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Today in History

1887
Eminent American abstractionist artist Georgia Totto O'Keeffe born in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin
1889
Proclamation of the Republic in Brazil
1896
Niagara Falls power plant starts up
1929
Emmy Award winning actor, Edward Asner born in Kansas City, Missouri
1932
Singer Petula Clark born in Surrey, England
1947
30th Governor of New Mexico, 21st US Ambassador to the UN and diplomatic trouble-shooter, Bill Richardson born in Pasadena, California
1951
Actress and singer, Beverly D'Angelo born in Columbus, Ohio
1971
Intel releases single-chip 4004 processor
1990
Milli Vanilli lip-synching scandal breaks
2001
Microsoft releases Xbox video game console
309
Martyrdom of Sts. Shmona and Garia, the "Confessors of Edessa"
878
Death of St. Fintan of Rhienau
1136
Death of St. Leopold, Prince of Austria
1202
Zara, a Christian city, falls to the 4th Crusade
1280
Death of St. Albertus Magnus
1316
John I, King of France born
1397
Pope Nicholas V, ended schism, founded Vatican Library born
1492
Columbus makes the first recorded observation of the use of tobacco
1501
Arthur, Prince of Wales, marries Catherine of Aragon
1533
Spaniards enter the Inca's holy city of Cuzco
1539
Thomas Whiting, Abbot of Glastonbury, and two other monks of the Abbey, "Arthur" and Roger James, hung drawn and quartered on Glastonbury Tor (beatified 13 May 1896)
1591
Execution of Barnabe Brisson, President of the Parliament of Paris
1626
The Plymouth Colony buys out its London investors
1708
British statesman William Pitt ("the elder") born
1738
British astronomer Sir William Herschel, discoverer of the planet Uranus born
1748
Haydn was replaced by his younger brother Michael in a choral performance because his voice was changing, and the Kapellmeister of St. Stephen's Church in Vienna tried to talk him into becoming a castrato. Haydn's dad found out in time to rush to Vienna and save the family jewels.
1777
The Continental Congress approved the Articles of Confederation, a precursor to the Constitution of the United States.
1806
Explorer Zebulon Pike sighted the mountaintop now known as "Pikes Peak."
1864
Union Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman began his Civil War march from Atlanta to the sea.
1874
Nobel Prize-winning physiologist August Krogh of Denmark born
1881
The Federation of Organized Trades and Labor Unions of the United States and Canada was formed on this day in Pittsburgh, PA. Five years later the organization would become the American Federation of Labor (AFL).
1882
Jurist Felix Frankfurter born
1884
Samuel Sidney McClure, of New York City, started the first newspaper chain on this date.
1886
Actor/actress George (Georgina) Spelvin (pseudonym for an actor or actress performing in more than one role; 1st performance: Karl the Peddler; over 10,000 Broadway appearances) born
1887
Georgia O'Keefe (Cow's Skull with Calico Roses, A Cross by the Sea, Canada, Black Iris, Farmhouse Window and Door, Lake George) born
1889
Brazil's monarchy was overthrown.
1891
W. Averell Harriman (U.S. diplomat, Governor of New York born
1904
King Camp Gillette patented the razor with disposable blades.
1904
This was the day that one of Broadway's most famous phrases was uttered for the first time by Ethel Barrymore. Appearing in the play, "Sunday", Barrymore spoke the famous line, "That's all there is. There isn't any more," as the curtain fell.
1919
Judge Joseph Wapner born
1919
Actress Carol Bruce (WKRP in Cincinnati) born
1920
The first assembly of the League of Nations was called to order in Geneva, Switzerland.
1925
Former White House Chief of Staff Howard H. Baker Junior born
1926
The National Broadcasting Company debuted with a radio network of 24 stations. The program was a gala 4 1/2 hour broadcast from the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City. Two remote pickups were also on the program as opera star, Mary Garden sang from Chicago and Will Rogers presented a humorous monologue from Independence, Kansas. Charles Lindbergh was among the luminaries who attended the NBC broadcast.
1928
Filler-up, Keep on Truckin' Cafe, Wolf Creek Pass, Classified, There Won't be No Country Music, Roses for Mama) born
1929
Actor Ed Asner (The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Rich Man, Poor Man, Roots-Part One, Lou Grant, Thunder Alley, Hearts Afire, Change of Habit, The Doomsday Flight, Fort Apache The Bronx, JFK, They Call Me Mr. Tibbs!) born
1932
Singer Petula Clark (Downtown, I Know a Place, This is My Song, My Love) born
1933
Comedian Jack Burns born
1933
Singer Clyde McPhatter (Treasure of Love, Long Lonely Nights, A Lovers Question, Lover Please; groups: Dominoes: Do Something for Me, Sixty Minute Man, Have Mercy Baby; Drifters: Money Honey, Such a Night/Lucille, Honey Love) born
1934
Actress Joanna Barnes (The Trials of O'Brien, 21 Beacon Street, Spartacus, Parent Trap, Goodbye Charlie) born
1937
Congress enjoyed air conditioning in both the House and Senate chambers for the first time as the second session of the 75th U.S. Congress convened this day.
