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Today in History

Thanksgiving Day
1853
Gambler, saloon-keeper, buffalo hunter and US Marshall, William Barclay "Bat" Masterson born in Henryville, Québec
1868
Ragtime composer and musician, Scott Joplin born in Linden, Texas
1888
Author and lecturer, Dale Carnegie born in Maryville, Missouri
1941
Bass guitarist Donald "Duck" Dunn born in Memphis, Tennessee
1942
Welder, folk singer, comedian and actor, Billy Connolly born in Glasgow, Scotland
1947
Hollywood 10 cited for contempt of Congress
1957
Actress Denise Crosby born in Hollywood, California
1960
Actress Amanda Wyss born in Manhattan Beach, California
1963
Lee Harvey Oswald killed by Jack Ruby
1971
Airline hijacker Dan Cooper escapes by parachute with $200,000 ransom
304
Martyrdom of St. Chrysogonus
885
Viking army under Sigefrid lays siege to Paris
1265
Death of Magnus, last King of the Isle of Man
1332
Coronation of David II, King of Scots, at Scone
1504
Death of Queen Isabella of Spain
1542
The English defeat the Scots at the Battle of Solway Moss, in England.
1572
Death of John Knox
1583
Philip Massinger, English dramatist born
1586
Anna Hoyd burned for witchcraft
1632
Dutch philosopher Benedictus de Spinoza born
1655
Oliver Cromwell prohibits Anglican services in England
1703
The first Lutheran pastor ordained in America, Justus Falckner ordained in Philadelphia.
1713
Father Junipero Serra, who had a mission in California. born
1713
Novelist and an Anglican clergyman Laurence Sterne, born
1784
Zachary Taylor, the 12th president of the United States, born in Orange County, Virginia.
1836
Richard Wagner took a wife. Later he would take someone else's. Wagner wed Wilhelmina Planer, an actress. At the time Wagner was working as a conductor in the Prussian city of Konigsberg.
1853
Gambler, frontier lawman and sports writer William "Bat" Masterson born
1859
British naturalist Charles Darwin published "On the Origin of Species," which explained his theory of evolution.
1863
In the Battle Above the Clouds, Union Maj. Gen. Joseph Hookers forces take Lookout Mountain, near Chattanooga, Tenn. Overconfident and overextended, the Union Army of the Cumberland advanced into the deep woods of northwest Georgia.
1864
Kit Carson and his 1st Cavalry, New Mexico Volunteers, attack a camp of Kiowa Indians in the First Battle of Adobe Walls.
1864
Painter Henri Toulouse-Lautrec born
1868
Scott Joplin, entertainer born
1869
Women from 21 states met in Cleveland to organize the American Women Suffrage Association.
1871
The National Rifle Association was incorporated, and its first president named, Major General Ambrose E. Burnside.
1874
Joseph Glidden received a patent for barbed wire, which made the farming of the Great Plains possible.
1900
Scriabin's First Symphony was premiered in St. Petersburg. Scriabin's music was just weird enough to be controversial, but not to far out that it couldn't get played in Europe. Debussy and Ravel were exposed to Scriabin at an early age.
1912
Producer-writer Garson Kanin born
1925
Columnist William F. Buckley born
1927
Troops battle 1,200 inmates after Folsom prisoners revolt.
1939
In Czechoslovakia, the Gestapo execute 120 students who are accused of anti-Nazi plotting.
1940
Country singer Johnny Carver born
1941
Rock-and-roll drummer Pete Best born
1941
Rock musician Donald "Duck" Dunn (Booker T. & the MG's) born
1942
Actor-comedian Billy Connolly born
1942
Former White House news secretary Marlin Fitzwater born
1944
Agriculture Secretary Dan Glickman born
1945
Singer Lee Michaels born
1947
John Steinbeck's novel "The Pearl" was first published.
1947
A group of writers, producers and directors that became known as the "Hollywood Ten" was cited for contempt of Congress for refusing to answer questions about alleged Communist influence in the movie industry.
1947
Actor Dwight Schultz born
1950
Actor Stanley Livingston ("My Three Sons") born
1955
Rock musician Clem Burke (Blondie) born
1956
Record producer Terry Lewis born
1957
Actress Denise Crosby born
1960
Zurich General Accident & Liability Insurance Co. becomes safety consultant and major insurer for the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City
1962
Rock musician John Squire (The Stone Roses) born
1962
Rock musician Gary Stonadge (Big Audio) born
1963
Jack Ruby shot and mortally wounded Lee Harvey Oswald, the accused assassin of President Kennedy.
1969
"Apollo 12" splashed down safely in the Pacific, ending the second manned mission to the moon.
1970
Rock musician Chad Taylor (Live) born
1971
Hijacker "D.B. Cooper" parachuted from a Northwest Airlines 727 over Washington state with 200-thousand dollars in ransom -- his fate remains unknown.
