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Today in History

LOTR...
Flowering of the Mallorn
1943
Songwriter, author and actor, Eric Idle born in Tyne & Wear, England
1943
Bus conductor, banker and Britain's Prime Minister from 1990 to 1997, John Major born in Surrey, England
1955
Stage and screen actress, Marina Sirtis born in London, England
1955
NFL Hall of Fame running back, Earl Campbell born in Tyler Texas
1964
Actress and supermodel, Elle MacPherson born Eleanor Nancy Gow in Wales, Australia
1968
Singer, dancer and actress, Lucy Lawless born Lucille Frances Ryan in Mount Albert, New Zealand
1973
Dr. Hook appears on The Rolling Stone cover
1984
NFL's Colts franchise moves to Indianapolis
2004
Ireland bans smoking in all work places, bars and restaurants
87
BC
Han Wu Ti, Chinese Han Emperor dies
327
Deaths of Sts. Jonah and Berikjesu
502
Gundobad, King of the Burgundians, issues a new legal code that brings Romans and Burgundians under the same law
1058
Death of Pope Stephen X
1134
Death of St. Stephen Harding
1139
Pope Innocent II grants the Templars 'every best gift' and makes them an independent unit within the Church
1315
Death of Raymond Lully
1430
Sultan Murat II takes Thessalonica
1464
Coronation of Mathias I as King of Hungary
1561
Santorio Sanctorius, Trieste, Italy, physician burned as a heretic born
1565
Turks sail to attack Malta
1621
Christine Couper, of Culros, Scotland, burned as a witch
1626
1st American forestry legislation enacted, Plymouth Colony
1638
First Swedish immigrants to the New World land in Delaware
1790
The 10th president of the United States, John Tyler, was born in Charles City County, Virginia. He was the first president to marry while in office (his second marriage). His two marriages produced 15 children.
1792
Sweden's King Gustav III died, nearly two weeks after he was mortally wounded during a masquerade party.
1812
The first wedding was performed in the White House. Mrs. Lucy Payne Washington, sister-in-law of President James Madison, married Supreme Court Justice Thomas Dodd.
1819
Edwin Drake, drilled first productive oil well in US born
1827
"He withdrew after he had given everything to his fellow man and received nothing in return." A friend of Beethoven said that, in the eulogy at the composer's grave.
1828
Robert Schumann graduated from college with a degree in law.
1847
Victorious forces led by General Winfield Scott occupied the city of Vera Cruz after Mexican defenders capitulated.
1848
Niagara Falls stops flowing -- for 1 day -- because of an ice jam
1867
The British Parliament passed the North America Act to create the Dominion of Canada.
1867
Baseball star Cy Young was born, paid $60 per month at age 23, Young would warm up in the outfield by throwing the ball against a wooden fence -- he threw with such velocity that he splintered some of the boards.
1882
The Knights of Columbus was chartered in Connecticut. The Knights of Columbus is a Catholic, fraternal service, family organization of almost 6 million members.
1886
The first batch of Coca Cola was brewed over a fire in a backyard in Atlanta, Georgia. John Pemberton created the concoction as a "hangover" cure and a stomach ache/headache remedy. Cocaine was an ingredient until 1904.
1914
Seven newspapers joined together to distribute the first newspaper rotogravure section. (The first picture section was developed.)
1916
Former US Senator Eugene McCarthy born
1917
Man o' War, the famous American race horse was foaled.
1918
Entertainer Pearl Bailey was born. Bailey received a Tony Award in 1968 for "Hello Dolly." born
1919
Actress Eileen Heckart born
1932
A vaudeville comedian made his radio debut, saying, "Ladies and gentlemen, this is Jack Benny talking. There will be a slight pause while you say, `Who cares?"'
1937
The Polish composer Karol Szymanowski died in Switzerland. Szymanowski never achieved the kind of fame Rachmaninoff or even Moussorgsky knew in their lifetimes, but his music is still recorded today. It sounds something like Richard Strauss.
1943
British Prime Minister John Major born
1943
World War Two meat, butter and cheese rationing began.
1943
Comedian Eric Idle born
1943
Keyboardist-composer Vangelis born
1945
Former pro basketball player Walt Frazier born
1947
Singer Bobby Kimball (Toto) born
1951
The Rodgers and Hammerstein musical, "The King and I," based on Margaret Langdon's novel "Anna and the King of Siam," opened at New York's St. James Theatre for 1,246 performances.
1951
Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were convicted of conspiracy to commit espionage. (They were executed in June 1953.)
1951
Actor Bud Cort born
1954
Karen Ann Quinlan born in Scranton, Pennsylvania. Her parents went to the U.S. Supreme Court before getting permission to turn off her life-support system. The case touched off much debate over the right to die.
