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Today in History

1862
Baseball player and celebrated evangelical preacher, Billy Sunday born in Ames, Iowa
1863
Abraham Lincoln delivers Gettysburg Address
1905
Musician and Big Band leader, Tommy Dorsey born in Shenandoah, Pennsylvania
1936
Emmy Award winning talk show host, Dick Cavett born in Gibbon, Nebraska
1938
Media magnate, philanthropist and founder of CNN, Ted Turner born Robert Edward Turner III in Cincinnati, Ohio
1943
Nazis murder 6,000 people at the Janowska concentration camp
1962
Academy and Golden Globe Award winning actress, Jodie Foster born in Los Angeles, California
1963
Fashion model and actress, Terry Farrell born in Cedar Rapids, Iowa
1969
Apollo 12 lands on the moon
1978
Jim Jones cult mass suicide
1985
Reagan and Gorbachev meet in Geneva
1997
McCaughey septuplets born in Iowa
461
St. Hilarius becomes Pope
1231
Death of St. Elisabeth, Princess of Hungary
1317
Philip V "the Tall," proclaims himself King of France
1493
Christopher Columbus discovers Puerto Rico.
1522
Election of Clement VII as Pope
1600
Charles I King of Great Britain and Ireland (1625-49) born
1616
Eustache LeSuer born
1665
Nicholas Poussin, French artist, dies.
1752
George Rogers Clark, frontier military leader in Revolutionary War. born
1794
The United States and Britain signed the Jay Treaty, which resolved some issues left over from the Revolutionary War.
1826
Mendelssohn's music for "A Midsummer Night's Dream" was first heard in public. It was played in its original form, for two pianos by Felix and his sister Fanny.
1831
James A. Garfield, 20th President (March 4-September 19,1881) born
1850
The first life insurance policy issued to a woman was purchased by 36-year-old Carolyn Ingraham of Madison, New Jersey.
1862
Religious revivalist Billy Sunday born
1863
President Lincoln delivered the Gettysburg Address as he dedicated a national cemetery at the site of the Civil War battlefield in Pennsylvania
1875
Explorer Hiram Bingham, discoverer of the Inca city of Machu Picchu born
1885
Haldor Lillenas, American hymnwriter. He penned nearly 4,000 Gospel texts and hymn tunes during his lifetime, including "It Is Glory Just to Walk With Him," Wonderful Grace of Jesus" and "Peace, Peace, Wonderful Peace." born
1895
Frederick E. Blaisdell, of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania patented what he called the paper pencil.
1905
Trombonist Tommy Dorsey ("The Sentimental Gentlemen of Swing": I'm Getting Sentimental Over You, Treasure Island, The Music Goes Round and Round, Alone, You, Marie, Song of India, Who, Satan Takes a Holiday, The Big Apple, Once in a While, Music Maestro Please, Our Love, Indian Summer, All the Things You Are, There are Such Things, In the Blue of the Evening, Without a Song, I'll Never Smile Again, Boogie Woogie) born
1905
Jimmy Dorsey born
1917
Indira (Priyadarshini) Gandhi - prime minister of India for three consecutive terms (1966-77) and a fourth term (1980-84). She was assassinated by Sikh extremists. born
1919
Actor Alan Young (Mr. Ed, Emmy-Award winning show Young Show ; Beverly Hills Cop 3, The Time Machine) born
1919
The Senate rejected the Treaty of Versailles by a vote of 55 in favor to 39 against, short of the two-thirds majority needed for ratification.
1921
American baseball player Roy Campanella (Professional National League (NL) catcher for the Brooklyn Dodgers, whose career was cut short as a result of an automobile accident). born
1922
British geophysicist Stanley Keith Runcorn - first to discover evidence of periodic reversals of the Earth's magnetic field. born
1923
A festival was held to honor the merger of the Hungarian cities of Buda and Pest. The Budapest festival featured the premieres of Dohnanyi's "Festival Overture"... Kodaly's "Psalmus Hungaricus"... and Bartok's "Dance Suite."
1926
Former UN Ambassador Jeane J. Kirkpatrick born
1928
After 5 years of publication, "TIME" magazine presented its cover portrait for the first time. Japanese Emperor Hirohito was the magazine's first cover subject.
1932
Halfback Joe Kershallo scored 71 points to lead West Liberty State College of West Virginia to a staggering 127-0 win over Cedarville College, Ohio.
