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Today in History

1648
Boston shoemakers form labor union
1867
US takes possession of Alaska from Russia in exchange for $7.2 million
1926
Rock & Roll Hall of Fame guitarist and singer, Chuck Berry born in St. Louis, Missouri
1927
Academy Award winning actor, George C Scott born in Wise, Virginia
1935
Emmy Award winning actor Peter Boyle born in Norristown, Pennsylvania
1951
Fashion model and actress, Pam Dawber born in Farmington Hills, Michigan
1954
Texas Instruments announces the first transistor radio
1956
Wimbeldon Tennis Champion Martina Navratilova born in Prague, Czechoslovakia
1960
Actress Erin Moran born in Burbank, California
1960
Matrial artist and actor, Jean-Claude Van Damme born in Brussels, Belgium
629
Death of Clotaire II, King of France
707
Death of Pope John VII
768
Coronation of Charlemagne and his brother Carloman, as co-rulers of the Franks
1097
The 1st Crusade lays siege to Antioch
1405
Pius II, (pope from 1458-64. His original name was Enea Silvio Piccolomini. He tried to unite Europe in a crusade against the Turks at a time when they threatened to overrun all of Europe. born
1417
Death of Pope Gregory XII
1470
Santes Pagninus, Dominican scholar whose Latin version of the Hebrew Biblethe first since St. Jerome'sgreatly aided other 16th-century scriptural translators. born
1503
Death of Pope Pius III
1511
William Sweeting and John Brewster burnt for heresy
1547
Justus Lipsius, humanist, classical scholar, writer born
1595
Edward Winslow, English founder of the Plymouth colony in Massachusetts. born
1622
Louis XIII lays siege to Montpellier
1631
Michael Wigglesworth, British-American clergyman, physician, and author of rhymed treatises expounding Puritan doctrines.
1632
Luca Giordano, Napoli, painter born
1636
New Book of Canons ordered used in Anglican Churches
1648
Tthe shoemakers of Boston formed the first labor organization in American history.
1767
The boundary between Maryland and Pennsylvania, the Mason-Dixon line, was agreed upon.
1787
Robert Livingston Stevens, U.S. engineer and ship designer who invented the widely used inverted-T railroad rail and the railroad spike. born
1799
Christian Friedrich Schnbein, German chemist who discovered and named ozone (1840) and was the first to describe guncotton (nitrocellulose). born
1867
The United States took formal possession of Alaska from Russia.
1887
Music lovers in Cologne were the first to hear Brahms' last orchestral piece, the Double Concerto.
1889
Novelist Fannie Hurst born
1892
The first long-distance telephone line between Chicago and New York was formally opened.
1898
The American flag was raised in Puerto Rico shortly before Spain formally relinquished control of the island to the US.
1904
Mahler also in Cologne... conducted the premiere of his own Fifth Symphony. At the time Mahler predicted that in the future conductors would usually take the scherzo too fast.
1919
Former Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau born
1919
Lee Harvey Oswald, conspirator in the assassination of President Kennedy born
1919
Singer Anita O'Day born
1921
Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Jesse Helms (Republican, North Carolina) born
1923
Paris had the honor of being the locale for the world premiere of the Prokofiev First Violin Concerto. Koussevitsky conducted and his concertmaster soloed. It's one of the finest concertos ever written for any instrument, full of melody and drama.
1926
Rock-and-roll performer Chuck Berry born
1927
Actor George C. Scott born
1928
Sportscaster Keith Jackson born
1931
Inventor Thomas Alva Edison died in West Orange, New Jersey, at age 84.
1933
Actor Peter Boyle born
1939
President Franklin D. Roosevelt bans war submarines from U.S. ports and waters
1939
Football coach Mike Ditka born
1939
Greek actress Mey Oswald born
1944
Soviet troops invaded Czechoslovakia during World War Two.
1947
Actor Joe Morton born
1947
Singer Laura Nyro born
1950
Playwright Wendy Wasserstein born
1951
Actress Pam Dawber born
1951
Author Terry McMilla born
1956
Tennis player Martina Navratilova born
1959
The Soviet Union announced an unmanned space vehicle had taken the first pictures of the far side of the moon.
1960
Actor Jean-Claude Van Damme born
1961
Jazz musician Wynton Marsalis born
1961
Actress Erin Moran born
1962
Actor Vincent Spano born
1966
Rock musician Tim Cross (Sponge) born
1968
Tennis player Michael Stich born
1969
The federal government banned artificial sweeteners known as cyclamates (SY'-kluh-maytz) because of evidence they caused cancer in laboratory rats.
1973
Singer Nonchalant born
1974
Rock musician Peter Svenson (The Cardigans) born
1982
Former first lady Bess Truman died at her home in Independence, Missouri, at age 97.
1984
President Reagan ordered an investigation of a CIA handbook for Nicaraguan rebels that suggested assassination as a political tactic.
