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Today in History

1837
Beef rises to 3 cents a pound in Illinois
1901
Georges-Andre Malraux born in Paris
1921
Actor Charles Bronson born Karolis Bučinskis in Ehrenfeld, Pennsylvania
1948
Actress and singer, Lulu born in Glasgow, Scotland
1952
Emmy Award winning actress and comedienne, Roseanne Barr born in Salt Lake City, Utah
1954
Linus Pauling wins Nobel Chemistry Prize
1954
Godzilla premiers in Tokyo, then goes on to spawn over 40 movies and capture the 1996 Lifetime Achievement Award from MTV
1957
Sputnik II, bearing spacedog Laika, launched
1998
Jesse Ventura elected Governor of Minnesota
39
Lucan, Latin poet born
753
Death of St. Pirminius, first abbot of the Benedictine monastery at Reichenau (located in modern Germany). His name endures today as author of a book entitled "Scarapsus," which is the earliest known writing to contain the Apostles' Creed as it is worded in its present form.
1148
Death of St. Malachy
1254
Death of John III Ducas Vatatzes, Emperor of Nicaea, Orthodox saint
1324
Petronilla de Meath burned as a witch, the first such burning in Ireland
1394
Charles VI expels the Jews from Paris & the Royal Domain of France
1493
Christopher Columbus discovers the Caribbee Isles (Dominica) during his second expedition.
1517
The Emperor Maximillian bans "self-igniting" handguns. The ban is cheerfully ignored.
1534
The British Parliament passes the Supremacy Act, officially making England Protestant and putting the English throne at the head of the nation's church.
1600
Richard Hooker, an Anglican rector whose book, "Laws of Ecclesiastical Polity", is a classic on the relationship between church and state, dies in England.
1616
Charles I, future King of England, made Prince of Wales
1620
Massachusetts Bay Company chartered
1631
The Reverend John Eliot, the first Protestant minister to dedicate himself to the conversion of Native Americans to Christianity, arrives at Boston in the Massachusetts Bay Colony.
1718
John Montague, 4th Earl of Sandwich, inventor of the sandwich. born
1783
With American independence established, Congress ordered the Continental Army demobilized.
1784
English clergyman Thomas Coke, 37, first arrived in America, at New York City. He was the first Methodist bishop to come to the New World.
1793
Principal founder of Texas Stephen Austin, who gave his name to the state capital born
1794
Poet William Cullen Bryant (Thanatopsis, To a Waterfowl, A Forest Hymn, The Prairies) born
1801
Vincenzo Bellini in Sicily. Success followed success with Bellini developing an international reputation for writing good melody lines, although divas sometimes complained that his music wasn't demanding enough. born
1810
Rossini's first opera, now forgotten, premiered in Venice when Rossini was 18.
1818
Pliny Fisk set sail for Palestine. Ordained by the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions, Fisk became the first American missionary to journey to the Near East.
1839
The first Opium War between China and Britain broke out.
1868
Republican Ulysses S. Grant won the presidential election over Democrat Horatio Seymour.
1883
U.S. Supreme Court declares American Indians to be "dependent aliens."
1896
Republican William McKinley defeated Democrat William Jennings Bryan for the presidency.
1900
The first automobile show in the United States opened at New York's Madison Square Garden under the auspices of the Automobile Club of America.( 31 cars were featured)
1901
French political writer Andr Malraux (Man's Fate) born
1901
Leopold III, King of Belgium. born
1903
Panama proclaimed its independence from Colombia.
1908
Chicago Bears great Bronislaw "Bronko" Nagurski (Pro Football Hall of Famer, charter member) born
1909
Journalist James Reston born
1912
First all metal plane flown near Issy, France by pilots Ponche and Prinard.
1918
Baseball Hall-of-Famer Bob Feller born
1921
Milk drivers on strike dump thousands of gallons of milk on New York City streets.
1921
Actor Charles (Buchinsky) Bronson (Death Wish series, The Magnificent Seven, The Dirty Dozen, The Valachi Papers, Sandpiper, Raid on Entebbe, Miss Sadie Thompson, Battle of the Bulge, House of Wax, You're in the Army Now) born
1925
The Pentecostal Ministerial Alliance was organized at St. Louis. It was the forerunner of a new denomination, established in 1932 as the Pentecostal Church, Inc
1926
Wild-West-show entertainer Annie Oakley died.
