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Today in History

1869
Proponent of peaceful civil disobedience for social change, Mahatma Gandhi born in Porbandar, Gujarat, India
1890
Actor and comedian, Julius Henry "Groucho" Marx born in New York City
1939
First robotics-based CAM
1950
The "Peanuts" comic strip by Charles M. Schulz is published for the first time
1951
Bass player and singer, Sting born Gordon Matthew Thomas Sumner in Wallsend, England
1958
Independence Day in Guinea
1967
Thurgood Marshall sworn in as Supreme Court Justice
2002
Beltway sniper attacks begin
534
Death of Athalaric, King of the Ostrogothics
1187
Fall of Jerusalem to al-Malik en-Nasir Salah-ud-Din Yusuf. The Christian crusaders had occupied Jerusalem for 88-years.
1263
At Largs, King Alexander III of Scotland repels an amphibious invasion by King Haakon IV of Norway.
1326
Edward II, King of England, flees London, his wife and Barons.
1452
England's King Richard III. The 12th of 13 children, he married the wealthy widow of the Prince of Wales and then imprisoned his mother-in-law for life. born
1491
Ferdinand and Isabella, King and Queen of Castile-Aragon, lay siege to the Moors of Granada, and found Santa Fe, Spain
1501
Catherine of Aragon arrives in Wales to marry Arthur, Prince of Wales
1535
Having landed in Quebec a month ago, Jacques Cartier reaches a town which he names Montreal.
1608
Hans Lippershey petitions the States General of the Netherlands for a patent on his invention of the Telescope
1649
The Parliament of England names this a Thanksgiving Day, in celebration of the Massacre of Drogheda, Ireland
1780
British spy Major John Andre was convicted in connection with Benedict Arnold's treason and was hanged in Tappan, N.Y.
1800
Nat Turner, a black slave and leader of the only effective and sustained U.S. slave revolt.
1835
The first battle of the Texas Revolution took place as American settlers defeated a Mexican cavalry near the Guadalupe River.
1836
Charles Darwin returned from his voyage on the HMS Beagle to the Pacific. It would be 23 years before he publishedOrigin of Species.
1847
Paul von Hindenburg, German Field Marshall during World War I whose brilliant victories on the Eastern Front promoted him to become the second president of the Weimar Republic born
1847
German statesman Paul von Hindenburg born
1849
24-year-old Johann Strauss the Younger took over his father's orchestra, just one week after his death. The musicians weren't too happy about it, but Junior told them he needed to keep the band going to support his siblings.
1851
French World War I military commander Ferdinand Foch born
1862
An Army under Union General Joseph Hooker arrives in Bridgeport, Alabama to support the Union forces at Chattanooga.
1866
The tin can opened with a key was patented by J. Ostyerhondt of New York City.
1869
Political and spiritual leader Mohandas K. Gandhi in Porbandar, India. born
1870
The papal states vote in favor of union with Italy. The Capital is moved from Florence to Rome.
1871
Morman leader Brigham Young, 70, is arrested for polygamy. He was later convicted, but the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the conviction.
1871
Cordell Hull, Secretary of State for President Franklin Roosevelt who promoted cooperation with the Soviet Union against Adolf Hitler. born
1879
American poet Wallace Stevens born
1889
The first international Conference of American States was convened in Washington, D.C., with representatives from most Latin America countries present.
1890
Comedian Groucho Marx in New York. He and his brothers Chico, Harpo, and Zeppo, entertained millions through broadway shows and films. He later went on to host the television quiz show "You Bet Your Life" born
1895
Ruth Cheney Streeter, the first director of the U.S. Marine Corps Women's Reserve, in Brookline, Massachusetts. born
1898
Actor-comedian Bud Abbott. He and Lou Costello made many comedy movies before splitting up in 1957. One of their funniest routines was "Who's on First," from their first film "One Night in the Tropics." born
1904
Novelist Graham Greene born
1909
Orville Wright sets an altitude record, flying at 1,600 feet. This exceeded Hubert Latham's previous record of 508 feet.
