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Today in History

1829
Apache warrior Geronimo born near Gila River, New Mexico
1890
Academy Award winning writer, director and actor, Stan Laurel born in Ulverston, England
1902
Nobel Prize winning cytogeneticist Barbara McClintock born in Hartford, Connecticut
1943
Theater World Award winning actress Joan Van Ark born in New York City
1955
Emmy Award winning actress Lauren "Laurie" Ophelia Metcalf born in Carbondale, Illinois
1963
Aboard Vostok 6 Valentina Tereshkova becomes first woman to fly in space
1967
Fashion model Jenny Shimizu born in San Jose, California
1967
3-day Monterey Pop Festival begins
1980
The Blues Brothers premieres in Chicago
1246
Death of St. Lutgard
1373
Anglo-Portuguese Treaty of Alliance (world's oldest) signed, London
1456
The 25 year old judgement of heresy against Joan of Arc annulled
1464
Death of Rogier Vander Weyden
1483
Imprisonment of the Two Princes in the Tower (England)
1497
The body of Juan Borgia is recovered from the Tiber river
1567
Mary Queen of Scots thrown into Lochleven Castle prison.
1602
Bartholomew Gosnold gives up his colonization efforts in New England
1641
Death of John Suckling
1644
Princess Henrietta of England born
1710
George Frederick Handel was hired to be Kappellmeister at Hanover. He barely started work before he took a leave of absence, and then another, to nurture a career in England. His employer, the Elector of Hanover, followed him to London when he inherited the British crown.
1775
The Battle of Bunker Hill (actually it was Breed's Hill).
1858
"A house divided against itself cannot stand. " Abraham Lincoln, Senate candidate, made this statement in a speech in Springfield, Illinois. Abraham Lincoln said the slavery issue had to be resolved.
1879
Gilbert & Sullivan's "HMS Pinafore" debuts at the Bowery Theatre New York City.
1883
First baseball "Ladies' Day" (NY Gothams vs Cleveland Spiders).
1895
Stan Laurel, comedian (Laurel and Hardy) born
1897
The U. S. government signed a treaty of annexation with Hawaii.
1902
American scientist Barbara McClintock. Regarded as one of the most important figures in the history of genetics. Her discovery during the 1940s and '50s of mobile genetic elements won her the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine in 1983. born
1903
Helen Traubel, opera singer born
1903
First Highlander (Yankee) shut-out victory 1-0 over the White Sox.
1903
The Ford Motor Company is started.
1904
James Joyce met his future wife, Nora, for the second time and fell in love. He later chose the date as the single-day setting for his novel, "Ulysses".
1917
Katharine Graham, former newspaper publisher ("Washington Post") born
1917
The first Congress of Soviets was convened in Russia.
1920
John Howard Griffin, photographer, author of Black Like Me born
1924
Jazz saxiphonist Lucky Thompson born
1933
The U.S. Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation created (FDIC).
1933
National Industrial Recovery Act becomes law (later struck down).
1937
The Marx Brothers in A Day At The Races opens in LA.
1937
Author Erich Segal born
1938
Author Joyce Carol Oates born
1939
Country singer Billy "Crash" Craddock born
1941
First US federally owned airport opened Washington, D.C.
1941
Songwriter Lamont Dozier born
1942
Rhythm-and-blues singer Eddie Levert born
1946
Actress Joan Van Ark born
1947
First network news - Dumont's "News from Washington".
1947
Pravda denounces the Marshall Plan.
1949
Gas turbine-electric locomotive demonstrated, Erie, PA.
1950
Rhythm-and-blues singer James Smith (The Stylistics) born
1951
Boxer Roberto Durant born
1952
Pop singer Gino Vannelli born
1953
Despite Johnny Mize 2000th hit Yanks lose ending 18 game win streak.
1955
Actress Laurie Metcalf born
1955
Pope Pius the 12th excommunicated Argentine President Juan Domingo Peron -- a ban that was lifted eight years later
1961
Rudolf Nureyev, Soviet ballet dancer, defects to the West.
1963
Levi Eshkol replaces David Ben-Gurion as Israeli prime minister.
1963
Valentina V. Tereshkova becomes the first woman in space aboard Vostok 6.
1967
Model-actress Jenny Shimizu born
1970
Kenneth A. Gibson of Newark, New Jersey, became the first black to win a mayoral election in a major Northeast city.
1971
Tupac Shakur born
1973
Actor Eddie Cibrian ("Third Watch") born
1976
US ambassador to Lebanon kidnapped and killed.
1977
Werner von Braun dies at 65 from smoking.
1977
Ron Guidry's first complete game 7-0 over the Royals.
1977
Soviet Communist Party General Secretary Leonid Brezhnev was named president, becoming the first person to hold both posts simultaneously.
1978
Tom Seaver no hits St Louis Cards.
1978
President Carter and Panamanian leader Omar Torrijos exchanged the instruments of ratification for the Panama Canal treaties.
1982
Britain requests Argentina arrange for return of prisoners.
1986
South African blacks marked the 10th anniversary of the Soweto uprising with a one-day strike. 11 blacks were killed in the resulting violence.
1987
Subway gunman Bernhard Goetz acquitted on all but gun possession charges after shooting four youths who tried to rob him.
1989
Hungarians paid homage to former premier Imre Nagy and four associates who were executed for leading the anti-Soviet revolt of 1956.
1990
A crowd in the Netherlands welcomed African National Congress leader Nelson Mandela, who thanked them for staunch Dutch support for the anti-apartheid movement.
