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Today in History

Samhain, beginning of the Celtic year
1918
Austria-Hungary splits into two nations
1950
Puerto Rican nationalists try to kill Truman
1953
Biologist, mechanical engineer and astronaut, Dr Nancy Jan Davis born in Cocoa Beach, Florida
1957
Four time Grammy Award winning songwriter, musician and singer, Lyle Lovett born in Houston, Texas
1963
Def Leopard drummer, Rick Allen born in Dronfield, England
1972
Model, Playmate of the Year, actress and author Jennifer "Jenny" McCarthy born in Chicago, Illinois
79
Pompei buried by Mt Vesuvius.
670
Death of St. Omer
1141
The rebel Earl of Glouchester exchanged for King Stephen of England
1216
Fourth Lateran Council begins
1470
Edward V, King of England. born
1500
Benevenuto Cellini born
1503
Election of Julius II as Pope
1512
Michelangelo's paintings on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel were first exhibited to the public.
1604
, William Shakespeare's tragedy "Othello" was first presented at Whitehall Palace in London.
1609
Judge Matthew Hale born
1611
Shakespeare's romantic comedy "The Tempest" was first presented at Whitehall Palace in London.
1623
Fire at Plymouth, Massachusetts destroys several buildings .
1636
Nicholas Boileau-Despreaux born
1755
An earthquake in Lisbon, Portugal, killed 60,000 people. (killed about 2/3 of the population)
1757
Italian sculptor Antonio Canova born
1762
Spencer Perceval, British Prime Minister. born
1765
The Stamp Act went into effect, prompting stiff resistance from American colonists.
1848
The first medical school exclusively for women opened its doors to twelve students. The Boston Female Medical School was founded by Samuel Gregory. Twenty-six years later, the school merged with Boston University School of Medicine becoming one of the first coed medical colleges in the world.
1861
General George B. McClellan was made General-in-Chief of the Union armies.
1864
The US Post Office began selling money orders.
1870
The United States Weather Bureau made its first meteorological observations, using reports gathered by telegraph from 24 locations.
1871
Twenty-year-old Gustav Mahler wrote that he had become a vegetarian. He said he thought it would regenerate the human race if everybody stopped eating meat.
1871
Journalist and novelist Stephen Crane (The Red Badge of Courage) born
1880
Sportswriter-poet Grantland Rice and Polish author Sholem Asch born
1894
The publication, "Billboard Advertising" appeared for the first time. The periodical cost 10 cents. Today, the weekly magazine costs about $250 a year and is known as "Billboard", the longtime bible of the radio and music industry.
1911
The famous soprano Mary Garden put her mouth where other people's money was, she sold her kisses for charity. One winning bidder reported, quote, "she is some kisser."
1918
The Hapsburg monarchy of Austria-Hungary was dissolved. Vienna became the capital of Austria and Budapest the capital of Hungary.
1920
Newspaper columnist James J. Kilpatrick born
1922
Following the collapse of the Ottoman Empire, Turkey became a republic.
1923
Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company buys the rights to manufacture Zeppelin dirigibles.
1926
Musician (alto saxophone) Lou Donaldson (New Faces New Sounds, The Time is Right, Midnight Sun, Here 'Tis, The Natural Soul) born
1926
Betsy Palmer (TV panelist Knots Landing, The Last Angry Man, It Could Happen to Jane, Mr. Roberts) born
1929
Actress Betsy Palmer born
1935
Golfer Gary Player (Masters [1961, 1974, 1978]; PGA [1962, 1972]; PGA Seniors [1986, 1988, 1990]; U.S. Senior Open [1987, 1988]) born
1936
In a speech in Milan, Italy, Benito Mussolini described the alliance between his country and Nazi Germany as an "axis" running between Rome and Berlin.
1936
Rodeo Cowboy's Association founded.
1937
Country singer/songwriter 'Whispering' Bill(James) Anderson (writer: City Lights, I Missed Me, Happy Birthday to Me - singer: Three Times a Lady, Still, My Life, If It's All the Same to You, Someday We'll be Together) born
1939
Actress Barbara Bosson (Hill Street Blues, Cop Rock, Richie Brockelman, Private Eye, Hooperman, The Committee, The Last Starfighter) born
1940
"A Night in the Tropics", the first movie for (Bud) Abbott and (Lou) Costello, was released.
1941
Actor Robert Foxworth (Falcon Crest, Storefront Lawyers, Double Standard, Ants, Frankenstein, Damien: Omen 2) born
1942
Actress Marcia Wallace (The Bob Newhart Show, My Mom's a Werewolf) born
1942
Magazine publisher (Hustler) Larry Flynt born
1944
Musician (guitar) Chris Morris (Paper Lace Chicago Died) born
1944
The whimsical tale about an invisible rabbit named "Harvey" opened in New York City. One year later, the play by Mary Chase, won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama.
