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Today in History

1775
Battle of Bunker Hill
1885
Statue of Liberty arrives in New York Harbor
1898
Graphic artist M.C. Escher born in Leeuwarden, The Netherlands
1943
Emmy Award winning singer and songwriter Barry Manilow born in Brooklyn, New York
1944
Independence Day in Iceland
1951
Cable ACE Award winning comedian and impersonator, Joe Piscopo born in Passaic, New Jersey
1964
Actress Erin Murphy born in Encino, California
1967
China test detonates a hydrogen bomb
1972
Watergate break-In
656
Caliph Uthman hacked to death by rebels
900
Fulk, Archbishop of Rheims, killed by the Count of Flanders
956
Death of Hugh, "the Great" of France
1094
Valencia taken by Don Rodrigo Diaz de Bivar "El Cid"
1128
Marriage of Geoffrey V (Plantagenet) of Anjou to Matilda, daughter of King Henry of England and widow of Henry V, Holy Roman Emperor
1191
Philip II of France lauches an attack on Acre, which fails
1239
Edward I, King of England born
1252
Pierre de Grandson granted a pension by Henry III, King of England
1391
William Huntingfield brought to trial for the robberies of Geoffrey Chaucer in September of 1390, and found guilty
1397
Coronation of Eric, King of Norway, Denmark and Sweden
1442
Coronation of Frederick IV as King of Germany
1579
Sir Francis Drake lands on the coast of California.
1775
The Revolutionary War Battle of Bunker Hill took place near Boston.
1789
Third Estate in France declared itself a national assembly.
1818
Composer Charles Gounod (in France) born
1856
Republican Party opened its first convention in Philadelphia.
1870
George Cormack, the inventor of "Wheaties" cereal born
1882
Igor Stravinsky, composer (Firebird Suite, The Rite of Spring) born
1885
Statue of Liberty arrived in New York City aboard the French ship Isere
1904
Actor Ralph Bellamy born
1914
Author John Hersey born
1915
Eric Frederick Goldman Author, and special advisor to President Lyndon B. Johnson from 1963 to 1966. born
1920
Beryl Reid born
1928
Amelia Earhart embarked on a trans-Atlantic flight from Newfoundland to Wales -- the first by a woman.
1932
Actor Peter Lupus born
1937
The Marx Brothers' "A Day At The Races" opens in NY.
1937
Robert Clyve Maynard U.S. journalist and newspaper publisher. He was mentor to hundreds of minority journalists as the first African-American to gain a prominent position in U.S. publishing. born
1940
France asks Germany for terms of surrender in WW II.
1942
First American expeditionary force to land in Africa (WW II).
1944
Republic of Iceland proclaimed at Thingvallir, Iceland.
1945
German Federal Republic National Day.
1946
Barry Manilow, singer, jingle writer (Like a Good Neighbor...) born
1947
First round-the-world civil air service left N.Y. city.
1948
Actress Phylicia Rashad (in Houston, Texas) born
1951
Joe Piscopo, comedian, actor (Saturday Night Live) born
1953
Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas stayed executions of spies Julius and Ethel Rosenberg scheduled for the next day (it was their 14th wedding anniversary).
1954
Actor Mark Linn-Baker born
1954
Televised Senate Army McCarthy hearings ended.
1963
Supreme Court strikes down rule requiring recitation of the Lord's Prayer or reading of Biblical verses in public schools.
1964
Actor Greg Kinnear born
1964
Michael Gross German swimmer who won six Olympic medals, including three golds, in the 1980s. born
1965
Olympic gold-medal speed skater Dan Jansen born
1966
Actor Jason Patric born
1969
Rhythm-and-blues singer Kevin Thornton (Color Me Badd) born
1969
Oh! Calcutta! opens in New York.
1971
U.S. returns control of Okinawa to the Japanese.
1972
President Nixon's eventual downfall began with the arrest of five burglars inside Democratic national headquarters in Washington DC's Watergate complex.
1978
Ron Guidry sets Yankee record with 18 strike outs.
1982
President Galtieri resigns in Argentina.
1985
Actor-rapper Herculeez (Herculeez and Big Tyme) born
1985
Eighteenth Space Shuttle Mission - Discovery 5 is launched.
1986
Singer Kate Smith died in Raleigh NC at age 79.
1986
Chief Justice Warren Earl Burger resigns Antonin Scalia nominated.
1987
NY Yankee and KC Royal Mgr Dick Howser dies at 51 of brain cancer.
1989
In China, eight people were sentenced to death for allegedly beating soldiers and burning vehicles in Beijing at the start of the crackdown on the pro-democracy movement.
1990
South African black nationalist Nelson Mandela and his wife, Winnie, arrived in Ottawa, Canada, en route to an 11-day tour of the United States.
