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Today in History

Children's Day in South Korea
1862
Cinco de Mayo (Battle of Puebla, Mexico)
1864
Charity worker, author, and investigative journalist, Nellie Bly born Elizabeth Jane Chochran in New York City
1914
US Marine pilot and swashbuckling actor Tyrone Power born in Cincinnati, Ohio
1942
Country Hall of Fame Grammy Award winning singer, Tammy Wynette born Virginia Wynette Pugh in Tremont, Mississippi
1943
Author, travel documentary maker, actor and comedian, Michael Palin born in Yorkshire, England
1945
Netherlands, Denmark and Mauthausen concentration camp liberated from the Nazis
1960
Academy Award nominated actress Cathy Moriarty born in Bronx, New York
1961
Alan Shepard aboard the Mercury capsule becomes first American to travel in space
1973
Actress Tina Yothers born in Whittier, California
1981
Actress Danielle Fishel born in Mesa, Arizona
449
Death of St. Hilary of Arles
614
Persians capture Jerusalem and seize the True Cross
884
Death of Pope Marinus I
1045
Election of Pope Gregory VI
1180
Beginning of Gempei War (Japan)
1260
Kublai unanimously elected KaKhan in succession to Mngke
1260
Death of St. Jutta
1292
Adolph of Nassau becomes King of Germany
1352
Rupert, King of Germany born
1527
Rome besieged by Imperial Landsknechts
1572
Death of St. Pius V, Pope
1606
Death of Jean Nicot, who introduced tobacco to France
1617
Nicholas Hilliard named English royal artist
1646
Following his defeat at the battle of Naseby in the English Civil War, Charles I surrendered to a Scottish army at Newark.
1705
Leopold I, Holy Roman Emperor, died. Emperor since 1658, he sought to regain political institutions and organize the army.
1723
Johann Sebastian Bach signed his contract with the city council of Leipzig. This was the best job Bach ever had, cantor of the School of St. Thomas. But Bach was only the city council's third choice.
1760
Earl Ferrers, the last British peer to be executed, was hanged in London for murdering his steward.
1800
French publisher and bookseller Louis Christophe Francois Hachette born
1809
The first patent awarded to a woman went to Mary Kies of South Killingly, Connecticut, for the rights to a technique for weaving straw with silk and thread.
1813
Danish theologian and philosopher Soren Kierkegaard born
1815
French playwright and writer of farces Eugene Martin Labiche. He wrote some of the most popular comedies of the 19th century French stage. born
1818
Political philosopher, founder and father of modern communism, Karl Marx in Prussia. He authored "Das Kapital." born
1821
Napoleon Bonaparte died in exile on the island of St. Helena.
1830
Hat maker John Stetson born
1846
Henryk Sienkiwicz, author of ``Quo Vadis?'' and winner of the Nobel Literature prize in 1905, in Poland. born
1847
Dr Nathan Smith Davis and 250 other physicians meet in the hall of The Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to begin discussions which lead to the formation of the American Medical Association
1860
Giuseppe Garibaldi and his "Thousand Redshirts" sailed from Genoa to conquer Sicily and Naples.
1862
In the American Civil War the Confederates, with 32,000 men under Longstreet, succeeded in blocking 40,000 Federal troops under Sumner at the battle of Williamsburg.
1862
Mexican forces loyal to Benito Juarez defeated French troops sent by Napoleon III in the Battle of Puebla.
1864
The battle of the Wilderness started in the American Civil War. General Lee had just over 60,000 men against Grant's 100,000 men but the Confederates heavily defeated the Federal troops who lost over 17,000 men.
1867
Journalist and women's rights advocate Nellie Bly (Elizabeth Cochran Seaman) was born in Armstrong County, PA. She wrote about controversial topics such as: divorce, mental illness and poverty. Attempting to beat the fictional Phileas Fogg, she traveled around the world in 72 days. Her name became a synonym for female star reporter.
1869
The composer Hans Pfitzner was born. born
1891
Carnegie Hall (then named "Music Hall") had its opening night in New York City.
1892
Congress passed the Geary Chinese Exclusion Act, which required Chinese in the United States to be registered, or face deportation.
1893
The "Panic of 1893" hit the New York Stock Exchange. Various factors were blamed for the panic, including the bankruptcy of a major railroad and shrinking national gold reserves.
1899
Radio actor Freeman Gosden, Amos of "Amos and Andy" born
1900
"The Billboard," a magazine for the music and entertainment industries, began weekly publication after six years as a monthly. The name was later shortened to "Billboard.""
1904
Cy Young pitched the American League's first perfect game as the Boston Red Sox defeated the Philadelphia Athletics, 3-0. He became the first pitcher to throw a no-hitter in each league.
1912
The first issue of the Soviet Communist Party newspaper "Pravda" was published.
1913
Tyrone Power, U.S. star of film and stage. He was best known for his roles in the films ``Mark of Zorro'' and ``Witness for the Prosecution.'' born
1915
Actress Alice Faye (Leppert) born
1916
Giani Zail Singh, seventh president of India from 1982-87. born
1922
Actor Darren McGavin born
1925
Biology teacher John Scopes was arrested for teaching Darwin's theory of evolution in violation of Tennessee state laws.
