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Today in History

1889
Reporter Nellie Bly begins successful bid to go around the world in under 80 days
1919
Singer Johnny Desmond born in Detroit, Michigan
1927
Actor McLean Stevenson born in Normal, Illinois
1943
Software producer, art collector and philanthropist, Peter Norton born in Aberdeen, Washington
1954
Pianist, professor, and 66th US Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice born in Birmingham, Alabama
2000
Open source Netscape 6.0 released
565
Death of Justinian I "the Great," Eastern Roman Emperor
1060
Death of Count Geoffrey of Anjou
1305
Crowning of the first "Avignon Pope" (Clement V)
1316
John I Posthumous, French King born 5 months after father's death
1359
Death of St. Gregory Palamas
1501
Marriage of Arthur, heir to England, to Katherine of Aragon
1575
Elizabeth I of England refuses sovereignty of the Netherlands
1587
Cavendish, an English sea-rover, captures "Great St. Anne," a Spanish treasure galleon
1765
Robert Fulton, American inventor of the steamboat born
1776
Henri Dutrochet, discovered & named process of osmosis born
1778
Johann Hummel, a composer who influenced music more than most people know was born. Hummel took lessons from Clementi, Haydn, Mozart and Salieri. His greatest contributions to music were things which brought other people's music to wider attention. born
1832
The first streetcar -- a horse-drawn vehicle called the "John Mason" -- first went into operation in New York City. The vehicle had room for 30 people in three compartments. The new service traveled Fourth Avenue between Prince and Fourteenth Streets.
1840
French Impressionist painter Claude Monet born
1851
Herman Melville's novel "Moby Dick" was first published in the United States.
1881
Charles J. Guiteau went on trial for assassinating President Garfield. (Guiteau was convicted and hanged the following year.)
1889
Inspired by Jules Verne, New York "World" reporter Nellie Bly (Elizabeth Cochrane) set out to travel around the world in less than 80 days. (She succeeded: making the trip in 72 days.)
1889
Jawaharlal Nehru (India's 1st prime minister after its independence) born
1889
Indian statesman Jawaharlal Nehru born
1896
Mamie Doud Eisenhower, wife of President Eisenhower born
1900
Composer Aaron Copland He shocked audiences with his jazzy compositions then won everyone over with more accessible works like "Billy the Kid," "Rodeo," and "Appalachian Spring." born
1904
Actor Dick Powell born
1908
Harrison Salisbury (journalist) born
1908
Journalist Harrison Salisbury born
1908
Sen. Joseph McCarthy, D-Wis. born
1910
Actress Rosemary DeCamp (Rhapsody in Blue, On Moonlight Bay, The Bob Cummings Show, That Girl, The Life of Riley) some sources give 1914 born
1912
Barbara Hutton (heiress born
1912
Former UN Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali born
1914
Actress Rosemary DeCamp (Rhapsody in Blue, On Moonlight Bay, The Bob Cummings Show, That Girl, The Life of Riley) born
1915
Singer Martha Tilton (And the Angels Sing, A Stranger in Town; actress: The Benny Goodman Story, Sunny) born
1917
Actor Howard Duff (Felony Squad, Mr. Adams and Eve, Flamingo Road, Knots Landing, Dante, Dallas, East of Eden, Kramer vs. Kramer, The Naked City, Oh God!, Book 2) born
1918
Actress Kathleen Hughes born
1920
Singer (Giovanni DeSimone) Johnny Desmond (Yellow Rose of Texas, Play Me Hearts and Flowers Don McNeill's Breakfast Club, Actor in: Say Darling, Funny Girl, China Doll) born
1921
Brian (Robert) Keith (actor McCormick, Heartland, The Westerner, Crusader, Centennial, The Brian Keith Show, Walter and Emily, Nevada Smith, The Loneliest Runner, The Parent Trap, The Young Philadelphians, Young Guns) born
1921
KYW Radio, Chicago, IL broadcast the first opera by a professional company, as listeners heard "Samson Et Dilila" from the Chicago Auditorium.
1922
The British Broadcasting Corporation began its domestic radio service.
1924
Actress Phyllis Avery (The George Gobel Show, Mr. Novak) born
1929
Auto racer Tiny (DeWayne) Lund born
1929
Baseball player Jimmy Piersall born
1929
Actor McLean Stevenson (M*A*S*H, The McLean Stevenson Show, Hello Larry, The Tim Conway Comedy Hour, The Doris Day Show, Condo) born
1930
Prokofiev's Fourth Symphony was premiered by the Boston Symphony as part of its 50th anniversary season. The Fourth has a slow introduction of unusual warmth and poignance and lots of action afterwards.
