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Today in History

1829
HMS Beagle embarks for South America with Charles Darwin on board
1888
Oscar winning songwriter and composer Irving Berlin born in Mogilev, Belarus
1904
Artist Salvador Dali born Salvador Felipe Jacinto Dali Domenech Marquis of Pubol in Figueres, Spain
1911
Tony Award winning actor and comedian, Phil Silvers born in New York City
1912
Character actor Foster Brooks born in Louisville, Kentucky
1920
Actor Denver Pyle born in Bethune, Colorado
1943
Gold Medalist Alpine skier, Nancy Greene born in Ottawa, Ontario
1946
Physician, medical researcher and inventor of the Jarvik-7 artificial heart, Dr Robert Jarvik born in Midland, Michigan
1952
Television, stage and film actress Frances Fisher born in Milford on Sea, Hampshire, England
1953
Tornado kills 114 in Waco, Texas
1959
One of the original MTV VJ's, Martha Quinn born in Albany, New York
1997
Deep Blue defeats chess Grand Master Garry Kasparov in 19 moves
330
Constantinople was dedicated as the new capital of the Roman Empire. It was named after the Emperor Constantine and built over the ancient city of Byzantium.
433
Justinian I "the Great," Eastern Roman Emperor born
603
Death of St. Comgall
973
Coronation of Edgar as King of England
994
Death of St. Mayeul
1191
King Guy of Jerusalem lands on Cyprus to meet Richard I of England
1435
The Abbot of the Herrzongenburg Monastery grants some property near Raabs on the Thaya River of Austria to Hannsen Hydler (Hitler) and his wife for 40 Pounds in the currency of Vienna
1502
Columbus leaves Spain on his fourth, and last, voyage
1509
Louis II crowned King of Bohemia
1553
Sailing of the "Edward Bonaventure," the "Bona Esperanza" and the "Bona Confidentia" from England to search for the Northwest Passage
1559
John Knox preaches a sermon in Perth that leads to a riot
1573
Death of Giacomo Barozzi da Vignola, architect
1573
Henry of Anjou becomes first elected King of Poland
1610
Death of Matteo Ricci, Jesuit missionary in China
1625
Henrietta Marie of France married by proxy to Charles I, King of England
1640
Rioting in Blackfriars and Southwark, England
1643
"Mercurius Civicus," the first regular illustrated periodical in London, appeared
1647
Peter Stuyvesant arrived in New Amsterdam to become governor.
1653
Construction begins on the Wall Street wall, NYC
1686
Otto von Guericke, German physicist who demonstrated the vacuum, died. He also invented the first air pump.
1731
Robert Treat Paine American jurist, member of the Continental Congress and signer of the Declaration of Independence. He was the first attorney general of Massachusetts, where he became a judge and member of the Massachusetts supreme court. born
1745
During the War of the Austrian Succession, French forces besieged Tournai and defeated the English and their allies at the Battle of Fontenoy. The English lost over 7,000 killed or wounded.
1752
1st US fire insurance policy is issued, in Philadelphia.
1778
William Pitt the Elder, British statesman, died. He conducted most of the Seven Years' War (1756-63) which secured Britain a huge new empire.
1811
Chang and Eng Bunker Siamese-born twins who toured the U.S. as part of a circus act for Barnum and Bailey Circus. They lived full lives, marrying and fathering 21 children between them. born
1812
British Prime Minister Spencer Perceval was assassinated by a bankrupt broker, John Bellingham, as he entered the House of Commons.
1816
The American Bible Society was formed in New York City.
1847
Johnny Appleseed American folk hero whose real name was John Chapman died.
1854
Ottmar Mergenthaler, inventor of the Linotype typesetting machine born
1858
Minnesota became the 32nd state of the Union.
1867
The independence and neutrality of the duchy of Luxembourg was guaranteed by the European powers under the Treaty of London.
1871
British astronomer Sir John Herschel died. He added over 500 nebulae and clusters of stars to the known universe.
1888
Irving Berlin, U.S. composer. He was born, Israel Baline, in Temun, Russia. He wrote some 1,500 songs including, "White Christmas," "Easter Parade," and "Always." He also wrote music for several stage shows, including ``Annie Get Your Gun,'' and also wrote ``Alexander's Ragtime Band.''
