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Today in History

1812
US declares war on Britain and Ireland
1914
Emmy Award winning actor E.G. Marshall born in Owatonna, Minnesota
1928
Amelia Earhart flies across the Atlantic
1942
Academy and Grammy Award winning songwriter, musician and singer, Sir Paul McCartney born in Liverpool, England
1942
Pulitzer Prize winning film critic for the Chicago Sun Times, Roger Ebert born in Urbana, Illinois
1947
Actress Linda Thorson born in Toronto, Ontario
1952
Actress Carol Kane born in Cleveland, Ohio
1953
Egypt becomes a republic
1983
Aboard space shuttle Challenger Sally Ride becomes first American woman in space
373
Death of St. Ephraem
741
Death of Leo III (the Isaurian), founder of Byzantine Syrian dynasty
860
Vikings from Russia repulsed in an attack on Constantinople
1037
Death of Ibn Sina (Avicenna)
1155
Coronation of Fredrick "Barbarossa," King of Germany, as Holy Roman Emperor; 1,000 Romans die in riots
1164
Death of St. Elizabeth of Schonau
1178
5 Canterbury monks report explosion on the moon (only such observation known) - proposed time of origin of lunar crater Giordano Bruno
1429
French forces lead by Joan of Arc defeat the English at the Battle of Patay.
1464
Pope Pius II began a Crusade
1464
Roger van der Weyden, Flemish painter, dies at about 64
1497
Publication in Florence of the excommunication of Savonarola
1541
Crossing of the Mississippi River by Hernando DeSoto
1583
Richard Martin of London takes out the first life insurance policy, on William Gibbons. The premium is 383 pounds.
1586
Francis Drake rescues the Roanoke settlers
1621
First known duel in American colonies (Plymouth Colony)
1778
British Redcoats withdraw from Philadelphia when the American forces entered during the Revolutionary War.
1812
War of 1812 begins as US declares war against Britain.
1815
Battle of Waterloo -- British and Prussians defeat Napoleon.
1840
The greatest tragedy of Giuseppe Verdi's life occurred, when his 25-year-old wife Margherita died of encephalitis. Both of the Verdis' children had died in the months before. Suddenly the young Verdi's entire family had been taken away from him.
1850
Cyrus Curtis, founder and publisher of the Ladies' Home Journal born
1854
Journalist and publisher Edward Scripps born
1863
After long neglect, Confederates hurriedly fortify Vicksburg.
1864
At Petersburg, Grant ends four days of assaults.
1872
Woman's Sufferage Convention held at Merchantile Liberty Hall.
1873
Susan B. Anthony fined $100 for attempting to vote for President in 1872 (however, the fine was never paid).
1877
James Montgomery Flagg, illustrator, best known for his "I want you" Uncle Sam recruiting poster born
1882
Georgi Mikhailovich Dimitrov Bulgarian communist leader who became the post-World War II prime minister of Bulgaria. He also won worldwide fame for his defense against Nazi accusations during the German Reichstag Fire trial of 1933. born
1892
Macademia nuts first planted in Hawaii.
1901
Actress and singer Jeanette MacDonald ('When I'm calling you...') born
1910
Actor E.G. Marshall born
1913
Sammy Cahn U.S. lyricist was an enormously prolific songwriter whose catchy lyrics and precise rhyming were the hallmark of such Academy Award-winning songs as "Three Coins in the Fountain" (1954), "All the Way" (1957), "High Hopes" (1959), and "Call Me. born
1913
Financial writer Sylvia Porter born
1920
Actor Ian Carmichael born
1926
Allan Rex Sandage U.S. astronomer who discovered the first quasi-stellar radio source (quasar), a starlike object that is a strong emitter of radio waves. born
1926
Columnist Tom Wicker born
1928
Amelia Earhart is first woman to cross the Atlantic. She completed a flight from Newfoundland to Wales in about 21 hours.
1929
Eva Bartok (Budapest, Hungry) born
1934
US Highway planning surveys nationwide authorized.
