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Today in History

1925
John T. Scopes is indicted for teaching Darwin's theory of evolution
1929
Acclaimed opera singer Beverly Sills born in Brooklyn, New York
1939
Actress Dixie Carter born in McLemoresville, Tennessee
1944
Actor, director and puppeteer, Frank Oz born in Hereford, England
1947
Emmy Award winning actress Karen Valentine born in Sebastopol, California
1951
Actress Patti D'Arbanville born in New York City
1955
Fashion model and actress Connie Selleca born in Bronx, New York
1961
President John F. Kennedy announces goal to put a "man on the moon"
1963
Emmy Award winning screenwriter and actor, Mike Meyers born in Scarborough, Ontario
1985
Cyclone kills 10,000 in Bangladesh
323
Death of Alexander the Great - death came at the end of a two-day feast.
709
Death of St. Aldhelm
735
Death of "The Venerable" Bede
1085
Death of St. Gregory VII, Pope, to the immense relief of Emperor Henry IV
1085
Alfonso VI, King of Leon, takes Toledo
1184
Glastonbury Abbey, England, destroyed by fire
1261
Death of Pope Alexander IV
1315
Edward Bruce invades Ireland
1498
The Venice movable type publisher Ottaviano Petrucci, having produced movable type for printing music, applied for what today we would call the patent.
1502
Columbus discovered Martinique
1521
Edict of Worms
1555
Death of Henry II, King of Navarre
1559
First Protestant synod in France meets in Paris
1571
Founding of Barinas, Venezuela
1571
Election of Stephen Bathory as Prince of Transylvania
1583
Dr. John Dee and Edward Kelley converse with spirits
1650
Hanging of Montrose, in Edinburgh
1787
The first regular session of the Constitutional Convention was held at Independence Hall in Philadelphia after enough delegates had shown up for a quorum.
1793
Father Stephen Theodore Badin became the first Roman Catholic priest to be ordained in the United States, in a ceremony in Baltimore.
1810
Argentina began its revolt against Spain.
1844
The first telegraphed news dispatch, sent from Washington DC to Baltimore, appeared in the Baltimore "Patriot."
1844
Stuart Perry of New York City patented the gasoline engine.
1869
The grand opera house in Vienna was opened. The emperor Franz Joseph made a low-key criticism of its forbidding appearance not a serious or heartfelt attack, just a mild jab only to have one architect collapse of a heart attack and another commit suicide.
1889
Igor Sikorsky, developer of a working helicopter, born
1895
Playwright Oscar Wilde was convicted of a morals charge in London; he was sentenced to prison. "The Ballad of Reading Gaul," was inspired by the time he spent in prison.
1895
James P. Lee first published "Gold in America -- A Practical Manual." It is said to be the first book about regular folks finding gold.
1921
Lyricist Hal David .He and Burt Bacharach wrote dozens of hits together born
1925
Actress Jeanne Crain born
1926
Miles Davis, trumpeter, pioneered cool jazz. His biggest LP "Bitches Brew." born
1926
Jazz trumpeter Miles Davis born
1927
The "Movietone News" was shown for the first time at the Sam Harris Theatre in New York City. Charles Lindbergh's epic flight aboard the "Spirit of St. Louis" was featured.
1927
Henry Ford stops producing the Model T car and begins production of the Model A.
1927
Spy novelist Robert Ludlum born
1929
Opera singer Beverly Sills born
1934
Former White House news secretary Ron Nessen born
1935
Pittsburgh, Babe Ruth of the Boston Braves played the final game of his career and scored his 714th and final home run. The record stood for 39 years.
1935
At the Big Ten conference championships held in Ann Arbor, Michigan, Jesse Owens, who had been sick the previous day, ran the 100-yard dash in 9.4 seconds to tie the world's record.
1936
Country singer-songwriter Tom T. Hall born
1939
Actor Ian McKellen born
1939
Actress Dixie Carter born
1943
Singer Leslie Uggams born
1944
Movie director and Muppeteer Frank Oz (voice of Miss Piggy) born
1946
Transjordan (now Jordan) became a kingdom as it proclaimed its new monarch, King Abdullah Ibn Ul-Hussein.