1892
Dame Margaret Rutherford English actress who gained fame on stage as Miss Prism in ``The Importance of Being Earnest.'' She appeared in films as Miss Marple in a series based on Agatha Christie stories. She won an Academy Award in ``The VIPs.'' born
1893
Dancer-choreographer Martha Graham in Pittsburgh. She is credited with bringing a new psyhcological depth to modern dance by exploring primal emotions and ancient rituals. Graham danced 'til she was 75. born
1894
Workers at the Pullman Palace Car Company in Illinois went on strike. (The American Railway Union, led by Eugene Debs, subsequently began a boycott of Pullman that blocked freight traffic in and out of Chicago.)
1895
William Grant Still was born in Woodville, Massachusetts. He was the first acclaimed black composer. His music is very traditional. Like Dvorak, Still used folk idiom in the service of otherwise Germanic classical music. born
1900
In an effort to regain the heavyweight boxing title, James J. Corbett, "Gentleman Jim," was knocked out by James J. Jeffries -- in the 23rd round.
1904
Spanish surrealist painter Salvador Dali, in Figueras, Spain. "The Persistence of Memory", painted by Dali in 1931, is perhaps the most widely recognized surrealist painting in the world. He also designed film and stage sets, furniture and jewelry. He was equally celebrated for his theatrical appearance, flamboyant behavior and genius for self-promotion. born
1906
The first woman to fly faster than the speed of sound Jacqueline Cochrann. She was an Air Force colonel and cosmetics maker. born
1910
Glacier National Park in Montana was created by an act of Congress.
1912
Actor-comedian Foster Brooks. born
1912
Phil Silvers American comic actor who began entertaining at the age of 11. He worked in vaudeville, won a Tony for ``Top Banana,'' and found fame as Sgt. Bilko in the TV series ``The Phil Silvers Show.'' born
1916
Max Reger was found dead of a heart attack in a Leipzig hotel room. Reger left behind more music than almost any other modern composer, opus numbers well above a hundred, including everything from piano miniatures to massive pieces for organ.
1920
Actor Denver Pyle born
1920
Oxford University permits the admission of women.
1927
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences was founded; although the first Oscars were not presented for several years after its founding.
1927
Comedian Mort Sahl born
1931
The failure of Credit-Anstalt, Austria's largest bank, marked the beginning of the financial collapse of Central Europe.
1933
Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan born
1935
Actor Doug McClure. He appeared in the TV series ``The Virginian,'' ``The Men From Shiloh,'' ``Burke's Law'' and ``Kung Fu: The Legend Continues'' and films ``Riders in the Storm'' and ``Maverick.'' born
1941
Rock singer Eric Burdon (The Animals; War) born
1943
Rock musician Les Chadwick (Gerry & The Pacemakers) (John) born
1943
During World War Two, American forces landed on Japanese-held Attu island in the Aleutians. (The territory was retaken in three weeks.)
1943
Olympic gold medal skier Nancy Greene born
1944
Allied forces launched a major offensive in central Italy.
1946
Jarvik heart inventor Dr. Robert Jarvik born
1946
The first packages from the relief agency CARE (Cooperative for American Remittances to Europe) arrived in Europe, at Le Havre, France.
1947
The B.F. Goodrich Company of Akron, Ohio, announced the development of a tubeless tire.
1949
Siam changed its named to Thailand.
1949
Israel was admitted to the United Nations as the world body's 59th member.
1951
Jay Forrester patents computer core memory.
1952
Actress Frances Fisher born
1953
Actor Boyd Gaines born
1955
Country musician Mark Herndon (Alabama) born
1959
Video DJ Martha Quinn born
1960
The world's longest liner, SS France, was launched.
1963
Actress Natasha Richardson. She appeared in the films ``Nell,'' ``Widow's Peak'' and ``The Handmaid's Tale.'' born
1963
Country singer-musician Tim Raybon (The Raybon Brothers) born
1967
Britain, Denmark and Ireland formally applied to join the European Economic Community.
1968
The French government bowed to Paris student demands, premier Georges Pompidou announcing concessions in an effort to end more than a week of the worst street fighting since World War Two.
1971
Steve Dunning of the Cleveland Indians became the last pitcher to hit a grand slam home run in the American League. When the designated hitter rule came to the American League, pitchers were rarely sent to bat.
1972
The San Francisco Giants announced that they would trade Willie Mays to the New York Mets.
