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Today in History

1498
Toothbrush invented in China
1894
Ziegfeld Follies Girl and Oscar nominated actress, Jeanne Eagels born in Boston, Massachusetts
1904
Actor Peter Lorre born in Ruzomberok, Austria-Hungary
1913
Turing Award winning computer scientist and developer of the EDSAC, Sir Maurice Vincent Wilkes born in Dudley, England
1922
Academy Award nominated actress Eleanor Parker born in Cedarville, Ohio
1934
Initial flight of the first practical helicopter
1970
Golden Globe nominated actor Chris O'Donnell born in Winnekta, Illinois
1974
First UPC price scan; a pack of gum in the Marsh Supermarket in Troy, Ohio
1097
Occupation of Nicea by First Crusade
1177
Saladreviews his army and prepares to invade Outremer
1178
Death of St. Anselm
1284
The Pied Piper of Hamelin, Germany, takes 130 children
1296
Murder of the Duke du Brabant
1350
A school of reforming churchmen is established around the Bishop of Meaux
1483
Richard, Duke of Gloucester, usurps the English throne as Richard III
1498
The toothbrush is invented China.
1541
Assassination of Francisco Pizzaro
1548
The administration of the Netherlands is made independent of the German Empire
1549
Luis Cancer de Barbastro, Dominican monk, killed by Indians at Tampa, Florida
1559
Dueling made illegal by the Parliament of Paris
1614
The first American Lottery, held by the Virginia Company
1619
Several witches condemned at Nerac, France
1628
Charles I prorogues his third Parliament
1721
The first smallpox inoculations in America are given in Boston by Dr. Zabdiel Boylston.
1819
Baseball pioneer Abner Doubleday born
1819
The bicycle was patented by William Clarkson Jr. of New York.
1822
Classes begin in the first public schoolhouse which was built for the Village of Cleveland, the Cleveland Academy (the first schoolhouse was purchased from a private group).
1824
British physicist and inventor William Kelvin (William Thomson) born
1844
US president John Tyler marries Julia Gardiner NYC.
1870
The first section of Atlantic City, New Jersey's Boardwalk was opened to the public.
1891
Playwright Sidney Howard born
1892
Novelist Pearl S.(Sydenstricker) Buck born
1894
The first U.S. patent for a gasoline-driven automobile is issued to Karl Benz of Germany.
1894
The American Railway Union, led by Eugene Debs, called a general strike sympathy with Pullman workers.
1898
German aircraft designer Willi Messerschmitt born
1900
Dr. Walter Reed and his medical team began a successful campaign to wipe out yellow fever the Panama Canal Zone.
1902
William Lear, developer of the Lear jet born
1904
Actor Peter Lorre born
1909
Colonel Tom Parker Elvis Presley's manager born
1913
Maurice Wilkes, invented the stored program concept for computers. born
1917
The first troops of the American Expeditionary Force arrived France during World War One.
1922
Actress Eleanor Parker born
1925
Charlie Chaplin's classic comedy, "The Gold Rush," premiered at Grauman's Egyptian Theatre Hollywood.
1928
The composer Jacob Druckman born
1933
The conductor Claudio Abbado was born. His Milan family is a distinguished one. Abbado spent much of his career his home town as chief conductor of La Scala. born
1934
Jazz musician-film composer Dave Grusin born
1934
President FDR signed the Federal Credit Union Act, allowing credit unions to be formed anywhere the U.S.
1940
Singer Billy Davis Junior (The Fifth Dimension) born
1943
Singer Georgie Fame born
1945
The charter of the United Nations was signed by 50 countries San Francisco. (The text of the charter was five languages: Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish.)
1946
Actor Clive Francis born
1948
Columbia Records revolutionized the recording industry. At a news conference New York, Columbia engineers demonstrated the LP, the "long-playing" record.
1950
"The Garry Moore Show", TV Variety, debut on CBS.
1954
Actor Robert Davi ("Profiler") born
1955
Singer-musician Mick Jones (The Clash; Big Audio Dynamite) born
1956
Rock singer Chris Isaak born
1957
Rock singer Patty Smyth born
1959
President Eisenhower joined Britain's Queen Elizabeth the Second ceremonies officially opening the St. Lawrence Seaway.
