[an error occurred while processing this directive]
[an error occurred while processing this directive]

Today in History

LOTR...
Deaths of Denethor & Theoden
1733
Co-discoverer of oxygen, and developer of carbonated water, chemist Joseph Priestly born in Birstall, Yorkshire
1894
First striptease performed at the Divan Fayonau Music Hall in Paris
1925
Tennessee prohibits teaching of evolution
1930
Discovery of Pluto
1935
Actress Leslie Parrish born in Upper Black Eddy, Pennsylvania
1939
Singer, pianist and songwriter, Neil Sedaka born in Brooklyn, New York
1942
Poet, musician, and jazz singer, Scatman John born John Paul Larkin in El Monte, California
1947
Cellist, pediatrician and founder of 3 Cambodian children's hospitals, Beat Richner born in Switzerland
1970
DEC introduces PDP-11 minicomputer
483
St. Felix begins his reign as Catholic Pope.
732
Death of St. Gerald
1138
Coronation of Conrad III, King of Germany
1184
Death of Taira Atsumori
1462
Printing of the Gutenberg Bible
1493
Columbus leaves Lisbon, Portugal
1516
Coronation of Charles of Hapsburg as King of Spain
1519
Cortez lands in Mexico.
1607
The 12th recorded passage of Halley's Comet occurs.
1613
Michael I becomes Czar of Russia
1615
Innocent XII, Roman Catholic Pope born
1628
John Bull, English musician, dies at about 66
1639
Harvard University was named for clergyman John Harvard
1644
Rhode Island becomes a separate colony
1702
Handel won his first non-assistant musical post when he became chief organist of the Domkirche in Halle, the town of his birth.
1733
English chemist Joseph Priestly, the discoverer of oxygen born
1764
Charles Earl Grey, British Prime Minister born
1781
The 7th planet from the sun, Georgium Sidus, later known as Uranus, was discovered by Sir William Herschel. He first thought it to be a comet.
1793
Eli Whitney patents the cotton gin.
1798
Abigail Powers Fillmore, First Lady born
1833
Mendelssohn completed his "Italian" Symphony, commissioned by the London Philharmonic.
1852
The New York Lantern publishes the first cartoon showing the character "Uncle Sam," based on a real U.S. officer who served in the war of 1812, Samuel Wilson.
1855
Astronomer Percival Lowell was born in Boston, Massachusetts. He was founder of the Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff, Arizona. He initiated the search that resulted in the discovery of the planet Pluto and predicted the existence of this planet 14 years before it was discovered. born
1865
The Confederate Congress under President Jefferson Davis signed a bill allowing slaves to join the army in exchange for freedom.
1868
The U.S. Senate began impeachment proceedings against President Andrew Johnson on charges of "high crime and misdemeanors." He was acquitted by one vote.
1877
Chester Greenwood of Farmington, ME patented the earmuff on this day.
1878
The first collegiate golf match was played as Oxford defeated Cambridge.
1884
Standard Time was adopted throughout the United States.
1901
Benjamin Harrison, the 23rd president of the United States, died in Indianapolis. He was the only president to succeed and be succeeded by the same man - Grover Cleveland.
1906
American suffragist Susan B. Anthony died in Rochester, New York.
1908
Publisher, philanthropist and art collector Walter H. Annenberg was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He served as U.S. ambassador to Britain from 1969 to 1974.
1910
Sammy Kaye (bandleader Young, "A" - You're Adorable, Harbor Lights) born
1911
The Supreme Court approves the corporate tax law.
1913
CIA Director William Casey born
1923
A great improvement in radio receivers was advertised on this day. The new models had a concealed speaker and eliminated the need for headphones, which were considered a nuisance because they were so heavy to wear and messed up women's hairdos.
1925
A law went into effect in Tennessee prohibiting the teaching of evolution.
1928
400 people die in California after the St. Francis Dam burst.
1929
Helen "Callaghan" Candaele St. Aubin, known as the "Ted Williams of women's baseball," was born. She was recruited for the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League which flourished in the 1940's when many major league players were in WWII.