1937
Singer Little Willie John (Sleep, Talk to Me Talk to Me, Fever) born
1938
Television's first on-the-scene program took place. A fire on Ward's Island, New York, was seen by the cameras of NBC's W2XBT. The cameras caught the unexpected fire as it broke out.
1939
President Roosevelt laid the cornerstone of the Jefferson Memorial in Washington DC.
1939
The Social Security Administration approved the first unemployment check.
1940
Actor Sam Waterston (The Killing Fields, Law & Order, Friendly Fire, I'll Fly Away, The Great Gatsby, Serial Mom) born
1940
Golfer Fred Marti born
1940
The first 75 peacetime conscription.
1942
Pianist Daniel Barenboim born
1945
Pop singer Frida (Anni-Frid) Lyngstad (group-ABBA Dancing Queen, Take a Chance on Me, Waterloo) born
1946
Singer Janet Lennon (The Lennon Sisters) born
1947
Basketball player Bob Dandridge born
1949
Actor Yaphet Kotto born
1950
Denver Broncos running back Otis Armstrong born
1953
Singer Alexander O'Neal born
1954
Rock singer-producer Mitch Easter born
1954
Actress Beverly D'Angelo (Coal Miner's Daughter, Paternity, Hair, Annie Hall, Every Which Way but Loose, National Lampoon's Vacation series, Captains and the Kings) born
1956
"Love Me Tender" - the first Elvis Presley film - premiered on this day. It was termed a "rock and roll western".
1957
"Tonight Show" bandleader Kevin Eubanks born
1959
A famous classical quote was published. Metropolitan Opera boss Rudolph Bing, in an interview with the New York Times, dismissed a question about the Met's operating deficit by saying, "Opera has no business making money."
1965
The fastest man on wheels, Craig Breedlove, set a world speed record at the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah, with a speed of 600.601 mph.
1966
The flight of "Gemini 12" ended successfully as astronauts James A. Lovell and Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin Junior splashed down safely in the Atlantic.
1967
Singer Mari Fernandez (group Came True) born
1967
Rapper E-40 born
1969
Janis Joplin was arrested for using ``vulgar and indecent'' language on stage in Tampa, Florida...and also for allegedly threatening to kick a police officer in the face.
1969
A quarter of a million protesters staged a peaceful demonstration in Washington against the Vietnam War.
1969
The first album featuring Karen and Richard Carpenter, "Offering", was released by A&M Records on this day. It would not be a big seller, but a single from the disc, a remake of The Beatles' "Ticket to Ride", would gain national attention. Their next album, however, would establish them as major international stars. Its title: "Close to You".
1970
Country singer Jack Ingram born
1980
After years of success on the music charts with the New Christy Minstrels and the First Edition, Kenny Rogers got his first #1 song this day. "Lady", written by Lionel Richie, stayed at the top for six weeks.
1982
Funeral services were held in Moscow's Red Square for the late Soviet President Leonid I. Brezhnev.
1984
Five-week-old Baby Fae died after her body rejected the baboon heart she had lived with for 20 days at California's Loma Linda University Medical Center.
1985
Britain and Ireland signed an accord giving Dublin an official consultative role in governing Northern Ireland.
1986
A government tribunal in Nicaragua convicted American Eugene Hasenfus of charges related to his role in delivering arms to Contra rebels, and sentenced him to 30 years in prison. (Hasenfus was pardoned a month later.)
1987
Twenty-eight of 82 people aboard a Continental Airlines DC-9, including the pilot and co-pilot, were killed when the jetliner crashed seconds after taking off from Denver's Stapleton International Airport.
1988
The Palestine National Council, the legislative body of the PLO, proclaimed the establishment of an independent Palestinian state at the close of a four-day conference in Algiers.
1988
The Soviet Union launched its first space shuttle, "Buran," on an unmanned, three-and-a-half-hour flight.
1988
The Dalai Lama said he would settle for less than full independence for Tibet in order to prevent full assimilation by China.
1989
Solidarity leader Lech Walesa was cheered by American lawmakers as he told a joint meeting of Congress that U.S. aid to Poland "will not be wasted, and will never be forgotten."
1990
Milli Vanilli's German producer revealed that the Grammy- winning pop duo did not sing a note on their 1989 debut album...and also lip-synched their way through live and video performances.
1990
The ``Keating Five'' -- Sens. Alan Cranston, D- Calif.; Dennis DeConcini, D-Ariz.; John Glenn, D-Ohio; John McCain, R- Ariz.; and Donald Riegle, D-Mich. -- maintained their innocence at the opening of Senate hearings into charges of influence peddling on behalf of S&L kingpin Charles Keating.
1990
The space shuttle Atlantis was launched on a secret military mission.
1990
The first major United States-Saudi Arabia military exercise, "Imminent Thunder" began.
1991
A federal appeals panel threw out former National Security Adviser John M. Poindexter's felony convictions in the Iran-Contra affair, saying his immunized testimony to Congress was improperly used against him.
