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Today in History

427
BC
Philosopher Plato born in Athens, Greece
1851
Abolition of slavery in Colombia
1879
Battle of Iquique in Chile
1916
Best-selling author Harold Robbins born in New York City
1917
Vintner and Emmy nominated actor, Raymond Burr born in New Westminster, British Columbia
1945
Humphrey Bogart marries Lauren Bacall
1948
Television and theater actress, Carol Potter born in New York City
1951
Author, actor and US Senator from Minnesota, Al Franken born in New York City
1965
DEC announces the PDP-8
1974
Actress Fairuza Balk born Fairuza Alejandra Feldthouse in Point Reyes, California
2003
Earthquake kills 2,000 in Algeria
427
BC
Plato born
216
BC
Hannibal & allies defeat Romans at Cannae, kill 40,000
996
Coronation of Otto III as Holy Roman Emperor. He was 16 years old.
1076
Execution of Earl Waltheof
1170
The composer Saint Godric died in England. He was said to have been more than a hundred years old. Saint Godric's hymns are some of the oldest surviving pieces of music.
1254
Death of Conrad IV, King of Germany
1388
University of Cologne, Germany, chartered
1420
Betrothal of Henry VI, King of England, to Catherine de Valois of France; England and France swear perpetual peace; French King Charles VI recognizes English King Henry V as Duke of Normandy & heir to the French throne
1424
Coronation of James I, King of Scotland
1471
German painter and engraver Albrecht Durer in Nuremberg, Germany. Considered the greatest of the German Renaissance artists. born
1471
Edward IV, King of England, enters London and Henry VI, deposed King of England, murdered in the Tower
1502
Discovery of St. Helena island by the Portuguese
1527
King Philip II of Spain, who launched the Spanish Armada born
1536
The Reformation is adopted in Geneva, Switzerland
1542
Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto died while searching for gold along the Mississippi River.
1565
Turkish troops attack Malta
1639
Death of Tommaso Campanella, philosopher
1650
Execution of Montrose
1688
English poet and satirist Alexander Pope1688 Alexander Pope was born in London, England to Roman Catholic parents. Although he suffered an illness at age 12 that left him a hunchback, he was acclaimed the chief poet of his day, by the age of 30. born
1819
The first bicycles in the United States were called swift walkers and were seen for the first time on the streets of New York City.
1832
The first Democratic National Convention got underway in Baltimore. The delegates would nominate President Jackson for a second term.
1840
Captain William Hobson claimed British sovereignty over the whole of New Zealand, even though negotiations had not been
1844
Henri Rousseau, French Post-impressionist painter known as Le Douanier. His style was "primitive" or naive and included pictures of exotic foliage, flowers and fruit of the jungle along with stilted human and animal figures. born
1860
Willam Einthoven, he was the Dutch physiologist who won the Nobel Prize in 1924 for his development of the Electrocardiograph born
1878
Glenn Curtis the American pioneering aviator whose planes were used during World War One born
1881
Clara Barton, who had served as a nurse near the front lines during the Civil War, founded the American branch of the Red Cross.
1881
The United States Lawn Tennis Association was formed in New York City.
1892
"I Pagliacci," one of the world's most famous operas, premiered. Leoncavallo's masterpiece was first performed at Milan's La Scala opera house, and the premiere was conducted by Toscanini.
1895
One of the lighter voices of the late 19th century was silenced when Franz von Suppe, composer of the popular overtures "Light Cavalry" and "Poet and Peasant," died in Vienna.
1898
Industrialist Armand Hammer. He was head of the Occidental Petroleum Corp, was born. He struck up a strong relationship with Soviet authorities and often acted as an intermediary between them and the U.S. born
1898
Industrialist Armand Hammer. He was head of the Occidental Petroleum Corp, was born. He struck up a strong relationship with Soviet authorities and often acted as an intermediary between them and the U.S.
1904
Fats Waller, jazz pianist and composer notably for "Ain't Misbehavin" born
1904
Football's international body FIFA was established in Paris.
1906
Louis H. Perlman of New York City received a patent for the demountable tire-carrying rim -- similar to the ones we use on our cars today, only wider.
1909
Sister Maria Innocentia Hummel was born in Massing, Bavaria. Her drawings were translated into three dimensional figurines by Franz Goebel.
1916
Novelist Harold Robbins born
1917
Actor Raymond Burr born
1917
Actor-singer Dennis Day born
1920
Actor Anthony Steel born
1921
Andrei Sakharov, Soviet dissident and Nobel Peace Prize winner, born. In 1980 he was sent into internal exile at Gorky until 1986. born
1922
Rollin Kirby's cartoon, "On the Road to Moscow," became the first cartoon to win a Pulitzer Prize.
1923
Former Notre Dame football coach Ara Parseghian born
1924
Actress-TV personality Peggy Cass born
1924
14-year-old Bobby Franks was murdered in a "thrill killing" committed by Nathan Leopold Junior and Richard Loeb, two students at the University of Chicago.
