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Today in History

1755
School teacher, patriot and America's first spy, Nathan Hale born in Coventry, Connecticut
1939
Songwriter, rock & blues singer, Gary "U.S." Bonds born in Jacksonville, Florida
1944
Allied Forces land at Normandy
1945
Television and film actor David Coleman Dukes born in San Francisco, California
1955
Bill Haley & the Comets hit #1 on the Billboard charts with "Rock Around The Clock"
1955
Author, actress, singer and comedienne, Sandra Bernhard born in Flint, Michigan
1971
Cosmonauts Dobrovolskiy, Patsayev, and Volkov lift off aboard the ill-fated Soyuz 11
1975
Actress Staci Keanan born Anastasia Sagorsky in Devon, Pennsylvania
1134
Death of St. Norbert
1288
Sa'd ad-Daula becomes Supreme Inspector of Taxes in Persia
1436
Regiomontanus [Johannes Mller], preparer of astronomical tables born
1484
The Inquisition of Toledo writes for instructions in dealing with cases of sorcery
1502
John III, King of Portugal born
1523
Coronation of Gustavus Vasa I Eriksson as King of Sweden
1533
Death of Ariosto
1536
The Inquisition is introduced into Mexico
1557
Death of John III, King of Portugal
1599
Diego VelÝzquez, Spanish painter (Fraga Philip) (baptized) born
1599
Baptisim of Velasquez
1606
Pierre Corneille, father of French Classical drama born
1641
Catalonia revolts against the Spanish Crown
1654
Abdication of Queen Christine of Sweden
1671
Stenka Razin, Cossack rebel leader, tortured and executed in Moscow
1755
Nathan Hale, had but one life to give for his country. born
1756
Painter John Trumbull born
1844
The Young Men's Christian Association was founded in London.
1925
Walter Percy Chrysler founded the Chrysler Corporation.
1932
Actress Billie Whitelaw born
1933
The first drive-in movie theater opened, in Camden, New Jersey.
1934
Civil rights activist Roy Innis born
1934
The Securities and Exchange Commission was established.
1936
Singer Levi Stubbs (The Four Tops) born
1939
Singer-songwriter Gary "US" Bonds born
1942
Japanese forces retreated in the World War Two Battle of Midway.
1943
Country singer Joe Stampley born
1944
The "D-Day" invasion of Europe took place during World War Two as Allied forces stormed the beaches of Normandy, France.
1946
Actor David Dukes born
1949
Actor Robert Englund born
1954
Playwright-actor Harvey Fierstein born
1955
Comedian Sandra Bernhard born
1956
Tennis player Bjorn Borg born
1959
Actress Amanda Pays born
1959
Record producer Jimmy Jam born
1960
Rock musician Steve Vai born
1966
Rock musician Sean Yseult (White Zombie) born
1966
Black activist James Meredith was shot and wounded as he walked along a Mississippi highway to encourage black voter registration.
1967
Rock musician David Navarro (formerly with Red Hot Chili Peppers) born
1967
Actor Max Casella ("Doogie Howser, M.D.") born
1968
Senator Robert F. Kennedy died at Good Samaritan Hospital in Los Angeles, a day after he was shot by Sirhan Bishara Sirhan.
1968
Rhythm-and-blues singer Damien Hall (Guy) born
1969
Rock musician Bardi Martin (Candlebox) born
1973
Country singer Lisa Brokop born
1975
Actress Staci Keanan ("Step By Step") born
1978
California voters overwhelmingly approved Proposition 13, a primary ballot initiative calling for major cuts in property taxes.
1982
Israeli forces invaded Lebanon to drive Palestine Liberation Organization fighters out of the country. (The Israelis withdrew in June 1985.)
1985
Authorities in Brazil exhumed a body later identified as the remains of Dr. Josef Mengele, the notorious "Angel of Death" of the Nazi Holocaust.
1988
Morton Thiokol Incorporated, which had built the booster rocket involved in the "Challenger" explosion in 1986, announced it would not bid for the contract to build the next generation of rocket motors for the nation's manned space shuttles.
1989
On Capitol Hill, Thomas Foley was elected the 49th speaker of the House of Representatives.
1989
Burial services were held for Iran's spiritual leader, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.
1990
A federal judge in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., declared as obscene the 2 Live Crew album "As Nasty As They Wanna Be." (The decision was later overturned on appeal.)
1991
The Soviet KGB released secret documents from 1941 that showed that Rudolph Hess, Hitler's deputy, was lured to the Duke of Hamilton's estate by British.
1992
"A.P. Indy" won the 124th running of the Belmont Stakes.
1993
A Chinese freighter holding 300 illegal aliens ran aground off New York; up to ten Chinese died after jumping overboard.
1993
At the Tony Awards, "Kiss of the Spider Woman" won best musical; "Angels in America: Millennium Approaches," won best play.
1994
President Clinton joined leaders from America's World War Two allies to mark the 50th anniversary of the D-Day invasion of Normandy.
