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Today in History

Election Day
1897
Author, journalist and social activist, Dorothy Day born in Brooklyn, New York
1924
Movie, television and voice actor, Joe Flynn born in Youngstown, Ohio
1931
Emmy Award winning correspondent, Morely Safer born in Toronto, Ontario
1931
Little Rascals actress, Darla Hood born in Leedey, Oklahoma
1949
Nine-time Grammy Award winning songwriter and singer, Bonnie Raitt born in Burbank, California
1950
Journalist and actress, Mary Hart born in Madison, South Dakota
1954
Grammy Award winning songwriter, musician and singer, Rickie Lee Jones born in Chicago, Illinois
1960
John F. Kennedy becomes the youngest man ever elected president of the United States
1983
Martha Layne Collins becomes the first woman ever elected governor of Kentucky
1984
Anna Fisher becomes first mom in space, aboard the space shuttle Discovery
306
Martyrdom of the Four Crowned Ones
618
Death of St. Deusdedit, Pope
641
Fall of Alexandria, Egypt, to Islam
789
Death of St. Willihad
911
Election of Conrad I as King of Germany
1086
Henry V, last Salian Holy Roman Emperor born
1115
Death of St. Godfrey (Geoffrey) of Amiens
1286
Death of Pedro III, King of Aragon
1307
Rebellion erupts in Switzerland, to oust the Austrians
1519
Cortez enters Tenochtitlan, capitol of the Aztecs
1520
The Danish king Christian II begins mass executions of Swedish nobles in what becomes known as the Stockholm Bloodbath.
1620
The King of Bohemia is defeated at the Battle of Prague.
1622
Charles X Gustav - King of Sweden born
1656
British astronomer Edmond Halley (1st to calculate a comet's orbit). born
1674
John Milton dies.
1732
John Dickinson - American statesman often referred to as the "penman of the Revolution." born
1793
The Louvre, in Paris, was opened to the public.
1837
Mount Holyoke Seminary in Massachusetts became the first American college founded exclusively for women.
1847
Bram Stoker - Author of the popular horror tale Dracula. Although an invalid in early childhood--he could not stand or walk until he was seven--he outgrew his weakness to become an outstanding athlete and football player at the University of Dublin. born
1864
As the Civil War raged, Abraham Lincoln was elected to his second term as president.
1866
Herbert Austin Austin, Baron - Founder and first chairman of the Austin Motor Company, whose Austin Seven model greatly influenced British and European light-car design. born
1880
Sarah Bernhardt made her American stage debut in "Adrienne Lecouvreur" - in New York City.
1880
The New York Post reported that the finale of Brahms' First Symphony was so much like Beethoven's Ninth that "it should be put in quotation marks."
1881
Frank Gouldsmith Speck- American cultural anthropologist known for his work on the Algonquin Indian tribes of the eastern United States. born
1883
The composer Arnold Bax was born in London. Bax traveled to Ireland a lot and was drawn to Irish as well as Celtic mythology. He composed a lot of music with mythical or impressionistic overtones, and wrote poems and stories.
1884
The Boston Gazette declared on this date that Brahms' Third Symphony was, quote, "painfully dry, deliberate and uncongenial." As for the Third Symphony, the Boston reviewer may have simply heard a bad performance of it.
1884
Hermann Rorschach - Swiss psychiatrist who devised the inkblot test that bears his name and that is widely used clinically for diagnosing psychopathology. born
1887
Doc Holliday, who fought on the side of the Earp brothers during the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral sixty years earlier, dies of tuberculosis in Glenwood Springs, Colorado.
1889
Montana was admitted to the Union as the 41st state.
1890
Cesar Franck died six months after being hit by a horse-drawn carriage. He was 67.
1892
former President Cleveland defeated incumbent Benjamin Harrison, becoming the first (and, to date, only) chief executive to win non-consecutive terms to the White House.
1900
Author Margaret Mitchell ("Gone With the Wind") born
1904
Theodore Roosevelt elected president.
