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Today in History

1898
One of the founders of the State of Israel and its fourth Prime Minister, Golda Meir born in Kiev
1903
Grammy Award winning actor and singer, Bing Crosby born in Tacoma, Washington
1919
Author, songwriter, political activist and folk singer, Pete Seeger born in New York City
1921
Boxing great Sugar Ray Robinson born in Ailey, Georgia
1933
Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Grammy Award winning songwriter, dancer and singer, James Brown born in Barnwell, South Carolina
1934
Top 40 hit singer, Frankie Valli born Francis Stephen Castelluccio in Newark, New Jersey
1944
US ends wartime rationing of meat
1947
Illusionist, escape artist and magician, Doug Henning born in Winnipeg, Manitoba
1950
Pop singer Mary Hopkin born in Pontardawe, Wales
1971
In a bid to disrupt the business of the Federal government, thousands of anti-war protesters converge on Washington, DC
1999
F5 tornado kills 42 in Oklahoma City
328
Death of St. Helena for the Cross of Christ at Jerusalem
425
Pope Gelasius asserts his spiritual power is superior to the temporal power of the Emperor
1074
Death of St. Theodosius of the Caves
1270
Death of Bela IV, King of Hungary
1324
John of Nottingham and Robert Marshall test their witchcraft murder plot on an image of Richard de Sowe
1469
Italian political philosopher Niccolo Machiavelli born
1469
Election of Mathias I, King of Hungary, as King of Bohemia
1481
Death of Sultan Muhammad II
1512
5th Lateran Council (18th ecumenical council) opens in Rome
1567
Lady Jean Gordon divorces her husband, Bothwell, for adultery
1568
The French burn the Spanish fort of San Mateo, Florida
1580
Thomas Turner, English poet, dies
1616
2nd Civil War in France is ended by Treaty of Loudun
1649
1st American law to regulate the practice of medicine passed in New York.
1654
A bridge in Rowley, Massachusetts, was permitted to charge a toll for animals, while people crossed for free.
1791
A liberal bill of rights reforming gentry-ruled Poland and setting up a constitutional monarchy, was signed by King Stanislaw Augustus. It was only the second written constitution in the world after the United States.
1802
Washington DC was incorporated as a city, with the mayor appointed by the president, and the council elected by property owners.
1804
The publication, "Elegant World," which came out in this month wrote: "A crass monster," the magazine said about a certain symphony. "A hideously writhing wounded dragon that refuses to expire." The work was Beethoven's Second Symphony
1830
1st regular steam train passenger service starts.
1874
Perfume maker Francois Coty born
1895
The territories owned by the British South Africa Company south of Zambesi were given the name of Rhodesia.
1898
Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir born
1904
Singer(crooner)-actor Bing Crosby (Harry Lillis) in Tacoma, Washington born
1906
Actress Mary Astor born
1913
Fashion critic Mr. Blackwell born
1916
Irish nationalist Padraic Pearse and two others were executed by the British for their roles in the Easter Rising.
1919
Broadway librettist Betty Comden born
1919
Folk singer Pete Seeger born
1919
America's 1st passenger flight (New York-Atlantic City)
1921
West Virginia imposed the first state sales tax.
1921
Former boxing champion Sugar Ray Robinson. Robinson was middleweight champion 5 times and also welterweight champ. He retired in 1965 with a record 175-19-6 including 110 knockouts. born
1924
A powerful tone poem premiered, Arthur Honegger's musical portrait of a steam locomotive, "Pacific 231." Honegger describes the locomotive, a large American engine used for long hauls, gathering steam, then gathering speed.
1926
Composer-musician Jimmy Cleveland born
1928
Country singer Dave Dudley born
1933
Singer James Brown born
1933
Nellie T. Ross became the first female director of the US Mint.
1936
Singer Englebert Humperdinck (Arnold Dorsey) born
1936
Joe DiMaggio played his first major league game. He got 3 hits in the Yankees' 14-5 win over St. Louis. The "Yankee Clipper" was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1955.
1937
Singer Frankie Valli born
1937
Margaret Mitchell won a Pulitzer Prize for her novel, "Gone With the Wind."
1938
Jazz musician Rudy Jacobs (Rudolf) born
1941
Jockey Eddie Arcaro rode "Whirl-A-Way to the winner's circle in the Kentucky Derby. He was on the way to racing's Triple Crown (the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness and the Belmont Stakes).
1943
Pulitzer Prizes were awarded to Thornton Wilder for his play "The Skin of Our Teeth" and Upton Sinclair for "Dragon's Teeth.""
1944
Rock musician Pete Staples (The Troggs) born
1944
US wartime rationing of most grades of meats ended.
1945
During World War II, Japanese forces on Okinawa launched their only major counter-offensive, but failed to break the American lines.
