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Today in History

1906
Columbus Day
1946
Songwriter, guitarist, and folk singer, John Prine born in Maywood, Illinois
1953
Songwriter and singer, David Lee Roth born in Bloomington, Indiana
1958
Singer Tanya Tucker born in Seminole, Texas
1969
Gifted improvisational actress and comedienne, Wendi McLendon-Covey born in Bellflower, California
1973
Spiro T. Agnew resigns as Vice-President due to charges of income tax evasion
2010
Waiting for 10:10:10 10/10/10
19
Germanicus, the best loved of Roman princes, dies of poisoning. On his deathbed he accuses Piso, the governor of Syria, of poisoning him.
644
Death of St. Paulinius of York
680
Death of Husayn
732
At Tours, France, Charles Martel kills Abd el-Rahman and halts the Muslim invasion of Europe.
1227
Martyrdom of St. Daniel and his companions
1460
Richard of York claims English throne
1510
St. Francis Borgia born
1573
Spanish capture Tunis
1614
New Netherlands Company given a three year monopoly on the fur trade in North America
1653
Issak Walton publishes "The Compleat Angler"
1684
French Rocco painter Antoine Watteau born
1731
English chemist-physicist Henry Cavendish, discoverer of hydrogen born
1733
France declares war on Austria over the question of Polish succession.
1738
Benjamin West, painter. born
1789
In Versailles France, Joseph Guillotin says the most humane way of carrying out a death sentence is decapitation by a single blow of a blade.
1813
This may have been Verdi's birthday. There are no records to prove it, but this was the day Verdi celebrated it. born
1845
The U.S. Naval Academy was formally opened at Fort Severn, Annapolis, Maryland.
1853
Wagner met Liszt for the first time. The introduction was performed by Liszt's 15-year-old daughter Cosima. Cosima would go on to marry the conductor Hans von Bulow... then leave him to marry Wagner.
1877
Lt. Col. George Armstrong Custer is buried at West Point in New York.
1886
The tuxedo dinner jacket made its American debut at the autumn ball in Tuxedo Park, New York.
1900
Actress Helen Hayes born
1911
Revolution in China begins with a bomb explosion and the discovery of revolutionary headquarters in Hankow. The revolutionary movement spread rapidly through west and southern China, forcing the abdication of the last Ch'ing emperor, six-year-old Henry Pu-Yi.
1911
The Panama Canal opens.
1915
Producer Owen Bradley born
1915
Jazz musician Harry "Sweets" Edison born
1920
Jazz great Thelonius Monk born
1930
British playwright Harold Pinter born
1933
At Rio de Janeiro, nations of the Western Hemisphere sign a non-aggression and conciliation treaty.
1935
George Gershwin's opera "Porgy and Bess" opened on Broadway.
1938
Germany completed its annexation of Czechoslovakia's
1942
Actor Peter Coyote born
1946
Actor Charles Dance born
1946
Entertainer Ben Vereen born
1946
Singer John Prine born
1947
Prokofiev's Sixth Symphony was premiered in St. Petersburg, called Leningrad at the time. The Sixth has one of the most unusual beginnings of any symphony; it sounds like a laugh.
1948
Rock singer-musician Cyril Neville (The Neville Brothers) born
1949
Actress Jessica Harper born
1953
Singer-musician Midge Ure born
1955
Singer David Lee Roth born
1957
President Dwight D. Eisenhower apologized to the finance minister of Ghana (Komla Agbeli Gbdemah) after the official had been refused service in a Dover, Delaware, restaurant.
1959
Country singer Tanya Tucker born
1961
Musician Martin Kemp (Spandau Ballet) born
1963
A dam burst in northern Italy, drowning an estimated 3,000 people.
1963
Rock musician Jim Glennie (James) born
1966
U.S. Forces launch Operation Robin, in Hoa Province south of Saigon in South Vietnam, to provide road security between villages.
1967
Rock musician Mike Malinin (Goo Goo Dolls) born
1968
Luciano Berio's Sinfonia was premiered with the New York Philharmonic and the Swingle Singers. One movement mixed dissonant material with a complete symphonic movement of Mahler.
1970
Quebec Labor Minister Pierre Laporte was kidnapped by the Quebec Liberation Front, a militant separatist group. (Laporte's body was found about a week later.)
1970
Fiji became independent after nearly a century of British rule.
1973
Vice President Spiro Agnew resigned under an agreement with the Justice Department to plead no contest to income tax evasion charges. He was fined $10,000 and placed on three years' probation.
1979
Singer Mya born
1980
Very Large Array (VLA) radio telescope network dedicated.
1985
Actor Yul Brynner died in New York at age 65.
1985
Actor-director Orson Welles died in Los Angeles at age 70.
1987
The Reverend Jesse Jackson formally launched his bid for the Democratic presidential nomination in Raleigh, North Carolina.
1987
Britain's Tom McClean finished rowing across the Atlantic, setting a record for a west-to-east crossing in 54 days, 18 hours.
1988
Vice President Bush and Democrat Michael Dukakis prepared for their second debate of the 1988 campaign, scheduled to take place in three days.
1989
South African President F.W. de Klerk announced that eight prominent political prisoners, including African National Congress official Walter Sisulu, would be unconditionally freed, but that Nelson Mandela would remain imprisoned.
1990
The Oakland A's swept to the American League pennant and their third straight World Series by defeating the Boston Red Sox 3-1.
1990
The space shuttle Discovery landed safely at Edwards Air Force Base in California, ending a virtually flawless four-day mission.
1991
The United States cut all aid to Haiti, including $90 million funneled through the Agency for International Development.