1930
Country singer Jan Howard born
1930
The announcement of the discovery of the 9th planet in our solar system, Pluto, was made. It was discovered by Clyde W. Tombaugh.
1930
Actor Peter Breck born
1930
Country singer Liz Anderson born
1931
Opera singer Rosalind Elias born
1933
Songwriter Mike Stoller born
1933
Banks began to re-open after a "holiday" declared by President Roosevelt.
1935
Three-thousand-year-old archives are found in Jerusalem confirming biblical history.
1938
Famed attorney Clarence S. Darrow died.
1939
Singer-songwriter Neil Sedaka born
1941
Hitler issues an edict calling for an invasion of the U.S.S.R.
1942
Julia Flikke of the Nurse Corps becomes the first woman colonel in the U.S. Army
1942
Bing Crosby and Mary Martin were heard having a bit of fun as they joined together to record "Wait Till the Sun Shines, Nellie" for Decca Records.
1945
Peru declares war on Germany.
1947
Foreign-made films showed up in the Oscar nominations this day, bringing an end to Hollywood's then exclusive rights to the coveted awards.
1947
The Lerner and Ooewe musical "Brigadoon" opened on Broadway. The show ran for 581 performances and was later staged in London (1949).
1947
"The Best Years of Our Lives" won the Academy Award for best picture; Oscars also went to its director, William Wyler, lead actor Fredric March and supporting actor Harold Russell; Olivia De Havilland won best actress for "To Each His Own"; Anne Baxter won best supporting actress for "The Razor's Edge."
1949
Singer (Sha Na Na) Donald York born
1950
Actor William H. Macy born
1951
The comic strip, "Dennis the Menace" appeared for the first time in 18 newspapers across the country.
1951
Israel demands $1.5 billion in German reparations for the cost of caring for war refugees.
1951
Actor Fred Berry ("What's Happening!!") born
1953
Actress Deborah Raffin born
1954
Comedian Robin Duke born
1956
Actress Dana Delany born
1957
Actress Glenne Headly born
1957
The FBI arrests Jimmy Hoffa on bribery charges.
1960
Rock musician Adam Clayton (U2) born
1962
Jazz musician Terence Blanchard born
1964
In a notorious case, 38 residents of a Queens, New York neighborhood failed to respond to the cries of Kitty Genovese, 28, as she was being stabbed to death.
1968
Actor Christopher Collett born
1969
The "Apollo Nine" astronauts splashed down, ending a mission that included the successful testing of the Lunar Module.
1970
Digital Equipment Corp introduces the PDP-11 minicomputer.
1971
Actress Tracy Wells born
1971
Actress Annabeth Gish born
1972
Rapper Khujo (Goodie Mob) born
1974
Oil-producing Arab countries agreed to lift their five-month embargo on petroleum sales to the U.S. During the embargo, gasoline prices rose 300 percent and a ban was imposed on Sunday gasoline sales.
1974
The U.S. Senate votes 54-33 to restore the death penalty.
1980
Ford Motor Chairman Henry Ford II announced he was stepping down.
1980
A jury in Winamac, Indiana, found Ford Motor Co. innocent of reckless homicide in the fiery deaths of three young women riding in a Ford Pinto.
1983
The Larry King Live show premieres on CNN.
1985
Chernenko is buried near the Kremlin Wall in Moscow.
1987
The president of Ecuador announced his country had suspended payments on its foreign debt after earthquakes killed hundreds of people and ruptured the country's main oil pipeline.
1987
John Gotti is acquitted of racketeering.
1988
Yielding to student protests, the board of trustees of Gallaudet University in Washington DC, a liberal arts college for the hearing-impaired, chose I. King Jordan to become the school's first deaf president, replacing Elisabeth Ann Zinser, a hearing woman.
1989
The US Food and Drug Administration began a quarantine of all fruit imported from Chile after traces of cyanide were found in two Chilean grapes.
