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Today in History

1543
French troops invade Luxembourg
1887
Modern impressionist painter Marc Chagall born in Vitebsk, Belarus
1907
Hugo Award winning science fiction author, Robert A. Heinlein born in Butler, Missouri
1934
Emmy Award winning producer and screenwriter, David Lloyd born in Bronxville, New York
1940
Singer, songwriter, actor and drummer for The Beatles, Ringo Starr born Richard Starkey in Liverpool, England
1947
Debris from what was believed to be a UFO crash found in Roswell, New Mexico
1949
Cannes Film Festival Award winning actress, Shelley Duvall born in Houston, Texas
1949
First radio broadcast of "Dragnet"
1969
Official Languages Act adopted in Canada
1980
World Champion figure skater, Michelle Kwan born in Torrance, California
665
Death of St. Ethelburga of Faremountiers-en-Brie
705
Death of St. Hedda
739
Death of St. Willibald, first known Englishman to visit the Holy Land
1124
Crusaders capture Tyre
1304
Death of Pope Benedict XI
1307
Death of Edward I, King of England, at Burgh-on-Sands. He dies on his way to Scotland to fight Robert the Bruce
1348
The Black Death arrives in England at Weymouth
1438
Pragmatic Sanction
1456
French ecclesiastical court rehabilitates Joan of Arc
1520
Cortez defeats the Aztecs
1531
Death of Tilman Riemenschneider, late Gothic German sculptor
1537
Death of Madeleine, Queen to James V, King of Scots
1540
Francisco Vasquez de Coronado conquers a pueblo in the Southwestern USA, believing it to be one of the Seven Cities of Gold; 1st skirmish between Indians & Europeans in western US
1550
Emperor Charles V announces the convening of the Council of Valladolid, to discuss the issue of slavery in the New World
1553
Mary Tudor hides in Sawston Hall from the Duke of Northumberland
1585
Grenville & Lane land at Roanoke, Va. to found Raleigh's 1st colony
1585
Edict of Nemours
1586
Thomas Hooker, founder of Hartford, "Father of American Democracy" born
1623
Virginia colonists begin unsuccessful reprisals against Indians
1647
Rioting in Naples over a food tax
1647
Thomas Hooker, Puritan pastor, founder of Connecticut, and organizer of the first American federal government system, dies. Known as the "Father of American Democracy"
1747
Bach completed his "Musical Offering," and dedicated it to the most powerful fan he ever had, Frederick the Great. This monarch was a fairly good flute player and even did some composing himself. He hired Bach's son Carl Philip Emanuel as his chief court musician
1752
Joseph-Marie Jacquard. French silk weaver and inventor of the jacquard (programmable) loom. born
1754
King's College in New York City opened. (The school was renamed "Columbia College" thirty years later.)
1828
Russia took Kars from Ottoman
1846
U.S. Navy Commodore J.D. Sloat proclaimed the annexation of California by the United States
1860
Gustav Mahler was born, in Kaliste, on the border of Moravia and Bohemia. In his twenties Mahler was an assistant to Artur Nikisch in Leipzig. He became music director of the New York Philharmonic. He finished the "Symphony of a Thousand" and began work on "Das Lied von der Erde." A Ninth Symphony was completed but a Tenth was not.
