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Today in History

1847
Inventor of the first practical telephone, Alexander Graham Bell born in Edinburgh, Scotland
1882
Infamous swindler for whom the "Ponzi scheme" is named, Charles Ponzi born in Lugo, Italy
1885
The American Telephone and Telegraph Company incorporates in New York State
1911
Actress Jean Harlow born Harlean Harlow Carpenter in Kansas City, Missouri
1920
Soldier, linguist and actor, James Doohan born in Vancouver, British Columbia
1921
Stage and screen actress, Diana Barrymore born in New York City
1937
Animation model, voice actor for Disney's Peter Pan and Academy Award winner at age 12, Bobby Driscoll born in Cedar Rapids, Iowa
1938
Oil discovered in Saudi Arabia
1961
Olympic Gold Medal javelinist, Fatima Whitbread born in London, England
1966
Buffalo Springfield forms in Los Angeles
1990
International Trans-Antarctica Expedition crossed Antarctic continent via dogsled
1033
Death of St. Cunegunda, Queen of Bavaria
1191
Philip II of fRance and his army leave Sicily
1193
Death of al-Malik en Nasr Salah-ud-Din Yusuf ibn Yusuf
1431
Election of Pope Eugenius IV
1461
Edward IV takes possession of the English Crown
1497
All candidates for academic degrees at the Sorbonne required to believe in the Immaculate Conception
1503
Caesar Borgia given the Papal Golden Rose
1513
Ponce de Leon sails from Puerto Rico to find the Fountain Of Youth
1525
Cardinal Wolsey names Richard Whiting as Abbot of Glastonbury
1549
Henric Spieghel, Dutch Renaissance poet born
1583
Edward, Lord Herbert of Cherbury, English philosopher, author born
1605
Death of Pope Clement VIII
1606
William Davenant, English poet, dramatist born
1606
English poet Edmund Waller born
1612
Burning of Bartholomew Legate, at Smithfield, England, for heresy
1639
Harvard College named
1791
Congress passed a resolution ordering U.S. Mint be established.
1812
Congress passes 1st foreign aid bill.
1831
Industrialist George Pullman, inventor of the railway sleeping car born
1845
Florida became the 27th state.
1845
For the first time, the U.S. Congress passed legislation on this day overriding a President's veto. President John Tyler was in office at the time.
1847
Telephone inventor Alexander Graham Bell, was born in Edinburgh, Scotland. born
1849
Gold Coinage Act passed, allowing gold coins to be minted.
1849
The Home Department, forerunner of the Interior Department, was established.
1851
Congress authorizes smallest US silver coin, the 3-cent piece.
1854
Harriet Smithson, the actress who inspired "Symphonie fantastique" and then became Hector Berlioz's wife, died more than a decade after their separation but was still officially Mrs. Berlioz.
1872
Baseball's "Wee" Willie Keeler born
1875
The Georges Bizet opera "Carmen" premiered in Paris.
1879
Attorney Belva Ann Lockwood became the first woman to argue a case before the U.S. Supreme Court.
1885
The U.S. Post Office began offering special delivery for first-class mail.
1887
Anne Mansfield Sullivan arrived at the Alabama home of Captain and Mrs. Arthur H. Keller to become the teacher of their blind and deaf 6-year-old daughter, Helen.
1895
U.S. Army Gen. Matthew Ridgway born
1903
Hollywood fashion designer Adrian born
1904
Actress Mayo Methot born
1911
Actress (Harlean Carpenter) Jean Harlow (Platinum Blonde, Red Dust, Bombshell, Dinner at Eight, China Seas, Libeled Lady) born
1915
The now famous film, "Birth of a Nation", debuted in New York City. The motion picture brought Lillian Gish, Mae Marsh and Wallace Reid to the silver screen in what has frequently been called the greatest silent film ever produced.
1918
Germany, Austria and Russia signed the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, which ended Russian participation in World War I. (The treaty was annulled by the November 1918 armistice.)
