699
Death of St. Sexburga
1070
Death of St. Godelive
1189
Death of Henry II Plantagenet, King of England, at Chinon
1266
Norway ceded Man and Hebridies Islands to Scotland
1376
Wenceslaus crowned King of Germany
1403
Caermarthen surrenders to Owain Glen Dwr
1415
Martyrdom of Jan Hus
1439
Greek Orthodox and Roman Catholics sign the Decree of Union at the Council of Florence, creating an official union between the two churches. Popular sentiment in Constantinople was against the decree, and when the city was captured by the Turks the union ceased some 7 years later.
1483
Coronation of Richard III, and Anne, King and Queen of England
1519
Charles I, King of Spain, elected as Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor
1535
Sir Thomas More was executed in England for treason. He was sainted on May 19, 1935.
1536
Jacques Cartier returns to France from his second voyage
1553
Death of Edward VI, King of England, of consumption
1553
Jane Grey proclaimed Queen of England
1572
Death of Sigsimund II, King of Poland
1581
Madlen Isolin, Maria Rosch, Brigida Wunsil, Catharina Einseler and Anna Flieger, of Waldsee, Germany, burned as witches
1642
Owen Roe O'Neill lands in Donegal
1699
Pirate Capt. William Kidd was seized in Boston and deported to England.
1747
John Paul Jones, founder of the U.S. Navy - "I have not yet begun to fight" born
1777
During the American Revolution, British forces captured Fort Ticonderoga.
1812
Beethoven wrote three letters to a woman he called his "Immortal Beloved." There has been a lot of debate about which woman this was, but biographers now seem to have settled on Antonie Brentano, who was above Beethoven's station and married besides.
1854
The Republican Party was formally established at a meeting in New York City.
1865
William Booth founds The Christian Mission to work among London's poor and unchurched. Later, he changed the mission's name to the Salvation Army.
1885
French bacteriologist Louis Pasteur inoculated the first human being, a boy who had been bitten by a rabid dog. The youngster did not develop rabies.
1917
During World War One, Arab forces led by T.E. Lawrence captured the port of Aqaba from the Turks.
1919
A British dirigible, the R-34, landed in New York, becoming the first airship to cross the Atlantic Ocean (108 hr).
1921
Former first lady Nancy Reagan born
1922
Actor William Schallert born
1923
The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics was formed.
1925
Talk show host Merv Griffin born
1925
Rock `n' roll pioneer Bill Haley born
1927
Actress Janet Leigh born
1928
A preview was held in New York of the first all-talking feature, "The Lights of New York."
1931
Singer-actress Della Reese born
1931
Actor Donal Donnelly born
1932
First Class postage back up to 3 cents from 2 cents.
1933
1st All-Star baseball game. American League won 5-2.
1937
Singer Gene Chandler born
1937
Actor Ned Beatty born
1940
Country singer Jeannie Seely born
1942
Anne Frank, age 13, and her family go into hiding with four others from the Nazis in the "Secret Annex" at 263 Prinsengracht (Prince's Canal), Amsterdam.
1944
169 people died when fire broke out in the main tent of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus in Hartford, Connecticut.
1945
President Truman signed an executive order establishing the Medal of Freedom.
1946
Actor Fred Dryer born
1946
Actor Burt Ward born
1946
Actor-director Sylvester Stallone born
1948
Actress Nathalie Baye born
1951
Actor Geoffrey Rush born
1952
Actress Shelley Hack born
1952
Actor Grant Goodeve born
1953
Country singer Nanci Griffith born
1954
Actress Allyce Beasley born
1956
Country musician John Jorgenson born
1957
Hockey player Ron Duguay born
1957
Althea Gibson became the first black tennis player to win a Wimbledon singles title, defeating fellow American Darlene Hard 6-3, 6-2.
1958
Alaska became the 49th state.
