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Today in History

LOTR...
Destruction of the Ring
1821
Independence Day in Greece
1920
Army officer, radio and television sports announcer, Howard Cosell born in Winston-Salem, North Carolina
1934
Feminist icon, journalist, and women's rights advocate, Gloria Steinem born in Toledo, Ohio
1942
Grammy Award winning songwriter and singer, Aretha Louise Franklin born in Memphis, Tennessee
1947
Grammy and Academy Award winning composer, singer and pianist, Sir Elton John born Reginald Kenneth Dwight in Middlesex, England
1965
Civil rights worker Viola Liuzzo murdered on a road near Selma, Alabama
1965
Golden Globe and Emmy winning producer and actress, Sarah Jessica Parker born in Nelsonville, Ohio
1969
John Lennon and Yoko Ono hold first 'Bed-In'
1995
Ward Cunningham opens WikiWikiWeb
493
Theodoric, King of the Ostrogoths, murders Odoacer
708
Constantine elected Pope
752
Pope Stephen II died, only two days after his election.
1133
King Henry II of England born
1252
Excommunication of Manfred, self-appointed King of Sicily
1252
Conrad the Younger, King of Jerusalem and Sicily born
1273
Death of Thomas Berard, 20th Master of the Templars
1306
Robert I, "the Bruce," crowned King of Scots at Scone
1347
St. Catherine of Siena born
1437
Coronation of James II as King of Scots, at Holyrood
1449
England broke a truce and captured Fougeres from the French, leading Charles VII to renew the Hundred Years War.
1634
Maryland was founded by English colonists sent by the second Lord Baltimore.
1655
Battle at Annapolis, Md. between Puritans & Royalists
1738
Death of Turlough O'Carolan, the last of the true traditional Irish harpers
1865
During the Civil War, Confederate forces captured Fort Stedman in Virginia.
1867
Mount Rushmore sculptor Gutzon Borglum born
1867
Italian conductor Aturo Toscanini in Parma, Italy. Toscanini was considered by many to be the world's greatest virtuoso conductor of the first half of the 20th century. born
1881
Bela Bartok, composer born
1894
Jacob S. Coxey began leading an "army" of unemployed from Massillon, Ohio, to Washington DC to demand help from the federal government.
1902
Irving W. Colburn patented the sheet glass drawing machine.
1911
147 immigrant workers died when they were trapped by a fire that swept the Triangle Shirt Waist factory in New York City. This disaster stirred public outrage and spurred workplace safety reform.
1913
For the first time Ed Wynn was the top on a Vaudeville bill.
1918
French composer Claude Debussy died in Paris.
1920
Sports commentator Howard Cosell (Cohen) was born in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Cosell ventured into sports journalism through his association with WABC Radio and TV in New York.
1922
Modeling agency head Eileen Ford born
1928
Former astronaut Jim Lovell born
1932
Movie reviewer Gene Shalit born
1935
Feminist writer Gloria Steinem born
1937
The first perfumed ad appeared in the Washington, D.C. Daily News. The ad was for flowers since it was cherry blossom time.
1937
Babe Ruth was reported to have received $25,000 a year for the Quaker Oats Company to use his name in ads for Quaker Oatmeal.
1938
Singer-actor Hoyt Axton born
1940
Singer Anita Bryant born
1941
The first paprika mill was incorporated in Dollon, South Carolina.
1942
Soul singer Aretha Franklin born
1943
Actor Paul Michael Glaser born
1945
Winston Churchill became the first British leader to enter Germany since Chamberlain signed the Munich Pact.
1946
Stravinsky's "Ebony Concerto" was premiered in New York. Playing the clarinet solo role was bandleader Woody Herman. But it would be Woody Herman's rival Benny Goodman who made the first popular recording of it.
1947
Rock musician Elton John born
1947
A mine explosion in Centralia, Illinois, killed 111 men, most of them asphyxiated by gas.
