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Today in History

LOTR...
Council of Elrond
1881
Artist Pablo Picasso born in Málaga, Spain
1924
Actor Billy Barty born William John Bertanzetti in Millsboro, Pennsylvania
1928
Golden Globe nominated actress, Marion Ross born in Albert Lea, Minnesota
1940
College basketball coach Bobby Knight born in Massillon, Ohio
1955
Actress Glynis Barber born Glynis van der Riet in Durban, South Africa
1964
Rolling Stones rock The Ed Sullivan Show
1977
DEC announces VAX-11/780
1983
US and Caribbean allies invade Grenada
2001
Windows XP is officially released
2137
BC
Ho and Hsi, Chinese royal astronomers, were beheaded after failing to accurately predict an eclipse of the sun, which caused panic in the streets of China.
625
Death of Pope Boniface V
1047
Death of Magnus, King of Norway
1154
Death of Stephen, King of England
1241
Election of Celestine IV as Pope
1307
The University of Paris hears the confessions of Jacques de Molay and four Templar knights
1314
Coronation of Frederick III as King of Germany
1400
Author Geoffrey Chaucer died in London.
1415
An English army under Henry V defeats the French at Agincourt, France. The French had out numbered Henry's troops 60,000 to 12,000 but British longbows turned the tide of the battle.The battle led to the English domination of most of France throughout most of the 15th century.
1529
Thomas More becomes Lord Chancellor of England
1556
Abdication of Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor and King of Spain, of the Thrones of the Netherlands and Naples
1564
German composer Hans Leo Hassler born
1760
Britain's King George the Third succeeded his late grandfather, George the Second.
1800
British historian Thomas Babbington Macaulay. born
1812
The U.S. frigate United States captured the British vessel Macedonian during the War of 1812.
1825
Austrian composer Johann Strauss ('The Waltz King' composer: On the Beautiful Blue Danube, Emperor Waltz, Tales from the Vienna Woods, Wine, Women and Song; operettas: Die Fledermaus, A Night in Venice, The Gypsy Baron). born
1825
The Erie Canal, America's first man-made waterway, was opened, linking the Great Lakes and the Atlantic Ocean.
1838
Georges Bizet (composer Young Girl of Perth) born
1854
The "Charge of the Light Brigade" took place during the Crimean War.(670 British cavalrymen fighting in the Crimean War attacked a heavily fortified Russian position and were wiped out.)
1881
Artist Pablo Picasso (artist Ma Jolie) born
1888
Richard E. Byrd, U.S. aviator and explorer who made the first flight over the North Pole born
1892
Actor Leo G. Carroll (The Prize, The Parent Trap, North by Northwest, Father of the Bride, Forever Amber, Bahama Passage, Topper, The Man from U.N.C.L.E., The Girl from U.N.C.L.E., Going My Way) born
1902
Henry Steele Commanger, American historian who wrote the fifty-five volume Rise of the American Nation born
1912
Comedian Minnie Pearl (Sarah Ophelia Colley)."Howdee!" born
1918
Jazz musician Chubby Jackson born
1920
King Alexander of Greece dies from blood poisoning shortly after being bitten by a pet monkey.
1923
The Teapot Dome scandal comes to public attention as Senator Thomas J. Walsh of Montana, subcommittee chairman, reveals the findings of the past 18 months of investigation. His case will result in the conviction of Harry F. Sinclair of Mammoth Oil, and later Secretary of the Interior Albert B. Fall, the first cabinet member in American history to go to jail. The scandal, named for the Teapot Dome oil reserves in Wyoming, involved Fall secretly leasing naval oil reserve lands to private companies.
1923
Former baseball player Bobby Thomson born
1924
Actor Billy Barty (Circus Boy, Snow White, Willow, Tough Guys, Rumpelstiltskin, Roustabout, The Amazing Dobermans, Day of the Locust) born
1924
Former American League president Dr. Bobby Brown born
1926
Musician Jimmy Heath (Marchin' On, Passin' Thru, Live at the Public Theatre, In Motion, Expressions of Life, Really Big, On the Trail) born
1927
Actress- singer Barbara Cook (The Music Man, Flahooley, Oklahoma, Carousel, Plain and Fancy, Candide, The Gay Life, She Loves Me, Any Wednesday, Funny Girl, The Gershwin Years) born
1927
National Track & Field Hall of Famer Bud (Franklin) Held, (First to throw javelin more than 260 feet) born
1928
Actor Tony Franciosa (Anthony Papaleo) (A Hatful of Rain, Death Wish 2, The Drowning Pool, A Face in the Crowd, The Long Hot Summer, Stagecoach, The Name of the Game, Matt Helm, Wheels, Valentine's Day, Search, Finder of Lost Loves) born
1928
Actress Marion Ross born
1929
Former Interior Secretary Albert B. Fall was convicted of accepting a $100,000 bribe in connection with the Elk Hills Naval Oil Reserve in California.
