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Today in History

1872
Author, etiquette expert, and founder of The Emily Post Institute, Emily Post born in Baltimore, Maryland
1904
The first New York subway opens
1920
Tony award winning actress, comedienne, singer, dancer, and activist, Nanette Fabray born in San Diego, California
1933
Gerald M. Weinberg born
1939
Emmy award winning actor and comedian, John Marwood Cleese born in Weston-super-Mare, Somerset, England
1956
Actress and director Veronica Hart born Jane Esther Hamilton in Las Vegas, Nevada
1961
NASA launches Saturn-Apollo 1
1966
Author, radio host and editor of The Drudge Report, Matt Drudge born in Takoma Park, Maryland
1987
Black Monday: Dow Jones drops 22%
1997
Dow Jones drops 7% and halts trading
1401
Catherine, wife of Henry V, King of England born
1428
Thomas Montacute, Earl of Salisbury, becomes the first English Gentleman to be killed by gunfire.
1439
Death of Albert II, King of Germany
1441
Margery Jourdemain burnt for witchcraft
1492
Columbus discovers Cuba
1553
Michael Servetus, who discovered the pulmonary circulation of the blood, is burnt for heresy in Switzerland.
1590
Death of Pope Urban VII
1627
Richelieu lays siege to La Rochelle
1650
Death of William II of Orange
1728
Explorer Captain James Cook, discovered the Sandwich Islands. born
1782
Perhaps the world's most celebrated violinist, Niccol Paganini. He gave his first concert when he was nine. born
1787
The first of the "Federalist Papers," a series of essays calling for ratification of the United States Constitution, was published in a New York newspaper.
1795
The United States and Spain signed the Treaty of San Lorenzo (also known as "Pinckney's Treaty"), which provided for free navigation of the Mississippi River.
1811
Issac Merrit Singer, invented 1st practical home sewing machine born
1858
RH Macy & Co. opens 1st store, on 6th Avenue, New York City.
1858
The 26th president of the United States, Theodore Roosevelt, born in New York City
1871
New York's Boss Tweed arrested on fraud charges
1873
Farmer Joseph F. Glidden applies for a patent on barbed wire. Glidden eventually received five patents and is generally considered the inventor of barbed wire.
1880
Theodore Roosevelt married Alice Lee.
1891
D. B. Downing, inventor, is awarded a patent for the street letter (mail) box.
1901
getaway car was used for the first time when thieves robbed a shop in Paris, France.
1904
The first rapid transit subway, the IRT, opened in New York City.
1909
The wife of Capt. Ralph Van Deman made a four-minute flight, making her the first woman airplane passenger.
1910
Former "Tonight Show" executive producer Frederick DeCordova born
1911
Actor Leif Erickson (William Anderson) (The High Chaparral, Force Five, On the Waterfront, Rocky 3, Tea and Sympathy, Waikiki Wedding) born
1914
Author-poet Dylan Thomas in Swansea, Wales. (The Three Weird Sisters, Under Milkwood; poet: Portrait of the Artist as a Young Dog, Adventures in the Skin Trade) born
1917
Jascha Heifetz made his debut at Carnegie Hall in New York City this day. Heifetz was a 16-year-old sensation who had played the violin since age 5.
1917
20,000 women march in a suffrage parade in New York. As the largest state and the first on the East Coast to do so.
1918
Actress Teresa Wright born
1920
Actress Nanette Fabray born
1922
Pittsburgh Pirates outfielder, baseball Hall-of-Famer and sportscaster Ralph Kiner born
1923
Sculptor artist Roy Lichenstein born
1924
Actress Ruby Dee (Ruth Wallace) (Peyton Place, Zora is My Name, Do the Right Thing, A Raisin in the Sun, The Jackie Robinson Story, All God's Children, Gore Vidal's Lincoln, Roots: The Next Generation) born
1925
Fred Waller received a license of sorts from the U.S. Patent Office for water skis.
1925
Former Secretary of State Warren M. Christopher . born
1927
Fox Movie-tone news, the first sound news film, is released.