1948
Actress Bonnie Bedelia born
1948
Actress Kelly Garrett born
1949
Singer Nick Lowe. born
1953
"From Here To Eternity" starring Burt Lancaster, won the Academy Award for Best Picture. Fred Zimmerman, Frank Sinatra and Donna Reed won awards for best director, supporting actor and actress.
1953
Actress-comedian Mary Gross born
1954
The Radio Corporation of America began commercial production of color television sets. (The sets, with 12- inch picture tubes, were expected to cost $1,000 each).
1957
The Treaty of Rome established the European Economic Community.
1958
Actor James McDaniel ("NYPD Blue") born
1960
Actor Haywood Nelson born
1960
The first guided missile launched from nuclear powered submarine is launched from the USS Halibut.
1961
Actor John Stockwell (Samuels) born
1964
Actress Lisa Gay Hamilton born
1965
The Selma-to-Montgomery march for black voting rights came to a triumphant close. That same evening, a woman from Michigan named Viola Liuzzo, who had been shuttling demonstrators from Montgomery back to housing in Selma, was murdered. She was killed by a Klansman who held up a pistol and fired twice from a passing car. The bullets shattered her skull, causing instant death.
1965
Actress Sarah Jessica Parker born
1965
The Reverend Martin Luther King Junior led 25,000 marchers to the state capitol in Montgomery, Alabama, to protest the denial of voting rights to blacks.
1965
The U.S. spacecraft Ranger 9 crash-landed on the moon. Some 5,000 pictures it sent back were broadcast live on television for the first time.
1966
Singer-musician Jeff Healey born
1967
Olympic bronze medal figure skater Debi Thomas born
1972
Bobby Hull joined Gordie Howe to become only the second National Hockey League player to score 600 career goals. Hull played for the Chicago Blackhawks and Howe played for the Detroit Red Wings.
1975
Singer Melanie Blatt (All Saints) born
1975
King Faisal of Saudi Arabia was shot to death by a deranged nephew in his palace in Riyadh. (The nephew was beheaded the following June.)
1978
The oil tanker Amoco Cadiz, aground in the English Channel since March 16, split in two, spilling the last of its 1.6 million barrels of oil.
1983
The Reagan administration announced the resignations of five senior officials of the Environmental Protection Agency, including the acting administrator, John W. Hernandez Jr.
1985
British journalist Alec Collett was kidnapped in Lebanon; his captors later claimed they had killed him.
1985
"Amadeus" was named best picture of 1984 at the 75th annual Academy Awards ceremony in Los Angeles; the best actor award went to F. Murray Abraham, while Sally Field was named best actress.
1986
In the second day of a confrontation between Libyan forces and the U.S. Sixth Fleet in the Gulf of Sidra, thousands of Libyans rallied at Tripoli.
1986
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled the Air Force could ban the wearing of yarmulkes by Jewish military personnel in uniform.
1987
The Supreme Court ruled employers may sometimes favor women and members of minority groups over men and whites in hiring and promoting in order to achieve better balance in the work force.
1988
In New York City's so-called "preppie murder case," Robert E. Chambers Junior pleaded guilty to first-degree manslaughter in the death of 18-year-old Jennifer Levin. (Chambers received a sentence of five to 15 years in prison, which he's still serving.)
1988
Former nuclear technician Mordechai Vanunu was found guilty in an Israeli court of treason for revealing Israel's nuclear secrets.
1989
In the wake of the Exxon Valdez oil spill in Prince William Sound, Alaska's chief environmental officer, Dennis Kelso, criticized cleanup efforts as too slow.
1990
87 people, most of them Honduran and Dominican immigrants, were killed when fire raced through an illegal social club, the "Happy Land Social Club," in New York City.
1991
"Dances With Wolves" won seven Oscars, including best picture, at the 63rd annual Academy Awards.
1991
Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, a rebellious conservative in the Roman Catholic Church, died in Martigny, Switzerland, at age 85.
1992
Libyan leader Colonel Moammar Gadhafi backed away from an offer to turn over two suspects in the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 to the Arab League.
1992
Soviet cosmonaut Sergei Krikalev, who'd spent ten months aboard the orbiting "Mir" space station, thereby missing the upheaval in his homeland, finally returned to Earth.