1992
Iraq released US munitions expert Clinton Hall, two days after he'd been taken priaoner in the demilitarized zone separating Iraq and Kuwait.
1992
All sides prepared on the eve of a three-way presidential debate in St. Louis, Missouri, between President Bush, Democrat Bill Clinton and independent candidate Ross Perot.
1993
Thousands of Somalis demonstrated in the capital of Mogadishu to support warlord Mohamed Farrah Aidid, an event that coincided with the arrival of special US envoy Robert Oakley.
1993
In Greece, the Panhellenic Socialist Movement, led by Andreas Papandreou, won a solid majority of seats in parliamentary elections.
1994
Lt. Gen. Raoul Cedras resigned as commander-in-chief of Haiti's armed forces and pledged to leave the country.
1994
Iraq announced it was withdrawing its forces from the Kuwaiti border; seeing no signs of a pullback, President Clinton dispatched 350 additional aircraft to the region.
1994
Americans Alfred G. Gilman and Martin Rodbell won the Nobel Prize in medicine.
1995
world chess champion Gary Kasparov won a month-long championship match against Viswanathan Anand.
1995
University of Chicago professor Robert E. Lucas won the Nobel Prize in economics for demonstrating how people's fears and expectations can frustrate policy-makers' efforts to shape the economy.
1996
President Clinton joined Vice President Gore in Knoxville, Tennessee, where the president moved to broaden the sweep of the Internet at 100 universities, national labs and other federal institutions.
1996
Republican presidential nominee Bob Dole hosted a rally in Cincinnati that featured his running mate, Jack Kemp, and retired General Colin Powell.
1997
Defying the Republican Congress a second time, President Clinton vetoed a ban on certain late-term abortion procedures.
1997
The International Campaign to Ban Landmines and its coordinator, Jody Williams, were named winners of the Nobel Peace Prize.
1998
Former Defense Secretary and presidential adviser Clark M. Clifford died at age 91.
1999
Portugal's governing Socialist Party was returned to power by a comfortable margin in a general election.
1999
Six college students getting out of their cars or walking along a highway on their way to a fraternity party at Texas A&M were struck and killed by a pickup truck whose driver who had fallen asleep.
2005
Schröder gives up German chancellorship ambitions, makes way for Merkel
2005
Wallace and Gromit sets destroyed by fire
2005
CBC service returns to normal tomorrow
2005
Chinese activist severely beaten by "mob"
2005
Saudi Arabia blocks access to Blogger, Flickr, LiveJournal
2006
North Korea pulls out of football tournament
2006
Security Council recommends Ban Ki-moon for UN Secretary-General
2006
Interview with Derek Begley, Regional Council candidate for Wards 9 & 10 in Brampton, Canada
2006
Pablo Montoya from ARCA to NASCAR at Talladega
2006
Clashes between Shiv Sena, MNS in Mumbai
2006
Microsoft ends support for Windows XP's first service pack
2006
Gordon Brown announces new powers for UK Treasury
2006
NYC boy found on Long Island, New York after car theft triggers amber alert
2006
North Korean official warns U.S. that the DPRK may fire a nuclear missile
2006
Explosions rock 'Green Zone' inside Baghdad
2006
Snooker player Paul Hunter dies of cancer, age 27
2006
Vodafone New Zealand buys Internet provider ihug
2007
Obesity and the Fat Acceptance Movement: Kira Nerusskaya speaks
2007
Serie A hit with another scandal
2007
Shootings in Cleveland high school leave five injured, gunman dead
2007
Crossrail train approved for London
2007
Chinese student found dead in Perth suburb
2007
Iraqi authorities demand that U.S. sever all contracts with Blackwater
2008
France claims Russia has violated some terms of ceasefire with Georgia
2008
Dow Jones recovers hundreds of points, before losing them in minutes
2008
CanadaVOTES: CHP candidate Larry R. Heather in Calgary Southwest
2008
CanadaVOTES: NDP candidate Anne Lagacé Dowson in Westmount—Ville-Marie
2008
CanadaVOTES: NDP candidate David Sparrow in Don Valley West
2008
CanadaVOTES: NDP candidate Jo-Anne Boulding in Parry Sound—Muskoka
2008
CanadaVOTES: NDP candidate Paul Arbour in Carleton—Mississippi Mills
2008
WTO calls meeting on trade finance and economic crisis
2008
CanadaVOTES: CHP candidate Stefan Jetchick in Louis-Hébert
2008
Hampshire councils have £3 million invested in Icelandic banks
2008
Nobel Peace Prize awarded to Martti Ahtisaari, Finnish top diplomat
2008
Chinese restaurant closed in Toronto after rat photos published
2008
CanadaVOTES: CHP candidate Vicki Gunn in York—Simcoe
2008
Global markets plunge
2009
Former UN head Annan warns Kenya over future poll violence
2009
70 killed after tanker explosion in Nigeria
2009
Two people killed in fire in Greater Manchester, England
2009
UN plane crashes in Haiti; eleven dead
2009
Bosnian football fan's suspected killer escapes police custody
2010
Animal rights activists demand British coffee chain withdraw advertising campaign
2010
US federal judge and Florida judge clash over Scientology wrongful death case
2010
Car explosion in San Pedro, California was act of vandalism, say police
2010
Baghdad judge clears pair of murdering six foreign soldiers
2010
Tropical storm Otto moves into central Atlantic
2010
Residents of Leeds, England neighbourhood plagued with crime ask council for help
2010
Pakistan: Suspected US drone strikes kill seven rebels
2011
Indian ghazal singer Jagjit Singh dies aged 70
2011
Pakistani journalist found dead in home

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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