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Today in History

1819
Founder of the Mayo Clinic, William Worrall Mayo born in Lancashire, England
1911
RMS Titanic launched
1929
Model and actress Elaine Stewart born in Montclair, New Jersey
1930
Academy Award winning film director and actor, Clint Eastwood born in San Francisco, California
1943
NFL Hall of Fame quarterback Joe Namath born in Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania
1943
Emmy Award winning actress Sharon Gless born in Los Angeles, California
1953
Actor Colm Meaney born in Dublin, Ireland
1961
Ballerina and actress, Lea Thompson born in Rochester, Minnesota
1965
Model and actress, Brooke Shields born in New York City
1977
Trans-Alaska Pipeline system completed
1990
Pilot episode of Seinfeld premieres
2005
Washington Post confirms that W. Mark Felt was Watergate's 'Deep Throat' informant
455
Petronius Maximus, Western Roman emperor, torn to pieces by Roman mob
1433
Coronation of Sigsimund as Holy Roman Emperor
1469
Manuel I, King of Portugal born
1529
Meeting of Papal Legates to discuss King Henry VIII's marriage to Catherine of Aragon
1578
The Catacombs of Rome are discovered by accident
1584
Boris Godunov crowned Czar of Muscovy
1594
Death of Jacopo Robusti, known as "Tintoretto," painter
1638
Establishment of Hartford, Connecticut
1678
Lady Godiva takes a ride through Coventry
1809
Composer Franz Joseph Haydn died in Vienna, Austria.
1817
Rossini's "Thieving Magpie" was premiered in Milan. "The Thieving Magpie" is a comic opera in three acts.
1819
Surgeon William Mayo, founder of the Mayo Clinic born
1819
Poet Walt Whitman was born in West Hill, New York. born
1868
1st recorded bicycle race, 2 kilometers in Paris.
1879
1st electric railway opens at Berlin Trades Exposition.
1889
More than two-thousand people perished when a dam break sent water rushing through Johnstown, Pennsylvania.
1902
Britain and South Africa signed a peace treaty ending the Boer War.
1905
Richard Strauss' father Franz died. Franz Strauss had been the principal horn player in Munich and was well-known to people like Wagner and Mahler.
1910
The Union of South Africa was founded.
1912
Sen. Henry Jackson, D-Wash. born
1913
The 17th amendment to the Constitution, providing for the popular election of US senators, was declared in effect.
1916
During World War One, British and German fleets fought the Battle of Jutland off Denmark.
1923
Prince Rainier of Monaco born
1929
Actress Elaine Stewart born
1930
Actor-director Clint Eastwood born
1933
Opera singer Shirley Verrett born
1938
Singer Peter Yarrow born
1939
Former Anglican Church envoy Terry Waite born
1940
Singer-musician Augie Myers born
1941
Singer Johnny Paycheck born
1943
Actress Sharon Gless ("Cagney and Lacey") born
1943
Football Hall-of-Famer Joe Namath born
1950
Actor Gregory Harrison born
1950
Actor Tom Berenger born
1953
Actor Colm Meaney born
1959
Science fiction fans sometimes use the term "space opera" to refer to science fiction dramas that don't contain much science. But on this day in Stockholm, a genuine space opera was premiered - Karl Blomdahl's "Aniara."
1960
Comedian Chris Elliott born
1960
Actor Kyle Secor ("Homicide born
1961
Actress Lea Thompson ("Caroline in the City") born
1961
South Africa became an independent republic.
1962
Israel hanged Adolf Eichmann for his part in the killing of 6 million Jews by Nazi Germany in World War II.
1962
Actress Tonya Pinkins born
1962
Singer Corey Hart born
1964
Rapper DMC born
1964
Rapper Kid Frost born
1965
Actress Brooke Shields ("Suddenly Susan") born
1970
Tens of thousands of people died in an earthquake in Peru.
1973
The Senate voted to cut off all funds for U.S. bombing of Cambodia.
1976
Martha Mitchell, the estranged wife of former Attorney General John N. Mitchell, died in New York.
1977
Rock musician Scott Klopfenstein (Reel Big Fish) born
1977
The trans-Alaska oil pipeline, three years in the making, was completed.
1986
Addressing AIDS research supporters in Washington, President Reagan called "for urgency, not panic," but drew scattered boos when he announced he would seek expanded testing for the disease.
1987
Actor Curtis Williams Junior ("Corrina, Corrina") born
1988
On the third day of the Moscow superpower summit, Soviet leader Mikhail S. Gorbachev said maybe it was "time to bang our fists on the table" to complete work on a strategic arms treaty while President Reagan said, "I'll do anything that works."
1989
House Speaker Jim Wright, dogged by questions about his ethics, announced he would resign. (Thomas Foley later succeeded him.)
1990
President Bush and his wife, Barbara, welcomed Soviet President Mikhail S. Gorbachev in a ceremony at the White House. The two leaders and their aides discussed German reunification.
1991
Leaders of Angola's two warring factions signed a peace treaty, ending a 16-year-old civil war. Federal health officials announced a new Medicare fee schedule.
1992
"Crazy for You" was named Broadway's best musical at the Tony Awards; "Dancing at Lughnasa" was named best play.
1992
An estimated 50-thousand people demonstrated in Belgrade, Yugoslavia, against Communist-organized elections.
