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Today in History

1810
Politician, ambassador and abolitionist, Cassius Marcellus Clay born in Madison County, Kentucky
1812
Napoleon's army retreats from Moscow
1922
Pulitzer Prize winning investigative journalist, Jack Anderson born in Long Beach, California
1945
Former president of the National Organization for Women, Patricia Ireland born in Oak Park, Illinois
1945
Singer and songwriter, Gloria Jones born in Los Angeles, California
1945
Country music singer Jeannie C Riley born in Anson, Texas
1948
Guitarist, singer and songwriter for the Doobie Brothers, Patrick Simmons born in Aberdeen, Washington
1953
Arthur Godfrey fires Julius LaRosa during live national television broadcast
1970
Actor and comedian, Chris Kattan born in Sherman Oaks, California
2005
Saddam Hussein goes on trial in Baghdad
439
The Vandals, led by King Gaiseric, take Carthage in North Africa.
615
Election of Deusdedit as Pope
946
Death of St. John of Rila
1216
King John of England dies at Newark and is succeeded by his nine-year-old son Henry.
1216
William Marshal made Regent of England
1314
Frederick III chosen King of Germany
1448
The Ottoman Sultan Murat II defeats Hungarian General Janos Hunyadi at Kosovo, Serbia.
1453
End of the Hundred Years' War
1466
The peace of Torun ends the war between the Teutonic knights and their own disaffected subjects in Prussia.
1562
George Abbot, Archbishop of Canterbury born
1605
English physician and scholar Sir Thomas Browne Author of "The Anatomy of Melancholy." He died on his 78th birthday. born
1739
England declares war on Spain over borderlines in Florida. The War is known as the War of Jenkins Ear because the Spanish coast guards cut off the ear of British seaman Robert Jenkins.
1745
Jonathan Swift, feeble and insane, died. His servants allowed the public to pull souvenir hairs from his head.
1748
Martha Jefferson (Wayles) (Wife of 3rd U.S. President Thomas Jefferson, she died 18 years before he became president) born
1765
The Stamp Act Congress, meeting in New York, drew up a declaration of rights and liberties.
1781
Major General Lord Charles Cornwallis surrenders to George Washington and Count de Rochambeau at Yorktown, Va. Cornwallis surrendered 7,157 troops, including sick and wounded, and 840 sailors, along with 244 artillery pieces. Losses in this battle had been light on both sides. This effectively ended the American War of Independence.
1810
Abolitionist Cassius Marcellus Clay born
1812
Napoleon Bonaparte begins his retreat from Moscow.
1817
Tom Taylor, British playwright whose play Our American Cousin was being performed at Ford's Theater when President Abraham Lincoln was assassinated by John Wilkes Boothe born
1845
A turning point for Wagner. "Tanhausser" was performed in Dresden under his baton and nobody liked the ending. Wagner, taken aback by this but in no mood to change a note, resolved to write articles to explain his art and convert people to it.
1864
Confederate General Jubal A. Early attacked Union forces at Cedar Creek, Virginia; the Union troops were able to rally and defeat the Confederates.
1873
Yale, Princeton, Columbia and Rutgers universities drafted the first code of football rules.
1885
Charles Merrill (stock company mogul born
1895
Historian and city planner Lewis Mumford born
1899
Guatemalan author and diplomat Miguel de Asturias. He won the Nobel Prize for literature in 1967, his novel Viento fuerte cited as drawing heavily on Native American traditions. born
1901
A Liverpool audience became the first to hear Elgar's "Pomp and Circumstance" march. Elgar actually wrote several marches under that title, and the first two were premiered on this date.
1909
Robert Beatty (actor Captain Horatio Hornblower, Against the Wind) born
1911
George Cates (musician Leaves [w/Steve Allen]; musical director of Lawrence Welk Show for 25 years) born
1914
The U.S. Post Office began using automobiles to pick up and deliver mail.
1915
The United States recognizes General Venustiano Carranza as the president of Mexico, and imposes an embargo on the shipment of arms to all Mexican territories except those controlled by Carranza.
1917
The first doughnut is fried by Salvation Army volunteer women for American troops in France during World War I.
