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Today in History

1848
Buffalo hunter, saloon keeper and Western frontier lawman, Wyatt Earp born in Monmouth, Illinois
1918
US Congress establishes time zones and daylight savings time
1936
Art model, Bond girl, and Golden Globe Award winning actress, Ursula Andress born in Berne, Switzerland
1955
Singer, actor and co-founder of Planet Hollywood, Walter Bruce Willis born in Idar-Oberstein, West Germany
1962
Bob Dylan releases his first album
1979
US House of Representatives begins broadcasting its deliberations via C-SPAN
721
BC
According to the Roman historian Ptolemy, Babylonian astronomers noted history's first recorded eclipse: an eclipse of the moon.
235
Maximinus proclaimed Emperor of Rome
624
Muhammed proclaims the "Day of Deliverance"
1128
The Templars receive the Castle of Soure, from Queen Theresa of Portugal
1148
The 2nd Crusade reaches Antioch
1227
Election of Pope Gregory IX
1229
Because of Frederick II Hohenstaufen's entry into Jerusalem, the Archbishop of Caesarea places Jerusalem under Interdict
1255
The Church permits Aristotle to be taught in the Universities
1286
Death of Alexander III, King of Scotland
1307
Early on Palm Sunday the forces lead by the Scottish knight Sir James Douglas (aka Black Douglas, Good Sir James) annihlated the British troops occupying his castle, which later comes to be called the 'Douglas Larder'
1452
Frederick III becomes the last Holy Roman Emperor crowned in Rome
1519
Henry II, King of France (1547-59) born
1532
King Henry VIII of England confiscates Church Annates
1563
The Peace of Amboise ended the First War of Religion in France. The Huguenots were granted a limited amount of toleration.
1589
William Bradford, governor of Plymouth colony for 30 years born
1603
John IV, "the Fortunate," King of Portugal born
1628
90 Puritan merchants (New England Co.) receive New World land patent; Massachusetts Colony founded
1649
English Parliament abolishes the Monarchy
1687
French explorer Robert Cavelier, sieur de La Salle -- the first European to navigate the length of the Mississippi River -- was murdered by mutineers in present-day Texas.
1813
Scottish physician, missionary and explorer David Livingstone was born in Blantyre, Lanarkshire, Scotland. The Scotsman exercised a formative influence upon Western attitudes toward Africa.
1821
Explorer and translator of the Arabian Nights and the Kama Sutra, Sir Richard F. Burton was born to an English family living in Ireland. When he died in 1890, his wife, Isabel, burnt his unpublished manuscripts.
1823
Beethoven gave Archduke Rudolph his "Missa Solemnis".
1831
The first bank robbery in America was reported. The City Bank of New York City lost $245,000 in the heist.
1848
Marshal Wyatt Earp born
1853
During the Taiping Rebellion in China, the rebels captured Nanking and renamed it T'ien-ching (Heavenly Capital).
1859
The opera "Faust" by Charles Gounod premiered in Paris.
1860
American political leader William Jennings Bryan was born in Salem, Illinois. (d.1925) The "Silver-tongued Orator," as he was called, was a free silver advocate and a three-time presidential candidate.
1881
Edith Nourse Rogers was born. She was a YMCA and Red Cross volunteer in France during World War I. She was the first woman to have her name attached to major legislation. She was reelected to the House 17 times.
1891
Chief Justice Earl Warren born
1910
The first all-Bartok concert was given in Budapest.
1914
Actress Patricia Morison (Peyton Place) born
1916
Irving Wallace, author (The People's Almanac) born
1917
The US Supreme Court upheld the eight-hour work day for railroads.
1918
Congress approved Daylight-Saving Time. The act authorized Congress to establish time zones for the U.S. It was also established to save fuel and to promote the economies in a country at war.
1920
Tthe US Senate rejected for the second time the Treaty of Versailles by a vote of 49 in favor, 35 against, falling short of the two-thirds majority needed for approval.
1925
Former White House national security adviser Brent Scowcroft born
1928
Actor-director Patrick McGoohan born
1928
Theologian Hans Kung born
1928
"Amos and Andy" debuts on radio. Freeman Gosden and Charles Correll left WGN Radio in Chicago to head across town to WMAQ Radio. Due to contract limitations they weren't permitted to take their popular radio show names.
1931
Nevada legalized gambling.
1932
Australia's Sydney Harbor Bridge was officially opened.
1933
Author Philip Roth born
1935
Actress Nancy Malone born
1935
Actress-singer Phyllis Newman born
1935
Actress Renee Taylor born
1936
Actress Ursula Andress born
1937
Singer Clarence "Frogman" Henry born
1942
With World War II under way, all men in the United States between the ages of 45 and 64, about 13 million, were ordered to register with the draft boards for non-military duty.
1944
Lynda Bird Johnson Robb born
1945
About eight hundred people were killed as Kamikaze planes attacked the US carrier "Franklin" off Japan; the ship, however, was saved.
