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Today in History

1903
Olympic Gold Medalist, psychiatrist, pediatrician and author, Dr Benjamin Spock born in New Haven, Connecticut
1945
Social and political activist Bianca Jagger born in Managua, Nicaragua
1946
Songwriter and singer Lesley Gore born in New York City
1952
Tony and Emmy Award winning actress Christine Baranski born in Buffalo, New York
1955
Tennessee Williams wins Pulitzer Prize for Cat on a Hot Tin Roof
1962
Film and theatre actress Elizabeth Berridge born in Westchester, New York
1964
An explosion sinks USS Card at Saigon
1977
Actress Jenna von Oÿ born in Stamford, Connecticut
1982
British submarine HMS Conqueror sinks the Argentine ARA General Belgrano
373
Death of St. Athanasius
903
Death of Boris I, Tsar of Bulgaria and Orthodox saint
1389
Richard II, King of England, takes power from his Council
1391
Richard Brierly and Adam Clerk fight a judicial duel concerning the robberies in September, 1390, of Geoffrey Chaucer
1459
Death of St. Antonius
1497
John and Sebastian Cabot set sail from England
1519
John Jewel, witchhunter born
1519
Artist Leonardo da Vinci died at Cloux, France.
1526
Protestant League of German princes established
1551
William Camden, English historian, antiquarian born
1559
John Knox returns to Scotland
1568
Escape of Mary Stuart, Queen of Scots, from Loch Leven
1598
Treaty of Vervains
1601
Athanasius Kircher, German scientist, inventor born
1641
Marriage of Princess Mary of England to Prince William of Orange
1648
Blasphemy Act is passed at Westminster
1660
Alessandro Scarlatti, father of famous Domenico, was born in Palermo. Alessandro Scarlatti was a pioneer of the Italian-style overture, and he influenced German music by giving lessons to Hasse and Quantz. born
1670
The Hudson Bay Company was chartered by England's King Charles the Second.
1729
Catherine the Great, empress of Russia born
1837
Gen. Henry Martyn Robert, author of "Robert's Rules of Order" born
1863
Confederate Gen. Thomas Jonathan "Stonewall" Jackson was mistakenly shot by his own soldiers. He died eight days later.
1885
Good Housekeeping magazine was first published by Clark W. Bryan in Holyoke, Massachusetts.
1887
Hannibal W. Goodwin of Newark, New Jersey, applied for a patent for celluloid photographic film - the film from which movies are shown.
1890
The Oklahoma Territory was organized.
1892
German air ace Manfred Richtofen - "The Red Baron" - was born. He shot down 80 Allied planes before being hit himself. The record hit, "Snoopy vs. The Red Baron" by Royal Guardsmen was inspired by him.
1895
Broadway composer and lyricist Lorenz Hart. He collaborated with composer Richard Rogers on songs like "Thou Swell" and "My Funny Valentine." born
1902
The first science fiction film was released Moon created by French magician George Melies.
1903
Child care specialist Dr. Benjamin Spock born
1924
Actor Theodore Bikel born
1925
Actor Roscoe Lee Browne born
1932
Jack Benny's first radio show made its debut on the NBC Blue Network.
1933
Adolf Hitler banned trade unions in Germany.
1935
Rock musician Link Wray born
1936
"Peter and the Wolf," a symphonic tale for children by Sergei Prokofiev, had its world premiere in Moscow.
1937
Comedy writer-voice actor Lorenzo Music born
1939
Lou Gehrig, New York Yankees first baseman, sets a record for being in most consecutive games. He did not play against the Detroit Tigers, ending his streak of 2,130 consecutive games. Gehrig never played another game.
1941
Actor David Groh born
1941
The Federal Communications Commission approved the regular scheduling of commercial television broadcasts.
1943
Composer Mickey Bass III born
1945
The Soviet Union announced the fall of Berlin, and the Allies announced the surrender of Nazi troops in Italy and parts of Austria.
1945
Rock musician Goldy McJohn (Steppenwolf) born
1945
Rock singer Randy Cain (The Delfonics) "Rudy" born
1945
Country singer R.C. Bannon born
1945
Bianca Jagger born
1946
Singer Lesley Gore born
1946
Rock singer Robert Henritt (The Kinks) "Bob" born
1946
Prisoners revolt at Alcatraz, 5 die.
