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Today in History

1789
Thanksgiving Day, suggested by President George Washington and approved by Congress, is first observed
1842
University of Notre Dame founded
1894
Founder of cybernetics, Norbert Wiener born in Columbia, Missouri
1922
Cartoonist Charles Schulz born in Minneapolis, Minnesota
1922
Howard Carter opens Tutankhamun's tomb
1939
Grammy Award-winning singer and actress Tina Turner born Anna Mae Bullock in Nutbush, Tennessee
1951
Actress, activist and politician, Ilona Staller born in Budapest, Hungary
1968
Cream's farewell concert at Royal Albert Hall
311
Martyrdom of St. Peter of Alexandria
399
Death of St. Siricius, Pope (not to be canonized for 1400 years)
885
Vikings attack Paris
1120
Death of Prince William of England, son of Henry I
1346
Coronation of Charles IV as King of Germany
1377
Charter issued for the founding of St. Mary's College at Oxford, England
1504
Death of Isabella, Queen of Castile-Leon
1594
Sir James Ware born
1607
John Harvard born
1621
Death of St. John Berchmans
1688
Louis XIV declares war on the Netherlands.
1716
The first lion exhibited in America was seen in Boston, MA this day.
1731
English poet William Cowper, best known for "The Poplar Trees" and "The Task," born
1778
Captain Cook discovers Maui (in the Sandwich Islands).
1789
George Washington proclaims this a National Thanksgiving Day in honor of the new Constitution. This date was later used to set the date for Thanksgiving.
1825
The first college social fraternity, Kappa Alpha, was formed at Union College in Schenectady, New York.
1832
The first streetcar railway in America started public service in New York City from City Hall to 14th Street. The car was pulled by a horse and the fare was 12 and a-half cents.
1832
Surgeon and women's rights leader Mary Walker Edwards born
1832
Public streetcar service began in New York City. The fare 12
1858
Scholar Israel Abrahams. He was one of the most distinguished Jewish scholars of his time, who wrote a number of enduring works on Judaism, particularly Jewish Life in the Middle Ages. born
1862
President Abraham Lincoln met Harriet Beecher Stowe, the author of Uncle Tom's Cabin, and called her "the little lady that started this big war."
1863
The first National Thanksgiving is celebrated.
1864
Charles L. Dodgson, whose pen name was Lewis Carroll, sent a handwritten manuscript to Alice Liddel this day. The manuscript was titled, "Alice's Adventures Underground". It was an early Christmas present to the 12-year-old. Later, the manuscript was renamed "Alice in Wonderland" and "Through the Looking Glass".
1867
On this day, the refrigerated railroad car was patented by J.B. Sutherland of Detroit, Michigan.
1871
Italian priest Luigi Sturzo He was a public official, and political organizer who founded a party that was a forerunner of the Italian Christian Democrat movement. born
1876
Air conditioning engineer Willis Carrier born
1876
Willis Haviland Carrier, developed air-conditioning equipment. born
1893
A critical review of Cesar Franck's Symphony in D was published in "Le Menestral" of Paris. The reviewer said: "The master has little to say but says it with the conviction of the Pope defining dogma!"
1894
Norbert Weiner, American mathematician who is considered the father of automation. He established the science of cybernetics, which is concerned with the common factors of control and communication in living organisms, automatic machines, and organizations. born
1898
German chemist Karl Ziegler. He shared the Nobel Prize for Chemistry with Giulio Natta for research that greatly improved the quality of plastics. born
1901
The Hope diamond is brought to New York.
1912
French playwright Eugene Ionesco born
1912
Eric Sevareid, American broadcast journalist. born
1922
A team of archeologists led by Howard Carter discovered the tomb of the teenage Pharaoh, nearly 3,000 years after it had been concluded that not a single royal burial room remained intact.
