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Today in History

1801
First governor of the Utah Territory and second prophet of the Mormon Church, Brigham Young born in Whitingham, Vermont
1813
James Lawrence, mortally wounded commander of the USS Chesapeake, cries out "Don't give up the ship!"
1869
Edison patents electric voting machine
1926
Emmy Award nominated actor and Grammy Award winning singer, Andy Samuel Griffith born in Mount Airy, North Carolina
1926
Actress Marilyn Monroe born Norma Jean Mortenson in Los Angeles, California
1934
Singer Pat Boone born in Jacksonville, Florida
1937
Director, narrator, and Academy Award winning actor, Morgan Freeman born in Memphis, Tennessee
1940
Director and Tony Award winning actor Rene Auberjonois born in New York City
1947
Rolling Stones guitarist Ron Wood born in London, England
1956
Actress and Grammy nominated singer, Lisa Hartman Black born in Houston, Texas
1967
The Beatles release Sgt. Pepper
193
Didius Julianus, Roman Emperor, killed by Rome's Danube legions
1217
Pope Innocent III calls for the Fifth Crusade
1281
Othon de Grandson returns to England
1283
Charles of Anjou enters Bordeaux
1421
At Caslav, the representatives of Bohemia and Moravia renounce the authority of the Emperor Sigsimund and found a government
1495
1st written record of Scotch whiskey appears in Exchequer Rolls of Scotland - Friar John Cor is the distiller
1498
Pagolo Vitelli appointed Captain of the Florentine Republic
1533
Anne Boleyn crowned Queen of England
1608
A second "False Dimitri" attempts to usurp the Russian throne
1616
Death of Tokugawa Ieyasu, Shogun of Japan
1621
The Plymouth settlement is granted a Royal Patent
1637
Jacques Marquette, Jesuit priest and French explorer of the Mississippi born
1638
1st earthquake recorded in US, at Plymouth, Mass.
1660
Mary Dyer, a Quaker, is hanged in Boston for heretical preaching
1792
Kentucky became the 15th state of the union.
1796
Tennessee became the 16th state.
1801
Mormon leader Brigham Young born
1804
Mikhail Glinka was born. Glinka deliberately sought to compose works with a Russian sound. He had an ear for peculiarly Russian chord progressions and sonorities. born
1809
Haydn's funeral. With Mozart already several years gone, Vienna's music scene went into a brief decline until Beethoven, already an active composer, began turning out his greater and more controversial compositions.
1812
President James Madison warned Congress that war with Britain was imminent. The War of 1812 started 17 days later.
1813
The US Navy gained its motto as the mortally wounded commander of the US frigate "Chesapeake," Captain James Lawrence, was heard to say, "Don't give up the ship" during a losing battle with a British frigate.
1868
James Buchanan, the 15th president of the United States, died near Lancaster, Pennsylvania.
1925
Lou Gehrig starts in 1st of 2130 consecutive games, a record.
1926
Actor Andy Griffith born
1926
Actress Marilyn Monroe born
1930
Actor Edward Woodward born
1930
Actor Pat Corley born
1934
Singer Pat Boone born
1934
Actor-writer-director Peter Masterson born
1937
Actor Morgan Freeman born
1940
Actor Rene Auberjonois born
1943
A civilian flight from Lisbon to London was shot down by the Germans during World War Two, killing all aboard, including actor Leslie Howard.
1945
Opera singer Frederica von Stade born
1946
Actor Brian Cox ("Braveheart") born
1947
Rock musician Ron Wood of The Rolling Stones born
1947
Actor Jonathan Pryce born
1949
Actor Powers Boothe born
1950
Singer Graham Russell (Air Supply) born
1950
Actress Gemma Craven born
1953
Country singer Ronnie Dunn (Brooks and Dunn) born
1956
Actress Lisa Hartman Black born
1958
Charles de Gaulle became premier of France.
1959
Singer-musician Alan Wilder (formerly with Depeche Mode) born
1960
Rock musician Simon Gallup (The Cure) born
1961
Country musician Richard Comeaux (River Road) born
1964
The U.S. Supreme Court banned prayers and Bible teaching in public schools on the constitutional grounds of separation of church and state.
1967
The Beatles released their album, "Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band."
1968
Author-lecturer Helen Keller, who earned a college degree despite being blind and deaf most of her life, died in Westport, Connecticut.
1968
Actor-singer Jason Donovan born
1973
Greek Prime Minister George Papadopoulos abolished the Greek monarchy and proclaimed Greece a republic with himself as president.
1974
Singer Alanis Morrissette born
1977
The Soviet Union formally charged Jewish human rights activist Anatoly Shcharansky with treason. (Shcharansky was imprisoned, then finally released in 1986.)
1980
Cable News Network made its debut.
1987
Vice President George Bush addressed the Third International Conference on AIDS in Washington, and, like President Reagan before him, drew scattered boos by calling for more widespread testing for possible carriers of the AIDS virus.
1988
President Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail S. Gorbachev concluded their Moscow summit by exchanging the documents of ratification of the intermediate-range nuclear arms treaty they'd signed the previous December.
1989
Former Sunday school teacher John E. List, sought for 18 years in the slayings of his mother, wife and three children in Westfield, New Jersey, was arrested in Richmond, Virginia. (List was later sentenced to life in prison.)
1990
The South African government proposed a bill to scrap the 37-year-old law segregating buses, trains, toilets, libraries, swimming pools and other public amenities.
1991
The United States and the Soviet Union resolved differences over the Conventional Forces in Europe treaty, clearing the way for a superpower summit.
1991
NASA scrubbed the launch of the space shuttle Columbia after a navigational unit failed.