1928
College Football Hall of Famer Kyle Rote born
1930
Pro Football of Famer Bill George (Chicago Bears middle linebacker) born
1932
Golf champion Kathy Cornelius (McKinnon) (U.S. Open ) born
1933
Pianist Floyd Cramer (Last Date, On the Rebound, San Antonio Rose) born
1938
Du Pont announced a name for its new synthetic yarn "nylon."
1939
Actor-comedian John Cleese (A Fish Called Wanda, Monty Python's Flying Circus, Splitting Heirs, Life of Brian, Rudyard Kipling's The Jungle Book, Silverado, The Big Picture) born
1941
Football player Dave Costa born
1942
Country singer Lee (Melvin) Greenwood (CMA Male Vocalist of the Year [1983, 1984]: Dixie Road, Hearts Aren't Made to Break , Going, Going, Gone, Mornin' Ride, I Don't Mind the Thorns, God Bless the U.S.A.) born
1942
Actress Lara Parker (Foxfire Light, The Solitary Man, Race with the Devil, Night of Dark Shadows) born
1945
Football player John Williams born
1946
Actress Carrie Snodgress (Diary of a Mad Housewife, 8 Seconds, The Solitary Man, Woman with a Past, Pale Rider, Chill Factor) born
1947
The radio program, "This is Nora Drake" premiered on NBC. "Nora" solved domestic, social and child-raising problems until January 2, 1959.
1947
You Bet Your Life," starring Groucho Marx, premiered on ABC Radio. It later became a television show on NBC. George Fenneman was Groucho's eternal straight man. Fenneman stayed with Marx during the program's run on radio (1947 - 1959) and TV (1950 - 1961).
1947
News corespondent Terry Anderson (kidnapped by Lebanese terrorists in Beirut , released ) born
1949
Rock musician Garry Tallent (Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band) born
1950
Social satirist Fran Lebowitz. born
1951
Actress and TV personality Jayne Kennedy (NFL Today; Speak Up America) born
1952
Actor-director Roberto Benigni born
1953
Actor Robert Picardo ("Star Trek born
1953
Actor Peter Firth born
1954
Walt Disney's first television program, titled "Disneyland" after his yet-to-be completed theme park, premiered on ABC..
1958
Singer Simon Le Bon (Group born
1967
Rock singer Scott Weiland (Stone Temple Pilots) born
1967
"Expo `67" closed in Montreal, Canada.
1975
Bruce Springsteen appeared on the cover of both "TIME" and "Newsweek".
1978
Egyptian President Anwar Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin were named winners of the Nobel Peace Prize for their progress toward achieving a Middle East accord.
1978
San Francisco Mayor George Moscone and City Supervisor Harvey Milk, a gay-rights advocate, were assassinated inside City Hall by former supervisor Dan White.
1978
The Nobel Peace Prize was awarded jointly, this day, to Israel's Menachem Begin and Egypt's Anwar Sadat.
1986
The 'Mighty' New York Mets once again became world champs of baseball, as they beat Boston's Red Sox in game seven, 8-5.
1987
South Korean voters overwhelmingly approved a new constitution, establishing direct presidential elections and other democratic reforms.
1987
Associated Press correspondent Terry Anderson, a hostage in Lebanon, spent his 40th birthday in captivity.
1988
The government of the Soviet Union unveiled an $804 billion budget containing a deficit of $58 billion that officials said was the result of past mistakes.
1989
The third game of the World Series, delayed by the Northern California earthquake, was played at Candlestick Park. The Oakland A's defeated the San Francisco Giants, 13-to-7.
1990
The Senate gave final legislative approval to a record package of taxes and spending cuts, hours after the House approved the plan.
1990
Author Elliott Roosevelt died at age 80.
1992
The government reported that the US gross domestic product grew at an inflation-adjusted annual rate of two-point-seven percent in the third quarter of 1992. Friends of Queen Elizabeth the Second staged an elaborate celebration for the 40th anniversary of her ascension to the British throne.
