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Today in History

241
BC
Romans sink Carthaginian fleet
1814
Napoleon defeated at Battle of Laon
1887
Martial arts Grandmaster Toshitsugu Takamatsu born in Akashi, Japan
1931
Lively B Willoughby of Louisville files patent for canned biscuits
1940
Martial artist, actor, and star of Walker, Texas Ranger, Chuck Norris born in Ryan, Oklahoma
1958
Fashion model, Golden Globe & Emmy Award winning actress, Sharon Stone born in Meadville, Pennsylvania
1969
James Earl Ray pleads guilty to assassinating Martin Luther King Jr
2006
Reconnaissance Orbiter arrives at Mars
515
BC
The re-building of the great Jewish temple in Jerusalem was completed.
320
Death of the Forty Martyrs
418
Jews are excluded from public offices & dignities in the Roman Empire
1040
Death of Harold Harefoot
1098
Baldwin becomes Prince of Edessa (1st Crusade)
1208
Pope Innocent III calls for a Crusade against the Albegensians
1302
Dante threatened with burning should he return to Florence
1452
Ferdinand II of Aragon, unifier of Spain
1496
Columbus leaves Hispanola to return to Spain
1528
Balthasar Hubmaier, one of the foremost leaders of the Austrian Anabaptists, was burned at the stake as a heretic in Vienna.
1535
Tomas de Berlanga, Bishop of Panama, discovers the Galapagos Islands
1538
Thomas Howard, Duke of Norfolk; executed by Queen Elizabeth
1549
Execution of Thomas Seymour
1566
Moray and his allies enter Edinburgh
1566
Darley discharges the Scots Parliament
1616
Vincent Fettmilch, leader of massacres of Jews, is hanged
1628
Marcello Malpighi, discoverer of capillary circulation born
1629
Charles I, King of England, dissolves his third Parliament, again
1640
Founding of Gardiner's Island, first English settlement in New York
1661
Cardinal Jules Mazarin dies. He was a French statesman and advisor to the mother of King Louis XIV
1669
Sir John Denham, English poet, dies at about 54
1785
Thomas Jefferson was appointed minister to France, succeeding Benjamin Franklin.
1824
Maj. Gen. Thomas J. Churchill, who fought at Wilson's Creek, Red River, born
1832
Muzio Clementi died at the age of 80. Clementi's piano pieces are seldom played in professional recitals but every piano student knows his work.
1849
An Illinois attorney applied for a patent for an inflatable airbag to lift grounded boats off sandbars and shoals. The inventor, Abe Lincoln, was too busy with politics to pursue the invention.
1862
The U.S. Treasury issued the first American paper money, in denominations from $5 to $1,000.
1870
Ignaz Moscheles, a famous piano teacher during the early Romantic era, died, he was 75.
1876
The first telephone call made by Alexander Graham Bell.
1880
The Salvation Army of England sends group to U.S. to begin welfare and religious activity here.
1885
Russian ballerina Tamara Karsavina born
1888
Actor Barry Fitzgerald born
1892
French composer Arthur Honegger born
1900
Sherman Billingsley, owner of New York's Stork Club born
1903
Jazz cornetist Bix Beiderbecke born
1904
Poet Margaret Fishback born
1922
Pamela Mason born
1933
Talk show host Ralph Emery born
1933
Big earthquake in Long Beach (W.C. Fields was making a movie when it struck and the cameras kept running).
1936
Oedipus, an opera by Georges Enescu, was sung in Paris. Enescu scarcely noticed. He was so upset at failing to hold a woman's attention that he destroyed his fiddle a Guarneri.
1940
Actor Chuck Norris born
1940
Playwright David Rabe born
1940
Singer Dean Torrence (Jan and Dean) born
1945
Katherine Houghton born
1947
Newspaper columnist Bob Greene born
1947
Rock musician Tom Scholz (Boston) born
1947
Former Canadian Prime Minister Kim Campbell born
1948
the body of the anti-Communist foreign minister of Czechoslovakia, Jan Masaryk, was found in the garden of Czernin Palace in Prague.