1987
President Reagan summoned congressional leaders to the White House to announce he had decided on what action to take in response to an Iranian missile attack on a US-flagged tanker off Kuwait two days earlier. (The next day, US destroyers bombarded an Iranian offshore oil rig.)
1988
The Oakland A's defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers, 2-to-1, in game three of the World Series.
1988
South Korean President Roh Tae-woo, in an address to the UN General Assembly, called for a summit with North Korea's president to sign a non-aggression pact. Maurice Allais of France won the Nobel Prize in economics.
1989
The space shuttle "Atlantis" was launched on a five-day mission that included deployment of the "Galileo" space probe on a course for Jupiter.
1989
After 18 years in power, Erich Honecker was ousted as leader of East Germany; he was succeeded by Egon Krenz.
1990
Iraq offered to sell its oil to anyone -- including the United States -- for 21 dollars a barrel, the same price level that preceded the invasion of Kuwait.
1992
The visiting Toronto Blue Jays defeated the Atlanta Braves in game two of the World Series, 5-to-4, evening the series at one game apiece. (The pre-game ceremony was marred by a US Marine Corps color guard that mistakenly presented the Canadian flag upside-down.)
1993
Two defendants were acquitted of most of the felony charges in the beating of trucker Reginald Denny and other motorists at the start of the 1992 Los Angeles riots; the jury did convict Damian Williams of simple mayhem, Henry Watson of simple assault.
1994
Defense Secretary William Perry, nearing the end of a visit to China, said Beijing had agreed to brief the Pentagon on its overall military strategy and defense spending plans.
1995
President Clinton, facing political fallout for telling financial contributors that "I raised your taxes too much," said he had no regrets about the tax increase package he'd signed into law in 1993.
1996
Democratic Party fund-raiser John Huang was relieved of his duties following days of attacks by the Republicans over what they called improper and possibly illegal contributions.
1997
A monument honoring American servicewomen was dedicated at Arlington National Cemetery.
1997
Coca-Cola Company chairman Roberto Goizueta died in Atlanta at age 65.
1997
Broadcast journalist Nancy Dickerson died in New York at age 70.
1997
The Florida Marlins beat the Cleveland Indians 7-to-4 in game one of the World Series.
1998
The New York Yankees defeated the San Diego Padres, 9-to-3, to take a two-games-to-none lead in the World Series.
1998
Pope John Paul the Second celebrated a Mass at the Vatican marking the 20th anniversary of his election to the papacy.
1999
The New York Yankees won a record 36th pennant, beating the Boston Red Sox 6-1 in Game Five of the American League Championship Series.
1999
Career prosecutor Robert Ray was sworn in to replace Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr and wrap up the wide-ranging investigation of President Clinton and first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton.
2005
Russian sabre rattling in the Barents Sea
2005
Next political election in Italy will be on April 9, 2006
2005
Phone threat closes tunnels, snarls traffic in Baltimore, Maryland
2005
Major rallies escalate teacher strike in BC
2005
Armed conflicts in the world down by 40% since early 1990s
2005
Iraq ballots to be audited due to voting "anomalies"
2006
Clint Brown, TV3 presenter, resigns amid attack allegations
2006
Argentinian woman sticks to slot machine after winning 35 million pesos
2006
NZ Government passes bill to legalise controversial electioneering overspending
2006
Pope Benedict XVI canonizes four new saints
2006
Indian lawyers debate how to execute Mohammad Afzal
2006
Virus carried on fifth generation iPods
2006
Suicide bombing kills 16 in tourist city in Sri Lanka
2006
U.S. Defense officials: Satellite photos suggest second North Korea nuclear test
2007
Turkish Parliament approves military action in Iraq
2007
Avro Vulcan returns to the air after restoration
2007
John Reed on Orwell, God, self-destruction and the future of writing
2007
'Large-scale attack' against ex-Prime Minister Bhutto leaves more than 100 dead in Pakistan
2007
Brownback to drop out of Presidential race on Friday, says AP
2008
Indian aviation sector hit by financial trouble; domestic traffic at five-year low
2008
Russia asks Iceland for details of bank rescue plan before giving loan
2008
Iran to stop executing children
2009
Philippines prepares for new typhoon
2009
UN claims over a quarter million human trafficking victims in EU
2009
Hurricane Rick becomes Category 5 storm
2009
IBEX satellite releases first all sky map
2009
33 killed by firecracker blaze in India
2009
Gun battle between gang members and police kills 12 in Rio de Janeiro
2009
Suicide attack hits Iranian Revolutionary Guard commanders
2009
Democratic Republic of Congo: UN expert accuses soldiers of killing 50 Hutu refugees in North Kivu
2009
Bull moose shot by police in Alaska
2009
Ali Bongo sworn in as president of Gabon
2010
'Enough, enough, enough, enough': 1700 women march against mass rape in DR Congo
2010
One dead as Super Typhoon Megi makes landfall in Philippines
2012
Attorney General vetos release of Prince Charles correspondence
2012
Cameron, Salmond sign deal for referendum on Scottish independence

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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