1947
Actress Karen Valentine born
1947
Country singer Jessi Colter born
1950
Rock singer Klaus Meine (The Scorpions) born
1951
Actress Patti D'Arbanville born
1955
Actress Connie Selleca born
1958
Rock singer-musician Paul Weller born
1961
President Kennedy asked the nation to work toward putting a man on the moon by the end of the decade.
1963
Actor-comedian Mike Myers born
1963
The Organization of African Unity was founded, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
1965
In a heavyweight fight in Lewistin, Maine, Cassius Clay knocked out challenger Sonny Liston in one minute and 56 seconds of the first round.
1968
The Gateway Arch, part of the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial in St. Louis, was dedicated.
1969
Actress Anne Heche born
1969
The motion picture "Midnight Cowboy," starring Dustin Hoffman and Jon Voight, opened in New York.
1970
Actor Jamie Kennedy born
1971
Actor Justin Henry ("Kramer vs. Kramer") born
1973
Rapper Dat Nigga Daz born
1975
Singer Lauryn Hill (The Fugees) born
1979
Actor Corbin Allred born
1979
275 people died in America's worst domestic air disaster when an American Airlines DC-10 crashed during takeoff at Chicago's O'Hare airport.
1981
Daredevil Daniel Goodwin, wearing a "Spiderman" costume, scaled the outside of Chicago's Sears Tower in 7 hours.
1983
The Return of the Jedi, the third installment of George Lucas' Star Wars movie trilogy, opened nationwide. The movie topped all previous opening day box office records with a gross of $6,219,629.
1983
Navy Lt. Cmdr. Albert Schaufelberger, a U.S. military attach in San Salvador, was slain by the guerrilla group FMLN.
1984
CIA Director William Casey dismissed as "politically motivated" a House subcommittee report that he had obtained briefing materials from President Carter's 1980 re-election campaign.
1984
The Detroit Tigers tied the 1916 New York Giants as they won their 17th road game, beating the California Angels 5-1. That game broke the American League mark of 16 held by the Washington Senators from 1912.
1985
More than 11,000 people were killed as a hurricane and tidal wave devastated Bangladesh.
1985
CBS Radio began network baseball coverage for the first time in 25 years as Brent Musberger called the play-by-play for the Los Angeles Dodgers-New York Mets game.
1986
5 to 7 million people formed a broken 4000-mile human chain from Los Angeles to New York in Hands Across America, to benefit the nation's homeless. The event raised $24.5 million.
1987
A jury in New York acquitted former Labor Secretary Raymond J. Donovan and seven other construction executives of fraud and grand larceny.
1988
President Reagan departed the White House on a trip to the Soviet Union and a superpower summit with Mikhail S. Gorbachev.
1989
The Calgary Flames won their first Stanley Cup by defeating the Montreal Canadiens in game six of their championship series by a score of 4-to-2.
1990
A congressional report cast doubts on the U.S. Navy's official finding that a troubled sailor probably had caused the blast that killed 47 servicemen aboard the battleship USS Iowa
1991
Foreigners fled the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa as rebels closed in on the city. Israel completed Operation Solomon, which had evacuated 15,000 Ethiopian Jews to their promised land.
1992
Career US diplomat Philip Habib died in Puligny-Montrachet, France, at age 72.
1992
Jay Leno made his debut as permanent host of NBC's The Tonight Show succeeding Johnny Carson.
1993
The White House announced it was putting five fired employees of its travel office on paid leave as it investigated accusations of financial mismanagement.
1993
The Boston Pops backed up James Taylor in a concert to be videotaped for later broadcast. The program included the title music from the move Jurassic Park
1994
The U.N. Security Council lifted a 10-year-old ban on weapons exports from South Africa, scrapping the last of its apartheid-era embargoes.
1995
NATO warplanes struck Bosnian Serb headquarters. (Serbs answered with swift defiance, storming U.N. weapons depots, attacking safe areas and taking peacekeepers as hostages.)
1996
President Clinton, honoring the men and women who died in military service, used his weekly radio address to defend America's global military role, saying it "is making our people safer and the world more secure."
