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Today in History

1757
British Admiral John Byng executed for failing to "do his utmost"
1794
Eli Whitney patents cotton gin
1879
Legendary Nobel prize winning physicist Albert Einstein born in Württemberg, Germany
1920
Cartoonist and creator of Dennis, the Menace, Hank Ketcham born in Seattle, Washington
1948
Actor and comedian Billy Crystal born Israel William Krisstalsterne in Long Beach, New York
1951
Actress Season Hubley born in New York City
1960
LISP introduced
1988
Actress, fashion model, DJ and musician, Sasha Grey born in North Highlands, California
1994
Linux kernel version 1.0.0 is released
840
Death of Einhard
968
Death of St. Matilda, Queen of Germany
1009
Death of St. Boniface (Bruno of Querfurt)
1181
King Philip Augustus orders Parisian Jews seized for ransom
1313
Edinburgh Castle retaken from the English
1469
Jacob Fugger I, German financier, dies (birth date unknown)
1471
Sir Thomas Malory, author of "Le Morte d'Arthur," dies in London
1489
Catherine Cornaro, Queen of Cyprus and last of the Lusignan dynasty, sold her kingdom to Venice.
1558
Ferdinand assumes the title of Emperor without being crowned by the Pope
1629
Royal charter granted Massachusetts Bay Colony
1644
England grants patent for Providence Plantations (now Rhode Island)
1681
Georg Philipp Telemann, leading German late baroque composer. born
1682
Jacob van Ruysdael, Dutch landscape painter, dies at about 57
1743
The first recorded town meeting in America was held, at Faneuil Hall in Boston.
1794
Eli Whitney received a patent for his cotton gin, an invention that revolutionized America's cotton industry.
1804
Johann Strauss, composer born
1812
The U.S. government authorized issue of America's first war bonds, to pay for military equipment for use against the British.
1864
Casey Jones born
1879
Physicist Albert Einstein was born in Ulm, Germany. He was 27-years-old when he originated the Theory of Relativity, making atomic weapons possible. He was 4 years old before he spoke.
1883
German political philosopher Karl Marx died in London. He published, with Friedrich Engels, the Communist Manifesto.
1891
The submarine HMTS Monarch laid telephone cable along the English Channel bed to prepare for the first telephone links across the Channel
1900
Congress ratified the Gold Standard Act.
1912
Bandleader Les Brown. born
1918
The first seagoing ship made of concrete was launched at Redwood City, California. The ship was named "Faith" and cost $750,000 to build.
1920
Dennis the Menace cartoonist Hank Ketcham born
1923
President Harding became the first chief executive to file an income tax report.
1928
Former astronaut Frank Borman, Eastern Airline president born
1931
Singer Phil Phillips born
1932
George Eastman, American photographic pioneer who founded the Kodak Company, committed suicide.
1933
Actor Michael Caine born
1933
Composer-conductor Quincy Jones born
1934
Former astronaut Eugene Cernan born
1939
The republic of Czechoslovakia was dissolved, opening the way for Nazi occupation.
1941
Movie director Wolfgang Petersen ("Das Boot") born
1941
Virgil Thomson wrote, "Gustav Mahler is to Richard Strauss as Bach is to Handel, or Debussy to Ravel...."
1942
Actress Rita Tushingham born
1943
Aaron Copland's "Fanfare for the Common Man" premiered in New York, with George Szell conducting.
1945
Rock musician Walt Parazaider (Chicago) born
1945
The heaviest bomb of World War II, the 22,000-pound "Grand Slam," was dropped by the Royal Air Force's Dambuster Squadron on the Bielefeld railway viaduct in Germany.
1946
Actor Steve Kanaly born
1948
Comedian Billy Crystal born
1951
During the Korean War, United Nations forces recaptured Seoul.
1951
Actress Season Hubley born
1954
Country singer Jann Browne born
1954
Actor Adrian Zmed born
1955
Musician (Level 42) Boon Guild born
1958
Prince Albert Grimaldi of Monaco born
1958
The Recording Industry Association of America certified the first gold record to Perry Como's "Catch A Falling Star."
