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Today in History

LOTR...
Sauron attacks Osgilliath
1871
King Kamehameha I Day in Hawaii
1910
Naval officer, undersea explorer, photographer and researcher, Jacques-Yves Cousteau born in Saint-André de Cubzac, France
1933
Academy Award nominated comedic actor, Gene Wilder born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin
1945
Film, television and musical theater actress, Adrienne Barbeau born in Sacramento, California
1949
Drummer for ZZ Top, Frank Beard born in Frankston, Texas
1956
Four-time Superbowl Champion quarterback Joe Montana born in New Eagle, Pennsylvania
1963
Governor George Wallace stands in a campus doorway attempting to exclude two black students from the University of Alabama
1184
BC
Greeks seize Troy
1186
The Glastonbury Abbey "Lady Chapel" is consecrated
1216
Death of Henry, Emperor of Rumania supposedly poisoned by his wife
1258
Provisions of Oxford reforms proposed by Parliament
1292
Death of Roger Bacon
1346
Charles IV of Luxembourg is elected Holy Roman Emperor in Germany.
1474
Louis XI, King of France, ratifies the "Perpetual Peace"
1488
Murder of James III, King of Scotland
1496
Columbus returns to Spain
1509
Marriage of Henry VIII, King of England, to Catherine of Aragon
1514
Coronation of Christian II as King of Norway and Denmark
1534
Revolt in Ireland of "Silken" Thomas Fitzgerald
1559
Tristan de Luna y Arellano sets sail for Florida
1560
Death of Mary of Guise, widow of King James V of Scotland
1572
Ben Johson, playwright born
1578
Sir Humphrey Gilbert granted a charter to search for the Northwest Passage
1603
Sir Kenelm Digby born
1611
Henrick Hudson's ship, the "Half Moon," freed from the ice
1770
Captain Cook runs aground on Australian Great Barrier Reef.
1776
John Constable (in England), painter born
1823
Maj. Gen. James L. Kemper, hero of the battle of Williamsberg born
1838
The Iowa Territory organized.
1847
Dame Millicent Garrett Fawcett, leader of English women's movement born
1859
Claim laid to the Comstock (silver) Lode in Nevada. The mine eventually produces more than $300 million in silver.
1864
300 feet of Meigg's Wharf washed away in storm.
1864
Richard Strauss was born in Munich. His music was performed a lot in Germany in the war years. After the war, Strauss's international reputation suffered because of this. Strauss died at the age of 85.
1867
Charles Fabry, discovered the ozone layer in the upper atmosphere born
1880
Montana's Jeannette Rankin, the first woman elected to the House of Representatives born
1881
Bedrich Smetana's "Libuse" premiered in Prague to open a new theatre there. Smetana attended, but by this time his deafness was nearly total.
1895
One time premier of the Soviet Union Nikolai A. Bulganin born
1895
First known auto race.
1899
Y. Kawabata born
1907
Paul Mellon, philanthropist born
1910
Undersea explorer Jacques Cousteau born
1913
Opera singer Rise Stevens born
1913
Football coach Vince Lombardi (Coach of the Greenbay Packers who won the first Super Bowl) born
1915
Author William Styron born
1918
Nelson Mandela, South African civil rights leader & politician born
1919
Actor-producer Richard Todd born
1919
Sir Barton becomes the first horse to win the Triple Crown.
1920
Ohio Sen. Warren G. Harding was chosen as the "dark horse" Republican candidate for president. He became the 29th president of the United States.
1935
Actor Gene Wilder born
1936
Actor Chad Everett born
1937
Comedian Johnny Brown born
1937
Marx Brothers' "A Day At The Races" released.
1939
Country singer Wilma Burgess born
1939
Jackie Stewart, race-car driver, Ford spokesperson born
1940
Singer Joey Dee born
1940
Bartok's "Divertimento for Strings" premiered in the Swiss city of Basle. The "Divertimento" is one of Bartok's finest works, somehow managing to be extremely modern and extremely listenable at the same time.
1942
US and USSR sign Lend-Lease agreement during World War II.
1945
Actress Adrienne Barbeau born
1947
World War II sugar rationing finally ends.
