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Today in History

1559
Artist Sir Anthony van Dyck born in Antwerp, Belgium
1638
Religious dissenter Anne Hutchinson expelled from Massachusetts Bay Colony
1873
Abolition Day in Puerto Rico
1887
Pianist and comedic actor, Leonard "Chico" Marx born in New York City
1912
High school basketball hero and Oscar winning actor, Karl Malden born in Chicago, Illinois
1931
Horse breeder, singer, author and actor, William Shatner born in Montreal, Québec
1948
Oscar winning composer Andrew Lloyd Webber born in London, England
1949
César Award winning actress Fanny Ardant born in Saumur, France
1960
First working laser patented
1993
Intel ships first Pentium chips (80586)
752
Death of St. Zacharius, Pope
1221
Coronation of Robert of Courtenay as King of Rumania
1459
Maximilian I, Holy Roman Emperor born
1471
Death of George Podiebrad, King of Bohemia
1556
Cardinal Reginald Pole becomes Archbishop of Canterbury
1594
Surrender of Paris to King Henry IV of France
1595
Sir Walter Raleigh burns the town of San Joseph in Trinidad
1599
Sir Anthony Van Dyck, artist born
1617
Death of Pocahontas at Gravesend, England
1621
Massasoit & Pilgrims agree on league of friendship. This treaty is made by Plymouth Colony with the Indians , and is kept, by both sides, for 50 years
1622
1st Indian massacre of Europeans, Jamestown, Va.; 347 slain
1630
Massachusetts outlaws all cards, dice & gambling equipment
1638
Religious dissident Anne Hutchinson was expelled from the Massachusetts Bay Colony.
1639
Thomas Carew, English poet, dies at about 41
1641
The opening of the Trial of Thomas Wentworth, Earl of Strafford
1765
Britain enacted the Stamp Act to raise money from the American colonies. (The Act was repealed the following year.)
1791
Congress enacted legislation forbidding slave trading with foreign nations.
1797
Kaiser Wilhelm I, German Emperor (1871-88) born
1819
Brig. Gen. William Wirt Adams, Organized First Miss. Cavalry born
1820
US naval hero Stephen Decatur was killed in a duel with Commodore James Barron near Washington DC.
1841
Englishman Orlando Jones patented corn starch.
1846
Randolph Caldecott, illustrater born
1882
Congress outlawed polygamy.
1887
Comedian Chico Marx was born. The Marx Brothers got their name from a comic strip called "Mager's Monks."
1893
The first women's collegiate basketball game was played at Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts.
1894
Hockey's first Stanley Cup championship game was played; the home team Montreal Amateur Athletic Association defeated the Ottawa Capitals, 3-to-1.
1895
Auguste and Louis Lumiere showed their first movie to an invited audience in Paris; this is generally regarded as the first-ever public display of a movie projected onto a screen.
1901
Japan proclaims that it is dertermined to keep Russia from encroaching on Korea.
1902
Great Britain and Persia agree to link Europe and India by telegraph.
1904
The first color photograph is published in the London Daily Illustrated Mirror.
1907
James Gavin, U.S. Army General born
1907
Russians complete the evacuation of Manchuria.
1908
Louis L'Amour, American author born in New Mexico.
1912
Actor Karl Malden born
1915
A German Zepplin makes a night raid on Paris railway stations.
1917
The U.S. becomes the first to recognize the Kerensky Government in Russia.
1920
Actor Werner Klemperer, (Col. Klink of "Hogan's Heroes") born
1923
French mime Marcel Marceau. born
1924
"USA Today" founder Allen H. Neuharth born
1928
Peasants in the Soviet Union protest food shortages there.
1929
A U.S. Coast Guard vessel sank a Canadian-registered schooner, the "I'm Alone," in the Gulf of Mexico. (The schooner was suspected of carrying bootleg liquor.)
1930
Composer Stephen Sondheim born
1930
Former president of Harvard University, Derek Bok born
1931
Actor William Shatner born
1933
During Prohibition, President Roosevelt signed a measure to make wine and beer containing up to three-point-two percent alcohol legal.