1962
Jamaica gains independence from Great-Britain.1967 Biafran War erupted. (The war, which lasted two and a-half years, claimed some 600,000 lives.)
1962
H. Richard Niebuhr, theologian, Yale professor, and author of Christ and Culture, dies at age 67.
1971
Louis "Satchmo" Armstrong died this day, he was 69.
1973
"I am the last of the classical school. When Bruno Walter died I raised my fees." So said Otto Klemperer, the last great German conductor of his generation, who died in Zurich at the age of 88. A younger generation of German conductors succeeds him notably Kurt Masur.
1978
Actress Tia Mowry ("Sister, Sister") born
1978
Actress Tamera Mowry ("Sister, Sister") born
1987
The U.S. fines Chrysler Corporation $1.5 million for 811 violations of worker safety regulations.
1987
The first of three massacres by Sikh extremists over two days took place in India as gunmen attacked a bus with Hindu passengers. Seven-two people were killed in the attacks in Punjab and Haryana.
1988
167 North Sea oil workers were killed when a series of explosions and fires destroyed a drilling platform.
1988
Medical waste and other debris began washing up on New York City-area seashores, forcing the closing of several popular beaches.
1989
The US Army destroyed its last Pershing One-A missiles at an ammunition plant in Karnack, Texas, under terms of a 1987 treaty.
1989
A Palestinian shouting "The glory of Allah!" grabbed the steering wheel of an Israeli bus, causing a crash that claimed 15 lives.
1990
NATO leaders concluded two days of meetings in London, pledging to sharply reduce both nuclear and conventional defenses in Europe.
1991
President Bush sent a personal message to Soviet President Mikhail S. Gorbachev, urging a stronger effort to conclude arms control talks.
1991
Steffi Graf won the women's singles title at Wimbledon, defeating Gabriela Sabatini 6-4, 3-6, 8-6.
1992
The Group of Seven industrial nations opened their 18th annual economic summit in Munich, Germany.
1993
On the eve of the Group of Seven summit in Tokyo, President Clinton and Japanese Prime Minister Kiichi Miyazawa expressed optimism about resolving a contentious trade dispute between their countries.
1994
14 firefighters were killed while battling a several-day-old blaze on Storm King Mountain in Colorado.
1994
President Clinton stopped in Latvia, then traveled to Poland as part of a four-nation European tour.
1995
The prosecution rested at the O.J. Simpson murder trial in Los Angeles.
1996
President Clinton announced the biggest changes in the rules governing meat and poultry safety in 90 years.
1996
Steffi Graf won her seventh Wimbledon title, defeating Arantxa Sanchez Vicario 6-3, 7-5.
1996
A Delta MD-88 jetliner's left engine blew apart during an aborted takeoff from Pensacola, Florida, sending metal pieces ripping into the carbin, killing a mother and her son.
1997
The rover Sojourner rolled down a ramp from the Mars Pathfinder lander onto the Martian landscape to begin inspecting the soil and rocks of the Red Planet.
1997
Pete Sampras won his fourth Wimbledon title as he defeated Cedric Pioline of France 6-4, 6-2, 6-4.
1997
Cuauhtemoc Cardenas captured Mexico City's mayoral race while Mexico's ruling party suffered devastating losses in congressional elections.
1998
Singing cowboy star Roy Rogers died in Apple Valley, California, at age 86.
1998
Protestants rioted in many parts of Northern Ireland after British authorities blocked an Orange Order march in Portadown.
1998
Se Ri Pak, a 20-year-old rookie from South Korea, became the youngest winner of the U-S Women's Open, defeating American amateur Jenny Chuasiriporn in sudden death.
1999
One year ago Israel, pledging to seek peace with neighboring Arab countries.
2000
The German parliament offered a formal apology to Nazi-era slave and forced laborers as it passed a bill setting up a five billion-dollar compensation fund.
2000
The body of 19-year-old Cory Erving, son of basketball star Julius "Dr. J" Erving, was found in his car at the bottom of a Florida pond; he'd been missing since May 28th.
