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Today in History

1885
General George S Patton born in San Gabriel, California
1918
Independence Day (Poland)
1918
Armistice Day (Allied Powers)
1919
Lacplesis Day (Latvia)
1922
Author Kurt Vonnegut born in Indianapolis, Indiana
1925
Emmy Award winning actor and comedian, Jonathan Winters born in Bellbrook, Ohio
1945
Remembrance Day (Commonwealth)
1954
Veterans' Day (US)
1962
Four-time Golden Raspberry Award winning actress, Demi Moore born in Roswell, New Mexico
1964
Golden Globe Award winning actress, Calista Flockhart born in Freeport, Illinois
1974
Golden Globe Award winning actor, Leonardo DiCaprio born in Los Angeles, California
1975
Independence Day (Angola)
2011
Waiting for 11:11:11 11/11/11
397
Death of St. Martin of Tours
619
Death of St. John the Almsgiver
826
Death of St. Theodore the Studite
1050
Henry IV, Holy Roman Emperor. born
1100
Baldwin I crowned King of Jerusalem (1st Crusade)
1215
The Fourth Lateran Council was convened by Pope Innocent III. It was the council which first defined "transubstantiation," the Catholic belief that the bread and wine of the Eucharist change invisibly into the body and blood of Christ.
1296
Saint Gregory Palamas - Orthodox monk, theologian, and intellectual leader of Hesychasm, an ascetical method of mystical prayer that integrates repetitive prayer formulas with bodily postures and controlled breathing. born
1404
Coronation of Pope Innocent VII
1417
Great Schism of the western church ends with election of Pope Martin V
1491
Martin Bucer Protestant Reformer, mediator, and liturgical scholar known for his attempts to make peace between conflicting reform groups. born
1499
Pretender to the throne Perkin Warbeck is executed.
1512
Catherine Parr, 6th and last wife of Henry VIII born
1620
41 Pilgrims aboard the "Mayflower," anchored off Massachusetts: signed a compact calling for a "body politick."
1647
Massachusetts passes 1st US compulsory school attendance law requiring settlements of over 50 households to hire a teacher and those over 100 households to found a school suitable for college preparation.
1706
Bach was reprimanded. His employers in Arnstadt told him he wasn't rehearsing his singers enough.
1778
Indians, led by William Butler, massacre the inhabitants of Cherry Valley, N.Y.
1821
Russian author Fyodor Dostoyevsky born
1831
Former slave Nat Turner was executed in Jerusalem: Virginia.
1872
Frederick Stock was born. Today he is remembered mainly as an early leader of the Chicago Symphony, but Stock also composed symphonies and a violin concerto. born
1885
Gen. George Patton born
1889
Washington was admitted to the Union as the 42nd state.
1899
Actor Pat O'Brien born
1904
Alger Hiss, who was accused of being a communist spy in Washington in the late 1940's born
1906
Nielsen's opera "Maskarade" was premiered in Copenhagen.
1909
Construction begins on the naval base at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii.
1915
Former Senator William Proxmire (Democrat, Wisconsin) born
1918
Fighting in World War One came to an end with the signing of an armistice between the Allies and Germany.
1918
Actor Stubby Kaye born
1921
President Harding dedicated the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery.
1922
Author Kurt Vonnegut Junior born
1927
Jazz singer-musician Mose Allison born
1927
Comedian Jonathan Winters born
1930
Jazz-country musician Hank Garland born
1934
The most famous criminal in America in the last third of the 20th century, Charles Manson, was born in Cincinnati born
1935
Dr. Robert Millikan at the National Academy of Science meeting in Madison, Wisconsin, announced the discovery of cosmic rays.
1935
Actress Bibi Andersson born
1938
Country singer Narvel Felts born
1939
Kate Smith first sang Irving Berlin's "God Bless America" on network radio.