1913
Not one, but two compositions by Delius were premiered in Leipzig "Summit Night on the River" and "On Hearing the First Cuckoo in Spring."
1913
Two other British composers put new works before their public at a festival in Leeds. George Butterworth's "A Shropshire Lad" was performed, and Elgar conducted his own symphonic poem "Falstaff."
1919
President Wilson suffered a stroke that left him partially paralyzed.
1927
Country singer-musician Leon Rausch (Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys) born
1928
Actor George "Spanky" McFarland born
1929
Actor Moses Gunn ("Shaft" and "The Great White Hope") born
1932
Former Dodgers shortstop Maury Wills born
1937
Warner Bros. released "Love Is on the Air" which featured the motion picture debut of then 26-year-old actor Ronald Reagan.
1938
Movie critic Rex Reed born
1940
The HMS Empress, carrying child refugees from Britain to Canada, was sunk during World War II.
1941
German armies began Operation Typhoon - an all-out drive against Moscow.
1944
Nazi troops crushed the two-month-old Warsaw Uprising, during which a quarter of a million people were killed.
1945
Singer-songwriter Don McLean born
1946
Cajun/country singer Jo-el Sonnier born
1946
Scientists announce findings that smoking can cause cancer.
1948
Actor Avery Brooks born
1948
Country singer Chris LeDoux born
1948
Designer Donna Karan born
1950
Rock musician Mike Rutherford (Genesis, Mike & the Mechanics) born
1950
The "Peanuts" comic strip by Charles M. Schulz was published for the first time.
1951
Singer-actor Sting (Gordon Summer) born
1955
Rock singer Phil Oakley (The Human League) born
1955
Alfred Hitchcock's TV show began with its portly profile of the famous director and the theme music of Gopunod's "Funeral March for a Marionette." The show ran for 10 years. Actor Rock Hudson died on this day in 1985.
1958
The former French colony of Guinea in West Africa proclaimed its independence.
1958
Rhythm-and-blues singer Freddie Jackson born
1959
"The Twilight Zone" made its debut on CBS television. The program ran for 5 seasons for 154 installments, with a one-year hiatus between the third and fourth seasons.
1967
Rock musician Bud Graugh (Sublime) born
1967
Thurgood Marshall, the first African-American Supreme Court justice, is sworn in. Marshall had previously been the solicitor general, the head of the legal staff of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), and a leading American civil rights lawyer.
1968
U.S. Supreme Court Justice Abe Fortas withdrew his nomination as chief justice. Six months later, he resigned from the court, admitting he had made a financial deal with the Louis Wolfson Foundation.
1970
Rhythm-and-blues singer Dion Allen (Az Yet) born
1971
Singer Tiffany born
1973
Rhythm-and-blues singer LaTocha Scott (Xscape) born
1974
China, in a statement at the United Nations, declared they favored Arabs using oil as a weapon.
1975
President Ford welcomed Japan's Emperor Hirohito to the United States.
1985
The Senate joined the House in voting to override President Reagan's veto of stiff economic sanctions against South Africa.
1985
Actor Rock Hudson died at his home in Beverly Hills, California, at age 59 after a battle with AIDS.
1987
On Capitol Hill, more Democratic senators lined up against Supreme Court nominee Robert H. Bork as President Reagan continued to lobby undecided lawmakers on behalf of his candidate for the high court.
1988
The Summer Olympic Games concluded in Seoul, South Korea, with the Soviet Union coming in first in the medals count, East Germany second, and the United States, third.
1988
Pakistan's Supreme Court ordered free elections.
1989
Nearly 10,000 people marched through Leipzig, East Germany, demanding legalization of opposition groups and adoption of democratic reforms in the country's largest protest since 1953.
1990
The Senate voted 90-to-nine to confirm the nomination of Judge David H. Souter to the Supreme Court.
1990
President Bush, trying to muster acceptance for a $500 billion package of tax increases and spending cuts, asked Americans in a televised address to support the plan.
1991
Ousted Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide asked the Organization of American States in Washington to send a delegation to his homeland to demand that the newly installed military junta surrender power immediately.
