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Today in History

1882
The actor who defined the screen persona of Count Dracula, Béla Lugosi born in Lugos, Romania
1904
Singer and actress Anna Neagle born Florence Marjorie Robertson in London, England
1907
Actress, radio talk show host and game show panelist, Arlene Francis born in Boston, Massachusetts
1913
Country Music Hall of Fame banjoist and singer, Louis Marshall "Grandpa" Jones born in Niagra, Kentucky
1919
Chemist and inventor of a process for making synthetic diamonds, H. Tracy Hall born in Ogden, Utah
1932
Actor and philanthropist, William Christopher born in Evanston, Illinois
1946
Writer and humorist, Lewis Grizzard born in Fort Benning, Georgia
1950
Gershwin Award winning musician, guitarist, songwriter and singer, Tom Petty born in Gainesville, Florida
1955
Tolkien publishes The Return of the King
1973
Nixon fires Archibald Cox and abolishes the office of special prosecutor
1977
Lynyrd Skynyrd plane crash
1991
Oakland Hills firestorm kills 25 people
1097
The 1st Crusade arrives before Antioch
1187
Death of Pope Urban III
1314
Coronation of Louis IV, King of Germany
1349
Pope Clement VI condemns the flagellant movement
1382
St. Mary's College founded at Westminister, England
1435
Andrea Della Robbia, Florence, sculptor, nephew of Luca born
1518
Florence, Italy, requested that the remains of Dante be moved there
1587
In France, Huguenot Henri de Navarre routs Duke de Joyeuse's larger Catholic force at Coutras.
1600
Battle of Sekigahara, which established the Tokugawa clan as rulers of Japan (SHOGUN)
1616
Thomas Bartholin born
1632
English astronomer and architect Sir Christopher Wren. His greatest building is St Paul's Cathedral in London. born
1714
George I of England crowned.
1803
The US Senate ratified the Louisiana Purchase.
1812
Austin Flint, 19th century pioneer in US heart research born
1818
The United States and Britain agreed to establish the 49th parallel as the official boundary between the United States and Canada.
1818
Great Britain and the United States sign a diplomatic convention establishing a boundary between the U.S. and Canada along the forty-ninth parallel.
1819
19th-century politician and Civil War general, Daniel Sickles. (In 1859 he killed Philip Baron Key, the son of Francis Scott Key and his wife's lover, on the White House grounds. He was acquitted of the charge of manslaughter because it was a crime of passion. At Gettysburg, he was reprimanded by Gen. Meade for his taking such an advanced, unprotected position on the Union left. He lost a leg at Gettysburg. While minister to Spain after the War, he was the reputed lover of the Queen of Spain.) born
1820
Spain gives Florida to the United States.
1827
During the Greek War for Independence, a combined Turkish and Egyptian armada is destroyed by an allied British, French, and Russian naval force at the Battle of Navarino.
1842
Wagner's career finally took off when "Rienzi" was sung in Dresden to great acclaim. Wagner was then 29 years old. The same opera company immediately made plans to stage "The Flying Dutchman."
1854
French poet Artur Rimbaud. born
1859
Educator John Dewey born
1874
Composer Charles Ives. In his spare time he composed symphonies and other works which break all the rules, some of which are too modern for some ears even today. born
1884
Bela Lugosi, Hungarian-born actor, most famous for portraying Dracula (Some sources 1888) born
1889
Comic actress Margaret Dumont. born
1892
The city of Chicago dedicated the World's Columbian Exposition.
1903
A joint commission ruled in favor of the United States in a boundary dispute between the District of Alaska and Canada.
1905
Mystery author Ellery Queen (Frederic Dannay) born
1906
Lee De Forrest, the father of radio, was given a patent for the vacuum tube.
1908
Radio-television personality Arlene Francis (actress Murders in the Rue Morgue, The Thrill of it All; TV emcee: Who's There, Talent Patrol, The Comeback Story, Blind Date; panelist: What's My Line) born
1913
Country singer-musician Grandpa Jones (Louis Marshall) born
1915
Dancer Fayard Nicholas born
1918
Germany accepted U.S. President Wilson's terms to end World War I.