1934
Hockey player Earl Ingarfield born
1936
Actress Marion Ross (Happy Days, Brooklyn Bridge, Mr. Novak, Life with Father, The Gertrude Berg Show, Forever Female, Grand Theft Auto) . born
1937
Country singer Jeanne Black (He'll Have to Stay) born
1937
Basketball player Zelmo Beaty born
1939
The drama "The Time of Your Life," by William Saroyan, opened in New York.
1940
Basketball coach and Basketball Hall of Famer Bobby Knight. born
1941
Pop singer Helen Reddy (I Don't Know How to Love Him, Delta Dawn, Leave Me Alone (Ruby Red Dress), Peaceful, Keep on Singing, Angie Baby, You & Me Against the World, I Am Woman) . born
1941
Baltimore novelist Anne Tyler (The Accidental Tourist, Searching for Caleb, Morgan's Passing, Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant) born
1944
Rock singer Jon Anderson (Yes) born
1944
Singer Taffy Danoff (Starland Vocal Band) born
1948
Olympic Hall of Famer Dan Gable (lightweight wrestling division gold medalist ) born
1948
Basketball Hall of Famer Dan Issel born
1949
Actor Brian Kerwin (Lobo, The Young and the Restless, The Chisholms, The Blue and the Gray, Switched at Birth, Murphy's Romance, A Real American Hero) born
1951
Peace talks aimed at ending the Korean Conflict resumed in Panmunjom after 63 days.
1951
In a general election, England's Labour Party loses to Conservatives. Winston Churchill becomes prime minister, and Anthony Eden becomes foreign secretary.
1954
President Eisenhower conducts the first televised Cabinet meeting.
1955
Rock musician Matthias Jabs (The Scorpions) born
1957
Albert Anastasia, gangster, killed (while getting a haircut).
1958
Country singer Mark Miller. (Sawyer Brown) born
1960
Martin Luther King, Jr., is sentenced to four months in prison for a sit-in.
1962
Rock musician Chad Smith (Red Hot Chili Peppers.) born
1962
US ambassador Adlai E. Stevenson presented photographic evidence of Soviet missile bases in Cuba to the UN Security Council.
1962
American author John Steinbeck was awarded the Nobel Prize in literature.
1963
Actress Tracy Nelson (Father Dowling Mysteries, Square Pegs, Glitter, Down and Out in Beverly Hills, Yours, Mine & Ours) born
1968
Singer Speech born
1970
Rock musician Ed Robertson (Barenaked Ladies) born
1970
Country singer Chely Wright born
1970
Actor Adam Goldberg ("Saving Private Ryan") born
1971
The UN General Assembly voted to admit mainland China and expel Taiwan.
1971
Violinist Midori born
1973
Actor Lamont Bentley ("Moesha") born
1981
Rhythm-and-blues singer Jerome Jones (Immature) born
1982
"Newhart" premiered on CBS.
1983
US Marines and Rangers, assisted by soldiers from six Caribbean nations, invaded Grenada at the order of President Reagan, who said the action was needed to protect US citizens there.
1987
The Minnesota Twins won their first World Series championship, beating the St. Louis Cardinals 4-to-2 in game seven.
1988
First lady Nancy Reagan, addressing a UN committee, said the United States was responsible for its own drug problem, and charged that every American drug user was "an accomplice to every criminal act" committed by drug barons.
1989
Novelist and critic Mary McCarthy died in New York at age 77.
1989
Soviet leader Mikhail S. Gorbachev began a three-day visit to Finland.
1990
Evander Holyfield knocked out Buster Douglas in the third round of their fight in Las Vegas to become the undisputed heavyweight champion of the world.
1990
Defense Secretary Dick Cheney said the Pentagon was laying plans to send as many as 100,000 more troops to Saudi Arabia.
1991
Israel named a hard-line delegation to the Middle East peace conference.
1992
Independent presidential candidate Ross Perot, explaining why he had abandoned his White House bid in July, publicly accused the Republican Party of plotting to disrupt his business operations and his daughter's wedding. (White House spokesman Marlin Fitzwater called the charges "loony" and "crazy.")
1992
Singer and songwriter Roger Miller died in Los Angeles at age 56.
1993
Canadian voters ousted the Progressive Conservative party of Prime Minister Kim Campbell and gave the Liberal Party, led by Jean Chretien of Quebec, a firm majority in Parliament.
1993
Actor Vincent Price died in Los Angeles at age 82.