1955
Football Hall-of-Famer Earl Campbell born
1956
Olympic gymnast Kurt Thomas born
1956
Gymnast Kurt Thomas born
1957
Actor Christopher Lambert born
1959
Rock singer Perry Farrell(Porno for Pyros; Jane's Addiction) born
1961
23rd Amendment ratified, Presidential vote for District of Columbia.
1962
Jack Paar hosted NBC's "Tonight" show for the final time.
1963
Alfred Hitchcock's "The Bird's," opened. The film starred Rod Taylor, Tippi Hedren and Jessica Tandy.
1964
Model Elle MacPherson born
1967
Rock singer-musician John Popper (Blues Traveler) born
1967
The first nationwide strike in the 30-year history of the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA) began, lasting for 13 days.
1968
Actress Lucy Lawless ("Xena - Warrior Princess") born
1968
Country singer Regina Leigh (Regina Regina) born
1969
Country singer Brady Seals born
1971
Army Lieutenant William L. Calley Junior was convicted of murdering at least 22 Vietnamese civilians in the My Lai (mee ly) massacre. (Calley ended up spending three years under house arrest.)
1971
A jury in Los Angeles recommended the death penalty for Charles Manson and three female followers for the 1969 Tate-La Bianca murders. (The sentences were later commuted.)
1973
The last United States troops left South Vietnam, ending America's direct military involvement in the Vietnam War.
1974
Eight Ohio National Guardsmen were indicted on charges stemming from the shooting deaths of four students at Kent State University. (The guardsmen were later acquitted.)
1976
Tennis player Jennifer Capriati born
1976
"One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" won the Academy Award for the best picture of 1975. Jack Nicholson, Louise Fletcher and Milos Forman won awards for best actor, best actress and best director for the film.
1982
The oldest television soap opera, Search for Tomorrow, switched from CBS, where it appeared for 30 years, to NBC.
1987
Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir was re-elected chairman of the right-wing Herut Party, the largest party in the Likud bloc governing Israel as part of a coalition.
1988
Two top Justice Department officials resigned over Attorney General Edwin Meese's legal problems.
1988
Senator Bob Dole ended his presidential candidacy.
1988
Michael Dukakis won the Connecticut Democratic primary.
1988
Leaders of the Assemblies of God ordered Rev. Jimmy Swaggart to stop preaching for at least a year because of "moral failure."
1989
The movie "Rain Man" won Academy Awards for best picture, best director Barry Levinson and best actor Dustin Hoffman; Jodie Foster was named best actress for "The Accused."
1990
President Bush, addressing the National Leadership Coalition on AIDS, declared his administration "on a wartime footing" against the disease, and called for compassion, not discrimination, toward those infected with the virus.
1991
Gen. H. Norman Schwarzkopf publicly apologized to President Bush for questioning his judgment about calling a cease-fire in the Gulf War.
1991
Political strategist Lee Atwater, who'd helped propel President Bush to his 1988 election victory, died at age 40 of complications resulting from a brain tumor.
1992
Democratic presidential front-runner Bill Clinton acknowledged experimenting with marijuana "a time or two" while attending Oxford University, adding, "I didn't inhale and I didn't try it again."
1993
"Unforgiven" won the Academy Award for best picture as well as best director for Clint Eastwood; Emma Thompson won best actress for "Howards End" and Al Pacino won best actor for "Scent of a Woman."
1994
Dallas Cowboys coach Jimmy Johnson resigned, capping a long-standing feud with team owner Jerry Jones.
1994
Mexico's ruling party, the PRI, picked Ernesto Zedillo to be its new presidential candidate, replacing the assassinated Luis Donaldo Colosio.
1995
The House of Representatives rejected, 227-204, a constitutional amendment placing term limits on lawmakers. (The rejected proposal would have limited terms to 12 in the House and Senate.)
1996
Congress passed, and President Clinton quickly signed, a 12th stopgap spending bill to avert a partial federal shutdown.
1997
Vice President Gore concluded his tour of Asia, saying that talks in Beijing had created "new momentum" in relations between the US and China.
1998
President Clinton entered Botswana's remote big-game country, where elephants outnumber people, for a two-day break from a grueling Africa trip.
1998
Twenty-two people were killed when a Russian-made Antonov military plane crashed into a Peruvian shantytown outside the northern city of Piura.
1998
The White House denied there was any obstruction of justice by President Clinton and his legal team as Paula Jones' lawyers allege in her sexual harassment suit against the president. The administration officials also dismissed as outrageous a hearsay account Clinton might have sexually assaulted a woman 20 years ago. That allegation was included in the court filing made by Jones' lawyers.
1998
The Lady Vols of Tennessee won a third straight NCAA basketball championship, defeating Louisiana Tech 93-to-75
1999
Legendary jazz singer Joe Williams died in Las Vegas at age 80.
1999
NATO airstrikes against Yugoslavia continued for a sixth night.