1991
The Justice Department revealed criminal indictments of BCCI and three businessmen associated with it.
1992
President-elect Clinton and his wife, Hillary, hosted a dinner in Little Rock, Arkansas, for Democratic congressional leaders in the first such meeting since the presidential election.
1993
A judge in Mineola, New York, sentenced Joey Buttafuoco to six months in jail for the statutory rape of Amy Fisher, who is serving a prison sentence for shooting and wounding Buttafuoco's wife, Mary Jo.
1993
The State Department announced that Secretary Warren M. Christopher would travel to the Mideast to try to mediate differences between Israel and the PLO.
1993
An unauthorized biography of Barbra Streisand claimed she kept her mother in a rundown condo and sent her one-thousand dollars a month.
1994
Stevie Wonder announced plans for his first national concert tour since 1989...with the benefits going to those organizations working to end world hunger.
1994
The Federal Reserve increased key interest rates by three-quarters of a percentage point, the largest hike in 13 years.
1994
The 18-member Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation group concluded a two-day summit in Indonesia by adopting a sweeping resolution to remove trade and investment barriers in the region by 2020.
1995
A partial government shutdown stretched into the second day.
1995
The space shuttle Atlantis docked with the orbiting Russian space station Mir.
1996
Texaco agreed to pay $176.1 million to settle a two-year-old race discrimination suit.
1996
Former State Department official Alger Hiss, who fell from grace in a Communist spy scandal, died in New York just four days after his 92nd birthday.
1996
Singer Michael Jackson married the woman carrying his baby - his plastic surgeon's nurse, Debbie Rowe - in a ceremony in Sydney, Australia.
1997
A day after moving to halt the import of modified assault weapons, President Clinton defended the action in his weekly radio address, saying such weapons did nothing but "inspire fear and wreck deadly havoc on our streets."
1998
Kwame Ture, the civil rights activist formerly known as Stokely Carmichael, died in Guinea at age 57.
1999
The Clinton administration claimed victory in a seven-year struggle to persuade Congress to pay nearly $1 billion in back dues to the United Nations.
1999
Chinese and U.S. negotiators reached a breakthrough agreement to remove trade barriers, clearing the biggest hurdle to China's entry into the World Trade Organization.
2005
Thousands of Australian workers set to rally against IR reform
2005
Hundreds of thousands rally in Australia against IR legislation
2005
Globalization and trade deficit are connected says Greenspan
2005
Thailand forces registration of prepaid phones to thwart insurgency
2005
AOL to launch online TV service
2005
Author Vine Deloria dies at 72
2006
Tsunami alert lifted for Japan and Russia
2006
Charles Upham's medals to stay in New Zealand
2006
Japan and Russia on tsunami alert
2006
CNN accused of covering up transcript of Bill Maher outing Ken Mehlman
2006
South Africa to legalize same-sex marriage
2006
R&B singer Gerald Levert dies
2006
Ed Joyce to replace Trescothick for Ashes
2006
The Yes Men troll Wharton Business School with slavery proposal
2006
Tsunami wave alert for British Columbia dropped
2006
Meena among 60 Asian Heroes of Time Magazine
2006
U.S. Airways makes bid on Delta
2006
Canadian law proposes to ban spitting, swearing and urinating in public
2006
47th Thessaloniki International Film Festival to open Friday
2006
Abramoff begins prison sentence
2006
Bill Clinton jokingly named professor at Columbia University
2006
Murdoch asks Australians to stick with the US
2006
Israeli Woman killed by Qassam rocket
2006
Murat Kurnaz describes systematic torture in Guantanamo
2007
Internally distributed DHS memo: al-Qaeda and Hezbollah may attack U.S. within three years
2007
Baseball World Cup: Quarter Finalists appeared last 2 days with some disputes
2007
Magnitude 7.7 earthquake strikes Antofagasta, Chile
2007
Ruling coalition keeps majority after parliamentary election in Denmark
2007
Cyclone Sidr smashes Bangladesh's coastline, millions evacuated
2007
Baseball star Barry Bonds indicted on perjury charges
2007
Video of man tasered at Vancouver airport released
2007
Pakistan gets caretaker government to oversee January elections
2008
Scotland's First Minister does comedy sketch for charity
2008
Turbulence likely cause of Mexico jet crash that killed ministers
2008
Scotland denies bail to terminally ill man convicted of Lockerbie bombing
2008
India's flag lands on Moon
2008
Sun Microsystems cuts 6,000 jobs
2009
Kosovo: voters go to the polls for the first time since independence declared from Serbia
2009
New promotional events set for Disney's "Phineas and Ferb's Christmas Vacation"
2009
European Union emerges from recession
2009
Peace talks: Syria's President calls upon France to intervene whilst rejecting direct talks with Israel
2009
Austrian students' protests expanding through Europe
2009
Mo Ibrahim: Some African countries too small to continue to exist independently
2009
Kenyan cattle rustlers kill eleven
2010
Somali piracy: Kenyan navy kills three, Chinese ship hijacked, British couple freed

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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