1992
The US Treasury Department, responding to UN sanctions imposed on Yugoslavia, froze an estimated $200 million in assets of the Serb-led Yugoslav government.
1992
The Pittsburgh Penguins completed a four-game sweep of the Chicago Blackhawks to win hockey's Stanley Cup for the second straight year.
1993
The founder and director of the Colorado Symphony Chorus became the director of the Chicago Symphony Chorus effective on this date.
1993
A mortar attack on a holiday soccer game in a suburb of Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina, killed at least 15 people and wounded more than 80.
1993
The Supreme Court ruled that a criminal conviction must be overturned if the jury was given a constitutionally flawed definition of "beyond reasonable doubt."
1994
President Clinton embarked on a European trip that included commemorating the 50th anniversary of D-Day; his first stop was Italy.
1996
An estimated 200,000 participants, most of them schoolchildren, gathered at the Lincoln Memorial to protest government cuts for social and educational programs.
1997
The Broadway show "Titanic" won five Tony Awards, including best musical.
1997
Betty Shabazz, the widow of Malcolm X, was fatally burned in a fire set by her 12-year-old grandson in her Yonkers, New York apartment
1998
Thousands of refugees from Serbia's Kosovo province streamed into neighboring Albania to escape deadly fighting.
1998
President Clinton abruptly abandoned his executive privilege claim in the Monica Lewinsky investigation, reducing the prospect of a quick Supreme Court review of a dispute over the testimony of presidential aides.
1999
President Clinton ordered a government investigation into whether - and how - the entertainment business markets violence to children.
1999
An American Airlines MD-82 landed off-center during a severe thunderstorm in Little Rock, Ark. and barreled off the end of the runway, breaking apart and catching fire; 11 people, including the captain, died.
2000
With about half an hour to spare, Texas Governor George W. Bush blocked the scheduled execution of convicted killer Ricky McGinn so that possibly exculpatory DNA evidence could be reviewed. (The DNA tests failed to establish McGinn's innocence, and he was put to death by injection the in September 2000.)
2005
Brazilian Minister of Culture says that he smoked marijuana until the age of 50
2005
Dutch vote today on EU constitution
2005
$1,000 reward offered for answer from US President
2005
U.S. Supreme Court overturns Arthur Andersen conviction
2005
61.6% of the Dutch people say 'no' to EU constitution
2005
Samsung's 4 Gigabit flash memory begins mass production
2005
Mount Diablo buckwheat rediscovered in California
2005
FBI #2 W. Mark Felt is Watergate informer 'Deep Throat' confirmed by Woodard & Bernstein
2006
Firefighters battle fire at Los Angeles International Airport
2006
Satellite images show destruction of Zimbabwe community
2006
Ubuntu releases 6.06 LTS version of popular Linux distribution
2006
Three terrorists gunned down by police in India
2006
Military helicopter crashes into TV tower in Georgia, U.S. killing four
2006
Fatal coal mine accident in western Turkey
2006
Reported Bigfoot sighting in Clarence, New York a hoax
2006
John W. Snow resigns as United States secretary of the treasury
2006
Toronto transit workers strike illegally
2006
U.S. offers direct talks on nuclear issue; Iran dismisses as 'propaganda'
2006
Australian House of Representatives has "no rules": Gillard
2006
In the land of the open source elves: Interview with "Battle for Wesnoth" creator David White
2006
Chemical Explosion in Billingham
2007
Premier Iemma apologises to Indonesian governor over hotel entry incident
2007
Venezuelan protests continue over closure of RCTV
2007
Spanish town council electee proposes nudist pool, marijuana field in park
2007
Guantanamo detainee commits suicide
2007
Hillary Clinton's song contest reaches final round
2007
US presidential candidate Dodd applauded by League of Conservation
2007
21 dead in south Thailand attacks
2007
Iran's Ayatollah Jannati re-affirms anti-US stance
2007
Evan O'Dorney wins US National Spelling Bee competition
2007
Philadelphia breaks 80 year old building lease; moves to evict Scouts
2008
Remains of WWI soldiers found in French mass grave
2008
Volcanic eruption in Galapagos not threatening tortoises, people
2008
Seventeen arrested after party on London Underground
2008
Texas authorities obtain DNA from jailed FLDS leader Warren Jeffs
2008
NASA says Phoenix spacecraft may have landed on ice
2008
Helicopter carrying quake survivors crashes in China
2008
Obama withdraws from Trinity United Church
2008
Fire in Universal Studios backlot
2008
News crew kidnapped and tortured by slum 'militia' in Brazil
2008
Zimbabwean police arrest two opposition figures
2008
French fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent dead at 71
2008
Serie A 2008–09: Zambrotta joins AC Milan
2008
World Health Organization calls for ban on tobacco ads
2008
Silverjet ceases operations and enters administration
2008
Parents arrested after putting baby on Craigslist
2008
Democratic Party reaches deal over Florida and Michigan
2009
British singer Susan Boyle admitted to hospital
2009
U.S. manufacturer General Motors seeks bankruptcy protection
2009
Five dead after arson attack in Iran
2009
Barack Obama presents rescue plan after GM declaration of bankruptcy
2009
Passengers on Air France Flight 447 sent text messages to family members before plane disappeared
2009
Air France jet with 228 on board goes missing
2010
Ice hockey: Blackhawks score two goals in 28 seconds to gain 2-0 series lead in the Stanley Cup Finals
2010
Relics found behind The Ruins of St. Paul, Macau
2010
Egypt to open Gaza Strip crossing for humanitarian and medical aid
2011
Ratko Mladić said to be too ill to face trial
2012
Australia women's water polo team into FINA Women's World League Super Finals quarter finals
2012
Buddy Roemer suspends U.S. presidential campaign
2013
First same-sex couple wed in south of France

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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