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Today in History

1847
US forces invade Vera Cruz, Mexico
1900
Engineer behind IBM's Harvard Mark I computer, Howard Hathaway Aiken born in Hoboken, New Jersey
1943
World Chess Champion from 1972 to 1976, Robert "Bobby" Fischer born in Chicago, Illinois
1945
Singer, songwriter and rock guitarist, Robin Trower born in London, England
1959
First Barbie® dolls go on sale at the American Toy Fair in New York City
1964
First production Ford Mustang assembled in Dearborn, Michigan
1968
CACM publishes Edsger W. Dijkstra's GOTO statement considered harmful
1062
Death of Herbert, Count of Maine
1152
Frederick I "Barbarossa" crowned King of Germany
1309
Pope Clement V arrives in Avignon
1329
Earl of Kent beheaded
1440
Death of St. Frances of Rome
1454
Amerigo Vespucci explore born
1463
Death of St. Katherine of Bologna
1496
Jews are expelled from Carintha Austria
1497
Nicolaus Copernicus's 1st recorded astronomical observation
1551
Charles V's son, Philip, is made the Emperor's sole heir
1566
David Rizzio, Mary Queen of Scots' secretary, musician, murdered by Darnley
1586
Felicitas Schneider, Anna Erb and Ursula Schultheiss burned as witches
1622
King James I grants land in New Hampshire to John Mason
1629
Alexis Mikihailovich Romanov, Czar of Russia born
1649
Execution of the Duke of Hamilton
1661
Jules Cardinal Mazarin, chief minister of France, dies
1796
French general and future emperor Napoleon Bonaparte married Josephine de Beauharnais.
1820
James Monroe's daughter Maria marries in the White House.
1822
Charles Graham of N. Y. was granted a patent for artificial teeth.
1824
Leland Stanford, railroad builder and founder of California's Stanford University born
1839
Phoebe Palmer Knapp, American Methodist hymnwriter. She published more than 500 hymn tunes during her lifetime; her most famous melody comprises the tune to Fanny Crosby's hymn, "Blessed Assurance." born
1842
Verdi's opera "Nabucco" was a hit at its premiere at La Scala. The slaves chorus "Va pensiero" was interpreted as really being a proclamation of liberty by the Milanese. Verdi was then 28.
1849
"The Merry Wives of Windsor," the Otto Nicolai opus that failed in Vienna, was premiered in Berlin and was a huge success.
1862
The ironclads "USS Monitor" (Union) and "CSS Merrimack" (Rebel) have their famous battle at Hampton Roads. It was a standoff.
1864
Gen. Ulysses S. Grant was appointed commander in chief of Union forces in the Civil War.
1873
Royal Canadian Mounted Police founded
1892
English novelist and poet Victoria Sackville-West born
1902
Will Greer actor (Grandpa Walton-The Waltons) born
1910
Composer Samuel Barber born
1918
Detective novelist Mickey Spillane (I, the Jury) born
1931
The World Radio Missionary Fellowship (WRMF) was incorporated in Lima, Ohio, by co-founders Clarence W. Jones and Reuben Larson. This interdenominational mission agency broadcasts the Gospel in 15 languages to South America and throughout Europe.
1933
Singer Lloyd Price born
1934
Joyce Van Patten actress (Good Guys, Don Rickles Show) born
1934
Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin, the first man in space (aboard Vostok 1) born
1935
Keely Smith born
1936
Actress Glenda Jackson (Hopscotch, Touch of Class) born
1936
Actor comedian Marty Ingels (I'm Dickens He's Fenster) born
1936
Mickey Gilley country singer (Urban Cowboy) born
1940
Actor Raul Julia (Eyes of Laura Mars, Kiss of the Spider Woman) born
1942
Singer Mark Lindsay (Paul Revere and the Raiders) born
1943
Bobby Fischer US, world chess champion (1972-75) born
1943
TV personality Charles Gibson born
1945
Rock musician Robin Trower born
1945
Actress Trish Van Devere born
1948
Singer Jeffrey Osborne born
1948
Country musician Jimmy Fadden (The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band) born
1959
Barbie ( Barbara Millicent Roberts ), daughter of George & Margaret. (Mattell Doll) born
1960
Actress Linda Fiorentino born
1961
Magazine editor Michael Kinsley born
1961
Sputnik 9 carries Chernushka (dog) into orbit
1964
Actress Juliette Binoche born
1965
Football player Brian Bosworth born
1965
Reeb, were attacked with clubs on the streets of Selma, Alabama, while participating in a civil rights demonstration. Reeb later died in a Birmingham, Alabama hospital.