1933
Astronaut Fred Haise born
1934
Jazz musician Ellis Marsalis born
1935
Jordan's King Hussein born
1935
Actor Don Stewart (Guiding Light, The Doomsday Flight) born
1935
President Roosevelt proclaimed the Philippine Islands a free commonwealth.
1936
Blues singer Carey Bell born
1940
Pop singer Freddie Garrity (Freddie & the Dreamers) born
1940
German planes bombed Coventry, England, destroying or damaging 69,000 buildings.
1944
Tommy Dorsey and Orchestra recorded "Opus No. 1" for RCA Victor.
1945
Captain Eddie Rickenbacker sold the historic Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Former Indy winner, Wilbur Shaw became the new president and manager of the speedway. The track would be purchased by the Tony Holman family shortly thereafter.
1947
Writer P.J. O'Rourke born
1947
Zydeco singer-musician Buckwheat Zydeco born
1948
Britain's Prince Charles born
1948
Actor Robert Ginty born
1948
Rock singer-musician James Young (Styx) born
1951
Singer Stephen Bishop (It Might be You, On and On, Save It for a Rainy Day, Everybody Needs Love, This is the Night, Living in the Land of Abe Lincoln) born
1951
The first world lightweight title fight was telecast coast to coast this day. Jimmy Carter beat Art Aragon in Los Angeles.
1959
Hawaii's Kilauea volcano had its most spectacular eruption.
1960
GEORGIA ON MY MIND by Ray Charles peaked at #1 on the pop singles chart.
1961
Actress Laura San Giacomo born
1961
Actor D.B. Sweeney born
1964
Rapper Run (Run-DMC) born
1964
Rock musician Nic Dalton (The Lemonheads) born
1964
Gordie Howe, of the Detroit Red Wings, set a National Hockey League record as he scored his 627th career goal in a game against Montrealy.
1966
Boxing's largest indoor crowd assembled in the Houston Astrodome to see Cassius Clay defeat Cleveland Williams - by a TKO.
1967
The Monkees received a gold record for "Daydream Believer."
1968
Yale University announced it was going co-ed.
1969
"Apollo 12" blasted off for the moon.
1972
Rapper Shyheim born
1972
The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed above the 1,000 level for the first time in its 76-year history: ending the day at 1003.16.
1973
Britain's Princess Anne married Captain Mark Phillips in Westminster Abbey. (They divorced in 1992, and Anne re-married.)
1981
Paul 'Bear' Bryant tied the record of Amos Alonzo Stagg - for most football wins - as the Alabama Crimson Tide notched win #314 for Coach Bryant. Alabama beat Penn State 31-16.
1982
Solidarity leader Lech Walesa returned to his home in Gdansk, Poland, after eleven months of internment by martial law authorities.
1983
Amid protests from opposition lawmakers and anti-nuclear demonstrators, the British government announced that U.S.-made cruise missiles had arrived at the Greenham Common air base.
1984
Former Israeli Defense Minister Ariel Sharon went to court in New York with a $50 million libel suit against Time (Magazine) Incorporated. He lost after a two-month trial.
1984
Astronauts aboard the space shuttle Discovery plucked a second satellite from orbit and secured it in the spacecraft's cargo bay -- the second successful salvage mission in two days.
1985
President Reagan delivered a nationally broadcast speech in which he previewed his upcoming Geneva summit with Soviet leader Mikhail S. Gorbachev as "a mission for peace."
1986
Bette Midler gave birth to her first child...a daughter she named Sophie.
1986
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission announced that Ivan Boesky would have to pay $100 million in fines and alleged profits to settle insider trading charges against him. The settlement was just $6 million less than the entire S.E.C. budget for 1986.
1987
A bomb hidden in a box of chocolates exploded in the lobby of Beirut's American University Hospital, killing seven people, including the woman who was carrying it.
1988
Israeli President Chaim Herzog formally asked Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir to form a new government.
1988
US officials said Soviet leader Mikhail S. Gorbachev would visit the United States the following month.
1989
The U.S. Navy, alarmed over a recent string of serious accidents, ordered an unprecedented 48-hour stand-down.
1990
British commentator Malcolm Muggeridge died in Sussex, England, at age 87.
1990
President Bush told congressional leaders he had no immediate plans to go to war in the Persian Gulf.
1990
Simon and Schuster announced it had dropped plans to publish the controversial Bret Easton Ellis novel "American Psycho."
1991
U.S. and British authorities announced indictments against two Libyan intelligence officials in connection with the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103.
1991
Fired postal worker Thomas McIlvane stormed the Royal Oak, Michigan, Post Office, fatally shooting four workers before killing himself.
1991
Cambodian Prince Norodom Sihanouk returned to his homeland after 13 years in exile.
1991
Michael Jackson's BLACK OR WHITE video premiered on FOX-TV.
