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Today in History

1856
Neurologist, pyschiatrist, and the founder of psychoanalysis, Sigmund Freud born in Př√≠bor, Austria-Hungary
1895
Dancer and romantic silent film star Rudolph Valentino born in Castellaneta, Italy
1915
Actor, director, producer and Academy Award winning screenwriter, Orson Welles born in Kenosha, Wisconsin
1931
Hall of Fame baseball legend, Willie Mays [.302BA 660HR 1,903RBI] born in Westfield, Alabama
1937
Hindenburg disaster at Lakehurst, New Jersey kills 13 passengers and 23 crew
1945
Songwriter, guitarist and Grammy Award winning singer, Bob Seger born in Dearborn, Michigan
1949
EDSAC performs its first calculation
1953
Guitarist-singer for the band Ugly Rumours, attorney and Prime Minister of England, Tony Blair born in Edinburgh, Scotland
1960
Actress Roma Downey born in Derry, Northern Ireland
1976
998 killed by earthquakes in Northern Italy
2007
Watching for 05/06/07 08:09:10
973
Henry II "the Saint," Holy Roman Emperor born
1092
Consecration of Cathedral at Lincoln, England
1210
Cathedral of Rheims destroyed by fire
1211
New Rheims cathedral begun
1249
Reginald II assumes Manx throne
1312
Council of Vienne abolishes the Templars, and condemns the Beguines
1527
Rome was sacked when troops under Charles, Duke of Bourbon, pillaged the city and killed some 4,000 inhabitants.
1536
Anne Boleyn writes her last letter to Henry VIII of England
1536
Jacques Cartier's third expedition leaves Canada for France
1542
St. Frances Xavier arrives in Goa, India
1545
Henry VIII's "Primer" henceforth to be used in all English churches
1567
Bothwell, and Mary Stuart, Queen of Scots, enter Edinburgh
1585
John Rolfe, husband of Pocahontas born
1591
Eighty-five "witches" burned at Guelch
1634
Beacon set on Beacon Hill, Boston
1638
Death of Cornelis Jansen, theologian
1740
John Penn, signer of the Declaration of Independence born
1757
Frederick II of Prussia attacked Austrian troops defending Prague in the Seven Years' War. The attack succeeded and Prague fell with 10,000 Austrian casualties.
1758
Maximilien-Francois-Marie-Isidore de Robespierre, one of the principal figures of the French revolution, born.
1814
A famous organist and organ builder of Beethoven's day, Joseph Vogler, died. Vogler inspired Robert Browning to compose a poetic epitaph which included the lines, "for my resting places is found the C major of this life so now I will try to sleep."
1840
The first adhesive postage stamps, the Penny Black and the Twopenny Blue, went on sale in Britain.
1851
Dr. John Gorrie of Apalachicola, Florida, patented the mechanical refrigerator.
1851
Linus Yale of Newport, New York, received a patent for the clock-type lock. Yale locks are among the top brands of security devices sold today.
1856
Robert Edwin Peary in Cresson, Pennsylvania. U.S. Arctic explorer. He led the first expedition to reach the North Pole in 1909. born
1856
Austrian psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud born
1861
Arkansas seceded from the Union.
1863
Confederate forces commanded by Gen. Robert E. Lee routed Union troops under Gen. Joseph Hooker at the battle of Chancellorsville in Virginia.
1864
The Civil War battle of the Wilderness in Virginia ended; General Lee's Confederate forces defeated a superior Federal force led by General Grant.
1870
A.P. Giannini, founder of Bank of America born
1877
The Sioux chief Crazy Horse surrenders and gives up all claim to Nebraska.
1882
British statesman Lord Cavendish was murdered by Irish nationalists soon after arriving in Dublin as chief secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland.
1882
Congress passed, over President Arthur's veto, the Chinese Exclusion Act, which barred Chinese immigrants from the US for ten years.
1889
The Paris Exposition formally opened, featuring the just-completed Eiffel Tower.
1891
Electrician Irwin H. Hoover began installing electrical wiring in the White House.