1922
"Peanuts" cartoonist Charles M. Schulz born
1924
American sculptor George Segal. He sculpted monochromatic, cast plaster figures often situated in environments of mundane furnishings and objects. born
1933
Singer Robert Goulet (Stanley Applebaum) born
1937
Boris Borisovich Yegorov. Soviet physician who, with cosmonauts Vladimir M. Komarov and Konstantin P. Feoktistov, was a participant in the first multimanned spaceflight, that of Voskhod 1, on Oct. 12-13, 1964. He was also the first practicing physician in space. born
1938
Impressionist Rich Little born
1939
Singer Tina Turner born
1940
German Nazis forced 500,000 Jews in Warsaw to live in a ghetto surrounded by an eight-foot concrete wall.
1941
Secretary of State Cordell Hull submitted American proposals to the Japanese peace envoys in Washington.
1942
The motion picture "Casablanca," starring Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman, had its world premiere at the Hollywood Theater in New York.
1942
President Roosevelt ordered nationwide gasoline rationing beginning December first.
1944
Singer Jean Terrell born
1945
Pop musician John McVie born
1950
China entered the Korean conflict, launching a counter-offensive against soldiers from the United Nations, the US and South Korea.
1956
Bandleader Tommy Dorsey died on this day, at the age of 51. His records sold more than 110,000,000 copies.
1956
THE PRICE IS RIGHT game show debuted on NBC.
1959
Actress Jamie Rose born
1959
Albert Ketelby died. He wrote, "In a Persian Market."
1962
Country singer Linda Davis born
1965
Country singer-musician Steve Grisaffe (River Road) born
1965
France launched its first satellite, sending a 92-pound capsule into orbit.
1966
Actress Garcelle Beauvais born
1969
The Heisman Trophy was awarded to Steve Owens, of Oklahoma as the nation's outstanding college football player. Owens scored more touchdowns and gained more yardage than any previous player in collegiate history.
1973
President Nixon's personal secretary, Rose Mary Woods, told a federal court that she'd accidentally caused part of the 18-and-a-half-minute gap in a key Watergate tape.
1974
Japanese Prime Minister Kakuei Tanaka resigned following allegations of irregularities in his private business affairs.
1975
A federal jury in Sacramento, California, found Lynette Fromme, a follower of Charles Manson, guilty of trying to assassinate President Ford.
1976
Actress Maia Campbell ("The House") born
1977
DON'T IT MAKE MY BROWN EYES BLUE by Crystal Gayle peaked at #2 on the pop singles chart.
1979
The International Olympic Committee voted to re-admit China after an absence of 21 years.
1979
Oil deposits equaling OPEC reserves is found in Venezuela.
1982
Yasuhiro Nakasone elected 71st Japanese prime minister.
1986
President Reagan appointed a commission headed by former Senator John Tower to investigate his National Security Council staff in the wake of the Iran-Contra affair.
1987
Cuban detainees concerned about the possibility of being sent back to Cuba continued to hold hostages at a prison in Atlanta and a detention center in Oakdale, Louisiana.
1988
The United States denied an entry visa to PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat, who was seeking permission to travel to New York to address the UN General Assembly.
1989
Hungary held a national referendum in which voters decided that the country's next president would be chosen by parliament, following free elections.
1990
Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev met with Iraqi Foreign Minister Tariq Aziz at the Kremlin to demand that Iraq withdraw from Kuwait.
1990
President Bush, on a visit to Mexico, met with the country's president, Carlos Salinas de Gortari. Japanese business giant Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. agreed to acquire MCA Inc. for $6.6 billion.
1992
The British government announced that Queen Elizabeth the Second had volunteered to start paying taxes on her personal income, and would take her children off the public payroll.
1993
Leonard Slatkin and the St. Louis Symphony performed in their home town for the first time since getting back from their European tour. George Silfies soloed in a Clarinet Concerto by Dan Welcher.
1993
The first session of the 103rd Congress concluded as lawmakers adjourned for the year.
1994
Margaret Garrish, a 72-year-old Detroit woman, committed suicide in the presence of Dr. Jack Kevorkian.