1993
President Clinton paid a Memorial Day visit to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, where some in the crowd jeered him for his efforts to avoid military service; Clinton exhorted his critics to remember that "disagreement is freedom's privilege."
1994
US Representative Dan Rostenkowski (Democrat, Illinois), maintaining his innocence, was indicted on 17 felony counts alleging he'd plundered nearly $700,000 from the government. (Rostenkowski later pleaded guilty to two counts of misusing federal funds, and spent 451 days in federal custody.)
1994
The United States announced it was no longer aiming long-range nuclear missiles at targets in the former Soviet Union.
1995
Sen. Bob Dole accused Hollywood of promoting violence, rape and casual sex in music and movies, and said "the mainstreaming of deviancy must come to an end."
1995
President Clinton declared he was ready to permit the temporary use of American ground forces in Bosnia to help U.N. peacekeepers move to safer positions.
1996
Benjamin Netanyahu claimed victory in Israel's election for prime minister, defeating incumbent Shimon Peres by nine-tenths of one percent.
1997
Pope John Paul the Second began an eleven-day tour of his native Poland, his seventh visit since assuming the papacy.
1998
Storms tore from Pennsylvania through New England, killing several people and knocking out power for nearly one million customers.
1998
Singer Geri Halliwell, also known as "Ginger Spice" of the Spine Girls, confirmed she was leaving the group.
1999
During a Memorial Day visit to Arlington National Cemetery, President Clinton asked Americans to reconsider their ambivalence about Kosovo, saying it is "a very small province in a small country. But it is a big test of what we believe in."
1999
In Turkey, the treason trial of Kurdish rebel leader Abdullah Ocalan opened. (He was convicted and sentenced to death.)
2000
Bandleader Tito Puente died in New York at age 77.
2001
President Clinton, visiting Portugal, tried to calm fears of a nuclear arms race that would leave Europe vulnerable by promising to share any new missile defense technology with U-S allies.
2005
Ryanair profits jump 19% to €268.9m
2005
France gets a new prime minister
2005
Retired U.S. vets sue Donald Rumsfeld for excessive service cutbacks
2005
Chicken that crossed road let off fine by California court
2005
Live 8 concert plans announced
2005
Scottish Radio Holdings set to buy Highland Radio for €7m
2005
Natalie Glebova is elected Miss Universe
2005
Former FBI Second-In-Command says he was "Deep Throat"
2006
Man shot in Rotorua, New Zealand
2006
French 'iPod bill' seeks digital music player interoperability
2006
Third GayFest begins in Bucharest
2006
Yangtze river in China polluted
2006
Tourist bus attacked by militants in Kashmir
2006
The Pirate Bay and Piratbyrån raided
2006
Rutte elected leader of the VVD
2006
Thousands protest tuition in Gießen, Germany
2006
OIE: China, Indonesia and Africa "under-reporting" human and animal Bird Flu cases
2006
Scientists discover prehistoric cave with unknown lifeforms
2006
Taiwan MP shoves proposal in mouth
2006
Racist scuffle on Anti-OBE Teachers' forum
2006
States Challenge IR laws in High Court
2006
Iraq to investigate alleged massacre in Haditha
2007
9,000 gallons of liquid butane spilled as tanker truck overturns
2007
Alexander Litvinenko was British spy, claims alleged killer
2007
Man eats dog to protest animal cruelty
2007
Malaysian court rules Christian woman can't remove Islam from ID
2007
US tuberculosis patient moved to Denver hospital
2007
Tensions between the U.S. and Russia flare before the G8 Summit
2007
Tanker crash kills driver, spills diesel fuel in Vermont, US
2007
Riyo Mori is crowned Miss Universe as Japanese after 48 years' absence
2007
Treatment of Indonesian governor in Sydney causes diplomatic stir
2008
FIFA and European Union are set to collide
2008
Space Shuttle Discovery launches on mission STS-124
2008
Woman arrested after caught living in man's closet
2008
TACA Airlines Flight 390 crashes in Honduras
2008
Helicopter crash in Panama kills Chilean police chief and ten others
2008
American comedian Harvey Korman dead at age 81
2008
UN emphasizes importance of women's health in Africa
2008
UK group Liberty, Edinburgh city council on Scientology 'cult' signs
2008
First storm of Atlantic hurricane season forms off coast of Belize
2009
Controversial U.S. abortion doctor shot dead in Kansas church
2009
Iran hangs three suspects for mosque bombing, blames U.S. and Israel
2009
Bomb discovered in toilet on Iranian plane; defused safely
2009
South Ossetia holds parliamentary elections
2009
Norwegian government considers prosecuting Scientology
2009
Thief steals over €6 million worth of jewels from Paris store
2009
Football: Werder Bremen win DFB-Pokal
2010
Australian rules football: Maffra go a game clear ahead of Traralgon clash
2010
6.4 magnitude earthquake rocks Andaman Islands
2010
Seven policemen killed in Afghanistan after bomb explosion
2010
Nineteen activists killed by Israeli commandos aboard aid convoy bound for Gaza
2010
Scotland's Dario Franchitti wins Indianapolis 500
2010
Dozens dead after bus accident in Cameroon
2012
President Obama easily wins Texas primary; Romney secures Republican nomination
2012
Indonesians retrieve missing recorder from crashed Russian jet
2013
Highly preserved mammoth presents scientists with blood sample

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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