1910
William H. Frost of Spokane, Washington patented the insect exterminator
1914
Actor Norman Lloyd (St. Elsewhere, Journey of Honor, Jaws of Satan, Saboteur, The Southerner) born
1916
Actress June Havoc (Brewster's Millions, Gentlemen's Agreement, Sing Your Worries Away, Willy) born
1921
Actor-director Gene Saks (A Fine Romance, Prisoner of Second Avenue, A Thousand Clowns; director: Barefoot in the Park, Mame, The Odd Couple, Cactus Flower) born
1921
Producer- Walter Mirisch (The Apartment) born
1922
Heart transplant pioneer Dr. Christian Barnard born
1922
Actress Esther Rolle born
1923
Adolf Hitler launched his first attempt at seizing power with a failed coup in Munich, Germany that came to be known as the "Beer-Hall Putsch."
1924
Actor Joe Flynn ( The Tim Conway Show, McHale's Navy, The Joey Bishop Show, The George Gobel Show, The Bob Newhart Show, The Adventures of Ozzie & Harriet, Superdad, Million Dollar Duck, The Barefoot Executive, The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes) born
1927
Singer (Clara Ann Fowler) Patti Page (Tennessee Waltz, Old Cape Cod, I Went to Your Wedding, Doggie in the Window, Allegheny Moon, Steam Heat, Cross over the Bridge; in film: Elmer Gantry) born
1927
Singer Chris Conner born
1931
CBS newsman Morley Safer born
1932
New York Governor Franklin D. Roosevelt defeated incumbent Herbert Hoover for the presidency. (elected as 32nd president)
1932
The team of Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein II debuted with their show, "Make Mine Music". The Broadway production continued for 342 performances.
1933
Actress Esther Rolle (Summer of My German Soldier, Good Times, Maude, Good Times, Scarlett, Driving Miss Daisy, A Rasin in the Sun, The Mighty Quinn) born
1933
President Roosevelt created the Civil Works Administration, designed to create jobs for more than four million unemployed.
1935
Actor Alain Delon born
1939
"Life With Father" premiered on Broadway in New York City this day. Eight years later, the show broke the existing record for longest-running stage production.
1942
Operation "Torch" began during World War Two as US and British forces landed in French North Africa. (More than 400,000 Allied soldiers invaded North Africa).
1942
National Horse Racing Hall of Fame Jockey Angel Cordero born
1944
Singer Bonnie Bramlett (Never Ending Song of Love, Only You Know and I Know) born
1946
Musician and songwriter Roy (Ulysses) Wood formed Electric Light Orchestra born
1948
Singer Minnie Riperton (Lovin' You; LP Adventure in Paradise) born
1949
Singer Bonnie Raitt (Runaway, The Boy Can't Help It, Something to Talk About, Sweet Forgivenesst) born
1950
During the Korean conflict, the first jet-plane battle took place as US Air Force Lieutenant Russell J. Brown shot down a North Korean MiG-15.
1951
TV personality Mary Hart born
1952
Playboy Enterprises chairman and chief executive Christie Hefner born
1953
Actress Alfre Woodard born
1954
Singer-songwriter Rickie Lee Jones born
1954
The American League approved the transfer of the Philadelphia Athletics baseball team to Kansas City, MO this day. Charles O. Finley, of Chicago, would later tire of Kansas City and move the A's to Oakland, California.
1960
Massachusetts Senator John F. Kennedy defeated Vice President Richard M. Nixon for the presidency in a cliffhanger. (becomes 35th president)
1961
Singer-actor Leif Garrett (Spirit of '76, Thunder Alley, Kid Vengeance, Three for the Road; singer: I Was Made for Dancin') born
1964
Judy Garland and her daughter, Liza Minnelli appeared together at the London Palladium. The program was shown on U.S. TV and the LP, "Live at the London Palladium" became a classic on Capitol Records.
1965
- "Like sands through the hourglass, these are the days of our lives..." The voice of McDonald Carey introduced the popular soap opera, "Days of Our Lives" which debuted on NBC-TV.
