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Today in History

1822
Charles Babbage decribes his concept of the difference engine
1834
Sandpaper invented by I. Fischer, Jr
1889
Flag Day in the US
1928
Marxist revolutionary, physician, author, intellectual, guerrilla leader and diplomat, Che Guevara born in Rosario, Argentina
1938
Action Comics issues first Superman comic
1946
Businessman, author, television personality and 45th president of the United States, Donald John Trump born in Queens, New York
1952
Singer, dancer and Tony Award nominated actor Eddie Mekka born in Worcester, Massachusetts
1958
Five time Olympic Gold Medalist speed skater Eric Heiden born in Madison, Wisconsin
1968
Actress Yasmine Bleeth born in New York City
1969
World Champion tennis player Steffi Graf born in Mannheim, Germany
510
BC
Rome becomes a republic (one suggested date)
847
Death of St. Methodius of Constantinople
1170
Coronation of Henry III as King of England
1272
Founding of Gouda, Holland
1334
The Mongol Khatun (Princess) Bayalun journeys to Constantinople
1497
Murder of Duke of Gandia
1574
Henry of Valois, King of Poland, flees his Kingdom
1594
Orlando di Lasso died in Munich. He was 62. Orlando was one of the first composers to routinely compose polyphonic music, multiple melodies going at one time. Without Orlando, Bach might not have been possible.
1642
1st compulsory education law in America passed, by Massachusetts
1775
United States Army founded.
1777
Continental Congress in Philadelphia adopts Stars and Stripes as U.S. flag, replacing Grand Union flag.
1801
Former Revolutionary War Gen. Benedict Arnold died in London.
1811
Harriet Beecher Stowe, author of "Uncle Tom's Cabin" born
1820
Bookseller John Bartlett, compiler of "Bartlett's Familiar Quotations" born
1841
The first Canadian parliament opened in Kingston.
1846
Settlers proclaimed the Free Republic of California at Sonoma, adopting the California Bear Flag.
1847
Bunson invents a gas burner.
1850
Fire destroys part of San Francisco.
1863
Battle of Second Winchester, Virginia.
1864
Battle of Pine Mountain. Gen. Leonidas Polk killed in action.
1870
Cincinatti Reds lose after 130 straight wins.
1876
California Street Cable Car Railroad Co. gets it's franchise.
1900
Hawaiian Territorial Government begins.
1909
Actor and folk singer Burl Ives born
1916
Dorothy McGuirre, singer (McGuirre Sisters) - some sources list 1918 born
1917
Gen. Pershing and his HQ staff arrived in Paris during World War I.
1919
First direct airplane crossing of the Atlantic.
1919
Actor director Sam Wanamaker born
1921
Actor Gene Barry (Burke's Law) born
1922
Baltimore radio station WEAR first to put on a President (Harding).
1925
Pierre Salinger, ABC newsman, White House press secretary for Kennedy born
1928
Cuban revolutionary Ernesto "Che" Guevara born
1928
Pianist-composer Cy Coleman born
1931
Actress Marla Gibbs born
1933
Author Jerzy Kosinski born
1938
Chlorophyll patented by Benjamin Grushkin.
1940
German forces occupied Paris during World War II.
1940
Actor Jack Bannon born
1942
First bazooka rocket gun produced, Bridgeport, CT.
1944
First B-29 raid against mainland Japan.
1945
Rock singer Rod Argent (The Zombies; Argent) born
1946
Real estate developer Donald Trump born
1948
TV Guide is first published.
1949
Rock musician Alan White (Yes) born
1951
Univac 1, the world's first commercial computer was unveiled and demonstrated in Philadephia PA. It was designed for use by the U.S. Bureau of the Census.
1952
Keel laid for first nuclear powered submarine, the Nautilus.
1952
Actor Eddie Mekka born
1954
Actor Will Patton born
1954
President Eisenhower signs order adding words "under God" to the Pledge of Allegiance.
1958
Olympic speed skater Eric Heiden born
1961
Androgynous rock musician George "Boy George" Dowd, (Culture Club) born
1963
Rock musician Chris DeGarmo (Queensryche) born
1967
Mariner V launched from Cape Kennedy on a flight past Venus.
1968
Actress Jasmine Bleeth born
1969
Tennis player Steffi Graf (in West Germany) born
1971
Actress Traylor Howard ("Two Guys, a Girl and a Pizza Place") born
1973
EMI's Reflexe label was established. They were authentic when authentic wasn't cool. But the much newer Virgin Veritas label has been very successful, especially with its recordings of Charles Mackerras and the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment.
1976
The Gong Show premiers.
1977
M. L. King killer James Earl Ray recaptured after prison break.
1978
Down 9-7 in the 10th with 2 outs Yanks Paul Blair hits a 3 run homer.
1982
Argentina surrenders to Britain on Falkland (Malvinas) Islands ending 74-day conflict.
1983
Health Secretary Margaret Heckler said her department would give top priority to finding the cause and a cure for AIDS.
1985
Lebanese Shiite gunmen hijack TWA flight 847 after Athens' takeoff.
1986
Argentine author Jorge Luis Borges in Geneva dies at age 86.
1986
Death claimed Broadway librettist Alan Jay Lerner in NY at age 67.
1986
`Wild Kingdom' host Marlin Perkins dies near St Louis at age 81.
1989
House Democrats chose Richard Gephardt to be majority leader and William H. Gray to be majority whip.
1989
Actress Zsa Zsa Gabor was arrested for slapping a Beverly Hills motorcycle patrolman.
1990
The Supreme Court, 6-3, upheld police checkpoints that examine drivers for signs of intoxication.