1991
The 7th International Conference on "AIDS" opened in Florence, Italy, with pleas from African and Asian countries for more help and criticism directed at the United States for its refusal to allow visits by foreigners infected with AIDS.
1992
President Bush and Russian President Boris N. Yeltsin capped the first day of their Washington summit by announcing their countries had agreed to slash their long-range nuclear arsenals by two-thirds.
1992
Former Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger was indicted on felony charges in the Iran-Contra affair (he was later pardoned by President Bush).
1993
The U.N. Security Council voted unanimously to give Haiti's military rulers one week to restore exiled President Jean-Bertrand Aristide to power, or face an embargo on oil and weapons.
1993
An all Leonard Bernstein program began by the New York Philharmonic under the direction of Leonard Slatkin. The program included "Fanfare for Bima," "Simple Song" from "Mass," "Opening Prayer" from "Jubilee Games," and the dance music "Fancy Free,".
1994
Former President Jimmy Carter, on a private visit to North Korea, reported the Communist nation's leaders were eager to resume talks with the United States on resolving disputes about Pyongyang's nuclear program and improving relations.
1995
Bosnian government forces aided by Bosnian Croats unleashed a major offensive in hopes of breaking the Serb stranglehold on Sarajevo.
1995
On Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed above 4,500 for the first time, ending the day at 4,510.79.
1995
Salt Lake City, Utah, was awarded the 2002 Winter Olympic Games.
1996
Russian voters went to the polls in their first independent presidential election; the result was a runoff between President Boris Yeltsin (the eventual winner) and Communist challenger Gennady Zyuganov.
1996
The Chicago Bulls won the NBA championship, beating the Seattle SuperSonics in game six, 87-to-75.
1996
Sportscaster Mel Allen died in Greenwich, Connecticut, at age 83.
1998
The Detroit Red Wings took home the Stanley Cup for the second consecutive year after completing a sweep of the Washington Capitals with a 4-to-1 victory in game four.
1998
Massachusetts' highest court cleared the way for Louise Woodward to return home to England, upholding a judge's ruling that freed the au pair convicted of killing a baby.
1999
Kathleen Ann Soliah, a fugitive member of the Symbionese Liberation Army, was captured in St. Paul, Minn., where she was living as Sara Jane Olson.
1999
Vice President Al Gore announced his candidacy for the Democratic presidential nomination.
1999
Thabo Mbeki took the oath as president of South Africa, succeeding Nelson Mandela.
2000
Raynard Johnson, 17, was found hanging from a tree in Marion County, Mississippi; investigators later ruled it a suicide, not a lynching.
2000
Federal regulators approved the merger of Bell Atlantic and GTE Corporation, creating the nation's largest local phone company.
2000
Empress dowager Nagako, widow of Japan's Emperor Hirohito, died in Tokyo at age 97.
2005
Bomb blast in Iran injures three civilians
2005
Global youth conference on genocide begins in Kigali
2005
Downing Street Memo forum to be held June 16th in response to petition of 500,000
2005
Canadian boy killed in Cambodian seige; Police storm school
2005
American "Chicken for sex" meat salesman is charged with assault
2005
Satellite radio approved in Canada
2005
Brazil Political crisis: Minister Jose Dirceu leaves the government
2005
World Bank president addresses global youth forum on genocide
2006
Australian Senator to introduce bill for same-sex marriage
2006
Auckland, New Zealand sexual attack premeditated
2006
Bush proclaims Northwestern Hawaiian Islands a National Monument
2006
Four incidents occur at Australian reactor in a week
2006
Tram derails in Geneva
2006
Argentina thrash Serbia and Montenegro in Group C
2006
Wade leads Miami to win over Dallas in NBA Finals, ties series 2-2
2006
American Idol winner Ruben Studdard wins lawsuit
2006
Timorese rebels begin disarming
2006
Netherlands defeat Ivory Coast in Group C
2006
Avian flu found in eastern Canada
2006
Documents reveal al-Qaeda wants war between U.S. and Iran, Iraq insurgency weakening
2006
United States identifies new Al-Qaeda leader in Iraq as Egyptian Abu Ayyub Al-Masri
2006
Angola hold Mexico to 0-0 draw in Group D
2006
United States House votes against setting date for withdrawal from Iraq
2007
ISS crew bypass faulty switch to power-up computers
2007
Malaysian fans riot at delayed opening of Indian film
2007
Cockpit voice recorder retrieved from wreck of Kenya Airways Flight 507
2007
US prosecutor Mike Nifong to be disbarred for ethics violations
2007
First Somali president Aden Abdulle Osman Daar dies
2007
US astronaut Sunita Williams breaks record
2008
Australian government considers controlling fuel supplies
2008
Elián González joins Communist youth group, AP says
2008
Al Gore endorses Obama for US President
2008
Protesters clash with police as Bush visits London
2008
Study raises health concerns about shower curtains
2008
Harrier jet crashes in Rutland, England, pilot survives
2009
Yemeni troops search for missing hostages
2009
Oklahoma trooper on leave after altercation with ambulance personnel
2009
Study says nearly every species of animal engages in homosexual behavior
2009
Nepali capital Kathmandu shut down after rebel strike
2009
Recount offered for disputed Iranian election
2010
Warren Buffett to host world's most expensive lunch
2010
Apple swamped by iPhone 4 pre-orders
2010
Dozens killed in Mexican prison riots
2010
US General David Petraeus passes out during Senate testimony
2012
Australian Football League's Richmond Tigers beat GWS Giants by 12 points
2012
FanFiction.Net adult content purge felt across fandom two weeks on

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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