1961
Baseball player Kirby Puckett born
1964
A jury in Dallas found Jack Ruby guilty of murdering Lee Harvey Oswald, the accused assassin of President Kennedy, the previous November.
1965
Israel's cabinet formally approved establishment of diplomatic relations with West Germany.
1967
The body of President Kennedy was moved from a temporary grave to a permanent memorial site at Arlington National Cemetery.
1968
Actress Megan Follows born
1969
Actress Laura Leighton born
1972
California Governor Ronald Reagan granted a full pardon to country western singer Merle Haggard. Haggard had served three years in San Quentin prison for burglary from 1957-60.
1978
Dutch marines succeeded in freeing 71 hostages held by South Moluccans for 29 hours.
1979
Actor Jake Fogelnest ("SQUIRT TV") born
1980
A Polish airliner crashed while making an emergency landing near Warsaw, killing all 87 people aboard, including 22 members of a US amateur boxing team.
1982
Actress Kate Maberly born
1983
Singer-musician Taylor Hanson (Hanson) born
1983
The Organization for Petroleum Exporting Countries agreed for the first time ever to cut prices in hopes of regaining control over the world oil market.
1985
The United States evacuated American officials from Lebanon, leaving only a small diplomatic presence in war-torn Beirut.
1985
U.S. and Soviet negotiators laid down their opening positions in their first full session of renewed arms talks in Geneva, Switzerland.
1986
President Reagan announced he had sent Soviet leader Mikhail S. Gorbachev a "new, very specific and far-reaching proposal" on nuclear testing.
1987
President Reagan, in his Saturday address, said he should have listened to Secretary of State George P. Shultz and Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger when they advised him not to sell arms to Iran.
1988
Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir arrived in Washington with what he called new ideas for Middle East peace talks, despite maintaining a hard line on Israel's retention of the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip.
1989
Lebanese hijacker Fawaz Younis was convicted in a US federal court of commandeering a Jordanian airliner and holding 70 hostages, including two Americans.
1989
In a shift of policy, the Bush administration announced an indefinite ban on imports of semiautomatic assault rifles.
1990
The United States, the Soviet Union, Britain, France and West and East Germany held their first formal meeting on reunifying the German states.
1990
The Soviet Congress elected Mikhail S. Gorbachev to the country's new, powerful presidency, a day after creating the post.
1991
The emir of Kuwait -- Sheik Jaber al-Ahmed al-Sabah -- returned home after seven months in exile.
1991
Scientists from around the world reported the discovery of the gene that triggers colon cancer.
1991
A British court reversed the convictions of the "Birmingham Six," who had spent 16 years in prison for an Irish Republican Army bombing, and ordered them released.
1991
Speakers at a Los Angeles Police Commission hearing demanded the ouster of Chief Daryl F. Gates in the wake of the videotaped police beating of motorist Rodney King.
1992
The Associated Press obtained the names of 22 of 24 of the worst offenders in the check overdraft scandal at the House bank; topping the list were former Representative Tommy Robinson of Arkansas and Representative Bob Mrazek of New York, both Democrats.
1993
The "Music for Life" concert was held at New York's Carnegie Hall. Proceeds went to AIDS research.
1993
An independent UN-sponsored commission released a report blaming the bulk of atrocities committed during El Salvador's civil war on the country's military.
1994
Secretary of State Warren Christopher wrapped up three days of meetings with Chinese leaders, who rejected attempts to link their human rights record with preferred trade status.
1994
Associate Attorney General Webster Hubbell, a longtime friend of President and Mrs. Clinton, resigned because of controversy over billings he'd charged while in private law practice.
1995
American astronaut Norman Thagard became the first American to enter space aboard a Russian rocket as he and two cosmonauts blasted off aboard a "Soyuz" spacecraft, headed for the "Mir" space station.
1996
Steve Forbes dropped his quest for the Republican presidential nomination after spending 30 million dollars of his own money.
1996
During a visit to Israel, President Clinton pledged 100 million dollars to the fight against terrorism.
