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Today in History

1758
Lexicographer, author, and spelling reformer Noah Webster born in Hartford, Connecticut
1886
Community defense volunteer, journalist, and first Prime Minister of Israel, David Ben-Gurion born in Płońsk, Congress Poland
1923
Walt and Roy form The Disney Brothers Cartoon Studio at 4651 Kingswell Ave
1946
Actress and author, Suzanne Somers born Suzanne Marie Mahoney in San Bruno, California
1958
National Boss Day
1975
Actress Kellie Martin born in Riverside, California
1995
The Million Man March in Washington, DC
709
Dedication of the Church of Mont St. Michael
786
Death of St. Lull
1076
The German aristocracy meets at Tribur, and takes the side of Pope Gegory VII against Emperor Henry IV
1080
Death of Rudolph, King of Germany
1430
James II, King of Scotland born
1555
Anglican Bishops Hugh Latimer and Nicholas Ridley were burned at the stake in Oxford for their nonconformity to the Roman catholic Church during the reign of Queen Mary I. Their deaths were included in Foxe's Book of Martrys and fired anti-Catholic sentiment for centuries.
1591
Death of Pope Gregory XIV
1611
Death of Charles IX, King of Sweden
1620
Pierre Puget, Baroque sculptor, painter, architect born
1646
French explorer and cleric Isaac Jogues was killed by Mohawk Indians near the settlement of Auriesville, New York. He was canonized in 1930 by the Roman Catholic Church. He is credited with being the first European to see Lake George in 1646.
1708
Albrecht von Haller, the father of experimental physiology born
1750
An acclaimed lute player named Leopold Weiss died. He is remembered chiefly for an incident in which a rival musician attempted unsuccessfully to bite off his thumb.
1758
Lexicographer Noah Webster born
1793
During the French Revolution, Queen Marie Antoinette was beheaded.
1814
Franz Schubert's first Mass was sung in a Vienna church. The soprano role was sung by a woman sometimes described as Schubert's first love, although contemporary accounts leave the impression that Schubert's romantic inclinations were very much in a different direction.
1815
Napoleon was exiled to St Helena.
1829
"The Tremont Hotel opened in Boston. It was the first bona fide first-class hotel in America and the first hotel to have indoor plumbing. For $2 a night the patrons received four meals, a private key, a washbowl, and access to bathrooms in the basement.
1846
Ether was first administered in public at the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston by Dr. William Thomas Green Morton during an operation to remove a tumor from the jaw performed by Dr. John Collins Warren.
1854
English author and dramatist Oscar Wilde born
1859
Abolitionist John Brown led an abortive raid on the federal arsenal at Harper's Ferry, Va. He was convicted of treason and hanged.
1886
Israeli Prime Minister David Ben Gurion born
1888
Playwright Eugene O'Neill (Nobel Prize and Pulitzer prize-winning playwright: The Ice Man Cometh ; Long Day's Journey into Night) born
1890
Photographer Paul Strand born
1901
President Theodore Roosevelt incites controversy by inviting black leader Booker T. Washington to the White House.
1905
Russian composer Dmitri Shostakovitch born
1916
Margaret Sanger opened the first birth control clinic, in New York City.
1921
Actress Linda Darnell born
1923
Musician Bert Kaempfert (Wonderland by Night, Red Roses for a Blue Lady, Three O'Clock in the Morning) born
1925
Actress Angela Lansbury born
1926
German novelist Gnter Grass(The Tin Drum) born
1931
Former presidential adviser Charles W. Colson born
1937
Actor Tony Anthony born
1940
Actor Barry Corbin born
1943
Rock musician C.F. Turner (Bachman-Turner Overdrive) born
1944
The novel, The Robe, by Lloyd C. Douglas, was published Nine years later the book was made into a movie and captured three Oscars.
1946
Actress Suzanne Somers born
1946
Ten Nazi war criminals condemned during the Nuremberg trials were hanged.
1947
Rock singer-musician Bob Weir (The Grateful Dead, Ratdog) born
1947
Producer-director David Zucker born
1958
Actor-director Tim Robbins born
1960
Musician Gary Kemp (Spandau Ballet) born
1962
Rock musician Flea (Red Hot Chili Peppers) born
1962
The Cuban missile crisis began as President Kennedy was informed that reconnaissance photographs had revealed the presence of missile bases in Cuba.
1964
China detonated its first atomic bomb.
1968
Tommie Smith & John Carlos perform Black Power salute during Olympic medal ceremony
1969
Singer Wendy Wilson (Wilson Phillips) born
1970
Actor Jeremy Jackson ("Baywatch") born
1970
Anwar Sadat was elected president of Egypt, succeeding the late Gamal Abdel Nasser.
1971
Rapper B-Rock (B-Rock and the Bizz) born
1972
A light plane carrying House Democratic leader Hale Boggs of Louisiana and three other men was reported missing in Alaska. The plane was never found.
1975
Actress Kellie Martin born
1978
The College of Cardinals of the Roman Catholic Church chose Cardinal Karol Wojtyla to be the new pope; he took the name John Paul the Second. (The first non-Italian pope since 1542)
1984
A baboon heart is transplanted into 15-day-old Baby Fae--the first transplant of the kind--at Loma Linda University Medical Center, California. Baby Fae lived until November 15.
1987
A 58-and-a-half-hour drama in Midland, Texas, ended happily as rescuers freed Jessica McClure, an 18-month-old girl trapped in an abandoned well.
