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Today in History

1836
Texas Independence day
1919
Academy Award winning actress, Jennifer Jones born in Tulsa, Oklahoma
1931
First and only President of the Soviet Union, Nobel Peace Prize laureate Mikhail Gorbachev born in Stavropol, Russia
1942
Seminal rock guitarist, singer, and songwriter, Lou Reed born in Brooklyn, New York
1949
Dancer, choreographer and actress, Gates McFadden born in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio
1949
Legendary blues guitarist Rory Gallagher born in Ballyshannon, Ireland
1950
Drummer and singer, Karen Carpenter born in New Haven, Connecticut
1952
Writer, actress and comedienne, Laraine Newman born in Los Angeles, California
1962
Oscar nominated songwriter, guitarist and singer, Jon Bon Jovi born John Francis Bongiovi, Jr in Perth Amboy, New Jersey
1962
Peasant's Day in Burma
1968
Stage, television and screen actor, Daniel Craig born in Chester, Cheshire, England
1969
First test flight of the Concorde
1972
Pioneer 10 launched at Cape Canaveral
1995
Yahoo! incorporates
274
Mani, prophet, founder of Manichaeism, dies in a Persian prison
672
Death of St. Chad
986
Death of Lothair, King of France
1127
Murder of St. Charles the Good (the Dane)
1160
Excommunication of Frederick I, Holy Roman Emperor
1296
Bull of Pope Boniface VIII "Clericis Laicos"
1316
Robert II king of Scots from 1371 born
1458
George Podebrad elected King of Bohemia
1459
Pope Adrian VI, Original name ADRIAN FLORENSZOON BOEYENS the only Dutch pope. He was elected in 1522 and was the last non-Italian pope until the election of John Paul II in 1978. born
1484
Issuance of Letters Patent by King Richard III of England, founding the English College of Arms
1492
Ferdinand V, King of Spain, banishes 800,000 Jews
1498
Vasco da Gama arrives in the Sultanate of Mozambique
1568
Pardo returns to Santa Elena, Florida, after charting a route to the Mississippi River
1585
Sir Francis Drake sails for the West Indies as a Privateer
1585
Dr. William Parry, English M.P., executed for alleged high treason
1629
The Speaker of the House of Commons is forcibly kept in his chair
1630
Charles I decides to rule without Parliament; Eliot's 3 Resolutions
1713
Johann Sebastian Bach was promoted to Concert Master at Weimar. Bach composed his "Toccatas" and some of his other best organ music here.
1776
Americans begin shelling British troops in Boston.
1779
U.S. statesman Joel R(oberts) Poinsett. He was noted primarily for his diplomacy in Latin America and for introducing the poinsettia to the US. born
1793
Sam Houston, first president of the Republic of Texas (near Lexington, Virginia). born
1810
Leo XIII, 256th Catholic Pope born
1817
The greatest Hungarian epic poet Jnos Arany born
1819
The Territory of Arkansas is organized.
1829
Carl Schurz, political reformer and Civil War general born
1836
Texas declared its independence from Mexico.
1853
The Territory of Washington is organized.
1861
Congress creates the Territory of Nevada.
1866
Excelsior Needle Company of Wolcottville, Connecticut, began making sewing machine needles.
1867
The first Reconstruction Act is passed by Congress.
1875
German scholar and Lutheran church historian Hans Lietzmann. He was noted for his investigations of Christian origins. born
1876
Pope Pius XII born
1877
Republican Rutherford B. Hayes was declared the winner of the 1876 presidential election over Democrat Samuel J. Tilden, even though Tilden had won the popular vote and was just one electoral vote shy of victory.
1897
Publisher Max Schuster born
1897
President Cleveland vetoed legislation that would have required a literacy test for immigrants.
1899
Congress established Mount Ranier National Park.
1900
German-born American composer Kurt Weill born
1901
Congress passes the Platt amendment, which limits Cuban automomy as a condition for withdrawal of U.S. troops.
1902
American physicist Edward U(hler) Condon born
1903
The Martha Washington Hotel opened for business in New York City. The hotel featured 416 rooms and was the first hotel exclusively for women.
1904
Author Theodore Geisel ("Dr. Suess") was born in Springfield, Massachusetts. He got his pen name by adding "Dr." to his middle name. His first book was turned down by 27 publishers. born
1908
An international conference on arms reduction opens in London.
1908
Gabriel Lippman introduces the new three-dimensional color photography at the Academy of Sciences.