1933
Talk show host Larry (Zeiger) King born
1935
Chairman, CEO born
1936
Talk show host Dick Cavett born
1937
Singer Ray Collins (Memories of El Monte) born
1938
Broadcasting and sports mogul Ted Turner born
1939
Singer Pete Moore (Smokey Robinson and the Miracles) born
1939
TV journalist Garrick Utley (NBC News, NBC Magazine with David Brinkley, TV moderator: Meet the Press, First Tuesday) born
1941
Actor Dan Haggerty (The Life and Times of Grizzly Adams, The Adventures of Frontier Freemont) born
1942
Fashion designer Calvin Klein born
1942
During World War Two, Russian forces launched their winter offensive against the Germans along the Don front.
1943
Musician Fred Lipsius (Group Made Me So Very Happy, Spinning Wheel, LP: Child is Father to the Man) born
1943
Stan Kenton and his Orchestra recorded "Artistry in Rhythm", the song that later become the Kenton theme. It was Capitol record number 159. The other side of the disk was titled, "Eager Beaver."
1947
Football player Mike Phipps born
1949
Sportscaster (Bobby Moore) Ahmad Rashad born
1954
Sammy Davis, Jr. was involved in a serious auto accident in San Bernardino, California. Three days later, Davis lost the sight in his left eye. He later called the accident the turning point of his career.
1954
Two automatic toll collectors were placed in service on the Garden State Parkway in New Jersey. The nation's first automatic toll collector accepted only correct change and required a quarter.
1954
Actress Kathleen Quinlan (The Promise, I Never Promised You a Rose Garden, American Graffiti, Airport '77, Apollo 13) born
1955
Actress Glynnis O'Connor (The Deliberate Stranger, Johnny Dangerously, The Boy in the Plastic Bubble, Sons and Daughters) born
1959
The last Edsel rolled off the assembly line. Ford Motor Company stopped production of the big flop after two years and a total of 110,847 cars.
1960
Rock musician Matt Sorum (The Cult; Guns N' Roses) born
1961
Actress Meg Ryan (When a Man Loves a Woman, When Harry Met Sally, D.O.A., Sleepless in Seattle, Flesh and Bone, Top Gun, One of the Boys) born
1961
A year after Chubby Checker reached the #1 spot with "The Twist", the singer appeared on "The Ed Sullivan Show" to sing the song again. "The Twist" became the first record to reach #1 a second time around. It went #1 for the second time on January 13, 1962.
1962
Actress/director Jodie (Alicia) Foster (The Accused, Silence of the Lambs, Taxi Driver, Napoleon and Samantha, Sommersby, Mayberry RFD, Paper Moon, Maverick; director: Little Man Tate) born
1966
Olympic gold medal runner Gail Devers born
1966
Six weeks before his 31st birthday, LA Dodgers pitcher, Sandy Koufax, plagued by arthritis, announced his retirement from baseball. Koufax compiled a 12-season record of 165 wins, 87 losses and 2,396 strikeouts.
1969
Rock musician Travis McNabb (Better Than Ezra) born
1969
"Apollo 12" astronauts Charles Conrad and Alan Bean made man's second landing on the moon.
1971
Singer Tony Rich born
1973
Dancer-choreographer Savion Glover born
1975
Rhythm-and-blues singer Tamika Scott (Xscape) born
1977
Egyptian President Anwar Sadat became the first Arab leader to visit Israel.
1984
20-year-old Dwight Gooden, of the New York Mets, became the youngest major-league pitcher to be named Rookie of the Year in the National League. The Mets pitcher led the majors with 276 strikeouts.
1985
A Houston jury ruled Texaco must pay $10.5 billion, the largest damage award in United States history, to Pennzoil Company for Texaco's 1984 acquisition of Getty Oil Co.
1985
President Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail S. Gorbachev met for the first time as they began their summit in Geneva.
1987
Congressional budget negotiators finished all but the final details of a two-year, $75 billion deficit reduction pact, but not in time to avert spending cuts mandated by the Gramm-Rudman Act.
1988
Shipping heiress Christina Onassis died in Buenos Aires, Argentina, at age 37.
1989
Funeral services were held in El Salvador for six Jesuit priests slain by uniformed gunmen. The archbishop of El Salvador said the killings "place our country in the first place of barbarity in the world."
1990
Leaders of 16 NATO members and the remaining six Warsaw Pact nations signed treaties in Paris making sweeping cuts in conventional arms throughout Europe and pledging non-aggression toward one another.
1990
Pop duo Milli Vanilli were stripped of their Grammy Award because other singers had lent their voices to the "Girl You Know It's True" album.
1991
Officials in Moscow announced that Eduard Shevardnadze was returning to his former post as Soviet foreign minister.
1991
The U.S. House of Representatives sustained President Bush's veto of a bill that would have lifted his ban on federally financed abortion counseling.
