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Today in History

1805
Lewis & Clark Expedition reaches Pacific
1837
Elijah P Lovejoy murdered by angry mob
1879
Bolshevik revolutionary and Marxist theorist, Leon Trotsky born in Kherson, Russian Empire
1922
Grammy Award winning trumpet player, Al Hirt born in New Orleans, Louisiana
1940
Tacoma Narrows bridge collapses
1942
Singer, songwriter, guitarist, and record producer Johnny Rivers born John Ramistella in New York City
1943
Painter, musician, songwriter and Grammy Award winning singer, Joni Mitchell born in Fort Macleod, Alberta
680
3rd Council of Constantinople (6th ecumenical council) opens
739
Death of St. Willibrord
994
Muhammad ibn Hazm, historian, jurist, writer of Islamic Spain born
1225
Death of St. Engelbert
1307
William Tell reportedly shoots Hermann Gessler, Austrian Governor of Tyrol
1504
Christopher Columbus returns from his 4th voyage to the New World
1586
Catharina Rauffains, Ursula Isel and Ursula Stadelmann burned as witches
1598
Francisco de Zurbaran born
1637
Controversial colonial religious leader Anne Hutchinson, 46, was convicted of spreading heresy and banished from the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Mrs. Hutchinson afterward relocated in Rhode Island with her family and friends.
1665
The London Gazette, the oldest surviving journal, is first published.
1775
Lord Dumnore placed Virginia under martial law. Virginians had been acting in a most revolutionary manner, but they had yet to go so far as to toss their tea into the James River.
1793
During the French Revolution, "Christianity" was abolished on this date. Reason was deified, and as many as 2,000 churches were afterward destroyed throughout France.
1805
The Lewis and Clark Expedition arrived at the Pacific Ocean.
1811
Rebellious Indians in a conspiracy organized in defiance of the United States government by Tecumseh, Shawnee chief, were defeated during his absence in the disastrous Battle of the Wabash (or Tippecanoe) by William Henry Harrison, governor of Indiana Territory.
1820
Haydn's remains were dug up to be reburied in a better place. The diggers were surprised and more than a little upset to discover that Haydn's skull was missing.
1828
American biblical lexicographer Joseph Henry Thayer. A Congregationalist pastor, Thayer's main interest was New Testament language and in 1886 he published his definitive "Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament." born
1837
In Alton, Illinois, abolitionist printer Elijah P. Lovejoy is shot to death by a mob while trying to protect his printing shop. In the 1830s, Lovejoy, a Presbyterian minister born in Maine, founded the St. Louis Observer, an influential Presbyterian newspaper.
1847
American songwriter Will L. Thompson. He had a major interest in sacred music, Thompson's pen has left the Church two enduring hymns: "Jesus is All the World to Me" and "Softly and Tenderly Jesus is Calling." born
1867
Marie Curie (Marja Sklodowski), discoverer of radium born
1874
The Republican Party was symbolized as an elephant in a cartoon drawn by Thomas Nast in "Harper's Weekly."
1876
Rutherford B. Hayes elected 19th president.
1879
Russian revolutionary Leon Trotsky born
1881
Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday, two participants in Tombstone, Arizona's, famous Gunfight at the O.K. Corral, are jailed as the hearings on what happened in the fight grow near.
1893
Colorado became the first state to give women the right to vote. .
1900
Nazi S.S. leader Heinrich Himmler. He was captured by the British at the end of the war and committed suicide in prison, rather than hang as a war criminal. born
1901
Mahler met his match. He and future wife Alma attended a dinner party in Vienna and were impressed with each other at once, even though almost every man in the room had dated Alma or wanted to.
1903
Actor Dean Jagger (Twelve O'clock High, Elmer Gantry, Bad Day at Black Rock, White Christmas, King Creole, The Robe, Vanishing Point, Mr. Novak) born
1913
French novelist Albert Camus (Le Mythe de Sisyphe) born
1916
Republican Jeannette Rankin of Montana became the first woman elected to U.S. House of Representatives.
1916
President Woodrow Wilson reelected, but the race is so close that all votes must be counted before an outcome can be determined, so the results are not known until November 11.
1917
Russia's Bolshevik Revolution took place as forces led by Vladimir Ilyich Lenin overthrew the provisional government of Alexander Kerensky.
1918
Evangelist Billy Graham born
1922
Jazz trumpeter Al Hirt (Sugar Lips, Flight of the Bumble Bee as theme song for TV's The Green Hornet; played in singer, Don Gibson's band; a regular on: Make Your Own Kind of Music, Fanfare) born
1926
Opera singer Dame Joan Sutherland born
1929
The Museum of Modern Art in New York City opened to the public.