1865
Four people were hanged in Washington DC after being convicted of conspiring with John Wilkes Booth to assassinate President Lincoln. Mary Surratt, owner of the boarding house where John Wilkes Booth stayed while planning Lincoln's assassination was hanged for her part in the alleged conspiracy. She was the first American woman to be executed for a crime
1887
Painter Marc Chagall born
1891
A patent was granted for the travelers cheque
1896
The Democratic national convention opened in Chicago
1898
President William McKinley signed a joint resolution of Congress authorizing the annexation of Hawaii by the United States
1906
Baseball pitcher Leroy "Satchel" Paige born
1907
Robert A. Heinlein, author who helped develop Science Fiction as a sophisticated mode of literary expression. born
1911
Composer Gian Carlo Menotti born
1913
Blues musician Pinetop Perkins born
1922
French fashion designer Pierre Cardin born
1927
Country singer Charlie Louvin born
1927
Musician-conductor Doc Severinsen born
1930
Construction began on Boulder Dam (later Hoover Dam)
1933
Historian-author David McCullough born
1940
Rock star Ringo Starr born
1944
Singer-musician Warren Entner (The Grass Roots) born
1946
Mother Frances Xavier Cabrini (1850-1917), founder of the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart, becomes the first American to be canonized by the Roman Catholic Church. She arrived in the U.S. from Italy in 1889, and was naturalized in 1909. Her feast day is November 13
1946
Actor Joe Spano born
1947
Country singer Linda Williams born
1949
Actress Shelley Duvall born
1951
Actress Roz Ryan born
1962
Rock musician Mark White (Spin Doctors) born
1966
Rhythm-and-blues musician Ricky Kinchen (Mint Condition) born
1969
Canada's House of Commons gave final approval to a measure making the French language equal to English throughout the national government
1970
Actress Cree Summer ("A Different World") born
1970
Sir Allen Lane dies. He was the founder of Penguin Books and the first publisher to promote the paperback book
1973
President Nixon said he would not appear before the Senate Watergate Investigating Committee, or give it access to White House files
1980
Figure skater Michelle Kwan born
1981
President Reagan announced he was nominating Arizona Judge Sandra Day O'Connor to become the first female justice on the US Supreme Court
1983
11-year-old Samantha Smith of Manchester, Maine, left for a visit to the Soviet Union at the personal invitation of Soviet leader Yuri V. Andropov
1986
The government of South Africa said it had lifted all restrictions against anti-apartheid activist Winnie Mandela
1986
The U.S. Supreme Court struck down a key provision of the Gramm-Rudman deficit-reduction law
1987
Lieutenant Colonel Oliver North began his long-awaited public testimony at the Iran-Contra hearing, telling Congress that he had "never carried out a single act, not one," without authorization
1988
The candidate of Mexico's ruling party, Carlos Salinas de Gortari, claimed a "national victory" one day after presidential elections that opponents charged were riddled by fraud
1989
The Labor Department reported that unemployment rose one-tenth of one percent in June to five-point-two percent
1990
Martina Navratilova made Wimbledon history with her 9th Wimbledon title, making her the first to obtain it this many times
1990
President Bush welcomed fellow leaders of the world's leading industrialized democracies, gathered in Houston for their 16th annual Group of Seven economic summit
1991
Responding to President Bush's call for stepped-up efforts on arms control talks, Soviet President Mikhail S. Gorbachev told the White House he was sending Foreign Minister Alexander Bessmertnykh and other officials for talks with Secretary of State James A. Baker the Third
1991
Michael Stich defeated Boris Becker, 6-4, 7-6, 6-4, to win the men's singles title at Wimbledon
1992
Group of Seven leaders meeting in Munich, Germany, condemned the carnage in former Yugoslavia and warned Serb-led troops that UN military force would be used if needed to keep relief operations going
1993
The Group of Seven nations, on the first day of their economic summit in Tokyo, unveiled a long-sought agreement on world trade. Prior to the summit opening, President Clinton delivered a speech at Waseda University
1994
President Clinton, visiting Poland, assured the parliament that the U.S. would "not let the Iron Curtain be replaced by a veil of indifference.""
1994
Panama withdrew its offer to the U.S. to accept thousands of Haitian refugees
1995
The space shuttle Atlantis landed at Cape Canaveral, Florida, bringing back American astronaut Norman Thagard, who'd spent three-and-a-half months aboard the Russian space station "Mir."
1996
President Clinton delivered more Whitewater trial testimony before video cameras, this time testifying in case of two Arkansas bankers accused of making political contributions with bank funds. (A jury later acquitted Herby Branscum Junior and Robert M. Hill of four counts and deadlocked on seven other counts; Whitewater prosecutor Kenneth Starr decided not to retry the bankers.)