1948
Singer-songwriter Larry Gatlin born
1950
Rock singer Lou Gramm (Foreigner) born
1952
Actress Christine Baranski ("Cybill") born
1953
King Hussein formally acceded to the throne in Jordan after his father, King Talal, was deposed. In Iraq, King Feisal II assumed power.
1957
Senator Joseph R. McCarthy, the controversial Republican senator from Wisconsin, died at Bethesda Naval Hospital in Maryland.
1957
A composer named Tadeusz Kassern, who grew to love America while working in New York as a Polish cultural attache, committed suicide because he had been refused permission to remain in the US.
1960
Convicted sex offender and best-selling author Caryl Chessman was executed at San Quentin Prison in California.
1962
Actress Elizabeth Berridge ("Amadeus;" "The John Larroquette Show") born
1962
Country singer Ty Herndon born
1964
Northern Dancer, with jockey Bill Hartack, won the Kentucky Derby.
1965
The "Early Bird" satellite was used to transmit television pictures across the Atlantic.
1972
After serving 48 years as head of the FBI, J. Edgar Hoover died in Washington at age 77.
1974
Former Vice President Spiro T. Agnew was disbarred by the Maryland Court of Appeals, effectively preventing him from practicing law anywhere in the United States.
1977
Actress Jenna Von Oy ("Blossom") born
1980
South African authorities banned Pink Floyd's "Another Brick in the Wall," which had become the anthem of black's involved in a strike against government schools.
1982
In the Falklands War, the Argentine cruiser General Belgrano was sunk by the British submarine Conqueror; more than 350 men were killed.
1983
A 28-second earthquake measuring 6.7 struck Coalinga, California, killing 47 people and causing damage estimated at $31 million.
1984
President Reagan, on his way back to Washington after a six-day visit to China, met briefly in Fairbanks, Alaska, with Pope John Paul II, who was on his way to South Korea; it was the second time the two men had met.
1984
Nobel laureate Andrei Sakharov (who some called the conscience of the Soviet Union), began a hunger strike protesting the government's refusal to let his wife, Yelena Bonner, seek medical treatment abroad.
1985
President Reagan and his host, West German Chancellor Helmut Kohl, tried to blunt criticism of plans to lay a wreath at the Bitburg military cemetery by inviting relatives of Nazi resisters to join in the ceremony.
1986
Soviet official Boris N. Yeltsin told West German television that water reservoirs near the crippled Chernobyl nuclear power plant were contaminated with radioactivity.
1986
The photo essay, "A Day in the Life of America," began as two hundred photojournalists covered the USA to take 35,000 pictures. Only 350 pictures were selected for the coffee-table-book publication.
1987
"Alysheba" won the 113th running of the Kentucky Derby to earn a record $618,600. "Bet Twice" came in second and "Avies Copy" was third.
1988
Cincinnati Reds baseball manager Pete Rose was suspended for 30 days by National League president A. Bartlett Giamatti, two days after Rose shoved an umpire during a game won by the New York Mets 6-to-5.
1989
60 Chinese students rode bicycles into Beijing to present demands for democratic reforms to Chinese leaders.
1989
At a Baltimore gathering, physicists said they were persuaded that claims of "cold fusion" were based on nothing more than experimental errors by scientists in Utah.
1990
The African National Congress and the South African government opened their first talks for negotiations to dismantle apartheid.
1991
U.S., British, French and Dutch forces plunged 50 miles deeper into northern Iraq.
1991
In his ninth encyclical, Pope John Paul II acknowledged the success of capitalism, but denounced the system for sometimes achieving results at the expense of the poor and of morality.
1992
Los Angeles began to recover from rioting that had erupted in the wake of the Rodney King-taped beating acquittals; about 2800 National Guard troops patrolled the city while 3200 others stood by.
1992
Former House Ways and Means Chairman Wilbur D. Mills died in Searcy, Arkansas, at age 82.
1993
Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic approved a plan to end the Bosnian war (however, the Bosnian Serb assembly rejected it four days later).
1993
Authorities said they had recovered the remains of David Koresh from the burned-out Branch Davidian compound near Waco, Texas.