1993
The Senate approved an outline of President Clinton's plan to spark the economy and trim the budget deficit by a vote of 54-to-45.
1994
Operation Restore Hope came to an end as the last American troops completed their withdrawal from Somalia.
1994
The U.S. Senate approved a $1.5 trillion budget.
1994
The self-proclaimed Bosnian Serb republic refused to join a Moslem-Croat federation until United Nation sanctions on Serbia were lifted.
1995
Two Americans who'd strayed across the Kuwaiti border into Iraq were sentenced to eight years in prison. David Daliberti and William Barloon were released by Iraq the following July.
1995
"Iron" Mike Tyson was released from the Indiana Youth Center after serving three years for the 1992 rape of beauty pageant contestant Desiree Washington.
1996
First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton, accompanied by her daughter, Chelsea, visited US troops in Bosnia.
1996
"Braveheart" won Academy Awards for best picture and best director Mel Gibson; Nicolas Cage won best actor for "Leaving Las Vegas," Susan Sarandon best actress for "Dead Man Walking."
1996
The redesigned $100 bill went into circulation.
1996
An 81-day standoff by the anti-government Freemen began at a ranch near Jordan, Montana.
1997
The Federal Reserve nudged interest rates higher for the first time in two years, hoping to stifle any threat of rising inflation.
1997
Georgia Governor Zell Miller signed into a law a ban on a controversial form of late-term abortion.
1997
Former President George Bush, 73, parachuted from a plane over the Arizona desert.
1998
The FCC netted $578.6 million at auction for licenses for new wireless technology.
1998
The House of Representatives unanimously approved a two-year extension of a visa waiver program, which allowed some 12 million tourists and business people entry to the U.S. without need of a visa.
1998
Shaken by horror stories from the worst genocide since World War Two, President Clinton grimly acknowledged during his Africa tour that "we did not act quickly enough" to stop the slaughter of up to a million Rwandans four years earlier.
1998
Monica Lewinsky's mother Marcia Lewis asked a federal judge to excuse her as a witness in the White House sex scandal investigation.
1999
NATO aircraft and missiles blasted targets in Yugoslavia for a second night, directing much of their fire on Kosovo, where fighting raged between Serbs and ethnic Albanians.
1999
Alexei Yagudin won the men's title for the second time at the World Figure Skating Championships held in Helsinki, Finland.
2000
President Clinton briefly visited Pakistan, where he met with the new military ruler, General Pervez Musharraf.
2000
A weary Pope John Paul the Second traveled the ancient streets of Nazareth, Jesus' boyhood town, and celebrated Mass in the soaring Basilica of the Annunciation.
2005
Tsunami toll update
2005
FARC and Brazilian Workers' Party:the general didn't tell the truth, says former Abin superior to Veja
2005
UN Security Council approves peacekeepers for Sudan
2005
Yahoo adds Creative Commons search for locating reusable content
2005
Protesters arrive at Baxter detention centre in Australian desert
2005
Five dead, over 200 injured as looting continues in Bishkek
2005
US dog attack owner charged with involuntary manslaughter
2005
Kidnapped Italian journalist refutes American government claims
2005
Taiwan Democratic Alliance for Peace plans massive rally on Saturday
2005
Jerry Springer joins U.S. liberal radio network
2005
Canada considers Copyright Act changes
2005
Ruling forbids RadioShack brand in Canada
2005
NRA official suggests arming teachers to prevent school shootings
2005
Expo opens in Aichi, Japan
2005
Terri Schiavo's father makes appeal to have feeding tube reinserted
2005
Pope John Paul II unable to lead Good Friday services
2006
FCC head Kevin Martin endorses telcos' tiered Internet plan
2006
Hyshot tests hypersonic "scramjet" in Australia
2006
Council pres. removes Easter bunny from St. Paul, MN city hall
2006
Greece, Greeks celebrate Independence day
