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Today in History

LOTR...
Wedding of Elessar and Arwen
1772
Slavery abolished in England
1858
Six-year-old Edgardo Mortara seized by Papal authorities to be raised as a Catholic
1912
Mathematician, logician, and cryptographer, Alan Turing born in Wilmslow, England
1929
Actress, singer, and songwriter, June Carter Cash born in Scott County, Virginia
1972
Actress Selma Blair born in Southfield, Michigan
286
Decapitation of St. Alban, said to be 1st Christian martyr in Britain
679
Death of St. Etheldreda (Audrey)
930
First meeting of the Icelandic Parliament
1097
Turkish army surrenders to Crusaders at Nicea
1314
The army of Edward II, King of England, crosses the Bannockburn
1377
Death of Edward III, King of England
1532
Peace of Nuremburg
1626
A large Codfish, opened at Cambridge market, was found to contain a copy of John Frith's book of religious treatises
1634
Prince Ferdinand's army leaves Milan for Germany
1637
St Gilles Riot
1650
Charles II, King of England, lands in Scotland
1836
Congress approved the Deposit Act, which contained a provision for turning over surplus federal revenue to the states.
1845
The Congress of the Republic of Texas agreed to annexation by the United States.
1846
George Sax, inventor of the saxophone. born
1860
Modest Mussorgsky finished work on "Night on Bald Mountain," to use the most common English-language title. The literal translation of the original title was, "Saint John's Night on a Bare Mountain," which is certainly more evocative.
1868
Christopher Latham Sholes received a patent for an invention he called a "Type-Writer."
1894
The Duke of Windsor, Britain's former King Edward VIII born
1894
Pioneer sex researcher Alfred Kinsey born
1910
Jazz musician Milt Hinton born
1911
Advertising executive David Ogilvy born
1912
Alan Turing, mathematician, pioneer in computer theory born
1913
Former Secretary of State William P. Rogers born
1916
Actress Irene Worth born
1925
Actor Larry Blyden born
1927
Director-choreographer Bob Fosse born
1929
Singer June Carter Cash born
1931
Aviators Wiley Post and Harold Gatty took off from New York on the first round-the-world flight in a single-engine plane.
1938
The Civil Aeronautics Authority was established.
1939
Actor Bert Convy born
1940
Singer Adam Faith born
1940
Runner and U.S. Olympic gold medalist Wilma Rudolph born
1940
Singer Diana Trask born
1943
Metropolitan Opera conductor James Levine born
1944
Rhythm-and-blues singer Rosetta Hightower (The Orlons) born
1946
Actor Ted Shackelford born
1947
Actor Bryan Brown born
1947
Congress enacted the Taft-Hartley labor act over the veto of President Truman.
1948
Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas born
1955
Actor Jim Metzler born
1956
Gamal Abdel Nasser was elected president of Egypt.
1957
Actress Frances McDormand born
1959
Actress Karin Gustafson ("Taps") born
1960
Singer Chico DeBarge born
1962
Rock musician Steve Shelley (Sonic Youth) born
1962
Actor Paul La Greca born
1967
President Johnson and Soviet Premier Alexei Kosygin held the first of two meetings in Glassboro, New Jersey.
1967
The Senate censured Sen. Thomas Dodd, D-Conn., for misusing campaign funds.
1969
Warren E. Burger was sworn in as chief justice of the United States by the man he was succeeding, Earl Warren.
1972
President Nixon and White House chief of staff H.R. Haldeman discussed a plan to use the CIA to obstruct the FBI's Watergate investigation. (Revelation of the tape recording of this conversation sparked Nixon's resignation in 1974.)
1972
Actress Selma Blair born
1975
Rhythm-and-blues singer Virgo Williams (Ghostowns DJs) born
1985
An Air India Boeing 747 from Toronto crashed off the Irish coast, killing all 329 people aboard in the world's worst commercial air disaster at sea.
1986
House Speaker Thomas "Tip" O'Neill refused a request from the White House for President Reagan to address only the House of Representatives on the issue of aid for the Nicaraguan Contras.
1987
The Iran-Contra hearings resumed with testimony from former CIA employee Glenn A. Robinette, who said he'd installed a $14,000 security system at the home of Lieutenant Colonel Oliver North, then helped make it appear that North had paid for the work.
1987
Alice Cooper broke six ribs when he fell off the stage in Vancouver.
1987
Severe hailstorms in eastern Colorado caused $70 million in property and crop damage.
1987
Madonna became the first celebrity cover girl to appear on Cosmopolitan's cover since Elizabeth Taylor in 1969.
1988
Pope John Paul the Second began his second papal visit to Austria, where he met with President Kurt Waldheim, despite controversy over Waldheim's alleged involvement in Nazi war crimes.
1989
The U.S. Supreme Court refused to shut down the dial-a-porn industry, ruling that Congress had gone too far in passing a law banning all sexually-oriented phone message services.
1990
African National Congress leader Nelson Mandela received a tumultuous welcome in Boston as he continued his U.S. tour.
1991
The Group of Seven finance ministers and central bankers, meeting in London, agreed that the Soviet Union should become the first associate member of the International Monetary Fund.
1992
John Gotti, convicted of racketeering charges, was sentenced in New York to life in prison.
1992
Israel's Labor Party upset the hard-line Likud bloc in parliamentary elections. John Gotti, convicted of racketeering charges, was sentenced in New York to life in prison.
