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Today in History

1776
First public reading of the Declaration of Independence
1838
Early developer of guidable balloons, Count Ferdinand Zeppelin born in Konstanz, Germany
1877
Bell Telephone Co. formed
1934
Trumpet player, writer and BAFTA Award winning actor, Marty Feldman born in London, England
1947
Actress Kim Darby born in Los Angeles, California
1951
Academy and Golden Globe Award winning actress, Anjelica Huston born in Santa Monica, California
1958
Actor Kevin Bacon born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
1961
Award winning country singer, Toby Keith born in Clinton, Oklahoma
1969
IBM's CICS available for sale
2009
Watching for 07/08/09 10:11
303
Death of St. Procopius
371
Thebans defeat Spartans
810
Death of Pepin III, King of France
1115
Death of Peter, the Hermit
1153
Death of St. Eugenius, Pope
1173
Elanor of Aquitaine, wife of Henry II, King of England, sails to England as her husband's prisoner
1249
Death of Alexander II, King of Scotland
1336
Death of St. Elizabeth, Queen of Portugal
1376
Death of Edward, "the Black Prince"
1497
Portuguese navigator Vasco da Gama sailed from Lisbon on a voyage that would lead to discovery of a sea route to India around the southern tip of Africa.
1545
Don Carlos "the Mad," Prince of Spain born
1553
Northumberland proclaims Lady Jane Dudley as Queen of England
1617
Beheading of Leonora Galigai, for witchcraft
1621
La Fontaine born
1623
Death of Pope Gregory XV
1629
The King of Spain sends Charles I of England, an Elephant and five camels
1643
Charles I, King of England, sends to artist Bartolomeo della Stone in Venice to purchase works of art
1663
King Charles the Second of England granted a new charter to Rhode Island. It guaranteed religious freedom regardless of 'differencesin opinion in matters of religion.'
1693
Uniforms for police in New York City were authorized on this day.
1741
Colonial Congregational minister Jonathan Edwards preaches his classic sermon at Enfield, Connecticut: "You are thus in the hands of an angry God; 'tis nothing but his mere pleasure that keeps you from being this moment swallowed up in everlasting destruction." This speech influenced the start of New England's 'Great Awakening.'
1776
Colonel John Nixon gave the first public reading of the Declaration of Independence to a crowd gathered at Independence Square in Philadelphia.
1792
Lowell Mason, Presbyterian pioneer of congregational singing. He composed over 1,000 hymn tunes, including BETHANY ('Nearer, My God, To Thee'), DENNIS ('Blest Be theTie That Binds'), and HAMBURG ('When I Survey the Wondrous Cross') born
1795
Martin Academy in Washington, TN, changed its name to Washington College becoming the first college to be named after George Washington.
1796
1st American Passport issued by the US State Department.
1835
The Liberty Bell cracked while being rung during the funeral of U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Marshall in Philadelphia.
1838
Dirigible inventor Ferdinand von Zeppelin born
1839
Oil magnate John D. Rockefeller born
1853
An expedition led by Commodore Matthew Perry arrived in Yedo Bay, Japan, on a mission to seek diplomatic and trade relations with the Japanese.
1857
French psychologist Alfred Binet born
1880
Claude Debussy was hired as a summer piano tutor by Nadezhda von Meck, the rich Russian woman who for so many years provided covert financial support to Tchaikovsky. To get the gig, Debussy lied about his age, pretending his was 20 when he was really only 17.
1881
Edward Berner invents the Sundae.
1889
"The Wall Street Journal" was first published. This first issue was a four page afternoon daily.
1891
Warren G. Harding married Florence K. DeWolfe in Marion, Ohio.
1907
C.E. Barnes of Lowell, MA, patented the machine gun.
1907
Florenz Ziegfeld staged his first "Follies," on the roof of the New York Theater.
1908
Nelson Rockefeller U.S. Vice President under Gerald Ford born
1911
Nan Jane Aspinwall became the first woman to ride a horse across the United States. She rode from San Francisco, California to New York City. The trip began on September 1, 1910 and ended on July 8, 1911.
1914
Jazz singer Billy Eckstine born
1919
Actor Craig Stevens ("Peter Gunn") born
1919
President Wilson received a tumultuous welcome in New York City after his return from the Versailles Peace Conference in France.
1931
ABC News Chairman Roone Arledge born
1932
Singer Jerry Vale (Genaro Vitaliano) born
1933
Marty Feldman - (Young Frankenstein) born
1935
Singer Steve Lawrence (Sidney Leibowitz) born
1944
Actor Jeffrey Tambor born
1946
Ballerina Cynthia Gregory born
1947
Demolition work began in New York City to make way for the new permanent headquarters of the United Nations.
1947
The American League defeated the National League, 2-to-1, in the All-Star game played at Chicago's Wrigley Field.
1948
Actress Kim Darby born
1948
Children's performer Raffi born
1948
The Moscow Conference convened to celebrate the 500th anniversary of the independence of the Russian Orthodox Church from control of the Eastern Orthodox Patriarchate of Constantinople.
