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Today in History

1810
Napoleon annexes Holland for France
1816
Independence Day in Argentina
1918
Train collision in Nashville kills 101
1955
Actress Lisa Banes born in Chagrin Falls, Ohio
1956
Academy Award winning actor, Tom Hanks born in Concord, California
1964
Golden Globe-nominated actress and rock musician, Courtney Love born Courtney Michelle Harrison in San Francisco, California
1982
Plane crash in Kenner, Louisiana kills 154
2006
Plane crash in Irkutsk, Siberia kills 200
455
Avitus proclaimed Western Roman Emperor
518
Death of Anastasius, Emperor of the East
1228
Stephen Langton, greatest of the medieval archbishops of Canterbury, dies. He had formulated the original division of the Bible into chapters in the late 1100's. His name also appears on the Magna Carta as counselor to the king.
1386
John of Gaunt sails for Spain
1440
Death of Jan van Eyck, Flemish painter
1497
Vasco Da Gama sets sail to find a sea route to India
1504
Death of Pietro da Vinci, father of Leonardo
1540
England's King Henry the Eighth had his six-month-old marriage to his fourth wife, Anne of Cleves, annulled.
1553
Maurice of Saxony defeats Albert of Brandenburg; Maurice of Saxony fatally wounded
1561
The failed Pensacola Bay, Florida colony returns to Santo Domingo
1569
Rudolf II, Emperor of Bohemia, grants freedom of worship in his domain
1575
Elizabeth I, Queen of England, arrives at Kenilworth Castle
1578
Ferdinand I, Holy Roman Emperor born
1584
Assassination of William of Orange, "the Silent"
1631
The pastoral play "Rhodon and Iris" opens in Norwich, England
1747
Giovanni Bononcini died in London. He was 77. Bononcini was the second-most-acclaimed composer in London during Handel's day.
1764
Author Ann Radcliffe The Romance of the Forest. born
1776
The Declaration of Independence was read aloud to General George Washington's troops in New York.
1795
James Swan paid off the U. S. National debt of two million dollars.
1802
Thomas Davenport, invented 1st commercially successful electric motor born
1816
Argentina declared independence from Spain.
1819
Elias Howe, inventor of the sewing machine. Well, he was the first to patent the sewing machine -- but the actual inventor was Walter Hunt. Elias Howe only patented the lock stitch sewing machine. born
1838
Philip P. Bliss, American gospel singer and songwriter. Some of his best-remembered hymns are: Wonderful Words of Life, It is Well with My Soul and Let theLower Lights Be Burning. born
1843
Ralph E. Hudson, sacred composer and music publisher. His most enduring hymns include: At the Cross and Blessed Be the Name. born
1846
Capt Montgomery claims Yerba Buena (San Francisco) for the U.S.
1850
The 12th president of the United States, Zachary Taylor, died after serving only 16 months.
1850
Mirza Ali Muhammad, the prophet of the Baha'i faith, was executed by a firing squad in Tabriz, Iran.
1868
The 14th amendment to the constitution was ratified. This amendment defines U. S. citizenship and was declared in effect on July 28, 1868.
1872
The doughnut cutter was patented by John F. Blondel of Thomaston, Maine.
1876
A British tourist recorded in his diary that he had gone for a swim with Brahms, and described the composer as "the very image of strength and vigor" but "too much inclined to stoutness.."
1878
The corncob pipe was patented by Henry Tibbe of Washington, Missouri
1879
Composer Ottorino Respighi born
1887
Historian Samuel Eliot Morison born
1893
Black physician Dr. Daniel Hale Williams performed the world's first successful open heart surgery, and did so without using anesthesia.
1896
William Jennings Bryan caused a sensation at the Democratic national convention in Chicago with his "cross of gold" speech denouncing supporters of the gold standard. (Bryan went on to win the party's nomination.)
1896
William Cameron Townsend, American missionary and linguist. In 1942 he established what has become the largest evangelical missionary agency in the world -Wycliffe Bible Translators (WBT). born
1915
David Diamond was born in Rochester, New York. Diamond is another tonal composer of the generation after Copland that suffered a certain amount of critical neglect because in the forties and fifties the academic community didn't consider tonal music to be hip.
1916
Former British Prime Minister Edward Heath born
1918
101 people were killed as an inbound local train collided with an outbound express in Nashville, Tennessee.This was the worst railroad disaster in U. S. history.
1922
The future Tarzan - Johnny Weissmuller became the first to swim the 100 meters, freestyle, in less than a minute.
1927
Actor-singer Ed Ames born
1929
Singer-songwriter Lee Hazelwood born
1936
Actor James Hampton born
1937
English artist David Hockney born
1938
Actor Brian Dennehy born
1942
Actor Richard Roundtree born
1945
Author Dean Koontz born
1947
Football Hall-of-Famer O.J. Simpson born
1947
The engagement of Britain's Princess Elizabeth to Lieutenant Philip Mountbatten was announced.