1989
The space shuttle Discovery blasted off from Cape Canaveral, Florida, on a five-day mission.
1990
The Soviet Congress of People's Deputies approved Mikhail S. Gorbachev's proposals for a multiparty political system headed by a powerful president.
1990
President Bush lifted trade sanctions against Nicaragua in a show of support for President-elect Violeta Chamorro.
1991
A week after Prime Minister Chandra Shekhar resigned, India's president dismissed parliament and called for national elections in May.
1991
Exxon Corporation agreed to pay a $100 million criminal fine and more than $900 million in civil damages in the aftermath of the Exxon Valdez oil spill. However, the deal fell apart when the Alaska House rejected it.
1991
President Bush, during a visit to Ottawa, Canada, warned Iran against seizing Iraqi territory in the aftermath of the Persian Gulf War.
1992
The U.S. House of Representatives, trying to weather a politically embarrassing firestorm, voted unanimously to publicly identify 355 current and former members who had overdrawn their accounts at the House bank.
1992
Pravda, the official newspaper of the Soviet Communist Party founded in 1912 by Lenin, ceased publication due to lack of funds.
1993
The Russian Congress adjourned after a session that seriously weakened President Boris Yeltsin's power.
1993
A deadly blizzard paralyzed much of the Eastern Seaboard, leaving more than a hundred dead in its wake.
1994
A South African diplomat took over as leader of Bophuthatswana as the black homeland's president, Lucas Mangope, was deposed.
1994
The Israeli Cabinet outlawed two Jewish extremist groups, Kach and Kahane Lives, branding them terrorist organizations.
1995
Two Americans working for U.S. defense contractors in Kuwait, David Daliberti and William Barloon, were seized by Iraq after crossing the border; sentenced to 8 years in prison, both were freed the following July.
1996
World leaders, including President Clinton, held a summit in Sharm El-Sheik, Egypt, where they vowed unequivocal support for the Mideast peace process.
1996
A gunman burst into an elementary school in Dunblane, Scotland, and opened fire on a class of kindergartners, killing 16 children and one teacher before killing himself.
1997
In a southern Egyptian village, four masked militants shot and killed 14 people before escaping.
1997
A Jordanian soldier fired on Israeli junior high school girls on a field trip, killing seven of them. (The soldier, Corporal Ahmed Daqamseh, was later sentenced by a military court to life in prison.)
1998
A survey by the Natural Resources Defense Council announced that four out of five nuclear storage sites worldwide have been closed since the end of the Cold War and the number of bombs had shrunk by nearly half. A survey by the Washington-based group estimated the five declared nuclear powers deployed about 36,000 nuclear weapons at the end of 1997, down from nearly 70,000 in the mid-1980s.
1998
Sergeant Major Gene McKinney, once the Army's top enlisted man, was acquitted at his court-martial of pressuring military women for sex, but was convicted of trying to persuade his chief accuser to lie.
1998
US Representative Joseph P. Kennedy II (Democrat, Massachusetts) announced he would not seek a seventh term.
1999
Evander Holyfield, the WBA and IBF champion, and Lennox Lewis, the WBC champion, kept their respective titles after fighting to a controversial draw in New York.
1999
Serb government forces destroyed more than 25 homes of ethnic Albanians in Kosovo, apparently in retaliation for the killing of Serb civilians.
1999
Playwright Garson Kanin died in New York at age 86.
