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Today in History

1888
Olympic Gold Medalist Jim Thorpe born in Prague, Oklahoma
1908
Royal Navy Intelligence officer, author and creator of James Bond, Ian Fleming born in London, England
1931
Golden Globe Award winning actress Carroll Baker born in Johnstown, Pennsylvania
1934
Dionne quintuplets born
1944
Grammy Award winning singer Gladys Knight born in Atlanta, Georgia
1945
Grammy Award winning singer, guitarist and songwriter, John Fogerty born in Berkeley, California
1947
Academy Award nominated actress Sondra Locke born in Shelbyville, Tennessee
1987
19 year old West German Mathias Rust evaded Soviet air defenses to land his small plane in Moscow's Red Square
1533
England's Archbishop declared the marriage of King Henry the Eighth to Anne Boleyn valid.
1787
Leopold Mozart died. Already eclipsed by his famous son, Leopold Mozart sank into nearly complete obscurity except in his role as Wolfgang's dad until recent years, when one of his horn concertos re-entered the repertory.
1798
Congress empowered President John Adams to recruit an American army of 10,000 volunteers.
1863
The first black regiment from the North left Boston to fight in the Civil War.
1888
Olympic athlete Jim Thorpe born
1892
The Sierra Club was organized in San Francisco.
1904
Puccini's "Madame Butterfly," a failure at its premiere, was sung anew after revisions and was a huge success.
1908
British novelist Ian Fleming, creator of James Bond born
1923
Gyorgy Ligeti was born in Transylvania. born
1931
Actress Carroll Baker born
1933
Actor John Karlen ("Cagney and Lacey") born
1934
The Dionne quintuplets -- Annette, Cecile, Emilie, Marie and Yvonne -- were born to Elzire Dionne at the family farm in Ontario, Canada.
1934
Canada's Dionne quintuplets, three of whom survive - Annette, Cecile and Yvonne born
1937
President Roosevelt pushed a button in Washington signaling that vehicular traffic could cross the just-opened Golden Gate Bridge in California.
1937
Neville Chamberlain became prime minister of Britain.
1938
Basketball executive Jerry West born
1940
During World War Two, the Belgian army surrendered to invading German forces.
1944
Singer Gladys Knight born
1944
Singer Billy Vera born
1945
Singer John Fogerty born
1945
Country singer Gary Stewart born
1947
Actress-director Sondra Locke born
1947
Actress Beth Howland born
1957
The National League gave its approval for the Brooklyn Dodgers and New York Giants baseball teams to move to Los Angeles and San Francisco.
1962
Singer Roland Gift born
1962
Actor Brandon Cruz (TV series "The Courtship of Eddie's Father") born
1968
Rapper Chubb Rock born
1968
Singer Kylie Minogue born
1970
Actor Glenn Quinn ("Angel") born
1972
The Duke of Windsor, who had abdicated the English throne to marry Wallis Warfield Simpson, died in Paris at age 77.
1977
165 people were killed when fire raced through the Beverly Hills Supper Club in Southgate, Kentucky.
1984
President Reagan led a state funeral at Arlington National Cemetery for an unidentified American soldier killed in the Vietnam War.
1985
David Jacobsen, director of the American University Hospital in Beirut, Lebanon, was abducted by pro-Iranian kidnappers (he was freed 17 months later).
1986
Actor Joseph Cross ("Jack Frost") born
1987
Mathias Rust, a 19-year-old West German pilot, stunned the world as he landed a private plane in Moscow's Red Square after evading Soviet air defenses.
1988
Syrian troops moved into southern Beirut to end 22 days of fighting between rival Shiite Moslem militias.
1989
Emerson Fittipaldi of Brazil won the Indianapolis 500 auto race.
1990
Iraqi President Saddam Hussein opened a two-day Arab League summit in Baghdad with a keynote address in which he said if Israel were to deploy nuclear or chemical weapons against Arabs, Iraq would respond with "weapons of mass destruction."
1991
NATO agreed to reorganize its forces in Europe, with a 50-percent cut in U.S. troops in Europe.
1991
Ethiopian rebels seized control of the capital of Addis Ababa, a week after the country's longtime Marxist ruler, Mengistu Haile Mariam, resigned his post and fled.
1992
The United States offered nine million dollars in aid to victims of the fighting in former Yugoslavia.
1992
The House of Representatives voted to lift the government's ban on using aborted fetuses for tissue transplantation research, but the tally fell short of a veto-proof majority.
1994
Palestine Liberation Organization officials announced that Yasser Arafat had named himself interior minister of the autonomous zones as part of an interim government; 14 other prominent Palestinians, mostly Arafat allies, were appointed to other positions.