1895
Legendary silent-screen star Rudolph Valentino (Rodolpho Alfonzo Rafaello Pietro Guglieimi Di Valentina D'Antonguolla) in Castellaneta, Italy. His films included ``The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse,'' ``The Sheik'' and ``Blood and Sand.' born
1898
The conductor Jacha Horenstein was born in Kiev. Horenstein was one of the earliest devoted Mahlerites, and conducted Mahler's long, emotional symphonies whenever he had the opportunity. Horenstein also should get a lot of the credit for keeping the music of Carl Nielsen alive during Nielsen's most obscure years.
1910
Britain's King Edward the Seventh died. His son acceeded to the throne as George V.
1913
Actor Stewart Granger born
1915
Orson Welles, U.S. actor, director, producer and writer. His film ``Citizen Kane'' is regarded as one of the most influential films in history. born
1915
Babe Ruth, playing for the Boston Red Sox, hit his first major-league home run. "The Sultan of Swat" went on to hit 714 round-trippers before he retired as a New York Yankee in 1935.
1915
Author Theodore White born
1919
Lyman Frank Baum, U.S. author of children's stories about the imaginary land of Oz, died. The film version of his ``Wonderful Wizard of Oz'' became a cinema classic.
1919
The Paris Peace Conference disposed of Germany's colonies; German East Africa was assigned as a League of Nations mandate to Britain and France, German South-West Africa as a mandate to South Africa.
1921
Producer Ross Hunter (Martin Fuss) born
1921
Jazz musician Fred Randall born
1923
Actress Elizabeth Sellars born
1931
Baseball Hall-of-Famer Willie Mays ('Say Hey Kid') born
1932
President Paul Doumer was assassinated by a Russian emigre in Paris.
1935
The Works Progress Administration began operating.
1937
The hydrogen-filled German dirigible "Hindenburg" burned and crashed in Lakehurst, New Jersey, killing 36 of the 97 people on board.
1941
Josef Stalin became official leader of the Soviet government.(replacing Vyacheslav M. Molotov.)
1942
During World War Two, some 15,000 Americans and Filipinos on Corregidor surrendered to the Japanese.
1945
Singer Jimmie Dale Gilmore born
1945
Rock singer Bob Seger born
1946
Actor Ben Masters born
1951
Rock musician Davey Johnstone (Elton John's trio) born
1952
Actor Gregg Henry born
1953
British Labor Party leader, Prime Minister Tony Blair born
1954
Rock singer Billy Burnette (Fleetwood Mac) born
1954
Medical student Roger Bannister broke the four-minute mile during a track meet in Oxford, England, in three minutes, 59.4 seconds.
1957
Senator John Fitzgerald Kennedy of Massachusetts was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for his book "Profiles in Courage.""
1959
Actress Mare Winningham born
1960
Britain's Princess Margaret married Anthony Armstrong-Jones, a commoner, at Westminster Abbey. (They divorced in 1978.)
1961
Actor George Clooney born
1961
Actor Clay O'Brien ("The Apple Dumpling Gang") born
1962
Actress Lori Singer born
1962
In the first test of its kind, the submerged submarine USS "Ethan Allen" fired a Polaris missile armed with a nuclear warhead that detonated above the Pacific Ocean.
1963
Actress Roma Downey ("Touched By an Angel") born
1964
Rock singer-musician Tony Scalzo (Fastball) born
1967
Rock musician Mark Bryan (Hootie and the Blowfish) born
1968
The worst street fighting in Paris since the liberation shook the left bank as students and police fought for control of the fashionable Boulevard St. Germain. The University of the Sorbonne was closed.
1974
West German Chancellor Willy Brandt resigned after an aide was arrested on charges of spying for East Germany.
1976
An earthquake struck the town of Udine in northern Italy, killing 973 people and leaving over 100,000 homeless.
1979
In Austria's general election, Dr. Bruno Kreisky's Socialist Democratic Party was returned to power for a fourth consecutive term.
1981
Yale architecture student Maya Ying Lin was named winner of a competition to design the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.
1981
The U.S. expelled all Libyan diplomats, citing was it said was the Libyan government's support for international terrorism.
1983
West German government experts announced scientific tests had proven the purported Hitler diaries to be "obvious fakes" that the experts said were derived from a book on the Nazi dictator written in the 1960's.
1984
Voters in El Salvador went to the polls for the second time in six weeks, this time to decide a presidential runoff between Jose Napoleon Duarte and Robert D'Aubuisson. (Duarte would emerge the winner.)