1909
Baseball player Mel Ott born
1917
Actor And Bandleader (Desiderio Alberto Arnez y de Acha III) Desi Arnaz born
1917
Congress passes the Jones Act which makes Puerto Rico territory of the U.S. and makes the inhabitants U.S. citizens.
1919
Actress (Phyllis Isley) Jennifer Jones born
1923
Bluegrass singer-musician Doc Watson born
1923
Time magazine made its debut. The first issue was 32 pages and featured a charcoal sketch of Congressman Joseph Gurney Cannon on the cover. The magazine was founded by Henry Luce and Briton Hadden.
1923
Italy, Mussolini admits that women have a right to vote, but declares that the time is not right.
1924
Sibelius more or less wrapped up his composing career when he wrote down the last double-bar on his Seventh Symphony. For the next 33 years he would compose almost nothing else.
1925
State and federal highway officials developed a nationwide route-numbering system and adopted the familiar U.S. shield-shaped, numbered marker.
1929
US Court of Customs & Patent Appeals created by US Congress.
1930
Actor John Cullum (Ambition, Glory, Marie, The Sweet Country) born
1930
Author D. H. Lawrence died in Vence, France.
1931
Former Soviet President Mikhail S. Gorbachev born
1931
Author Tom Wolfe born
1933
The motion picture "King Kong," starring Fay Wray, had its world premiere in New York at Radio City Music Hall and the RKO Roxy.
1934
Actor Al Waxman born
1939
Roman Catholic Cardinal Eugenio Pacelli was elected Pope. He took the name Pius XII.
1939
The Massachusetts Legislature voted to ratify the Bill of Rights, 147 years after the first 10 amendments to the U.S. Constitution had gone into effect.
1941
Actor Actor Jon Finch born
1942
Author John Irving born
1942
Singer Lou Reed born
1942
Former televangelist Tammy Faye Bakker born
1943
Musician George Benson born
1943
The World War II Battle of the Bismarck Sea began as American and Australian warplanes intercepted a Japanese convoy that was enroute to Lae, New Guinea. Most of the 16-vessel convoy was destroyed and 3,000 men killed.
1943
The center of Berlin is bombed by the RAF. Some 900 tons of bombs are dropped in a half hour.
1944
Singer Lou (Firbank) Reed (Walk on the Wild Side, Charley's Girl; I Love You Suzanne; appeared in Paul Simon film: One Trick Pony) born
1944
The Academy Awards presentation moved from a banquet hall to Graumann's Chinese Theatre in Los Angeles. Twenty-four year old Jennifer Jones won an Oscar for Best Actress in the film, "The Song of Bernadette". Jack Benny was the host that year.
1945
MacArthur raises the U.S. flag on Corregidor in the Philippines.
1945
Toward the close of World War II, units of the U.S. 9th Army reached the Rhine River opposite Dusseldorf, Germany.
1946
Ho Chi Minh was elected president of North Vietnam.
1948
Irish blues-rock guitarist, singer, and composer Rory Gallagher born
1949
Singer Eddie Money born
1949
An American B-50 Superfortress, the "Lucky Lady II," landed at Fort Worth, Texas, after completing the first nonstop round-the-world flight. Capt. James Gallagher completed the 23,452 mile flight in 94 hours 1 minute.
1950
Singer Karen Carpenter (We've Only Just Begun, Top of the World, Please Mr. Postman) born
1951
The East beat the West, 111-94, in the first National Basketball Association All-Star Game.
1951
Actress Cassie Yates born
1951
The U.S. Navy launches the K-1, the first modern submarine designed to hunt enemy submarines.
1952
Actress Laraine Newman (Saturday Night Live) born
1955
Singer Jay Osmond born
1955
The William Inge play "Bus Stop" opened at the Music Box Theater in New York.
1956
Singer (The Cowsills) John Cowsill born
1956
France grants independence to Morocco.
1956
Rock musician (AC/DC) Mark Evans born
1958
Tennis player Kevin Curren born
1962
Rock singer Jon Bon Jovi born
1962
Burmese army takes over Burma in a coup.
1962
Wilt "The Stilt" Chamberlain scored 100 points and broke an NBA record as the Philadelphia Warriors beat the New York Knicks 169-147. Chamberlain broke NBA marks for the most field goal attempts (63), most field goals made (36), most free throws made (28), most points in a half (59), most field goal attempts in a half (37), most field goals made in a half (22), and most field goal attempts in one quarter (21). The 316 total points scored tied an NBA record.