1987
In the Persian Gulf, an Iranian missile hit a re-flagged Kuwaiti ship in the first direct attack on the tanker fleet guarded by the US.
1988
The Los Angeles Dodgers shut out the Oakland A's, 6-to-0, in game two of the World Series.
1988
Rescue workers near Point Barrow, Alaska, continued their efforts to save three California gray whales trapped in Arctic Ocean ice.
1989
President Bush signed an order cutting federal programs by $16.1 billion under the Gramm-Rudman budget-reduction law.
1990
Comedian Steve Martin and his wife, actress Victoria Tennant, visited American GIs in Saudi Arabia.
1990
The Cincinnati Reds beat the Oakland A's 7-0 in game one of the World Series.
1990
Soviet President Mikhail S. Gorbachev submitted to the Soviet legislature a scaled-back plan to transform the Soviet economy to a free-market system.
1991
A deadly shooting rampage took place in Killeen, Texas, as George Hennard crashed his pickup truck into a Luby's Cafeteria and opened fire, killing 23 people before taking his own life.
1992
The Nobel Peace prize was awarded to Rigoberta Menchu, a Guatemalan Indian who spoke on behalf of indigenous people and victims of government repression.
1993
The UN Security Council endorsed the deployment of US warships to block arms and oil shipments to Haiti, in an attempt to increase pressure on Haiti's military leaders.
1993
The Toronto Blue Jays defeated the Philadelphia Phillies, 8-to-5, in game one of the World Series.
1994
Heavy rains began drenching southeast Texas, resulting in floods that left 20 dead and forced 14,000 from their homes in 35 counties.
1994
German Chancellor Helmut Kohl was elected to a fourth term.
1995
A vast throng of black men gathered in Washington DC for the "Million Man March" led by Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan.
1995
American industrialist Armand Hammer returned home from the Soviet Union in his private jet, bringing with him Jewish scientist David Goldfarb after securing permission for the ailing ''refusenik'' to emigrate.
1996
Republican Bob Dole challenged President Clinton's ethics and honesty in their final debate.
1996
Soccer fans trying to squeeze into Mateo Flores National Stadium in Guatemala City stampeded, killing 84 people.
1997
Author James Michener died in Austin, Texas, at age 90.
1997
In the first known case in the United States, a Georgia woman gave birth after being implanted with previously frozen eggs.
1998
After receiving a Spanish extradition warrant, British police arrested former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet in London for questioning about allegations that he had murdered Spanish citizens during his years in power.
1998
David Trimble and John Hume were named recipients of the Nobel Peace Prize for brokering the Northern Ireland peace accord.
1999
Hurricane Irene rumbled up the East Coast.
1999
A New York Air National Guard plane rescued Dr. Jerri Nielsen from a South Pole research center after she'd spent five months isolated by the Antarctic winter, which forced her to treat herself for a breast lump.
1999
A 7.1-magnitude earthquake in the Mojave Desert shook three states and derailed an Amtrak train, but caused no serious damage or injuries.
1999
Radio raconteur Jean Shepherd died in Sanibel, Florida, at age 78.
2005
Insurgents kill monk and burn temple in south Thailand
2005
Spanish police reportedly closing in on fugitive Nazi doctor
2005
New national museum opens in Kyushu, Japan
2005
Riots break out at Neo-Nazi rally in Toledo, Ohio
2006
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory confirms existence of Element 118
2006
New Zealand Labour party sells pledge card
2006
Microsoft backtracks on Vista delay accusations
2006
Four more found guilty in 1993 Mumbai blasts case
2007
Oil prices at new high on fears of Turkish attack in Iraq
2007
Small earthquake shakes Los Angeles, California
2007
China 'furious' at U.S. over Dalai Lama award
2007
Nevada man's execution halted at 11th hour
2007
Studies: raw fish risky
2007
Australia Votes 2007: Liberals promise personal income tax cuts
2007
The Raveonettes on love, death, desire and war
2008
Spanair mechanics to be questioned under criminal suspicion over Flight 5022 crash
2008
NHL: Montreal Canadiens open 100th season
2008
Oil prices drop as inventories grow
2008
Medical helicopter crashes near Chicago, Illinois killing four
2008
Thai-Cambodian generals in talks after border clash kills two
2008
Oversight Committee: White House attempted to influence Congressional elections
2008
Ilham Aliyev claims landslide victory in disputed Azerbaijani elections
2009
China sentences six more to death over riots
2009
European Commission publishes progress report on Western Balkans
2009
At least 40 dead after string of attacks in Pakistan
2009
NY Sen. Monserrate found guilty of misdemeanor assault
2009
Zimbabwe's MDC pulls out of unity government
2009
UN rights council endorses Gaza report
2009
Suicide bomber attacks Iraqi mosque; twelve dead
2009
Bank of America reports losses of over US$2.2 billion
2009
Man charged with assaulting British singer Leona Lewis
2009
World Wrestling Entertainment heir Shane McMahon resigns from the company
2009
Son of Indian hospital CEO commits suicide by jumping out of window
2010
US Army to court martial soldier over three Afghan murders
2010
20 dead, seventeen trapped after Chinese coal mine explosion
2010
Texas Commissioner of Agriculture visits schools to kick off National School Lunch Week
2011
Iran continues to lash out at film industry
2012
Felix Baumgartner jumps from stratosphere, breaks sound barrier

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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