1996
Dutch tennis player Richard Krajicek won the Wimbledon men's title, defeating American MaliVai Washington 6-3, 6-4, 6-3
1997
Three days after landing on Mars, the Pathfinder spacecraft yielded what scientists said was unmistakable photographic evidence that colossal floods scoured the planet's now-barren landscape more than a billion years ago
1998
A jury in Santa Monica, California, convicted Mikail Markhasev of murdering Ennis Cosby, Bill Cosby's only son, during a roadside robbery
1998
The American League defeated the National League 13-to-8 in baseball's All-Star Game, played in Denver
1998
Imprisoned Nigerian opposition leader Moshood Abiola died of what the government said was a heart attack
1999
In the first class-action lawsuit by smokers to go to trial, a jury in Miami held cigarette makers liable for making a defective product that causes emphysema, lung cancer and other illnesses
1999
Bill Clinton became the first president since Franklin D. Roosevelt to visit an Indian reservation as he toured the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota
2000
Stock car driver Kenny Irwin was killed when his car slammed into a wall during practice at New Hampshire International Speedway; he was 30
2000
President Clinton postponed the first federal execution since 1963 so that death row inmate Juan Raul Garza could ask for clemency under guidelines being updated by the government. (Garza was executed June 19th, 2001)
2002
A scandal broke out in the United Kingdom when news reports alleged MI6 of sheltering Abu Qatada, the supposed European Al Qaeda leader
2003
The United Communist Party of Armenia was formed
2004
The last patent on the LZW compression algorithm (in Canada) expired
2005
A series of four terrorist explosions occur on London's transport system killing 52 people, plus four suicide bombers
2005
US Senator Rick Santorum writes book, receives criticism
2005
France raises security level to red in response to London bombings
2005
British Prime Minister Tony Blair speaks about London bombings
2005
Transport and telecommunications struggle amid confusion in London
2005
Group claims responsibility for London explosions
2005
Bush crashes his bike into Scottish police officer
2005
Influenced by Live 8, the G8 leaders pledged to double 2004 levels of aid to Africa from US$25 to US$50 billion by the year 2010
2005
Egypt's top envoy in Iraq confirmed killed
2005
US Homeland Security raises transit terror alert
2005
World leaders respond to London blasts
2005
Bomb scare closes main Edinburgh thoroughfare
2005
Coordinated terrorist attack hits London
2005
Florida man charged with stealing Wi-Fi
2005
International stock markets tumble after UK blasts
2006
Iraq's PM calls for a review of coalition troops’ immunity from Iraqi prosecution
2006
NZ man stabbed in the face with a 15-centimetre knife
2006
One year on, London remembers 7/7 victims
2006
Truckload of trouble for Thai Rak Thai
2006
US soldier arrested for rape and four murders in Iraq
2006
U.S politician Joe Biden makes controversial remark about Indian-Americans
2007
New avian flu outbreaks reported in western Europe
2007
Lewis Hamilton on top for British Grand Prix
2007
West Indies cricket team in England - 3rd ODI
2007
Gunman shoots at gamblers at Las Vegas casino
2007
Truck bomb in Iraq kills over 100
2007
Influential Croat poet Dragutin Tadijanović dies
2007
Group claims Fred Thompson lobbied for abortion-rights, Thompson denies
2007
Tour de France: Cancellara wins 7.9 km time trial prologue
2007
Toshiba Transatlantic Challenge - success
2008
Wax Hitler will return to museum after repairs
2008
Suicide bomber attacks Indian Embassy in Kabul, killing at least 41
2008
G8 summit launched in Hokkaido, Japan
2008
Boeing 747 cargo aircraft crashes in Colombia, three dead
2008
Sulpicio Lines asks court to stop BMI investigation into 'Princess of the Stars' disaster
2008
40th Ariane 5 rocket launches ProtoStar-1 and Badr-6 satellites
2008
Minneapolis I-35W bridge spans Mississippi River
2008
Candidates begin campaigning for Glasgow East by-election
2008
Captain killed as DC-9 cargo jet crashes onto Mexican highway
2008
Alleged axe murderer faces an Australian court
2008
Bertha becomes first hurricane of Atlantic season
2009
Rachel Weisz wants Botox ban for actors
2009
Iran warns West about meddling while clerics opine
2009
Tributes paid to the victims of the July 7 2005 London bombings
2009
Irish Nobel laureate remains in detention in Israel
2009
Bowler Brett Lee to miss first Ashes Test
2010
Captain and four shipping companies face legal action over 2009 Australian oil spill
2011
Officers accused of framing men for murder in UK's 'biggest' trial of police
2011
Bahamas become fourth country to ban shark fishing
2011
Jamaican Olympian and coach Pablo McNeil dies aged 71
2012
WorldPride London 2012: In pictures

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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