1928
Actress Wanda Hendrix (My Outlaw Brother, The Admiral was a Lady, Welcome Stranger) born
1930
Actress Lois Smith born
1931
Actress Monica (Ceciarelli) Vitti (Immortal Bachelor, Tigers in Lipstick, Am Almost Perfect Affair, Blonde in Black Leather, The Red Desert) born
1931
The production of synthetic rubber was announced.
1933
Former Massachusetts Governor Michael S. Dukakis born
1933
Actor - dancer Ken Berry (Mayberry R.F.D., F Troop, Mama's Family, The Bob Newhart Show) some sources list 1930. born
1933
Movie soundtrack composer John Barry (Born Free, The Lion in Winter, Out of Africa, Dances with Wolves, The Cotton Club, The Day of the Locust, Eleanor & Franklin, Indecent Proposal, Midnight Cowboy, Peggy Sue Got Married, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Shampoo, Somewhere in Time, James Bond movies, The Persuaders theme) some sources list 1934 born
1936
President Roosevelt won a landslide election victory over Republican challenger Alfred M. "Alf" Landon. (2nd term)
1945
The premiere of Shostakovich's ninth Symphony. Most composers' Ninths are large, sometimes pompous works, as they try to shine in the shadow of Beethoven. Shostakovich's is a brief, mostly lighthearted work.
1945
Actor Steve Landesberg (Barney Miller, Paul Sand in Friends and Lovers, Dean Martin Presents, Sodbusters, Mission of the Shark, Final Notice, Leader of the Band) born
1946
Actor Shadoe Stevens born
1948
Singer (Marie Lawrie) Lulu (To Sir with Love, Boom Bang-A-Bang, Oh Me Oh My [I'm a Fool for You Baby], I Could Never Miss You) born
1948
Television critic Tom Shales born
1949
Actor Mike Evans born
1949
Heavyweight boxer Larry Holmes born
1952
Comedian - actress -talk show host Roseanne born
1953
Actress Kate Capshaw born
1953
Comedian Dennis Miller born
1953
Actress Kathy Kinney ("The Drew Carey Show") born
1954
Singer (Stuart Goddard) Adam Ant (Goody Two Shoes, Prince Charming, Stand and Deliver, Apollo Nine) born
1957
The Soviet Union launched "Sputnik Two," the second manmade satellite, into orbit; on board was a dog named "Laika" which was sacrificed in the experiment.
1959
Actor Dolph Lundgren born
1961
Actor Lee Montgomery (Girls Just Want to Have Fun, Pete and Tillie, Ben) born
1964
Lyndon Johnson was elected president with a margin larger than in any previous presidential election, defeating Republican Barry Goldwater.
1964
Robert Kennedy elected senator from New York.
1970
Salvador Allende was inaugurated as president of Chile.
1979
Five radicals were killed when gunfire erupted during an anti-Ku Klux Klan demonstration in Greensboro, North Carolina, after a caravan of Klansmen and Nazis had driven into the area.
1985
Humphrey, a humpback whale that was spotted in the fresh water Sacramento River system more than three weeks earlier, was lured to salt water near California's Golden Gate by rescuers using a device emitting whale sounds.
1986
"Ash-Shiraa," a pro-Syrian Lebanese magazine, first broke the story of US arms sales to Iran, a revelation that escalated into the Iran-Contra affair.
1987
On Wall Street, after five consecutive gains, the Dow Jones industrial average closed down 50.56 points, ending the day at 1963.53.
1988
Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir, whose Likud bloc won a narrow victory in parliamentary elections, began meeting with representatives of religious and rightist parties, seeking support for a coalition government.
1989
East German leader Egon Krenz delivered a nationally broadcast speech in which he promised sweeping economic and political reforms, and called on East Germans to stay in the country.
1990
Secretary of State James A. Baker III embarked on a fast-paced tour of seven countries to "lay the foundation" for possible military action against Iraq.
1990
Broadway musical actress Mary Martin died in Rancho Mirage, California, at age 76.
1991
Israeli and Palestinian representatives held their first-ever face-to-face talks in Madrid, Spain. In another milestone, Syria opened its first one-on-one meeting with Israel in 43 years.