1992
The campaigns of President Bush and Democrat Bill Clinton agreed to hold three presidential debates and one vice-presidential debate.
1993
Hundreds of opponents of Russian President Boris Yeltsin battled police in Moscow and set up burning barricades in the biggest clash of Russia's 12-day-old political crisis.
1994
U.S. soldiers in Haiti detained several leaders of the country's pro-army militias as part of an effort to dismantle armed opposition to restoration of elected rule.
1995
O.J. Simpson's jurors stunned the courtroom and the nation by reaching verdicts in the sensational eight-month murder trial in less than four hours. (The decision was kept secret until the next day.)
1996
Mark Fuhrman was given three years' probation and fined $200 after pleading no contest to perjury for denying at OJ Simpson's criminal trial that he had used a certain racial slur in the past decade.
1996
An AeroPeru Boeing 757 crashed into the Pacific Ocean, killing all 61 passengers and nine crew members on board.
1997
President Clinton proposed sending inspectors to farms around the world to ensure that foreign-grown fruits and vegetables are safe for American consumers. The president also said he would ask Congress to empower the Food and Drug Administration to ban produce from countries whose safety precautions do not meet American standards.
1998
Hollywood's original singing cowboy and former owner of the Anaheim Angels, Gene Autry, died at age 91.
1998
The House released 4,600 pages of evidence that meticulously detailed President Clinton's efforts to contain the Monica Lewinsky scandal as it erupted.
1999
The Brooklyn Museum of Art opened its much-hyped "Sensation" exhibit which had drawn controversy because of New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani's move to cut off city funding to the museum. (Giuliani objected to some of the artwork, which included a portrait of the Virgin Mary decorated with elephant dung.)
2005
One killed in University of Oklahoma explosion
2005
Tigers win NRL Grand Final
2005
Hundreds of lawsuits filed against music sharers in US
2005
Tropical Storm Stan forms over Yucatan Peninsula
2005
German Christian Democrats win by-election in Dresden
2006
Suspected bomber identified in 1985 Rainbow Warrior bombing
2006
Nobel Prize in Medicine awarded to American scientists
2006
Las Vegas schools on lockdown
2006
Contract to buy properties on site of Buffalo, N.Y. hotel proposal extended
2006
India celebrates Mahatma Gandhi's 137th Birthday anniversary
2006
Fatal shooting at school in Pennsylvania, USA
2006
Ignatieff leads in tight race in Canadian Liberal "Super Weekend"
2007
UK withdrawing thousand troops from Iraq
2007
Abbott calls for independent boards to govern Australian hospitals
2007
University of Memphis athlete shot to death; classes canceled
2007
27 killed in Southwest China bus fire
2007
Fred Thompson: Iraq had WMD in 2003
2007
Fire kills six at Moscow State Institute of State and Corporate Management
2007
South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun to meet with Kim Jong-il
2007
2007/08 UEFA Champions League: Stuttgart vs. Barcelona
2007
2007/08 UEFA Champions League: Manchester United vs. AS Roma
2007
Senator David Vitter to earmark $100,000 for creationist group
2007
Isiah Thomas found guilty of sexual harassment
2008
29 killed in Algerian floods
2008
University of Calgary scientist Keith cracks carbon capture conundrum
2008
CanadaVOTES: Animal Alliance (AAEVPC) candidate Marie Crawford running in Toronto—Danforth
2009
Romanian coalition government collapses
2009
Militant factions clash in Somalia
2009
Rio de Janeiro to host 2016 Olympics
2009
New 6.3 magnitude earthquake strikes South Pacific
2009
UN report says number of "abject poor" tripled in Gaza
2009
US unemployment rate reaches 9.8%
2009
Mudslides kill at least thirteen in Italy
2009
Plaintiffs and Amazon propose settlement to Kindle deletion lawsuit
2010
White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel steps down to run for Mayor of Chicago
2010
Filipino activist arrested for disrupting Manila Cathedral mass in Reproductive Health Bill protest
2012
Arthur Ochs Sulzberger, former publisher of The New York Times, dies aged 86

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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