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Today in History

LOTR...
Frodo crosses bridge of Mitheithel
70
BC
Virgil, author of Aeneid, born
1775
Formation of US Navy authorized
1925
Comedian, writer, social critic and satirist, Lenny Bruce born in Long Island, New York
1941
Songwiter, guitarist and singer, Paul Simon born in Newark Heights, New Jersey
1942
Actress Pamela Tiffin born in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
1943
Italy declares war on Germany
1947
Songwriter, guitarist and singer, Sammy "The Red Rocker" Hagar born in Monterey, California
1952
Fashion model Beverly Johnson born in Buffalo, New York
1959
Singer and actress, Marie Osmond born in Ogden, Utah
1997
British automobile Thrust SSC breaks sound barrier
2010
33 Chilean miners trapped 2300 ft underground for 69 days are rescued
54
Roman emperor Claudius the First died, after being poisoned by his wife, Agrippina.
909
Death of St. Gerard of Aurillac
1066
Death of St. Edward, "the Confessor," King of England
1240
Death of Sultana Raziyya, the first female Moslem ruler
1307
Philip IV "the Fair" orders the arrest of the Templars
1399
Coronation of Henry IV as King of England
1605
Death of Theodore Beza, theologian
1700
The London Gazette published an ad which revealed that the score of Henry Purcell's work "Fairy Queen" had been lost. A reward was offered.
1754
American Revolutionary War heroine Molly Pitcher born
1769
Horace H. Hayden, cofounder of 1st dental college born
1775
The Continental Congress ordered construction of America's first naval fleet.
1792
The cornerstone of the executive mansion, later known as the White House, was laid during a Masonic ceremony in the District of Columbia, led by President Washington.It would not be occupied until 1800.
1843
The Jewish organization B'nai B'rith was founded in New York City.
1845
Texas ratified a state constitution. 1884 accepted as the prime meridian for world time calculations.
1853
Stage star of the Victorian age, Lillie Langtry born
1863
The remains of Beethoven and Schubert were dug up so the Viennese could rebury their beloved composers in a better place.
1903
The Boston Red Sox beat the Pittsburgh Pirates to win the first World Series, five games to three.
1904
Debussy's wife tried to commit suicide. Lily Debussy was distraught over her husband leaving her for another woman. She survived a self-inflicted gunshot wound. The whole affair became public and hurt Debussy's popularity in Britain for a while.
1909
Editorial cartoonist herblock born
1915
Actor Cornel Wilde A Song to Remember, Sharks' Treasure, Omar Khayyam, The Greatest Show on Earth, Forever Amber) born
1924
Actor - Comedian Nipsey Russell (Car 54, Where are You?, ABC's Nightlife, Barefoot in the Park, The Dean Martin Show) born
1925
Actor-singer Yves Montand born
1925
Comedian Lenny Bruce (Dance Hall Racket, Dynamite Chicken) born
1925
Former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher born
1925
Playwright Frank D. Gilroy born
1938
Gospel singer Shirley Caesar born
1939
Actress Melinda Dillon born
1941
Singer-musician Paul Simon born
1942
Actress Pamela Tiffin born
1943
During World War Two, Italy declared war on Germany, its one-time Axis partner.
1943
The poet Robert Lowell was sentenced to a year and a day in jail for draft evasion
1944
Musician Robert Lamm (Chicago) . born
1944
American troops entered Aachen, Germany.
1944
British and Greek advance units landed at Piraeus during World War Two.
1946
Actor Demond Wilson born
1946
Country singer Lacy J. Dalton born
1947
Singer-musician Sammy Hagar born
1952
Actor John Lone born
1952
Model Beverly Johnson born
1957
Writer-producer Chris Carter ("The X-Files") born
1959
Singer Marie Osmond born
1960
Richard M. Nixon and John F. Kennedy participated in the third televised debate of their presidential campaign, with Nixon in Hollywood and Kennedy in New York.
1962
Actress Kelly Preston born
1962
Country singer John Wiggins born
1962
The four-character drama "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?," by Edward Albee, opened on Broadway.
1969
Olympic silver-medal figure skater Nancy Kerrigan born
1969
Country singer Rhett Akins born
1970
Actress Tisha Campbell born
1972
More than 170 people were killed when a Soviet airliner crashed near the Moscow airport.
1972
Rock musician Jan Van Sichem Junior (K's Choice) born
1981
Voters in Egypt participated in a referendum to elect Vice President Hosni Mubarak the new president, one week after the assassination of Anwar Sadat.
1987
Costa Rican President Oscar Arias was named winner of the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts on behalf of a Central American peace plan.
1988
Egyptian novelist Naguib Mahfouz was named recipient of the Nobel Prize for Literature.
1988
Vice President Bush and Democrat Michael Dukakis met in their second presidential debate of the 1988 campaign.
