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Today in History

1822
Battle of Pichincha in Ecuador
1844
Telegraph sent by Samuel Morse from Washington, DC to Baltimore, Maryland
1851
Day of Slav Letters in Bulgaria
1938
Actor and comedian Tommy Chong born in Edmonton, Alberta
1941
Academy, Golden Globe and Grammy Award winning musician, singer, and songwriter, Bob Dylan born in Duluth, Minnesota
1945
Author, actress and model, Priscilla Beaulieu Presley born in Brooklyn, New York
1955
Songwriter and singer Rosanne Cash born in Memphis, Tennessee
1960
Academy Award nominated actress Kristin Scott Thomas born in Redruth, Cornwall, England
1976
London to DC Concorde service begins
592
Death of St. Simon Stylites the Younger
1089
Death of LaFranc, Archbishop of Canterbury
1153
Death of St. David I, King of Scotland
1218
The 5th Crusade sails from Acre to Egypt
1337
French King Philip VI announces confiscation of Gascony from England - Beginning of the Hundred Years War
1430
Capture of Joan of Arc by the Burgundians
1487
Coronation, in Ireland, of Lambert Simnel, posing as Edward VI, King of England
1530
A list of heretical books drawn up in London; Tyndale's Bible burned
1543
Nicolaus Copernicus publishes proof of a sun-centered solar system "De Revolutionibus", he dies just after publication.
1544
Physicist, William Gilbert, researcher into magnetism born
1607
Captain Christopher Newport and 105 followers found the colony of Jamestown at the mouth of the James River on the coast of Virginia.
1610
Sir Thomas Gates institutes "laws divine moral and marshal, " a harsh civil code for Jamestown.
1624
After years of unprofitable operation Virginia's charter is revoked and it becomes a royal colony.
1626
The House of Commons of England declares "Tunnage and Poundage" to be illegal
1626
The Dutch West Indies Trading Co.(Peter Minuet) bought the island of Manhattan from the Indians, paying with goods worth about $24.
1686
Gabriel Daniel Fahrenheit, invented the thermometer born
1689
English Parliament passes Act of Toleration, protecting Protestants.
1738
The Methodist Church is established.
1743
Jean-Paul Marat, French revolutionist born
1764
Bostonian lawyer James Otis denounces "taxation without representation" and calls for the colonies to unite in demonstrating their opposition to Britain's new tax measures.
1798
Believing that a French invasion of Ireland is imminent, Irish nationalists rise up against the British occupation.
1803
Beethoven dedicated his brand new sonata to a French violinist named Kreutzer. But Kreutzer hailed the work as "unintelligible" and proudly declared that he would never play it.
1810
Beethoven's short but to-the-point tragic overture "Egmont" was premiered.
1816
Painter Emanuel Leutze was born in Germany. He painted some of the most famous American works such as "Washington Crossing the Delaware," and "Columbus Before the Queen." born
1819
Queen Victoria was born at Kensington Palace in London. Her father, the Duke of Kent, was the fourth son of George III. Her mother was a German princess. Victoria was 18-years-old when she became queen. born
1830
The first passenger railroad in the United States began service between Baltimore and Elliott's Mills, Maryland.
1844
Samuel F.B. Morse transmitted the message, "What hath God wrought!" from Washington to Baltimore as he formally opened America's first telegraph line.
1846
General Zachary Taylor captures Monterey in Mexican War.
1859
Madame Caroline Miolan-Carvalho sang Charles Gounod's "Ave Maria" in its first public performance.
1863
Bushwackers led by Captain William Marchbanks attack a Federal militia party in Nevada, Missouri
1866
Berkeley named (for George Berkeley, Bishop of Cloyne).
1878
The first American bicycle race is held in Boston.
1881
Some 200 people died when the Canadian ferry "Princess Victoria" sank near London, Ontario.
1883
The Brooklyn Bridge opened by President Arthur & Govenor Cleveland. The bridge linked Brooklyn and Manhattan Island.
1883
Hostess and party-giver Elsa Maxwell, credited with introducing the "scavenger hunt" born
1895
American publisher Samuel I. Newhouse born
1899
W.T. McCullough of Boston, Massachusetts, opened the first public garage. One could rent space for selling, storing and repairing vehicles.
1914
Actress Lilli Palmer born
1918
Bartok's opera "Bluebeard's Castle" premiered in Budapest. It was controversial, not only because the music was hard on the ears, but also because the Bartok version of the Bluebeard story made Bluebeard, a serial killer, out to be an idealist who was misunderstood.
1928
Author-broadcast executive Roger Caras born
1930
Amy Johnson becomes the first woman to fly from England to Australia.
1931
The Baltimore & Ohio Railroad (B&O) began service on the "Columbian" run between New York City and Washington, D.C. The passenger train was the first train with air conditioning throughout.
1935
The first major league baseball game played at night took place at Cincinnati's Crosley Field as the Reds beat the Philadelphia Phillies, 2-to-1.