1939
Lou Brock. National League baseball player whose career 938 stolen bases (1961-79) set a record. born
1940
Winston Churchill urged perseverance so that future generations would remember that "this was their finest hour."
1942
Singer-composer Paul McCartney born
1942
Movie critic Roger Ebert born
1945
William Joyce (Lord Haw-Haw), British radio traitor, charged with treason against the Crown.
1947
Linda Thorson (in Canada) born
1948
Columbia Records publicly unveiled its new long-playing phonograph record in New York.
1948
The United Nations Commission on Human Rights adopted its International Declaration of Human Rights.
1952
Actress Carol Kane (Taxi, Princess Bride) born
1952
Actress Isabella Rossellini, (Blue Velvet) born
1953
Egypt proclaimed a republic.
1957
Singer Tom Bailey (The Thompson Twins) born
1959
First telecast transmitted from England to U.S.
1961
Rock singer Alison Moyet born
1969
Rock singer-musician Sice (The Boo Radleys) born
1971
Actress Mara Hobel born
1971
Rhythm-and-blues singer Nathan Morris (Boyz II Men) born
1972
118 die in crash of British European Airways jet.
1975
Saudi Prince Faisal Ibn Mussed Abdul Aziz beheaded in Riyadh shopping center parking lot for killing his uncle the king.
1977
Space Shuttle test model the "Enterprise" carries a crew aloft for the first time. It was fixed to a modified Boeing 747.
1979
President Carter and Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev signed a strategic arms control treaty in Vienna (SALT Two).
1981
Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart retires. (replaced by Sandra Day O'Connor first woman on the high court).
1982
Voting Rights Act of 1965 extended by Senate by 85-8 vote.
1983
The space shuttle Challenger was launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida, and Sally Ride became the first American woman in space.
1984
Alan Berg, a Denver radio talk show host, was shot to death outside his home. (Two white supremacists were later convicted of civil rights violations in the slaying.)
1986
52 die in plane/helicopter collision over the Grand Canyon.
1989
Greek Premier Andreas Papandreou's Panhellenic Socialist Movement suffered a defeat as the center-right New Democracy Party finished first in general elections.
1990
James Edward Pough went on a shooting rampage at an auto-financing company office in Jacksonville, Florida, fatally wounding nine people before killing himself.
1991
The Louisiana Legislature enacted a strict anti-abortion law, overriding a veto by Governor Buddy Roemer.
1991
Russia's newly elected president, Boris Yeltsin, arrived in the United States for visits with American officials, including President Bush.
1992
Oscar-winning singer-songwriter Peter Allen died of complications of AIDS at age 48.
1993
A new recording of Mendelssohn's "Elijah" was produced by the French Harmonia Mundi label. Mendelssohn's oratorios made him popular in England, where Handel's oratorio weres venerated above almost all other classical music in Mendelssohn's time.
1994
The presidents of North Korea and South Korea agreed to hold a historic summit (however, plans for the summit were disrupted by the death of North Korean leader Kim Il Sung on July eighth).
1995
About 300 inmates trashed an immigration detention center in Elizabeth, New Jersey.
1995
Serbs in Bosnia released the last 26 United Nations hostages held since NATO airstrikes.
1995
A private plane carrying the Angolan soccer team crashed in Luanda, Angola, killing 48 people.
1996
Two Army helicopters collided and crashed during training exercises near Fort Campbell, Kentucky, killing six and injuring 33.
1996
Federal prosecutors in California charged Theodore Kaczynski in four of the "Unabomber" attacks.
1996
Richard Allen Davis was convicted in San Jose, California, of the 1993 kidnap-murder of 12-year-old Polly Klaas of Petaluma.
1998
Three people were killed when a Chicago-bound commuter train rammed a tractor-trailer in Portage, Indiana.
1998
President Clinton appointed UN ambassador Bill Richardson to replace Energy Secretary Federico Pena and named Bosnian peace architect and diplomatic troubleshooter Richard Holbrooke as the new representative to the United Nations. (However, the Holbrooke nomination was held up for a year because of ethics questions.)
1999
The House rejected gun control legislation, 280-147, with many Democrats rebelling against National Rifle Association-backed provisions in the bill.
