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Today in History

LOTR...
Bilbo returns to Bag End
1525
Martin Luther marries Katharina von Bora
1854
Steam turbine inventor Charles Algernon Parsons born in London, England
1920
US Postal Service rules children may not be sent via parcel post.
1943
Actor Malcolm McDowell born in Leeds, England
1953
Golden Globe winning actor and comedian Tim Allen born Timothy Allen Dick in Denver, Colorado
1983
Pioneer 10 escapes the Solar System
1986
Actress Ashely Olsen born in Sherman Oaks, California
1986
Actress Mary-Kate Olsen born in Sherman Oaks, California
323
BC
Alexander the Great died of fever in Babylon at age 33.
40
Gnaeus Julius Agricola, Roman general, conqueror of Wales, north England born
823
Charles II (the Bald), King of France & Emperor born
1231
Death of St. Anthony of Padua
1329
The Kingship of Robert I, "the Bruce," King of Scots, is recognized by Pope John XXII
1374
Chaucer given an annual pension from John of Gaunt
1392
Pierre de Craon attempts the assassination of Clisson, Constable of France
1483
Richard of Gloucester accuses Jane Shore of sorcery
1574
Richard Barnfield, English poet born
1612
Coronation of Matthias II as Holy Roman Emperor
1650
First publication of "Mercurius Politicus," British periodical
1777
Marquis de Lafayette lands in the United States.
1786
U.S. Army Gen. Winfield Scott. He is famous for his victories in the War of 1812 and the War with Mexico born
1831
J. C. Maxwell who formulated electromagnetic theory born
1865
Irish poet and dramatist William Butler Yeats "Bysantium" and "Easter 1916" born
1886
King Ludwig the Second of Bavaria drowned in Lake Starnberg.
1888
Congress created the Department of Labor.
1898
Yukon Territory of Canada is organized with Dawson chosen as capital.
1899
Carlos Chavez was born in Mexico City. Chavez was a friend of Aaron Copland... Copland was inspired to write "El Salon Mexico" while visiting Chavez. Chavez is the only Mexican-born classical composer to achieve any international reputation so far. born
1900
China's Boxer Rebellion against foreigners and Christians.
1903
Harold "Red" Grange, the "Galloping Ghost" of football born
1913
Ralph Edwards, host of "This is Your Life" born
1914
The advisor to Tsar Nicholas II, Gregory Rasputin, is poisoned and stabbed to death in St. Petersburg
1920
The U.S. Post Office Department rules that children may not be sent by parcel post
1923
The "Ballet Russe" danced "Les Noces," Stravinsky's cubist portrait of a peasant wedding.
1927
Charles Lindbergh honored in New York City for his trans-Atlantic flight. 750,000 lbs of ticker-tape shower down.
1933
Federal Savings and Loan Association authorized.
1933
First sodium vapor lamps installed Schenectady, NY.
1935
Bulgarian-born artist Christo born
1940
Singer Bobby Freeman born
1942
President Roosevelt created the Office of War Information, and appointed radio news commentator Elmer Davis to be its head.
1943
Actor Malcolm McDowell born
1943
German spies land on Long Island, New York, and are soon captured.
1944
Nazi Germany begins V-1 (Fieseler Fi-103) buzz-bomb attacks against Britain.
1948
Babe Ruth's #3 is retired.
1949
Singer Dennis Locorriere (Dr. Hook) born
1951
Actor Richard Thomas, (The Waltons) born
1951
Actor Jonathan Hogan born
1953
Comedian Tim Allen born
1962
Actress Ally Sheedy (Short Circuit) born
1963
Bettina Bunge, tennis player born
1963
Catarina Lindqvist born
1963
Vostok 6 launched. The pilot is Valentina Tereshkova, first woman cosmonaut.
1966
Supreme court hands down Miranda vs. Arizona decision. Declares a suspect must be informed of rights.
1967
President Johnson nominated Solicitor-General Thurgood Marshall to become the first black justice on the US Supreme Court.
1968
Rhythm-and-blues singer Deniece Pearson (Five Star) born
1969
Actor Jamie Walters born
1971
N.Y. Times began publishing the Pentagon Papers, a secret study of America's involvement in Vietnam.
1977
James Earl Ray, assassin of Martin Luther King Jr., was captured in a Tennessee wilderness area after escaping from prison.