1945
Indian forces captured Rangoon, Burma, from the Japanese.
1946
Sports announcer Greg Gumbel born
1947
Magician Doug Henning born
1948
The US Supreme Court ruled that covenants prohibiting the sale of real estate to blacks and other minorities were legally unenforceable.
1950
Singer Mary Hopkin born
1951
Singer Christopher Cross born
1953
Rock musician Bruce Hall (REO Speedwagon) born
1957
Country musician Cactus Moser (Highway 101) born
1959
Rock musician David Ball (Soft Cell) born
1960
The play "The Fantasticks" opened at the Sullivan Playhouse in New York. It would become the longest-running off-Broadway play.
1971
National Public Radio broadcast for the first time. National Public Radio was formed to educate, entertain and inform in ways that were not available elsewhere.
1971
Anti-war protesters, calling themselves the "Mayday Tribe," began four days of demonstrations in Washington DC aimed at shutting down the nation's capital.
1976
Paul McCartney made his first American stage appearance in ten years, with his "Wings Over America" tour. It opened in Ft. Worth, Texas.
1978
"Sun Day" fell on a Wednesday as thousands of people extolling the virtues of solar energy held events across the country.
1979
Margaret Thatcher and the Conservative Party won the British general election, making her the first woman prime minister of a major European nation.
1983
After two years of debate, U.S. Roman Catholic bishops overwhelmingly approved a pastoral letter that condemned the first use of nuclear weapons and virtually ruled out their use for retaliation.
1984
Pope John Paul II arrived in Seoul, South Korea, to begin a tour of Asia and the Pacific.
1985
In Bonn, West Germany, leaders of the world's seven biggest industrial democracies praised the Reagan administration's approach in nuclear arms control talks with the Soviet Union.
1986
Horse racing legend Bill Shoemaker became the oldest jockey to win the Kentucky Derby. "The Shoe" was atop Ferdinand for the win. It had been 32 years since Shoemaker's first Kentucky Derby victory in 1955.
1986
In NASA's first post-"Challenger" launch, an unmanned Delta rocket lost power in its main engine shortly after liftoff, forcing safety officers to destroy it by remote control.
1987
"The Miami Herald," in its Sunday edition, said its reporters had observed a young woman spending "Friday night and most of Saturday" at a Washington DC townhouse belonging to Democratic presidential candidate Gary Hart.
1988
The White House acknowledged that first lady Nancy Reagan had used astrological advice to help schedule her husband's activities, after a report about unflattering revelations in an about-to-be published memoir by former chief of staff Donald Regan.
1989
Chinese leaders rejected students' demands for democratic reforms as some 100,000 students and workers marched in Beijing.
1989
PLO leader Yasser Arafat, ending a two-day visit to France, said the PLO charter calling for the destruction of Israel had been "superseded" by a declaration urging peaceful coexistence of the Jewish state and a Palestinian state.
1990
The federal government formally approved the use of the drug AZT to treat children infected with the AIDS virus.
1990
Actress Jill Berard ("Hiller and Diller") born
1991
Exxon Corporation and the state of Alaska withdrew from a $1 billion settlement of the Exxon Valdez oil spill (another settlement was reached later).
1991
Author Jerzy Kosinski was found dead in his New York City apartment, he was 57.
1991
The government reported the nation's civilian unemployment rate fell in April to six-point-six percent.
1992
In Los Angeles, soldiers continued to patrol streets and guard fire-gutted and ransacked stores in the wake of rioting that erupted following the Rodney King-taped beating acquittals.
1992
Hollywood song-and-dance man-turned-politician George Murphy died at age 89.
1993
American sailor Terry M. Helvey confessed to stomping to death Allen Schindler, a homosexual shipmate, but told his court-martial in Yokosuka, Japan, that he was drunk and did not plan the killing (Helvey was sentenced to life in prison).
1994
President Clinton presided over a televised forum from Atlanta, during which he denied suggestions he'd vacillated on foreign policy, but said global problems were more difficult than he'd imagined.
1995
The government reported that its Index of Leading Economic Indicators dropped half a percentage point in March 1995, the biggest tumble in two years.
1996
An international conference in Geneva ended 30 months of arduous negotiations over whether to ban land mines with a weak compromise treaty giving countries 9 years to switch to detectable, self-destructive devices.
1997
A group of Texas separatists ended a weeklong standoff with authorities; however, two armed followers fled into the woods (one was killed, the other eventually captured).
1997
World chess champion Garry Kasparov won the first game of his much-anticipated rematch with IBM's Deep Blue computer (however, Kasparov ended up losing the six-game match).
1997
"Silver Charm" won the 123rd Kentucky Derby.
1998
Space shuttle Columbia and its crew returned to Earth, ending two weeks of lab work that advanced brain research.
