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Today in History

1475
Artist Michaelangelo born in Caprese, Tuscany
1619
Soldier, dramatist, duelist and author, Cyrano de Bergerac born in Paris, France
1745
Soldier of fortune and heroic Revolutionary War cavalry officer, Casimir Pulaski born in Warsaw, Poland
1857
Dred Scott ruling
1923
Television personality and The Tonight Show's most famous emcee, Ed McMahon born in Detroit, Michigan
1926
Economist and Chairman of US Federal Reserve from 1987 to 2006, Alan Greenspan born in New York City
1944
Founder of the The Supremes, singer Mary Wilson born in Greenville, Mississippi
1947
Actor, political activist, producer and director, Rob Reiner born in Bronx, New York
1957
Independence Day in Ghana
1964
Cassius Clay becomes Muhammad Ali
1992
Michelangelo boot sector virus activates
203
Martyrdom of Sts. Perpetua and Felicity
766
Death of St. Chrodegang
1204
Phillip Augustus of France captures Chateau Galliard
1405
John II, King of Castile born
1428
Joan of Arc arrives at the Chateau de Chinon
1447
Election of Pope Nicholas V
1447
Death of St. Colette
1454
Casimir IV takes parts of Prussia into Poland
1475
Italian painter and sculptor Michelangelo born
1480
Treaty of Alcacovas gives the Canary Islands to Spain
1515
Christian II, King of Norway and Denmark, becomes King of Sweden
1521
Magellan arrives on Guam
1531
Eugenio Torralba found guilty of sorcery, but not executed
1604
Coronation of Charles IX, King of Sweden
1612
A Tournament was held in Paris to celebrate the wedding of Louis XIII, King of France
1616
Francis Beaumont, Elizabethan dramatist, dies at about 32
1619
Dramatist and duelist Savinien Cyrano de Bergerac. born
1622
John Mason chartered to found New Hampshire
1629
Edict of Restitution restored the property of the Catholic Church
1665
The Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society was first published. It has remained in continuous publication ever since, making it the world's longest-running scientific journal
1756
Aaron Burr, dualist born
1806
Poet Elizabeth Barrett (Moulton) Browning born in Durham, England. born
1808
The first college orchestra was founded at Harvard University in Cambridge, MA.
1812
Aaron Lufkin Dennison, father of American watchmaking. born
1825
This may qualify as the date of the birth of what music writers like to call "Late Beethoven." On this day Beethoven's E-flat Quartet, Opus 127, was first performed.
1831
Union Army Gen. Philip Sheridan born
1834
The city of York in Upper Canada was incorporated as Toronto.
1836
Mexican forces captured the Alamo in San Antonio, Texas, killing the last of 187 defenders who had held out in the fortified mission for 13 days.
1836
The Alamo in San Antonio, Texas, fell to Mexican forces after a 13-day siege.
1844
Composer Nicolai Rimski-Korsakov (Flight of the Bumble Bee) born
1853
Verdi's opera "La Traviata" premiered in Venice, Italy.
1857
The U.S. Supreme Court handed down its landmark ruling that black slave Dred Scott could not sue for his freedom in a federal court, even though his white master had died in a "free" state.
1885
Sports reporter and humorist Ring Lardner born
1886
The first magazine published for nurses debuted in New York City. Tthe new publication was called "The Nightingale".
1905
Bandleader, composer and fiddler Bob Wills born
1906
Comedian and actor Lou (Cristillo) Costello (Abbott & Costello "Who's on First?") born
1923
Jazz guitarist Wes (John Leslie) Montgomery (Windy, Goin' Out of My Head, Wes' Tune, Sunny) born
1923
TV personality Ed McMahon (The Tonight Show starring Johnny Carson) born
1924
Conductor Sarah Caldwell born
1924
Former FBI and CIA director William Webster born
1926
Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan born
1927
U.S. astronaut Leroy Gordon 'Gordo' Cooper born
1932
John Philip Sousa died. Sousa was en route to a concert in Reading, Pennsylvania. Sousa was one of the few composers to become rich. The amount of money he earned from "The Stars and Stripes Forever" alone was equivalent to someone making millions today
1933
A nationwide bank holiday declared by President Roosevelt went into effect.