1977
Former Supreme Court Justice Tom C. Clark died in NY at 77.
1978
Actor Ethan Embry born
1979
Sioux Indians are awarded $105 million in compensation for the U.S. seizure in 1877 of their Black Hills in South Dakota.
1980
Rep. John Jenrette Jr (D-SC) indicted in "Abscam" investigation.
1981
A teenager fired six blanks at Queen Elizabeth II.
1982
Fahd becomes king of Saudi Arabia when King Khalid dies at 69.
1983
Actress Sarah Schaub ("Promised Land") born
1983
The robot spacecraft Pioneer-10 became the first man-made object to leave the solar system. It did so 11 years after it was launched.
1986
Actress Ashley Olsen born
1986
Actress Mary-Kate Olsen born
1986
President Reagan criticizes South African state of emergency.
1986
Benny Goodman died in Chicago, he was 77. Jazz fans remember Goodman's swing band, and the even better Sextet that preceded it.
1987
Geraldine Page dies.
1988
A federal jury found cigarette manufacturer Liggett Group liable in the lung-cancer death of New Jersey resident Rose Cipollone, but innocent of misrepresenting the risks of smoking. (An appeals court later overturned the jury's award of $400,000 and ordered a new trial; the family dropped the lawsuit in 1992.)
1989
The Detroit Pistons won their first National Basketball Association title, sweeping the Los Angeles Lakers in four games.
1990
Secretary of State James A. Baker III, testifying before the House Foreign Affairs Committee, urged Israel to accept a U.S. plan for peace talks. (Baker gave out the telephone number for the White House switchboard, telling the Israelis publicly, "When you're serious about this, call us.")
1991
The US Supreme Court ruled a jailed suspect represented by a lawyer in one criminal case sometimes may be questioned by police about another crime without the lawyer present.
1991
Tragedy struck the first round of the US Open golf tournament when lightning struck and killed a spectator.
1992
Democrat Bill Clinton stirred controversy during an appearance before the Rainbow Coalition by criticizing the rap singer Sister Souljah for making remarks "filled with hatred" toward whites.
1993
Canada's Progressive Conservative Party chose Defense Minister Kim Campbell to succeed Brian Mulroney as prime minister; she was the first woman to hold the post.
1993
Astronaut Donald K. "Deke" Slayton died in League City, Texas, at age 69.
1994
A jury in Anchorage, Alaska, blamed recklessness by Exxon Corp. and Capt. Joseph Hazelwood for the "Exxon Valdez" disaster, allowing victims of the nation's worst oil spill to seek $15 billion in damages.
1994
O.J. Simpson was questioned for several hours by Los Angeles police following the slashing deaths of his ex-wife Nicole and her friend, Ronald Goldman.
1995
President Clinton proposed a 10-year plan for balancing the federal budget, saying in a televised address his proposal would cut spending by $1.1 trillion.
1995
France announced it would abandon its 1992 moratorium on nuclear testing and conduct eight more tests between September and May.
1996
The Supreme Court placed greater limits on congressional districts intentionally drawn to get more minorities elected to Congress.
1996
The 81-day-od Freemen standoff ended as the 16 remaining members of the anti-government group surrendered to the FBI and left their Montana ranch.
1997
Former soldier Timothy McVeigh was sentenced to death for the Oklahoma City bombing, a devastating crime that killed 168 people and thrust indiscriminate political terror into the heart of America.
1997
Michael Jordan scored 39 points and the Chicago Bulls worked their fourth-quarter magic again to beat the Utah Jazz 90-86 and win their fifth NBA championship in seven years.
1998
President Clinton visited Thurston High School in Springfield, Oregon, where two students were killed and 22 others wounded the previous month.
1998
Civil rights leaders and politicians called for an end to racial violence as hundreds of mourners gathered in Jasper, Texas, for the funeral of James Byrd Junior, a black man who police said was brutally killed by white supremacists.
1999
NATO soldiers shot dead two armed men as peacekeepers tried to contain new violence in Kosovo; Russian troops, meanwhile, blocked British troops from entering the airport in Pristina, the capital of Kosovo.
2000
Italy pardoned Mehmet Ali Agca, the Turkish gunman who'd tried to kill Pope John Paul the Second in 1981.