1922
Herschel Bernardi (actor Proper Stranger, Irma La Douce; voice: Charlie Tuna TV commercials, Jetson characters) born
1925
Columnist Art Buchwald born
1928
Psychologist Joyce Brothers, America's first media psychologist. In the mid 1950s, she appeared on the quiz show The $64,000 Question and won in the category of boxing. born
1931
Mickey Mantle, baseball great who played for the New York Yankees born
1932
Roosevelt Brown (Pro Football Hall of Famer offensive tackle; 8 time All Pro) born
1932
Actor William Christopher (Father Francis Mulcahy on MASH) born
1934
Actor Michael Dunn (Gary Miller) born
1935
Actor Jerry Orbach (Law and Order, Dirty Dancing, Straight Talk, Brewster's Millions; voice of candelabra: Beauty and the Beast) born
1935
Just over a year after the start of the Long March, Mao Zedong arrives in Hanoi in northwest China with 8,000 survivors, and sets up Chinese Communist headquarters.
1936
African-American political activist and cofounder of the Black Panthers, Bobby Seale. born
1937
Country singer Wanda Jackson (Right or Wrong, Let's Have a Party, In the Middle of a Heartache; songwriter: [Let's Stop] Kickin' Our Hearts Around) born
1937
Baseball Hall of Famer Juan Marichal born
1942
Actor Earl Hindman ("Home Improvement") born
1944
The Yugoslav cities of Belgrade and Dubrovnik were liberated during World War Two.
1944
General Douglas MacArthur kept his promise to return to the Philippine Islands as he landed with American forces during World War II. Two and a-half years after he'd said, "I shall return."
1945
Egypt, Syria, Iraq and Lebanon form the Arab League to present a unified front against the establishment of a Jewish state in Palestine.
1946
Southern humorist Lewis Grizzard. born
1947
Hollywood came under scrutiny as the House Un-American Activities Committee opened hearings into alleged Communist influence and infiltration within the motion picture industry.
1950
Singer Tom Petty born
1950
Isaac Curtis (football Super Bowl XVI) born
1952
Actress Melanie Mayron born
1953
Baseball All-Star Keith Hernandez born
1958
Actor Viggo Mortensen born
1958
Eric Scott (actor born
1961
The TV sitcom about police, Car 54, Where Are You?, premiered, and ran till 1963.
1964
Rock musician David Ryan (The Lemonheads) born
1964
Rock musician Jim Sonefeld (Hootie & The Blowfish) born
1964
The 31st president of the United States, Herbert Hoover, died in New York at age 90.
1967
Seven men were convicted in Meridian, Mississippi, of violating the civil rights of three murdered civil rights workers.
1968
Former first lady Jacqueline Kennedy married Greek shipping magnate Aristotle Onassis.
1971
Rapper Snoop Doggy Dogg born
1973
Arab oil-producing nations ban oil exports to the United States, following the outbreak of Arab-Israeli war.
1973
In the so-called "Saturday Night Massacre," special Watergate prosecutor Archibald Cox was dismissed and Attorney General Elliot L. Richardson and Deputy Attorney General William B. Ruckelshaus resigned.
1973
After fifteen years of construction, the Sydney Opera House is officially opened by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. . Famous for its geometric roof shells, the structure contains several large auditoriums and presents an average of 3,000 events a year to an estimated two million people.
1977
Three members of the rock group Lynyrd Skynyrd were killed in the crash of a chartered plane near McComb, Mississippi.
1987
Ten people were killed when an Air Force jet crashed into a Ramada Inn hotel near Indianapolis International Airport after the pilot, who was trying to make an emergency landing, ejected safely.
1988
The Los Angeles Dodgers won the World Series, defeating the Oakland A's in game five by a score of 5-to-2.
1990
Three members of the rap group 2 Live Crew were acquitted by a jury in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, of violating obscenity laws with an adults-only concert in nearby Hollywood the previous June.
1990
The Cincinnati Reds won the World Series, 2-1, sweeping the Oakland A's in four games.
1992
The host Toronto Blue Jays defeated the Atlanta Braves, 3-to-2 in game three of the World Series, taking a two-games-to-one lead. (This was the first World Series game to be played outside the US. During the pre-game ceremony, a Marine color guard presented the Canadian flag correctly, two days after another guard held the banner upside-down before game two.)