1973
Charges against Daniel Ellsberg for his role in the "Pentagon Papers" case were dismissed by Judge William M. Byrne, who cited government misconduct.
1979
Barbara Hutton American heiress to the Woolworth fortune died.
1980
Actor Austin O'Brien ("Promised Land") born
1981
Reggae artist Bob Marley, 36, died in a Miami hospital.
1982
Abby followed Ann Landers in confessing to re-using letters without informing readers.
1982
Actor Jonathan Jackson born
1983
Secretary of State Geroge P. Shultz returned to Washington from the Mideast, expressing confidence Syria would withdraw its troops from Lebanon along with Israeli forces.
1984
Eight teen-agers were killed when fire broke out inside the Haunted Castle attraction at the Six Flags Great Adventure Park in Jackson Township, New Jersey.
1985
56 people died and more than 200 were injured when a flash fire swept a jam-packed soccer stadium in Bradford, England.
1985
Chester Gould American cartoonist who introduced crime and violence into the comics with the creation of ``Dick Tracy'' died. He created a rogues' gallery of bizarre criminals and masterminded the strip until his retirement in 1977.
1986
Soviet physicist Yevgeny Velikhov was quoted by the official news agency Tass as saying the situation at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant had reached a turning point, and it was no longer possible for it to get worse.
1987
In a medical first, doctors in Baltimore transplanted the heart and lungs of an auto accident victim to a patient who gave up his own heart to a second recipient. (Clinton House, the nation's first living heart donor, died 14 months later.)
1987
Former National Security Adviser Robert C. McFarlane began testifying at the Iran-Contra hearings. The trial of former Gestapo official Klaus Barbie began in Lyons, France.
1987
Emmanuel Vitria died in Marseilles in southern France at age 67, 18 years after receiving a transplanted human heart. He was the longest-surviving heart transplant patient.
1987
The government of Indian imposed direct rule on Punjab because of the terror campaign being waged by Sikh extremists.
1987
The trial of former Gestapo official Klaus Barbie began in Lyons, France.
1988
Master spy Harold "Kim" Philby (Harold Adrian Russell), the notorious "Third Man" of a British espionage ring, died in the Soviet Union at age 76.
1988
Fans of Irving Berlin paid tribute on his 100th birthday with celebrations that included a gala at New York's Carnegie Hall.
1989
Kenya announced that it would seek a worldwide ban on the trade of ivory -- a move intended to preserve its fast-dwindling elephant herds.
1989
President Bush ordered nearly 2,000 combat troops to Panama, saying the increase in U.S. military strength there was designed "to protect the lives of American citizens.""
1990
President Bush, on a two-day trip of college commencement speeches, told reporters aboard Air Force One that there were "no conditions" going into a budget summit with Congress.
1991
Ho Dam, senior member of North Korea's communist party, died. As foreign minister in 1977, he was the first senior North Korean official to visit the United States.
1991
President Bush dispatched an amphibious task force with thousands of Marines and dozens of helicopters to help cyclone-ravaged Bangladesh with disaster relief efforts.
1992
A three-day ordeal on Oregon's Mount Hood ended safely for three climbers stranded with minimal gear by a sub-zero whiteout.
1992
EC foreign ministers decided to recall their ambassadors from Belgrade and to seek Yugoslavia's suspension from the CSCE.
1992
Twelve European countries recalled their ambassadors from Serb-dominated Yugoslavia to protest Serb involvement in Bosnia's ethnic war.
1992
Nera White and Luisa Harris (Stewart) became the first women to be inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame.
1993
The Senate approved the so-called "motor voter" bill, designed to make voter registration easier.
1993
The Senate Armed Services Committee heard emotional testimony from Marine Colonel Fred Peck, who affirmed his love for his homosexual son, Scott, while restating his opposition to lifting the ban on openly gay servicemen.
1994
Arkansas put to death two convicted murderers; it was the first time a state executed two people on the same day since the U.S. Supreme Court allowed states to restore the death penalty in 1976.
1994
Deir Al-Balah became the first Gaza town to come under Palestinian self-rule.
1994
Haiti's military-backed government installed Emile Jonassaint as new provisional president.
1994
Italian media tycoon Silvio Berlusconi was installed as prime minister at the head of a coalition government that brought neo-fascists to power for the first time since World War Two.