1918
Former ambassador to Russia Robert S. Strauss born
1920
Actress LaWanda Page (actress School) born
1921
Actor George Nader born
1923
Columnist Jack Anderson (columnist commentator: Mutual, USA Radio Network; author: Stormin' Norman, Japan Conspiracy) born
1931
English spy novelist John Le Carre, whose real name is David Cornwell (author: The Russia House, A Small Town in Germany, The Spy Who Came in from the Cold, The Night Manager) born
1932
Robert Reed (actor Bradys, The Defenders, Mannix, Nurse, Rich Man, Poor Man-Book I, Roots, The Runaways) born
1937
Artist Peter Max (Finkelstein) (pop artist best-selling poster; designer: postage stamp: Expo '74; 1982 World's Fair official artist) born
1940
Actor Michael Gambon born
1943
Sandy Alomar (baseball Year ) born
1944
The Navy announced that black women would be allowed into Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service (the WAVES).
1945
Actor John Lithgow born
1945
National Organization for Women President Patricia Ireland born
1945
Singer Jeannie C. Riley(Stephenson) (Grammy Award-winning singer: Harper Valley P.T.A. ; Country Girl, The Girl Most Likely, There Never was a Time, Oh Singer, Good Enough to be Your Wife) born
1949
The People's Republic of China formally proclaimed.
1950
United Nations forces entered the North Korean capital of Pyongyang.
1951
President Truman signed an act formally ending the state of war with Germany.
1952
Talk show host Charlie Chase born
1954
Egypt and Britain conclude a pact on the Suez Canal, ending 72 years of British military occupation. Britain agrees to withdraw its 80,000-man force within 20 months, and Egypt agrees to maintain freedom of canal navigation.
1956
Nino DeFranco (singer It's a Lovebeat) born
1957
Rock singer-musician Karl Wallinger (World Party) born
1960
Singer Jennifer Holliday born
1960
Canada and the United States agree to undertake a joint Columbia River project to provide hydroelectric power and flood control.
1962
Evander Holyfield (boxing born
1965
Rock singer-musician Todd Park Mohr (Big Head Todd and the Monsters) born
1967
Amy Carter (First Daughter Jimmy and Roselyn Carter) born
1972
Rock singer Pras Michel (The Fugees) born
1973
President Richard Nixon rejects an Appeals Court demand to turn over the Watergate tapes.
1976
Actor Omar Gooding ("Smart Guy," "Hangin' with Mr. Cooper") born
1977
The body of West German industrialist Hanns Martin Schleyer, who had been kidnapped by left-wing extremists, was found in the trunk of a car in Mulhouse, France.
1977
The supersonic "Concorde" made its first landing in New York City.
1980
Actor Benjamin Salisbury ("The Nanny") born
1982
Car maker John DeLorean was arrested in Los Angeles and charged in a $24 million cocaine scheme aimed at salvaging his bankrupt sports car company. He was tried and acquitted.
1987
US warships destroyed two Iranian oil platforms in the Persian Gulf in retaliation for an Iranian missile attack on a US-flagged tanker off Kuwait.
1987
The stock market crashed as the Dow Jones Industrial Average, amid frenzied selling, plunged 508 points -- its biggest-ever one-day decline.
1988
Three West Germans were named winners of the Nobel Prize in chemistry; three Americans received the Nobel Prize in physics.
1988
The Los Angeles Dodgers defeated the Oakland A's, 4-to-3, in game four of the World Series.
1988
Eight Israeli soldiers were killed in a suicide car bomb attack in south Lebanon.
1989
The Guildford Four, convicted for the 1975 IRA bombings of public houses in Guildford and Woolwich, England, are cleared of all charges after fourteen years in prison.
1989
Spanish author Camilo Jose Cela was named the recipient of the Nobel Prize for literature.
1989
The Senate rejected a proposed constitutional amendment barring desecration of the American flag.
1990
Iraq ordered all foreigners in occupied Kuwait to report to authorities or face punishment.
1990
The Supreme Soviet voted to approve President Mikhail S. Gorbachev's economic reform plan.
1990
The Cincinnati Reds beat the Oakland A's 8-3, taking a 3-0 lead in the World Series.
1992
President Bush, Democrat Bill Clinton and independent Ross Perot met in their third and final campaign debate, in East Lansing, Michigan.
1993
US intercepted its first ship bound for Haiti since an oil and weapons embargo was reimposed by United Nations.
1993
Benazir Bhutto was returned to the premiership of Pakistan.
