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Today in History

1849
Constitution Day in Denmark
1934
Lifetime Emmy Award winning journalist and public commentator, Bill Moyers born in Hugo, Oklahoma
1951
Author, financial advisor and Daytime Emmy Award winning television personality, Suze Orman born in Chicago, Illinois
1968
Robert Kennedy shot by Sirhan Sirhan in Los Angeles, California
1971
Irish Film and Television Academy Award winning actress Susan Lynch born in Corrinshego, Ireland
1977
The Apple ][ goes on sale
2002
Mozilla 1.0 released
2013
Massive NSA call surveillance program revealed by Edward Snowden
470
BC
Socrates, Greek philosopher (one suggested date) born
221
Chu Yuan, Chinese poet, drowns
709
Boniface and his party are murdered by German heathens
754
Death of Abul'-Abbas, Caliph of Bagdad
1099
Knights and their families on the First Crusade witness an eclipse of the moon and interpret it as a sign from God that they will recapture Jerusalem
1191
Richard I of England sets sail for Acre
1249
The Seventh Crusade captures Daimetta
1291
Bruce, Baliol, and seven others acknowledge Edward I of England as sovereign over Scotland
1316
Death of Louis X, King of France
1455
Poet Franois Villon kills a priest in a brawl, is banished from Paris
1510
Michelangelo commissioned to make 15 statues of saints for the Duomo of Siena, Italy
1568
10,000 Spanish under Ferdinand, the Duke of Alba, crush the Calvinist insurrection in Ghent
1568
Egmont and Hoorne beheaded at Brussels, with 18 other patriots
1595
Henry IV's army defeats the Spanish at the Battle of Fontaine-Francaise.
1602
The first expedition of the British East India Company reaches Achin, Sumatra
1607
Marriage of Dr. John Hall to Susannah Shakespeare, daughter of William and Anne Shakespeare
1625
Death of Orlando Gibbons, composer
1637
500 Peqot Indians killed at Mystic, Connecticut by the English
1723
Economist Adam Smith born
1783
Joseph and Jacques Montgolfier publicly demonstrated their hot-air balloon in a ten-minute flight over Annonay, France.
1794
The U.S. Congress prohibits citizens from serving in any foreign armed forces.
1819
John Couch Adams born. English astronomer who in 1845 predicted to within 2 degrees the position of a new planet. That planet Neptune was discovered and certified one year later.
1826
Carl Maria von Weber died, he was 39. Weber suffered from tuberculosis so bad that the man who did the autopsy must have wondered how the composer lived as long as he did.
1827
Athens falls to the Ottomans.
1833
Ada Lovelace (future 1st computer programmer) meets Charles Babbage.
1849
Denmark becomes a constitutional monarchy.
1851
Harriet Beecher Stow publishes the first installment of Uncle Tom's Cabin in The National Era
1872
The Republican National Convention, the first major political party convention to includes blacks, commences.
1878
Mexican revolutionary Pancho Villa born
1878
Laurence Gilman. He was an important music critic of the early 1900s, despite having been entirely self-taught. born
1882
Composer Igor Stravinsky born
1883
Economist John Maynard Keynes in Cambridge, England. born
1883
John Maynard Keynes, economist born
1884
Civil War hero General William T. Sherman refused the Republican presidential nomination, saying, "I will not accept if nominated and will not serve if elected."
1900
Dennis Gabor, inventor of holography (3D laser photography) born
1900
In South Africa, British troops under Lord Roberts seize Pretoria from the Boars.
1917
About 10,000,000 American men began registering for the draft in World War One.
1933
President Roosevelt signed a bill abolishing the gold standard.
1934
Journalist and commentator Bill Moyers born
1939
English novelist Margaret Drabble born
1940
The Battle of France begins (WWII)
1941
Actor Spalding Gray born
1941
Rhythm-and-blues singer Floyd Butler (Friends of Distinction) born
1944
The first B-29 bombing raid strikes the Japanese rail line in Bangkok, Thailand.
