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Today in History

1701
Captain William Kidd hanged in London
1883
Screenwriter, director and actor, Douglas Fairbanks born Douglas Elton Ullman in Denver, Colorado
1928
Dancer, actress and singer, Rosemary Clooney born in Maysville, Kentucky
1931
Author of children's books and actress, Barbara Barrie born in Chicago, Illinois
1933
Best selling author and Golden Globe Award winning actress, Joan Collins born in London, England
1934
Bank robbers Bonnie and Clyde killed in Louisiana during gun battle with police
1934
Grammy Award winning inventor of an electronic music synthesizer, Dr Robert Moog born in Queens, New York
1958
US Marine, bank teller, waiter, actor and comedian, Drew Carey born in Cleveland, Ohio
1960
Capture in Argentina of Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann announced by Israel
607
Death of St. Desiderius
1059
Coronation of Philip I, King of France
1116
Death of St. Ivo of Chartres
1125
Death of Henry V, Holy Roman Emperor
1173
Death of St. Euphrosyme of Polotosk
1192
The 3rd Cusade, and Richard I of England, recaptures Daron
1373
Chaucer returns from Italy
1430
Joan of Arc is captured by Burgundians, who sell her to the English. Guided by what she believed were divine voices, Joan of Arc revived French fortunes in the Hundred Years' War.
1480
Turks arrive at Rhodes to besiege it
1498
Vasco da Gama makes landfall at Calcutta, India
1498
Death of Sarvonerola, by burning as an heretic
1524
Death of Ismail, Shah of Persia
1533
The marriage of England's King Henry the Eighth to Catherine of Aragon was declared null and void.
1541
Jacques Cartier begins his third voyage to Canada
1607
Christopher Newport and 140 surviors found Jamestown
1611
Rudolf II abdicates the Crown of Bohemia
1617
Elias Ashmole born
1618
The Thirty Years War begins when three opponents of the Reformation are thrown through a window; the Defenestration of Prague.
1701
Captain William Kidd was hanged in London after he was convicted of piracy and murder.
1734
Austrian physician and hypnotist Franz Mesmer born
1785
Benjamin Franklin wrote in a letter that he had invented bifocals, making it unnecessary to carry two pairs of glasses. His other innovations included the lightning rod and a stove.
1788
South Carolina became the eighth state to ratify the United States Constitution.
1810
Social reformer and writer and critic for the New York Tribune Margaret Fuller born
1820
James Buchanan Eads, engineer of the Eads Bridge in St. Louis born
1824
Gen. Ambrose Burnside, who was a U.S. senator and for whom sideburns were named. born
1827
The first nursery school in the U.S. was established in New York City. The school was developed to offer "children protection from weather, idleness and contamination of evil spirit.""
1846
Arabella Mansfield, born Belle Aurelia Babb. While teaching at Ohio Wesleyan college, she became the first woman in the U.S. to take and pass the bar exam. She never used her law degree.
1864
Union General Ulysses Grant attempts to outflank Confederate Robert E. Lee in Battle of North Anna, Virginia.
1873
Canada's North West Mounted Police force was established.
1876
Boston's Joe Borden pitched the very first no-hitter in National League history.
1879
Iowa State University, located in Ames, Iowa, established the first veterinary school in the United States.
1883
Douglas Fairbanks, First and greatest of Hollywood's swashbucklers. born
1895
The New York Public Library had its origins with an agreement combining the city's existing Astor and Lenox libraries.
1900
Civil War hero Sgt. William H. Carney becomes the first African American to receive the Medal of Honor, thirty-seven years after the Battle of Fort Wagner.
1901
The composer Edmund Rubbra. born
1910
Band leader Artie Shaw born
1915
Italy declared war on Austria-Hungary in World War One.
1919
Actress Betty Garrett born
1922
The play, "Abie's Irish Rose," opened at the Fulton Theatre in New York City. The play continued for 2,327 performances. It is estimated that some 50,000,000 people have seen the play performed somewhere in the world.
1922
The first debate to be heard on radio was broadcast on WJH in Washington, D.C. The two debaters argued about "Daylight Saving Time.""
1923
Pianist Alicia de Larrocha born
1925
Bluegrass singer Mac Wiseman born
1928
Actor Nigel Davenport born
1928
Singer Rosemary Clooney born
1931
Actress Barbara Barrie born
1933
Actress Joan Collins born
1934
Musician Robert Moog born
1934
Bank robbers Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow were shot to death in a police ambush as they were driving a stolen Ford Deluxe along a road in Bienville Parish, Louisiana.
1937
Actor Charles Kimbrough born
1937
Industrialist John D. Rockefeller died in Ormond Beach, Florida.