1985
The space shuttle Challenger ended a one-week mission in orbit with a safe landing at Edwards Air Force Base in California.
1986
In the wake of the Chernobyl disaster, Soviet officials revealed that radiation escaped from the damaged nuclear reactor for 36 hours before area residents were evacuated because the plant staff did not realize the seriousness of the accident.
1987
Democratic presidential candidate Gary Hart held a news conference in Hanover, New Hampshire, in which he denied ever having an affair with Miami model Donna Rice, but declined to say whether he'd ever committed adultery.
1987
CIA Director William J. Casey died at age 74.
1988
In his first comment on the matter, President Reagan said he didn't "look kindly upon" reports that a memoir written by his former chief of staff, Donald Regan, painted an unflattering portrait of first lady Nancy Reagan.
1989
"Sunday Silence" scored a two-and-a-half-length upset victory over "Easy Goer" in the 115th Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs.
1990
Former president P.W. Botha quit South Africa's ruling National Party as a protest against the apartheid reform program of his successor F.W. de Klerk.
1990
Freed American hostage Frank Reed told a news conference in Arlington, Virginia, that he had been savagely beaten by his captors in Lebanon after two unsuccessful escape attempts.
1990
Soviet authorities agreed to open for just one day eight crossing points along a 260-mile stretch of the River Prut, which had marked the division of Moldavia between Romania and the Soviet Union since 1945.
1991
President Bush returned to work after spending two nights at Bethesda Naval Hospital because of an irregular heartbeat; he met at the White House with Soviet Foreign Minister Eduard Shevardnadze.
1992
Former Soviet leader Mikhail S. Gorbachev delivered a speech at Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri, where Winston Churchill had spoken of the "Iron Curtain;" Gorbachev said the world was still divided, between North and South, rich and poor.
1992
Actress Marlene Dietrich died at her Paris home at age 90.
1993
The Bosnian Serb parliament, for the third time, rejected a United Nations peace plan for Bosnia-Herzegovina. The president of Serbia, Slobodan Milosevic, ordered a blockade of supplies except food and medicine to the Bosnian Serbs.
1993
The space shuttle "Columbia" landed safely in California after a ten-day mission.
1994
For the first time since the Ice Age, a direct link connected Britain and mainland Europe. Britain's Queen Elizabeth II and French President Francois Mitterrand opened the Channel Tunnel.
1994
Nelson Mandela and his ANC named their team for a post-apartheid government of national unity.
1994
Former Arkansas state worker Paula Corbin Jones filed suit against President Clinton, alleging he'd sexually harassed her in 1991.
1994
The U.N. Security Council tightened sanctions against Haiti to pressure its military rulers to allow the return of exiled President Jean-Bertrand Aristide.
1995
In London, thousands of World War II veterans, along with dignitaries from around the world, gathered to begin commemorations of the 50th anniversary of Nazi Germany's defeat - V-E Day.
1995
Long-shot Thunder Gulch won the 121st Kentucky Derby.
1995
Friends and relatives of the Oklahoma City bombing victims made a somber pilgrimage to the site of the attack to say good-bye to their loved ones.
1996
Guatemala's leftist guerrillas signed a key accord in talks with the government of President Alvaro Arzu aimed at ending 35 years of civil war.
1996
The body of former CIA director William E. Colby was found washed up on a riverbank near his southern Maryland vacation home, eight days after he'd disappeared.
1997
Army Staff Sergeant Delmar G. Simpson was sentenced to 25 years in prison for raping six trainees at Abereeen Proving Ground in Maryland.
1997
World chess champion Garry Kasparov and IBM's Deep Blue computer played to a draw in game three of their six-game match.
1997
President Clinton wrapped up his visit to Mexico as he and Mexican President Ernesto Zedillo pledged closer cooperation on immigration and drug smuggling.
1998
Representative Dan Burton, chairman of the House fund-raising inquiry, apologized to GOP colleagues for the furor over his release of selected portions of tapes of Webster Hubbell's prison conversations; Burton's top investigator departed, ordered fired by House Speaker Newt Gingrich.
1998
Astronomers announced the detection of a gamma ray burst in a galaxy 12 billion light years away that was equal to the energy expended by the sun in one trillion years.
1999
President Clinton met with Kosovo refugees in Germany, listening to accounts of murder, rape and terror and promising them, "You will go home again in safety and in freedom."
