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Today in History

Vernal Equinox in Northern Hemisphere
Autumnal Equinox in Southern Hemisphere
1852
Harriet Beecher-Stowe's anti-slavery book, Uncle Tom's Cabin, published
1904
Behavioural psychologist and author, B.F. Skinner born in Susquehanna County, Pennsylvania
1922
Emmy Award winning actor, film director, producer, writer and comedian, Carl Reiner born in Bronx, New York
1931
Emmy Award nominated actor and director, Hal Linden born in New York City
1937
Grammy Award winning singer, songwriter, guitarist and actor, Jerry Reed born in Atlanta, Georgia
1956
Independence Day in Tunisia
1957
Film actor, producer, writer and director, Spike Lee born in Atlanta, Georgia
1980
Radio Caroline, the seagoing rogue radio station, founders and sinks
43
Ovid [Publius Ovidius Naso] born
526
An earthquake hits Antioch, Syria
580
Death of St. Martin of Braga
687
Death of St. Cuthbert of Lindesfarne
687
Death of St. Herbert
1066
18th recorded perihelion passage of Halley's Comet (Yeomans & Kiang)
1212
The Thomasschule of Leipzig was founded. Bach was to work there, 500 years later.
1239
Yet another excommunication of Frederick II, Holy Roman Emperor
1312
Philip IV "the Fair," King of France, arrives in Vienne at the head of an army, which convinces to Pope to condemn the Templars
1345
A triple conjunction of Saturn, Jupiter and Mars in the 40th degree of Aquarius ocurring on this day is (later) given as the reason for the Black Death
1393
Death of St. John of Nepomuk
1413
England's King Henry the Fourth died; he was succeeded by Henry the Fifth.
1503
The Saragossa Instruction: a series of measures to encourage New World Natives to adopt Christianity and a settled way of life
1565
Contract made by King Philip of Spain for the settlement of Florida
1602
United East India Company was chartered by States-General of Holland. During its 96-year history, it became one of the world's most powerful companies.
1616
Walter Raleigh freed from Tower of London to look for gold in Guiana
1619
Death of Mathias II, Holy Roman Emperor
1619
Etienne Audibert condemned for witchcraft in France
1631
Magdeburg destroyed by Imperial forces, estimated 25,000 dead
1654
The "Committee of Triers" appointed by Cromwell
1727
Physicist, mathematician and astronomer Sir Isaac Newton died in London.
1768
Boccherini played a cello sonata in Paris. The 25-year-old composer's debut concert was not a success.
1784
Holland ceded Nagapatam, Madras, India, to Britain.
1800
The French army under J.B. Kleber defeated the Turks at Helipolis, Turkey, and began advancing toward Cairo, Egypt.
1815
Napoleon Bonaparte entered Paris, beginning his "Hundred Days" rule.
1816
The US Supreme Court, in its "Martin v. Hunter's Lessee" ruling, affirmed its right to review state court decisions.
1820
Adventurer and writer Edward Judson, originator of the dime novel born
1828
Norwegian dramatist Henrik Ibsen born
1833
The United States and Siam (now Thailand) concluded a commercial treaty in Bangkok.
1849
The Second Sikh War between Sikhs and Britain began in India.
1852
Harriet Beecher Stowe's anti-slavery novel "Uncle Tom's Cabin" was published. The book sold 300,000 copies in its first year. It was the first book to sell 1,000,000 copies.
1856
Frederick Winslow Taylor, father of scientific management born
1865
A plan by John Wilkes Booth to abduct President Abraham Lincoln was foiled when Lincoln changed plans and failed to appear at the Soldier's Home near Washington, D.C.
1896
US Marines landed in Nicaragua to protect US citizens in the wake of a revolution.
1896
The first computing scale company, Dayton Scales, was incorporated in Dayton, Ohio.
1896
U.S. Marines landed in Nicaragua to protect U.S. citizens in the wake of a revolution.