1945
Country singer Don Reid (The Statler Brothers) born
1946
Rock musician Fred Stone (Sly and the Family Stone) born
1947
Secretary of State George C. Marshall gave a speech at Harvard University in which he outlined an aid program for Europe that came to be known as "The Marshall Plan."
1947
Rock singer Laurie Anderson born
1954
Rock musician Nicko McBrain (Iron Maiden) born
1956
Jazz musician Kenny G born
1956
Rock singer Richard Butler (Psychedelic Furs) born
1956
Premier Nikita Khrushchev denounces Josef Stalin to the Soviet Communist Party Congress.
1961
The critic Hans Keller played a hoax, he recorded a bunch of random noises and claimed it was a new piece by a composer named Piotr Zak. He broadcast it on the BBC and sat back to see what critics would say.
1967
War erupted in the Middle East as Israel, convinced an Arab attack was imminent, raided Egyptian military targets. Syria, Jordan and Iraq entered the conflict.
1968
Senator Robert F. Kennedy was shot and mortally wounded just after claiming victory in California's Democratic presidential primary. Gunman Sirhan Bishara Sirhan was immediately arrested.
1969
Singer Brian McKnight born
1971
Actor-rapper Mark Wahlberg born
1974
Actor Chad Allen ("Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman") born
1974
Rock musician P-nut born
1975
Egypt reopened the Suez Canal to international shipping, eight years after it was closed because of the 1967 war with Israel.
1985
General Motors agreed to buy Hughes Aircraft for more than $5 billion. At the time, it was the biggest corporate purchase outside the oil industry.
1986
A federal jury in Baltimore convicted Ronald W. Pelton of selling secrets to the Soviet Union. (Pelton was sentenced to three life prison terms plus ten years.)
1987
President Reagan, in Venice for an upcoming economic summit, called for an end to government agriculture subsidies by the year 2000 in a televised address carried in Europe by the United States Information Agency.
1988
Clarence Pendleton, chairman of the US Civil Rights Commission, died at age 57.
1988
"The Phantom of the Opera" won seven Tony Awards, including best musical; "M. Butterfly" won best play.
1990
Authorities in Oakland County, Mich., moved to prevent further use of Dr. Jack Kevorkian's suicide device that Janet Adkins, an Oregon woman diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease, had used a day earlier to take her own life.
1991
The space shuttle "Columbia" blasted off with seven astronauts on a nine-day mission.
1991
Soviet President Mikhail S. Gorbachev delivered his delayed Nobel Peace lecture in Oslo, Norway, warning that Western failure to heed his call for economic aid could dash hopes for a peaceful new world order.
1992
The government announced the nation's unemployment rate had jumped to seven-point-five percent the month before, the highest level in nearly eight years.
1993
In Somalia, militiamen loyal to Mohamed Farrah Aidid killed 24 Pakistani soldiers.
1993
"Colonial Affair," ridden by Julie Krone, won the Belmont Stakes.
1993
Country star Conway Twitty died in Springfield, Missouri, at age 59.
1993
In Texas, Republican Kay Bailey Hutchison won the US Senate seat vacated by Treasury Secretary Lloyd Bentsen.
1994
At least 264 Indonesian villagers in East Java were killed by an earthquake.
1994
President Clinton headed across the English Channel aboard the USS George Washington, en route to the 50th anniversary commemoration of D-Day in Normandy.
1995
Hurricane Allison buffeted the Gulf Coast with 75 mph winds, swamping streets and spinning off tornadoes but causing no major damage.
1996
Joseph Waldholtz, the ex-husband of -S Representative Enid Greene (Republican, Utah), pleaded guilty to providing his wife false information for her taxes and to falsifying spending reports from her congressional campaign.
1997
Harold J. Nicholson, the highest-ranking CIA officer ever caught spying against his own country, was sentenced to 23 and a-half years in prison for selling defense secrets to Russia after the Cold War.
1998
Volkswagen AG won approval to buy Rolls-Royce Motor Cars for $700 million (however, BMW later got to purchase the Rolls-Royce brand name and logo).
1998
A strike at a General Motors parts factory near Detroit closed five assembly plants and idled workers nationwide; the walkout lasted seven weeks.