1993
President Clinton presented a revised version of his health care reform plan to Congress, urging its passage within a year.
1993
Brush fires raged across Southern California, destroying several hundred homes.
1994
In the first trip to Syria by an American president in 20 years, President Clinton met with Syrian President Hafez Assad before heading to Jerusalem to meet with Israeli officials.
1995
A sniper killed one soldier and wounded 18 others at Fort Bragg, N.C. (Paratrooper William J. Kreutzer was later convicted in the shootings, and condemned to death.)
1995
Thousands rallied in Montreal for national unity three days before a referendum on whether Quebec should secede.
1996
US envoy Dennis Ross shuttled between Jerusalem and the Palestinians' Gaza Strip headquarters, trying to finesse a deal to start an overdue Israeli withdrawal from Hebron.
1997
Authorities in Chautauqua County, New York, said Nushawn Williams, an HIV-positive man who would trade drugs for sex with young women and teens, had infected a number of them with the AIDS virus.
1997
The Dow Jones industrial average tumbled 554.26 points, forcing the stock market to shut down for the first time since the 1981 assassination attempt on President Reagan.
1998
Serb forces drew back from former Kosovo battlefronts, holding off the immediate threat of NATO airstrikes.
1998
Hurricane Mitch cut through the western Caribbean, pummeling coastal Honduras and Belize; the storm caused several thousand deaths in Central America in the days that followed.
1999
In the first debate of the Democratic presidential race, Al Gore sought to stem his decline in the polls by attacking rival Bill Bradley's health care and spending plans.
1999
The U.S. federal budget surplus was put at $123 billion in 1998, marking the first back-to-back surpluses since the 1950s.
1999
The New York Yankees won their second straight World Series sweep, defeating the Atlanta Braves in game four, 4-1.
2005
Australian anti-terror laws will be delayed
2005
Chicago White Sox win World Series baseball championship
2005
Harriet Miers withdraws from Supreme Court nomination
2005
Several dozen protesters arrested outside White House for permit violations
2005
Fact-finder confirms that Arar was tortured
2005
Iranian president calls Israel ‘disgraceful blot’
2005
Australian video journalist denies bodies burned in disrespect
2005
First beta of Windows API 'Wine' released
2005
Thai PM promises action on suspected militants
2006
Rapper 'Snoop Dogg' arrested at California airport
2006
Manmohan Singh threatened on e-mail
2006
Expert calls for less vaccination and more research
2006
Greek blog aggregation service administrator jailed, service censored
2006
Dilbert creator Scott Adams talks again
2006
Buffalo Sabres beat New York Islanders to tie NHL record for best start to a season
2006
Delhi University to honour actor Amitabh Bachchan, four others on 4 November
2006
Bush signs law to build fence at US-Mexico border
2006
California wildfire kills four firefighters seriously injures one
2006
Canadian foreign affairs minister accused to have called Liberal MP a "dog"
2006
Youths burn buses in Paris one year after riots
2006
New Zealand school children put fight videos on YouTube
2007
Unexpected comet 'outburst' could be visible for weeks
2007
Tony Blair speaks in Canada
2007
Dalai Lama to meet with Canada's PM on Monday
2007
Oral Roberts University attorneys seek gag order
2007
Conspirator of USS Cole attack freed from prison
2007
New bill will ban Muslims from wearing veils at polls in Canada
2007
Elderly couple found slain in scrapyard in Staffordshire, England
2007
Gay Talese on the state of journalism, Iraq and his life
2007
Premier League 2007–08: Manchester United vs. Middlesbrough
2008
20 killed in suspected US missile strike in Pakistan
2008
US Senator Ted Stevens convicted on 7 counts
2008
FBI says Jennifer Hudson's nephew found dead
2008
Asian stock markets slide; Nikkei at lowest level since '82
2009
Homophobic attack on trainee police officer in Liverpool
2010
Paul the 'psychic' octopus dies in Germany
2010
Filesharing software distributor LimeWire ordered to close by court
2012
Former Italian Prime Minister Berlusconi found guilty of fraud

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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