1897
The first intercollegiate basketball game that used five players per team was contested in New Haven, Connecticut. Yale defeated Pennsylvania by a score of 32-10.
1899
Martha M. Place of Brooklyn, New York, became the first woman to be put to death by electrocution as she was executed at Sing Sing for the murder of her stepdaughter.
1904
Psychologist B.F. Skinner born
1907
Bandleader-turned-actor Ozzie Nelson was born. He appeared in five movies and the popular "Ozzie & Harriet" TV series with wife, Harriet and sons, David and Rickie.
1911
Actress-dancer Ginger Rogers born
1914
Butterworth's "The Banks of Green Willow" premiered.
1916
The Allies agreed on the partitioning of Turkey.
1918
Game show host Jack Barry born
1920
The first flight between England and South Africa was completed by H.A. van Rejneveld and C.J. Brand.
1922
Actor Jack Kruschen born
1922
Producer-director-comedian Carl Reiner born
1922
Comedian Ray Goulding born
1925
Former Nixon White House aide John Ehrlichman born
1928
Children's TV host Fred Rogers born
1931
Actor Hal Linden born
1933
The first German concentration camp was opened at Dachau.
1934
The first practical tests of radar were carried out at Kiel Harbor, Germany, by Dr. Rudolph Kuenhold.
1936
Actor Ted Bessell (That Girl) born
1937
Singer Jerry Reed born
1939
Country singer Don Edwards born
1939
Former Canadian prime minister Brian Mulroney born
1942
Former Yale University president Benno C. Schmidt Jr. born
1944
TV producer Paul Junger Witt born
1946
Country singer-musician Ranger Doug (Riders in the Sky) born
1948
Hockey Hall-of-Famer Bobby Orr born
1948
First live televised musical Eugene Ormandy on CBS followed in 90 minutes by second live televised musical Arturo Toscvanni on NBC.
1950
Actor William Hurt born
1950
Rock musician Carl Palmer (Emerson, Lake and Palmer) born
1951
Rock musician Jimmy Vaughan (The Fabulous Thunderbirds) born
1952
Indy 500 driver Geoff Brabham born
1952
South Africa's Supreme Court invalidated race legislation of D.F. Malan.
1954
Country musician Jimmy Seales (Shenandoah) born
1956
France recognized the independence of Tunisia, with Bourguiba as president.
1956
Union workers ended a 156-day strike at Westinghouse Electric Corporation.
1957
Movie director Spike Lee born
1957
Actress Theresa Russell born
1957
Actress Vanessa Bell Calloway born
1957
Britain accepted a NATO offer to mediate in Cyprus but Greece rejected the idea.
1958
Actress Holly Hunter born
1961
Rock musician Slim Jim Phantom (The Stray Cats) born
1961
Actor-auto racer John Clark Gable born
1963
A volcano on the island of Bali in the East Indies began erupting. The eventual death toll exceeded 1,500.
1969
John Lennon married Yoko Ono in Gibraltar.
1971
Actor Alexander Chaplin born
1972
Nineteen mountain climbers were killed on Japan's Mount Fuji during an avalanche.
1976
San Francisco newspaper heiress Patty Hearst was found guilty of bank robbery.
1977
Voters in Paris chose former French Prime Minister Jacques Chirac to be the French capital's first mayor in more than a century.
1985
Libby Riddles of Teller, Alaska, became the first woman to win the Iditarod Trail Dog Sled Race, covering the distance from Anchorage to Nome in nearly 18 days.
1985
For the first time in its 99-year history, Avon representatives began receiving a salary. Up to this time, the Avon lady was paid on a commission basis only.
1986
The Dow Jones industrial average closed above 1800 for the first time.
1987
The Food and Drug Administration approved the sale of AZT, a drug shown to prolong the lives of some AIDS patients.