2000
Venus Williams beat her younger sister Serena 6-2, 7-6 (3) to reach the Wimbledon final; their singles match was the first between sisters in a Grand Slam semifinal.
2005
Spyware is changing users' online habits
2005
London to host 2012 Olympic Games
2005
New York Times reporter sent to jail in leak case
2005
Exit Festival 05 begins tomorrow
2005
Brazil threatens to break patent on AIDS drugs
2005
Pittsburgh Pirates defeat Philadelphia Phillies, 3-0
2005
Tanzania accused of supporting terrorism to destabilise Burundi
2005
Rapper 'Little Kim' sentenced to 1 year in prison
2005
European Parliament rejects computer-implemented inventions directive
2005
Protestors detained after violence near G8 summit
2005
European parliament says NO to software patents
2005
Pennsylvania man admits to June 25 beating of elderly woman
2006
Parlez-vous français? Qapla’! More Grade 11 boys proficient in Klingon than French: local survey
2006
Coca-Cola trade secrets attempted to be sold to Pepsi
2006
NZ teenager convicted in motorway case
2006
New York's highest court upholds gay marriage ban
2006
Mexican conservative wins presidential election
2006
Portuguese Culture Ministry suspends opening of Afonso I's tomb
2006
India, China reopen Nathu La pass
2006
Canadian Prime Minister Harper meets with U.S. President Bush
2006
Montréal man urinated on Canadian National War Memorial
2007
Sochi, Russia to host 2014 Winter Olympics
2007
Raids take place as enquiry into failed UK bombings continues
2007
Pittsburgh playwrights pen furry musical, invite Anthrocon attendees to observe reading
2007
Scientists uncover oldest known DNA on Earth
2007
UK Member of Parliament, Charles Kennedy, caught smoking on train
2007
Nine dead as plane crashes into cars in Mexico
2007
Ghana's first female Chief Justice receives award
2007
Microsoft extends warranty on Xbox 360 following an "unacceptable number of repairs"
2007
Tour de France: One day until 'Le Grand Départ'
2007
Gunmen shoot at Pakistani President Musharraf's plane
2007
United States bank receives death threats
2008
Man rips off Hitler waxwork's head in Berlin
2008
Triathlon national championship held in Belgium
2008
Prisoner abuse, serious corruption may have occurred in Turks and Caicos Islands
2008
Buffalo, New York man shot in head, run over by shooter's car
2008
At least eight dead as building collapses during construction in China
2008
Honduran capital's main airport reopens six weeks after jetliner crash
2008
Syrian jail riot kills at least 25
2008
Lewis Hamilton wins British Grand Prix
2009
NSA to participate in U.S. cybersecurity
2009
Alzheimer's disease reversed in mice using caffeine
2009
Tropical Storm Blanca forms in the Pacific
2009
Serena Williams wins the Wimbledon Women's Singles title after defeating Venus Williams
2009
Swine flu patients taken to Kenyan capital to fly home to UK Sunday
2010
Chinese hostage rescued in the Philippines
2010
Severe heat wave blankets northeastern US
2010
Iran claims airliners were denied fuel
2010
NASCAR: Kevin Harvick wins Summer race in Daytona Beach, Florida
2010
BP reports progress in oil spill cleanup
2010
Netherlands beats Uruguay 3-2 in FIFA World Cup semifinals
2011
South Korean city wins 2018 Winter Olympics
2011
US Senate postpones vote on Libya conflict to focus on national debt
2011
Despite speculation, aides say Biden will remain on Obama ticket
2011
Over half of Romanian terminal grade students fail baccalaureate exam
2012
ACTA rejected by European Parliament; protesters rejoice
2013
Asiana Boeing 777 crashes upon landing at San Francisco International Airport
2013
San Fermín de los Navarros church in Madrid celebrates patron day

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