1926
Author Sinclair Lewis turned down the Pulitzer Prize for his novel "Arrowsmith," telling the committee in a letter that "All prizes, like all titles, are dangerous."
1926
Actress Ann B. Davis born
1927
Actress Pat Carroll born
1930
Amy Johnson began the first solo flight by a woman between England and Australia.
1930
Mahatma Gandhi was arrested by the British in India after his campaign of disobedience.
1934
AFL-CIO president John J. Sweeney born
1934
Saxophonist Ace Cannon born
1936
Edward Ravenscroft of Glencoe, Illinois, received a patent for the screw-on bottle cap with the pour lip.
1936
Italian troops under Field Marshal Badoglio took Addis Ababa in Ethiopia (Abyssinia). On the same date in 1941, Emperor Haile Selassie reentered the capital after the country had been liberated.
1938
Country singer-musician Johnnie Taylor born
1938
Country singer-musician Roni Stoneman born
1938
Actor Michael Murphy born
1940
Actor Lance Henriksen ("Millennium") born
1942
Singer Tammy Wynette born
1942
Sales of sugar resumed in the United States under a rationing program.
1942
A combined British military and naval force landed on Madagascar and by the afternoon the town of Diego Suarez was captured.
1943
Comedian-actor Michael Palin born
1944
Actor John Rhys-Davies born
1944
Actor Roger Rees born
1944
Actor Jean-Pierre Leaud born
1945
In Austria, French politicians Reynaud and Daladier and former Austrian Chancellor Schuschnigg, imprisoned by the Nazis, were released; Russian forces captured the town of Peenemunde where V1 and V2 rockets were launched; U.S. forces liberated Austria's Mauthausen concentration camp; poet Ezra Pound was arrested in Italy for treason.
1945
In the only fatal attack of its kind during World War Two, a Japanese balloon bomb exploded on Gearhart Mountain in Oregon, killing the pregnant wife of a minister and five children.
1948
Rock musician Bill Ward (Black Sabbath) born
1950
The coronation of King Phumiphon of Siam took place and he assumed the title of Rama IX.
1955
West Germany became a sovereign state.
1955
The baseball musical "Damn Yankees" opened on Broadway.
1956
Jim Bailey became the first runner in the United States to
1957
Actor Richard E. Grant born
1959
Actress Annette Bening born
1959
Rock singer Ian McCullough (Echo and the Bunnymen) born
1960
Actress Cathy Moriarty born
1961
Astronaut Alan B. Shepard became America's first man in space in a brief (15-minute), sub-orbital flight from Cape Canaveral.
1965
A cease-fire was signed between rebels and the military junta in the Dominican Republic civil war.
1973
Actress Tina Yothers. born
1979
Terrorists in El Salvador stormed the French, Venezuelan and Costa Rican embassies demanding the release of political prisoners.
1980
Actress Danielle Fishel ("Boy Meets World") born
1980
A siege at the Iranian Embassy in London ended as British commandos, the troops of the SAS, and police stormed the building killing four of the five gunmen who took over the building.
1981
Irish Republican Army hunger-striker Bobby Sands died at the Maze Prison in Northern Ireland in his 66th day without food.
1985
President Reagan kept a promise to West German Chancellor Helmut Kohl by leading a wreath-laying ceremony at the military cemetery in Bitburg.
1986
Leaders of the seven major industrial democracies, meeting in Tokyo, adopted a joint statement condemning terrorism.
1987
The federal government began a yearlong amnesty program, offering citizenship to illegal immigrants who met certain conditions.
1987
The congressional Iran-Contra hearings opened with former Air Force Major General Richard V. Secord the lead-off witness.
1988
The Most Reverend Eugene Antonio Marino became the nation's first black Roman Catholic archbishop during an installation Mass in the Atlanta Civic Center. (However, Marino stepped down in July 1990 because of a two-year affair with Columbus resident Vicki Long.)
1989
A federal judge ordered sweeping changes in the FBI's promotion system, months after the judge found that the bureau had systematically discriminated against Hispanic employees in advancements and assignments.
1990
"Unbridled" won the 116th running of the Kentucky Derby.
1991
President Bush continued to experience an irregular heartbeat, one day after he was taken to Bethesda Naval Hospital because of fatigue and shortness of breath.
1991
New York's Carnegie Hall celebrated its centennial with an all-day, all-star concert.
1992
President Bush and Democrat Bill Clinton picked up primary victories in Indiana, North Carolina and the District of Columbia.
1993
The music of Josef Suk enjoyed something of a resurgence. His latest appearance in the CD catalogue comes from Chandos, which has issued a collection of his music for solo piano. Margaret Fingerhut does the honors.
1993
Irving Howe, writer and intellectual who wrote ``World of Our Fathers,'' died.
1993
The Bosnian Serb parliament began debating a UN peace plan for Bosnia (it rejected the plan the following day). UN Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali recommended creation of a tribunal to try those responsible for war crimes in former Yugoslavia.
