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Today in History

1374
Citizens of Aachen, Germany experience hallucinations, jumping and twitching to the point of exhaustion (St. John's Dance)
1842
Author and critic, Ambrose Bierce born in Meigs County, Ohio
1923
Comedian Jack Carter born in New York City
1942
Dancer, singer, and actress, Michele Lee born in Los Angeles, California
1947
Fleetwood Mac drummer Mick Fleetwood born in Redruth, England
1949
Hopalong Cassidy premieres on NBC
1950
Actress Nancy Allen born in New York City
1975
Boeing 727 crash at JFK kills 113
2011
State of New York legalizes same-sex marriage
473
Julius Nepos become Emperor of the West
541
Attila the Hun raises the siege of Orleans, France
1065
Death of Ferdinand I "the Great," King of Castile
1148
The leaders of the 2nd Crusade decide to attack Damascus
1209
The Crusade against the Albegensians sets forth from Lyons
1314
The forces of Scotland's King Robert the First defeated the English in the Battle of Bannockburn.
1358
Effective end of the Jacquerie
1371
John of Gaunt, England, unhorses the Sieur de Pussances, France, in a Tourney held at Bordeaux, ending his term as Governor of Aquitane
1497
The first recorded sighting of North America by a European took place as explorer John Cabot, on a voyage for England, spotted land, probably in present-day Canada
1497
Execution of Thomas Flamank
1509
Henry the Eighth was crowned king of England.
1519
Death of Lucrezia Borgia
1520
End of the "Field of the Cloth of Gold"
1527
Paracelcus burns the books of Galen and Avicenna
1533
Death of the former Queen of France, Mary
1535
Fall of the Anabaptist Kingdom of Munster; capture and torture of John of Leiden
1537
Ordination of St. Francis Xavier
1540
King Henry VIII divorces Anne of Cleves
1542
St. John of the Cross born
1559
All Catholic services are forbidden in England
1571
Miguel Lpez de Legazpi establishes Manila
1596
John Stewart, Master of Orkney, charged with consulting one Anne Balfour, a witch
1603
Date picked for the abdication of King James I of England by the members of the "Watson Plot"
1624
Virginia Company is dissolved - Virginia becomes a crown colony
1633
The Inquisition finally releases Galileo
1647
Margaret Brent, a niece of Lord Baltimore, was ejected from the Maryland Assembly after demanding a place and vote in that governing body.
1650
John Churchill, Duke of Marlborough, English general born
1763
French Empress Josephine, wife of Napoleon born
1793
The first republican constitution in France was adopted.
1813
Clergyman Henry Ward Beecher born
1839
Gustavus Franklin Swift, founder of Swift & Co. born
1842
Writer and satirist Ambrose Bierce born
1858
Georges Bizet was visiting Rome, where he was struck by the feeling that anything was available for a price. "There are no chaste women here," he would write the next day," and most of the men will do anything that is asked of them for a few sous."
1895
Heavyweight boxing champ Jack Dempsey born
1908
The 22nd and 24th president of the United States, Grover Cleveland, died in Princeton, New Jersey, at age 71.
1912
Author-editor Norman Cousins born
1919
Actor Al Molinaro born
1923
Comedian Jack Carter born
1930
Movie director Claude Chabrol born
1935
Terry Riley was born in Colfax, California. He was the pioneer of the Minimalist movement, which reacted against other 20th century compositional styles in much the way that Eric Satie and "Les Six" has reacted against Wagner several generations before. born
1940
France signed an armistice with Italy during World War Two.
1942
Musician Mick Fleetwood born
1942
Actress Michele Lee born
1943
Actor-director Georg Stanford Brown born
1943
Ralph Vaughan Williams's Fifth Symphony was premiered with the composer himself conducting. The Fifth Symphony was dedicated to Sibelius.
1944
Rock musician Jeff Beck born
1944
Singer Arthur Brown born
1945
Rock singer Colin Blunstone (The Zombies) born
1947
Actor Peter Weller born
1948
Soviet forces blockaded the western zones of Berlin, setting the stage for the Berlin airlift to support the 2 million people of the divided German city.
1949
Rock musician John Illsley (Dire Straits) born
1950
Actress Nancy Allen born
1950
Reggae singer Derrick Simpson (Black Uhuru) born
1959
Singer-musician Andy McCluskey (Orchestral Manoevres in the Dark) born
1961
Rock singer-musician Curt Smith (formerly Tears for Fears) born
1965
Actress Danielle Spencer born
1967
Actress Sherry Stringfield born
1968
"Resurrection City," a shantytown constructed as part of the Poor People's March on Washington DC, was closed down by authorities.
1970
Singer Glenn Medeiros born
1975
113 people were killed when an Eastern Airlines Boeing 727 crashed while attempting to land during a thunderstorm at New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport.
1986
Actress Kaitlin Cullum ("Grace Under Fire") born
1986
Actress Raquel Welch won a $10.8 million verdict against MGM, which she claimed ruined her career by firing her from the 1980 movie "Cannery Row."
1986
By a 97-to-3 vote, the U.S. Senate approved a sweeping tax revision bill calling for lower tax rates and fewer deductions, credits and benefits.
1987
Comedian-actor Jackie Gleason died at his home in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, at age 71.
1988
Pope John Paul the Second, on a visit to Austria, condemned Nazism during a stopover at the Mauthausen death camp where 110,000 World War II prisoners died.
1989
Following the crackdown on China's pro-democracy movement, Zhao Ziyang was deposed as Communist Party general Secretary, and was replaced by Jiang Zemin.
1989
A two-day Rocky Mountain snowstorm ended leaving 18 inches of snow on the ground at Dickinson Park, Wyoming.