1938
Comedian Tommy Chong of Cheech and Chong born
1941
Musician Bob Dylan (Robert Allen Zimmerman) "Hard Rain's Gonna Fall," and "Blowin' in the Wind" born
1941
The German battleship "Bismarck" sank the British dreadnought "Hood" in the North Atlantic.
1943
Actor Gary Burghoff (M*A*S*H*) born
1944
Singer Patti LaBelle born
1945
Actress Priscilla Presley born
1947
Country singer Mike Reid born
1948
Actress Judy Kahan born
1951
Willie Mays begins playing for the New York Giants.
1953
Actor Alfred Molina born
1954
The first traveling sidewalk in a railroad station began its first day of operation in Jersey City, New Jersey.
1955
Singer Rosanne Cash born
1958
United Press International was formed through a merger of the United Press and the International News Service.
1960
Actress Kristin Scott Thomas born
1961
The Freedom Riders are arrested in Jackson, Mississippi.
1962
Astronaut Scott Carpenter became the second American to orbit the Earth as he flew aboard "Aurora Seven."
1962
The officials of the National Football League ruled that half-time of regular season games would be cut to 15 minutes.
1963
Actor-dancer Gene Anthony Ray (TV show "Fame") born
1963
Rock musician Vivian Trimble (Luscious Jackson) born
1967
Rapper-recording executive Heavy D born
1967
Singer Tommy Page born
1969
Rock musician Rich Robinson (The Black Crowes) born
1976
Britain and France opened transatlantic Concorde service to Washington.
1977
In a surprise move, the Kremlin ousted Soviet President Nikolai Podgorny from the Communist Party's ruling Politburo.
1980
Actor Billy L. Sullivan ("Something So Right"). born
1980
Iran rejected a call by the World Court in The Hague to release the American hostages.
1982
Mrs. Christina Samane of South Africa gave birth to the heaviest baby ever born -- a 22-pound, 8-ounce son.
1983
New Yorkers marked the 100th birthday of the Brooklyn Bridge with a parade and a massive fireworks display.
1983
Actor-rapper Big Tyme born
1983
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled private religious schools that practice racial discrimination are not eligible for church-related tax benefits.
1984
A court in El Salvador found five former national guardsmen guilty of murdering four American churchwomen in December 1980. (The guardsmen were each sentenced to 30 years in prison.)
1985
President Reagan denounced a House-passed Democratic package of $56 billion in deficit reductions for the following fiscal year, saying it was riddled with phony savings.
1986
The Union Jack was flown in Israel for the first time in 38 years as Margaret Thatcher became the first British prime minister to visit the Jewish state.
1987
An estimated 250,000 people crowded onto the Golden Gate Bridge to celebrate the structure's 50th birthday a few days before the actual anniversary.
1988
Country singer Billy Gilman born
1988
President Reagan vetoed legislation that would have strengthened the nation's ability to defend itself and its industries against trading practices of other nations that were deemed unfair.
1988
Vice President George Bush and Michael Dukakis won the Idaho presidential primaries.
1989
China's top army command published a letter strongly supporting hard-line Premier Li Peng, who was reportedly locked in a power struggle with rival factions who opposed his strong stance against student protesters.
1990
Two members of the militant environmental group Earth First! were injured when a pipe bomb exploded in their car in Oakland, California.
1990
The Edmonton Oilers won their fifth Stanley Cup as they defeated the Boston Bruins, 4-1.
1991
The remains of former Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, assassinated by a suicide bomber, were cremated.
1991
The U.N. Security Council voted unanimously to deplore Israel's deportation of four Palestinians from the occupied territories.
1991
Israel began airlifting 15,000 Ethiopian Jews to safety as Ethiopian rebels continued to advance on Addid Ababa.
1992
Al Unser Jr. became the first second-generation winner of the Indianapolis 500; his father Al Unser, finished third. In the closest finish ever, he beat Scott Goodyear by .043 seconds.
1992
President Bush authorized the Coast Guard to return directly home all Haitian refugees picked up at sea. Al Unser Junior became the first second-generation winner of the Indianapolis 500; his father, four-time winner Al Unser, finished third.
1993
Roman Catholic Cardinal Juan Jesus Posada Ocampo and six other people were killed at the Guadalajara, Mexico, airport in what was described as a shootout involving drug gangs.
1993
"Farewell My Concubine" and "The Piano" jointly won the Golden Palm award at the Cannes Film Festival.
1993
The Senate confirmed Roberta Achtenberg, an acknowledged lesbian, to be a top federal housing official.
1994
Four men convicted of bombing New York's World Trade Center were each sentenced to 240 years in prison.
1994
The United States and Japan agreed to revive efforts to pry open Japanese markets to U.S. goods.
1995
Former British Prime Minister Harold Wilson died in London at age 79.
