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Today in History

1774
Quartering Act forces American colonists to feed and house British soldiers
1904
Actor and five time Olympic Gold medalist swimmer, Johnny Weissmuller born in Freidorf, Austria-Hungary
1937
Actress Sally Kellerman born in Long Beach, California
1941
Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts born in London, England
1950
Tony Award winning singer and actress, Joanna Gleason born in Toronto, Ontario
1953
Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II
1955
Actor and comedian Dana Carvey born in Missoula, Montana
1967
First issue of Computerworld
1979
Pope John Paul II visits his native Poland
177
Death of the Martyrs of Lyons
177
Death of St. Blandina
455
Vandals sack Rome
657
Death of Pope Eugenius
828
Death of St. Nicephorus of Constantinople
1070
Sacking of Peterborough Abbey by the Danes and Hereward the Wake
1129
Marriage of Geoffrey Plantagenet to Queen Matilda of England
1320
War between France and Flanders ends
1420
Marriage of Henry V, King of England, to Catherine of France
1537
Pope Paul III declares that the Indians of North America have souls, and bans their enslavement
1562
Death of Thomas Nadasdy, father of Ferenc Nadasdy
1567
Shane O'Neill, Earl of Tyrone, Irish rebel, assassinated
1581
Execution of James Douglas, the Earl of Morton
1609
The Province of Virginia is granted a new Charter
1635
Poet John Milton joins The Honourable Artillery Company of England
1635
The first Italian immigrant arrives New York
1740
Marquis de Sade, first well-known sadist born
1835
Pope Pius X born
1840
Thomas Hardy (in England), novelist born
1851
Maine became the first state to enact a law prohibiting alcohol
1857
Sir Edward Elgar, composer (Pomp and Circumstance, Enigma Variations) born
1886
President Cleveland married Frances Folsom a White House ceremony.
1890
Hedda Hopper, gossip columnist born
1897
Responding to rumors that he was dead or dying, Mark Twain, 61, was quoted by the "New York Journal" as saying from London that "the report of my death was an exaggeration."
1904
Johnny Weissmuller, swimmer, actor (Tarzan) born
1917
Actor-composer Max Showalter born
1924
Congress granted US citizenship to all American Indians.
1926
Actor Milo O'Shea born
1927
Phillip Burton born
1937
Sally Kellerman born
1940
King Constantine of Greece born
1941
Charlie Watts, drummer (Rolling Stones) born
1941
Baseball's "Iron Horse," Lou Gehrig, died New York of a degenerative disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.
1941
Stacy Keach, actor (Hammer) born
1941
Singer William Guest (Gladys Knight & The Pips) born
1943
Actor Charles Haid born
1944
Marvin Hamlisch, pianist, composer born
1946
The Italian monarchy was abolished favor of a republic.
1948
Jerry "the Beaver" Mathers, actor (Leave it to Beaver) born
1950
Actress Joanna Gleason born
1953
Queen Elizabeth the Second of Britawas crowned Westminster Abbey, 16 months after the death of her father, King George the Sixth.
1955
Dana Carvey, comedian, impressionist (Saturday Night Live) born
1955
Actor Gary Grimes ("Summer of '42") born
1966
The US space probe "Surveyor One" landed on the moon and began transmitting detailed photographs of the lunar surface.
1968
Singer Merril Bainbridge born
1970
Rapper B-Real (Cypress Hill) born
1975
Vice President Nelson Rockefeller said his commission had found no widespread pattern of illegal activities at the Central Intelligence Agency.
1978
Actress Nikki Cox ("Unhappily Ever After") born
1979
Pope John Paul the Second arrived his native Poland on the first visit by a pope to a Communist country.
1980
Rhythm-and-blues singer Irish Grinstead (702) born
1987
President Reagan announced he was nominating economist Alan Greenspan to succeed Paul Volcker as chairman of the Federal Reserve Board.
1988
The publishers of "Consumer Reports" magazine called for a ban on the Suzuki "Samurai," a popular sport utility vehicle that the magazine said tended to roll over sudden turns; American Suzuki Motor Corporation defended the vehicle as safe.
1989
President Bush returned from a European trip, calling it "a triumph of hope" for a world moving beyond the Cold War.
1990
On the third day of their Washington summit, President Bush and Soviet President Mikhail S. Gorbachev held informal talks at the Camp David presidential retreat in Maryland.
1990
Actor Sir Rex Harrison died in New York at age 82.
1991
Pope John Paul the Second, on a pilgrimage to his native Poland, visited the town of Przemysl, less than ten miles from the Soviet border; an estimated 10,000 Ukrainians crossed into Poland to see the pontiff.
1991
"The Will Rogers Follies" won best musical at Broadway's Tony Awards; "Lost in Yonkers" was named best play.
1993
South Africa's Supreme Court upheld Winnie Mandela's conviction for kidnapping four young blacks, but said she would not have to serve any of her five-year prison term.
1994
The International Atomic Energy Agency, the UN atomic watchdog, reported it could no longer verify the status of North Korea's nuclear program, prompting the United States to seek economic sanctions.
1995
A U.S. Air Force F-16C was shot down by a Bosnian Serb surface-to-air missile while on a NATO air patrol in northern Bosnia; the pilot, Captain Scott F. O'Grady, was rescued six days later.