1993
The Senate adopted a non-binding resolution saying Congress should give its approval before any US troops were sent to enforce a Bosnian peace accord.
1993
Toronto took a three-games-to-one lead in the World Series as the Blue Jays defeated the Philadelphia Phillies, 15-to-14.
1993
Attorney General Janet Reno warned the TV industry to limit violence in programs.
1995
NATO Secretary General Willy Claes resigned to face corruption charges in his native Belgium (he later received a three-year suspended jail sentence).
1995
France, the United States and Britain announced a treaty banning atomic blasts in the South Pacific but only after France finished testing there the following year.
1995
Space shuttle "Columbia" was launched on a research flight that had been delayed six times.
1996
The Atlanta Braves defeated the New York Yankees 12-to-1 in game one of the World Series.
1996
Japanese Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto's party won a parliamentary election.
1997
Hungarian-born US financier and philanthropist George Soros announced he would donate as much as half a billion dollars in aid to Russia over the next three years.
1997
Mir cosmonauts performed history's first "internal spacewalk" (because of the need for spacesuits) to restore power to the damaged Spektr module of the space station.
1999
Elizabeth Dole, unwisely abandoned her Republican bid to be America's first woman president. .
1999
The government laid out new rules to protect children's privacy on the Internet and to shield them from commercial e-mail
2005
Arrest warrant issued for Tom DeLay
2005
Houston Astros win National League baseball pennant
2005
Australian opposition minister gives speech on poverty
2005
American soldiers accused of desecrating enemy bodies
2005
Hussein enters "not guilty" plea at trial
2005
Premiers take on Australian PM on Shoot To Kill Laws
2005
Endon Mahmood, wife of Malaysian PM, dies
2005
Iran bans Hollywood movies
2005
RAF officer refusing to serve in Iraq
2005
UN appeals for more aid for devastated Pakistan region
2005
Newspaper editor shot dead in Iraq
2005
OpenOffice.org office suite version 2.0 has been released
2005
Publishers seek injunction against Google Print
2005
Spain issues arrest warrant for three U.S. soldiers accused of killing two journalists in 2003
2005
Irish Government sends team of officials in hunt for Journalist
2006
Haze covers Southeast Asia
2006
Human remains found five years later at World Trade Center site
2006
Scientists progress towards cloaking device
2006
Earthquake measuring 4.5 shakes northern California
2006
California woman sees holy figure in burrito
2006
Florida suffers from summerlike conditions ahead of cold front
2006
Sir Edmund Hillary receives honorary doctorate
2007
Rugby World Cup: France 10 - 34 Argentina
2007
US stock markets tumble on 'Black Monday' anniversary
2007
Half of life could go extinct by century's end, warn eminent biologists
2007
Top 100 Canadian albums named
2007
Six found murdered in Vancouver, Canada apartment building
2007
Mass suspensions and relief of duties after US B-52 flew with armed nuclear missiles
2007
Man throws red paint in Roman Trevi fountain to protest film festival
2007
Saudi Arabia plans to open embassy in Finland
2007
Thai police arrest Canadian paedophile suspect
2007
South African reggae star Lucky Dube shot dead in attempted hijacking
2007
Bush and Putin suggest potential for World War III
2007
Dell joins Microsoft-Nortel VoIP Team
2007
South Africa defeats England 15 - 6 to win the Rugby World Cup
2007
Major League Soccer: Toronto FC vs. New England Revolution
2008
Teen hacker admits to attack on scientology.org
2008
Church of Scientology falsely accuses internet group 'Anonymous' of 2007 school shooting
2008
Spanish prime minister speaks on economic crisis
2009
US scientist from Maryland accused of spying for Israel
2009
ECOWAS suspends Niger in dispute over constitution
2009
Zimbabwe cabinet meets without MDC ministers after boycott
2009
New Gabonese president names new government
2010
Ten dead, nine injured as Super Typhoon Megi clears Philippines
2010
Wikimedia Foundation announces departure of general counsel Mike Godwin
2011
Ethics complaint by police dismissed by Ontario Press Council
2011
Former Libyan leader Gaddafi killed

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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