1995
"Hollywood Madam" Heidi Fleiss was sentenced to three years in prison and fined $1,500 for running a call-girl ring that catered to the rich and famous
1996
President Clinton underwent his annual physical at Bethesda Naval Medical Center, where he had a precancerous lesion removed from his nose. On the plus side, his weight was the same as the year before 216 and his cholesterol count had improved from 203 to 191.
1997
The space shuttle "Atlantis" returned to Earth, bringing with it NASA astronaut Jerry Linenger, who'd spent four months aboard the Russian "Mir" space station.
1999
A sharply divided Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that schools can be sued when officials fail to stop students from sexually harassing each other.
1999
The Supreme Court ruled that police violate people's privacy rights when they bring TV camera crews or other journalists into homes during arrests or searches.
1999
Mike Tyson walked out of a Rockville, Md., jail after serving 3 months behind bars for assaulting two motorists over a fender-bender.
2000
Gunmen killed five people in a robbery attempt at a Wendy's restaurant in Queens, New York.
2000
The state of Maryland dismissed its wiretapping case against Linda Tripp after judge disallowed most of Monica Lewinsky's testimony.
2000
Israeli troops pulled out unilaterally from south Lebanon, ending 18 years of occupation.
2000
Isiah Thomas, Bob McAdoo and Tennessee women's coach Pat Summitt were elected to the Basketball Hall of Fame.
2005
Dissident meeting held in Cuba
2005
Democratic Republic of Congo adopts new constitution, plans elections
2005
Marshall Islands to request $3 billion more from U.S. for health effects of nuclear testing
2005
Kidnapped Romanian journalists return home
2005
National Aromanian Day celebrated
2005
Child released after spending entire life in Australian detention centre
2005
Chilean army recruits missing
2005
Italian police under trial for events at 2001 G8 Genoa meeting
2005
Laura Bush visits Middle East in goodwill tour
2005
Fox News viewership drops by half in 6 months
2005
Particle accelerator reveals long-lost writings of Archimedes
2005
Preakness won by Afleet Alex, Kentucky Derby Winner Third
2005
Ebola outbreak in Congo
2005
World's tallest geyser erupts
2005
Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith opens in 105 countries around globe
2005
Voyager 1 enters heliosheath at edge of solar system
2005
Canadian MP crosses from Conservative to Liberal party
2006
East Timor descends into further violence: Downer
2006
The Australia Institute identifies ideal sites for nuclear power stations
2006
Sir Edmund Hillary angry with mountaineers who left British climber to die
2006
British sailor resumes around-the-world voyage after stop in Hawaii
2006
Major fire breaks out at Istanbul airport
2006
Fishermen make "very rare" find in Siberia
2006
California Supreme Court revives High School Exit Exam
2006
Multinational force sent to East Timor
2006
British plane catches fire in Afghanistan
2006
Police retrieve body of American tourist on hunting holiday in New Zealand
2007
NHL: Schedule set for playoff finals
2007
Protesters demonstrate at US Coast Guard Academy
2007
Lebanese Army and Fatah al-Islam resume fighting
2007
California Senator Carole Migden says medication may have caused car crash
2007
38 miners killed in Russian mine explosion
2007
Daughter of U.S. vice president, Mary Cheney, has baby boy
2008
Authorities contacted after school death threat made on Wikipedia
2008
English Football: Chelsea F.C. sack Grant
2008
Police arrest two over Exeter bomb explosion
2008
No prosecution for UK minor who called Scientology a 'cult'
2008
President Bush to meet with LDS Church leaders in Utah
2008
Centennial of 'father of contemporary Thai cinema' celebrated
2008
Seven Moroccans killed in bus crash in central France
2008
Court rules against Texas officials in FLDS case
2008
Israel scrambles fighters to intercept unresponsive aircraft carrying Tony Blair
2008
USL First Division: Seattle Sounders vs. Vancouver Whitecaps
2008
Morgan Tsvangirai returns to Zimbabwe
2008
Boeing pushes back 737 replacement development
2008
Myanmar to allow foreign aid says UN's Ban Ki Moon
2008
New law to help asbestos sufferers in Victoria, Australia
2009
Jenson Button wins Monaco Grand Prix
2009
Ten-year-old computer glitch prevents delivery of 1,380 Canadian health results
2009
Space Shuttle Atlantis lands safely at Edwards Air Force Base
2010
US and South Korea to conduct naval exercises in response to warship sinking
2010
State of emergency declared in Kingston, Jamaica
2010
Australian rules football: VCFL Country Championship - Bendigo vs. Gippsland
2010
Body cemented in barrel found in Toronto harbour
2010
'Black boxes' pulled from Air India plane wreckage
2010
Nicolaus Copernicus buried again
2010
California teen becomes youngest to conquer Everest
2010
British ventriloquist Ray Alan dies at age 79
2011
London policeman charged over G20 protest death
2011
Police arrest train passenger for a 16-hour loud cellphone conversation
2012
Top exorcist says schoolgirl was kidnapped for Vatican sex ring
2012
Attorney John Wolfe wins 42% against President Obama in Arkansas primary

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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