1999
Reversing decades of overwhelming loyalty to Britain's governing Labor Party, Scottish and Welsh voters elected strong nationalist oppositions to their first separate assemblies of modern times.
1999
Russia and the Western powers set aside their differences over NATO airstrikes and drafted a joint plan to end the Kosovo conflict.
2000
"Fusaichi Pegasus" became the first favorite to win the Kentucky Derby since "Spectacular Bid" in 1979.
2000
Jack Mazzan, who'd spent 20 years on death row for the murder of a judge's son, was released on bail, three months after the Nevada Supreme Court reversed his conviction.
2005
U.S. Navy finds soldier shot wounded Iraqi at Fallujah in self defense
2005
Yemen's first-ever feature film to be screened at Cannes Festival
2005
Results of United Kingdom General Election
2005
Romanian tourism to be rebranded
2005
India's NDA rejects PM's appeal to end boycott
2005
Sydney bus driver accused of kidnapping schoolchildren
2005
Coffeeheaven to enter Romanian market
2005
Romanian road traffic laws aligned to EU standards
2005
Australian PM apologises for deportation of Australian
2005
Surprise win for RESPECT Party in UK General Election
2005
British Conservative leader Michael Howard to step down
2005
Mortgage advisers attempt to collect rent from neighbors after FBI raid in Union City, California
2005
Germany gives 16.7 million euro loan to Albania to improve its water supply
2005
Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity gets stuck in a small sand dune
2005
New York City Subway's skip-stop 9 service to make its last run May 27
2005
68% of Dutch consider their government "Lap Dog" of United States
2006
Polls open for the Parliamentary Elections, Singapore
2006
4 year old Indian boy runs 40 miles in 7 hours
2006
Michelle Wie makes cut in Korean men's golf tournament
2006
10 American soldiers killed in helicopter crash in Afghanistan
2006
Car hits five-year-old Australian girl
2006
Anarchists, police clash in central Athens during anti-war rally
2006
Tornadoes cause millions in damages in Waco, Texas
2006
Cruise liner off England coast catches fire
2006
Warehouse burns in Helsinki, Finland
2006
Getafe CF coach Schuster criticises preliminary Spanish World Cup pick
2007
Iranian minister eschews un-Islamic dress at Sharm al-Sheikh
2007
Kenya Airways jet with at least 114 on board crashes
2007
Indonesian suspected bird flu case dies; symptoms included encephalitis
2007
Forward advance! - Battle of the Atlantic Parade in Toronto, Canada
2007
Khatami: dialogue is best solution to solve Iran's nuclear controversy
2007
Global WTO competition for law students won by the University of Melbourne
2007
Sarkozy wins French Presidential election
2007
Football: Manchester United clinch Premiership title
2008
Death toll from cyclone in Myanmar continues to rise
2008
UK PM pledges aid for Myanmar
2008
'Suspicious package' causes closure of busy street in Buffalo, New York
2008
Boy stops wearing Brett Favre jersey after four years
2009
Congressional computers continue to be used to vandalize Wikipedia
2009
UK Home Secretary announces ID card pilot launch
2009
American comedic actor Dom DeLuise dies at age 75
2009
As many as 100 civilians die in Afghan raid
2010
UK general election results
2010
Peruvian bolero singer Lucho Barrios dies aged 75
2010
Nigeria swears in new president after death of Umaru Yar'Adua
2010
British oil firm claims discovery off coast of Falkland Islands
2010
Black boxes from Air France Flight 447 localized
2010
Mumbai gunman given death penalty, to be hanged
2010
NBC employee wins $266M from California lottery
2010
British political candidate Nigel Farage injured in plane crash on polling day
2010
Athens bank fire kills three as Greece goes on strike
2010
New York bridge shut down after suspicious truck found
2010
Greek parliament passes austerity bill
2010
Russian forces storm oil tanker seized by Somali pirates, crew freed
2010
Nigerian President Umaru Yar'Adua reported dead
2010
African leaders start drive to eradicate malaria
2011
Liberal Democrats defeated in UK elections after alternative vote and councils rejected; Salmond wins historic first majority vote
2011
UK holds referendum on voting system
2012
News briefs: May 6, 2012
2012
I'll Have Another wins Kentucky Derby

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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