1961
Singer Terri Nunn (Berlin) born
1962
Actor Mark McKinney born
1963
Rock singer Harriet Wheeler (The Sundays) born
1963
President Kennedy visited West Berlin, where he made his famous declaration: "Ich beBerliner" (I am a Berliner).
1969
Rock musician ColGreenwood (Radiohead) born
1970
Actor Sean Hayes ("Will and Grace") born
1970
Actor Chris O'Donnell born
1975
Citing what she called a "deep and widespread conspiracy" against her government, Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi declared a state of emergency.
1976
The CN tower, the world's tallest self-supporting structure, opened Toronto, Canada.
1977
Forty-two people were killed when a fire sent toxic smoke pouring through the Maury County Jail Columbia, Tennessee.
1979
Muhammad Ali announced his retirement as world heavyweight boxing champion. The 37-year-old fighter said, "Everything gets old, and you can't go on like years ago."
1982
Musicians have long been drawn to Shakespeare, but this is going a bit far. Polish pianist Andre Tchaikovsky, no relation to the composer, died on this day, willing his skull to the Royal Shakespeare Company so it would have one to use the gravedigger's scene from "Hamlet."
1983
The Soviet Union announced that 15 Pentecostalists would be allowed to leave the country, including five who had taken refuge the U.S. Embassy Moscow for nearly five years.
1984
American Jewish leaders expressed outrage over comments by Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, who had denounced Judaism during a speech Chicago.
1985
Wilbur Snapp, the organist at Jack Russell Stadium Clearwater, Florida, was ejected from the game by umpire Keith O'Connor for playing a rendition of "Three Blind Mice" after a call by the umpire.
1985
Jimmy Dell Palmer, an American hostage the hijacking of TWA Flight 847, was released because of a heart condition.
1986
Voters Ireland decided by a more than 3-2 margin against a proposal that would have ended the nation's constitutional ban on divorce.
1986
A nationwide 26-day strike by 155,000 AT&T telecommunication workers, the first since the Bell System breakup January 1984, ended with a new contract agreement.
1986
The Nicaraguan government closed the nation's last opposition newspaper, La Prensa.
1986
Actress Kaitlin Cullum born
1987
Supreme Court Justice Lewis F. Powell Jr. announced his retirement from the nation's highest court, leaving a vacancy that was eventually filled by Anthony M. Kennedy.
1988
Three people were killed when a new Airbus A-320 jetliner carrying more than 130 people crashed into a forest during an air show demonstration flight Mulhouse, France.
1989
A pair of decisions, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the death penalty may be imposed for murderers who committed their crimes as young as 16, and for mentally retarded killers.
1990
President Bush, who had campaigned for office on a pledge of "no new taxes," conceded that tax increases would have to be included any deficit-reduction package worked out with congressional negotiators.
1990
African National Congress leader Nelson Mandela addressed the US Congress, asking for "material resources" to hasten the end of white-led rule.
1991
A Kentucky medical examiner announced that test results showed President Zachary Taylor had died 1850 of natural causes - and not arsenic poisoning, as speculated by a writer.
1992
Navy Secretary H. Lawrence Garrett the Third resigned, accepting responsibility for a "leadership failure" that resulted the Tailhook sex-abuse scandal.
1992
Willie L. Williams was sworn as Los Angeles police chief, succeeding the outgoing Daryl Gates.
1993
President Clinton announced the US had launched missiles against Iraqi targets because of "compelling evidence" Iraq had plotted to assassinate former President Bush.
1993
Baseball Hall-of-Famer Roy Campanella died Woodland Hills, California, at age 71.
1994
An Israeli commission found that a Jewish settler had acted alone when he shot and killed 29 Muslims in a Hebron mosque, rejecting Palestinian claims of a conspiracy.
1994
Hundreds of thousands of homosexuals gathered New York City to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the Stonewall Inn riot, considered the birthplace of the gay-rights movement.
1994
An Israeli commission found that a Jewish settler had acted alone when he shot and killed 29 Muslims a Hebron mosque, rejecting Palestinian claims of a conspiracy.
1995
Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak escaped an attempt on his life Ethiopia.
1995
President Clinton observed the 50th anniversary of the United Nations at the site of its birth San Francisco.
1995
The Supreme Court ruled, 6-3, that public schools can require drug tests for its athletes.
1996
Former White House counsel Bernard Nussbaum took the blame for the FBI files controversy; White House security chief Craig Livingstone resigned.
