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Today in History

780
BC
China's earliest recorded solar eclipse
1924
Emmy Award winning actor Dennis Weaver born in Joplin, Missouri
1932
Actor John Drew Barrymore born in Los Angeles, California
1936
Academy Award nominated actor Bruce Dern born in Chicago, Illinois
1939
SS St. Louis carrying 963 Jewish refugees is denied permission to land in US
1958
New York Times Critic's Pick, actress Julie Gholson born in Birmingham, Alabama
1975
Fashion model and actress Angelina Jolie born in Los Angeles, California
1989
Tiananmen Square protests come to a violent end with hundreds of students killed.
597
Baptism of Ethelbert, King of the Jutes in Kent, England
1039
Death of Conrad II, Holy Roman Emperor
1070
Roquefort cheese discovered
1133
Coronation of Lothair II as Holy Roman Emperor
1260
Kublai made Ka-Khan
1365
Coronation of Charles IV as King of Burgundy
1381
Wat Tyler's Rebellion
1508
Coronation of Louis II as King of Hungary
1539
Hernando de Soto finds Juan Ortiz living with Florida Indians
1608
Death of St. Francis Caracciolo
1615
The fortress of Osaka, Japan, falls to shogun Ieyasu after a six month siege.
1639
New Haven, Connecticut's government by Plantation Covenant ended
1647
Parliamentarian Army seizes King Charles I as a prisoner
1717
The Freemasons are founded in London.
1738
George III, King of England during the Revolutionary War born
1787
Mozart dug a grave for his pet starling. He was genuinely distressed about the bird's demise. Starlings today are regarded in the United States as common outdoor birds, but in Europe, especially in Mozart's day, they were raised as pets and taught to warble songs.
1794
British troops capture Port-au-Prince, Haiti.
1812
The Louisiana Territory was renamed the Missouri Territory.
1878
Turkey turned Cyprus over to the British.
1892
The Sierra Club was incorporated in San Francisco.
1895
Dino Conte Grandi, Italy's delegate to League of Nations born
1896
Henry Ford wheeled his first car from a brick shed in Detroit, and drove it around the darkened streets on a trial run.
1911
Gold is discovered in Alaska's Indian Creek
1917
Senator Howard Metzenbaum (Ohio) born
1919
Opera singer Robert Merrill born
1924
Actor Dennis Weaver born
1932
Actor John Drew Barrymore born
1936
Actor Bruce Dern born
1937
Robert Fulghrum, American author who wrote All I Really need to Know I learned in Kindergarten and It Was on Fire When I Lay Down on It born
1937
Country singer Freddie Fender born
1940
The Allied military evacuation from Dunkirk, France, ended.
1942
The Battle of Midway began during World War Two.
1943
In Argentina, Juan Peron takes part in the military coup that overthrows Ramon S. Castillo.
1944
The US Fifth Army entered Rome, beginning the liberation of the Italian capital during World War Two.
1945
Singer Gordon Waller (Peter and Gordon) born
1946
Juan Peron is installed as Argentina's president
1947
The House of Representatives overwhelmingly approved the Taft-Hartley Act.
1951
Rock musician Danny Brown (The Fixx) born
1952
Actor Parker Stevenson born
1954
French Premier Joseph Laniel and Vietnamese Premier Buu Loc initialed treaties in Paris according "complete independence" to Vietnam.
1956
Actor Keith David born
1958
Actress Julie Gholson born
1958
Actor Eddie Velez ("The A-Team") born
1960
The Taiwan island of Quemoy is hit by 500 artillery shells fired from the coast of Communist China.
1961
Singer-musician El DeBarge born
1965
Tennis player Andrea Jaeger born
1968
Actor Scott Wolf ("Party of Five) born
1971
Actor Noah Wyle born
1972
Black militant Angela Davis is found not guilty of murder, kidnapping, and criminal conspiracy
1975
Actress Angelina Jolie born
1985
The Supreme Court upheld a lower court ruling striking down an Alabama law providing for a daily minute of silence in public schools.
1986
Jonathan Jay Pollard, a former Navy intelligence analyst, pleaded guilty in Washington to spying for Israel. (He is serving a life prison term.)
1987
The congressional Iran-Contra committees voted to grant limited immunity to former National Security Council aide Oliver L. North, following an appeal by independent counsel Lawrence E. Walsh to reject immunity.
1988
Secretary of State George Shultz flew to Jordan, where he met with King Hussein. Afterward, Shultz said the Jordanian monarch was reluctant to engage in peace talks with Israel unless Israel agreed to give up land on the West Bank.
1989
A gas explosion in the Soviet Union engulfed two passing trains, killing 645.
1989
Tiananmen Square massacre, at least hundreds of pro-democracy students were killed and thousands wounded as Chinese troops swept demonstrators from the square in Beijing.
1990
Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev closed out his U.S. visit in northern California, where he met with former President Reagan and South Korean President Roh Tae-woo and addressed students at Stanford University.
1991
The government of China announced the death of Jiang Qing, the 77-year-old widow of Mao Tse-tung, saying she had committed suicide on May 14th.
1991
President Bush tapped former Democratic national chairman Robert S. Strauss to be the new US ambassador to the Soviet Union.
1992
President Bush held a news conference in which he said he understood Americans' fascination with Ross Perot, but predicted that voters would eventually ask, "How are you going to do it?"
1992
The US Postal Service announced the results of a nationwide vote on the Elvis Presley stamp, saying more people preferred the "younger Elvis" design.