1937
Singer Mary Travers (Group Peter, Paul and Mary a Jet Plane, Blowin' in the Wind, Puff the Magic Dragon, I Dig Rock 'n' Roll Music; solo: LP: No Easy Walk to Freedom) born
1938
Actor Barry Newman born
1938
Singer Dee (Delectus) Clark born
1938
Actor Barry Newman (Petrocelli, Nightingales, The Edge of Night, Vanishing Point) born
1940
The middle section of the Tacoma Narrows Bridge in Washington state collapsed during a windstorm.
1942
Singer Johnny (Ramistella) Rivers (Poor Side of Town, Memphis, Secret Agent Man, Slow Dancin', Baby I Need Your Lovin') born
1943
Singer-songwriter (Roberta Anderson) Joni Mitchell, (Willy, Big Yellow Taxi, Woodstock; singer: Help Me, Free Man in Paris, Both Sides Now) born
1944
President Roosevelt won an unprecedented fourth term in office, defeating Thomas E. Dewey.
1950
Comedienne Judy Tenuda born
1951
Singer Nick Gilder born
1957
Actor Christopher Knight ("The Brady Bunch") born
1962
Former first lady Eleanor Roosevelt died in New York City.
1962
Richard M. Nixon, having lost California's gubernatorial race, held what he called his "last press conference," telling reporters: "You won't have Nixon to kick around anymore."
1964
Actress Dana Plato (Diff'rent Strokes, Return to Boggy Creek, Beyond the Bermuda Triangle) born
1965
The Pillsbury Doughboy appeared in his first TV ad.
1967
Carl Stokes was elected the first black mayor of a major city -- Cleveland: Ohio.
1967
President Johnson signed a bill establishing the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.
1970
Chicago released ``Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?''
1972
Actor Jason London ("Party of Five") born
1972
Actor Jeremy London ("Party of Five") born
1972
President Nixon was re-elected in a landslide over Democrat George McGovern.
1973
New Jersey became the first state to allow girls play Little League baseball.
1978
Singer Nick Gilder (Hot Child in the City) born
1979
``The Rose''...starring Bette Midler...premiered in Los Angeles.
1980
Steve McQueen, famous for his roles in "The Getaway," "Papillon," "The Sand Pebbles" and many other films, passed away at the age of 50.
1983
A bomb exploded in the U.S. Capitol, causing heavy damage just outside the Senate chamber but NO injuries.
1984
NASA announced that Sen. Jake Garn, R-Utah, would be allowed to fly aboard the space shuttle, which he did in April 1985.
1985
The Colombian army stormed the country's Palace of Justice, which had been seized by leftist guerrillas belonging to the April 19 Movement. The siege claimed the lives of 100 people, including 11 Supreme Court Justices.
1986
Freed American hostage David Jacobsen received a welcome home from President Reagan at the White House. Jacobsen warned that open speculation about U.S. efforts to free the remaining captives in Lebanon could be fatal.
1986
Sly Stone was arrested in Los Angeles for allegedly failing to make child support payments.
1987
Judge Douglas H. Ginsburg asked President Reagan to withdraw his nomination to the US Supreme Court, citing the clamor that arose when it was revealed Ginsburg had smoked marijuana several times in the 1960's and 1970's.
1988
On the eve of Election Day 1988, Vice President George Bush confidently said the nation was "coming in behind my candidacy" while Democrat Michael Dukakis vowed to pull off a stunning "November surprise."
1989
L. Douglas Wilder won the governor's race in Virginia, becoming the first elected black governor in US history; David N. Dinkins was elected New York City's first black mayor.
1989
``Night Stalker'' Richard Ramirez was formally sentenced in Los Angeles to die in the gas chamber for 13 murders.
1990
In some of her strongest remarks during the Persian Gulf crisis, British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher warned Iraqi President Saddam Hussein that time was "running out" for a peaceful solution.
1991
Basketball star Earvin ``Magic'' Johnson disclosed he has the HIV-virus and announced he was retiring from the Los Angeles Lakers
1991
Pro- and anti-Communists rallies took place in Moscow on the 74th anniversary of the Bolshevik Revolution.
1992
Former Czechoslovak leader Alexander Dubcek, whose failed attempt to loosen the Communist grip on his country became known as the "Prague Spring," died at age 70.
1993
President Clinton, appearing on NBC's "Meet the Press," assailed labor leaders who opposed the North American Free Trade Agreement, accusing them of using "naked pressure" to try to kill the pact.
1994
On the eve of Election day, President Clinton concluded an eight-day campaign odyssey with an impassioned plea for embattled Democrats, saying, "We'll go forward, we don't want to go back," even as he braced for gains in the House and Senate.
1995
In a Japanese courtroom, three U.S. military men admitted to the ambush-rape of a 12-year-old Okinawan schoolgirl, an attack that outraged the Japanese and strained ties between Japan and the United States.
1996
The US liquor industry voted to drop its decades-old voluntary ban on broadcast advertising.