1994
South African President Nelson Mandela named his main black political rival, Zulu chief Mangosuthu Buthelezi, and his estranged wife Winnie, to his new government of national unity.
1995
A United Nations conference indefinitely extended the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, which was originally set to expire after 25 years.
1996
An Atlanta-bound ValuJet DC-9 caught fire shortly after takeoff from Miami and crashed into the Florida Everglades, killing all 110 people on board.
1996
Nnamdi Azikiwe, Nigeria's first president, died. Widely known as ``Zik of Africa,'' the politician, scholar, poet and journalist helped to end the Biafran civil war. Azikiwe became president in 1963.
1997
The "Deep Blue" IBM computer demolishd an overwhelmed Garry Kasparov and won the six-game chess match between man and machine in New York.
1998
A French mint produced the first coins of Europe's single currency, the euro.
1998
India set off three underground atomic blasts, its first nuclear tests in 24 years.
1998
Attorney General Janet Reno requested an independent counsel to investigate Labor Secretary Alexis Herman for alleged influence-peddling and solicitation of illegal campaign contributions.
1999
Stung by an espionage scandal, Energy Secretary Bill Richardson said he would halt the Clinton administration's aggressive declassification of Cold War-era nuclear documents.
1999
In Beijing, protests outside the U.S. Embassy over NATO's bombing of the Chinese Embassy in Belgrade eased after state-run television aired U.S. and NATO apologies for the attack.
2000
Pope John Paul the Second named Bishop Edward M. Egan of Bridgeport, Connecticut, the new head of the New York archdiocese, succeeding the late Cardinal John O'Connor.
2005
Canadian Liberal government loses House of Commons vote, won't call election
2005
Chesapeake Bay Program issues first-ever water quality forecast
2005
Soviet rockets on sale in Moldovan breakoff region
2005
Accuser admits he lied, former Canadian immigration minister cleared of wrongdoing
2005
Romanian opposition gets more TV time than governing coalition
2005
Italians interested in investing in Romanian tourism
2005
North Korea removes spent nuclear fuel rods
2005
Foot and mouth scare in New Zealand likely to be hoax
2005
White House, Capitol Building evacuated as small plane enters no-fly zone
2005
Critics against USA and Israel in Summit of South American-Arab Countries in Brazil
2005
California refuses gay marriage ban
2006
Fight Continues, 100 dead in Somalia
2006
Marxists retain West Bengal, regain Kerala
2006
Explosives stolen from a California mine, partially returned
2006
AEK Athens fans damage ferry-boat in Greece
2006
Legislative Assembly election results declared in 5 Indian States
2006
Australian Parliament hears reply to Budget
2007
Hubble Space Telescope successor unveiled by NASA
2007
Two Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurants close in Buffalo, New York, USA
2007
Hottest planet to date found in the constellation Hercules
2007
U.S. Vice President Cheney warns Iran about nuclear weapons
2007
Tamil Nadu film 'Sivaji: The Boss' expectations peak
2007
US Army General requests more troops for Diyala Province, Iraq
2007
Race for leadership of Parti Québécois begins
2007
Startup web broadcaster Joost signs deal with Warner Brothers
2007
Hostage crisis ends at Russian embassy in Costa Rica
2007
Turkish newspaper alleges cover-up in Hrant Dink case
2008
Felipe Massa wins Turkish Grand Prix
2008
The Next Consortium of ITRI launches 'RoboScooter'
2008
Computex Preview: A decisive battle for IT industry and trade show quality
2008
Fighting continues in Tripoli, Lebanon
2008
Galatasaray clinch 17th Turkish title
2008
Tornadoes in central US kill nearly two dozen people
2009
High school orders shot glasses as prom favors
2009
Moscow celebrates Victory Day with military parade
2009
Rights group in Afghanistan investigating claim of US use of phosphorus bombs
2010
UK elections: David Cameron becomes Prime Minister
2010
Attacks in Iraq kill over 100
2011
Swedish Navy confirms investigation of border violation
2011
British MP David Cairns dies aged 44
2011
Former F.A. chairman alleges FIFA 2018 World Cup vote was riddled with bribes, corruption
2011
World Bank gives Kiribati emergency aid
2011
Ugandan parliament revisits Anti-Homosexuality Act
2012
Report blames New Zealand skydive plane crash that killed nine on overloading

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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