1992
As preparations for the presidential transition continued, President-elect Clinton told reporters in Little Rock, Arkansas, that a compromise on a line-item veto proposed by House Speaker Thomas Foley could prove acceptable.
1993
In a referendum, residents of Puerto Rico voted in favor of continuing their U.S. commonwealth status.
1994
After many delays, the first trains for the public were run in the Channel Tunnel - the "Chunnel" - under the English Channel.
1994
President Clinton, in Indonesia, held one-on-one meetings with the leaders of China, Japan and South Korea, winning pledges to keep the pressure on North Korea to freeze its nuclear weapons program.
1994
U.S. experts visited North Korea's main nuclear complex for the first time under an accord aimed at opening such sites to outside inspections.
1994
heavy rains and flooding from Tropical Storm Gordon swept across Haiti, killing several hundred people.
1995
The U.S. government instituted a partial shutdown, closing national parks and museums while government offices operated with skeleton crews.
1995
U.S. Rep. Enid Greene Waldholtz, R-Utah, filed for divorce from her husband, Joseph Waldholtz, who was under federal investigation for possible campaign financing improprieties.
1996
Cardinal Joseph Bernardin, the senior Roman Catholic prelate in the United States and leader of Chicago's 2.3 million Catholics, died at his home at age 68, surrounded by family and friends.
1997
A jury in Fairfax, Virginia, decided that Pakistani national
1997
Sara Lister, assistant secretary of the Army for manpower and reserve affairs, resigned in the wake of political pressure after she called Marines "extremists" and made fun of their uniforms.
1998
Iraq said it would resume cooperating with UN weapons inspectors as it appeared to back down in the face of a threatened US attack.
1999
Democrat Bill Bradley took center court at New York's Madison Square Garden for a $1.5 million presidential campaign fund-raiser that featured his former Knick teammates and basketball rivals.
1999
The United Nations imposed sanctions on Afghanistan for refusing to hand over suspected terrorist Osama bin Laden.
2005
Bomb scare halts Brisbane transport
2005
Climate change a factor in Australia's warmest year on record
2005
France plans on extending anti-riot powers
2005
Teens sought in Pennsylvania killings found
2005
Smoke condition at Penn Station suspends LIRR
2005
Quake measuring 6.9 off Japan's Honshū coast
2005
Pennsylvania couple murdered; daughter abducted
2006
Opposition MPs say Gov. Gen. Michaelle Jean should visit Canadian troops in Afghanistan
2006
Christchurch can host 2011 Rugby World Cup final
2006
Son of MNC CEO kidnapped in Noida, India
2006
Ousted Halton MP Garth Turner resigns membership from Conservative party
2006
18th International Guitar Festival of Great Britain
2006
Iranian radio revives Papal-Jewish conspiracy theories
2006
Israeli soldiers suspected of executing unarmed, injured men in Gaza
2006
Studies find radioactive material at Israel bomb site in Lebanon
2006
Al Jazeera English news channel to go live today
2007
FBI document reviews symbols used by pedophiles
2007
Eurostar train service moves to new London terminal
2007
Far-right faction in European Parliament dissolved
2007
Chris Langham's sentence for downloading child porn reduced
2007
Dalai Lama's representative talks about China, Tibet, Shugden and the next Dalai Lama
2007
Pat Robertson endorses Rudy Giuliani for President
2007
Iran reveals nuclear designs to IAEA
2008
Eurozone now officially in recession
2008
Nokia scales back prediction for global mobile phone sales
2008
Egyptian doctor sentenced to fifteen years jail, 1,500 lashes in Saudi Arabia
2008
India's moon craft reaches final lunar orbit
2009
Two Azerbaijani bloggers jailed
2009
Zimbabwe government allocates US$10 million for relocation of thousands of families near diamond field
2009
Illinois jury sentences Brian Dugan to death
2009
Six aid groups suspend work in Chad after killing
2009
Afghanistan suicide attack wounds more than twenty
2009
Russian territory expands by 4.5 square kilometres after seismic activity
2009
One dead after jet crashes into airport in Rwanda
2009
Illinois police departments try to reduce number of road fatalities this year
2009
Bomb blast kills at least eleven in Pakistan, over twenty wounded
2009
NASA mission finds water on the Moon
2009
Four teenagers killed in car crash in Birmingham, England
2009
UN: one billion hungry people in the world
2009
Sarkozy makes Clint Eastwood's day; actor becomes "Légion d'honneur" Commander
2009
London Lord Mayor's Show draws crowds despite bad weather
2010
Seven dead, twenty injured in Mexican resort explosion
2010
French Prime Minister Francois Fillon resigns
2010
Over 900 people dead, 14,000 infected in Haitian cholera outbreak
2010
Pennsylvania father kills two daughters, wife, then commits suicide
2012
Israel launches airstrikes against Gaza Strip, kills Hamas commander

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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