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Today in History

461
St. Patrick's Day
1776
Evacuation Day in Boston, Massachusetts
1845
Rubber band patented by Stephen Perry
1919
Singer, songwriter and musician, Nat King Cole born in Montgomery, Alabama
1931
Nevada legalizes gambling
1951
Baseball player (.563 BA), pilot, and Golden Globe Award nominated actor, Kurt Russell born in Springfield, Massachusetts
1954
Fashion model and Golden Globe Award nominated actress Lesley-Anne Down born in London, England
1955
Musician, director, Emmy and Golden Globe Award winning actor, Gary Sinise born in Blue Island, Illinois
1961
Actress, singer, author and social activist, Dana Reeve born in Teaneck, New Jersey
461
According to tradition, St. Patrick -- the patron saint of Ireland -- died in Saul.
659
Death of St. Gertrude of Nivelles
1040
Harold I Harefoot, King of England, dies, is succeeded by Hardthacanute, King of Denmark
1058
Malcolm III (Canmore) becomes King of Scotland
1190
500 Jews massacred at York, England
1229
Frederick II Hohenstaufen enters Jerusalem
1230
A Synod in Bremen accuses the Stedinger Revolt of Satanism
1328
Treaty of Edinburgh
1337
Edward, son of Edward III of England, becomes the first to bear the title of (Royal) Duke (of Cornwall)
1406
Death of Abd al-Rahman ibn Muhammad ibn Khaldun, historian
1473
James I, King of Scotland born
1521
Ferdinand Magellan discovers the Philippines
1526
French King Francis I released from Spanish captivity
1566
Moray and his adherents flee Edinburgh
1591
Jost Amman. painter and engraver, buried
1617
Sir Walter Raleigh sails for Guiana
1628
Convening of Charles I's third Parliament
1649
The English Parliament abolishes the office of King
1776
Having seized Dorchester Heights, George Washington forced the British troops under William Howe to evacuate Boston during the Revolutionary War.
1804
James Bridger, scout, fur trader, mountain man par excellance. born
1830
Chopin's Piano Concerto No. 2 in F minor premiered in Warsaw with the composer in the solo role. He reported later, quote, "the potpourri on Polish themes missed fire completely," drawing only enough applause to reassure him that the audience wasn't bored.
1834
German engineer Gottleib Daimler, inventor of the high-speed, gasoline burning, internal combustion engine born
1846
Children's author and illustrator Kate Greenaway born
1861
A new united kingdom of Italy was proclaimed by parliament with Victor Emmanuel II as king.
1866
Erik Satie was born. To this day, people argue about whether he was a genius or just a quirky guy with faulty technique
1870
The Massachusetts legislature authorized the incorporation of Wellesley Female Seminary. (It later became Wellesley College.)
1894
The United States and China signed a treaty aimed at preventing Chinese laborers from entering the United States.
1897
Motion pictures of a championship prize fight were taken for the first time as "Sunny" Bob Fitzsimmons knocked out "Gentleman" Jim Corbett for the world heavyweight title.
1902
Golfer Bobby Jones born
1905
Eleanor Roosevelt married Franklin D. Roosevelt in New York.
1906
President Theodore Roosevelt used the term "muckrake" in a speech to the Gridiron Club in Washington.
1910
The Camp Fire Girls was founded at Lake Sebago, Maine, by Luther and Charlotte Gulick.(It was formally presented to the public exactly two years later.)
1912
Lawrence Oates, an English explorer with Scott's expedition to Antarctica, left the tent on his 32nd birthday, saying "I am just going outside, and may be some time." He never returned.
1917
America's first bowling tournament for ladies rolled-out in St. Louis, Missouri. About 100 women participated in the event.
1918
Actress Mercedes McCambridge born
1919
Jazz legend Nat "King" Cole born
1933
The former chairwoman of the board of the NAACP, Myrlie Evers-Williams born
1937
Singer Adam Wade born
1938
Ballet star Rudolf Nureyev born
1941
Rock musician Paul Kantner born
1941
The National Gallery of Art opened in Washington DC.
1942
General Douglas MacArthur arrived in Australia to become supreme commander of Allied forces in the southwest Pacific theater during World War Two.
1942
Paul Kantner, musician (Jefferson Starship) born
1943
Singer-songwriter Jim Weatherly born
1944
Singer-songwriter John Sebastian (The Loving' Spoonful) born
1945
The bloody battle against Japanese forces for the Pacific island of Iwo Jima ended in victory for the United States.
1946
Rock musician (War) Harold Brown born
1948
The Brussels Treaty, a 50-year alliance between Britain, France and the Benelux countries, was signed to provide for military cooperation in the event of an attack.
1949
Actor Patrick Duffy born
1950
Scientists at the University of California at Berkeley announced they had created a new radioactive element, which they named "californium."