1950
General Douglas MacArthur was named commander-in-chief of United Nations forces in Korea.
1951
Actress Anjelica Huston born
1958
Actor Kevin Bacon born
1958
The first gold record album presented by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) was awarded this day -- to the soundtrack LP, "Oklahoma!" The honor signified that the album had reached one million dollars in sales.
1959
Meeting in Oberlin, Ohio, the Congregational Christian and the Evangelical andReformed churches adopted a united statement of faith. The two groups merged to form the United Church of Christ in 1961.
1961
Rock musician Andy Fletcher (Depeche Mode) born
1961
Country singer Toby Keith born
1961
Rock musician Graham Jones (Haircut 100) born
1962
Rock singer Joan Osborne born
1962
"Late Show with David Letterman" executive producer Rob Burnett born
1965
Actor Corey Parker born
1968
Actor Billy Crudup born
1969
The withdrawal of American troops from Vietnam began.
1970
Country singer Drew Womack (Sons of the Desert) born
1970
Singer Beck born
1975
President Ford announced he would seek the Republican nomination for the presidency in 1976.
1977
Rock musician Tavis Werts (Reel Big Fish) born
1984
John McEnroe defeated Jimmy Connors in straight sets, 6-1, 6-1, 6-2 to become the first American man in 46 years to capture back-to-back Wimbledon tennis titles.
1985
In a speech to the American Bar Association, President Reagan branded Iran, Libya, North Korea, Cuba and Nicaragua "outlaw states" that were engaged in "acts of war" against the United States.
1986
Admiral Hyman G. Rickover, widely regarded as the father of the nuclear navy, died in Arlington, Virginia, at age 86.
1986
Kurt Waldheim was inaugurated as president of Austria despite controversy over his alleged ties to Nazi war crimes.
1987
Kitty Dukakis, wife of Massachusetts Governor and Democratic presidential candidate Michael S. Dukakis, revealed she'd been addicted to amphetamines for 26 years, but had sought help and was drug-free. (However, Mrs. Dukakis later admitted to dependence on alcohol, and entered a recovery program.)
1988
Iran's parliamentary speaker, Hashemi Rafsanjani, said his nation would not seek revenge against the United States for shooting down an Iranian jetliner over the Persian Gulf, killing 290 people.
1989
Carlos Saul Menem was inaugurated as president of Argentina in the country's first transfer of power from one democratically elected civilian leader to another in six decades.
1990
Sweden's Stefan Edberg beat Boris Becker of West Germany to capture his second men's tennis championship at Wimbledon.
1990
The Louisiana Senate passed a tough anti-abortion bill that was successfully vetoed by Governor Buddy Roemer.
1990
West Germany won the World Cup soccer championship by defeating Argentina, 1-0.
1991
Reversing earlier denials, Iraq disclosed for the first time that it was carrying out a nuclear weapons program, including the production of enriched uranium.
1992
Russian President Boris Yeltsin met with Group of Seven leaders holding their economic summit in Munich, Germany, where he offered a startling proposal to swap factories, energy resources and other properties for Russian debt.
1993
The Tanglewood had its first regular concert tonight with Seiji Ozawa and the Boston Symphony. The first part of the evening was the second act of Saint-Saens' "Samson and Delilah" with soloists Jessye Norman, Gary Lakes and Sherrill Milnes. After the intermission: the "Eroica."
1993
A jury in Boise, Idaho, acquitted white separatist Randy Weaver and a co-defendant of slaying a federal marshal in a shootout at a remote mountain cabin.
1993
Leaders of the Group of Seven, in the second day of their Tokyo summit, warned against the dismembering of Bosnia, but backed away from a threat to use force.
1994
O.J. Simpson was ordered to stand trial on charges of murdering his ex-wife, Nicole, and her friend, Ronald Goldman.
1994
Leaders of the Group of Seven nations opened their 20th annual economic summit, in Naples, Italy.
1994
The space shuttle Columbia blasted off on a two-week mission.
1994
Kim Il Sung, North Korea's communist leader since 1948, died at age 82.
1995
Steffi Graf won the women's singles title at Wimbledon, defeating Arantxa Sanchez Vicario 4-6, 6-1, 7-5.
1995
Chinese-American human rights activist Harry Wu was arrested in China and charged with obtaining state secrets (he was later convicted of espionage and deported in August 1995).
1995
A deadly heat wave began in the nation's midsection; it claimed more than 800 lives, more than half of them in Illinois.
1996
Hurricane "Bertha" slammed into the Virgin Islands with torrential rains and winds that gusted to 105 miles-an-hour.
1997
NATO extended membership invitations to Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic.
1997
The Mayo Clinic and the government warned the diet-drug combination known as "fen-phen" could cause serious heart and lung damage.
1997
The Senate Governmental Affairs Committee opened politically charged hearings into fund-raising abuses, with chairman Fred Thompson accusing China of trying to influence the 1996 US elections.