1967
The daughter of Soviet dictator Josef Stalin, Svetlana, defected to the United States.
1968
Grammy Awards-Sgt Pepper's wins 4 awards
1971
Actor Emmanual Lewis born
1972
Actor Kerr Smith ("Dawson's Creek") born
1972
Actress Jean Louisa Kelly ("Mr. Holland's Opus") born
1986
The module containing the bodies of the seven astronauts killed in the January 28th explosion of the shuttle Challenger was located off Florida.
1987
Rapper Lil' Bow Wow born
1988
President Reagan presides at unveiling of Knute Rockne stamp
1988
The day after the "Super Tuesday" primaries and caucuses, Republican George Bush spent the day in Houston, savoring his 16-state sweep, while Democrats Michael Dukakis, Jesse Jackson and Al Gore enjoyed their more modest successes.
1989
Eastern Airlines files for bankruptcy
1989
The Senate rejected President Bush's nomination of John Tower to be defense secretary by a vote of 53-to-47.
1990
Dr. Antonia Novello was sworn in as surgeon general, the first woman and the first Hispanic to hold the job.
1991
Secretary of State James A. Baker the Third, on a fact-finding mission to seven countries, visited Kuwait following its liberation from Iraq.
1993
Janet Reno sailed through her confirmation hearing on her way to becoming the nation's first female attorney general.
1993
Rodney King testified at the federal trial of four Los Angeles police officers accused of violating his civil rights, saying he'd been "attacked" by the defendants.
1993
"The Postman Always Rings Twice," not the movie, the opera by Stephen Paulus, played in Boston. The opera premiered 10 years before; the original novel was published in 1934 and was actually banned in Boston because it was so sexy and violent.
1994
The UN Human Rights Commission condemned anti-Semitism, putting the world body on record for the first time as opposing discrimination against Jews.
1995
House Republicans unveiled their long-promised tax cut for families, businesses and investors.
1995
President Clinton eased travel restrictions on Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams and invited him to the White House for St. Patrick's Day.
1995
Los Angeles police detective Mark Fuhrman took the stand at the O.J. Simpson murder trial, denying ever meeting a woman who had accused him of making racist remarks.
1996
The space shuttle "Columbia" landed safely a day late at the Kennedy Space Center, ending a 16-day mission.
1996
Comedian George Burns died in Beverly Hills, California, just weeks after turning 100.
1997
Gangsta rapper The Notorious B.I.G., whose real name was Christopher Wallace, was killed in a still-unsolved drive-by shooting in Los Angeles; he was 24.
1998
Whitewater figure Susan McDougal finished an 18-month contempt of court jail term for refusing to cooperate with independent counsel Kenneth Starr, but stayed in prison on another charge. She started a two-year sentence for a fraud and conspiracy conviction from an illegal $300,000 loan from the Small Business Association.
1998
Amnesty International condemned an Israeli Supreme Court ruling authorizing Israel to hold 10 Lebanese detainees as bargaining cards, saying it "explicitly legitimizes hostage taking." The Israeli Supreme Court ruling represented a rare public admission that Israel was holding without trial members of the pro-Iranian Hizbollah (Party of God) which is fighting to oust Israeli troops from an occupation zone in south Lebanon.
1998
In a case pitting former high school sweethearts against each other, Brian Peterson pleaded guilty in Wilimington, Delaware, to manslaughter in the death of his newborn son in a Newark motel and agreed to testify against the mother, Amy Grossberg. (A month later, Grossberg also pleaded guilty to manslaughter; she received two and a-half years in prison; Peterson, two years.)