1920
Golfer Julius Boros born
1920
Actor James Doohan born
1921
Actress Diana Barrymore (Blythe) born
1925
Singer Enzo Stuarti born
1931
Cab Calloway and his Orchestra recorded "Minnie the Moocher" on Brunswick Records. It was the first recording of the famous bandleader's theme song.
1931
An act of Congress designated "The Star Spangled Banner" the national anthem of the United States.
1933
Lee Radziwill Ross born
1939
It was on this day that a new craze began to sweep college campuses. Getting a start at the Ivy League's Harvard University, the much publicized fad began to take shape. The fad? Goldfish swallowing.
1940
Artie Shaw and his orchestra recorded "Frenesi" for RCA Victor.
1947
Singer Jennifer Warnes born
1950
Actor Ed Marinaro born
1950
Actor-director Tim Kazurinsky born
1952
The U.S. Supreme Court upholds New York's Feinberg Law banning Communist teachers in the U.S.
1953
Singer-musician Robyn Hitchcock born
1958
Actress Miranda Richardson born
1961
Actress Mary Page Keller born
1962
Olympic track and field gold medalist Jackie Joyner-Kersee born
1962
Football player Herschel Walker born
1962
Olympic track and field gold medalist Jackie Joyner-Knrsee born
1965
Julie Andrews, Christopher Plummer and Eleanor Parker starred in the film adaptation of the popular Broadway hit, "The Sound of Music".
1966
Rapper-actor Tone-Loc born
1969
Rock musician John Bigham (Fishbone) born
1969
Apollo 9 blasted off from Cape Kennedy on a mission to test the lunar module.
1970
Actress Julie Bowen ("Three") born
1974
Actor David Faustino born
1974
Nearly 350 people died when a Turkish Airlines DC-10 crashed shortly after takeoff from Orly Airport in Paris.
1976
Actor Danny Masterson ("That 70's Show") born
1982
Actress Jessica Biel ("7th Heaven") born
1985
British coal miners ended their year-long strike, the longest and costliest labor dispute in British history.
1987
Comedian Danny Kaye died in Los Angeles at age 74.
1988
The US House of Representatives rejected a package of 30 (M) million dollars in non-lethal aid for the Nicaraguan Contras.
1989
Senate Republican Leader Bob Dole suggested that Defense Secretary-designate John Tower be given the opportunity to appear before the Senate to answer allegations against him.
1990
President Bush sparked controversy by expressing opposition to the settlement of Soviet Jewish refugees in East Jerusalem.
1991
Allied military commanders met with Iraqi military commanders to arrange terms of a formal cease-fire in the Gulf War.
1991
In a case that sparked a national outcry, motorist Rodney King was severely beaten by Los Angeles police officers in a scene captured on amateur video.
1991
25 people were killed when a United Airlines Boeing 737-200 inexplicably crashed while approaching the Colorado Springs airport.
1992
In so-called Junior Tuesday political contests, Democrat Paul Tsongas won primaries in Maryland and Utah; Bill Clinton won in Georgia, Jerry Brown in Colorado. Among Republicans, President Bush swept Georgia, Maryland and Colorado.
1992
An underground coal mine explosion in Kozlu, Turkey, claimed 270 lives.
1993
"A Short Symphony" by George Perle, which is the title of the work as well as a description of it was performed by the Boston Symphony. Seiji Ozawa conducted a concert that also included the Faure Requiem and Mozart's Ninth Piano Concerto with soloist Maria Joao Pires.
1993
Health pioneer Albert Sabin, developer of the oral polio vaccine, died in Washington DC at age 86.
1994
Amid continuing trade tensions with Japan, President Clinton issued an executive order reviving an expired provision of US trade law known as Super 301, which provided a strict timetable for results.
1995
President Clinton held a news conference in which he asserted his administration had built a safer world and stronger economy while Republicans were trying to cut money for the needy to give tax breaks to the rich.
1995
The dollar plunged to a new low against the Japanese yen.
1996
Israel declared all-out war on the militant group Hamas after a bus bomb in Jerusalem killed 19 people, including the bomber, the third such suicide attack in eight days.