1940
Tommy Dorsey and His Orchestra, the Pied Pipers and featured soloist Frank Sinatra recorded "I'll Never Smile Again" in New York for RCA.
1943
Rhythm-and-blues singer General Johnson (Chairmen of the Board) born
1943
Tennis legend John Newcombe born
1944
The University of Chicago announced plans to withdraw from membership in the NCAA's Big 10 Conference and said it would not participate in any athletic competition.
1944
During World War II, Allied forces bogged down in Anzio began a major breakout offensive.
1945
Actress Lauren Chapin born
1945
Nazi official Heinrich Himmler committed suicide while imprisoned in Luneburg, Germany.
1950
The re-evaluation of the reputation of Richard Strauss dates from this day, the morning after Kirsten Flagstad sang the premiere of his "Four Last Songs."
1951
Country singer Judy Rodman born
1952
Boxer Marvelous Marvin Hagler born
1958
Actor-comedian Drew Carey born
1958
Country singer Shelley West born
1960
Actor Linden Ashby ("Melrose Place") born
1960
Israeli agents captured Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann in Argentina and spirited him back to Israel, where he was tried, convicted and hanged.
1962
Joe Pepitone of the New York Yankees set a major-league baseball record by hitting two home runs in one inning.
1962
The National Basketball Association agreed to plans to transfer the Philadelphia Warriors to San Francisco, California. The team became the San Francisco Warriors (now the Golden State Warriors).
1967
Rock musician Phil Selway (Radiohead) born
1972
Singer Lorenzo born
1973
Singer Maxwell born
1974
Singer Jewel born
1977
The U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear the appeals of former Nixon White House aides H.R. Haldeman and John Erlichman and former Attorney General John N. Mitchell in connection with their Watergate convictions.
1983
Vladimir Danchev, an announcer on Radio Moscow, surprised listeners by praising Muslim rebels in Afghanistan and criticizing Soviet policy in three English-language newscasts before he was taken off the air.
1984
Actor Adam Wylie born
1984
A House subcommittee released a report pointing to CIA Director William Casey as the 1980 Reagan campaign official who'd received briefing materials from the Carter White House.
1984
Issuing his annual report on smoking, Surgeon General C. Everett Koop said smoking was costing the nation $40 billion a year in health expenses and lost productivity.
1985
Thomas Patrick Cavanagh, an aerospace engineer who admitted trying to sell "stealth" bomber secrets to the Soviet Union, was sentenced in Los Angeles to life in prison.
1986
The White House said President Reagan and his wife, Nancy, would participate in "Hands Across America" to help raise millions of dollars for the nation's hungry and homeless.
1987
Rescue workers and survivors searched through the rubble of a killer tornado in Saragosa, Texas, that had claimed 30 lives. Texas Governor Bill Clements expressed his sorrow, and pledged all possible help.
1988
Less than a week before a scheduled superpower summit in Moscow, Secretary of State George Shultz went to Capitol Hill to ask for a prompt Senate vote to ratify the intermediate-range nuclear missile treaty.
1988
Maryland Gov. Donald Schaefer signed the nation's first law banning the manufacture and sale of cheap handguns, known as "Saturday Night Specials."
1989
An estimated one million people in Beijing and tens of thousands in other Chinese cities marched to demand that Premier Li Peng resign.
1990
Neil Bush, son of the president, denied any wrongdoing as a director of a failed Denver savings-and-loan in testimony before Congress.
1990
The Soviet Union unveiled an economic-reform program that included plans for a national referendum.
1991
The U.S. Supreme Court upheld federal regulations prohibiting federally funded women's clinics from discussing or advising abortion with patients.
1992
The United States and four former Soviet republics signed an agreement in Lisbon, Portugal, to implement the START missile-reduction treaty that had been agreed to by the Soviet Union prior to its dissolution.
1993
A jury in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, acquitted Rodney Peairs of manslaughter in the shooting death of Yoshi Hattori, a Japanese exchange student he'd mistaken for an intruder.
1994
"Pulp Fiction" by American director Quentin Taratino won the "Golden Palm" for best film at the 47th Cannes Film Festival.
1994
Roman Herzog was elected president of Germany, the first person chosen for the position since the country's unification in 1990. He was backed by Chancellor Helmut Kohl.
1994
Funeral services were held at Arlington National Cemetery for former first lady Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis.
1995
The nine-story hulk of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City was demolished. That day, James Nichols, whose brother and a friend were charged in the Oklahoma bombing, was released from federal custody.
1996
The House approved, by a vote of 281-to-144, election-year legislation to raise the minimum wage by 90 cents an hour.
1997
The Senate decisively approved a carefully constructed deal to balance the budget and cut taxes.