1977
Actor Colin Hanks ("Roswell") born
1977
Actress Katherine Heigl ("Roswell") born
1977
Greeks announce the discovery of the tomb of King Philip II, father of Alexander the Great.
1985
The hijacking of an Egyptair jetliner parked on the ground in Malta ended violently as Egyptian commandos stormed the plane. Fifty-eight people died in the raid, in addition to two others killed by the hijackers.
1987
The United States and the Soviet Union agreed to scrap shorter- and medium-range missiles in the first superpower treaty to eliminate an entire class of nuclear weapons.
1988
South Africa's justice minister announced that Nelson Mandela would not be returned to prison upon his recovery from tuberculosis, but would instead remain in custody in another location.
1989
Czechoslovakia's hard-line party leadership resigned after more than a week of protests against its policies.
1990
President Bush returned home from an eight-day tour of Europe and the Middle East, during which he'd lobbied foreign leaders on behalf of his Persian Gulf policy.
1992
Former Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger pleaded innocent to making a false statement in the Iran-Contra affair (however, Weinberger was pardoned by President Bush before the case could come to trial). China, a domestic jetliner crashed, killing 141 people.
1993
Congress gave its final approval to the Brady handgun control bill.
1993
President Clinton met at the White House with Salman Rushdie, the British author condemned to death by Iran for writing "The Satanic Verses."
1993
Two eleven-year-old boys, Robert Thompson and Jon Venables, were convicted of murdering two-year-old James Bulger of Liverpool, England.
1994
Rebel Serbs refused to withdraw from the UN-designated safe area around Bihac and continued to advance on the city, despite recent NATO air strikes.
1995
Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic promised during a televised address to accept a U.S.-brokered peace plan. Voters in Ireland narrowly approved a constitutional amendment legalizing divorce.
1996
On the eve of an Asia-Pacific trade conference in the Philippines, President Clinton met with Chinese President Jiang Zemin . Both sides signaled their troubled relations were on the mend, and agreed to exchange presidential visits over the next two years.
1997
President Clinton and Pacific leaders began meeting in Vancouver, British Columbia, to discuss ways of calming the Asian economic crisis.
1997
Japan's Yamaichi Securities closed its doors, becoming the third Japanese financial company to collapse in a month.
1998
America Online confirmed it was buying Netscape Communications in a deal ultimately worth $10 billion.
1998
The first Palestine Airlines flight touched down at Gaza International Airport.
1998
A funeral was held in St. Petersburg for liberal Russian lawmaker Galina Starovoitova, who had been assassinated four days earlier.
1999
280 people were killed when a ferry caught fire and foundered off the coast of eastern China's Shandong province.
2005
Chinese chemical plant explosion threatens water supply for major city
2005
Two injured in Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade
2005
Singers Jessica Simpson and Nick Lachey split up
2005
Heavy Rain and Floods in Sri Lanka: Over 50,000 Families Affected
2006
Auckland Regional Council supports Eden Park upgrade in New Zealand
2006
French actor Philippe Noiret dies at 76
2006
Britain to replace Trident nuclear missile system
2006
Kurdish Linux launched in Turkey
2006
Former pitcher Pat Dobson dies at 64
2006
TESEV Report on Eastern Turkey for UNDP released
2006
Former Russian spy Litvinenko dies, radioactive poisoning suspected
2006
Word of Life Bible Institute student burns New York church for deviating from the "word of God"
2006
University of Miami football coach Coker fired
2006
Hare Krishna village demolished in Kazakhstan, religious persecution alleged
2006
"Jezebel of Jazz" Anita O'Day dies at age 87
2007
Denmark convicts three in terror plot case
2007
Australia Votes 2007: Early results suggest Labor win
2007
Naked News presents a new style of news
2007
Chess grand master Kasparov arrested after protest
2007
French government reveals industry sponsored anti-piracy body
2007
Baseball pitcher Joe Kennedy dies
2007
Baby falls from third floor window and survives
2008
Venezuelan regional elections both a win for supporters and opponents
2008
UN official: Gaza faces humanitarian catastrophe
2008
SpaceX successfully test fires Falcon 9 rocket in Texas
2008
Venezuelan polls test Chávez
2008
UK government announces cut in VAT
2008
Calgary Stampeders win Grey Cup in Montreal
2009
Four US, eight Afghan troops killed in Afghanistan after attacks
2009
UK policeman convicted of murdering WPC fiancée who died after staged car crash
2009
Ritual sacrifice in Nepal sees 320,000 animals slaughtered to Hindu goddess
2009
Reverend Billy Joe Daugherty dies at the age of 57
2009
Benet Academy, Illinois students support classmate with leukemia
2009
Man misdiagnosed as being in coma for 23 years
2010
UK students protest for second time this month
2010
Guyanese shadow finance minister Winston Murray dies aged 69
2011
NYC Mayor Bloomberg's Obama comments raise speculation of presidential bid
2011
New Jersey jury clears man of five murders over 1978 teens' disappearance
2012
Explosion partially destroys intelligence building in Rafah, Egypt

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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