2000
The presidents of South Korea and North Korea opened a summit in the northern capital of Pyongyang with pledges to seek reunification of the divided peninsula.
2005
Final withdrawal of Australian troops from East Timor
2005
Airbus wins Qatar Airways order worth $15bn
2005
Serial child imposter held by French police
2005
Michael Jackson found 'not guilty' on all counts
2005
Ryanair exercises options on five Boeing 737s
2005
Wisconsin Democratic Party calls for Impeachment of Bush, Cheney, & Rumsfeld
2006
100 people were detained in Russia after police mistook rugby match as brawl
2006
Dallas beats Miami again in NBA Finals, leads series 2-0
2006
Left parties in India protest fuel price hike
2006
Bush makes a surprise visit to Iraq
2006
Entertainment Software Association says new Oklahoma law unconstitutional, plans to sue
2006
Bank staff in India threaten strike
2006
Korea Republic win 2-1 against Togo in Group G
2006
Vaccine developed to fight Alzheimer's disease considered "promising"
2006
France draw with Switzerland in Group G
2006
Computer-controlled prosthetic ankle patent awarded to Oklahoma City company
2006
Tropical Storm Alberto strikes Florida
2006
Icelandic PM Ásgrímsson resigns
2006
Thousands of Floridians evacuate for Tropical Storm Alberto
2006
Brazil trot to 1-0 win over Croatia in Group F
2006
Rhode Island representative Patrick Kennedy pleads guilty to DUI
2006
Feminist gathering in Tehran dispersed by police
2006
ACT Civil Unions Act invalidated by Governor General
2007
Hamas takes control of Fatah security headquarters
2007
Not enough names to go around in China, ministry says
2007
Woman disclosed by newspaper in sex tape commits suicide
2007
Judges agree on rules for Khmer Rouge tribunal
2007
Proposed New Zealand Day opposed in Parliament
2007
Indonesia arrests Jemaah Islamiyah leader
2007
Television's 'Mr. Wizard' Don Herbert dies at 89
2007
Cessna to display seven aircraft and new cabin concept at Paris Air Show
2007
13 drug-resistant TB cases reported in Thailand
2007
Thai female boxing champ paroled from prison
2007
Mars was once covered by oceans, study says
2007
Large earthquake strikes off Guatemala's Pacific coast
2007
NASCAR's Earnhardt Jr Signs 5-year Contract with Hendrick Motorsports
2007
European Union to fund scheme to reduce aircraft emissions and noise pollution
2007
BT's Lalani smashes through the £1m salary barrier
2008
Australian airline to increase airfares
2008
Tim Russert, NBC News "Meet the Press" moderator dies at age 58
2008
UK drivers urged not to panic buy during delivery strikes
2008
Security tightened at Singapore courts after two attempts to escape
2008
Politician's remarks overshadow Canada's historical apology to natives
2008
EBay Australia's PayPal only policy blocked
2008
Prisoners escape from Afghan jail after Taliban attack
2008
UK shadow home secretary resigns over terror law
2008
Gas leak kills six and injures 28 at Chinese fertiliser factory
2008
Ireland rejects EU Lisbon Treaty
2008
Picasso prints stolen from Brazilian museum
2008
Senior intelligence official suspended after leaving top secret files on train
2008
Partially collapsed building in Buffalo, New York likely to be demolished
2008
DRAMeXchange Compuforum: Global DRAM market to be changed majorly
2008
Report finds LOT Airlines plane was lost over London due to pilot error
2009
NASA cancels launch of Space Shuttle Endeavour
2009
Pittsburgh Penguins win Stanley Cup
2009
National Party of Australia to trial community pre-selections at 2011 NSW election
2009
Norwegian military security agency accused of conducting illegal surveillance of PM
2009
Iranian media says current president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has won re-election
2009
College World Series field set, games to start Saturday
2010
FBI investigates AT&T security breach
2010
Pakistan's intelligence agency said to support Taliban
2010
Joran van der Sloot charged with murder of Peruvian woman
2010
Food critic Egon Ronay dies at 94
2010
Australia's New South Wales Fire Brigades in crisis over bullying
2010
United States and England open World Cup with 1–1 draw
2010
At least fifteen dead in Iraq after gunmen attack central bank
2010
Polish authorities arrest Israeli agent
2011
Court rules Massey can appeal US restrictions in mine disaster investigation

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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