1997
Iranians elected a moderate president, Mohammad Khatami, over hard-liners in the ruling Muslim clergy.
1997
The defense at the Oklahoma City bombing trial suffered an embarrassing setback when one of its own witnesses provided testimony potentially damaging to defendant Timothy McVeigh.
1998
Official returns showed two convincing "yes" votes for the Northern Ireland peace accord: a surprisingly strong 71.1 percent in British-linked Northern Ireland, and 94.4 percent in the Republic of Ireland.
1999
Social Democrat Johannes Rau won election as Germany's president, a largely ceremonial post.
1999
"Rosetta," a Belgian film, won top honors at the 52nd annual Cannes Film Festival.
1999
Professional wrestler Owen Hart, also known as "The Blue Blazer," died when he fell 78 feet from a cable as he was being lowered into the ring at a World Wrestling Federation show in Kansas City, Mo.
2000
Two weeks before a US-Russia arms summit, presidential candidate George W. Bush said he would slash America's nuclear arsenal as part of a broad national security review that would call for a missile-defense system.
2005
Romanian journalists freed
2005
Karzai blames U.S. and Britain for increased opium production
2005
Bill Clinton visits Romania to take part in branding conference
2005
BBC drops programmes as third of staff join strike
2005
Five Irish schoolgirls die in bus crash
2005
U.S. senators reach compromise on use of filibuster
2005
Brazilian news agency using free software for multimedia broadcasting
2005
UK Transport Minister "pied" during launch of Future Heathrow group
2005
Romanian government approves new minorities law
2006
Australian treasurer enters nuclear debate
2006
Drug crackdown in Northern NSW nets two suppliers
2006
Mother charged with manslaughter
2006
Hurricane forecasters: Up to 10 hurricanes in Atlantic
2006
Australian PM to be snubbed by up to six Irish MPs
2006
Israeli forces capture Hamas commander
2006
Turkish and Greek fighter planes collide in mid air
2006
Former U.S. senator Lloyd Bentsen dies at 85
2006
Human to human transmission of the H5N1 Avian Flu may have infected seven Indonesian family members
2006
Malaysian Home Ministry ban approved documentary
2006
Audiotape of al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden surfaces on Internet
2006
Australia saves three billion plastic bags from circulation
2006
Global warming underestimated, say scientists
2006
Howard government confirms "secret nuclear power committee"
2007
Anti-Olympic protesters break into office of British Columbia premier
2007
New Zealand's Head of State approves new medal
2007
Iranian Grand Ayatollah Makarem-Shirazi urges compulsory hijab
2007
Reports say body of missing US soldier found in Iraq
2007
Iran continues enrichment in defiance of UN according to IAEA report
2007
Hammerhead sharks can give birth without mating, study shows
2007
Exclusive video interview with New Zealand Opposition leader, John Key
2007
60-year old woman gives birth to twins
2007
Toronto school shooting kills one
2007
Ashley gives Newcastle £133m buyout offer
2007
US President George W. Bush caught driving without a seatbelt
2007
Student who planned to attend Rev. Jerry Falwell's funeral arrested after homemade bombs found in car
2008
United Kingdom opposition leader states commitment to keeping Scotland part of the Union
2008
Bomb explodes in Exeter, UK
2008
Russian Wikipedia "a top internet community"
2008
Controversial development training cited in religious discrimination lawsuits
2008
Bangladesh reports first human case of H5N1 bird flu
2008
Dinosaur tracks found in Arabian Peninsula
2008
Conservatives win Crewe and Nantwich by-election
2008
Two men fined over 2006 German train crash that killed 23
2008
Rokot launches three Gonets satellites
2008
Tornado kills one and injures 100 in northern Colorado
2008
NOAA says Earth's oceans becoming more acidic
2008
Taiwan Excellence Gold and Silver Awards announced
2008
United Soccer Leagues 2008: Whitecaps sign Pozniak
2009
Malawian president inaugurated after reelection
2009
Pakistan's military claims capture of Taliban stronghold
2009
Former South Korean President dead after apparent suicide
2009
British Airways announces record losses
2009
Bomb explosion kills two in Nepal church
2009
Suicidal man pushed off Chinese bridge
2010
Derailment in China; at least nineteen dead
2010
Baseball: Former Houston Astros pitcher José Lima dies suddenly at 37
2011
Unrest spreads to Morocco; police violently break up demonstrations
2011
Pakistani militants take hostages in Karachi base revenge attack; ten soldiers killed
2011
Tornado touches down in Joplin, Missouri
2012
Lockerbie convict Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi buried after dying at Libyan home
2012
Twitter restored in Pakistan after block over Muhammad images

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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