1996
"Rent," "Bring in 'da Noise, Bring in 'da Funk" and "The King and I" dominated the 1996 Tony Awards, each winning four prizes.
1997
Timothy McVeigh was convicted of murder and conspiracy the Oklahoma City bombing.
1997
Conservative President Jacques Chirac of France, forced to share power with Socialists who had routed his party national elections, handed the premiership to former opposition leader Lionel Jospin.
1998
Voters in California passed Proposition 227, which effectively abolished the state's 30-year-old bilingual education program by requiring that all children be taught in English.
1998
Monica Lewinsky hired a new defense team, Jacob Stein and Plato Cacheris, replacing William H. Ginsburg as her lead attorney.
1999
South Africans went to the polls in their second post-apartheid election, giving the African National Congress a decisive victory; retiring President Nelson Mandela was succeeded by Thabo Mbeki.
2000
President Clinton, visiting Germany, was honored with the prestigious International Charlemagne Prize at Aachen Cathedral.
2005
Elan shares plunge as another patient dies
2005
Six thousand gather to celebrate birthday of Yugoslavian leader Josip Broz Tito
2005
Iran, North Korea, USA blamed in failure of month-long Non-Proliferation Treaty conference
2005
NASA solar sail passes first major test
2005
British Liberal Democrat Patsy Calton, 56, dies of cancer
2005
Department of Defense denies federal funding to schools that ban military recruiting
2005
John Kerry criticizes news media, joins call for inquiry on Downing Street Memo
2005
France: Villepin's cabinet announced
2005
Greek Soccer 3rd Division, North Group, Pavlos Melas relegated
2006
New Zealand's Taupo Airport worst in the world
2006
US accused of sinking The Pirate Bay
2006
Federal and NSW governments withdraw Snowy Hydro shares
2006
Katharine Close, 13, wins Scripps National Spelling Bee
2006
Consensus reached on incentive package for Iran
2006
"Metric tonne" of date rape drug was bound for US
2006
90 days of hard labor for Abu Ghraib dog handler
2006
Late Indian politician's son in critical condition after suspected drug overdose
2006
Preliminary hearing against Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal delayed
2006
Oil workers kidnapped off of Nigerian oil rig
2006
Federal Air Marshal's cover blown
2006
Hackers hit Swedish police website
2006
British police shoot man in anti-terrorism raid
2006
Two Iraqi women, one pregnant, killed by US soldiers
2006
Judge orders U.S. Department of Justice officials to testify
2006
World conference of expatriate Greeks to take place in Athens
2007
Dutch TV kidney reality show was a hoax
2007
Video of kidnapped BBC journalist released
2007
Six kidnapped Chevron workers released in Nigeria
2007
Previously unknown Indian tribe discovered in Brazil
2007
Lower court in China sentences Food and Drug official to death for taking bribes
2007
Bob Woolmer not murdered, says Scotland Yard detectives
2007
Cambodian lawmaker calls for ASEAN website to be blocked over missing land
2007
Four arrested in plot to bomb infrastructure at JFK International Airport, New York City
2007
University of Florida coach Donovan signed to coach the Orlando Magic
2008
Serie A 2008–09: Inter Milan hire Mourinho as new Head Coach
2008
All FLDS children returning to parents
2008
US Senator Kennedy has brain tumor surgically removed
2008
American musician Bo Diddley dies at age 79
2008
WiMAX Expo Taipei to showcase the solutions of WiMAX
2008
Five dead in Calgary murder-suicide
2008
Isolated native tribe discovered in Brazil
2008
Grammar school floods on Queensland's Sunshine Coast
2008
Phoenix spacecraft makes first 'impression' on Mars
2008
South Africa police staff arrested for fraud
2009
Venezuela's president nationalizes more private companies
2009
Wreckage of plane thought to be missing Air France flight found in Atlantic
2009
Canadian victims of terrorism will be able to sue perpetrators
2009
Aircraft wreckage in Atlantic confirmed to be that of missing Air France flight
2009
Woman survives being run over by a train in suicide attempt
2009
Search in Atlantic underway for missing Air France passenger jet
2009
Hydrogen fuel cell cars promoted in various states, but U.S. federal funding cut
2010
Former Vice President of the United States Al Gore and longtime wife Tipper separating
2010
US Supreme Court relaxes strict interpretation of self incrimination ruling
2010
Israel may free all Gaza flotilla detainees
2010
Thirteen die in Cumbria, United Kingdom, after series of shootings
2010
Hewlett-Packard to cut 9,000 jobs in $1 billion restructuring plan
2010
Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama to resign
2010
Jetstar to offer iPads as an in-flight entertainment option
2010
Chicago approves new handgun regulations
2010
Chile announces official list of players for South Africa Football World Cup
2010
Poker's all about luck, says Swiss Supreme Court
2010
Israel to release activists arrested in flotilla raid
2011
Atlanta Thrashers sold to True North Sports and Entertainment, moving to Winnipeg
2012
US fans turn out for Phoenix Comicon
2012
Australia women's water polo team into FINA Women's World League Super Finals semi finals
2013
Second man charged in Lee Rigby murder case

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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