1940
Senator Barbara Boxer (Democrat, California) born
1944
Singer Jesse Colin Young born
1945
Rock singer-musician Vince Martell (Vanilla Fudge) born
1950
The Boston Herald, Randolph Elie said, "Forty-five years have passed since Schoenberg wrote his Chamber Symphony, and it will certainly be another 45 before it is programmed by popular demand."
1951
Golfer Fuzzy Zoeller born
1952
Pop singer-musician Paul Cowsill (The Cowsills) born
1953
Rock singer-musician Andy Partridge (XTC) born
1954
Singer Marshall Crenshaw born
1955
Rock singer Dave Alvin born
1956
Rock musician Ian Marsh (Human League; Heaven 17) born
1962
Actress Demi Moore born
1964
Rock musician Scott Mercado born
1964
Actress Calista Flockhart born
1964
Actor Philip McKeon born
1965
Rhodesia proclaimed its independence from Britain.
1966
"Gemini 12" blasted off from Cape Kennedy, Florida, with astronauts James A. Lovell and Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin Junior.
1966
The Methodist Church and the Evangelical United Brethren voted to merge into one denomination in the U.S., afterward to be called the United Methodist Church. (The "declaration of union" took place officially on April 23, 1968.)
1972
The US Army turned over its base at Long Bihn to the South Vietnamese army, symbolizing the end of direct US military involvement in the Vietnam War.
1974
Actor Leonardo DiCaprio born
1981
Stunt man Dan Goodwin scaled the outside of the 100-story John Hancock Center in Chicago in nearly six hours.
1982
The space shuttle Columbia blasted off on the first commercial space mission.
1982
Solidarity leader Lech Walesa is let out of jail in Poland.
1983
President Reagan became 1st US president to address Japan's legislature.
1985
On the last full day of their visit to the Washington, D.C. area, Britain's Prince Charles and Princess Diana stopped by a J.C. Penney department store in Springfield, Virginia, where a "Best of Britain" promotion was on display.
1986
France formally thanked Syria for its role in securing the release of hostages Marcel Coudari and Camille Sontag in Lebanon.
1986
Sperry Rand and Burroughs merged to form "Unisys," becoming the #2 computer company. Changeover costs were estimated at $15 million.
1986
Actor Roger C Carmel dies at 54, (Mudd-Star Trek, Mothers-in-Law.)
1987
Following the failure of two Supreme Court nominations, President Reagan announced his choice of Judge Anthony M. Kennedy, who went on to win confirmation.
1988
Police in Sacramento, California, found the first of seven bodies buried on the grounds of a boardinghouse. Landlady Dorothea Puente was later charged in the deaths of nine people; she was convicted of three murders and sentenced to life in prison.
1989
Helmut Kohl, East German leader Egon Krenz ruled out any possibility of East-West German re-unification.
1989
An NCAA rushing record of 377 yards was set by Indiana University's Anthony Thompson in a crushing defeat of Wisconsin.
1990
Stormie Jones, the world's first heart-liver transplant recipient, died at a Pittsburgh hospital at age 13.
1991
The United States stationed its first diplomat in Cambodia in 16 years to help the war-shocked nation arrange democratic elections.
1992
Russian President Boris Yeltsin told US senators in a letter that Americans had been held in prison camps after World War Two and some were "summarily executed," but that others were still living in his country voluntarily.
1992
The Church of England voted to ordain women as priests.
1993
A bronze statue honoring the more than eleven-thousand American women who'd served in the Vietnam War was dedicated in Washington DC.
1993
Walt Disney Co. announced plans to build a U.S. history theme park in a Virginia suburb of Washington; the company later backed down in the face of local opposition.
1994
A suicide bomber detonated his explosives at an Israeli military checkpoint in Gaza, killing three soldiers.
1994
President Clinton set out for an Asian trade conference, suggesting it could help bring prosperity to dissatisfied Americans.
1995
With a partial government shutdown looming, President Clinton and Republican congressional leaders clashed over Medicare and bickered over who to include in compromise budget talks.
1996
The Army reported getting nearly two-thousand calls to a hot line set up after revelations of a sex scandal at the Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland. Meanwhile, a Pentagon official said the Army was ready to take action in another case of alleged sexual misconduct at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri.