1935
Retired Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes Junior died in Washington.
1936
Washington DC Mayor Marion S. Barry Junior born
1937
Soviet cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova, 1st woman cosmonaut born
1937
Country singer Doug Dillard born
1940
Actress-writer Joanna Miles born
1941
Baseball Hall of Famer Willie 'Pops' Stargell born
1942
Actor Ben Murphy (The Winds of War, The Chisholms, Time Walker) born
1944
Opera singer Dame Kiri Te Kanawa born
1944
Singer Mary Wilson (The Supremes) born
1944
US heavy bombers staged the first American raid on Berlin during World War Two. (A second raid took place two days later.)
1947
The ship, "The Newport News" was launched from a shipbuilding yard at Newport News, Virginia. It was the first air-conditioned naval ship.
1947
Actor-director Rob Reiner born
1947
Singer (Pauline Matthews) Kiki Dee (Don't Go Breaking My Heart, Amoureuse, (You Don't Know)How Glad I Am, Star) born
1947
Olympic Gold Medalist Dick Fosbury (Record holder 7', 4 1/4", 1968) born
1957
The former British African colonies of the Gold Coast and Togoland became the independent state of Ghana.
1959
Actor Tom Arnold born
1964
Country songwriter Skip Ewing born
1967
The daughter of Josef Stalin, Svetlana Alliluyeva , appeared at the US Embassy in India and announced her intention to defect to the West.
1968
Actress Moira Kelly born
1969
Actress Amy Pietz ("Caroline in the City") born
1972
Basketball player Shaquille O'Neal Taylor born
1974
Country musician Shan Farmer (Ricochet) born
1981
Walter Cronkite, the dean of American television newscasters, said "And that's the way it is" for the final time, as he closed the "CBS Evening News with Walter Cronkite". An audience estimated at 17,000,000 viewers saw "the most trusted man in America" sign-off.
1982
The most points ever scored by two teams in the National Basketball Association made history this night. San Antonio beat Milwaukee 171-166 in three overtime periods to set the mark.
1986
Actor Jimmy Galeota ("Michael Hays") born
1986
Actor Eli Marienthal born
1987
189 people died when water rushed through the open bow doors of the Herald of Free Enterprise, causing the British ferry to capsize off the Belgian port of Zeebrugge
1988
The board of trustees at Gallaudet University in Washington DC, a liberal arts college for the deaf, selected a hearing woman to be school president. (Outraged students shut down the campus, forcing the selection of a deaf president instead.)
1989
With nearly 90 percent of its pilots honoring the picket lines of striking machinists, Eastern Airlines shut down operations on all but three routes.
1990
The Soviet parliament overwhelmingly approved legislation allowing people to own factories and hire workers for the first time in nearly seven decades.
1991
Following Iraq's capitulation in the Persian Gulf conflict, President Bush told a cheering joint session of Congress that "aggression is defeated. The war is over."
1992
Personal computer users braced for a "virus" known as "Michelangelo," set to trigger on March sixth, but only scattered cases of lost files were reported.
1993
As a standoff at the Branch Davidian compound near Waco, Texas, ended its first week, authorities appealed publicly to David Koresh and his followers to give themselves up.
1994
Two top Clinton administration officials, Vice President Al Gore and White House adviser George Stephanopoulos, appeared on the Sunday TV talk shows to blame Republican sniping for much of the furor over Whitewater.
1994
Greek actress-turned-politician Melina Mercouri died in New York.
1995
The Republican-controlled House took up business-backed legislation to alter the civil legal system over White House objections that some of the proposals were too extreme (the House passed the measure the following day).
1996
Lamar Alexander and Dick Lugar announced they were dropping out of the race for the Republican presidential nomination.
1996
A federal appeals court struck down Washington state's ban on doctor-assisted suicide.
1997
Britain's Queen Elizabeth the Second launched the first official royal Web site.