1951
Actor Chris Cooper ("A Time to Kill") born
1951
President Truman asked Congress to formally end the state of war between the United States and Germany.
1952
TV personality & Emmy Award-winning composer for Tourde France, John Tesh born
1953
Country singer David Ball born
1954
Rhythm-and-blues singer Debbie Sledge (Sister Sledge) born
1955
Actor Jimmy Smits born
1955
Actress Lisa Banes born
1955
Bill Haley and the Comets' "Rock Around the Clock" hit number one on Billboard magazine's best-seller records chart, marking what some consider the beginning of the rock `n' roll era.
1956
Actor Tom Hanks born
1956
Dick Clark first hosted "Bandstand" on WFIL TV in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Thus began American Bandstand.
1957
The discovery of element 102, Nobelium, was announced.
1957
Actress Kelly McGillis born
1959
Rock singer Jim Kerr (Simple Minds) born
1960
Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev threatened the United States with rockets if American forces attempted to oust the communist government of Cuba.
1964
Actress-rock singer Courtney Love born
1971
Actor Scott Grimes ("Party of Five") born
1976
Actor Fred Savage born
1979
Voyager II flies past Jupiter.
1980
Actress Megan Parlen ("Hang Time") born
1980
Seven people die in a stampede to see the pope in Brazil.
1982
A Pan Am Boeing 727 crashed in Kenner, Louisiana, killing all 146 people aboard and eight people on the ground.
1983
Kathy Wilson, the Republican head of the National Women's Political Caucus, called on President Reagan not to seek a second term, saying he was a "dangerous man" for American women.
1984
Canadian Prime Minister John Turner announced national elections in September, saying Canadians needed a "renewal of confidence and certainty in this country."
1984
The largest crowd to watch a basketball game in the United States took place at the Hoosier Dome in Indianapolis, Indiana. They watched the U.S. Men's Olympic Team defeat a team from the NBA, by a score of 97-82.
1985
President Reagan's budget director, Davis A. Stockman, announced his resignation to pursue a career in private business.
1986
The Attorney General's Commission on Pornography released the final draft of its two-thousand-page report, which linked hard-core porn to sex crimes.
1986
The first new theater on Broadway in 13 years opened at 46th Street and Broadway. The Marquis Theater seated 1,600 people.
1987
His third day of testimony on Capitol Hill, Lieutenant Colonel Oliver North said he had shredded evidence as part of a long-planned cover-up of his role in the Iran-Contra affair.
1988
Teamsters President Jackie Presser died in Lakewood, Ohio, at age 61.
1988
Dog trainer Barbara Woodhouse died in Buckinghamshire, England, at age 78.
1989
West German tennis players Steffi Graf and Boris Becker won the women's and men's singles titles at Wimbledon.
1989
President Bush arrived in Warsaw, Poland, for a visit that included an address to the National Assembly and a meeting with Solidarity founder Lech Walesa.
1990
Leaders of the world's seven richest nations opened a three-day economic summit in Houston, the first such gathering in the post-Cold War era.
1991
The American League defeated the National League, 4-to-2, in the All-Star Game in Toronto.
1991
The International Olympic Committee readmitted South Africa.
1991
Former CIA officer Alan D. Fiers pleaded guilty to two misdemeanor charges in the Iran-Contra affair.
1992
Democrat Bill Clinton tapped Tennessee Senator Al Gore to be his running mate.
1992
The space shuttle "Columbia" landed at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, ending a two-week mission.
1992
CBS news commentator Eric Sevareid died in Washington at age 79.
1993
Russian President Boris Yeltsin met with Group of Seven leaders as they concluded their three-day summit in Tokyo.
1993
Leaders of Bosnia's Muslim-led government rejected a plan to divide the country into three ethnically separate republics.
1994
Planned talks between North Korea and South Korea were put on hold following the death of North Korean dictator Kim Il Sung.
1994
Members of the Group of Seven nations concluded their economic summit in Naples, Italy, pledging joint efforts for economic growth and stability.
1995
Pete Sampras won the men's singles title at Wimbledon by defeating Boris Becker 6-7 (7-5), 6-2, 6-4, 6-2.
1995
French commandos boarded the Greenpeace ship Rainbow Warrior II in the South Pacific.
1996
Attorney Melvin Belli died in San Francisco at age 88.
1996
Former Colorado Governor Richard Lamm began a drive for the presidential nomination of Ross Perot's fledgling Reform Party.
1996
The National League won the All-Star game, defeating the American League 6-to-0 in Philadelphia.