1951
Actor Kurt Russell born
1951
Rock musician (Thin Lizzy) Scott Gorham born
1952
Country singer Susie Allanson born
1954
Actress Lesley-Anne Down born
1955
Actor Gary Sinise born
1955
Country singer Paul Overstreet born
1958
The U.S. Navy successfully launched Vanguard-1, a three-and-a-half-pound satellite, into orbit around the earth.
1959
Rock musician (Level 42) Mike Lindup born
1960
Actress Vicki Lewis ("NewsRadio") born
1960
The second United Nations conference on the Law of the Sea opened in Geneva, attended by 88 states. It ended on April 26 without agreement.
1961
Actor Casey Siemaszko born
1963
Elizabeth Ann Seton of New York was beatified. She was sainted in 1975.
1963
Bob Cousey of the Boston Celtics played his last, regular season basketball game after 13 years in the National Basketball Association.
1963
On Bali, the volcano Mount Agung erupted, killing at least 11,000 people.
1964
Actor Rob Lowe born
1966
A US midget submarine located a missing hydrogen bomb which had fallen from an American bomber into the Mediterranean off Spain.
1967
Rock musician Van Connor (Screaming Trees) born
1967
Rock singer Billy Corgan (Smashing Pumpkins) born
1968
Violent demonstrations against the Vietnam war erupted outside the American embassy in London. Over 300 arrests were made and 90 policeman were injured.
1969
Golda Meir became prime minister of Israel.
1970
U.S. casts first veto in UN Security Council (The United States killed a resolution that would have condemned Britain for failure to use force to overthrow the white-ruled government of Rhodesia).
1972
Rock musician (Hole) Melissa Auf der Maur born
1974
Actress Marisa Coughlan born
1976
Singer Stephen Gately (Boyzone) born
1976
Boxer Rubin "Hurricane" Carter and John Artis, who were convicted in 1966 of a murder in a bar, had their conviction overturned following attention to the case, in part due to a Bob Dylan song "Hurricane."
1983
Cardinal Terence Cooke declined to receive Michael Flannery, the grand marshal of New York's St. Patrick's Day parade, because of Flannery's support of the Irish Republican Army.
1985
President Reagan traveled to Quebec City, Canada, for a meeting with Prime Minister Brian Mulroney that was nicknamed the "Shamrock Summit" because of the leaders' Irish ancestries and the date -- St. Patrick's Day.
1987
A federal appeals court cleared the way for the perjury indictment of former White House aide Michael Deaver. (The following December, a federal jury in Washington convicted Deaver of three of five perjury counts.)
1988
Three people were killed when a man armed with guns and grenades attacked an IRA graveside service in Belfast, Northern Ireland.
1988
Planeloads of US soldiers arrived at Palmerola Air Base in Honduras in a show of strength ordered by President Reagan.
1989
The Senate unanimously confirmed Wyoming Congressman Dick Cheney to be secretary of defense, following the failed nomination of former Sen. John Tower.
1989
The space shuttle Discovery landed at Edwards Air Force Base after a mission to put a $100 million tracking and data relay satellite into orbit.
1990
The president of Lithuania, Vytautas Landsbergis, rejected a deadline set by Moscow for renouncing the republic's independence.
1991
Allied commanders from the Gulf War held a second round of cease-fire talks with Iraqi officers; the Iraqis were told they could not move their warplanes inside Iraq for any reason.
1991
Millions of people voted in a landmark referendum on whether to preserve the splintering Soviet Union.
1992
At least twenty-eight people were killed and more than 250 were injured in the truck bombing of the Israeli embassy in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The terrorist group Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility.
1992
Democrat Bill Clinton scored big primary victories in Illinois and Michigan.
1992
Senator Alan Dixon, D-IL, was defeated in his primary re-election bid by Carol Mosely-Braun, who went on to become the first black woman elected to the U.S. Senate.
1993
Helen Hayes, the "First Lady of the American Theater," died in Nyack, New York, at age 92.
1994
Secretary of State Warren Christopher told a House subcommittee that reports the trip was a failure were "misleading," and said Beijing had made "solid improvements" in the areas of prison labor and immigration.
1995
Flor Contemplacion, a Filipino maid, was hanged in Singapore for murder, despite international pleas to spare her.
1995
The White House hosted a St. Patrick's Day reception for Irish Prime Minister John Bruton which was attended by Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams.
1995
The federal government approved the nation's first chicken pox vaccine, Varivax.
1996
In Dunblane, Scotland, Queen Elizabeth II came with flowers and sympathy as residents paused in silence to mourn 16 murdered children and their teacher.
1997
Leftists in El Salvador won control of the capital in a mayoral election.
1997
Anthony Lake asked President Clinton to withdraw his nomination to be CIA director, saying the partisan confirmation process had "gone haywire."
1998
Washington Mutual announced it had agreed to buy H.F. Ahmanson and Company for $9.9 billion dollars, creating the nation's seventh-largest banking company.