1990
Health and Human Services Secretary Louis Sullivan was virtually drowned out by jeering demonstrators as he addressed the Sixth International AIDS conference, meeting in San Francisco.
1990
South African black nationalist Nelson Mandela arrived in Washington.
1991
On the eve of the 41st anniversary of the start of the Korean War, the U.S. and North Korea agreed on returning the remains of missing soldiers; 11 sets of remains were shipped.
1991
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled the First Amendment did not shield news organizations from being sued when they publish the names of sources who had been promised confidentiality.
1992
The Supreme Court, in a five-to-four decision, strengthened its 30-year ban on officially sponsored worship in public schools, prohibiting prayer as a part of graduation ceremonies.
1993
Yale University computer expert David Gelernter was injured in his office by a bomb sent by Unabomber Theodore Kaczynski.
1993
Eight Muslim fundamentalists were arrested in New York, accused of plotting a day of bombings of the United Nations, a federal building and the Holland and Lincoln tunnels.
1994
President Clinton struck out at his conservative critics and the media, bitterly complaining in a speech in St. Louis that unfair and negative reports about him were feeding a cynical mindset in America.
1995
In his weekly radio address, President Clinton blamed the failed nomination of Dr. Henry Foster to be surgeon general on right-wing extremists who will "stop at nothing" to outlaw abortion.
1995
The New Jersey Devils won the Stanley Cup as they completed a sweep of the Detroit Red Wings.
1996
A jury ordered the city of Philadelphia to pay $1.5 million in damages for the bombing of MOVE headquarters in 1985 that killed eleven people.
1997
The Air Force released a report on the so-called "Roswell Incident," suggesting the alien bodies witnesses reported seeing in 1947 were actually life-sized dummies.
1997
Actor Brian Keith was found dead in his Malibu, California, home; he was 75.
1997
In Freehold, New Jersey, 18-year-old Melissa Drexler, who gave birth during her prom, was charged with murder in the death of her baby.
1998
President Clinton left on a nine-day visit to China amid a swirl of controversy over his policy toward the Beijing government.
1998
AT&T Corporation struck a deal to buy cable TV giant Tele-Communications for $31.7 billion.
1999
Union organizers claimed victory after workers at six Fieldcrest Cannon mills in North Carolina voted to be represented by the Union of Needletrades, Industrial and Textile Employees.
1999
Testimony wound to an end after 76 days in the landmark Microsoft antitrust trial.
2000
Revising an earlier plan, President Clinton proposed using $58 billion from the growing budget surplus to help senior citizens pay for prescription drugs in 2002.
2000
After months of political violence, Zimbabweans crowded polling booths in the country's most competitive election since independence.
2005
US city police officer disciplined for drawing gun
2005
Mlambo-Ngcuka sworn in as South African deputy president
2005
Senator Biden intends to run for United States Presidency
2005
Dublin gets ready to be rocked once again by U2
2005
England and Wales see 60% increase in public injured by police vehicles
2005
President Mugabe bulldozes homes of 200,000 across Zimbabwe
2005
African Union rejects calls for action on Zimbabwe
2005
Iranians vote in runoff election
2005
Citizen reporters meet at OhmyNews forum in Seoul, Korea
2005
Seventy arrested after fight in Moscow
2005
Most of Greek workforce participating in a general strike, say unions
2005
Yahoo closes user-created chat rooms over sexual conduct
2005
Basketball: Djordjevic's farewell game to be played July 3
2006
Death penalty abolished in Philippines
2006
Version 0.44 of SVG image software Inkscape released
2006
Prolific television producer Aaron Spelling dies at 83
2006
New web search engine uses only user-generated results
2006
Argentina score in extra-time; beat Mexico, get to quarter-finals
2006
Germany book quarter-final spot with 2-0 win over Sweden
2006
All Renault front row for Canadian Grand Prix
2007
Torrential rainstorms kill over 200 in Karachi, Pakistan
2007
Ali Hassan al-Majid and two others sentenced to death by Iraqi court
2007
At least four UN peacekeepers killed, six injured by bomb in Lebanon
2007
Olympus Marathon takes place in northern Greece
2007
America's Cup: Alinghi wins first race over Team New Zealand
2008
Mugabe: There will be an election in Zimbabwe
2008
City to sue owner of partially collapsed 19th century livery in Buffalo, New York
2008
Technology giants battle for USB 3.0 standards
2008
We'll always have .paris: ICANN votes for top level domain registration in 2009
2008
Bodies retrieved from Philippine ferry capsized in typhoon
2009
American TV personality and "Tonight Show" sidekick Ed McMahon dies at 86
2009
U.S., Mexico and U.K. top medalists at RoboGames 2009
2009
USA upsets Spain, wins 2–0 in FIFA Confederations Cup semifinal
2009
Former detainees allege abuse at US Bagram base in Afghanistan
2009
Togo unanimously vote to abolish the death penalty
2009
Iran and Britain expel diplomats after Iranian presidential election
2009
High school football coach shot dead at school gym in Iowa
2010
Australian Labor Party caucus vote to change prime minister
2010
US military commander in Afghanistan dismissed by President Obama
2011
Former Rwandan government minister Nyiramasuhuko convicted of genocide
2011
Obama announces troop reductions in Afghanistan
2011
Nebraska's two nuclear plants near Omaha on alert
2011
Libyan rebels in Misrata restrict press freedoms
2012
US court jails second man for Revolution Muslim web postings
2012
Swedish House Mafia to separate
2012
Norway killer Breivik of 'sound mind', argue defence team
2013
Silvio Berlusconi convicted of sex with underage prostitute
2013
Toowoomba, Brisbane City take out Roller Derby wins on Australia's Sunshine Coast

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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