1994
Thirty clergymen were elevated to the rank of cardinal in a Vatican ceremony presided over by Pope John Paul the Second.
1995
Senior U.S. officials declared the Dayton treaty on Bosnia was final, rejecting demands from Bosnian Serbs that provisions relating to the future of Sarajevo be changed. Two men set fire to a subway token booth in Brooklyn, N.Y., fatally burning the clerk inside.
1996
O.J. Simpson finished three days of testimony at a civil trial in Santa Monica, California. President Clinton ended his 12-day Pacific trip with a stopover in Thailand. Major-league baseball owners reversed course, approving the same collective bargaining agreement they had rejected just three weeks earlier.
1997
In a small but symbolic step, the United States and North Korea held high-level discussions at the State Department for the first time.
1997
Under heavy international pressure, Iraqi President Saddam Hussein said he would allow visits to presidential palaces where UN weapons experts suspected he might be hiding chemical and biological weapons.
1998
In India, at least 211 people died when two trains collided in the northern state of Punjab.
1998
In the first speech ever by a British prime minister to an Irish parliament, Tony Blair predicted that Northern Ireland's troubled peace accord would ultimately work because of a strengthened cooperative spirit uniting Britain and Ireland.
1999
Sixteen people were killed when a Norwegian high-speed passenger ferry hit a shoal and sank off Boemla Island, 250 miles west of Oslo.
2005
Taibu quits Zimbabwe cricket team after further threats
2005
23rd Southeast Asian Games officially begins November 27
2005
Tens of thousands of workers demonstrate in Ljubljana, Slovenia
2005
US military admits to accidentally killing Iraqi child
2005
Gallery seeks Control themed mail art for exhibit
2005
China names its new head coach for swimming
2005
Internet virus circulates disguised as e-mail from US government
2005
Japanese probe snatches first asteroid sample
2005
Queensland National Party causing headaches for Howard on IR
2005
Further details about Bush-Blair memo stopped
2005
10th Anniversary Critical Mass Ride in Melbourne
2006
Georgia and Japan qualify for 2007 Rugby World Cup in France
2006
U.S. President arrives in Singapore
2006
Huge opposition rally to end presidential campaign in Venezuela
2006
Iran and Russia: Economic discussions to start December 11
2006
Pope Benedict to visit Turkey amidst anti-pope protests
2006
U.S. Supreme Court to hear arguments on global warming
2006
Suicide bomber strikes Afghanistan restaurant
2007
Andrea Muizelaar on fashion, anorexia, and life after 'Top Model'
2007
Health experts suspect bromide poisoning in Angolan disease outbreak
2007
Saskatchewan Roughriders win Grey Cup
2007
Australia Votes 2007: Outgoing Deputy PM steps down from party leadership
2007
European runners win the Taipei 101 Run Up
2007
Youths riot in Paris suburb, attack police station
2007
Four Afghan civilians killed by landmine
2007
Kevin DuBrow, lead singer of "Quiet Riot", found dead
2008
Australian government concedes the federal budget may be forced into deficit
2008
Third day of 'King Taksin operation' sees Bangkok airport closed
2008
International fugitive convicted of murdering teen in UK
2008
Multiple extremist attacks in Mumbai, India kill dozens, injure hundreds
2009
Uninvited couple passes Secret Service checkpoint, crashes White House state dinner
2009
Jordanian king dissolves parliament, calls for general election two years ahead of schedule
2010
British turkey tycoon Bernard Matthews dies aged 80
2010
Russian Soyuz space capsule lands safely with crew
2010
Bernie Ecclestone attacked outside London headquarters; no arrests made
2010
Up to 31 women sue UK police force over rapist officer
2011
Borneo bridge collapse kills at least three as vehicles fall
2011
Yahya Jammeh wins Gambia presidental election
2012
18-year-old charged for Thanksgiving lesbian assault

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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