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Today in History

1534
Jacques Cartier discovers St. Lawrence River
1891
Composer and songwriter, Cole Porter born in Peru, Indiana
1909
22 year old housewife Alice Huyler Ramsey becomes first woman to drive across US
1915
Electric guitar developer and rock music effects pioneer, Les Paul born Lester William Polsfuss in Waukesha, Wisconsin
1934
Donald Duck first appears in The Wise Little Hen
1951
Pop Rock singer Bonnie Tyler born in Skewen, Wales
1961
Golden Globe and Emmy Award winning actor Michael J. Fox born in Edmonton, Alberta
1963
Academy Award nominated actor, Johnny Depp born in Owensboro, Kentucky
1967
6 Day War: Israel captures the Golan Heights
1973
Secretariat wins the Triple Crown
1981
Academy and Golden Globe Award winning actress, Natalie Portman born in Jerusalem, Israel
68
Death (by suicide) of Nero Imperator
597
Death of St. Columba (Colum Cille)
1064
Coimbra is taken by Ferdinand, King of Castile
1156
Marriage of Friedrich "Barbarossa" King of Germany, to Beatrix of Burgundy
1198
Otto IV chosen King of Germany
1247
Carpini, Papal Legate returning from the Mongols, reaches Kiev, Russia
1290
Death of Beatrice, Dante's inspiration
1480
Turks attack Malta
1502
Assassination of Astorre Manfredi of Faenza, and his brother
1525
Death of Florian Geyer, Bundschuh leader
1534
Jacques Cartier sails into the mouth of the St. Laurence river
1588
Duke of Medina Sidonia sails from Lisbon with the Spanish Armada
1591
Euphame MacCalyan, daughter of Lord Cliftonhall, tried and found guilty of witchcraft
1604
A new Law against witchcraft passes its' first reading in the English House of Lords
1628
1st deportation from what is now US, Thomas Morton from Massachusetts
1640
Leopold I, Holy Roman Emperor born
1672
Russian Czar Peter the Great born
1781
George Stephenson, principal inventor of the railroad locomotive. born
1851
The San Francisco Committee of Vigilence forms.
1860
First dime novel published.
1869
Charles Elmer Hires sells his first Root Beer, in Philadelphia.
1893
Cole Porter, composer, lyricist born
1900
Fred Waring, musician, conductor born
1915
Les Paul, guitarist born
1916
Robert McNamara, former Ford Motor Co. President, former U.S. Secretary of State, head of World Bank. born
1926
Actress Mona Freeman born
1930
Broadcast journalist Marvin Kalb born
1934
Comedian Jackie Mason born
1934
Donald Duck made his first screen appearance in "The Wise Little Hen."
1934
Soul singer Jackie Wilson born
1934
Actor Joe Santos born
1935
Composer Charles Wuorinen born
1939
Author Letty Cottin Pogrebin born
1941
Rock musician Jon Lord (Whitesnake; Deep Purple) born
1943
Congress passed an act authorizing employers to withhold income tax payments from salary checks.
1946
66,545 fans allowed Yankees to break the million mark earliest.
1951
Bonnie Tyler born
1951
Baseball player Dave Parker born
1953
About 100 die in Worcester, MA, tornado.
1959
First ballistic missile submarine launched "George Washington".
1961
Actor Michael J. Fox born
1963
Actor Johnny Depp born
1963
The movie "Cleopatra" opens in NY.
1964
Jazz musician Wayman Tisdale born
1965
Actress Gloria Reuben born
1967
Rock musician Dean Felber (Hootie & the Blowfish) born
1967
Rock musician Dean Dinning (Toad the Wet Sprocket) born
1969
Warren E. Burger confirmed as U.S. Chief Justice.
1970
Musician Ed Simons born
1973
Secretariat wins Belmont Stakes and the Triple Crown.
1977
Silver Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth celebrated with fireworks.
1980
Soyuz T-2 returns to Earth.
1981
Actress Natalie Portman born
1981
Allen Ludden, game show host, dies.
1982
Israel wipes out Syrian SAM missiles in Bekaa Valley.
1986
Rogers Commission report released blame on Morton Thiokol.
1988
Actress Mae Whitman born
1988
The House ethics committee met in closed session to discuss whether to formally investigate charges that Speaker Jim Wright's financial dealings may have violated House rules.
1989
China began reporting large-scale arrests in the wake of the crushed pro-democracy movement. The arrests coincided with the public reappearance of Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping, who was rumored to have been seriously ill.
1990
Go and Go won the 122nd running of the Belmont Stakes.
1991
Mt. Pinatubo, Philipines, erupts. Over the next several days, ash covers the surrounding area including Clark Air Force Base (US).
1991
Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir insisted his country have a say in the selection of Palestinians who would attend a US-sponsored Middle East peace conference.
1991
Jim Courier gained his first Grand Slam of tennis as he won the French Open.
1991
Pianist Claudio Arrau died in Austria at age 88.
1993
The Chicago Symphony under Daniel Barenboim performed Bruckner's Fifth in Barcelona. That concluded the Chicagoans' tour of Spain.
1993
As millions of Japanese watched on television, Crown Prince Naruhito wed commoner Masako Owada in an elaborate Shinto religious ceremony.
1993
Actress Alexis Smith died in Los Angeles at age 72.