1993
The UN Security Council agreed to send up to ten-thousand more UN peacekeepers to six Bosnian cities to enforce Muslim havens.
1993
Rejecting allegations she was a "quota queen," Lani Guinier expressed regret President Clinton had dropped her nomination to head the Justice Department's civil rights division.
1994
President Clinton and British Prime Minister John Major paid tribute to the lost airmen of World War Two at the American Cemetery in Cambridge, England.
1995
At the Tony Awards, "Sunset Boulevard" won best Broadway musical and "Love! Valour! Compassion!" by Terrence McNally was chosen best play.
1996
Russian President Boris Yeltsin, campaigning for re-election, indulged in a bit of onstage boogie at a pop concert for young voters.
1997
At the Oklahoma City bombing trial, prosecutors urged the jury to sentence Timothy McVeigh to death, calling relatives of the victims to testify about their agonizing loss.
1998
A federal judge sentenced Terry Nichols to life in prison for his role in the Oklahoma City bombing.
1998
Americans aboard the shuttle Discovery arrived at the Russian space station Mir to pick up US astronaut Andrew Thomas, who'd spent four months in orbit.
1999
While Congress was in recess, President Clinton bypassed the Senate using a provision of the Constitution and appointed James C. Hormel, an openly gay San Francisco businessman, as ambassador to Luxembourg.
1999
On the 10th anniversary of China's crackdown on the Tiananmen Square protests, tens of thousands of people in Hong Kong held a candlelight vigil.
2000
A powerful earthquake struck the Indonesian island of Sumatra, killing at least 100 people.
2000
President Clinton and Russian President Putin ended their summit by conceding differences on missile defense, agreeing to dispose of weapons-grade plutonium and pledging early warning of missile and space launches.
2000
"Copenhagen" was chosen best play, "Contact" best musical and "Kiss Me, Kate" best musical revival at the Tony Awards.
2005
First winter snowfall in New Zealand
2005
U.S. military confirms Qur'ans were kicked, stepped on and splashed with urine at Guantanamo
2005
Online poker firm set for multibillion pound flotation
2005
Continuing civil unrest in Iran fueled by election tensions, soccer victory
2005
Big shoes to fill at eBay
2005
Bush Administration changes official position on legitimacy of Koran desecration allegations
2006
One week after quake, geologists fear Mount Merapi eruption
2006
Sex slave auctions held at British airports
2006
Suspects deny London bomb plot, say lawyers
2006
Explosion in Turkey injures eight
2006
Iran warns disruption of oil may be a consequence of U.S. "wrong moves"
2006
Nigerian kidnappers release 8 oil workers
2006
Portuguese military land in East Timor
2006
Terrorists execute 19 Turkomen and two Kurds in Diyala province, Iraq
2006
Retired Indian police official shot in train
2006
Portugal beats Luxembourg, in preparation for the World Cup
2006
Bush calls for ban on gay marriage
2007
Helicopter crashes in Sierra Leone, killing 20
2007
Russia threatens to point nuclear missiles at European cities
2007
Charles Taylor of Liberia boycotts war crimes trial
2007
UEFA Euro 2008: Denmark-Sweden abandoned at 3-3
2007
Man wakes up from coma after 19 years
2007
Greek actor Sotiris Moustakas dies at 67
2007
NHL: Anaheim's Chris Pronger suspended from Game 4 of playoff finals
2008
Ovarian baby "miracle" birth
2008
Denmark blames al-Qaeda for embassy bombing
2008
Polish women's volleyball star Agata Mróz dies aged 26
2008
UEFA Champions League 2008–09: FC Porto kicked out of competion
2008
Tsvangirai released by Zimbabwean police
2008
Apache pipeline fire - Varanus Island, Western Australia
2008
England; Australia set to battle for right to host 2018 Football (Soccer) World Cup while U.S. are considering their options
2008
Police detain Tsvangirai in Zimbabwe
2008
Indian 'guru' faces charges of fraud, drugs and rape
2008
COMPUTEX Taipei starts for the future of ICT industry
2008
Audio tape indicating Canadian PM involved in bribery alleged to be doctored
2009
WHOI sub Nereus explores deepest area of Pacific Ocean
2009
Kung Fu star Carradine found dead in Bangkok hotel
2009
Israel rejects U.S. call for freeze on West Bank settlements
2009
Maker Faire wraps up in San Mateo, California
2009
CEO of GM outlines plan for "New GM" after auto company declared bankruptcy
2009
Twentieth anniversary of the Tiananmen Square protests passes in China
2009
Governor of New Hampshire signs law legalizing same-sex marriages
2010
Large fires kill many in Dhaka, Bangladesh
2010
Irish 1901 census goes online
2010
WHO: H1N1 influenza virus still a pandemic
2010
Turkey mourns flotilla dead
2010
Basketball: Lakers score 102 to defeat the Celtics in Game 1 of the NBA Finals
2010
SpaceX launches first Falcon 9 rocket
2010
French Open: Stosur and Schiavone to compete in women's final; Nadal to meet Soderling in men's final
2011
Space Shuttle Endeavour enters history books after nineteen years following penultimate landing of program
2011
Mars Opportunity rover passes distance milestone
2012
News briefs: June 4, 2012
2012
U.S. Congressman Thad McCotter aborts write-in campaign
2012
Mubarak sentenced to life in prison over protester deaths
2013
Jury finds two men guilty of Liam Aitchison murder

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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