1993
The Toronto Blue Jays took a two-games-to-one lead in the World Series by defeating the Philadelphia Phillies, 10-to-3.
1994
Twenty-two people were killed as a terrorist bomb shattered a bus in the heart of Tel Aviv's shopping district. Entertainer Martha Raye died in Los Angeles at age 78.
1995
Ignoring a veto threat, the House passed a Republican plan for overhauling Medicare by raising premiums for the elderly and disabled and saving billions from hospital and doctor fees.
1996
President Clinton said in his radio address that states would lose a percentage of federal highway aid if they did not bar young people from drinking and driving.
1996
the Republican radio address, Bob Dole claimed credit for putting Democrats on the defensive over their acceptance of foreign political contributions.
1997
Special US envoy Dennis Ross arrived in Israel for another round of meetings in an effort to push the Mideast peace process forward.
1997
The Cleveland Indians defeated the Florida Marlins, 6-to-1, in game two of the World Series, evening the series at one game apiece.
1998
In Miami, the first class-action lawsuit brought by smokers against the tobacco industry went to trial. (Jurors later found the nation's largest cigarette makers and industry groups had produced a defective and deadly product.)
1998
Israel suspended negotiations with the Palestinians on issues other than security after a bloody attack at an Israeli bus stop.
1998
Government lawyers opened their antitrust case against Microsoft Corporation.
1999
Legislation to overhaul the nation's campaign finance laws fell to a filibuster by Senate Republicans for the fourth straight year.
1999
The Atlanta Braves won the National League pennant by beating the New York Mets, 10-9, in Game Six of their championship series.
2005
U.S. isolated in opposition to cultural diversity treaty
2005
Google changes Gmail to Google Mail in the UK
2005
Australian "terror laws" face backlash
2005
Irish Guardian journalist reported missing in Iraq
2005
Hurricane Wilma becomes stronger on its path toward Florida
2005
China and Europe face new avian flu outbreaks
2005
Hurricane Wilma still a Category 5 Threat
2005
Colombian Constitutional Court passes presidential re-election
2006
Winners of New Zealand Music Awards announced
2006
US declares vital interest in space
2006
Engineers develop robotic microhand
2006
Indian fighter aircraft crashes in West Bengal, pilots eject safely
2006
American city officials warned about dirty bomb threat
2006
Interview with Dalbir S. Kathuria, Regional Council candidate for Wards 9 & 10 in Brampton, Canada
2006
New Zealand Post introduces redirection and hold fees
2007
YouTube announced the release of Taiwan Traditional Chinese website
2007
Blast kills 8, injures 126 at a mall in Manila, The Philippines
2007
Two-horse race likely for leadership of UK Liberal Democrats
2007
Ben Cousins sacked by West Coast in AFL drug scandal
2007
One person dead after a plane crash near Vancouver
2007
Quality, innovation and competitiveness centre-stage at Taipei Int'l Hardware & DIY Show
2007
At least 31 dead and 35 missing after loss of Indonesian passenger ferry
2007
Australia Votes 2007: Labor releases tax plan
2008
NASA mission to map the boundary of solar system
2008
China's Premier recognises government responsibility in milk incident
2008
Lewis Hamilton wins Chinese Grand Prix
2009
Iran uranium talks "off to a good start"
2009
Zimababwe Zanu-PF party dismisses Tsvangirai unity boycott
2009
Israel cabinet rejects UN war crimes report
2009
Listening to you at last: EU plans to tap cell phones
2009
Whitney Houston has 'wardrobe malfunction' during UK debut on TV show 'X Factor'
2009
US free speech lawyer Marc Randazza discusses Glenn Beck parody
2009
EU observers: up to one fourth of votes in Afghan election suspicious
2009
Kidnappers release two aid workers in Darfur, Sudan after more than 100 days
2009
Pakistani military launches ground offensive against Taliban and al-Qaeda
2009
Mark Webber wins Brazilian Grand Prix, Jenson Button and Brawn win championship
2009
Insurgent attack in South Thailand injures 24
2010
Indonesia investigates video showing apparent security forces torture
2011
Kenya troops enter Somalia after kidnappings
2011
Occupation in London enters fifth day
2011
Jailed Swedish journalists tried as terrorists
2012
Exclusive: 'The Scientology Reformation' author examines Tom Cruise and David Miscavige
2012
Obama and Romney battle in second U.S. presidential debate

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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