1934
Senator Orrin Hatch (Republican, Utah) born
1935
Actor M. Emmet Walsh born
1935
Persia is renamed Iran.
1935
The first High Definition Television service was officially inaugurated by the director-general of German broadcasting in Berlin.
1936
Actress May Britt born
1941
The Grand Coulee Dam on the Columbia River began producing electric power for the Pacific Northwest.
1942
Actress Barbara Parkins (Peyton Place) born
1943
Singer-guitarist George Benson born
1944
Singer Jeremy Clyde (Chad and Jeremy) born
1945
The Arab League was formed with the adoption of a charter in Cairo, Egypt.
1946
First U.S. built rocket to leave the earth's atmosphere reaches a 50-mile height.
1946
The British mandate in Transjordan came to an end.
1946
Britain signs a treaty granting independence to Jordan.
1948
British composer Andrew Lloyd Webber born
1949
Actress Fanny Ardant born
1951
William Mengelberg died in Switzerland, he was 79. Mengelberg led the Concertgebouw of Amsterdam for generations, but died in exile from his orchestra after collaborating with the Nazis.
1952
Sportscaster Bob Costas born
1955
Actress Lena Olin born
1957
Singer-actress Stephanie Mills born
1959
Actor Matthew Modine born
1962
Barbra Streisand, then 19-years-old, opened on Broadway as Miss Marmelstein in "I Can Get For You Wholesale." A year later she married her co-star Elliott Gould.
1963
The Beatles' first LP "Please Me," was released in Britain. It included such hits as the title track, "Love Me Do," "I Saw Her Standing There," "Do You Want To Know a Secret?" and "Twist and Shout."
1967
Muhammad Ali KO'd Zora Foley in New York. This was his last fight before being stripped of his title for avoiding the military draft.
1968
President Lyndon Johnson names General Westmoreland as Army Chief of Staff.
1972
Congress sent the proposed Equal Rights Amendment to the Constitution to the states for ratification. (It fell short of the two-thirds approval needed.)
1976
Actress Kellie Williams ("Family Matters") born
1976
Actress Reese Witherspoon born
1977
Indira Gandhi resigned as prime minister of India.
1977
President Carter proposes the abolition of the Electoral College.
1978
Karl Wallenda, the 73-year-old patriarch of "The Flying Wallendas" high-wire act, fell to his death while attempting to walk a cable strung between two hotels in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
1979
Sir Richard Sykes, Britain's Ambassador to the Netherlands, was shot and killed by Irish terrorists in the Hague.
1981
First Class Postage raised to 18 cents from 15 cents.
1981
RCA put its "Selectra Vision" laser disc players on the market. Soon, the product was called "the Edsel of the entertainment field." The unit cost $500 and the videodisks about $15 each. The product did not sell.
1983
Israel's Knesset chose Chaim Herzog of the opposition Labor Party to be the next president of Israel, in a rebuff to Prime Minister Menachem Begin's governing coalition.
1985
French diplomats Marcel Fontaine and Marcel Carton were kidnapped in Lebanon by Muslim extremists. (They were freed in May 1988.)
1986
World financier Michele Sindona died two days after ingesting cyanide in his Italian prison cell in what authorities later ruled a suicide.
1987
Chad troops drove Libyan forces from a key airstrip in northern Chad, apparently ending Moammar Gadhafi's seven-year occupation. The Libyans abandoned $500 million worth of Soviet-made tanks and airplanes.
1987
A garbage barge, carrying 3200 tons of refuse, left Islip, New York, on a six-month journey in search of a place to unload. (The barge was turned away by several states and three other countries until space was found back in Islip.)
1988
Both houses of Congress overrode President Reagan's veto of a sweeping civil rights bill. The bill forbade discrimination by institutions, government agencies and some corporations that received any federal aid.
1989
National Football League Commissioner Pete Rozelle announced plans to retire.
1989
Fawn Hall, Oliver North's former secretary, began two days of testimony at North's Iran-Contra trial in Washington.