1945
Musician (groups Square Dance Machine) born
1947
Football Hall of Famer Ted Hendricks born
1949
Actress Jeannie Berlin (The Heartbreak Kid, Portnoy's Complaint, In the Spirit, The Baby Maker) some sources list 1950 born
1950
Pop singer-musician Dan Peek (formerly with America) born
1950
Charles Cooper, the first black man to play in the National Basketball Association, hit the hardwood.
1950
Two Puerto Rican nationalists tried to force their way into Blair House in Washington in an attempt to assassinate President Truman.
1951
Rhythm-and-blues musician Ronald Bell (Kool and the Gang) born
1952
The United States exploded the first hydrogen bomb, in a test at Eniwetok in the Marshall Islands.
1954
Country singer-songwriter-producer Keith Stegall born
1954
The western African nation of Algeria began its rebellion against French rule.
1957
Country singer Lyle Lovett (Best Male Country Vocal ) born
1958
Actress Rachel Ticotin born
1959
Rock musician Eddie MacDonald (The Alarm) born
1960
Baseball pitcher Fernando Valenzuela born
1962
Rock singer Anthony Kiedis (Red Hot Chili Peppers) born
1962
Pop singer-musician Mags Furuholmen (a-ha) born
1963
Rock musician Rick Allen (Def Leppard) born
1966
Rapper Willie D (Geto Boys) born
1968
Lyndon B. Johnson calls a halt to bombing in Vietnam, hoping this will lead to progress at the Paris peace talks.
1968
The current movie rating system of G, M, R, X, followed by PG-13 and now, NC-17, went into. The Production Code Administration hands out the ratings.
1968
George Harrison became the first Beatle to release a solo album, "Wonderwall Music," the movie soundtrack.
1969
Elvis Presley scored his first number-one hit in more than seven years with "Suspicious Minds." It would turn out to be his last.
1969
The last album of The Beatles reached #1 on the album chart. "Abbey Road" was the top LP for a total of eleven weeks (nonconsecutively).
1972
Actress Toni Collette born
1972
Actress Jenny McCarthy born
1972
The poet Ezra Pound died leaving behind not just his poetry but a good deal of music criticism which he wrote under the name Walter Atheling. Ezra Pound also wrote a book on harmony and composed two works that he called "anti-operas."
1972
Rock musician Andrew Gonzales (Reel Big Fish) born
1973
In the wake of the "Saturday Night Massacre," Acting Attorney General Robert H. Bork appointed Leon Jaworski to be the new Watergate special prosecutor, succeeding Archibald Cox.
1975
Elton John's "Island Girl" hit number one on the "Billboard Hot 100." The song parked itself at the top of the hit heap for 3 weeks.
1976
Actress Helene Udy ("Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman") born
1983
The U.S. House of Representatives voted 403-23 in favor of legislation to apply the War Powers Resolution to the U.S.-led military operation in Grenada, four days after the Senate passed its own legislation.
1984
Indians turned out by the hundreds of thousands to pay respects to Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, who'd been assassinated the day before by two Sikh security guards.
1985
22 members of a Mexican anti-narcotics squad were killed by alleged drug traffickers in the village of Ignacio Aldama.
1986
Anglican hostage negotiator Terry Waite, on another visit to Lebanon, temporarily dropped from sight after announcing progress in efforts to free kidnapped Westerners.
1987
Ibrahim Hussein of Kenya won the New York City Marathon in two hours, eleven minutes and one second; Priscilla Welch of Britain led the women in two hours, 30 minutes and 16 seconds.
1987
Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping retired from the Communist Party's Central Committee.
1988
Israeli voters went to the polls in parliamentary elections that resulted in a narrow victory for the right-wing Likud bloc, requiring the creation of a coalition government.
1989
East Germany reopened its border with Czechoslovakia, prompting tens of thousands of refugees to flee to the West.
1989
Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega announced the end of a unilateral cease-fire with the Contra rebels.
1990
During a trip to Orlando, Florida, President Bush accused Iraqi forces of engaging in "barbarism" and "brutality," adding, "I don't believe that Adolf Hitler ever participated in anything of that nature."
1991
Clarence Thomas took his place as the newest justice on the US Supreme Court.
1992
The space shuttle "Columbia" landed at Cape Canaveral, Florida, ending a ten-day mission that included the deployment of an Italian satellite.
1992
South African runner Willie Mtolo won the New York City marathon; Australia's Lisa Ondieki won the women's title.
1993
The space shuttle "Columbia" landed at Edwards Air Force Base in California, ending a two-week mission.
1993
In an address to pediatricians, First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton accused insurance companies of waging a deceitful campaign against the administration's health plan.
1994
The Senate Intelligence Committee released a report saying that CIA Director R. James Woolsey's response to the Aldrich Ames spy case was "seriously inadequate," but that his predecessors were ultimately to blame.
1995
Bosnia peace talks opened in Dayton, Ohio, with the leaders of Bosnia, Serbia and Croatia present.