2000
A quarter century after the end of the Vietnam War, US Defense Secretary William Cohen arrived in Hanoi to push the pace of reconciliation. _____________________________________________________________
2005
Suspect in Georgia courtroom slayings caught
2005
Bright object falls from sky over northwest United States
2005
Gay play about Jesus Christ in Brazil
2005
GAA:Dublin too strong for Westmeath
2005
Bin Laden banished from Islam in Iberia
2005
Pope John Paul II leaves hospital
2005
Syria affirms withdrawal intentions
2005
France beat Ireland in RBS Six Nations
2006
Manuel Zelaya sworn in as President of Honduras
2006
"Massive" oil spill in Alaska
2006
U.S. found in violation of Native Americans rights
2006
Google launches Google Mars
2006
Chinese government approved Nanjing purchase of MG Rover
2006
Thousands of Thai protesters prepare to march on Government House
2006
Queen Elizabeth II arrives in Australia for 15th visit
2006
800 British troops being pulled out of Iraq
2006
18 Motorcyclists killed during Bike Week
2006
U.S. Senate debates raising national debt ceiling
2006
Chicago requires blind students to take driver's education
2006
186,000 cases of chikungunya in Réunion
2006
Mad Cow disease confirmed in U.S.
2007
Russia: Iran's Bushehr nuclear power plant to be delayed
2007
French politicians distance themselves from Chirac
2007
Controversial blog relaunched in New Zealand
2007
Protests in Pakistan as Chief Justice appears before judges' panel
2007
'Virtual Iraq' created to help traumatised veterans
2007
Cricket World Cup: West Indies vs Pakistan
2007
NHL: Penguins to remain in Pittsburgh
2007
Five Europeans are released in Ethiopia
2007
Sub-prime lenders send jitters through global markets
2007
Saturn's moon Enceladus may host "internal life"
2007
Viacom sues YouTube, Google, for more than 1 billion dollars
2008
Assisted-suicide doctor Jack Kevorkian to run for US Congress
2008
H5N1 Avian Flu virus has mutated, study says
2008
Australian Senator arrives at Parliament dressed as a beer bottle
2008
Couple assaulted, one killed in 'goth clothing' prompted attack
2008
Atlas V successfully launches spy satellite
2008
Man breaches security at London's Heathrow Airport
2008
Church of Scientology denied injunction against Anonymous
2008
German actor Erwin Geschonneck dies at 101
2008
National Hockey League news: March 13, 2008
2008
Tour de Taiwan Stage 4: Intensive circulation at Taichung City
2008
Australian health workers to close intensive care units in Victoria next week
2008
TaiSPO & Taipei Cycle: A reunion with more opportunities
2009
Canadian jail inmates used nail clippers to escape, report finds
2009
Billionaire philanthropist Leonore Annenberg dies at 91
2009
Egyptian treasures found in ancient tomb
2009
"Mrs. Hockey" Colleen Howe is laid to rest
2009
US stock markets have their best week since November
2009
Obama administration drops use of term "enemy combatant"
2009
Canadian helicopter with 18 onboard crashes into Atlantic Ocean
2010
US appeals court rejects bid from expelled New York Senator convicted of assault
2010
Whaling activist arrested by Japan
2010
Magnitude 6.9 earthquake hits Chile as president is sworn in
2010
Kidnapped Spanish aid worker is released
2010
Fearing protests, Israel seals off West Bank
2010
Pakistan Navy fires test missiles
2010
Illinois House lessens penalty for sexting
2010
Agency: New York City taxi cab drivers overcharged riders by $8.3 million
2010
Airplane in Nigeria crashes during mock rescue exercise
2011
Cuba releases leading dissident from prison
2011
Burger King CEO insults British women during speech to students
2011
Libyan government forces capture eastern town from rebels
2011
Domestic economic impacts likely after Japanese earthquake
2011
US State department official resigns after Wikileaks comments
2011
Researchers identify genetic link to peanut allergies
2011
Al Jazeera cameraman killed in eastern Libya
2011
Israel to build new settlements in West Bank
2011
Japanese tsunami impacts California coastal town
2011
Japan facing 'most severe crisis since World War II', says prime minister
2011
IPad 2 goes on sale in United States
2011
New York tour bus crash kills 14
2011
Death toll rises from Japan quake
2011
Four dead after Yemen police fire on protesters
2011
Cuba sentences USAID worker to fifteen-year prison term
2012
Imam dead in Shia mosque attack in Belgium
2012
Toilet paper running thin in New Jersey capital

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.

Select a section