1996
The Supreme Court ordered the Virginia Military Academy to admit women, or forgo state support.
1996
President Clinton and leaders of the world's other industrial powers gathered Lyon, France, for their annual economic summit.
1997
In a series of decisions, the Supreme Court ruled terminally ill Americans had no constitutional right to doctor-assisted suicide, but did nothing to bar states from legalizing the process; struck down a congressional attempt to keep pornography off the Internet, saying it violated the First Amendment; let stand the president's line-item veto authority without addressing its constitutionality.
1998
The Supreme Court issued a landmark sexual harassment ruling, putting employers on notice that they can be held responsible for supervisors' misconduct even if they knew nothing about it.
1999
An advance contingent of Russian troops flew into Kosovo to help reopen a strategic airport and join an uneasy alliance with NATO peacekeepers.
2000
Rival scientific teams completed the first rough map of the human genetic code after a ten-year race.
2000
The Supreme Court gave new power to its landmark Miranda decision of 1966, ruling police still must warn the people they arrest of their "right to remain silent" when questioned.
2005
MTV and VH1 to broadcast Live 8
2005
San Francisco mother of 12-year-old boy who was mauled to death charged with child endangerment
2005
British television presenter Richard Whiteley dies
2005
Three New Jersey boys found dead
2005
U.S. Housing prices down 9% since February
2006
Australian man arrested after dragging dead possum behind car
2006
New Zealand house prices to fall says the Reserve Bank Governor
2006
East Timor Prime Minister resigns
2006
Beatles to release new album
2006
Stem cells used to cure paralysis in rats
2006
Digg 3.0 released
2006
Production of oil in Iraq reaching new highs
2006
UCC Minister in Church/State controversy in Connecticut
2006
Israeli soldier taken captive
2006
Princess Anne to visit New Zealand
2006
King's Cross railway station in London evacuated
2006
Warren Buffett to donate $37 billion (USD) to Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
2006
Pamela Anderson visits Greece, promoting the MAC AIDS Fund
2006
Italy win with last kick against Australia; into quarter-finals
2006
Ukraine win penalty shootout; beat Switzerland for quarter-final spot
2007
Search continues for crashed Cambodian plane and 22 aboard
2007
"Creationism and intelligent design have no place in the UK science curriculum" says UK Government
2007
Paris Hilton released from jail
2007
U.S. Senate resumes debate over immigration bill
2007
Last of raisers of first U.S. flag over Iwo Jima dies
2007
Professional wrestler Chris Benoit and family found dead
2007
Cricket: Future Cup-1st ODI
2008
EU regulation prevents sale of 'small' kiwi fruit in Bristol shop
2008
Mandela turns 90, world celebrities gather
2008
OPEC sees US$170 per barrel of oil
2008
Conrad Black loses appeal against fraud conviction
2008
Mugabe says he's open to talks with Zimbabwe opposition
2008
US Supreme Court rules DC gun ban unconstitutional
2008
Boxing: Pacquiao and Diaz trade verbal punches
2008
Bodies of victims of Typhoon Fengshen appear on Philippine shores
2008
Mexican police official, bodyguard shot dead at restaurant
2008
NASA says Martian soil could sustain life
2008
Sugar silos at centre of Georgia, US refinery blast that killed 13 demolished
2008
US will remove 'terror' tag on North Korea
2008
Nuclear power seriously considered for ASEAN power grid
2008
Obama offers sympathies to Fengshen victims
2008
Human Rights group seeks judicial remedy for Philippine torture victims
2009
Fans mourn death and celebrate life of Michael Jackson around the world
2009
South Carolina governor resigns GOP post, explains disappearance
2009
University study finds U.S. defense contract information in 'electronic waste' in Africa
2009
Iranian supreme leader insists government will not yield to protesters
2009
Blake Griffin taken first in NBA Draft
2009
UK regulator proposes Sky share channels with other broadcasters
2009
News of Michael Jackson's death overloads Internet sites and sparks hoaxes
2010
FIFA World Cup: Spain beats Chile; both go to second round
2010
NASCAR driver Montoya wins pole at New Hampshire
2010
Fiji joins the Non-Aligned Movement
2011
Scientists discover 300 new species on island of Luzon in the Philippines
2011
US actor Peter Falk dies aged 83
2011
New York legalizes same-sex marriage
2013
Canberrans flood Cotter Dam on open day

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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