1990
A jury in Anchorage, Alaska, found former tanker captain Joseph Hazelwood innocent of three major charges in connection with the Exxon Valdez oil spill, but convicted him of negligent discharge of oil.
1991
High school instructor Pamela Smart, accused of manipulating her student-lover into killing her husband, was convicted in Exeter, New Hampshire, of murder-conspiracy.
1991
A U.S. warplane shot down a second Iraqi jet fighter that had violated the cease-fire ending the Persian Guld War.
1992
France's governing Socialist Party was rebuffed in regional elections.
1992
Twenty-seven people were killed when a USAir jetliner crashed on takeoff from New York's LaGuardia Airport; 24 people survived.
1992
President George Bush and German Chancellor Helmut Kohl wrapped up a weekend of informal talks by reiterating their resolve to break a deadlock on global trade talks.
1993
The launch of the space shuttle "Columbia" was scrubbed with three seconds left in the countdown.
1993
Cleveland Indians pitchers Steve Olin and Tim Crews were killed when the boat they were riding in slammed into a Florida pier; pitcher Bob Ojeda was seriously injured.
1993
The Montreal Symphony performed one of the week's most eclectic concerts: "O Java," a new work by Evangelista; Debussy's "Iberia"; The Beethoven First Piano Concerto with Martha Argerich; and "The Peacock" by Zoltan Kodaly.
1994
"Woody Woodpecker" creator Walter Lantz died in Burbank, California, at age 93.
1994
The Federal Reserve announced it was raising short-term interest rates from 3.25 to 3.5 percent, the second such boost of the year.
1995
Shouting erupted in the U.S. House of Representatives as Democrats bitterly accused majority Republicans of trying to ram through a mean-spirited welfare overhaul bill.
1995
Shouting erupted in the U.S. House of Representatives as Democrats bitterly accused majority Republicans of trying to ram through a "mean-spirited" welfare overhaul bill.
1995
Convicted Long Island Rail Road gunman Colin Ferguson was sentenced to life in prison for killing six people.
1996
The shuttle "Atlantis," carrying astronaut Shannon Lucid to a rendezvous with the Russian space station "Mir," blasted off from Cape Canaveral, Florida.
1996
Gunmen massacred 11 people in a political attack in South Africa's Zulu heartland, hours after President Nelson Mandela visited the province.
1997
A day after a suicide bomber killed three women in Tel Aviv, Israeli troops clashed with hundreds of Palestinians in Hebron.
1997
Tara Lipinski, at age 14 years and ten months, became the youngest women's world figure skating champion.
1998
A deeply divided United Auto Workers union approved a new contract with Caterpillar Incorporated, ending a six-and-a-half-year contract battle.
1998
Eleven young campers died in a mountain cabin fire in Centre County, Pennsylvania. The fire started after a gas heater exploded inside the cabin on Madisonburg Mountain.
1998
Hundreds of thousands of people welcomed Pope John Paul at an airstrip near a town in southeast Nigeria where he would beatify ascetic monk Cyprian Tansi.
1998
President Clinton departed Washington for a historic 12-day tour of Africa. The official delegation of 68 people, including Clinton and his wife Hillary and a congressional and citizens delegation including another 40 people visited six countries - Ghana, Uganda, Rwanda, South Africa, Botswana and Senegal.
1999
Acting as his own lawyer, Dr. Jack Kevorkian went on trial on murder charges for the first time, telling a jury in Pontiac, Mich., he was merely carrying out his professional duty in a videotaped assisted death shown on "60 Minutes." (Kevorkian was convicted of second-degree murder.)