1988
Eight-year-old DeAndra Anrig found herself airborne when the string of her kite was snagged by an airplane flying over Shoreline Park in Mountain View, California. (DeAndra was lifted ten feet off the ground and carried 100 feet until she let go; she was not seriously hurt.)
1989
Palestine Liberation Organization Chairman Yasser Arafat blamed the Israeli government for escalating violence in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
1989
Baseball Commissioner Peter Ueberroth confirmed that his office was investigating "serious allegations" involving Cincinnati Reds Manager Pete Rose. (Ueberroth's successor, A. Bartlett Giamatti, later banned Rose from baseball for betting on games.)
1990
Namibia became an independent nation as the former colony marked the end of 75 years of South African rule.
1991
A US jet fighter shot down an Iraqi warplane in the first air attack since the Gulf War cease-fire.
1991
The Supreme Court ruled employers could not adopt "fetal protection" policies barring women of child-bearing age from certain hazardous jobs.
1991
Eric Clapton's 4-year-old son Conor died after falling out of a 53rd story window of his mother's apartment in New York City. The tragedy inspires Clapton's song "Tears in Heaven."
1991
April Glaspie, the US ambassador to Iraq, told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Saddam Hussein had lied to her by denying he would invade Kuwait.
1992
Iraq backed down under the threat of possible air raids and admitted to a far larger ballistic and chemical arsenal than it had previously disclosed.
1992
Congress passed, and President Bush immediately vetoed, a Democratic tax cut for the middle class that would have been funded by a tax hike on the rich.
1993
Russian President Boris Yeltsin declared emergency rule, setting a referendum on whether the people trusted him or the hard-line Congress to govern.
1993
An Irish Republican Army bomb exploded in Warrington, England, killing three-year-old Johnathan Ball and 12-year-old Tim Parry.
1994
El Salvador held its first presidential election following the country's 12-year-old civil war. Armando Caleron Sol of the ARENA party led the vote, but needed to win a run-odd to achieve the presidency.
1995
Commentator Pat Buchanan formally launched his presidential campaign in New Hampshire
1995
In Tokyo, 12 people were killed, more than 5,500 others sickened when packages containing the poisonous gas sarin leaked
1996
The British government said that a rare brain disease that had killed 10 people was probably linked to so-called "mad cow disease."
1996
A jury in Los Angeles convicted Erik and Lyle Menendez of first-degree murder in the shotgun slayings of their millionaire parents.
1997
President Clinton and Boris Yeltsin opened talks in Helsinki, Finland, on the issue of NATO expansion.
1997
Liggett Group, the maker of Chesterfield cigarettes, settled 22 state lawsuits by agreeing to warn on every pack that smoking is addictive and admitting the industry markets cigarettes to teen-agers.
1998
President Clinton's lawyer, appearing before a federal court in Little Rock, Arkansas, declared that Paula Jones' evidence of sexual harassment was "garbage" unworthy of a trial.
1998
Independent counsel Kenneth Starr and White House lawyers squared off over the invoking of executive privilege to block the testimony of key presidential aides in the White House sex scandal.
1998
President Clinton slightly relaxed the U.S. attempt to isolate Cuba. He said would support humanitarian needs of the Cuban people and prepare them for democracy. Clinton would permit a resumption of direct humanitarian charter flights to the communist-ruled island, allow persons in the U.S. to send $1,200 per year to relatives in Cuba and expedite procedures for sales of medicine and medical supplies.
1998
A tornado in rural northeast Georgia killed at least 13 people and injured 100.
1999
The Yugoslav army, taking advantage of the departure of international monitors from Kosovo, launched a furious offensive against outgunned ethnic Albanian rebels.
1999
Bertrand Piccard of Switzerland and Brian Jones of Britain became the first aviators to fly a hot-air balloon around the world nonstop.
2000
President Clinton arrived in Bangladesh on the first such visit by an American president.
2000
Pope John Paul the Second embarked on a strenuous and spiritual tour of the Holy Land, beginning with a stop in Jordan.