1999
Jazz and pop singer Mel Torme died in Los Angeles at age 73.
1999
Pope John Paul II began a 13-day pilgrimage to his native Poland.
1999
Charismatic failed in his bid to win thoroughbred racing's Triple Crown, finishing third behind Lemon Drop Kid and Vision and Verse in the Belmont Stakes.
1999
Steffi Graf won her sixth French Open tennis title, beating top-ranked Martina Hingis 4-6, 7-5, 6-2.
2000
President Clinton visited the former Soviet republic of Ukraine, the last stop in his weeklong European tour, where he dispensed $80 million in American aid to help entomb the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, scene of the world's worst nuclear accident.
2000
Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor count under an agreement that dropped murder charges in the stabbing deaths of two men outside a Super Bowl party in Atlanta.
2004
Ronald Reagan, President, Governor, and Screen Actor, dies in California at the age of 93
2005
The Swiss vote yes to same-sex relationships and "Schengen/Dublin"
2005
Fire in Alpine road tunnel between Italy and France
2005
Switzerland is voting on same-sex partnerships and Schengen/Dublin
2005
Israel upset Republic of Ireland again in World Cup Qualifiers
2005
Blog alliance forms over leaked Downing Street memo
2005
Government of Zimbabwe forces thousands out of their homes
2005
AP Probe suggests Bolton manipulated Iraq inspections to favor War
2005
Coldplay's new album hits stores worldwide this week
2005
U.S. wants to impose its "no-fly" list on most Canadian domestic flights
2005
US obstructs Amnesty International investigation into Guantanamo prisoner abuse
2005
Computer Associates warns of massive botnet attack
2006
Handbag used in Hurricanes assault reached $22,750, New Zealand
2006
United Nations Report: Deserts threatened by global warming
2006
U.K. doctors successfully transplant a beating heart
2006
NSW Government walks away from Cross City Motorway negotiations
2006
President Bush pushes for gay marriage ban
2006
White House urges patience on Iran
2006
Alan Garcia wins Peruvian presidential election
2006
Brazilian soccer team defeats New Zealand All-Whites
2006
Australian charities slam new welfare rules
2006
Gunmen enter Palestine TV station in hail of bullets
2006
Australian nuclear power plants rejected by states
2007
U.S. Senator Craig Thomas of Wyoming dies at age 74
2007
Thai junta partially lifts political ban
2007
Ten charged with plot to overthrow Laos government
2007
U.S. Congressman William Jefferson faces 16-count indictment for corruption
2007
Scooter Libby gets 30 months in Plame case
2007
U.S. President Bush responds to Russian criticism
2007
Eleven killed in train crash in northern Victoria, Australia
2007
ETA ends year-long cease-fire with Spain
2008
NHL: Detroit wins the Stanley Cup
2008
Malware from mass SQL injections confirmed by security experts
2008
U.S. Navy forced to give up on Burma relief
2008
Clinton to suspend campaign
2008
US and UK diplomats detained in Zimbabwe
2008
U.S. ISPs to test restricting heavy Internet users
2009
False dawn for Air France flight; debris not from crash, search continues
2009
UK's Labour government faces cabinet resignations, electoral defeat
2009
Strategic arms talks between Russia and the US end without declaration
2009
Explosion in Pakistan mosque kills dozens
2009
US unemployment rate reaches 9.4 percent
2009
Penske Auto selected to buy General Motors' Saturn unit
2009
British singer Susan Boyle released from clinic
2010
MV Rachel Corrie seized by Israeli Naval Forces
2010
Naoto Kan elected new Prime Minister of Japan
2010
163 dead after lead poisoning in Nigeria
2011
Vanuatu denies announcing recognition of Abkhazia
2011
EF-3 tornado strikes western Massachusetts
2011
Assisted-suicide doctor Jack Kevorkian dies at age 83
2011
French broadcasters barred from saying "Facebook" or "Twitter" on air
2012
Libyan court jails 24 foreigners for helping Gaddafi
2012
On the campaign trail, May 2012
2013
Scottish court jails Joseph Kearins for culpable homicide of Jordan McGuire

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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