1948
First civilian to exceed speed of sound -- H. H. Houver at Edwards Air Force Base, CA
1949
Nazi wartime broadcaster Mildred E. Gillars, also known as "Axis Sally," was convicted in Washington DC of treason. (She served 12 years in prison.)
1957
Actress Shannon Tweed born
1958
Actress Sharon Stone born
1960
Rock musician Gail Greenwood (Belly) born
1963
Rock musician Jeff Ament (Pearl Jam) born
1964
Prince Edward of England born
1964
Actress Jasmine Guy born
1964
Songwriter Neneh Cherry born
1966
Actor Stephen Mailer born
1966
Singer Edie Brickell born
1969
James Earl Ray pleaded guilty to the murder of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and was sentenced to 99 years in prison.
1971
Country singer Daryle Singletary born
1977
Olympic gold-medal gymnast Shannon Miller born
1978
Soyuz 28 returns to Earth.
1985
Konstantin U. Chernenko, Soviet leader for just 13 months, died at age 73.
1987
The Vatican condemned human artificial fertilization or generation of human life outside the womb and said all reproduction must result from the "act of conjugal love."
1988
New York Congressman Jack Kemp dropped out of the race for the Republican presidential nomination.
1988
Pop singer Andy Gibb dies in Oxford, England, at age 30 of heart inflammation
1988
The Chinese army occupies Lhasa, capital of Tibet, after major demonstrations by Tibetans.
1989
One day after the Senate rejected the defense secretary nomination of John Tower, President Bush announced he would nominate Wyoming Congressman Dick Cheney, who was later confirmed.
1990
Haitian ruler Lt. General Prosper Avril resigned during a popular uprising against his military regime.
1991
Eight Arab governments endorsed President Bush's Middle East peace proposal calling for Israel to relinquish territory, and reiterated their desire for a peace conference.
1991
Hundreds of thousands of people demonstrated in Moscow, demanding that President Mikhail S. Gorbachev resign.
1992
Democrat Bill Clinton claimed front-runner status as he won a series of Southern landslides on Super Tuesday; President Bush swept all the Republican contests.
1993
Authorities announced the arrest of Nidal Ayyad, a second suspect in the bombing of the World Trade Center in New York.
1993
C. Northcote Parkinson, author of "Parkinson's Law," died in Canterbury, England, at age 83.
1993
Dr. David Gunn was shot to death outside a Pensacola, Florida, abortion clinic.
1994
Thousands of students demonstrated across France to demand the government withdraw a controversial law allowing employers to pay young people less than the minimum wage.
1994
White House officials began testifying before a federal grand jury about the Whitewater controversy.
1995
The Labor Department reported the nation's unemployment rate for February dropped to 5.4 percent, down 0.3 percent from the month before.
1995
Former Mexican President Carlos Salinas de Gortari fled to the United States.
1995
The Clinton administration released $3 billion to support Mexico's faltering economy.
1996
Hezbollah guerrillas launched a wave of bomb and rocket attacks on Israeli troops in south Lebanon.
1996
Secretary of State Warren Christopher, accusing China of "reckless" provocations against Taiwan, said on NBC that U.S. warships would move closer to Taiwan.
1997
The White House and the F-B-I clashed in a rare public quarrel after President Clinton said he should have been alerted when the bureau told national security officials that the Chinese government might be trying to influence US elections.
1998
US Air Force and Navy personnel in the Persian Gulf received their first vaccinations against anthrax.
1998
Indonesia's President Suharto was elected to his seventh term.
1998
Actor Lloyd Bridges died in Westwood, California, at age 85.
1998
A Japanese regional governor barred a British freighter carrying nuclear waste from France from entering a port in his prefecture. The Pacific Swan, carrying 24 tons of nuclear waste, was left standing about a mile off the northern Japanese port of Mutsu-Ogawara, awaiting a disputed entry to be settled between Govenor Morio Kimura of Aomori Prefecture and the Tokyo central government.
1998
Former White House aide Kathleen Willey, who was allegedly fondled by President Clinton in 1993, answered questions before a grand jury investigating the White House sex scandal. Willey, spent most of the day testifying behind closed doors.