1995
The House voted to ban so-called "partial birth" abortions by a vote of 288-139.
1996
Accused of peddling access to the Oval Office, President Clinton demanded an end to what he called the "escalating arms race" for political money. Bob Dole countered with his own solutions to "a growing scandal" of Democratic financial sins.
1997
Chinese President Jiang Zemin defended his government during an appearance at Harvard University, but conceded that China had made mistakes. Meanwhile, about 2,000 people demonstrated outside both for and against the Chinese government.
1998
John Kagwe of Kenya won the New York City Marathon for the second straight year; Franca Fiacconi became the first Italian to win the women's division.
1998
The military arm of the radical Islamic group Hamas made an unprecedented threat against Yasser Arafat, demanding the Palestinian leader halt a crackdown against it, or face violent vengeance.
1999
Coast Guard crews searching for clues in the crash of EgyptAir Flight 990, which claimed 217 lives, found the first large piece of wreckage off the New England coast.
1999
Former Chicago Bears running back Walter Payton, the NFL's all-time leading rusher, died of bile duct cancer at age 45.
2005
Australian Foreign Affairs Minister denies knowledge of Guantanamo abuse allegations
2005
Makybe Diva wins the Melbourne Cup
2005
Transdnestria is once again accused of selling weapons to Iraq
2005
U.N. denied access to Guantanamo inmates
2005
Sony's DRM protected CDs install Windows rootkits
2005
US Senate meets in private session
2005
North, South Korea plan united team for 2008 Olympics
2005
Ericsson's CEO Tours Marconi Sites
2006
Dutch Prince leaves sour impression with New Zealanders
2006
New Zealand Medical Association says no party pills
2006
Final bidder submits SGD5.5 billion plan for Singapore casino
2006
Police disperse striking traders in New Delhi
2006
Tense stand-off in Fiji amid coup warnings
2006
Plane with Dutch royal couple on board makes emergency landing
2006
Wellington airport denies National party advertisements
2006
Australian government commits AU$60 million to cut greenhouse emissions
2006
PW Botha, apartheid leader, dead at 90
2006
Global study dispels some myths about sexual behaviour
2006
Australia beat New Zealand to enter into the final of ICC Champions Trophy
2006
Three masked men shoot a man on Halloween night
2006
Elephants recognize mirror image of themselves
2006
New strain of Bird Flu appears in China
2006
Bomb explodes at PayPal headquarters
2006
Three men sought after serial rapes in Karmiel, Israel
2006
Seven Palestinians, one Israeli dead after latest Israeli offensive
2006
Deadly Typhoon Cimaron makes landfall in Luzon
2007
Major League Soccer Playoffs: DC United vs. Chicago Fire
2007
Taipei International Flower Exhibition started with multiple applications
2007
Five injured as Mandala Airlines 737 overshoots runway in Malang, Indonesia
2007
Washoe "the signing chimp" dies Washoe
2007
London's Metropolitan Police Service found guilty in suspected suicide bomber case
2007
Singer Meat Loaf falls ill during concert
2007
Westboro Baptist Church ordered to pay US$11 million to family of fallen US soldier
2007
Japan fishermen clash with surfers over dolphin hunt
2008
Thailand's "Truth Today", Thaksin tonight; pro-government protesters mass at stadium
2008
General who oversaw military tribunals at Guantanamo is being investigated for abuse of power
2008
American prize-winning author Studs Terkel dead at 96
2008
Kay Hagan sues Elizabeth Dole over "Godless" television advertisement
2009
Charging elephant kills BBC guide in Tanzania
2009
Heavy storm hits Philippines, kills fourteen
2009
Islamist militants blow up girls' school in Pakistan
2009
British soldier killed by explosion in Afghanistan
2009
Celebrity chef John Burton Race charged with drink-driving in UK
2009
Man arrested after fatal accident in Londonderry, Northern Ireland
2009
Afghan presidential candidate Abdullah withdraws from elections
2009
EU deems UK privacy laws inadequate, takes legal action
2009
Two people die after contracting H1N1 virus, number of swine flu deaths in Scotland rises to 28
2009
Russian military cargo jet crash kills eleven in Siberia
2009
Afghanistan announces arrests in UN guesthouse attack
2009
Xinhua says ship carrying hazardous goods sank in China's Yangtze river
2009
Search continues for nine missing after midair collision off California
2009
At least eight dead after bombings in Iraq
2009
Mozambique FRELIMO party to win elections, partial results indicate
2009
Two killed in landslide in Tenerife
2009
Erosion influences Nigerian climate policy
2010
Turkey lifts ban on YouTube
2011
State Senator Stewart Greenleaf enters New Hampshire primary
2011
Fire in Pichilemu, Chile kills family of five
2011
Philippines welcomes world's 7 billionth baby
2012
Freddie Starr arrested as part of Savile child sex inquiry

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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