1997
Surgeons at Bethesda Naval Medical Center repaired a painful torn knee tendon in President Clinton's right leg; the injury had been caused by a freak middle-of-the-night stumble at the Florida home of golfer Greg Norman.
1998
India's Congress party picked Sonia Gandhi, the Italian-born widow of assassinated prime minister Rajiv Gandhi, as its new president. An earthquake killed at least five people and left some ten-thousand homeless in southeastern Iran.
1998
Carolina farmers began assessing damage to their frost-bitten peach and strawberry crops as a result of three days of freezing weather. A third hard freeze overnight ruined tiny peaches emerging on early blooming trees in North and South Carolina orchards.
1999
The Clinton administration conceded the Chinese had gained from technology allegedly stolen from a federal nuclear weapons lab but insisted the government responded decisively; Republicans demanded a comprehensive review of U.S. policy toward China.
2000
Defending champion Doug Swingley drove his dog team to victory in the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race.
2000
Republican George W. Bush and Democrat Al Gore clinched their presidential nominations in a sweep of Southern primaries. _____________________________________________________________
2005
Romania to cancel trains on major line due to road works
2005
Slovakia on track to adopt euro in 2009
2005
Padraig Harrington wins first PGA Tour event; The Honda Classic
2005
Dutch member of Parliament proposes to abolish the Cabinet
2006
Wikipedia class action site vanishes, backers revealed
2006
Warmest Canadian winter on record
2006
More arrests from Cronulla riots
2006
Geysers of water on one of Saturn's moons
2006
PFLP leader Ahmed Saadat captured by Israeli forces
2006
Coldest month of March in Stockholm since 1942
2006
Isaac Hayes quits South Park over Scientology episode
2006
Israelis storm Palestinian jail
2007
NCAA Basketball: Niagara defeats Florida A&M, advances to first round of NCAA tournament
2007
Cricket World Cup: Australia vs Scotland
2007
Cricket World Cup: Kenya vs Canada
2007
Zimbabwean opposition leader in intensive care after arrest
2007
Baseball's Pete Rose: "I bet on my team every night"
2007
Study finds children from single-parent homes more likely to be sexually abused
2007
Iraqi authorities say Baghdad violence has dropped sharply
2007
Disney Cruise Line to add two new ships
2007
Chief Justice of Pakistan manhandled, gag order issued by government
2007
Duke of York arrives in New Zealand
2008
Gay Iranian awaits decision on asylum
2008
Tour de Taiwan Stage 5: Shawn Milne threatens John Murphy's leading
2008
Jimmy Wales accused of editing Wikipedia for donations
2008
Anti-China protesters clash with police in Tibet
2008
National Hockey League news: March 14, 2008
2008
Doctors who treated John Ritter cleared of negligence lawsuit
2008
UEFA Champions League and UEFA Cup 2007–08 draw results
2008
Proton rocket fails to launch AMC-14 satellite
2008
Tour de Taiwan Stage 6: A jersey battle between American cyclists
2009
Colonel Sanders statue lost in 1985 recovered from river in Japan
2009
Saskatchewan places moratorium on boar farming, says escaped boars should be killed
2009
US, UK investigators seek 777 engine redesign to stop repeat of London jet crash
2009
7 killed, 50 injured in Bangladesh shopping mall fire
2010
Chinese fishing boat hijacked off coast of Cameroon
2010
Taliban militant kills at least thirteen in northwest Pakistan
2010
Australia defeats Germany 2-1, wins men's field hockey World Cup
2010
Avalanche in Canadian Rocky Mountains kills two
2010
Georgia panicked by fake Russia invasion broadcast
2011
Third explosion at Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant
2011
Japan earthquake shifts Earth's axis 10 centimetres
2011
Libyan rebels retake town of Brega
2012
Sandra Fluke insists she will not be silenced
2012
Encyclopaedia Britannica to stop publishing after 244 years
2013
Archbishop Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Buenos Aires elected as Pope Francis
2013
Heavy snow causes disruption across northwestern Europe

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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