1926
Actor Rick Jason born
1927
Charles Lindbergh landed the "Spirit of St. Louis" in Paris, completing the first solo flight across the Atlantic.
1929
Lord Rosebery, English Liberal party leader and prime minister, 1894-95, died.
1929
The first automatic electric stock quotation board was put into operation by Sutro and Company of New York City.
1930
Malcolm Fraser, Australian Prime Minister 1975-83. He came into office after the Labor Party government collapsed following a budgetary crisis he helped to provoke. born
1932
Amelia Earhart became the first woman to fly the Atlantic solo, from Newfoundland to Ireland.
1934
Oskaloosa, Iowa, became the first city in the United States to fingerprint each of its citizens.
1935
Hugo de Vries, Dutch geneticist and botanist who introduced the study of organic evolution, died.
1941
Rhythm-and-blues singer Ron Isley (The Isley Brothers) born
1941
A German U-boat sank the American freighter "USS Robin Moore" in the South Atlantic.
1941
President Roosevelt proclaimed "an unlimited state of national emergency," seven months before the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.
1943
Rock musician Hilton Valentine (the Animals) born
1944
Novelist Janet Dailey born
1944
Singer Marcie Blaine born
1945
Syria and Lebanon broke off negotiations with France and demanded full independence.
1945
Lauren Bacall and Humphrey Bogart were married in Mansfield, Ohio at Malabar Farm. Legend has it that the couple fell in love in 1943 during the making of the film "To Have and Have Not."
1947
Musician Bill Champlin (Chicago) born
1948
Singer Leo Sayer born
1948
Actress Carol Potter ("Beverly Hills 90210") born
1952
Actor Mr. T (Lawrence Tero Tureaud) born
1955
Music producer Stan Lynch (formerly with Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers) born
1956
The United States exploded the first airborne hydrogen bomb over Bikini Atoll in the Pacific.
1957
Actor Judge Reinhold born
1959
The musical "Gypsy," inspired by the life of stripper Gypsy Rose Lee, opened on Broadway.
1968
The nuclear-powered US submarine "Scorpion,' with 99 men aboard, was last heard from. (The remains of the sub were later found on the ocean floor 400 miles southwest of the Azores.)
1969
Sirhan B. Sirhan was sentenced to death for the murder of Robert Kennedy in 1968. The sentence was later commuted to life imprisonment.
1972
Jazz musician Christian McBride born
1972
Rapper The Notorious B.I.G. born
1972
Lazlo Toth, a Hungarian native, attacked Michelangelo's centuries-old sculpture "Pieta.""
1974
Actress Fairuza Balk born
1974
Rapper Rapper Havoc (Mobb Deep) born
1979
Former San Francisco City Supervisor Dan White was convicted of voluntary manslaughter in the deaths of Mayor George Moscone and Supervisor Harvey Milk.
1980
Ensign Jean Marie Butler became the first woman to graduate from a U.S. service academy as she accepted her degree and commission from the Coast Guard Academy in New London, Connecticut.
1981
In France, Francois Mitterrand was installed as President and set up a caretaker government under prime minister Pierre Mauroy.
1982
In the Falklands War, British troops established a bridgehead at Port San Carlos and HMS Ardent was sunk with the loss of 22 lives.
1984
In Washington, President Jose Napoleon Duarte of El Salvador appealed to Congress to approve more aid without attaching what he called "degrading" conditions.
1985
Marvin Gaye's last album was released. "Dream of a Lifetime" featured songs that critics considered too offensive such as the controversial, pop version of "the Lord's Prayer.""
1985
After taking fertility drugs, Patti Frustaci of Orange, California, gave birth to the first recorded American septuplets. Six of the seven infants were born alive. Three survived.
1986
President Reagan vetoed a Congressional resolution blocking a scaled-down sale of advanced U.S. missiles to Saudi Arabia. (The veto was narrowly upheld the following month.)
1987
In the wake of the Iraqi attack on the US frigate Stark that claimed 37 lives, the Senate approved a proposal requiring President Reagan to send Congress a report detailing the threat to US ships in the Persian Gulf.
1988
"Risen Star" won the Preakness Stakes.
1988
The Soviet news agency Tass reported that the Communist Party leaders of Armenia and Azerbaijan had been dismissed after fresh outbreaks of ethnic tensions in the two southern Soviet republics.
1989
Thousands of native Chinese marched in Hong Kong, Paris, Tokyo and scores of other cities in a worldwide show of support for the pro-democracy demonstrators in Beijing.
1990
Israeli soldiers shot and killed three Palestinians in violence sparked the slayings of seven Palestinians by an Israeli civilian a day earlier.
1991
Former Indian prime minister Rajiv Gandhi was killed by a bomb hidden in a bouquet of flowers while campaigning for elections in India's southern state of Tamil Nadu.
1991
Ethiopia's Marxist president, Mengistu Haile Mariam, resigned and fled into exile as rebels continued to advance.