2006
Tens of thousands rally against Thailand's Prime Minister
2006
Buck Owens, country music icon, dies at 76
2006
Norman Kember returns home safely
2006
Riot police arrest Belarusian opposition leader Kozulin
2006
Cape Town charges Frontline Fellowship pastor with Halloween paintball assault
2006
Police arrest roof-climbing graduate of high school in Hopkinton, Massachusetts
2006
Riots greet French government's labor reform
2007
Harper: "The Red Ensign of 1917 will fly over Vimy" Harper:
2007
Lane Cove Tunnel opens in Sydney
2007
NHL: Penguins blank Bruins to catch Devils
2007
Cricket World Cup: Bangladesh vs Bermuda
2007
British sailors detained by Iran "to be tried for espionage"
2007
Large earthquake off Japan, tsunami warning issued
2007
NCAA Basketball: Florida, Georgetown join UCLA, OSU in Final Four
2007
U.S. court grants Verizon injunction, Vonage appeals
2008
Final report blames instrument failure for Adam Air Flight 574 disaster
2008
FDA warning on Honduran cantaloupes after salmonella outbreaks
2008
Over 70 businesses in Bristol, United Kingdom given zero star rating for food hygiene
2008
EBay to make PayPal mandatory for UK sellers
2008
60 vehicle pile-up kills one, injures 30 in Austria
2008
National Hockey League news: March 25, 2008
2008
'Big Brother' contestant Parker Somerville sounds off about the show and his aspirations
2008
Olympic flame for Beijing Games lit amidst protest
2009
New Jersey files lawsuit against federal sports betting ban
2009
Canada commits C$127.4 million to fighting tuberculosis
2009
US Treasury Secretary: "We need the ability to seize firms"
2009
European Parliament agrees on unified airspace
2009
WHO says Zimbabwean cholera epidemic 'past its peak'
2009
Czech PM calls Obama's rescue plan a 'road to hell'
2009
U.S. Postal Service running out of money
2009
Priests jailed for $8.6 million theft
2009
Morning-after pill to be made available to 17-year-olds, U.S. federal judge rules
2009
Pilots in 16-death crash jailed for praying instead of flying
2009
NATO soldiers honour fallen Canadians
2009
Four-storey building collapses in Lagos, Nigeria; two dead
2009
Authorities search home of owner of German Wikileaks domain
2009
Comedian Stephen Colbert wins NASA space station name contest
2009
Canadian annual seal hunt begins amid controversy
2010
Wikipedia and sister projects back online after server failure
2010
Saudi Arabia arrests over 100 people suspected of having links to al-Qaeda
2010
Private guard kills Somali pirate in Gulf of Aden
2010
Sequel of aftershocks hit O'Higgins, Bíobío and Maule regions in Chile
2010
Dubai World to receive $9.5 billion in government aid
2010
Disputed island disappears beneath sea on India-Bangladesh border
2010
Two ill after eating burgers laced with multi-purpose cleaner in Bathurst, Australia
2010
Osama bin Laden threatens retaliation if 9/11 suspects executed
2010
Car bomb in Buenaventura, Colombia kills at least six
2011
New Zealand enters semi-finals as South Africa fails again in Cricket World Cup
2011
Situation at damaged nuclear power plant remains 'very grave', says Japanese Prime Minister
2011
Japanese earthquake death toll surpasses ten thousand
2011
China plans to ban smoking in indoor public places
2011
NATO to take control of Libyan no-fly zone
2011
BBC cancel television comedy series 'My Family'
2012
Former world darts champion Jocky Wilson dies at age 62
2012
Aussie Spirit wins two out of seven against Japan
2012
US Army sergeant charged with seventeen Afghan murders
2012
Two San Diego art museums receive $40 million art collection
2012
Softball Australia, federal government reaffirm support for indigenous softball
2012
Rick Santorum gains traction by winning Louisiana vote
2012
Web startup Sqoot loses sponsorship after failed advert deemed sexist by social media
2013
Science museum hosts first-ever 'Maker Faire' for city of Tyler, Texas
2013
Stolen Utahraptor recovered in Australian Capital Territory

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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