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Today in History

1736
American revolutionary and two term governor of Virgina, Patrick Henry born in Hanover County, Virginia
1874
Author G.K. Chesterton born in London, England
1917
Decorated Naval officer, Pulitzer Prize winning author and 35th US President, John F. Kennedy born in Brookline, Massachusetts
1919
Einstein's theory of relativity is tested by observations of a total solar eclipse in Brazil
1935
Hoover Dam is completed
1953
Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay climb to the summit of Mt. Everest
1958
Golden Globe Award winning actress Annette Bening born in Topeka, Kansas
1961
Grammy Award winning songwriter, guitarist and singer, Melissa Etheridge born in Leavenworth, Kansas
1963
Mouseketeer, actress, speaker and author, Lisa Whelchel born in Littlefield, Texas
1963
Emmy Award winning actress Tracey Bregman born in Munich, Germany
1180
Coronation of Isabella of Hainaut as Queen of France
1218
The main body of the 5th Crusade arrives in Egypt
1239
180 Cathars burned at Montwimer, France
1282
Glastonbury, England granted an annual Faire
1289
Coronation of Charles of Salerno as King of Sicily
1308
The Consistory of Poitiers
1328
Coronation of Philip IV as King of France
1418
Burgundian troops enter Paris (100 Yrs. War)
1453
Constantinople falls to the Turks (some believe this signalled the end of the Middle Ages).
1453
Sack of Constantinople by the Turks under Sultan Mahomet II
1521
Charles V and Pope Leo X ally against Francois I
1546
Murder of David Beaton, Archbishop and Cardinal of Scotland
1593
Henry Barrow, a Puritan, executed for slandering Queen Elizabeth
1606
Artist Caravaggio kills his tennis opponent in a dispute over the game
1607
Death of St. Mary Magdalen dei Pazzi
1619
The Synod of Dordrecht affirms the Calvinist belief in pre-destination
1630
King Charles II of England born
1660
The Glorious Revolution
1765
Patrick Henry denounced the Stamp Act before Virginia's House of Burgesses. Responding to a cry of "Treason!," Henry replied, "If this be treason, make the most of it!"
1790
Rhode Island became the 13th original colony to ratify the United States Constitution.
1826
Ebenezer Butterick, inventor of the tissue paper dress pattern born
1848
Wisconsin became the 30th state of the union.
1860
Isaac Albeniz was born in Camprodon, in the Catalonian part of Spain. Albeniz taught himself to play the piano with the wrong side of his hands, backwards, while facing away from the keyboard. People paid to see it.
1874
English novelist G.K. Chesterton born
1903
Entertainer Bob Hope (Leslie Townes) born
1917
John F. Kennedy, 35th president of the United States born
1922
Yannis Xenakis was born in Romania. Xenakis would become a prominant non-tonal composer of the generation after Berg and Webern. born
1932
World War One veterans began arriving in Washington to demand cash bonuses they weren't scheduled to receive for another 13 years.
1938
Former Baseball Commissioner Fay Vincent born
1939
Race car driver Al Unser Senior born
1942
Actor Kevin Conway born
1943
Norman Rockwell's portrait of "Rosie the Riveter" appeared on the cover of "The Saturday Evening Post."
1944
Actor Helmut Berger born
1945
Rock singer Gary Brooker (Procol Harum) born
1947
Actor Anthony Geary born
1950
Singer Rebbie Jackson born
1952
Bobbie Sarnataro (Misch) born
1953
Sir Edmund Hillary of New Zealand and Tenzing Norgay of Nepal became the first men to reach the top of Mount Everest.
1953
Movie composer Danny Elfman born
1956
Singer LaToya Jackson born
1959
Actor Rupert Everett born
1959
Actor Adrian Paul (TV series "Highlander") born
1959
Rock musician Mel Gaynor (Simple Minds) born
1961
Singer Melissa Etheridge born
1963
Actress Lisa Whelchel born
1963
Actress Tracey Bregman born
1967
Singer Jayski McGowan (Quad City DJ's) born
1967
Rock musician Noel Gallagher (Oasis) born
1969
Rock musician Chan Kinchla (Blues Traveler) born
1972
The Boston composer Margaret Ruthven Lang died at the age of 104.
1973
Tom Bradley was elected the first black mayor of Los Angeles, defeating incumbent Sam Yorty.
1975
Singer Melanie Brown (Spice Girls "Scary Spice") born
1975
Rapper Playa Poncho born
1985
British soccer fans attacked Italian fans preceding the European Cup final in Brussels, Belgium. The resulting stadium stampede killed 38 people and injured 400.
1987
A jury in Los Angeles found "Twilight Zone" movie director John Landis and four associates innocent of involuntary manslaughter in the movie-set deaths of actor Vic Morrow and two children.
1988
President Reagan began his first visit to the Soviet Union as he arrived in Moscow for a superpower summit with Soviet leader Mikhail S. Gorbachev.
1989
Bowing to public demand, the Supreme Soviet allowed Boris N. Yeltsin to take a seat in the standing legislature.
1989
Chinese students in Tiananmen Square erected a 33-foot statue similar to the Statue of Liberty.
1990
Soviet President Mikhail S. Gorbachev visited Canada en route to his Washington summit with President Bush.
1990
Boris N. Yeltsin was elected president of the Russian republic in the third round of balloting by the Russian parliament.
1990
Peru was struck by an earthquake that claimed 56 lives.
1991
President Bush, addressing the US Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado, unveiled a plan to curb "unnecessary and destabilizing weapons" in the Middle East.