1968
Lyndon B. Johnson watches as the Lockheed Galaxy, world's largest airplane, rolls off the assembly line in Georgia.
1972
U.S. spacecraft Pioneer 10 was launched. It passed close by Jupiter and Neptune before leaving the solar system. It is now more than six billion miles from Earth.
1973
Federal forces surround Wounded Knee, which is occupied by members of the militant American Indian Movement who are holding at least 10 hostages.
1974
A grand jury in Washington, D.C. concludes that President Nixon was indeed involved in the Watergate cover-up.
1974
Stevie Wonder got five Grammy Awards for his album, "Innervisions" and his hit songs, "You Are The Sunshine of My Life" and "Superstition".
1974
The price of a first-class postage stamp was raised from 8-to-10 cents.
1977
The U.S. House of Representatives adopted a strict code of ethics that limited outside earnings and required detailed financial disclosures by its members.
1977
Actress Heather McComb born
1978
Czech pilot Vladimir Remek becomes the first non-Russian, non-American in space.
1981
The U.S. plans to send 20 more advisors and $25 million in military aid to El Salvador.
1983
Pope John Paul II began a visit to violence-torn Central America as he arrived in San Jose, Costa Rica.
1984
The first McDonald's franchise was closed in Des Plaines, Illinois. After 30 years of selling burgers, McDonald's opened a new drive-through restaurant across the street.
1985
The government approved a screening test for AIDS that detected antibodies to the virus, allowing possibly contaminated blood to be excluded from the blood supply.
1986
Zafer Al Masri, the pro-Jordanian mayor of the city of Nablus in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, was slain in an attack claimed by the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.
1987
President Reagan withdrew his nomination of acting CIA Director Robert M. Gates to head the spy agency in the face of possible rejection by the Senate. (The next day, the president nominated William H. Webster.)
1987
Government officials reported that the median price for a new home had topped $100,000 for the first time. The new six-figure price: $110,700, up from $94,600.
1988
The U.N. General Assembly voted overwhelmingly to order the U.S. to submit to binding arbitration its plan to close the observer mission of the Palestinian Liberation Organization. (A federal court later stopped the US from closing the mission.)
1989
Representatives from the 12 European Community nations agreed to ban all production of CFC's (chloro-fluorocarbons) by the end of this century.
1990
A grenade attack on a discotheque in Panama claimed the life of a U.S. soldier and injured 28 other people.
1990
More than 6,000 drivers went on strike against Greyhound Lines, Inc. (The company, declaring an impasse in negotiations, fired the strikers.)
1991
The U.N. Security Council adopted a resolution dictating allied demands that Iraq had to meet before a formal cease-fire was declared in the Persian Gulf War.
1991
Iraq released CBS newsman Bob Simon and his crew, held captive for nearly six weeks.
1992
A jury was seated in Simi Valley, California, in the assault trial of four Los Angeles police officers charged with beating motorist Rodney King.
1992
The U.N. General Assembly welcomed eight former Soviet republics and San Marino as its newest members.
1992
Actress Sandy Dennis died in Westport, Connecticut at age 54.
1993
The third day of a standoff between federal agents and Branch Davidians near Waco, Texas, local radio stations broadcast a taped statement in which the group's leader, David Koresh, promised to surrender; however, the standoff continued.
1994
The government of Mexico and Indian rebels reached a tentative accord on most insurgent demands for the ending the rebellion, including sweeping political reforms.
1995
The Senate rejected the balanced-budget amendment 65 in favor, 35 against, two votes shy of the two-thirds majority needed for passage.
1995
The space shuttle Endeavour blasted off on a mission to study the far reaches of the universe.
1995
British trader Nick Leeson, blamed for the collapse of Barings PLC, was detained in Germany.
1995
The last U.N. peacekeepers in Somalia were evacuated.
1996
Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole re-ignited his presidential campaign with an overwhelming victory in the South Carolina Republican primary.
1997
It was revealed that Vice President Gore had raised millions of dollars for the 1996 campaign through direct telephone solicitations, and that some of the calls were made on special phones installed in government buildings for that purpose.
1998
The UN Security Council unanimously endorsed Secretary-General Kofi Annan's deal to open Iraq's presidential palaces to arms inspectors.