1997
A gunman stole a million-dollar Picasso portrait ("Tete de Femme") from a London gallery. The painting was recovered and two suspects arrested a week later
1997
China introduced new laws to bolster its campaigns against dissent, ethnic separatism and subversive Western ideals.
1998
The Army honored three Americans who risked their lives and turned their weapons on fellow soldiers to stop the slaughter of Vietnamese villagers at My Lai in 1968.
1998
A Connecticut state lottery accountant shot to death three supervisors and the lottery chief before killing himself.
1999
The emir of Bahrain (Sheik Isa bin Salman Al Khalifa), a key Western ally who had ruled for nearly four decades, died shortly after a meeting with Defense Secretary William Cohen; he was 65.
2000
Eric Clapton was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for the third time; among the newest honorees were James Taylor, Bonnie Raitt and Earth, Wind and Fire.
2000
Three white New York City officers were convicted of a cover-up in a brutal police station attack on Haitian immigrant Abner Louima.
2005
US and France ask Syria to leave Lebanon
2005
China plans anti-secession law for Taiwan
2005
Four Royal Canadian Mounted Police officers killed in raid
2005
GAA: Westmeath beat Donegal by narrowest of margins
2005
Freed hostage Sgrena, says shooting "no accident"
2005
Fisichella wins Australian Formula 1 Grand Prix
2005
Boeing allowed to bid for U.S. space launch contracts again
2006
dvdrs.net closes - "can not recover from recent events"
2006
BBC global poll finds majority feel the US led Iraq invasion increased likelihood of terrorist attacks
2006
New Zealand online auction web site bought for NZ$700 million
2006
Australian Prime Minister visits India
2006
Oscars handed out at Kodak Theatre
2006
Thaksin rebuffs resignation calls while elite call for appointed PM
2006
AT&T to buy BellSouth for $67 billion
2006
Transit strike affects 100,000 in Helsinki
2006
Pakistan government blocks bloggers ahead of Bush visit
2007
Valencia through to Quarters thanks to away goals rule
2007
Strong earthquake in Sumatra
2007
Barca eliminated in Champions League
2007
Chelsea come from behind to defeat Porto
2007
Microsoft faults Google on its copyright protection practices
2007
Jury convicts former aide to Dick Cheney in Plame case
2007
Broken stormwater drain led to Guatemala sinkhole
2007
Lyon lose at home; drop out of Champions League
2007
NHL: Penguins rally, defeat Senators in shootout
2007
NHL: Penguins and government officials reach "Impasse" over new arena
2007
Lineup coming together for Manchester United charity match
2007
Retired Wikipedian suggests Pulitzer winner tried to pay him; practice unaccepted in journalism
2007
Leading luxury businesses to form a joint venture
2008
Apple releases iPhone SDK, announces upcoming update
2008
National Hockey League news: March 6, 2008
2008
British coast guards strike work for the first time
2008
Highlights of Taipei County Jin Shi Marathon
2008
Small explosion investigated in Times Square, New York
2008
Interview with recent Wikimedia Foundation board appointee Domas Mituzas
2008
George W. Bush endorses John McCain for US Presidency
2008
US officials flood Grand Canyon to restore ecosystem
2009
Philippines is culling 6500 hogs after Reston ebolavirus outbreak
2009
US unemployment rate reaches 8.1%
2009
Mahathma Gandhi's items auctioned for $1.8 million
2009
Mauritania cuts ties with Israel, expels Israeli diplomats
2009
Brawn GP take over Honda Formula One team
2010
Suicide bomber kills twelve in northwest Pakistan
2010
Imam pleads guilty in New York subway bomb plot
2010
Gordon Brown defends Iraq decision
2010
Somali pirates seize tanker off coast of Madagascar
2010
Eleven soldiers killed in clash with rebels in the Philippines
2011
US World War II veteran Leonard Lomell dies aged 91
2011
High school basketball star dies after making game-winning shot in overtime
2011
UK's most-read papers found to be in contempt of court

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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