1992
The U. S. Coast Guard announced that high-seas interdiction of Haitian refugees was being drastically scaled back because refugee camps at the US naval base at Guantanamo, Cuba, were filled.
1993
President Clinton met at the White House with Russian Foreign Minister Andrei Kozyrev; afterward, Clinton expressed pessimism over finding a long-term solution to the ethnic conflict in the Balkans, and pledged not to send American soldiers into a "shooting gallery."
1993
Octavio Lepage was sworn in as the new acting leader of Venezuela after the suspension of President Carlos Andres Perez on corruption charges.
1994
Bakili Muluzi was sworn in as Malawi's president and quickly moved to erase the worst excesses of defeated president Kamuzu Banda's 30-year single-party rule.
1994
Israeli commandos swept into Lebanon's eastern mountains and abducted Mustafa Dirani, a Shiite Muslin guerrilla leader.
1995
Former Secretary of Defense Les Aspin died at a Washington, D.C., hospital after suffering a massive stroke; he was 56.
1996
In east Africa's worst marine disaster, as many as 886 people, many of them teen-agers, drowned when an overloaded Tanzanian ferry capsized in Lake Victoria. The ferry capsized near the western town of Mwanza. There was an estimated 1,000 on board and only 114 survived.
1997
Prosecutors at the Oklahoma City bombing trial of Timothy McVeigh rested their case.
1997
The space shuttle "Atlantis" undocked from the Russian "Mir" space station.
1998
A gunman opened fire inside Thurston High School in Springfield, Oregon, killing two students; the suspect, Kip Kinkel, is also accused of killing his parents a day earlier.
1998
In the wake of deadly anti-government protests, Indonesia President Suharto stepped down after 32 years in power and was succeeded by Vice President B.J. Habibie.
1998
Frank and Shirley Capaci of Streamwood, Illinois, announced they were the holders of a winning Powerball ticket worth $195 million.
1999
Susan Lucci won a Daytime Emmy Award for best actress on her 19th try.
1999
Presidential friend and fund-raiser Yah Lin "Charlie" Trie pleaded guilty to campaign finance violations and agreed to cooperate in an investigation of illegal Asian donations to the Democrats.
1999
A luxury cruise liner, the Sun Vista, sank off Malaysia's western coast; nearly 1,100 passengers and crew escaped safely.
2000
Nineteen people were killed when a charter plane crashed in the Pocono Mountains in Pennsylvania.
2000
"Dancer in the Dark" won the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival; the Grand Prize went to "Devils on the Doorstep."
2000
Death claimed actor Sir John Gielgud at age 96
2000
Dame Barbara Cartland died at the age of 98.
2005
Cuban dissidents hold rare public meeting
2005
L.A. elects Latino Mayor
2006
Pair extradited and charged over Granville, Sydney shootings
2006
Ray Nagin re-elected New Orleans mayor
2006
Snowy Hydro Scheme to go public
2006
'Naked Guy' Andrew Martinez dies
2006
Militants target rally in Srinagar
2006
Iran stands defiant on Uranium enrichment
2006
Controversy over translation of Norwegian national anthem
2006
Missing girl from British Columbia found safe
2006
Professionals and students continue strike in New Delhi
2006
Interview with Ton Roosendaal about Elephants Dream and free content movies
2006
Possible Anthrax scare in Norway
2006
Trojan Nuclear Power Plant cooling tower demolished
2006
Finnish metal band win 51st Eurovision Song Contest
2006
300 Vietnamese fishermen rescued after record China typhoon
2006
Violence escalates in Afghanistan
2007
NHL: Ottawa Senators eliminate Buffalo Sabres to advance to Stanley Cup finals
2007
Cutty Sark blaze treated as 'suspicious'
2007
Pirate attacks bring UN aid to Somalia to a halt
2007
Spy drones to be launched over the UK skies
2007
Landfill named after comedian John Cleese
2007
Belgian bus company knows solution for car parking problems
2008
Nuclear plant sealed off after traces of explosives found on bag
2008
UK MPs vote not to lower abortion limit
2008
Pedestrian, three others killed in helicopter crash in British Columbia
2008
Colombian rebel leader 'Karina' surrenders
2008
UK minor faces charges for calling Scientology 'cult' at protest
2008
Eurovision 2008: First semi-final held in Belgrade
2008
Mob kills 'witches' in Kenya
2008
Parties make final bids for Crewe and Nantwich voters
2008
Zenit rocket launches Galaxy 18 satellite
2008
Judge continues injunction against 'Expelled' film
2008
Fire damages building housing Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
2009
Iran proclaims successful missile test
2009
Mother and son disappear after court orders cancer treatment
2010
Cyclone Laila lashes across India's Eastern coastline
2010
US scientist creates 'artificial life'
2010
New earthquake hits Chile
2012
I'll Have Another wins Preakness Stakes
2012
Raw Opals spend week preparing for London Games
2013
Report finds Canberra and Northern Territory have most expensive cocaine in Australia

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.

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