1991
Payne Stewart won the US Open golf tournament.
1991
The South African Parliament abolished the Population Registration Act, the last major apartheid law still in effect.
1991
The remains of President Zachary Taylor were briefly exhumed in Louisville, Kentucky, to test a theory that Taylor had died of arsenic poisoning (results showed death was from natural causes).
1992
President Bush and Russian President Boris Yeltsin signed a breakthrough arms-reduction agreement.
1992
In addressing the U.S. Congress, Russian President Boris Yeltsin pledged to find any American prisoners of war still being held in Russia.
1992
Two German relief workers, the last of Western hostages held in Lebanon, were released.
1993
U.N. forces in Somalia searched in vain for warlord Mohamed Farrah Aidid.
1993
President Clinton told a news conference his economic package was making "remarkable progress."
1993
The Food and Drug Administration said no reports of tampering with Diet Pepsi-Cola cans at the manufacturing level had been confirmed, despite reports of foreign objects turning up in containers.
1994
After leading police on a slow-speed chase on Southern California freeways, O.J. Simpson was arrested and charged with murder in the slayings of his ex-wife, Nicole, and her friend, Ronald Goldman. (Simpson was later acquitted in a criminal trial, but held liable in a civil trial.)
1995
Russian commandos stormed a hospital where Chechen rebels were holding more than 1,000 hostages, but the Chechens beat the Russians back.
1996
ValuJet Airlines suspended its flight schedule indefinitely after a federal inspection found "several serious deficiencies" in the discount carrier's operation. (ValuJet resumed operations 15 weeks later.)
1998
The Senate snuffed out Congress' first bill to curb teen smoking, with Democrats accusing Republicans of being owned by Big Tobacco, and Republicans charging the measure was laden with too many amendments.
1998
Japanese Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto welcomed a rare US intervention in currency markets to support the sinking yen.
1999
Joseph Stanley Faulder, a former auto mechanic who killed a woman during a 1975 burglary, was lethally injected in Huntsville, Texas and became the first Canadian to be executed in the United States in almost 50 years.
1999
The Republican-controlled House narrowly voted to loosen restrictions on sales at gun shows, marking a victory for the National Rifle Association.
2000
In Cuba, more than 300,000 people turned out to protest the continued stay of Elian Gonzalez in the United States; it was the largest such demonstration since the previous December, when Cuba launched a national campaign of mass gatherings demanding the boy's return.
2005
Dell would be 'happy' to sell PCs running Mac OS X
2005
British motorists showered with cash on motorway
2005
Five beheaded during violent prison riot in Brazil
2005
Bush administration drastically cuts penalties sought for in tobacco trial from $130 billion to $10 billion
2005
Goodyear blimp crashes in Florida
2005
US trade deficit increases to record high in first quarter 2005
2006
Fiji defeat Italy in rugby
2006
All Blacks defeat Ireland in second rugby test
2006
Australia defeat England in rugby to win Cook Cup
2006
Three people die in New South Wales, Australia car accidents
2006
Near-record heat in Minnesota brings wildfire to the Boundary Waters
2006
Ghana surge past Czech Republic in Group E
2006
United States of America draw 1-1 with Italy in Group E
2006
Portugal beat Iran 2-0 in Group D
2007
4.5-kilometre bridge to link Crimea with Russia
2007
Two Katyusha rockets fired into northern Israel
2007
BBC reporter could be released within next few hours
2007
Lewis Hamilton wins United States Grand Prix
2007
NTSB releases updates on status of 3 major US investigations
2007
EU awards partial victory to Finland over wolf hunting case
2007
Collision of Challenger-60 and Boeing-757 prevented in Moscow sky
2008
Australian growth forecast reduced to 2.7%
2008
Bush, Brown threaten further sanctions against Iran
2008
Gov. Bobby Jindal supports creationism as part of ‘the very best science’
2008
Over 50 dead after Iraq bombing
2008
US Midwest floods raise concerns about water quality
2008
West Australian Premier addresses gas crisis in televised broadcast
2009
Diet Coke advert featuring singer Duffy cleared by advertising watchdog
2009
Swine flu deaths reported in Argentina
2010
Strong rain and wind kill one in Chile
2010
Australian rules football: Traralgon to play Moe in Gippsland Football League clash Saturday
2010
'Bloody Sunday Inquiry' publishes report into British Army killing of activists in Northern Ireland
2011
US Representative Anthony Weiner resigns over sexual conduct
2011
Study says young stars 'shoot water bullets'
2011
New York Assembly passes same-sex marriage bill
2013
Duke of Edinburgh leaves UK hospital following exploratory surgery
2013
Sunshine Coast Rugby Union, round twelve: Maroochydore defeat University at University

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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