1993
In a case that drew widespread attention, Lorena Bobbitt of Prince William County, Virginia, sexually mutilated her husband, John, after he allegedly raped her. (John Bobbitt was later acquitted of marital sexual assault; Lorena Bobbitt was later acquitted of malicious wounding by reason of insanity.)
1993
Neville Marriner and the Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields recorded a whole lot of Handel for the German label Hanssler. First out was the early Concerti Grossi. It took three compact discs to record all of Handel's Concerti Grossi.
1993
Princeton University professor Andrew Wiles claimed to have proven Fermat's last theorem, a problem that had perplexed mathematicians for 350 years.
1994
The United States and Russia signed agreements in Washington on cooperating in space and economic development.
1994
French marines and Foreign Legionnaires headed into Rwanda to try to stem the country's ethnic slaughter.
1995
Dr. Jonas Salk, the medical pioneer who developed the first vaccine to halt the crippling rampage of polio, died in La Jolla, California, at age 80.
1996
Congressional Democrats unveiled a "families first" legislative package aimed at winning middle-class voters and retaking Capitol Hill.
1996
Former Greek prime minister Andreas Papandreou died at age 77.
1997
Civil rights activist Betty Shabazz, the widow of Malcolm X, died in New York of burns suffered in a fire set by her 12-year-old grandson; she was 61. (Malcolm Shabazz was sentenced to 18 months at a Massachusetts facility specializing in young arsonists.)
1998
President Clinton said the reported discovery of traces of deadly nerve gas on an Iraqi missile warhead gave the United States new ammunition to maintain tough UN sanctions against the Baghdad government.
1999
A divided Supreme Court dramatically enhanced states' rights in three decisions that eroded Congress' power.
1999
U.S. Marines in Kosovo killed one person and wounded two others after coming under fire; no Marines were injured.
2000
Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, during a visit to South Korea, said American troops would remain in the country indefinitely to maintain strategic stability in the Pacific area.
2005
US flag burning amendment approved by House
2005
Solar sail craft may have made orbit
2005
Australian Deputy Prime Minister resigns
2005
No resolution in North Korean nuclear stalemate
2005
Zimbabwe bans crop growing in urban areas
2005
Canadian PM vows to push ahead with same-sex marriage bill
2005
Canadian military accused of Agent Orange cover up
2005
Killen gets 60 years for civil rights killings
2005
Court legalizes same-sex marriage in New Brunswick
2005
Jack Kilby, Nobel laureate and inventor of integrated circuit, dies at 81
2006
Australian Internet filters "belated": Opposition
2006
FOX to produce new 'Futurama' episodes
2006
Pluto's moons named
2006
KLM flight makes emergency landing on Eindhoven Airport
2006
Cadbury's recall over 1 million chocolate bars over salmonella fears
2006
Sealand wrecked by fire
2006
Film project aims to raise £1 million to make a Creative Commons-licensed film
2006
France qualify with 2-0 win over Togo in Group G
2006
Seven plotted to blow up Sears Tower
2006
Spain edge out Saudi Arabia 1-0 in Group H
2006
Switzerland shut door on Korean Republic 2-0 in Group G
2006
Ukraine advance after win against Tunisia in Group H
2007
'Purity' ring case taken to High Court
2007
Police ends demonstration of anarchist squatters in Belgium
2007
Inflation in Zimbabwe becomes world's highest at 11,000% and rising
2007
Walloon region of Belgium officially recognises mosques
2007
UK Radar station could aid flood warnings
2008
Comedian George Carlin dead at age 71
2008
Ban Ki-moon calls for Zimbabwe elections to be postponed
2008
Air safety group says airport was operating illegally without license when Garuda Indonesia Flight 200 crashed
2008
Phoenix lander confirms presence of water ice on Mars
2008
Outgoing Australian Democrats leader predicts new party amidst double dissolution
2008
COMPUTEX Taipei: Three awards, One target
2009
Tensions continue to rise between North Korea and United States
2009
Six-year-olds trigger emergency response with toy nuclear reactor in Germany
2009
UK broadcaster Setanta enters administration
2009
UN: World hunger at all-time high due to economic slowdown
2009
Former Scientology executives say leader David Miscavige abused staff
2009
Washington Metro collision kills nine, injures many
2009
Authorities arrest 7 state officials over Mexico childcare centre fire
2009
Sarkozy says burqa is "not welcome" in France
2010
60 reported dead in Congo train crash
2010
Obama 'angry' with Afghanistan general Stanley McChrystal
2010
Magnitude 5.0 earthquake hits Central Canada
2010
New 'failed states index' report published
2010
German and Swedish foreign ministers agree on Gaza standpoint
2010
Hong Kong Democratic Party stirs up universal suffrage reform package controversy
2011
Saturn moon Enceladus may have salty ocean
2011
RIA Novosti celebrates 70th anniversary, uploads 100 images to Wikimedia Commons
2011
Greek parliament votes in favor of new Papandreou cabinet as debt crisis deepens
2011
Prohibition Party holds convention; nominates Jack Fellure for U.S. President
2012
One Australian male and female archer qualify for Olympics after Ogden event
2012
Basketball Australia announces final Olympic teams for the Opals and Boomers
2013
Questions raised over Mosquito device ahead of New South Wales trial

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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