1998
After a daylong squabble that had stretched past midnight, European leaders meeting in Brussels, Belgium, agreed on Wim Duisenberg of the Netherlands as the chief of the new European Central Bank, but with the proviso that he step down in 2002 to make way for Frenchman Jean-Claude Trichet.
1998
"The Sevres Road," by 18-century landscape painter Jean-Baptiste Camille Corot, was stolen from the Louvre.
1999
The Dow Jones industrial average closed above 11,000, just 24 trading days after passing 10,000.
1999
Tornadoes in Oklahoma and Kansas killed at least three dozen people.
1999
Japanese Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi met with President Clinton at the White House during the first official U.S. visit by a Japanese premier in 12 years.
2000
The trial of two alleged Libyan intelligence agents accused of blowing Pan Am Flight 103 out of the sky over Lockerbie, Scotland, in 1988 opened in the Netherlands. (Last January, one of the defendants, Abdel Basset Ali al-Megrahi, was convicted of murder; the other defendant, Lamen Khalifa Fhimah, was acquitted.)
2000
The archbishop of New York, Cardinal John O'Connor, died at age 80.
2005
'Family Guy' returns to US television, loses in ratings to 'Housewives'
2005
Issues of World Press Freedom Day raised in U.N., Africa
2005
Finger found in frozen custard by North Carolina man
2005
Left-side driving part of a planned Findlay, Ohio interchange reconfiguration
2005
Hungarian chemicals company wants to acquire Oltchim Romania
2005
Franco-Belgian bank Dexia to extend into Southeastern Europe
2005
Nine thousand Romanian miners to be laid off in 2006
2005
Afghan opium harvest begins
2005
Romanian officer injured while serving in Iraq
2005
UK clothing firm to list on Icelandic Stock Exchange
2005
UK Staffordshire South election postponed
2005
UBS sees net income jump 15 percent
2005
Time Warner loses personal data on 600,000 employees
2005
Robot goes to preschool
2005
K'nesset Member Natan Sharansky resigns from coalition government to protest planned Gaza withdrawl
2005
World Press Freedom Day marked in Serbia and Montenegro
2005
Canadian PM reaches an agreement with the New Democrat Party
2005
Apple updates iMac line
2005
Worst floods in 20 years for Georgia
2005
B.C. elections debate fiery but not conclusive
2006
New Zealand Government to unbundle local loop
2006
BJP leader Pramod Mahajan dies in Mumbai
2006
8.0 magnitude earthquake occurs near Tonga
2006
Earl Woods, father of Tiger Woods, dies at age 74
2006
Filmmaker releases trailer for open source feature film
2006
Armenian president offers condolences over Black Sea air crash
2006
Transit chaos in Bogota, Colombia
2006
Communal tension erupts in Vadodara, India
2007
French presidential candidates Royal and Sarkozy debate
2007
Fixed election dates to become law in Canadian federal elections
2007
Gay not an option on MySpace profiles
2007
Britain's Ministry of Defence to release UFO files
2007
Barack Obama receives protection from the Secret Service
2007
Iraq says leader of the insurgent group Mujahideen Shura Council killed
2008
Multifaith council commends Malaysian politician's comments on conversion to Islam
2008
Olympic torch reaches Hong Kong
2008
Fiery Egyptian tourist bus crash kills nine
2008
Big Brown victorious in Kentucky Derby, runner-up Eight Belles breaks down
2008
Executives from IT industry focus on 10-year anniversary of Microsoft Research Asia
2008
Last Stauffenberg plotter dies at age 90
2008
Police: Austrian children kept in dungeon were in 'oppressive' conditions
2008
Hitler doll story found to be hoaxed
2009
Tropical storm hits Philippines, 45,000 people displaced
2009
Swine flu worldwide: update
2009
Iran executes woman despite stay of execution
2010
Protests in Greece over proposed budget cuts
2010
Eurozone approves Greece bailout
2010
5.9 magnitude earthquake in Pichilemu, Chile revives fears of new tragedy
2010
Bangladesh storms kill at least 23
2010
Australian rules football: Traralgon, Maffra two games clear on top of Gippsland Football League ladder
2010
Chilean earthquakes in the O'Higgins Region: photoessay
2010
Nepal Maoists begin strike to overthrow government
2010
Oil company BP to pay for Gulf of Mexico spill
2010
New ash flight bans ordered in Ireland
2011
World leaders react to death of Osama bin Laden
2011
Pakistani Taliban threaten revenge attack after bin Laden death; CIA says retaliation is likely
2011
One confirmed dead after tornado hits Auckland, New Zealand
2012
Obama responds to criticism over medical marijuana raids
2013
President Obama renews his push to close Guantanamo detention facility

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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