1994
Susan Smith of Union, South Carolina, claimed that a black carjacker had driven off with her two sons (Smith later confessed to drowning the children in John D. Long Lake, and was convicted of murder).
1994
Three defendants were convicted in South Africa of murdering American exchange student Amy Biehl.
1994
President Clinton began a five-day trip to the Mideast.
1994
Susan Smith reported to police in Union, South Carolina, that her two young boys had been taken in a carjacking. Nine days later, she confessed she'd rolled the car into a lake, drowning the children.
1995
John J. Sweeney was elected AFL-CIO president.
1995
A commuter train slammed into a school bus in Fox River Grove, Illinois, killing seven students.
1995
The Atlanta Braves defeated the Cleveland Indians 5-2, taking a 3-1 lead in the World Series.
1995
Tennis hustler Bobby Riggs died in Leucadia, California, at age 77.
1996
Federal judge Richard Matsch granted Oklahoma City bombing defendants Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols separate trials rather than let one man drag the other down in the same trial.
1997
The Cleveland Indians avoided elimination in the World Series by defeating the Florida Marlins, 4-to-1, in game six.
1997
Hundreds of thousands of black women joined the Million Woman March in Philadelphia.
1998
Vice President Al Gore participated in a groundbreaking ceremony for a memorial dedicated to victims of the Oklahoma City bombing.
1999
Golfer Payne Stewart and five others were killed when their Learjet flew uncontrolled for four hours before crashing in South Dakota.
1999
Republican presidential candidate Pat Buchanan left the Republican Party to mount a bid for the Reform Party nomination.
2005
South African spies suspended
2005
Anniversary of Tak Bai incident marked with lawsuits
2005
Pentagon announces 2,000th U.S. military death
2005
José Azcona, former president of Honduras, dies at 74
2005
Sunni leader claims Iraq vote was a "farce"
2005
Iraqis accept constitution
2005
Rosa Parks dies at 92
2005
Unicef: African children orphaned by AIDS could top 18 million
2005
Australian PM says proposed Anti-Terror Laws are Constitutional
2006
U.S. mid-term election to host gay marriage referendum in Virginia
2006
Millions of old New Zealand coins still to be handed in
2006
New Jersey's State Supreme Court says gay couples have same rights as heterosexual couples
2006
Army of East Timor calls UN police action a coup
2006
Victorian Premier unveils plan for world's largest solar plant
2006
Oakland renters displaced by Hope VI program
2007
Chinese police seal off monastery in Tibet
2007
Supposed image of the Virgin Mary found on pebble
2007
Aung San Suu Kyi leaves house arrest to meet with government official
2007
Taipei 101 Run Up invites elite runners Run to Top of the World
2007
Bus explosion in Mogadishu, Somalia kills many civilians
2007
UN report: climate change and food shortage major problems for Earth's future
2007
Disney theme parks to rid trans fats internationally
2007
Garuda Indonesia Flight 200's pilot's marital problems may have affected judgement
2007
Macedonian policeman killed in attack near Kosovo
2007
Armando museum goes up in flames
2007
Rumors false about Britney Spears on Sesame Street
2007
2007/08 UEFA Cup: Zenit St. Petersburg vs. AZ Alkmaar
2007
UEFA Cup 2007–08: Bayer Leverkusen vs. Toulouse
2007
UEFA Cup 2007–08: Brann vs. Hamburg
2007
UEFA Cup 2007–08: Red Star Belgrade vs. Bayern Munich
2007
Oral Roberts University reportedly owes over $50 million
2008
Two Spanish train stations bombed
2008
Djibouti says war with Eritrea is inevitable unless UN intervenes
2008
UK mountain run abandoned as participants seek shelter from appalling conditions
2008
Mother, brother of singer Jennifer Hudson found murdered, others reported missing
2008
Judge demands better conditions in Maricopa County Jail, Arizona; both sides claim victory
2009
Russian passenger airliner makes safe landing in Moscow after concerns of gear damage
2009
British pilot dies in plane crash; nine passengers survive
2009
Heavy 7.0 magnitude earthquake hits Indonesia
2009
Obama declares swine flu emergency in US
2009
At least 25 dead after train crash in Egypt
2009
Car bombings near Iraq government offices kill at least 130
2009
Pakistani army seizes Taliban stronghold after week-long battle
2009
Niger’s ruling party wins majority in parliament after elections
2010
Prime Minister of Barbados David Thompson dies at age 48
2010
Five police officers injured in Naples protest over new garbage tip
2010
Hurricane Richard makes landfall in Belize
2011
Football: FA charges Chelsea for player misconduct; John Terry investigated over alleged racial abuse
2011
Tunisia casts vote in first free election
2012
Obama, Romney battle over foreign policy in final 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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