1945
Adolf Hitler issued his so-called "Nero Decree," ordering the destruction of German facilities that could fall into Allied hands.
1946
Singer Ruth Pointer (The Pointer Sisters) born
1946
Rock musician (The Zombies) Paul Atkinson born
1947
Actress Glenn Close born
1948
The quickest main event in the history of Madison Square Garden in New York City, a crowd of spectators watch Lee Savold knock out Gino Buonvino in 54 seconds of the first round of their prize fight.
1949
The American Museum of Atomic Energy opened in Oak Ridge, Tennessee.
1951
Herman Wouk's war novel "The Caine Mutiny" is published. He later won a Pulitzer Prize for the novel.
1952
Composer Chris Brubeck born
1953
The Academy Awards ceremony was televised for the first time. "The Greatest Show on Earth" was named best picture of 1952. NBC paid $100,000 for the rights to broadcast the event. Bob Hope was the host.
1954
Viewers saw the first televised prize fight shown in living color as Joey Giardello knocked out Willie Tory in round seven of a scheduled 10-round bout at Madison Square Garden in New York City.
1955
Actor Bruce Willis born
1955
Rock musician (The Bay City Rollers) Derek Longmuir born
1957
Elvis Presley purchased a mansion in Memphis, Tennessee, and named it "Graceland."
1958
Singer Terry Hall born
1964
The Great St. Bernard Tunnel under the Alps between Switzerland and Italy was opened to traffic.
1970
Rock musician Gert Bettens (K's Choice) born
1976
Buckingham Palace announced the separation of Princess Margaret and her husband, the Earl of Snowdon, after 16 years of marriage.
1979
The US House of Representatives began televising its day-to-day business.
1982
An Argentine scrap metal dealer landed on South Georgia in the Atlantic Ocean and planted an Argentinean flag. The situation escalated and eventually led to the Falklands war.
1983
The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights charged that the White House and federal agencies had impeded its work by withholding documents, and notified President Reagan that it would issue subpoenas to obtain them.
1984
TV Show "Kate and Allie" premieres.
1985
In a legislative victory for President Reagan, the Senate voted, 55-to-45, to authorize production of the M-X missile.
1985
IBM announced that it was planning to stop making the ill fated PCjr consumer-oriented computer. In the 16 months the PCjr was on the market, only 240,000 units were sold.
1987
Televangelist Jim Bakker resigned as chairman of his PTL ministry organization amid a sex and money scandal involving Jessica Hahn, a former church secretary.
1987
President Reagan, in a news conference, repudiated his policy of selling arms to Iran, saying, "I would not go down that road again."
1988
Two British soldiers were shot to death after they were dragged from a car and beaten by mourners attending an Irish Republican Army funeral in Belfast, Northern Ireland.
1989
Alfredo Cristiani of the right-wing ARENA party was elected president of El Salvador, defeating Fidel Chavez Mena of the Christian Democratic Party.
1990
Latvia's political opposition claimed victory in the republic's first free elections in 50 years, and reformers also claimed victories in crucial runoffs held in Russia, Byelorussia and the Ukraine.
1991
The Labor Department reported that consumer prices, benefiting from a big monthly decline in gasoline prices, had edged upward only two-tenths of a percentage point the previous month.
1992
Democrat Paul Tsongas pulled out of the presidential race, leaving Arkansas Governor Bill Clinton the clear favorite to capture their party's nomination.
1993
Supreme Court Justice Byron R. White announced plans to retire. (White's departure paved the way for Ruth Bader Ginsburg to become the court's second female justice.)
1993
Two composers famous mainly for movie music re-entered the recorded repertory with their "longhair" stuff. Koch released a recording of James Sedares and the New Zealand Symphony doing works of Miklos Rozsa, including a Hungarian Nocturne and Three Hungarian Sketches.
1994
Talks between North Korea and South Korea collapsed, imperiling a U.S.-brokered deal to resolve the North Korean nuclear dispute.
1994
In his weekly radio address, President Clinton promised to tell people "all across America about our health reform plan and what it really means.""
1995
Palestinian gunmen opened fire on a bus carrying Jewish settlers, killing two people.
1995
Britain's Queen Elizabeth started an historic state visit to post-apartheid South Africa.
1996
Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole wrapped up the Republican presidential nomination with solid primary victories in four Midwestern states.
1996
Sarajevo again became a united city after four years when Moslem-Croat authorities took control of the last district held by Serbs.
1996
President Clinton rolled out a $1.64 trillion election-year budget, promising it would invigorate the economy, erase federal deficits and cut taxes.
1997
Artist Willem de Kooning, considered one of the 20th century's greatest painters, died in East Hampton, New York, at age 92.
1997
Following the withdrawal of Anthony Lake, President Clinton nominated acting CIA Director George Tenet to head the nation's spy agency.