1994
Singapore caned American teen-ager Michael Fay for vandalism, a day after the sentence was reduced from six lashes to four in response to an appeal by President Clinton, who considered the punishment too harsh.
1995
As rescue workers ended their search for bodies in the Oklahoma City bombing, President Clinton denounced self-styled anti-government militias, saying, "How dare you call yourselves patriots and heroes.""
1995
Talks collapsed between the United States and Japan on averting a trade fight over automobiles.
1995
Powerful thunderstorms began tearing through North Texas, claiming two-dozen lives.
1996
The FBI released preliminary figures showing that serious crimes reported to police fell for the fourth straight year in 1995.
1996
Israel and the Palestinians began the final stage of their peace talks in Taba, Egypt. The FBI released preliminary figures showing that serious crimes reported to police fell for the fourth straight year in 1995.
1996
King Juan Carlos swore in conservative leader Jose Maria Aznar as Spanish prime minister, opening a new era in Spanish politics after 13 years of Socialist rule.
1997
A jury in Jacksonville, Florida, found R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company was not responsible for the death of Jean Connor, a lifelong smoker.
1997
American Airlines' pilots ratified a contract, ending nearly three years of negotiations.
1997
President Clinton arrived in Mexico for his first Latin American trip while in office.
1998
An exasperated Secretary of State Madeleine Albright called on Israel to agree to hand over an additional 13 percent of the West Bank to the Palestinians, on top of the 27 percent already relinquished. (Israel, however, continued to balk at the proposal.)
1999
The first Kosovo refugees brought to the United States, 453 of them, arrived at Fort Dix, New Jersey.
1999
President Clinton began a morale-boosting trip to Europe that included a visit to Ramstein Air Base in Germany, where he met the three American soldiers just released by Yugoslavia.
2000
President Clinton met at the White House with Japan's new prime minister, Yoshiro Mori.
2000
The Labor Department reported the nation's unemployment rate had hit a 30-year low of three-point-nine percent in April 2000, with blacks and Hispanics recording the lowest jobless rates in history.
2000
Reformers swept Iran's run-off elections, winning control of the legislature from conservatives for the first time since 1979 Islamic revolution.
2005
Explosions near British consulate in New York shatter windows
2005
Pakistan captures al Qaeda suspect
2005
Israeli withdrawal halted until Palestinians disarm militants
2005
Raymond N. Rogers, chemist who studied the Shroud of Turin, dies at age 77
2005
Former Russian nuclear energy minister arrested by Swiss authorities on the behalf of the US
2005
Investigators find black box of crashed New Zealand mail plane
2005
Prime Ministers from Finland and Estonia meet
2005
Doubts on yesterday's Italian Lotto and Superenalotto drawing
2005
Liverpool and Milan in Champions League final
2005
Kashmir:Bus across Line of Control goes through peacefully
2006
Darfur rebel leader signs peace plan
2006
Kennett rules out political comeback
2006
Charles Clarke loses Home Secretary position in Cabinet reshuffle, UK
2006
The Sultan's Elephant arrives in London
2006
Rhode Island congressman Patrick Kennedy involved in car accident near U.S. Capitol
2006
Porter Goss resigns as director of the CIA
2006
Australian government announces $52.5 million financial assistance package for Ford
2006
Riots in Mexico
2006
Indian music composer Naushad Ali dies
2006
Cindy Sheehan urges Canada to welcome U.S. deserters
2006
U.S.; China has provided military aid and training to Venezuela
2006
Conservatives make gains in English local elections
2007
Kentucky faith-based agency under fire for religious coercion
2007
World Health Organization launches clinical trial website
2007
New Zealand dog saves five children; receives international attention
2007
Mohammad Khatami meets Pope Benedict XVI
2007
Abby Cadabby debuts at Sesame Place today as a walkaround character
2007
Bermuda Chief Justice: No new charges in Middleton murder
2007
At least nine killed in Greensburg, Kansas tornado
2007
Street Sense wins Kentucky Derby
2007
NHL: Sharks Lose Game 5 to Wings
2008
At least 10,000 reported dead after Burma cyclone
2008
Pipe bomb explodes outside California courthouse
2008
NHL: Stars advance in eighth-longest playoff game
2008
White House spokesperson discusses situation in Burma
2008
Clinical signs a 'reliable measure' of HIV treatment progress
2009
Dozens killed after gunmen storm Turkish wedding reception
2010
BP: One oil leak in Gulf of Mexico plugged
2010
Tanker seized by Somali pirates; Russian warship en route
2010
Knife-wielding woman arrested after allegedly stabbing four at store in West Hollywood, California
2010
FDA report criticizes conditions in factory that produced recalled medications
2010
Greek demonstrators protest austerity measures
2010
Scottish airspace to be closed over volcanic ash concerns
2010
Euro reaches one-year low against US dollar
2010
Heavy rains start in central and southern Chile while aftershock takes place
2010
Taleban launches attack on Afghan city; several dead
2011
DR Congo transport minister sacked after numerous boat accidents
2011
Flight recorders from Air France Flight 447 found
2011
U.S. did not inform Pakistan of bin Laden mission because of suspicions he was being harbored by government
2012
On the campaign trail, April 2012

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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