2005
India and Europe team up for moon mission
2005
Volunteers endure bed-rest study
2005
U.S. TV networks look to past for future programming
2005
Noted stamp engraver Czeslaw Slania dies at 83
2005
Ten dead on Minnesota Indian reservation after school shooting
2005
Kyrgyz president orders election probe as protesters seize control of second city
2005
Romanian Visa card transactions increase by 60 percent in 2004
2005
Romanian mobile phone giant Connex to launch 3G network
2005
Internet through electrical power network introduced in Bucharest
2005
Romanian defense minister to visit Bulgaria
2005
Jury deliberates immigrant smuggler case
2005
EU looks set to continue arms embargo on China
2005
Ourmedia.org project launched to provide global repository of "grassroots media"
2005
Surfwax releases "quick index" to 600k Wikipedia terms
2005
American Thom Mayne snags Pritzker architecture prize
2005
HSH Prince Rainier III of Monaco is in Intensive care
2005
Large creature loose in London suburb
2005
Texas baby removed from life support against mother's wishes
2005
Creationist sentiments affect Imax business strategy
2005
David Suzuki to Visit University of Toronto
2005
Symbian licenses email technology from rival Microsoft
2005
US interest rates rise to 2.75%
2005
Train derailed by collision with semi in Saskatchewan, Canada
2005
Romanian Commercial Bank to launch smart cards in early April
2006
Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal approved by Common Council
2006
Canada bans "Where the Bloody Hell are you?" ad
2006
ETA declares permanent cease-fire
2006
Duckworth wins contentious Democratic primary in IL-06
2006
Time: 15 Iraqi civilians dead; U.S. Marines under investigation
2006
President Bush calls on Helen Thomas during press conference; question stirs debate
2006
EU bans 92 airlines, buries "flying coffins"
2006
Two explosions in La Paz kill 2, injure 6
2006
BC Queen of the North ferry sinks
2006
Windows Vista delayed until January 2007
2006
H.E. Suzanne Mubarak and H.R.H. Prince Charles open the British University in Egypt
2007
Cricket World Cup: New Zealand vs Canada
2007
Mass wedding held against racism in Belgium
2007
Sydney ferry hits ship, bridge
2007
WebmasterWorld reports 75% of Google's blogspot as spam
2007
XM and Sirius submit FCC transfer request
2007
Iran: We will also take 'illegal actions' if UN imposes sanctions
2007
Cricket World Cup: Scotland vs Netherlands
2007
US President Bush and NZ Prime Minister Clark meet
2007
NFL: Marshall Faulk expected to retire
2007
Oil exploration in California, USA reveals giant impact crater
2007
Study: Drying up rivers to cause freshwater crisis
2007
Several US universities ban Wikipedia as primary source
2007
NHL: DiPietro shines in Islanders win over Penguins
2007
Italy confirms swapping Taliban for Mastrogiacomo
2008
ETA set off car bomb in La Rioja, Spain
2008
Ma Ying-jeou wins Taiwan presidential election
2008
Pakistan Peoples Party names candidate for Prime Minister
2008
National Hockey League news: March 22, 2008
2008
Texas police: 2-year old crushed by relative
2009
"Lost" actress Elizabeth Mitchell cast in ABC's "V" pilot
2009
New findings suggest AIG executive bonuses were larger than previously thought
2009
New Jersey woman identified after fifteen years in psychiatric home
2009
Canadian PM seeks to abandon gun registry
2009
Four police officers shot in Oakland, California die
2009
Western Canadian justice officials to press for criminal code changes
2009
Canadian Minister of National Defence withdraws from NATO candidacy
2009
England wins women's cricket World Cup
2009
Madagascar's former opposition leader sworn in as president
2009
Bouncer stabbed to death in Atlantic City brawl
2009
Early morning fire kills four New York group home residents
2010
Cricket: Caloundra lead Glasshouse at stumps on day 2 of Sunshine Coast, Queensland division one grand final
2010
US House of Representatives passes health care bill
2010
Iraq election commission refuses recount of votes from parliamentary election
2010
Ten killed by suicide bomber in southern Afghanistan
2011
U.S. military denies reports helicopter opened fire on Libyan civilians during rescue mission
2011
Professional wrestling manager Oliver Humperdink dies aged 62
2011
Blues musician Pinetop Perkins dies at age 97
2011
U.S. fighter jet crashes in Libya
2011
Egyptian voters approve constitutional changes
2012
Failure for New Hampshire gay marriage repeal effort
2012
Former Florida governor Jeb Bush endorses Romney
2012
NZ Junior Black Socks win 2 in Canberra against the ACT
2013
Australian Labor Party shelves government oversight of media legislation

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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