1992
Undeclared presidential candidate Ross Perot held a rally in Orlando, Florida, that was carried by two-way television satellite to five other states.
1993
President Clinton tapped Republican David Gergen to assume responsibility for White House communications and press operations.
1993
In Solingen, Germany, five Turks, including three young girls, were killed in a firebombing blamed on right-wing extremists.
1994
Khallid Abdul Muhammad, a former spokesman for the Nation of Islam, was shot and wounded after delivering a speech at the University of California, Riverside; a defrocked Nation of Islam minister, James Edward Bess, was charged.
1994
Former East German leader Erich Honecker died in Chile at age 81.
1995
The last three bodies entombed in the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City were recovered.
1995
Margaret Chase Smith, the first woman to serve in both the House and the Senate, died in Skowhegan, Maine, at age 97.
1996
Israelis went to the polls for an election that resulted in a narrow victory for opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu over Prime Minister Shimon Peres.
1997
In closing arguments, Timothy McVeigh's attorney urged jurors not to be swayed by sympathy for the Oklahoma City bombing victims, after a prosecutor delivered a wrenching summation that portrayed McVeigh as a terrorist who killed children in the warped belief he was a patriot.
1998
Republican elder statesman Barry Goldwater died in Paradise Valley, Arizona, at age 89.
1999
The space shuttle "Discovery" completed the first-ever docking with the international space station.
1999
Olusegun Obasanjo became Nigeria's first civilian president in 15 years, after a series of military regimes.
2000
President Clinton left Washington for a weeklong European tour.
2000
The space shuttle "Atlantis" returned from a repair mission to the international space station.
2000
Indonesia's state prosecutors placed former President Suharto under house arrest. (However, Suharto's trial on corruption charges was abandoned because of health concerns.)
2005
German Parliament votes yes on EU constitution; French referendum may vote no
2005
Shared history textbook written by scholars from Japan, China, South Korea
2005
Citizen groups ask Congress to file formal "Resolution of Inquiry" against Bush
2005
Corruption endangers Brazilian government
2005
American Samoa asks again to be removed from U.N. colonies list
2005
Lapp Plats becomes first firm to float on IEX
2005
Los Angeles firefighters battle Mt. Washington blaze
2005
Defense rests in Michael Jackson case
2005
Exit poll: 55% of French voters say no to EU constitution
2005
France votes no in EU referendum
2005
Mobile ringtone tops the UK singles chart
2006
Tauranga man charged with the robbery of a bank
2006
Libertarians flock to New Hampshire for annual festival
2006
Opposition should push for Australian federal electoral reform: Whitlam
2006
Australian woman dies in backburning operation near Bathurst
2006
Boeing delivers final 717 to AirTran, ending Douglas era
2006
NSW school maintenance a "disgrace": Opposition
2006
Indian Supreme Court issues notice to government over quota issue
2006
Iraq roadside bomb kills four, including two journalists
2006
Malaysia bans film "The Last Communist"
2006
Violence in East Timor causes United Nations evacuation
2006
Fan resurrects sitcom
2007
Bathurst, NSW: Police find bones, "may belong to missing woman"
2007
Lesbians, heterosexuals banned from gay bar in Australia
2007
Adam Air strikes deal with salvage firm to retrieve black boxes of crashed airliner
2007
United States and Iran hold talks on Iraq security
2007
Students protest closing of Venezuelan Channel RCTV
2007
Driver hits median strip, rolls vehicle in NSW, Australia
2007
U.S. anti-war mom calls it quits
2007
Eagle Owl attacks force closure of footpath near nest site
2007
14 people injured after bus overturns in heavy rain near Quebec City
2007
Bomb tossed at southern Thailand hotel; victim of Sunday blast dies
2007
Bangkok on high alert ahead of politically charged court ruling
2007
Britons seized from finance ministry in Iraq
2007
13-year-old shot dead by Brazilian police in mock-up of hijacking situation
2007
13 people killed in Peru plane crash; passengers expressed fears prior to flying
2007
Bush defends immigration reform bill
2007
JetBlue Airbus A320 makes emergency landing after lightning strike
2007
Aston Villa defeat Central Coast Mariners to win Hong Kong Soccer 7's tournament
2008
Strong earthquake strikes southwestern Iceland
2008
Canadian Championship: Toronto FC vs. Montreal Impact
2008
Monarchy abolished in Nepal
2008
Liverpool One retail development opens
2008
Court photos show FLDS leader Warren Jeffs with child brides
2008
Two MBTA Green Line trains collide in Newton, Massachusetts
2008
First live advert in UK shown on British TV
2008
'Big Brother Australia' evictee recounts youth in controversial religious group
2008
Moldovan mobile phone growth results in more than 2 million users
2008
Sarkozy ends French job ban for Eastern Europeans
2008
UK study highlights child abuse by humanitarian workers
2009
Barcelona defeat Manchester United in Champions League Final
2009
Interview with Anna Mikkola, Finnish Left Alliance candidate for European Parliament
2009
Church of Scientology indefinitely banned from editing Wikipedia
2009
American console sales continue to decline throughout April
2009
Ohio man arrested for cutting grass in public park
2010
Malawi President pardons jailed gay couple
2010
US Supreme Court rejects Blagojevich motion to delay Illinois corruption trial
2010
US actor Dennis Hopper dies at age 74
2010
Pacaya volcano erupts; "state of public calamity" declared
2010
Guatemalan news reporter killed by Pacaya volcano
2011
Fiat plans to buy majority stake in Chrysler
2012
Short-haired bumblebees reintroduced to UK
2012
Australian adaptive rowers prepare as Paralympics looms

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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