1999
The Dow Jones industrial average closed above 10,000 for the first time, at 10,006.78.
1999
Connecticut beat top-ranked Duke, 77-to-74, for its first NCAA basketball championship.
2000
President Clinton told a news conference he was appalled when he first learned his campaign had taken illegal foreign donations in 1996 -- contributions he called both wrong and unneeded.
2000
A federal judge ruled that President Clinton "committed a criminal violation of the Privacy Act" by releasing personal letters to undermine the credibility of Kathleen Willey, one of his accusers.
2001
James Kopp, the fugitive wanted in the 1998 slaying of Dr. Barnett Slepian, a Buffalo, N.Y., abortion provider, was captured in France. (Kopp is fighting extradition to the United States.)
2001
A chartered jet crashed near Aspen, Colo., killing all 18 people aboard.
2001
Pianist John Lewis, who masterminded the Modern Jazz Quartet, died in New York at age 80.
2005
Britain's Howard-Flight controversy continues
2005
Congressional dems visit to Iraq encourages support of Bush $81B "reconstruction" plan
2005
Israeli parliament rejects disengagement referendum
2005
Australians more concerned by global warming than terrorism, says Lowy report
2005
Upper house of former Kyrgyz parliament steps down, Bakiyev pledges to fight corruption
2005
Sleepiness: A yawning chasm for working Americans
2005
Japan asks "Where's the beef?"
2005
Surgeons reattach boy's three severed limbs
2005
US Transportation Security Administration "made inaccurate statements" about passenger privacy, says Department of Homeland Security report
2005
Past Jackson abuse claims to be used in court
2005
Lorry drops thirteen tonnes of fish in British town
2005
American Christian TV evangelist Jerry Falwell hospitalized in critical condition
2005
California State University, Chico fraternity suspended for making frat house porno flick
2005
Canadian Football League to test Atlantic expansion with exhibition game
2005
Laura Bush takes a quick trip to Afghanistan
2005
Sudan preemptively rejects Security Council resolution on war crimes extradition
2006
Cyclone Glenda intensifies to category 5 storm
2006
Australian House of Representatives acknowledges Cyclone Larry efforts
2006
UK public sector workers strike over pension rights
2006
Blair challenges New Zealand to fight against global warming
2006
Search for body fails on New Zealand's Raoul island
2006
Jian Seng ghost ship affair brings criticism of Australian government
2006
Darfur declares Swedish Foreign Minister unwelcome
2006
UN Security Council calls on Iran to suspend uranium enrichment
2006
New Zealand declares 2007 switch of energy efficiency strategy
2006
U.S.A. researchers report plagiarism in Putin's dissertation
2006
US Federal Reserve raises interest rates - energy prices could affect inflation
2007
Iran Foreign Minister: Britain must admit to trespassing before soldiers are released
2007
Iran 'suspends' releasing British soldiers; Shots fired near Iranian Consul in Basra, Iraq
2007
Cricket World Cup: West Indies vs New Zealand
2007
Proposed U.S. legislation seeks to push China to raise the value of yuan
2007
Body of alumnus found at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, New York
2008
British pop star Leona Lewis breaks US Billboard records
2008
National Hockey League news: March 29, 2008
2008
Businesses and individuals worldwide turn lights off as part of Earth Hour 2008
2008
U.S. launches airstrikes against Basra militants
2008
New bridge lowered into position as East London line extension work progresses
2008
Around 240 Chilean protesters detained after anti-government demonstration
2008
Huge interest takes Wikileaks offline
2009
Utah legalizes homebrewing
2009
Canadian neighbourhood protected from bully for three years
2009
Space Shuttle Discovery lands in Florida
2009
Radioactive part mistakenly sold, melted with scrap metal in China
2009
Robber holds retired NYC police officer at gunpoint during convention
2009
Spanish court considering torture criminal case against former U.S. officials
2009
Stadium disaster claims lives at football World Cup qualifier match in Ivory Coast
2009
Helicopter crash in Turkey kills six
2009
'Recession gardens' replace victory gardens
2009
Volcano near Anchorage, Alaska erupts, airport closed
2009
New Jersey officials: Stimulus bill hurting Atlantic City casinos
2010
Russia removes two timezones
2011
Explosion at Yemen weapons factory kills dozens
2011
British music royalties suffer first ever decrease
2011
New York City disputes 2010 Census
2011
Former White House press secretary Robert Gibbs may work for Facebook
2011
George Clooney to be defence witness in Berlusconi sex case
2011
Cardenal Caro Province governor: Pichilemu Municipality to leave 107 families homeless
2012
Sandra Fluke, Chelsea Clinton, Christine Quinn on women in politics
2012
Pope Benedict visits Cuba urging openness, religious freedom
2013
Soyuz TMA-08M launches to International Space Station, arrives in record time
2013
Outer Hebrides collision kills postman

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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