1989
The Dow Jones Industrial Average plunged 190 points, triggering memories of the 1987 crash.
1990
At the start of a three-day conference in Jiddah, Saudi Arabia, the crown prince of Kuwait promised greater democracy for the emirate if it were freed from Iraqi occupation.
1990
In Lebanon, rebel Christian Gen. Michel Aoun ended his mutiny against the government.
1990
Le Duc Tho, co-founder of the Vietnamese Communist Party, died in Hanoi at age 79.
1992
Vice President Dan Quayle, Senator Al Gore and retired admiral James B. Stockdale clashed in a freewheeling vice-presidential debate in Atlanta.
1993
The Philadelphia Phillies won the National League pennant, defeating the Atlanta Braves in game six.
1993
The UN Security Council voted to reimpose sanctions on Haiti unless military leaders there stopped violating a UN-brokered accord.
1994
Japanese novelist Kenzaburo Oe won the Nobel Prize in literature.
1994
Pro-British Protestant paramilitaries in Northern Ireland announced a cease-fire matching the Irish Republican Army's six-week-old truce.
1995
British physicist Joseph Rotblat and the anti-nuclear group he founded, the Pugwash Conference, were named winners of the 1995 Nobel Peace Prize.
1996
House Speaker Newt Gingrich, appearing on CBS' "Face the Nation," called on Congress to investigate campaign contributions made to President Clinton's re-election campaign by the Lippo Group, an Indonesian banking conglomerate.
1996
The Yankees won the American League pennant, defeating the Baltimore Orioles.
1997
A jet-powered car driven by British Royal Air Force pilot Andy Green streaked across Nevada's Black Rock Desert at speeds topping 764 mph, faster than the speed of sound. However, the car couldn't complete two runs within the 60 minutes required by record-keepers. (Green officially broke the record two days later.) In Quebec, Canada,
1997
43 senior citizens and a bus driver were killed when the bus plunged into a ravine.
1998
Five scientists in the United States won the Nobel Prize in chemistry for developing ways to analyze molecules in chemical reactions and the Nobel Prize in physics for discovering how electrons can change behavior.
1998
The NBA suspended the first two weeks of the 1998-99 pro basketball season after collective bargaining talks broke off.
1998
The New York Yankees won the American League pennant with a 9-5 victory over the Cleveland Indians in Game 6 of their championship series.
1998
White House and congressional budget bargainers continued to seek agreement on issues snarling a $500 billion bill for the new fiscal year.
1999
Robert A. Mundell of Columbia University won the Nobel Prize for economic sciences.
1999
In Boulder, Colorado, the JonBenet Ramsey grand jury was dismissed after 13 months of work with prosecutors saying there wasn't enough evidence to charge anyone in the 6-year-old's strangulation.
1999
The Senate defeated the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, 51-48.
2005
Google hires lead developer for open source instant messenger, Gaim
2005
Apple introduces new iPod with video playback capabilities
2005
Gunmen, police clash in south Russian republic of Kabardino-Balkaria
2005
Trial of Saddam Hussein to be televised
2005
US extradition request blocked by Dutch court
2006
Chinese ban on Wikipedia lifted for now
2006
British top General says troops are unwelcome in Iraq
2006
Free speech is not solicitation: American Civil Liberties Union
2006
Former head of Radio Liberty Russian Broadcasts criticizes Kremlin's reaction to Russian journalist's murder
2006
Four bodies found on Florida's Turnpike
2006
New Zealand bank manager robbed own bank
2006
Microsoft says no delay for European launch of Vista
2006
Buffalo, New York snow storm closes schools, leaves nearly 400,000 without power
2006
Pitt and Jolie's guard pulls gun on photographer in Pune, India
2006
Gag order imposed on Guantanamo whistleblower
2006
Recent American E. coli outbreak linked to cattle
2007
Thai Tourism Minister applauds the Chiang Mai Charity Calendar
2007
Rugby World Cup: England 14 - 9 France
2007
At least two die in 15-truck pileup in California
2007
Dalai Lama to receive US Congressional Gold Medal
2008
Cook Islands rugby league player Adam Watene dies after training session age 31
2008
Global markets surge in value
2008
Canadian scientists protest Harper's attacks on science
2008
Thailand protest cancelled at last minute
2008
Wildfires rage north of Los Angeles
2008
CanadaVOTES: Libertarian John Kittridge in St. Paul's
2009
China and Russia sign trade deals worth US$3.5 billion
2009
Gabon court upholds presidential candidate Bongo's win after protest
2009
Local and regional elections held in Russia
2009
Post-mortem examination reveals Stephen Gately "died of natural causes"
2009
Turkey and Armenia sign historic agreement
2010
Copiapó, Chile mining accident: in depth
2011
Eyewitnesses challenge Egyptian state media impartiality in fatal protests

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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