1996
Thousands of Communists marched through Moscow to mark the 79th anniversary of the Bolshevik revolution.
1996
A Nigerian Boeing 727 jetliner crashed en route to Lagos, killing 142 people.
1996
NASA's Mars Global Surveyor blasted off from Cape Canaveral, Florida, on a mission to map the surface of the Red Planet. (The Mars Pathfinder blasted off the following December.)
1996
President Clinton accepted the resignation of Secretary of State Warren Christopher as a major reshuffle in his Cabinet began.
1996
Police arrested 23 students occupying a university bell tower on the second day of protests against a California measure eliminating state affirmative action programs.
1997
In a rising war of words, the Clinton administration warned it was considering military options, including a cruise missile strike, if Iraq carried out its threat to shoot down UN surveillance planes.
1998
John Glenn returned to Earth aboard the space shuttle "Discovery," visibly weak but elated after a nine-day mission.
1999
Relatives of the victims of EgyptAir Flight 990 gathered in Newport, R.I., to bid them a wrenching farewell, a week after the plane crashed into the Atlantic Ocean.
1999
Kenya's Joseph Chebet won the New York City Marathon; Adriana Fernandez won the women's division.
1999
Tiger Woods became the first golfer since Ben Hogan in 1953 to win four straight tournaments.
2001
More than 15 months after a Concorde crashed outside Paris, two of the world's only supersonic jetliners returned to the skies.
2001
The Bush administration targeted Osama bin Laden's multimillion-dollar financial networks, closing businesses in four states, detaining U.S. suspects and urging allies to help choke off money supplies in 40 nations. At the White House, President Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair, allies in the war on terrorism, confidently offered back-to-back pledges of victory, no matter how long it took.
2005
First Iraq-Iran passenger flight in 25 years arrives in Tehran
2005
First casualty of French riots reported
2005
Gorbachev warns against rapid globalization
2005
Coral Gables hosts Herald Hunt puzzle adventure
2005
Indiana tornado kills at least 19
2006
New Zealand study finds circumcision cuts STD infection rate
2006
No injuries reported after NASA Orbiter hangars evacuated after hydrazine leak
2006
Delta Blues wins Melbourne Cup
2006
Possible new stadium in Auckland for 2011 rugby world cup
2006
Traders' one day strike in Indian capital
2006
Bülent Ecevit, former prime minister of Turkey and poet, has died at 81
2006
Bomb plotter gets life
2006
Britney Spears to divorce husband Kevin Federline
2006
Paedophilia claims made against "living god"
2006
Faith Hill says reaction to Carrie Underwood's CMA win was a joke
2006
Midterm election polls open in United States
2006
Morning polling causes late students
2007
Six charged with the attempted assassination of Fijian coup leader
2007
Police officer shot dead in Canadian Arctic community
2007
Macedonian police kill four militants in mountain operation
2007
Illegal drug found to be used in the manufacture of toys
2007
Three Massachusetts workers dead after water pipe explosion at power plant
2007
Canadian defence minister escapes rocket attack in Afghanistan
2007
Deadly shooting at high school in Finland
2008
Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck becomes king of Bhutan
2008
Dozens dead after school collapses in Haiti
2008
Danish PM pushes for new referendum on euro
2008
World leaders react to Obama's victory
2008
Tanimbar Islands of Indonesia hit by earthquake
2008
Afghan president Hamid Karzai opens new terminal at Kabul International Airport
2009
Madagascar political rivals agree to unity government deal
2009
New Jersey jury convicts Florida man who claimed he was too fat for murder
2009
Glenn Beck loses domain name case over parody website
2009
UN: Ethiopian GDP grew only 1.7% in 2009, may not reach anti-poverty goals
2009
At least nine missing after Russian military plane crashes into Pacific
2009
BBC's Strictly Come Dancing to be broadcast from Blackpool Tower
2009
NATO airstrike kills seven Afghan security forces members
2009
Pakistan: Twelve militants killed in recent fighting
2009
China's premier visits Cairo ahead of China-Africa summit
2009
Iranian police arrest 109 in protests
2009
Opposition agrees to join Lebanese government
2009
Saudi military attacks Yemeni rebels
2010
North Korean military leader Jo Myong Rok dies at age 82
2010
NASCAR: Edwards wins O'Reilly Auto Parts Challenge, Brad Keselowski clinches Nationwide Series
2010
Quake-hit Haiti struck by Hurricane Tomas
2010
Hong Kong flu kills six in Japan
2010
Indian Markets hits record close in Diwali trade
2010
Celtic defeat Aberdeen 9-0
2012
World leaders react to Obama win
2012
Voters in Maine and Maryland vote for marriage equality
2012
United States re-elects Barack Obama
2012
Australian Broadcasting Corporation plans to call California for Obama before polls close

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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