1992
Bill Clinton was elected to be the 42nd president of the United States, defeating President Bush. Illinois, Democrat Carol Moseley-Braun became the first black woman ever elected to the US Senate.
1993
President Clinton joined his wife, Hillary, in attacking the health insurance industry as the lobby accused by the first lady of lying unveiled a new TV ad repeating there must be a "better way" than the Clinton health care reform plan.
1994
Susan Smith of Union, South Carolina, was arrested for drowning her two young sons, nine days after claiming the children had been abducted by a black carjacker.
1994
The space shuttle Atlantis blasted into orbit on a mission to survey Earth's ozone layer.
1994
Twelve jurors were seated at the O.J. Simpson trial in Los Angeles.
1995
President Clinton dedicated a memorial at Arlington National Cemetery to the 270 victims of the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103.
1995
Typhoon Angela ripped through the Philippines, killing more than 880 people.
1996
American entrepreneur Paul Tatum was shot to death on the steps of a Moscow subway station in what his relatives suspect was a contract slaying by the "Russian mafia
1997
The Supreme Court let stand California's groundbreaking Proposition 209, which banned race and gender preference in hiring and school admissions.
1997
Chinese President Jiang Zemin left the United States after an eight-day visit.
1997
Opening statements were presented in the Oklahoma City bombing trial of Terry Nichols.
1998
In national elections, Democrats gained five House seats, trimming the Republican majority. Minnesotans elected former pro wrestler Jesse "The Body" Ventura to be their governor.
1998
The death toll from Hurricane Mitch grew to nine-thousand in Honduras.
1999
Aaron McKinney was convicted of murder in the beating of gay Wyoming college student Matthew Shepard. (McKinney and Russell Henderson, who pleaded guilty to kidnapping and murder, are serving life prison sentences.)
2005
Australian House of Representatives grows heated over industrial relations legislation
2005
Multiple bomb threats in Sydney 'nothing more than a hoax'
2005
Israel begins using sonic booms against Palestinians
2005
World Bank warns of high bird flu cost
2005
Libby, former Cheney aide, pleads not guilty
2005
French riots continue into second week
2005
Australian Members of Parliament removed from chamber again in rowdy session of Question Time
2005
EU to investigate secret CIA establishments in Romania, Poland
2006
U.S. military tribunal law faces first court challenge
2006
McGuinty passes on Caledonia dispute to federal government
2006
Abducted Richmond Hill, Ontario man walks into police station
2006
New Zealand journalists fall ill on testing water filter
2006
New Zealand Police car involved in collision
2006
Iran begins 10 days of military exercises
2006
Clint Brown, ex NZ TV presenter, investigation complete
2006
Reactor at Three Mile Island nuclear power plant shuts down
2006
Bob Barker to retire as host of U.S. gameshow The Price Is Right
2006
Interview with John Sanderson, Regional Council candidate for Wards 3 & 4 in Brampton, Canada
2006
Pizza 'lust' campaign attracts numerous complaints
2007
Floods in Tabasco, Mexico impact over a million people
2007
Musharraf declares emergency rule in Pakistan
2008
University of Alabama football team clinches No. 1 spot in AP poll
2008
Several businesses catch fire in Queens, New York
2008
Grandmother of Barack Obama dies at 86
2008
F1: Massa wins Brazilian Grand Prix, Hamilton wins championship
2009
Scotland suffers severe flooding following downpour
2009
Scientists: Snow on Mt. Kilimanjaro to melt in twenty years
2009
Elderly man in Scotland dies after contracting H1N1 swine flu virus
2009
‘Twin Towers’ warship set to enter New York
2009
Wife of English footballer Wayne Rooney gives birth to baby boy
2009
Scientology website hacked
2009
Automobile manufacturer Ford posts unexpected profits
2009
Man killed over Halloween hat in London, England
2010
Beleaguered British Columbia Premier resigns
2010
Final launch of Space Shuttle Discovery delayed until at least Thursday
2010
NuCaptcha introduces a video captcha service, ads included
2010
Policeman from Sussex, UK pleads guilty to fraud over lost and found money
2010
BBC support song making chart impact
2012
Report says UK teachers 'boosted GCSE marks'

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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