1994
Nelson Mandela claimed victory in the wake of South Africa's first democratic elections; President F.W. de Klerk acknowledged defeat.
1995
President Clinton agreed to allow some 20,000 Cubans into the United States after months of detention at Guantanamo Bay, but said any more Cubans who fled their country would be forcibly repatriated.
1996
The Senate passed, 97-to-3, an immigration bill to tighten border controls, make it tougher for illegal aliens to get US jobs and curtail legal immigrants' access to social services.
1997
President Clinton and congressional Republicans came to terms on a plan to balance the budget over five years.
1997
Tony Blair, whose new Labor Party crushed John Major's long-reigning Conservatives in a national election, became at age 44 Britain's youngest prime minister in 185 years.
1997
A new national memorial honoring President Franklin D. Roosevelt was officially opened in Washington DC.
1998
"Real Quiet" won the Kentucky Derby.
1998
In separate radio addresses, President Clinton and congressional Republicans lambasted the Internal Revenue Service and promised more reforms to prevent abuses of the tax-collecting agency in the future.
1999
Actor Oliver Reed died in Malta at age 61.
1999
Yugoslav authorities handed over to the Rev. Jesse Jackson three American prisoners of war who had been held for a month.
2000
An investigating panel concluded that Texas A&M University students cut corners in construction and school officials failed to adequately supervise them before a bonfire collapse in November 1999 that killed 12 people.
2000
Former nurse Christina Marie Riggs was executed by injection in Arkansas for smothering her two young children.
2000
Jockey Julie Krone became the first female elected to thoroughbred racing's hall of fame.
2005
World's oldest seaborne passenger vessel on tour as floating library
2005
USA baseball proposes "three strikes" rule for steroid abuse
2005
British Skylark rocket makes its final flight
2005
Swiss cement company Holcim Ltd sees net profits jump 67%
2006
Blogspot ban lifted in Pakistan
2006
Legislators in US states call for the impeachment of President Bush
2006
Nine alarm fire engulfs Brooklyn warehouses
2006
Drug, alcohol, tobacco abuse rising among California teens
2006
Blue Security anti-spam community target of large-scale spam attack
2006
Inter-Balkan Summit to take place in Thessalonika, Greece
2006
Flight from Armenian capital Yerevan crashes near Sochi
2006
U.S. government to improve recruitment for civil service jobs
2007
Delta emerges from Chapter 11 bankruptcy
2007
Dell to offer Ubuntu Linux on some computers
2007
AKP calls for early general election in Turkey
2007
Private helicopter crashes in UK
2007
President Bush and Democrats seek compromise
2007
Tomb of former Hungarian communist leader vandalised
2007
Rosslyn Chapel music score 'decoded'
2007
Study: Arctic ice could be gone by 2020
2007
Pandora radio to prevent access from outside U.S.
2007
Digg.com suffers user revolt
2007
Bloc Québécois raise concern over remark made by hockey player
2007
Free to air digital TV switched on in New Zealand
2008
2007/08 UEFA Cup: Fiorentina vs. Rangers F.C.
2008
Odense SC win Danish squash championship
2008
MT duo & Robot Taiwan 2008: Vast opportunities for machinery industry
2008
Johnson ousts Livingstone in London mayoral election
2008
Results of British local elections announced
2008
Southern Sudan's defence minister among those killed in major plane crash
2008
Evangelist minister and Islam critic charged with arson in Alabama
2008
Bush calls for congress to make more money available for Food Aid
2008
New Zealand Music Month kicks off for 2008
2009
Obama's 100-day speech warns of U.S.'s problems
2009
Increased turnout, reports of violence at worldwide May Day demonstrations
2009
1,100 evacuated due to massive Halifax brush fire
2010
Bomb scare closes Times Square, New York
2010
Oil spill in Gulf of Mexico reported to have reached coast; offshore drilling ban announced by Obama administration
2011
Australian cadets face charges over sex abuse
2011
Osama bin Laden killed in U.S. operation in Pakistan, White House says
2012
Poison control centers educate public on hand sanitizer consumption
2012
Hundreds feared dead after Indian ferry boat capsizes
2013
First successful womb transplant recipient passes six-week pregnancy mark

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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