1997
In the first round of parliamentary elections, French voters gave the leftist opposition the biggest share of votes in a surprising setback for President Jacques Chirac's conservatives.
1997
Senator Strom Thurmond (Republican, South Carolina) became the longest-serving senator in US history, marking 41 years and ten months of service.
1998
Leaders in the former Soviet republic of Georgia and its breakaway province of Abkhazia agreed to a cease-fire after a week
1998
Indonesia's new president, B.J. Habibie, promised to hold elections.
1999
Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr decided against re-prosecuting Whitewater figure Susan McDougal and Julie Hiatt Steele, a witness in the Monica Lewinsky investigation, after both their trials ended with hung juries.
2000
The government proposed a rating system telling consumers how prone vehicles are to rolling over.
2000
Iranian state radio announced that former President Hashemi Rafsanjani had resigned from the incoming parliament, depriving hard-liners of a leading figure in the power struggle between conservatives and reformists.
2005
London's Millennium Dome to become a concert arena
2005
First pipeline opens from Caspian Sea
2005
Amnesty International calls for Guantanamo shutdown
2005
Controversial Judge Priscilla Owen approved for seat on the 5th U.S. Circuit Court
2005
Bird flu may infect 20 percent of world's population, kill millions
2006
Pakistani immigrant convicted of N.Y. subway plot
2006
Indo-Pakistan talks on Siachen end in deadlock
2006
Fighting in Dili continues ahead of multinational deployment
2006
U.S. appeals court upholds Honolulu aerial ad ban
2006
Howard's revival of nuclear debate "surprising": Political expert
2006
Australian Government under pressure to reveal nuclear sites
2006
Enron executives Kenneth Lay and Jeffrey Skilling found guilty
2006
Family narrowly escapes fiery death in Christchurch, New Zealand
2006
Taylor Hicks crowned American Idol winner
2006
Appeals Court asked for quick decision in California High School Exit Exam case
2006
Malaysian culture minister pans documentary
2006
Trains grind to a halt in Northeast US
2006
Zogby poll finds 45% want new 9/11 investigation
2007
Man attempts to bring 700 snakes onto a plane
2007
Ostankino Tower catches fire in Moscow
2007
Protesters turn their backs on Australian PM
2007
New environmental housing regulations for Western Australia
2007
US President Bush nominates new surgeon general
2007
Pentagon report reflects concerns over China's increased military
2007
Illinois law means end to horse slaughter in US
2007
McDonald's petitions Oxford English Dictionary to remove the word McJob
2007
Bird defecates on Bush in front of reporters
2007
Exclusive interview with New Zealand republican, Lewis Holden
2008
South Africa's largest weekly newspaper wants President Mbeki to resign
2008
Former vice president of Democratic Republic of Congo arrested on charges of war crimes
2008
2007/08 UEFA Women's Cup: FFC Frankfurt vs. Umeå IK
2008
Major League Soccer: Toronto FC vs. D.C. United
2008
Eleven days later, a survivor pulled from rubble after Chinese earthquake
2008
Dima Bilan wins the Eurovision Song Contest for Russia
2008
French fry 'king' J. R. Simplot dies at age 99
2008
Missiles fly out of control during air base fire in Russia
2008
Boeing 747 cargo plane breaks in two after failed takeoff at Brussels Airport
2009
Trial against Church of Scientology begins in France
2009
North Korea conducts test of nuclear weapon
2009
Cyclone in Bay of Bengal kills at least 17
2010
6.5 magnitude earthquake hits Acre, Brazil
2010
Slipknot bassist Paul Gray found dead in hotel room at age 38
2010
Washington politician Dino Rossi to announce US Senate bid
2010
Ukrainian basketball player Alexander Belostenny dies at age 51
2010
Musician David Byrne sues Florida governor over campaign song
2010
Oil spilled after ships collide in Singapore
2010
New BP oil spill plan
2011
Expedition 27 crew successfully returns to Earth
2011
NATO intensifies attack on Libya
2013
Rugby union: Noosa thrash Caloundra in Caloundra

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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