1949
Rock musician Frank Beard (ZZ Top) born
1952
Rock singer Donnie Van Zandt (.38 Special) born
1953
Actor Peter Bergman born
1955
First magnesium jet airplane flown.
1956
Joe Montana, football player born
1961
Roger Maris hits #19 and 20 of his 61 homers.
1963
George Wallace backs down at the Alabama schoolhouse door.
1963
Buddhist monk Quang Duc immolated himself on a Saigon street to protest the government of South Vietnamese President Ngo Dinh Diem.
1969
Rock musician Dan Lavery (Tonic) born
1969
Country musician Smilin' Jay McDowell (BR5-49) born
1970
U.S. leaves Wheelus Air Force Base, Libya.
1977
Train and school hostage incident in the Netherlands ends.
1977
Seattle Slew won Belmont Stakes and the Triple Crown.
1978
Actor Joshua Jackson ("Dawson's Creek") born
1978
Joseph Freeman Junior became the first black priest ordained in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.
1979
Actor John Wayne died at age 72.
1982
Larry Holmes defeats Gerry Cooney retains WBC heavyweight crown.
1982
Movie "E.T.
1982
Israel and Syria stop fighting in Lebanon.
1985
Karen Ann Quinlan, the comatose patient whose case prompted a historic right-to-die court decision, died in Morris Plains, New Jersey, at age 31.
1986
A divided Supreme Court struck down a Pennsylvania abortion law, while reaffirming its 1973 decision establishing a constitutional right to abortion.
1987
Margaret Thatcher became the first British prime minister in 160 years to win three consecutive terms.
1988
Preakness winner "Risen Star" captured the Belmont Stakes with a time second only to its father, thoroughbred legend "Secretariat."
1989
The government of China issued a warrant for the arrest of dissident Fang Lizhi, who had taken refuge inside the US Embassy in Beijing.
1990
A federal judge sentenced former national security adviser John M. Poindexter to six months in prison for making false statements to Congress about the Iran-Contra affair. (Poindexter's convictions were later overturned.)
1990
The U.S. Supreme Court struck down an anti-flag burning law passed by Congress in 1989, re-igniting calls for a constitutional amendment.
1991
Actress Julia Roberts and actor Kiefer Sutherland called off their wedding three days before it was to have taken place.
1991
The long dormant Mount Pinatubo in the Philippines erupted during negotiations between the United States and the Philippines over future base leases. The ashes and gasses it spewed could be seen for more than 60 miles.
1991
President Bush authorized $1.5 billion in agricultural credit guarantees for the Soviet Union.
1992
President Bush's stopover in Panama en route to the Earth Summit in Brazil was disrupted when police fired tear gas at protesters, preventing Bush from speaking at a rally praising the revival of democracy in Panama.
1993
The Supreme Court ruled that people who commit "hate crimes" motivated by bigotry may be sentenced to extra punishment; the court also ruled religious groups have a constitutional right to sacrifice animals in worship services.
1993
The Steven Spielberg movie "Jurassic Park" opened.
1993
United Nations forces launched a nighttime attack against the forces of Somali warlord Mohamed Farrah Aidid.
1994
A car bomb blew up outside a luxury hotel in Guadalajara, Mexico, killing five people in an apparently drug-related attack.
1994
Tabasco Cat won the Belmont Stakes.
1994
The United States, South Korea and Japan agreed to seek punitive steps against North Korea over its nuclear program.
1995
In an unprecedented joint appearance, President Clinton and House Speaker Newt Gingrich sparred politely over Medicare and other issues before an audience of senior citizens in Claremont, New Hampshire.
1996
Closing a congressional career that had spanned 3 decades, Bob Dole said goodbye to the Senate to begin in earnest his campaign for the presidency.
1997
The parents of Timothy McVeigh pleaded for their son's life during the penalty phase of the Oklahoma City bombing trial.
1998
Mitsubishi Motors agreed to pay 34 million dollars to settle allegations that women on the assembly line at its Illinois factory were groped and insulted and that managers did nothing to stop it.
