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Today in History

1734
American frontiersman Daniel Boone born in Oley Valley, Pennsylvania
1755
Queen of France, Marie Antoinette born in Vienna, Austria
1783
First hot air balloon free flight (France)
1795
11th President of the United States, James K. Polk born in Pineville, North Carolina
1815
George Boole, inventor of Boolean algebra, the theoretical foundation for all things digital, born in Lincolnshire, England
1865
29th President of the United States, Warren G. Harding born in Blooming Grove, Ohio
1940
Luftwaffe halted by outnumbered RAF after 57 consecutive night bombings of London
1942
Singer, dancer and Emmy Award nominated actress, Stefanie Powers born in Hollywood, California
1952
R&B singer Maxine Nightingale born in London, England
1960
John F. Kennedy announces his idea of the Peace Corps
1988
Morris internet worm launched from MIT
472
Death of Olybrius, Emperor of the West
1082
Death of Matilda, Wife and Queen of William I, King of England
1328
James the Butler named Irish Earl of Ormonde
1483
Execution of the Duke of Buckingham by Richard III
1570
A tidal wave destroys the sea-wall from Holland to Jutland
1734
Frontiersman Daniel Boone born
1755
Marie Antoinette, queen of France born
1772
The first Committees of Correspondence are formed in Massachusetts under Samuel Adams.
1783
General George Washington issued his "Farewell Address to the Army" near Princeton, New Jersey
1789
The property of the Church in France is taken away by the state.
1795
The eleventh president of the United States, James Knox Polk, was born in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina.
1795
James K. Polk, 11th President (1845-1849) born
1830
Chopin left Poland, for good. He went to Vienna first, but found that the Viennese were less interested in him than on a previous visit to the city. That's what sent Chopin to Paris, where he would find his greatest fame.
1835
The Provisional Government of Texas put Sam Houston in charge of the Texas revolutionary army.
1841
The second Afghan War begins.
1865
Warren G. Harding, 29th President (1921-1923) He was the 1st president to speak on radio. born
1865
The 29th president of the United States, Warren Gamaliel Harding, was born near Corsica, Ohio.
1869
Sheriff Wild Bill Hickok loses his reelection bid in Ellis County, Kansas
1885
Harlow Shapley, US astronomer. born
1889
North and South Dakota became the 39th and 40th states of the Union.
1913
Actor Burt Lancaster (Elmer Gantry, Trapeze, From Here to Eternity, The Bird Man of Alcatraz, The Unforgiven, Atlantic City, Local Hero, Field of Dreams, The Phantom of the Opera, The Rainmaker, The Rose Tattoo, Scorpio, Tough Guys, Airport, Come Back Little Sheba, Gunfight at the OK Corral, Judgment at Nuremberg; circus acrobat) born
1914
Actor Ray Walston (Picket Fences, My Favorite Martian, Fast Times, Silver Spoons, Damn Yankees, South Pacific, The Apartment, Of Mice and Men, Popeye, The Silver Streak, The Sting) born
1917
British Foreign Secretary Arthur Balfour expressed support for a "national home" for the Jews of Palestine in what came to be known as "The Balfour Declaration."
1920
KDKA (Pittsburgh) on the air as 1st commercial radio station.
1920
Actress Ann Rutherford (Andy Hardy series, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, Gone with the Wind; TV panelist: Leave it to the Girls) born
1921
The American Birth Control League is formed by Margaret Sanger and Mary Ware Dennett.
1926
Country singer Charlie Walker (Pick Me Up on Your Way Down, Don't Squeeze My Sharmon) born
1929
Newsreel Theatre opened in New York City. Newsreel films were shown at the Embassy Theatre.
1930
Haile Selassie was crowned emperor of Ethiopia.
1931
The DuPont company, of Wilmington, Delaware, announced the first synthetic rubber. It was known as DuPrene.
1937
Rhythm-and-blues singer Earl "Speedo" Carroll (The Cadillacs; The Coasters) born
1937
"I'd Rather be Right" opened in New York City. The humorous play about the U.S. presidency satirized the highest office in the land as it related to Franklin Roosevelt.
1938
Political commentator Patrick J. Buchanan born
1938
Singer Jay Black (David Blatt) (From the group Americans - songs: Only in America, Come a Little Bit Closer, Cara Mia, Sunday and Me, This Magic Moment, Walkin' in the Rain) born
1940
Football player Jim Bakken born
1941
PGA golf champion David Stockton born
1942
Actress Stefanie Powers (Stefanie Federkievicz) (Hart to Hart, The Girl from U.N.C.L.E., The Feather and Father Gang, McClintock!, Die! Die! My Darling, Herbie Rides Again, The Interns) born
1942
Author Shere Hite (Shirley Gregory) (The Hite Report, Women and Love, Sexual Honesty: By Women for Women, A Nationwide Study of Female Sexuality) born
1944
Rock musician Keith Emerson (Emerson, Lake and Palmer) born
1947
Howard Hughes piloted his huge wooden airplane, known as the "Spruce Goose," on its only flight, which lasted about a minute over Long Beach Harbor in California.