1997
Boxer Mike Tyson was banned from the ring and fined $3 million for biting opponent Evander Holyfield's ears.
1997
Leaders of 16 NATO nations met with 25 other countries in an unprecedented security summit in Madrid, Spain.
1998
Former high school sweethearts Amy Grossberg and Brian Peterson were sentenced in Wilmington, Delaware, to prison for killing their newborn son at a motel. (Grossberg received two and a-half years; Peterson, who'd cooperated with prosecutors, received two years.)
1998
Congress sent President Clinton an election-year bill overhauling the Internal Revenue Service; Clinton said he would sign it.
1999
A jury in Los Angeles ordered General Motors Corp. to pay $4.9 billion to six people severely burned when their Chevrolet Malibu exploded in flames in a rear-end collision. (A judge later reduced the punitive damages to $1.9 billion, while letting stand $107 million dollars in compensatory damages; GM is continuing to appeal.)
2000
The 13th International AIDS Conference opened in Durban, South Africa.
2000
Twelve people died in a soccer stampede set off when police fired tear gas at bottle-throwing fans during a World Cup qualifier between Zimbabwe and South Africa in Harare, Zimbabwe. (South Africa's 2-0 victory over Zimbabwe was ruled official.)
2000
Top-seeded Pete Sampras won his seventh Wimbledon title as he defeated Patrick Rafter, 6-7 (10), 7-6 (5), 6-4, 6-2.
2005
Hurricane Dennis heads for Gulf Coast, leaves trail of destruction in its wake
2005
Pittsburgh Pirates rally to defeat New York Mets, 6-5
2005
Tour de France week 1 wrap up
2005
Nigerian sentenced to death for admitting to gay relations
2005
Weening takes stage to Gérardmer in photo finish
2005
London Tube bombs went 'bang bang bang, very close together'
2005
London bus bomb 'an hour late'
2005
UK Police evacuate Birmingham city centre
2005
Walt Disney Co. reconciles with Disney heir
2005
Dozens left dead in Caribbean as Hurricane Dennis moves toward U.S.
2005
Appalachian Mountains coal company target of protesters
2005
Baugur Group withdraws from Somerfield bid
2005
Formula 1: Alonso in lead in tomorrow's British Grand Prix
2005
Video game's secret sex scenes spark outrage
2005
San Francisco anti-G8 rally turns violent
2006
Indian royal family disinherits gay scion
2006
Belated New Jersey budget passes, ending most of the shutdown
2006
Elderly man's mutilated body found in Wellington's south coast, NZ
2006
Communal tensions rise in Mumbai as Shiv Sainiks protest desecration of statue
2006
Tory leader to make 'hoodie' plea
2006
Passenger airplane crashes in Siberia
2006
Missing French girls Emeline and Melissa found safe
2006
India successfully test-fires Agni-III missile
2006
India's Agni-III test termed a "partial success".
2006
Italy and France draw 1-1; Italy wins FIFA World Cup on penalties
2007
AFC Asian Cup: Qatar scores late to draw with defending champions Japan
2007
Rower Tuijn halfway across Pacific in record attempt
2007
Federer wins fifth Wimbledon title
2007
Boeing unveils new 787 Dreamliner
2007
Tour de France: Gert Steegmans wins stage 2
2007
AFC Asian Cup: Australia draw with Oman, hosts Vietnam upset UAE
2007
U.S. Hurricane Center director leaves position
2007
TNT blamed for Chinese karaoke bar explosion that killed 25
2008
G8 members release statement on Zimbabwe
2008
Iran conducts nine missile tests
2008
Declassified records show American inaction during South Korean mass killings
2008
Six dead, including assailants, in attack on U.S. Consulate in Istanbul
2008
Bolivia road crash leaves at least 47 dead
2009
Australian businessmen arrested in China for spying
2009
Brush fires threaten neighborhoods in Los Angeles, California
2009
Serbian Mig-29 crashes near Belgrade
2010
NBA: LeBron James announces that he will join the Miami Heat
2010
California jury orders Skilled Healthcare to pay $671 million in damages
2010
UK police involved in stand-off with gunman Raoul Moat
2010
US and Russia announce spy swap
2010
CNN journalist fired for controversial Twitter message
2010
Leader of East Timor tells Australian prime minister to fully form asylum seeker policy
2010
NASCAR driver Jimmie Johnson becomes first time father
2010
'Psychic' octopus backs Spain to win World Cup
2011
June jobs report shows rising US unemployment, economic outlook worsens
2011
Polar bears related to extinct Irish bears, DNA study shows
2011
Murdoch axes News of the World after hacking allegations startle politicians
2012
Mark Webber wins British Grand Prix
2012
Drought conditions hit much of US again in 2012
2013
Mansour announces election plans for Egypt after violence and protests

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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