1997
Vice President Al Gore, under fire for his aggressive role in campaign fund raising, acknowledged he'd solicited donations from his White House office but insisted he did not do "anything wrong, much less illegal." Yet, he said he would never do it again.
1998
Microsoft chairman Bill Gates testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee that his company wasn't a monopoly out to crush rivals in the Internet software market.
1998
Larry Doby, the first black player in the American League, was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame.
1998
Presidential confidant Vernon Jordan testified before the grand jury investigating the Monica Lewinsky matter.
1998
Former CBS News president Fred W. Friendly died in New York at age 82.
1998
The Supreme Court ruled that local lawmakers' votes are immune to lawsuits even if they had been based on illegal or discriminatory motives.
1999
Monica Lewinsky, in an ABC interview timed to coincide with the publication of her book, recounted for Barbara Walters some of the fondest, as well as most painful, aspects of her relationship with President Clinton.
1999
The Supreme Court ruled that public schools had to finance one-on-one nursing care for some disabled students throughout the school day.
2000
Bob Jones University, a fundamentalist Christian college, said it was lifting its ban on interracial dating. _____________________________________________________________
2000
Former dictator General Augusto Pinochet returned to Chile a free man, 16 months after he was detained in Britain on torture charges.
2005
Steve Fosset attempts a record flight around the world
2005
Martin firm on missile defence results in chilly response from White House
2005
Proposal to ban VoIP in Costa Rica
2005
Steve Fossett becomes the first person to fly solo, non-stop around the world
2005
Take-Two Interactive profits surge 74%
2005
Ex-Ontario Premier Harris to deny Ipperwash allegations
2005
Green paper asks for the BBC's Board of Governors to be scrapped
2006
Australia will not export uranium to India
2006
Ian Thorpe starts to recover from chest pains
2006
Band sticker causes bomb scare at Ohio University
2006
Authorities impose vehicle ban on Baghdad
2006
Emergency at JDS Uniphase in San Jose, CA
2006
New Zealand Maori Electoral Option
2006
Ayya Vaikunda Avataram declared as a holiday for Tirunelveli district
2006
"Stolenwealth" Games to confront Commonwealth Games in Melbourne 2006
2007
Iranian student protesters face expulsion
2007
Late goal leaves Liverpool stunned
2007
Chelsea maintains pace with Manchester United
2007
Jimmy Wales asks Wikipedian to resign "his positions of trust" over nonexistent degrees
2007
Councilman: Buffalo, New York, USA police to stage "sickout"
2007
Full lunar eclipse due on March 3, 2007
2008
Canadian musician Jeff Healey dies of cancer
2008
Nepali goddess retires at age 11
2008
Colombian police claim that Venezuelan government paid FARC rebels $300 million
2008
Medvedev becomes Russian president-elect
2008
National Hockey League news: March 3, 2008
2009
India announces Lok Sabha elections for 2009
2009
Two-time Eurovision entrant Edsilia Rombley discusses music, love, and her contrasting Contest experiences
2009
Seven killed in gun attack on Sri Lankan cricket team
2010
Toyota's US sales fall by 8.7%
2010
Apple sues Taiwanese mobile phone maker HTC
2010
Air Canada to lay off over a thousand machinists
2010
Ford's US auto sales spike, surpassing GM
2010
Euro reaches ten month low against US dollar
2010
Ex-Bosnian Serb leader: Alleged war crimes are myths
2010
Venezuelan economy shrank by 5.8% in fourth quarter of 2009
2010
GM recalls 1.3 million cars over steering issues
2010
New York Representative Eric Massa to retire
2010
Laws allowing same sex marriage in Washington, D.C. go into effect
2010
Former Bosnian president arrested in London
2011
Telecom Commission of Solomon Islands issues phone company US$1M fine
2011
Apple Inc. unveils iPad 2 tablet
2012
Deadly tornadoes blast U.S. Midwest leaving 39 dead
2012
Two arrested over Belfast, Northern Ireland fatal shooting
2012
On the campaign trail, February 2012
2013
Liberal Democrats hold onto Eastleigh in by-election as UKIP vote soars
2013
Al-Qaeda commander Abou Zeid killed in Mali by French forces

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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