1948
President Truman surprised the experts by being re-elected in a narrow upset over Republican challenger Thomas E. Dewey.
1950
George Bernard Shaw, Irish-born playwright and critic, died
1953
Singer-actress Maxine Nightingale (Hair, Jesus Christ Superstar, Godspell) born
1953
Actress Alfre Woodard (Hill Street Blues, St. Elsewhere, Tucker's Witch, Cross Creek, Miss Firecracker, Grand Canyon, Passion Fish, Bopha, Heart and Souls) born
1955
The first pop song, by Julie London appeared on the charts. London's smoky and sultry rendition of "Cry Me a River"stayed on the pop chart for five months, reaching as high as #9.
1959
Game show contestant Charles Van Doren admitted to a House subcommittee that he'd been given questions and answers in advance when he appeared on the NBC TV program "Twenty-One."
1960
Dmitri Mitropoulos dropped dead while rehearsing Mahler's Third Symphony. It happened at La Scala. Mahler's Third is a long symphony it won't fit on one CD and its conclusion is slow and sad. Mitropoulos was one of the conductors who brought Mahler's music back to public notice.
1960
During a major trial in England, the novel "Lady Chatterly's Lover," was found - not guilty - of obscenity.
1961
Singer-songwriter k.d. lang born
1962
President Kennedy announced the Soviet missile bases in Cuba were being dismantled.
1963
Rock musician Bobby Dall (Poison) born
1963
South Vietnamese President Ngo Dihn Diem was assassinated in a military coup.
1963
After giving benefit performances for years, singer Kate Smith presented her first full concert performance to a paying crowd at Carnegie Hall in New York City this day.
1967
Rhythm-and-blues singer Alvin Chea (Take 6) born
1967
Singer Charlie 'Steele' Pennachio born
1974
Rapper Prodigy (Mobb Deep) born
1975
Actor Danny Cooksey ("Diff'rent Strokes") born
1976
Former Georgia Governor Jimmy Carter became the first candidate from the Deep South since the Civil War to be elected president as he defeated incumbent Gerald R. Ford.
1979
Black militant Joanna Chesimard escaped from a New Jersey prison, where she'd been serving a life sentence for the 1973 slaying of a New Jersey state trooper.
1983
Reagan signs a bill establishing Martin Luther King, Jr., Day.
1984
Velma Barfield, convicted of the poisoning death of her boyfriend, was put to death by injection in Raleigh, North Carolina, becoming the first woman executed in the United States since 1962.
1985
The government of South Africa imposed severe restrictions on television, radio and newspaper coverage of unrest by both local and foreign journalists.
1986
Shiite Muslim kidnappers in Lebanon released American hostage David Jacobson after holding him for 17 months
1987
Zhao Ziyang was appointed head of China's Communist Party, succeeding his mentor, Deng Xiaoping.
1988
A computer "worm" unleashed by a Cornell University graduate student began replicating, clogging thousands of computers around the country, but causing no real damage.
1989
President Bush and congressional Republicans dropped their quest for a cut in the capital gains tax rate during the session of Congress that was in progress.
1990
The White House announced that President Bush planned to spend Thanksgiving with American soldiers in Saudi Arabia.
1991
The Rev. Jesse Jackson, who had run for the presidency in 1984 and 1988, announced he would not be a candidate in 1992.
1992
Basketball star Magic Johnson retired again, this time for good because of fear caused by his HIV infection.
1992
On the eve of Election Day 1992, President Bush and Democratic challenger Bill Clinton both stumped at a furious pace in several states.
1992
Movie producer Hal Roach died in Los Angeles at age 100.
1993
Wildfires in Southern California pushed through areas of Los Angeles, Riverside and San Bernardino counties, burning 35,000 acres and 200 homes.
1993
The Senate called for full disclosure of Senator Bob Packwood's diaries as part of a probe into allegations of sexual harassment and possible criminal wrongdoing by the Oregon Republican.
1994
A jury in Pensacola, Florida, convicted Paul Hill of murder for the shotgun slayings of an abortion provider and his bodyguard; Hill was sentenced to death.
1994
In Durunka, Egypt, more than 475 people were killed when fuel carried by floodwaters ignited.