1992
President-elect Clinton paid a call on Congress, pledging an open door to Democrats and Republicans alike.
1992
President Bush's mother, Dorothy, died in Greenwich, Connecticut, at age 91.
1993
The Chicago Symphony Chamber Music Series played with Ruben Gonzalez, Gregory Smith and Lenore Lams performing Stravinsky's "Histoire du Soldat" and Berg's "Adagio", each as arranged for clarinet, violin and piano.
1993
The US Senate approved a sweeping $22.3 billion anti-crime measure.
1993
President Clinton met in Seattle with Chinese President Jiang Zemin.
1994
The U.N. Security Council, anxious to stop Serb attacks on the "safe area" of Bihac in northwest Bosnia, authorized NATO to bomb rebel Serb forces striking from neighboring Croatia.
1995
The Clinton administration and Republican congressional leaders reached a deal to end a six-day budget standoff and resulting partial government shutdown.
1995
Polish President Lech Walesa was defeated in his bid for re-election.
1996
Fourteen people were killed when a commuter plane collided with a private plane at an airport in Quincy, Illinois.
1996
The United States vetoed UN Secretary-General Boutros
1996
The space shuttle "Columbia" lifted off with the oldest crew member to date, 61-year-old Story Musgrave.
1997
The space shuttle "Columbia" zoomed into orbit on a two-week science mission.
1998
Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr laid out his evidence against President Clinton, then defended his investigation under withering questions from Democrats, during a daylong appearance before the House Judiciary Committee
1998
Movie director Alan Pakula died in a car accident on Long Island, New York, at age 70.
1999
World leaders at the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe in Turkey signed a treaty cutting the number of tanks and non-nuclear weapons systems across Europe.
1999
Hundreds of anti-American protesters battled riot police and set stores and banks ablaze as President Clinton rode through Athens in a tight security cocoon and proclaimed a "profound and enduring friendship" with Greece.
2005
US bombers to train in Australia
2005
Australian man to be executed in Singapore
2005
U.S. House vote forced on immediate pullout of troops in Iraq
2005
Carter's CIA chief labels Dick Cheney "vice president for torture"
2005
French unions march in support of public services
2005
World Summit on the Information Society ends in Tunisia
2005
Australian science organisation discontinues genetically modified pea research
2006
Blair, Brown promise an extra £540 milllion to Pakistan, Iraq
2006
Kirby Chambliss wins Red Bull Air Race World Series
2006
New storm approaches as Vancouver remains under boil water advisory
2006
Fire crews race to contain Blue Mountains, NSW fires before Tuesday
2006
Bush meets with coup appointed Thai PM
2006
"Civil defence" thwarts Israeli air strike on Gaza refugee camp
2006
ELF Cup kicks off in Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus
2006
Iraqi deputy health minister kidnapped
2006
MIT researchers explore method of transferring electricity wirelessly
2006
Common Admission Test for colleges conducted across India
2006
The Wii, Nintendo's next generation console, launches in North America
2007
Finalists head for Canadian football's Grey Cup
2007
Ukrainian coal mine explodes, killing 68
2007
Spanish King's 'shut up' to Chávez becomes ringtone
2007
Chávez warns oil prices could double if US invades Iran
2007
Murray Hill on the life and versatility of a New York drag king
2007
Two students in Germany accused of plotting a school attack
2008
Senator Ted Stevens loses re-election bid in Alaska ballot
2008
Thaksin to return to Thai politics
2008
UK football club criticized by council for attempting to trademark city's bird
2008
CERN says repairs to LHC particle accelerator to cost US$21 million
2009
Senator Xenophon of Australia calls for criminal investigation into Scientology
2009
Somali pirates attack US-flagged ship, vessel evades capture
2009
Daimler acquires stake in winning team Brawn GP, changes its name to Mercedes Grand Prix
2009
British Climatic Research Unit's emails hacked
2009
Seven die from H1N1 swine flu virus; total virus victims in Wales rises to 21
2009
At least nineteen dead after suicide bomb blast in Pakistan
2009
Uruguay qualify to take last spot in 2010 FIFA World Cup
2009
Herman Van Rompuy named as first permanent EU President
2009
UN criticises Israel's latest settlement plan, angry reaction from US and UK
2009
Mobile operator Orange bills French doctor €160,000 for one month of Internet use
2010
Robbery suspect flees on riding mower
2010
London cop fired for rape despite 'insufficient evidence' to prosecute
2011
EU increases 2012 budget by two per cent
2012
Israeli Defense Force admits to targeting media center in Gaza City airstrike
2012
Canberra United lose first game since January 2011
2012
Expedition 33 crew returns to Earth

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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