1993
The Montreal Canadiens won the Stanley Cup in game five against the Los Angeles Kings.
1994
In a bipartisan slap at President Clinton, the House of Representatives voted 244-to-178 in favor of having the United States defy the international arms embargo on Bosnia.
1995
One week after being shot down over Bosnia by a Bosnian Serb missile, and a day after being rescued, U.S. Air Force Captain Scott O'Grady was warmly welcomed by his comrades at Aviano Air Base in Italy.
1996
White House Chief of Staff Leon Panetta, appearing on NBC's "Meet the Press," said it was wrong for an investigator to have obtained secret FBI files on 341 people, including prominent Republicans, and President Clinton agreed with Panetta that an apology was called for.
1997
Air Force General Joseph Ralston gave up his fight to become chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, his candidacy doomed by the clamor over his admission that he'd had an adulterous affair years ago.
1998
President Clinton unleashed a torrent of public works money, signing a $203 billion transportation bill.
1998
Three white men were charged in Jasper, Texas, with the brutal dragging death of James Byrd Junior, a black man.
1999
After 78 days of intense NATO airstrikes, Yugoslav and Western generals signed a pact clearing the way for a Kosovo peace plan.
1999
President Clinton instructed federal law agencies to collect race and gender data on people they stop or arrest, in a move to end racial profiling by police.
2000
The Justice Department released a report saying an 18-month investigation had found no credible evidence that conspirators aided or framed James Earl Ray in the 1968 assassination of civil rights leader Martin Luther King Junior.
2000
Painter Jacob Lawrence died in Seattle at age 82.
2000
Sculptor George Segal died at his New Jersey home at age 75.
2005
Rwandan genocide investigations to be completed by end of July
2005
International Criminal Court to investigate crimes against humanity in Darfur
2005
Atari Melbourne Project revealed
2005
Sources close to both sides say NHL, NHLPA agree on Salary Cap structure
2005
Half of Ugandan Presidential convoy blocked at Uganda-Rwanda border
2005
First tropical storm of season forms in the Atlantic
2005
Canadian top court strikes down private medicare ban in Quebec
2006
New HIV drug could stop virus from spreading
2006
26 Australian citizens detained in immigration centres
2006
34 people injured in Assam serial blasts
2006
New videotape of Ayman al-Zawahiri aired on Aljazeera
2006
Details emerge on how al-Zarqawi's location was pinned
2006
Australian unemployment at lowest level in 30 years
2006
Major blaze hits large Muslim building in the Netherlands
2006
Mount Merapi erupts
2006
Oklahoma allows execution of repeat child molesters
2006
Ecuador beats Poland, 2-0 in Group A
2006
Germany wins, 4-2 over Costa Rica in first World Cup match
2006
54 killed, 20 injured in Tanzanian bus crash
2007
Salvage crew boards grounded ship in Newcastle, Australia
2007
NTSB announces safety recommendations to be made in aftermath of Comair Flight 5191 disaster
2007
Atlantis launched, heads for International Space Station
2007
Canoe completes voyage from Hawaii to Japan
2007
Church of England threatens legal action over PS3 game
2007
Heat protection system on Space Shuttle Atlantis damaged during liftoff
2007
Lewis Hamilton on his first pole for McLaren
2007
Lordi horror movie receives 300,000 euros of Finnish government funding
2007
Aer Lingus buys twelve new long-haul Airbus jets
2007
Iraq protests Turkish artillery attacks
2007
Belgian voters decide fate of socialist-liberal coalition tomorrow
2007
Minnesota World War II Memorial dedicated
2007
Médecins Sans Frontières warns of emerging crisis in eastern Chad
2008
CTV acquires rights to 'The Hockey Theme'
2008
Lightning strikes park in Connecticut killing 1, injuring 4
2008
McDonald's pull sliced tomatoes from menu in US
2008
Seattle homeless advocates arrested for blocking intersection
2008
UK policeman killed while training
2008
Israel, Iran engage in war of words
2008
Apple launches 3G iPhone
2008
e21FORUM: Intel confronts Microsoft again
2008
COMPUTEX Taipei: Another insight of "Design"
2008
Four Pakistani policemen shot dead
2008
Long March 3B rocket launches Chinasat-9 satellite
2009
Ad-hoc Liaison Committee meets in Oslo, Norway
2009
Roger Federer wins the French Open at Roland Garros
2009
Apple launches new, faster iPhone
2009
World Cup qualifier may be affected by London Underground strike
2009
Explosion at ConAgra plant in North Carolina, multiple injuries
2009
Garuda Indonesia increases flights, fleet; may buy rival
2009
US Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor breaks ankle
2010
Hospital in Essex, England fined £50,000 after patient dies due to health and safety breaches
2010
US intelligence analyst arrested over Wikileaks video
2010
Three football World Cup journalists robbed at gunpoint in South Africa
2010
Circus elephant escapes in Zurich, Switzerland
2010
Boat in Bangladesh sinks, at least twelve dead
2011
Chilean deputy's 'homophobic' comment on Facebook causes controversy
2011
British voice artist Roy Skelton dies at age 79
2012
Winning horse I'll Have Another loses shot at US Triple Crown
2013
Job market in France suffers as unemployment rate hits fifteen year high

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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