1999
Actor DeForest Kelley of "Star Trek" fame died in Woodland Hills, Calif., at age 79
1999
The FBI was seeking the creator of Worm.Explore.Zip, a file-destroying computer virus which had hit some of the nation's biggest corporations.
2000
An unruly group of men doused women with water and groped them in New York's Central Park; some of the assaults were captured on home video.
2000
A day after the death of Syrian President Hafez Assad, his son, Bashar, was unanimously nominated by Syria's ruling Baath Party to succeed his father.
2000
Gustavo Kuerten of Brazil won his second French Open title, beating Magnus Norman.
2005
Fake Jackson suicide email hides virus
2005
Firing of Michael Jackson spokeswoman disputed
2005
Report finds FBI missed multiple chances to stop 9/11
2005
US Congress House panel OKs big cut in public broadcasting funds
2005
US teen missing in Aruba feared dead
2005
Glazer caps Manchester United's player transfer spending at £25m a year
2005
Irish inflation creeps upwards to 2.4%
2005
BSkyB faces challenge in securing British Premiership football rights
2005
US millitary says it killed approximately 40 'insurgents' in Iraq
2005
G8 finance ministers agree on deal to relieve debts of 18 poorest nations
2006
Rice beats Oklahoma in first round of NCAA Super Regional, 10-4
2006
Biarritz defeat Toulouse to win French rugby championship
2006
Australia defeats England in rugby
2006
Australian opposition promises to scrap workplace agreements
2006
Fernando Alonso wins British Grand Prix
2006
Netherlands ease to 1-0 win in Group C
2006
Three inmates commit suicide at Guantanamo detention facility
2006
Lauren Nelson crowned Miss Oklahoma
2006
Third former Williams trader admits manipulating natural gas prices
2006
Portugal win against World Cup first timers in Group D
2006
Australian cabinet discounted potential security risks with nuclear energy
2006
Anti-Tubby Smith ad rejected by University of Kentucky student paper
2006
Mexico score three against Iran in Group D
2006
Opening day of the 56th Bad Hersfeld Festival
2007
Ex-Thai PM Thaksin's assets are frozen
2007
Anti-junta demonstrations grow in Bangkok
2007
New Zealand meteorologist Auer dies
2007
Flooding hits NSW Hunter Region
2007
US senator Joseph Lieberman suggests attacking Iran base
2007
Woman shot dead by police officer in Kent, England
2007
Queensland government not doing enough on water: Poll
2007
Bombing in Kenya's capital city Nairobi
2007
Blender Foundation launches open movie, open game projects
2007
Atlantis docks, astronauts ready for spacewalk
2008
EU, US declare intent to cooperate on climate change at summit
2008
Delta II rocket launches GLAST observatory
2008
U.S. teens generally reducing risky behavior says CDC
2008
Three sought in Vancouver following hate crime
2008
NASA's Phoenix Lander has an oven full of Martian soil
2008
Indonesian police hand over Garuda Indonesia Flight 200 report to prosecutors
2008
Million-dollar trial aborted on account of sudoku
2009
Italian border guards seize $134 billion in U.S. bonds at Swiss border
2009
WHO declares global swine flu pandemic
2009
Venezuela bans Coke Zero over unspecified health problems
2009
Three dead after ConAgra plant explosion, all inside now accounted for
2009
San Diego State University pitcher taken first in baseball draft
2009
Bombing of Peshawar Pearl Continental Hotel in Pakistan kills 18
2009
Three dead infants found in Canadian home
2010
Pope Benedict XVI begged forgiveness Friday from child abuse victims and promised to "do everything possible" to protect children at a Mass celebrated by 15,000 priests from around the world.
2010
NCAA Football: USC banned from bowl games for two seasons, wins vacated
2010
Turkey sets the price to lift the ban on YouTube and Google services
2010
World's oldest leather shoe found in Armenia
2010
UN Security Council imposes more sanctions against Iran
2010
Nelson Mandela's great-granddaughter dies in car crash
2011
Russian reverse engineers Skype; uploads source to public
2011
Somali interior minister killed by bomb attack in own home
2011
Eritrea accuses four Britons of espionage and terrorism
2013
Colorado counties consider forming new U.S. state

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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