2000
Former Black Panther Jamil Abdullah Al-Amin, once known as H. Rap Brown, was captured in Alabama; he was wanted in the fatal shooting of a Fulton County, Georgia, sheriff's deputy. (Al-Amin maintains his innocence.) _____________________________________________________________
2005
Explosion injures 11 in Beirut
2005
Explosion kills Briton in Qatar; dozens injured
2005
Explosion kills four policemen in Kirkuk; eight injured
2005
Explosion kills 35 in Pakistan; many injured
2005
Explosion injures at least 14 in Colorado
2005
Powerful earthquake rocks southern Japan, tsunami warnings issued
2005
The man who died in explosion in Qatar is named
2005
South American channeled apple snail discovered in Georgia
2005
Search engine Google sued
2005
Communists protest arrest of FARC chancellor Rodrigo Granda
2005
Lebanon's opposition holds Syria responsible for Beirut explosion
2005
Explosion kills 42 miners in northern China; 27 missing
2006
Lukashenko wins disputed Belarus elections
2006
Keisha Castle-Hughes playing Virgin Mary
2006
Cuba and Japan to play in WBC final
2006
Crowe, Holmes succeed in takeover of Rabbitohs
2006
Citizens protest Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal
2006
Scotland wins Gold, Silver in 400m IM
2006
Looted, possibly contaminated body parts transplanted into USA, Canadian patients
2006
Utah father accused of using shock-collars to punish his children
2006
Maria Menounos will present the Eurovision Song Contest
2006
Federer wins Pacific Life Open in Indian Wells
2006
French National assembly to approve copyright bill
2006
Alfonso Soriano refuses to play
2006
Landmine kills two in India
2007
Apple Computer begins shipping its $299 Apple TV
2007
Italian journalist freed by Afghan captors
2007
North Korea boycotts talks on nuclear program
2007
Cricket World Cup: South Africa vs Scotland
2007
Bloc Québécois support Canadian budget, Liberals, NDP oppose
2007
Cricket World Cup: New Zealand vs Kenya
2007
Missing boy scout from North Carolina found alive
2007
Yahoo releases mobile phone search engine
2008
Constitutionality of DNC Florida primary to be decided in appeal
2008
Osama bin Laden warns European Union in new audio tape
2008
National Hockey League news: March 20, 2008
2008
UN: Military attacks on Darfur violated international law
2008
After 9 months, Belgian coalition delivers government
2008
Zenit rocket launches DirecTV-11 satellite
2009
Canadian PM announces funding for US-Canada bridge crossing
2009
US lawmakers approve bill taxing executive bonuses
2009
Pink elephant spotted in Botswana
2009
Bangladesh security tightened following Pilkhana massacre and Bashundhara City fire
2009
Portions of Wikileaks, Wikipedia blocked in Australia
2009
New Jersey real estate investor charged with $2 million theft
2009
Bomb blast damages buildings in Athens
2009
Pennsylvania state trooper found guilty of first-degree murder
2009
New Jersey to consider bikini waxing ban
2009
Documents show U.S. knew of Guatemalan human rights abuses
2009
England and New Zealand vie for Women's Cricket World Cup
2010
Rick Astley releases deluxe editions of his first two albums; prepares tour
2010
Baby dies after being found abandoned behind shop in Gwent, Wales
2010
Teen arrested in Wal-Mart racial case
2010
Chile earthquakes: Government confirms 452 dead
2011
House fire in Bristol, England kills two
2011
Celebrity bear Knut dies suddenly at the Berlin Zoo
2011
Ex US Secretary of State Warren Christopher dead aged 85
2012
Funeral for Pope Shenouda III of Alexandria held in Cairo
2012
Wendy's surpasses the King
2012
Japanese national team decisively beats ACT 10-0 in four innings
2012
Large Texas hospital dismisses 75 employees
2013
British Chancellor George Osborne downgrades growth forecast in annual budget

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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