1991
The government reported consumer prices had risen a modest three-tenths of 1 percent in May.
1991
The space shuttle "Columbia" returned from a medical research mission.
1991
Actress Dame Peggy Ashcroft died in London at age 83.
1992
The Earth Summit concluded in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
1992
The Chicago Bulls won the NBA championship, beating the Portland Trailblazers in game six, 97-to-93.
1992
Actor Daryl Sabara ("Spy Kids") born
1992
Mona Van Duyn became the first woman to be named the nation's poet laureate by the Library of Congress.
1993
President Clinton chose Judge Ruth Bader Ginsburg, an advocate of women's rights, to serve on the Supreme Court, surprising observers who predicted Clinton's choice would be Judge Stephen Breyer.
1994
The New York Rangers won hockey's Stanley Cup for the first time in 54 years as they defeated the Vancouver Canucks at Madison Square Garden.
1994
Academy Award-winning composer Henry Mancini died in Beverly Hills, California, at age 70.
1994
President Clinton unveiled a $9.3 billion-dollar welfare reform plan.
1995
Stephen P. Yokich was elected president of the United Auto Workers at the union's triennial convention in Anaheim, California.
1996
The FBI disclosed the White House had obtained bureau background reports on at least 408 people without justification.
1996
World copper markets were thrown into turmoil following disclosure by Sumitomo Corp. that a rogue trader had hidden multibillion-dollar losses.
1997
The winter's near record snowpack melted into floodwaters, prompting seven Idaho counties to declare disasters as other counties braced for overflowing rivers.
1997
Hong Kong's future legislature rammed through two laws Saturday to curb political freedoms and civil rights when China takes back the 156-year-old British colony in little more than two weeks' time.
1998
The Chicago Bulls clinched their sixth NBA championship, defeating the Utah Jazz in game six played in Salt Lake City, 87-to-86.
1999
About 15,000 NATO peacekeepers spread out across Kosovo, including a convoy of about 1,200 U.S. Marines.
1999
The Supreme Court opened the door to full broadcast advertising of casino gambling, ruling a federal ban aimed at protecting compulsive gamblers violated free-speech rights.
2000
In the biggest step toward peace since the end of the Korean War, the leaders of North and South Korea signed an agreement pledging to work for reconciliation and eventual reunification.
2000
A retired Army Reserve colonel, George Trofimoff (73), was accused of spying for the Soviet Union and Russia for 25 years. He allegedly sold military secrets to the Soviets when he was a civilian employee of the U.S. Army at an installation in West Germany where refugees and defectors from the Soviet bloc were interrogated.
2000
Risking a wider split in the nation's largest Protestant denomination, the Southern Baptist Convention declared that women should no longer serve as pastors.
2005
Aid group 'denied access' to Rwandan refugee camp in Burundi
2005
New rocky planet discovered in orbit around nearby star
2005
UNHCR criticises Rwanda's and Burundi's decision to re-label refugees as illegal immigrants
2005
South African president dismisses deputy on implications of corruption
2005
Canadian military hosts first gay wedding
2005
Bombings reported in southeastern Iran
2005
UN reports Rwandan refugees repatriated by force
2005
Chinese bloggers on Microsoft's MSN now face regulation of censors
2006
Beazley gaining office would threaten Australia's economy: Treasurer
2006
Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Roethlisberger upgraded to fair condition
2006
Alleged spiritual leader of Jemaah Islamiyah freed from prison
2006
Canada's richest man dies at age 82
2006
Miami beats Dallas 98-96 in third game of the NBA Finals
2006
New Zealand's National Party's bill blocked
2006
Former Irish taoiseach Charles Haughey passes away
2006
Diesel spill in northern Saskatchewan
2006
North Korea to test missile that could reach U.S. mainland
2006
United Church of Christ loses Puerto Rico Conference over GLBT issues
2006
Germany beat Poland and top Group A
2006
Saudi Arabia and Tunisia share dramatic draw in Group H
2006
Spain beat Ukraine 4-0 in Group H
2007
Ten killed in Beirut seaside blast
2007
Shuttle mission may be extended further due to ISS computer failure
2007
UK TV star Michael Barrymore re-arrested over pool death probe
2007
Former Austrian President Kurt Waldheim dies at 88
2007
Fossilized remains of birdlike dinosaur found in China
2007
Ruth Bell Graham dies at 87
2007
Nightwish announce details of new album
2007
Michael Moore's new film 'Sicko' leaked via P2P
2007
Woman neglected medical treatment; dies in hospital ER
2007
13 schools torched in southern Thailand
2008
Surprise demolition of partially collapsed building in Buffalo, New York met with opposition
2008
Northern Japan hit by strong quake
2008
Flooding closes highways in eastern Iowa, US
2008
Foam manufacturer settles for US$25 million over Station nightclub fire
2008
Mugabe is 'prepared to fight' if Zimbabwe elects opposition
2008
Most complete dinosaur from Britain goes on display
2009
Hearse key thief spared prison
2009
Civil unrest in Iranian cities after Ahmadinejad declares victory
2010
Australian rules football: Traralgon get game back as ladder shakes around middle
2010
Obama to ask for special BP claims fund over oil spill
2010
China: Heavy flooding displaces over a million, kills dozens
2010
Stampede at rally in Kenya kills at least five; dozens wounded
2010
Kyrgyzstan: Violence continues, death toll rises
2010
Flash floods kill at least nineteen campers in Arkansas
2010
Deadly clashes in Somalia between police and government troops
2011
Fire in central London causes traffic chaos
2011
BBC Television Centre placed up for sale
2011
Casey Stoner wins British MotoGP
2011
Apples top most contaminated produce list
2011
Sky purchases UK Glee rights

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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