1997
President Clinton departed Washington for his summit in Helsinki, Finland, with Russian President Boris Yeltsin.
1998
A throng of 30,000 ethnic Albanian mourners filed through the dusty streets of Pec to bury the latest victim of violence in the Serbian province of Kosovo. Qerim Muriqi, 52, was shot dead the previous day as he walked toward the center of Pec to take part in a demonstration. Five other Albanians were reported wounded.
1998
Completing baseball's transformation from family ownership to corporate control, Rupert Murdoch's Fox Group won approval to buy the Los Angeles Dodgers for a record $350 million.
1998
Ice and snow storms across parts of the High Plains closed schools and highways and downed powerlines. Ice and winds left thousands without power when lines in western Kansas snapped during the late winter storm. Several inches of snow fell in northern Oklahoma and western Kansas, closing schools and businesses in both states.
1999
At a White House news conference, President Clinton prepared the nation for airstrikes against Serbian targets following the collapse of Kosovo peace talks in Paris.
1999
A powerful bomb shattered an outdoor food market in Vladikavkaz, Russia, killing at least 53 people.
2000
President Clinton arrived near New Delhi on the first presidential visit to India in 22 years as he opened a six-day trip through troubled South Asia. _____________________________________________________________
2005
Cassini discovers Saturn moon atmosphere
2005
Wales win Grand Slam, RBS Six Nations and the Triple Crown
2005
Europe marks second Iraq invasion anniversary
2005
Japan will not shoot down missiles headed for allies
2005
Rice pushes for fresh nuclear talks with North Korea
2005
Lebanese President to skip Arab Summit
2005
Pakistan test fires nuclear-capable missile
2005
Texas representative proposes to outlaw 'sexy' cheerleading
2006
Labor claims victory in two Australian state elections
2006
Second oil disaster in Estonia within two months
2006
Avian flu cause of Egyptian woman's death
2006
Report Specifies 'Black Room' of Abuse in Iraq
2006
More medals for NZ: Commonwealth Games
2006
PlayStation 3 delayed until November
2006
Polling data on President Bush's approval rating indicates recent decline
2006
Personal relationship between Bush and McCallum questioned
2006
100s of thousands take to the streets across France
2006
Queensland braces for category 5 cyclone
2007
65th running of the Aiken Trials held
2007
Canadian Green Party leader set to challenge MacKay for seat
2007
Senior Russian official questions role of NATO, Eurasian Economic Community
2007
Former Arizona Governor says he saw a UFO during the 1997 Phoenix Lights
2007
Google's YouTube to present its best video awards
2007
Doctor robbed, car-jacked and locked in boot while car set alight
2007
Black registrar to hold mass wedding in Belgium
2007
Cricket World Cup: India vs Bermuda
2007
Cricket World Cup: West Indies vs Zimbabwe
2007
Contaminated pet food causes massive recall
2007
Football: Ronaldo penalty sends United to FA Cup semifinals
2007
A380 makes maiden flight to US
2007
Football: Chelsea beat out Spurs in FA Cup replay
2007
Methane gas explosion at Ulyanovskaya Mine kills at least 108
2008
George Bush and Irish Prime Minister attend reception at White House to commemorate St. Patrick's day
2008
George Bush discusses Iraq 5 years after invasion
2008
UAE launches national authority for scientific research
2008
Pakistan's parliament elects first female speaker
2008
Three of Serbia's neighbours recognize Kosovo
2008
Hubble detects methane on distant planet
2008
McCanns granted newspaper apologies
2008
Visionary and author Arthur C. Clarke dead at age 90
2008
Moldova's Prime Minister Vasile Tarlev resigns
2009
Pennsylvania Amish farmer jailed for outhouse violations
2009
7.9 magnitude earthquake strikes near Tonga, tsunami generated
2009
US supports UN gay rights declaration
2009
Harlan Ellison sues CBS-Paramount, WGA over Star Trek royalties
2009
Usain Bolt to run 150 metre race in Manchester
2009
British actress Natasha Richardson dies at age 45
2009
North Korean military detains two American journalists
2009
Monty Python's "Holy Hand Grenade" sparks bomb scare
2010
Seismologist Mario Pardo rebukes notion that Pichilemu, Chile experiencing "seismic swarm"
2011
ICANN approves .xxx domain for pornography
2011
Crucifixes can be displayed in state schools, European court rules
2011
Israel bombarding Gaza after Hamas mortar attack
2011
BBC DJ duo break radio record
2011
French aircraft on flights over Libya; US missiles launched at targets
2011
US and UK forces join Libyan attack
2011
UN carries out first review of US human rights record
2011
45 killed after Yemen protesters fired upon
2011
Part of California highway near Big Sur falls into the sea
2012
Adam Folkard and Nick Norton ready for more men's softball
2012
Japanese national team beats ACT softball team
2013
IOC visits Madrid as part of 2020 Olympic bid process

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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