1966
Edward W. Brooke of Massachusetts became the first black to be elected to the US Senate by popular vote.
1966
Ronald Reagan was elected governor of California.
1968
Actress Courtney Thorne-Smith born
1968
Actress Parker Posey born
1969
Rock musician Jimmy Chaney (Jimmie's Chicken Shack) born
1969
Actress Roxana Zal born
1970
Singer Diana King born
1975
Actress Tara Reid born
1978
Illustrator Norman Rockwell, best known for his covers of The Saturday Evening Post, dies in Stockbridge, Massachusetts.
1981
Actress Azura Skye born
1982
A smoky fire set by a prisoner in a Biloxi, Miss., jail killed 28 people.
1983
Democrat Martha Layne Collins was elected the first female governor of Kentucky
1984
The first attempt to rescue two crippled satellites took place, as the space shuttle, Discovery lifted off from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. (The mission was accomplished on November 14th.)
1985
A letter signed by four American hostages in Lebanon was delivered to The Associated Press in Beirut. In the letter, Terry Anderson, Rev. Lawrence Jenco, David Jacobsen and Thomas Sutherland pleaded with President Reagan to negotiate a release.
1986
Vyacheslav M. Molotov died at age 96. During World War II, Molotov ordered the mass production of bottles filled with flammable liquid to be used against German tanks, giving rise to the term "Molotov cocktail."
1987
Eleven people were killed when a bomb planted by the Irish Republican Army exploded as crowds gathered in Enniskillen, Northern Ireland, for a ceremony honoring Britain's war dead.
1988
Republican George Bush is elected, the 41st president, defeating Massachusetts Governor Michael Dukakis.
1989
In an attempt to strengthen his 3-week-old leadership, East German Communist Party chief Egon Krenz ousted the old guard of the ruling Politburo, replacing them with reformers.
1989
Douglas Wilder is elected governor of Virginia, becoming the first African-American governor in the United States.
1990
President Bush ordered a new round of troop deployments in the Persian Gulf, adding up to 150,000 soldiers to the multinational force facing off against Iraq.
1991
The European Community and Canada imposed economic sanctions on Yugoslavia in an attempt to stop the Balkan civil war.
1992
Some 350,000 people rallied in Berlin against racist violence.
1992
Volunteers began reading aloud the 58,183 names on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington DC as part of a tribute marking the tenth anniversary of the monument. Some 350,000 people rallied in Berlin against racist violence.
1993
Thieves stole five Picasso paintings and other artwork valued at $52 million from the Museum of Modern Art in Stockholm, Sweden.
1993
Russian President Boris Yeltsin approved a draft constitution that would strengthen executive power; it was ratified in a referendum the following month.
1994
California voters approved Proposition 187, designed to deny education and social services and non-emergency health care to illegal aliens.
1994
Midterm elections resulted in Republicans winning a majority in the Senate while at the same time gaining control of the House for the first time in 40 years.
1995
Retired General Colin Powell embraced the Republican Party, but said he would not run for president or any other political office in 1996 because it was "a calling that I do not yet hear."
1996
Three days after winning re-election, President Clinton told a news conference there always are "a lot of hard feelings" after elections, but he urged Republicans to put aside politically charged investigations and work with him to balance the budget and enact campaign finance reform.
1997
Evander Holyfield won the IBF heavyweight title in a fierce fight against Michael Moorer in Las Vegas.
1997
Chinese engineers diverted the Yangtze River to make way for the Three Gorges Dam, the most ambitious construction project in modern China's history.
1998
US Representative Bob Livingston (Republican, Louisiana) predicted he would succeed Newt Gingrich as House Speaker. (However, Livingston later resigned before he could become speaker after admitting to marital infidelities.)
1999
Israeli and Palestinian negotiators launched landmark talks, giving themselves an ambitious 100-day deadline to craft the broad outlines of a peace agreement.
1999
Former President Bush was honored in Germany for his role in the fall of the Berlin Wall 10 years earlier.
1999
President Clinton participated in a "virtual town hall meeting" on the Internet, answering questions from pre-screened online users.