1994
A Chinese passenger jet crashed, killing all 160 people on board.
1995
U.S. astronaut Norman Thagard, aboard the Russian space station Mir, broke NASA's space endurance record of 84 days, one hour and 16 minutes.
1996
The Senate narrowly rejected a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution as outgoing Majority Leader Bob Dole and the Democrats clashed over deficit reduction.
1996
A family of four becomes the first people to leave the Freemen ranch in Montana since April.
1997
Timothy McVeigh's lawyer pleaded with a jury to spare the life of the convicted Oklahoma City bomber, holding up his dress uniform and portraying him as a model soldier deeply disturbed by his government's role in the disaster at Waco.
1998
"Real Quiet" was denied horse racing's Triple Crown as "Victory Gallop" won the Belmont Stakes by a nose. .
1998
The UN Security Council demanded in a unanimous vote that India and Pakistan refrain from further nuclear tests and sign nuclear control agreements.
1999
Space shuttle Discovery returned from a 10-day mission that included a visit to the international space station.
1999
At the Tony Awards, Arthur Miller's "Death of a Salesman" was named best revival, "Side Man" best play, and "Fosse" best musical.
1999
In tennis, Andre Agassi won the French Open, defeating Andrei Medvedev 1-6, 2-6, 6-4, 6-3, 6-4.
1999
In golf, Juli Inkster shot a final-round 1-under 71 for a 16-under 272 total to win the U.S. Women's Open.
2000
Unilever agreed to buy Bestfoods for $20.3 billion in a deal creating the world's biggest food company.
2005
England off to electric start in Women's Euro football championship
2005
Two women first ever to serve on municipal council in Kuwait
2005
Mars rover Opportunity successfully escapes sand trap
2005
New denunciations of political corruption create severe political crisis in Brazil
2005
Son of Pelé arrested accused of drug traffic
2005
Apple Computer CEO Steve Jobs gives opening keynote to WWDC 2005
2005
Over 1.5m apply for British Live 8 tickets
2005
Sweden celebrates its first national day as a public holiday
2006
£5.8m Turner watercolour a British record
2006
Wellington, New Zealand inner city speed limit has decreased
2006
India to get $6 billion out of the Big Blue
2006
Sedition trial underway in Auckland, New Zealand
2006
Pitt and Jolie's multi-million dollar charity baby
2006
Pittsburgh Pirates defeat Colorado Rockies, 5-2
2006
Federal Reserve chief's stagflation scare
2006
Embattled Thai Election Commission hands TRT case to Attorney General
2006
Signs about colleague missed in missing persons case: Detective
2006
Google launches Google Spreadsheets
2006
EU diplomat proposes deal with Iran to drop NPT Article IV.1
2006
Somali "Anti-Terrorism Alliance" gets US funds; so do "Blackhawk Down" warlords Somali
2006
Tubes, Grateful Dead musician Vince Welnick died of 'probable suicide'
2007
Ex-wife of Nelson Mandela denied entry into Canada
2007
Pen-Ek Ratanaruang's latest film makes Thailand premiere
2007
Man attempts to jump into Popemobile
2007
Reports say Turkish troops enter northern Iraq
2007
Canadian Tory MP left alone for voting against budget legislation
2007
Bob Barker retires as US host of "The Price is Right"
2007
Team New Zealand wins fourth Louis Vuitton Cup yachting race
2008
UEFA Euro 2008: Błaszczykowski injury damages Poland's Euro hopes
2008
Sunshine Coast Grammar 1st XV win last round, qualify for semi finals
2008
Dow plunges as oil prices break records
2008
Greek police investigates murder of actor
2008
US B-2 bomber crash in Guam caused by moisture on sensors
2008
UN summit results in pledge to mitigate food crisis
2008
Tsvangirai campaign rallies banned in Zimbabwe
2008
Japan's Supreme Court invalidates distinctions on nationality
2009
24 error messages sent by Flight 447
2009
Possible bodies, wreckage from Air France Flight 447 found
2009
Palestinian protester killed by Israeli soldiers
2009
Dozens of children killed in childcare center fire in Mexico
2009
Swine flu: recent developments worldwide
2010
Large fireball observed after object strikes Jupiter
2010
Facebook unblocked in Bangladesh
2010
Obama nominates James Clapper for Director of National Intelligence
2010
Cyclone Phet turns to Pakistan after hitting Oman
2010
Australian rules football: Gippsland Football League heavyweights clash, Maffra go two games clear
2010
WHO's reaction to H1N1 influenced by drug companies, reports claim
2011
'Unfounded and unsubstantiated': London policemen cleared of beating Muslim
2011
Casey Stoner wins Catalunya MotoGP
2012
Science Fiction author Ray Bradbury dies
2012
Russian serial killer Irina Gaidamachuk jailed
2012
Study suggests successful depression treatment lowers youths' risk of drug abuse

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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