1995
An earthquake with a magnitude of 7.5 devastated the Russian town of Neftegorsk, killing at least 2,000 people.
1995
Bosnia's foreign minister and three colleagues were killed when rebel Serbs shot down their helicopter.
1996
President Clinton's former business partners in the Whitewater land deal, James and Susan McDougal, and Arkansas Governor Jim Guy Tucker, were convicted of fraud.
1997
In Denver, Timothy McVeigh's attorneys rested their case in the Oklahoma City bombing trial.
1997
President Clinton paid tribute to the 50th anniversary of the Marshall Plan with a speech in the Netherlands in which he urged today's leaders to revive economies in the former Soviet bloc.
1998
Pakistan matched India with five nuclear test blasts of its own, raising fears of a nuclear arms race.
1998
Comic actor Phil Hartman of "Saturday Night Live" and "NewsRadio" fame was shot to death at his home in Encino, California, by his wife, Brynn, who then killed herself.
1998
California astronomer Susan Terebey announced she had photographed what may be a planet some 450 light years from Earth.
1999
Russia's Balkan envoy, Viktor Chernomyrdin, met with Slobodan Milosevic for nine hours, declaring the Yugoslav president key to a Kosovo peace plan despite complications caused by his indictment for war crimes.
2000
Juan Montoya won the 84th Indianapolis 500, becoming the first rookie champion since Graham Hill in 1966.
2000
President Alberto Fujimori of Peru won a lopsided re-election victory in a runoff vote that had been boycotted by his opponent.
2005
Mothers, teachers concerned about leukemia deaths at California elementary school
2005
Low fares airline, Ryanair celebrates twenty years in business
2005
Actor Eddie Albert Dies at Age 99
2006
Queensland Liberal and National parties move towards becoming a single party
2006
Activists in Tunisia thrashed by police
2006
Two boys dead after their father throws them off hotel balcony
2006
Oilers make it to Cup final
2006
More earthquakes shake the South Pacific
2006
Israeli Air Force attacks militant bases in Lebanon
2006
Interview with LibriVox founder Hugh McGuire
2006
Student faces expulsion over blog post
2006
Keep your eyes peeled for cosmic debris: Andrew Westphal about Stardust@home
2006
Authorities detonate bomb left on doorstep in Florida
2007
Japanese cabinet member commits suicide
2007
Derby promoted after 1-0 win over WBA in Championship playoff final
2007
Four killed, dozens injured in southern Thailand bombings
2007
Two teenagers charged over shooting of student at C.W. Jefferys Collegiate Institute, Toronto
2007
Islamic cleric tries to bypass gender segregation
2007
US Airspace violation raises Turkey regional tensions
2007
Fire at American Broadcasting Company's New York studios
2008
New Nazi victims' monument opens in Berlin
2008
International ban on cluster bombs "very close" says British Prime Minister
2008
New Jersey court rules Spanish citizens can sue over ship asbestos
2008
IE8 Beta 2 will be released soon
2008
Bob Barr wins the Libertarian Party presidential nomination
2008
Florida teacher lets students vote to remove child from class
2008
Toilet on International Space Station breaks
2008
FLDS couple reunited with child, Texas fear families will flee justice
2008
UK submarine hits rocks in Red Sea
2008
Lewis Hamilton wins Monaco Grand Prix
2009
Bankruptcy for U.S. automaker GM becomes almost certain after bondholder offers fail
2009
Over a dozen killed in suicide bombing in Iran
2009
Australia names squad for remaining 2010 football World Cup qualifiers
2009
Soyuz TMA-15 launches crew to International Space Station
2009
Ontario investigators search for the body of Victoria Stafford
2009
Israel's Knesset considers 'loyalty' law
2010
NCAA Basketball: University of Connecticut cited for eight major rules violations
2010
US actor Gary Coleman dies aged 42
2010
US Representative Joe Sestak allegedly offered job by Obama to stay out of Senate election
2010
Suspected serial killer appears in British court
2010
At least 65 dead after train derailment in West Bengal, India
2010
California Senate prohibits sports drinks in public schools
2010
UK Conservative party wins last seat in general election
2010
Foxconn under pressure after tenth employee suicide this year
2010
Experimental aircraft breaks record for hypersonic flight
2011
US military to withdraw military trainers from Pakistan
2011
Paraguayan ambassador to Chile visits Pichilemu hacienda after 'slavery' controversy
2011
Ratko Mladić arrested for war crimes
2011
Water main bursts in west Edinburgh; traffic, utilities disrupted

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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