2005
Arrests made in Australia after 'anti-terror' raids
2005
Liberians choose their president
2005
Family of killed Palestinian boy donates organs to Israeli patients
2005
Suspicions of nepotism arise from pulping of new Australian industrial relations information booklets
2005
Cheney lobbies for CIA exemption to torture ban
2005
Chemical weapons used in Iraq by US military, says Italian documentary
2006
New Zealand police want more taser stun guns
2006
Location of 100 icebergs near New Zealand known
2006
United States Democrats win House majority
2006
Concerns raised over UK hospital disinfection practices
2006
Several killed and wounded in blast near Pakistan army centre
2006
U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld resigns
2006
Study will examine treating heart damage with adult stem cells
2006
Study shows that Canadians enjoy daily commute to work
2006
UK Foreign Office is over-secretive: Committee reports
2006
Polish drug company Jelfa ordered to shut-down over mislabelled drugs
2006
U.S. Congressional Elections
2006
Planet Mercury to blaze across Sun today
2006
Three Walmart superstores open in Canada
2006
Vietnam becomes 150th member of the World Trade Organization
2007
Queues start to form for UK iPhone launch tomorrow
2007
Baseball World Cup Day 1: Taichung starts prior to Taipei
2007
Latest trial of the One Laptop Per Child running in India; Uruguay orders 100,000 machines
2007
Nobel Prize winner Arthur Kornberg dies at age 89
2007
Albanian group claims responsibility for Macedonia clashes
2007
Edmund White on writing, incest, life and Larry Kramer
2007
Konami Cup Asia Series Day 1: Uni-Lions reverses China, SK Wyverns ends Japan's winning streak
2007
Perpetrator of Finnish school shooting dies in hospital
2007
Baseball World Cup Day 2: 4 teams score lots of runs
2007
Trailer released for Lordi horror movie
2007
List of stupidest laws in Britain revealed
2007
BBC Resources sale could be unprofitable
2007
12 'fire bombs' found inside Buffalo, New York apartment house
2007
Severe weather warnings issued in UK
2007
UEFA Cup 2007–08: Nürnberg vs. Everton
2007
UEFA Cup 2007–08: Bayern Munich vs. Bolton Wanderers
2007
UEFA Cup 2007–08: Spartak Moscow vs. Bayer Leverkusen
2007
New Zealand police blocked from laying terrorism charges
2008
UK revokes visa of former Thai PM
2008
Death toll rises in Haitian school collapse
2009
Bridge collapse kills at least five in Massana, Andorra
2009
Families appeal to Spain's government to negotiate with Somali pirates
2009
Soldier killed in explosion in Afghanistan, number of UK soldiers killed in country rises to 231
2009
750,000 could be affected by flooding in Kenya, UN says
2009
Actor Ryan Thomas involved in car crash in Manchester, England
2009
US House of Representatives passes universal health care bill
2009
China offers Africa financial aid including $10 billion in loans
2009
Burst pipe probed in Utah refinery blast as questions asked over safety
2009
Germany wins Race of Champions in Beijing, Sebastian Vettel wins Abu Dhabi Grand Prix
2009
Dalai Lama visits monastery despite protests from China
2009
Twelve dead after suicide bomb attack in Pakistan
2009
Flooding kills 91 in El Salvador
2009
South African Vipers win Singapore Rugby Sevens
2009
Two winning British EuroMillions lottery tickets worth £45 million each claimed
2009
Thousands flee violence in northern Democratic Republic of the Congo
2009
South Korean workers protest against labour laws
2009
Iraqi parliament approves delayed election law
2010
Japanese anime producer Yoshinobu Nishizaki dies at age 75
2010
NASCAR: Hamlin wins AAA Texas 500
2010
Haile Gebrselassie announces retirement from athletics
2010
Chilean miner Edison Peña completes New York Marathon
2012
UK Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards to investigate Nadine Dorries reality TV appearance
2012
Puerto Rican voters support US statehood
2012
Indian flooding displaces thousands

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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