1998
Federal authorities announced that food stamps were issued to nearly 26,000 dead people in 1995-96. The General Accounting Office said in a report $8.5 million in food stamps were issued to 25,881 deceased people in the two-year period, based on a review after comparing food stamp rolls with death lists in the four most populous states, which account for one-third of the country's 20.4 million food stamp recipients.
1998
Some 22,000 hemophiliacs who were infected with hepatitis C through blood transfusions brought a multi-billion dollar class action lawsuit against Canada's federal and provincial governments and the Red Cross.
1999
During a visit to Guatemala, President Clinton acknowledged the U.S. role in Central America's "dark and painful period" of civil wars and repression.
2000
Pope John Paul the Second approved sainthood for Katharine Drexel, a Philadelphia socialite who had taken a vow of poverty and devoted her fortune to helping poor blacks and American Indians. (Drexel, who died in 1955, was canonized the following October.) _____________________________________________________________
2005
Microsoft Considering Backport of WinFS to Windows XP
2005
Bush calls Romania a special ally of the US
2005
Flat tax boosts average Romanian salaries
2005
Selgros Cash and Carry to open two new stores in Transylvania
2005
US Pulls Out of Optional Protocol to Vienna Convention
2005
Hong Kong Chief Executive Tung Chee-hwa officially resigns
2005
Blogshine Sunday pushes for government sunshine online
2005
Colombia extradites guerrilla to the USA
2005
Bolivian Congress refuse president's resignation
2005
Bulgarian government says U.S. killed Bulgarian soldier in 'friendly fire' incident
2005
United Nations passes Declaration on human cloning
2006
Wikipedia's Wales is considering a "stable" version
2006
Three charged following release of Cronulla riot wanted photographs
2006
Daisuke Enomoto will be the fourth space tourist at the ISS
2006
Czech pub food eating experiment resulted in lost weight, lower cholesterol
2006
Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter enters Martian orbit
2006
USA leaving Abu Ghraib
2006
American hostage Tom Fox found dead in Iraq
2006
Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal delayed further
2006
Japanese Buddhist priest arrested for child prostitution
2006
Global measles deaths plunge by 48% over past six years
2006
Gale Norton resigns as U.S. Secretary of the Interior
2007
New Zealand woman reports marijuana plants stolen
2007
Bacterial outbreak forces closure of Toronto hospital neo-natal unit
2007
Eritrean minister warns of war over Ugandan troops in Somalia
2007
United force replay against 'Boro in FA Cup
2007
Taliban claim responsibility for kidnapping of Italian journalist
2007
Boy missing in Glynn County, Georgia
2008
New York governor Spitzer tied to prostitution ring
2008
Socialists win second term as Spain's ruling party
2008
Tour de Taiwan Stage 1: A triple-crown honor for Kam-po Wong
2008
Malaysian opposition gains in elections, conquers four new state legislatures
2008
Strong winds and heavy rain across southern UK
2008
Tour de Taiwan Stage 2: European & American cyclists rise up
2008
National Hockey League news: March 10, 2008
2009
Pennsylvania cop on trial for allegedly murdering girlfriend's estranged husband
2009
Philippine exports plunge to eight-year low
2009
Continuity IRA gunmen kill policeman in Northern Ireland
2009
Community Television consortium urges Australian government to increase funding for channels
2009
North Korea warns airlines over satellite fears
2010
Ohio State gunman kills employee before committing suicide
2010
Three rebels in Indonesia killed in raids
2010
Man jailed after Facebook murder case in County Durham, England
2011
Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim remains the world’s richest man
2011
Space Shuttle Discovery lands for final time
2011
NASCAR: Carl Edwards wins Kobalt Tools 400
2012
Ireland's Occupy Dame Street, Occupy Waterford camps cleared
2012
Kenya government fires health worker strikers over failure to 'report back to work'
2012
Super Tuesday 2012: President Obama loses a delegate to Randall Terry
2013
Dust storm covers Tokyo: in pictures

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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