1998
Three days of storms brought floods, blizzards and tornadoes across the US. The death toll in southern states stood at seven after thunderstorms turned the streets of towns from Louisiana. to Georgia into rivers. Rescuers tried to reach people stranded when an earth dam gave way in Elba, Alabama and flooded the town. Five people died in the ensuing flood. In the Midwest, a cold front dumped heavy snow and froze road surfaces, four people died in weather-related traffic accidents. Tornadoes ripped through central Florida, but no deaths were reported.
1999
RJR Nabisco Holdings Corp., the food-and-tobacco conglomerate, announced it was getting out of the cigarette business.
2000
John McCain suspended his presidential campaign, conceding the Republican nomination to George W. Bush. Bill Bradley ended his presidential bid, conceding the Democratic nomination to Vice President Al Gore. _____________________________________________________________
2005
Brazilian physicist who discovered the pion dies
2005
Children poisoned by tainted cassava in the Philippines
2005
Trial of alleged Brazilian "chainsaw massacre" deputy begins
2005
Google releases Final version of Desktop Search
2005
Ancient neanderthal protein sequenced
2005
Dead Chechen rebel Maskhadov's son promises to continue father's work
2005
Report urges Kenya to ban plastic bags
2005
Italian PM rejects US version of shooting
2005
Cyclone Ingrid crosses Far North Queensland Coast
2005
Ash and steam reported over Mount St. Helens
2006
Agriculture's impact on human evolution clarified
2006
UK vending machines begin selling sex toys
2006
Toronto to have socialized city-wide wi-fi access
2006
NFL owners agree to CBA extension, 30-2
2006
Former teacher in France surrenders after holding 22 hostage in school
2006
Bangkok blast injures two tourists
2007
IAEA suspends nuclear aid for Iran
2007
First Norfolk Island murderer in a century found guilty
2007
NFL: Chicago deals Jones to New York
2007
IBM and Cisco in attempt to create a universal platform for communications software development
2007
NHL: Penguins lose to Devils at home
2007
Ties announced in UEFA Champions League
2007
EU adopts renewable energy measures
2007
U.S. Justice Department says FBI misused Patriot Act
2007
Rocketeers find possible impact crater in Nevada
2007
Wall dividing island of Cyprus torn down but divisions still stand
2007
Pakistan's military ruler sacks Chief Justice
2008
Scotland defeats England 15-9 to win Calcutta Cup
2008
Ariane 5 rocket launches first Automated Transfer Vehicle
2008
Suspect charged in murder of Lauren Burk
2008
National Hockey League news: March 9, 2008
2008
China kills suspected terrorists, prevents 'air disaster'
2008
International Board fixes soccer field size, halts technology experiments
2008
Severe weather warnings issued for much of UK
2008
Obama wins Wyoming caucus
2008
Minnesota Department of Health says 'theatre nights' in bars are not exempt from Freedom to Breathe Act
2009
Canadian teams vie for spot at the World Curling Championship
2009
Sunshine Coast Regional Council can't challenge legal appeal by McDonald's Australia
2009
Number of cholera deaths in Zimbabwe surpasses 4,000
2009
Wolfram Research’s new product Alpha to compete with Google and Wikipedia
2010
Research shows HIV virus may hide in bone marrow
2010
Several hundred buried in mass graves in Nigeria following clashes
2010
6.0 magnitude earthquake rocks eastern Turkey
2011
Che Guevara's ''Motorcycle Diaries'' companion dies
2011
Three law enforcement officers shot, one dead along with suspect, in St. Louis, Missouri standoff
2012
Students wounded at King Khaled University protest in Saudi Arabia
2012
Michelle Obama, Hillary Clinton present International Women of Courage Awards
2012
Terry Teen, 1960s Rockabilly artist, injured in collision
2012
Super Tuesday 2012: 'Joe the Plumber' wins GOP congressional primary
2012
Christopher Mackin murder: police remand two in custody after court appearance

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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