1998
A federal bankruptcy judge tentatively approved a settlement under which an estimated 170,000 women who said silicone breast implants had made them sick would get $3.2 billion from Dow Corning Corporation.
1999
An Air Force cargo jet took off from Seattle on a dangerous mission to Antarctica to drop medicine for Dr. Jerri Nielsen, a physician at the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Research Center who had discovered a lump in her breast. (The mission was successful; Nielsen was evacuated the following October.)
1999
Astronaut Charles "Pete" Conrad Jr., the third man to walk on the moon, died after a motorcycle accident near Ojai, Calif.; he was 69.
2000
Venus Williams beat Lindsay Davenport 6-3, 7-6 (3) for her first Grand Slam title, becoming the first black women's champion at Wimbledon since Althea Gibson in 1957-58.
2000
The Pentagon's missile defense project suffered its latest setback when a rocket that had taken off from Kwajalein Atoll in the Pacific failed to intercept a target missile launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.
2003
Sudan Airways Flight 39, with 117 people on board, crashes in Sudan; the only survivor is a two-year-old child
2004
United States Marine Corps officer Michael Brown is convicted on Okinawa for "attempting an indecent act" and "destruction of property" and is sentenced to one year in prison, suspended for three years.
2005
Death toll from London bombings rises to 37
2005
Security alerts in central London
2005
London transport system returning to normal
2005
London bombing death toll rises to 'more than 50'
2005
Blair: G8 leaders announce $50 billion aid increase; talks on trade and climate change
2005
Suspended sentence for Sasser worm author
2005
Bird flu hits Philippines
2005
Romanian PM quits after Constitutional Court ruling
2005
8th Circuit Court rules 'partial birth' ban unconstitutional
2005
University of Alberta to buy Hudson's Bay Building
2005
Philippine President calls for resignation of cabinet due to deflation of peso
2005
Baseball, softball dropped from 2012 Olympics
2005
Thirteen people died in London bus bombing
2005
'Denmark will be attacked' says one expert, 'Denmark safe' says another
2005
450 sheep leap to their deaths in Turkey
2005
Florida declares 'state of emergency', Hurricane Dennis category 4 storm
2006
Funeral hearse caught speeding in Ireland
2006
Russian firefighting aircraft starts fires in Portugal
2006
Pope Benedict XVI visits Valencia, Spain
2006
U.S. government seeks to examine Guantanamo inmates' documents
2006
All Blacks defeat Australia in Tri Nations rugby opener
2006
Western Province defeat Blue Bulls in rugby's Currie Cup regular season
2006
U.S. Army Surgeon General: Many soldiers with personality disorders can perform well
2006
The Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary adds 'google' as a verb
2006
Germany beat Portugal 3-1 to take FIFA World Cup bronze
2007
Nevada wildfires forces evacuations
2007
Surveillance cameras in New South Wales schools cause alarm
2007
Poll of 100 million votes names new Seven Wonders of the World
2007
Fort Lee, Virginia adopts RAPIDGate for fast civilian access
2007
Morocco raises terror threat level to 'maximum'
2007
Venus Williams beats Marion Bartoli to triumph at Wimbledon
2007
Kimi Räikkönen wins British Grand Prix
2007
Face-off at Islamabad Mosque
2007
UN calls on international community to increase aid for Iraqi refugees
2007
Tour de France: The race begins in earnest
2007
California teamsters picket Orange County transit system in contract dispute
2007
AFC Asian Cup: tournament commences; Thailand and Iraq draw 1-1
2008
Antiglobalization protestors march near site of G8 summit
2008
Philippines ferry disaster: ship owner sues over toxic cargo; recovery deadline set & more
2008
Hurricane Bertha strengthens over Atlantic Ocean
2008
Romanian foreign minister breaks the ice between Bucharest and Chisinau
2009
Thaksin still pervades Thai political landscape
2009
Google announces new operating system
2009
More than 100 die in riots in Ürümqi, China
2010
Solar-powered plane completes 26-hour flight
2010
Georgian woman celebrates 130th birthday
2010
NBA free agency: Bosh, Wade to sign with Miami Heat
2010
Three arrested in al-Qaeda bomb plot
2010
Abducted four-year-old Missouri girl found alive, person of interest shoots himself
2010
Spectator injured in 30-foot fall at Texas Rangers baseball game
2010
US jobless claims lower than forecast, futures rise
2010
Magnitude 5.4 earthquake hits Southern California
2010
Spain advances to first World Cup Finals
2011
End of an era: Space Shuttle Atlantis launches on final mission in program
2011
Cassini spacecraft captures large storm on Saturn
2011
Finnish Olympic champion skier Mika Myllylä found dead
2012
De Villota awake and talking to family after Tuesday's crash
2013
Cricket: Northamptonshire defeat Warwickshire by 27 runs in Twenty20 match
2013
Panda cub born in Taiwan to gifted Chinese pandas
2013
Buddhist UNESCO World Heritage site in India suffers terrorist attack

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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