1998
A cargo craft carrying a vital set of wrenches reached Russia's Mir space station, and docking went ahead successfully. The reached Mir carrying among other items a spare set of wrenches to help open a jammed airlock and resume delayed space walks.
1998
A college classmate and close friend of Monica Lewinsky answered questions for nearly the entire day before the grand jury investigating the White House sex scandal. Catherine Allday Davis, who like Lewinsky was a psychology major at Lewis & Clark College in Ore., testified under oath during the closed proceeding.
1998
The first coeducational class at the once all-male Virginia Military Institute celebrated the end of seven months of hazing that transformed the "rats" into full-fledged cadets. 23 of the 30 women admitted to the Lexington, Virginia, military college the previous year crawled up a mud-soaked hill in near freezing temperatures in a tradition known as "breakout," ending months of torment by upperclassmen.
1999
A panel of medical experts concluded that marijuana has medical benefits for people suffering from cancer and AIDS.
1999
The International Olympic Committee expelled six of its members in the wake of a bribery scandal, but backed president Juan Antonio Samaranch.
1999
Instant replay was voted back in the NFL for the 1999 season.
2000
The United States lifted a ban on imports of Iranian luxury goods.
2000
Smith and Wesson signed an unprecedented agreement with the Clinton administration to, among other things, include safety locks with all of its handguns to make them more childproof; in return, the agreement called for federal, state and city lawsuits against the gun maker to be dropped.
2000
More than 300 members of a religious sect burned to death in a makeshift church in southwestern Uganda. _____________________________________________________________
2005
Actor Robert Blake acquitted
2005
Brazil defends China against human rights violation charges in UN
2005
"Mao suits" fading away in China
2005
Flexible displays soon to be in production
2005
Dog owner to face felony charge
2005
The Woodcraft Folk loses subsidy
2005
McCartney campaign changing minds about IRA
2005
Mars studies find water
2005
Cuba defends China-Taiwan reunification
2005
Sci-fi and fantasy author Andre Norton dies
2005
50 Italian parliamentarians call for global summit for "a new financial architecture"
2006
Civilians killed in U.S. raid near Balad
2006
First Gold for NZ: Commonwealth Games
2006
Remote New Zealand island evacuated as volcano erupts
2006
New Zealand boarding school closed due to gastro-enteritis outbreak
2006
New Zealand Department of Conservation leaves Raoul Island, minus one
2006
Chinese bloggers pressure leads to kitten killer giveup
2007
Kimi Räikkönen will start from pole of Australian GP
2007
Namibia: VAT on milk to stay
2007
Football: Manchester United breeze past lackluster Bolton
2007
Wii tops U.S. video game console sales in February
2007
San Francisco & New York City office towers get new owner
2007
Rugby: France wins Six Nations
2007
Cricket World Cup: Pakistan vs Ireland
2007
Richard Dean Anderson in Stargate Continuum DVD film
2007
Cricket World Cup: India vs Bangladesh
2008
China: Dalai Lama's comments are 'downright nonsense'
2008
Court witness kidnapped in Buffalo, New York
2008
Adam Air hits severe financial problems; may be shut down in three weeks
2008
Mexican opposition party elects new leader
2008
National Hockey League news: March 17, 2008
2008
South Australian educational blog shut down
2008
HMAS Sydney found
2009
Five dead in murder-suicide in Miami, Florida
2009
Madagascar President resigns, unclear rule in Antananarivo
2009
Seattle's oldest newspaper to become online-only
2009
Australian Senate to decide sport footage ownership
2009
The Simpsons episode to premiere on Sky1
2009
Latin America suffers drop in remittances
2009
Austrian man who imprisoned daughter pleads guilty at start of trial
2009
Two women in North Carolina arrested for allegedly using Family Dollar variety store as marijuana ring
2009
Fossilized remains of small dinosaur rediscovered in Canada
2009
El Salvador elects leftist president Funes
2009
All bodies recovered from Canadian helicopter crash
2009
FIFA receives eleven bids for 2018 and 2022 World Cups
2009
British actress Natasha Richardson reportedly brain dead after skiing accident
2009
Namibia struck by floods, president declares state of emergency
2010
Officers reprimanded for crashing British nuclear sub
2010
US plan for broadband Internet released
2011
UN Security Council approves Libya no-fly zone
2011
Japan begins using helicopters to drop water on nuclear plant
2011
Owsley Stanley, icon of 1960s counterculture, dies at 76
2011
CIA contractor released from Pakistan
2011
Libyan rebels and Gaddafi troops in battle on two fronts
2011
UK unemployment increases to 17-year peak
2011
Expedition 26 crew returns to Earth safely
2011
US rapper Nate Dogg dies at age 41
2012
Indiana teen softball player recovering after lighting strike
2012
Heavy rains welcomed in Texas
2012
Russian scholars call on Medvedev and Putin to defend Bhagavad Gita
2013
Andy Blair wins Capital Punishment mountain bike race

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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