1995
A man claiming to have a bomb hijacked a school bus with 13 learning-disabled children aboard, leading authorities around Miami-area highways for an hour and a half before being fatally shot by police.
1995
A man claiming to have a bomb hijacked a school bus with 13 learning-disabled children aboard, leading authorities around Miami-area highways for 11/2 hours before being fatally shot by police.
1995
The United States expelled Daiwa Bank Ltd. for allegedly covering up $1.1 billion in trading losses.
1996
A tentative labor contract was reached between General Motors and the United Auto Workers, averting a national strike.
1996
British Telecom agreed to buy MCI Communications for up to $21 billion (however, the deal has since been jeopardized by competing offers for MCI).
1997
A labor agreement between Amtrak and maintenance workers averted a possible national passenger rail strike.
1997
Iraq barred two American weapons experts from entering the country, the second such refusal in a week.
1998
Central American officials estimated more than seven-thousand people had died in floods and mudslides triggered by Hurricane "Mitch."
1998
Microsoft chairman Bill Gates testified at his company's antitrust trial, appearing on videotape inside a federal courtroom in Washington.
1999
Republicans pushed the year's last and biggest spending bill through Congress toward a sure veto by President Clinton.
1999
Xerox repairman Byran Uyesugi opened fire on his coworkers in Honolulu, killing seven of them. (Uyesugi was later convicted and sentenced to life in prison.)
2005
US state of Kansas in battle over "Intelligent Design" in education
2005
Australian Treasury related agencies spend 17000 AUD on massages in 2004
2005
Anti-terror amendments to be rushed through Australian parliament because of new 'potential threats'
2005
Gomery report on Sponsorship Program released
2005
11 MPs ejected from Australian parliament
2005
Sydney residents protest anti-terror laws
2005
At least thirty-three more dead in Ethiopia election clashes
2005
ASIO settle out of court, wrongful detention case
2005
UK work secretary David Blunkett resigns
2006
Bad British kids scare adults
2006
Consumers' Institute: decline in New Zealand Internet satisfaction
2006
Canadian Prime Minister Harper agrees to send 'Clean Air Act' to committee
2006
New Zealand government introduces graphic warnings on cigarettes
2006
Kiwis docked competition points
2006
Finnish parliamentary ombudsman faults infant formula study
2006
RSA: cautious welcome to Stern Review
2006
Massive operation results in arrests of 10,733 fugitives in Eastern U.S.
2006
West Indies will play ICC Champions Trophy final against Australia
2006
American politician, John Kerry, apologizes for Iraq war remark
2006
Activist ejected from Virginia senator’s re-election rally
2006
Universal and FOX are shutting down "Firefly" t-shirt sites
2006
Roland De Wolfe wins the European Poker Tour Dublin
2006
'Jelly bellies' memo costs Florida police chief his job
2006
Sealing in New Delhi put off until Monday
2006
United States warns of suicide attacks in Kenya and Ethiopia
2006
Free Software Foundation announces release of gNewSense version 1.0
2007
Broken water main cripples downtown London, Ontario
2007
Stephen Colbert denied South Carolina ballot
2007
Russian choreographer Igor Moiseyev dies at age 101
2007
Pipe bomb found near nuclear power plant in Arizona
2007
Genetically altered mice are "superathletes"
2007
Alice Cooper says reality show 'The Osbournes' ruined Ozzy Osbourne's career
2007
American diplomats unwilling to go to Iraq may be forced, says State Department
2007
Two arrested after UK police officer critically injured whilst trying to make an arrest
2007
Vitamin D deficiency more common, serious, than thought
2007
Microsoft Taiwan will bring on high-definition AV-media Market in Taiwan after Xbox360 will support HDMI interface
2007
Major League Soccer Playoffs: FC Dallas vs. Houston Dynamo
2007
Taiwan's "Doritos Coolpedia" website announces top "Internet Quote"
2008
Christian Science Monitor to cease daily print publication
2008
Third party U.S. presidential candidates hold debate
2009
Karzai declared winner of Afghan elections, runoff polls cancelled
2009
Blast near Pakistan army headquarters kills 24
2009
Suspected Iraqi bomber murders investigator
2009
Clinton to Abbas: Resume peace talks with no preconditions
2009
Man arrested in slaying of six-member family near Tel Aviv, Israel
2010
San Francisco Giants win first World Series since 1954
2011
South Korean court imprisons US soldier for raping teen
2011
Australian ministers lose veto power over territory laws
2011
Google Street View comes indoors
2011
UNESCO votes in favor of Palestine membership
2012
Obama and Romney enter final stretch in campaign for US Presidency
2012
UK's Greater Manchester Police charge man with drug possession after trick-or-treating children allegedly given cocaine

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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