1997
Retired General Colin Powell announced he would not seek the Republican presidential nomination or any other office in 2000, saying he lacked "the passion" for political life.
1997
Photography giant Eastman Kodak announced it was cutting ten-thousand jobs because of fierce competition from Japan's Fuji Photo Film Company.
1998
President Clinton ordered warships, planes and troops to the Persian Gulf as he laid out his case for a possible attack on Iraq. Iraq, meanwhile, showed no sign of backing down from its refusal to deal with UN weapons inspectors.
1998
Israel's Cabinet narrowly ratified a land-for-peace agreement with the Palestinians.
1999
A car bomb ripped through a Bogota commercial district, killing at least eight people, but President Andres Pastrana defiantly signed extradition orders for three suspected drug traffickers.
1999
Sixty-seven people were killed when an apartment building collapsed in Foggia, Italy; an investigation blamed the collapse on cheap materials and slipshod construction.
1999
Argentine journalist Jacobo Timerman died in Buenos Aires at age 76.
2005
Thirtieth anniversary of Australia's constitutional crisis
2005
New Australian industrial relations legislation passes House of Representatives
2005
US trade deficit hits new record
2005
Sony faces class action lawsuits for DRM
2005
Blair could face inquiry into terror vote
2005
Marcinkiewicz's cabinet given vote of confidence
2005
U.S. Senate passes amendment stripping Guantanamo detainees' access to courts
2005
United Airlines to hire 2,000 flight attendants
2005
German Social and Christian Democrats agree on new government
2005
Research articles predict next earthquake
2005
President Bush claims critics are rewriting Iraq war history
2005
Australian government accused of hypocrisy over World Court statement
2006
Mayawati denies calling Muslims fanatics
2006
Belinda Emmett, wife of Rove McManus, dies
2006
McCain shows interest in 2008 run to become American President
2006
Toronto and Rockettes kick into the records book
2006
Fastest "zorb" ride set by New Zealanders Fastest
2006
Reports: North Korean officials may meet with United States officials in New York
2006
Massive hurricane spotted on Saturn
2006
First person infected with Bird Flu in China has clean bill of health
2006
Liverpool City Council audit produces 43 recommendations
2006
"City Slickers" actor, Jack Palance, dies
2006
IEA warns: bleak future for the World without more energy investment
2006
Mets; Citigroup agree to 20 year sponsorship deal
2006
11-year-old girl abducted, raped and sold in Afghanistan
2007
FFA to investigate crowd violence at Melbourne-Sydney match
2007
Ulster Freedom Fighters to stand down at midnight; Northern Ireland
2007
Baseball teams from Taiwan and China were eliminated at Konami Cup Asia Series
2007
Malaysian car maker unveils 'Islamic car'
2007
Antje Duvekot on life as a folk singer, her family and her music
2007
Pilot of Garuda Indonesia Flight 200 speaks out for first time
2007
US honors military service on Veterans Day
2007
War dead remembered 89 years on
2008
US retailer Circuit City files for bankruptcy protection
2008
Former Taiwanese President Chen Shui-bian detained
2008
Australia's Simpson Desert to be closed for summer
2008
NASA calls end to Mars Phoenix mission
2008
IPhone sales exceed BlackBerry
2008
Investigation continues into Russian submarine accident that killed 20
2008
California county's corporate anti-electioneering measure abandoned
2008
British oceanliner QE2 makes final journey home
2008
Latvian government takes majority stake in Parex Bank
2009
Two Kenyans kidnapped by gunmen in Somalia now released
2009
Bomb hits northwestern Pakistan; at least 30 killed
2009
South African police officer kills three year old boy
2009
German football goalkeeper Robert Enke is dead
2009
Massive power failure hits Brazil
2009
Pirates seize cargo ship in Indian Ocean
2009
Public access to information on emissions from European industries
2011
Knight Foundation and Mozilla send geeks into newsrooms
2012
BBC Director-General Entwistle resigns

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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