1999
The Group of Seven leading industrial democracies opened a three-day summit in Cologne, Germany.
1999
Arsonists struck three synagogues in the Sacramento, Calif., area.
2000
Ethiopia and Eritrea agreed to cease hostilities in a two-year-old border war.
2000
Tiger Woods won the US Open by a record 15 strokes.
2000
Emmy-winning actress Nancy Marchand died in Stratford, Connecticut, a day before her 72nd birthday.
2005
Wiltshire constabulary issues European arrest warrant for Hayley Richards murder
2005
Third major earthquake rocks California
2005
Mothers, teachers air more concerns about leukemia cases at California elementary school
2005
Associated Press published today 6 new "Downing Street Memos" labeled "secret" or "confidential".
2005
40 million credit cards compromised
2005
Six killed in Burundi church massacre
2005
Sudanese government signs major deal with opposition group
2005
Youth forum to submit suggestions to UN
2005
Hotel Rwanda hero tours USA
2005
Tyco executives found guilty
2006
Sir Paul McCartney turns 64
2006
Argentina defeat Wales 45-27 in rugby
2006
South Africa defeat Scotland in second rugby test
2006
Romania lose 62-14 to France in rugby
2006
Woman attacks with a dead puppy
2006
Legality of NSW traffic and parking fines to be tested in court
2006
Croatia and Japan share point in Group F
2006
Paris Court of Appeals overturns restrictions on Maryam Rajavi, NCRI officials
2006
Brazil beat Australia with two second half goals in Group F
2006
The second-oldest British survivor of World War I turns 108
2006
Author claims Al Qaeda planned to gas New York's subway system
2006
United States' production of new books declining
2006
France held to 1-1 draw with Korea Republic in Group G
2007
White House press center evacuated after bomb scare
2007
Gunman on the loose in Melbourne
2007
31 children rescued as UK police shut down global paedophile ring
2007
Politically charged murder trial under way in Malaysia
2007
17 hurt in southern Thailand blasts, schools closed
2007
Scottish first minister calls for united front in visit to Northern Ireland
2007
EU, US and Israel to resume aid to and lift financial sanctions against Palestine
2007
Kidnappers of BBC reporter Alan Johnston deny his release
2007
Council of Europe report challenges teaching of Creationism
2007
Restored warplanes flown in Hamilton, Canada
2007
Emergency Air New Zealand landing performed with no landing gear
2008
Boston Celtics win 17th NBA championship
2008
Residents fear environmental hazard on site of partially collapsed building in Buffalo, New York
2008
Mozilla sets record for most software downloads in 24 hours
2008
Blue Coat and AT&T take parts of FOSI for Internet Security
2009
U.S. President Barack Obama fires Inspector General Gerald Walpin amid controversy
2009
Passenger jet lands safely at Newark Airport after pilot dies
2009
Somali minister killed by car bomb
2009
U.S. President Barack Obama calls North Korea a "grave threat"
2009
Aviation experts suggest Air France Flight 447 broke up in midair
2009
Militants kill at least 21 Algerian police in ambush
2009
Report: Members of Iranian Revolutionary Guard arrested for joining 'people's movement'
2009
Former head of Royal Bank of Scotland Fred Goodwin to reduce pension
2009
China Eastern Airlines to purchase twenty new Airbus A320 jets
2009
Greece: Athens Pride 2009
2009
US senator John Ensign resigns from leadership role after admitting extra-marital affair
2009
$106 billion war bill backed by U.S. House of Representatives
2009
First trial without jury given the go-ahead in the UK
2009
Tensions rise between North Korea and United States
2009
Sir Alan Sugar to keep television role on The Apprentice
2009
NASA launches two space probes to the moon
2010
Portuguese writer José Saramago dies at 87
2010
Former Australian police media director Stephen Linnell's perjury conviction quashed
2011
Massive flooding in China; over 550 thousand evacuated
2011
UN passes LGBT rights resolution
2013
Stornoway, Scotland shop Wee W announces imminent closure
2013
Montreal mayor Michael Applebaum arrested for corruption

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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