1998
A New Jersey state appeals court ruled that the Boy Scouts of America discriminated against an assistant scoutmaster when it ousted him for being gay. The Superior Court appellate panel rejected arguments by the Boy Scouts the organization was protected by a constitutional right of free association and was exempt as a private, voluntary association from anti-discrimination laws.
1998
The Justice Department told an appeals court Monday Microsoft Corp. broke a promise and used monopoly power to force its Web browsing software on personal computer makers.
1998
A shoving and shouting match interrupted parliamentary voting for South Korea's prime minister. Shortly after voting to confirm Kim Jong-pil as prime minister began, President Kim Dae-jung's National Congress for New Politics and its coalition partner United Liberal Democrats stopped the balloting. Amid shouting and angry exchanges, some lawmakers of Kim Jong-pil's ULD sat on the ballot box to prevent votes from being cast. Speaker Kim Soo-han adjourned the session 30 minutes after voting started because of the turmoil.
1999
Conservative commentator Pat Buchanan launched a third presidential bid.
1999
Texas Governor George W. Bush announced he was forming a presidential exploratory committee.
1999
Singer Dusty Springfield died at her home west of London at age 59.
2000
Former Chilean dictator General Augusto Pinochet left Britain for his homeland, hours after he was ruled mentally unfit to stand trial on charges of human rights abuses.
2000
A federal jury in Washington convicted Maria Hsia, a friend and political supporter of former Vice President Al Gore, for arranging more than $100,000 in illegal donations during the 1996 presidential campaign. Hsia was only sentenced to three months of home confinement.
2005
Bucharest to be 'rebranded' for 800 million euro
2005
Ernst Zündel expelled from Canada
2005
Blair rejects anti-terror bill compromise
2006
Five dead in attack in Pakistan
2006
Australia's Prime Minister Howard marks 10 years in power
2006
Interview with Usenet search sites targeted by the MPAA
2006
City Planning Board postpones decision on Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal
2006
Comedian Linda Smith dies at 48
2006
Bus crash outside Cusco kills at least 13
2006
Uruguay turns down Argentina’s request to halt construction of pulp mills
2006
Kenyan TV and newspaper raided by masked police
2006
Natural gas discovered in Chile according to President Ricardo Lagos
2006
Corruption blamed for Papuan rainforest destruction
2006
Officials in Mexico claim leaked Dirty War report isn't final copy
2006
Photoessay: Fat Tuesday Easy in DC
2006
Colombia's National Liberation Army declares ceasefire for elections
2006
Costa Rica falls to Iran in football friendly
2006
Mayor Ken Livingstone's suspension frozen pending appeal
2006
Harry Browne, former US presidential candidate and best selling author, dead at age 72
2006
Amateur sex video stirs controversy on Internet
2006
Google.cn to move search records out of China
2006
Bush's Katrina statement contradicted by emerging evidence
2006
Taipei mayor Ma hopes local HIV midway home "patients out only"
2006
Australian Greens senator Bob Brown marks 10 years in Parliament
2006
South Africa to meet with Hamas representatives
2007
Lille goal protests quelled again
2007
US: Several NFL stars released from their teams
2007
Complaints lodged, police helpless as "boobs on bikes" parade happens in New Zealand
2007
Montreal police officer killed during drug raid
2007
Parti Québécois leader slams radio host on homophobia
2007
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe denies wartime responsibility for sex slaves
2007
Downtown Beirut businesses to sue government
2007
Sirius CEO visits congress
2008
South African sprinter Philip Rabinowitz dies at age 104
2008
United Nations condemns Palestinian rocket attacks and Israel's 'disproportionate' response
2008
At least 40 killed by bombing in Pakistan
2008
National Hockey League news: March 2, 2008
2008
Heavy metal band Teräsbetoni to represent Finland at Eurovision 2008
2008
Armenian President Kocharyan declares state of emergency
2008
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas cuts ties with Israel
2008
American guru Joseph M. Juran dies at age 103
2008
Iranian President Ahmadinejad to make landmark visit to Iraq
2009
President of Guinea-Bissau assassinated
2009
Broadcaster Paul Harvey dies at age 90
2010
Iranian government bans critical media
2010
US to reduce nuclear weapons arsenal
2010
UK to ban Islamist group al-Shabaab
2010
NASA scientist: Chile earthquake may have shifted Earth's axis, shortened day
2011
Local government officials confiscate London ice cream made from human breast milk for health reasons
2012
Scottish judge sentences Jack Frew murderer to life imprisonment

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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