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Today in History

1929
Black Tuesday stock market crash
1938
Animated film maker, Ralph Bakshi born in Haifa, Israel
1947
GE triggers rainfall by seeding clouds
1947
Academy Award winning actor, Richard Dreyfuss born in Brooklyn, New York
1948
Emmy nominated actress, Kate Jackson born in Birmingham, Alabama
1969
First ARPANET computer link established
1981
Olympic Gold Medalist swimmer Amanda Beard born in Levine, California
2004
In a videotaped statement Osama bin Laden admits ordering the 9/11 attacks
1066
Canterbury submits to William "the Conqueror"
1185
Betrothal of Henry, heir to Germany and the Holy Roman Empire, to Constance, daughter of the King of Sicily
1463
Alessandro Achillini, Bologna, Italy, philosopher, physician born
1591
Election of Pope Innocent IX
1618
Sir Walter Raleigh was beheaded in London. He had been charged with plotting against King James I.
1629
John Winthorp elected Governor of the Massachusetts Bay colony
1682
The founder of Pennsylvania, William Penn, landed at what is now Chester, Pennsylvania.
1740
Scottish biographer James Boswell born
1787
The overture to "Don Giovanni" was composed under rather remarkable circumstances. The opera was just hours from its first performance when Mozart was reminded that he still had the overture to write. Mozart had his wife Constanza make punch and tell him fairy tales.
1791
John Elliotson, English physician who advocated the use of hypnosis in therapy. He was one of the earliest of British physicians to urge use of the stethoscope. born
1813
The great violinist Paganini debuted. His first gig was at a decent locale Milan's La Scala. Paganini was then 21.
1815
Singer-composer Daniel Decatur Emmett, who wrote the words and music for "Dixie." Born in Mount Vernon, Ohio. He was also the organizer of one of the first minstrel show troupes. born
1837
Abraham Kuyper, a Dutch theologian, statesman, and journalist who led the Anti-Revolutionary Party, an orthodox Calvinist group, to a position of political power and served as prime minister of The Netherlands from 1901 to 1905. born
1837
Harriet Powers, one of America's most talented folk-artists. She was a Georgia quilter born as a slave. Using the African appliqu tradition, she made quilts containing Biblical narratives. born
1863
International Committee of the Red Cross founded.
1879
Franz von Papen German statesman and diplomat who helped Adolf Hitler to become German chancellor in 1933. born
1882
Jean Giraudoux, French dramatist, novelist and diplomat, famous for his book Tiger at the Gates born
1884
Fred Lazarus, Jr. American merchandiser who parlayed his family's small but successful department store into a $1.3 billion holding company known as Federated Department Stores. born
1891
Actor Douglas Montgomery (Harmony Lane, Little Women) born
1891
Comedian-singer Fanny Brice. Popular American singing comedienne who was long associated with the Ziegfeld Follies. She is especially remembered for her satiric sketches of ballet dancers, fan dancers, and "vamp" actresses. (Her life was the subject of the show Funny Girl.) born
1897
Joseph G. Goebbels, German Nazi Propaganda Minister who died of suicide in Hitler's bunker. born
1899
Actor Akim Tamiroff (For Whom the Bell Tolls, Anastasia, The Bridge of San Luis Rey, Hotel Paradiso, Lord Jim, The Story of Louis Pasteur) born
1901
President McKinley's assassin, Leon Czolgosz, was electrocuted.
1905
Albert Brumley, a 19th century hymnodist who wrote "I'll Fly Away," "Precious Lord," "River of Memory," and "Rank Stranger." born
1911
American newspaperman Joseph Pulitzer died in Charleston, South Carolina.
1921
Bill Maudlin, American cartoonist whose GI "Willie" and "Joe" characters appeared in Stars and Stripes newspapers born
1922
Composer Neal Hefti (TV's Batman theme, The Odd Couple theme) born
1923
The musical "Runnin' Wild," which introduced the Charleston, opened on Broadway.
1923
The Republic of Turkey was proclaimed.
1925
Musician Zoot (John Haley) Sims (tenor/alto sax with Goodman Band, Woody Herman Orchestra, Stan Kenton, Gerry Mulligan, Birdland All-Stars, Jazz at Carnegie Hall) born
1926
Opera tenor Jon Vickers born
1927
Russian archaeologist Peter Kozloff uncovers the tomb of Genghis Khan in the Gobi Desert.
1929
"Black Tuesday" descended upon the New York Stock Exchange. Prices collapsed amid panic selling and thousands of investors were wiped out as America's "Great Depression" began.
1932
R(onald) B(rooks) Kitaj Ohio born Pop Art painter born
1936
Prokofiev's Overture on Russian Themes was premiered. Prokofiev also composed an Overture on Hebrew Themes and an American Overture.
1937
Musician and singer Sonny Osborne (with Up this Hill and Down, Rocky Top, Tennessee Hound Dog, Georgia Pinewoods) born
1940
Secretary of War Henry L. Stimson drew the first number -- 158 -- in America's first peacetime military draft.
1941
Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Andy Russell born
1942
Country singer Lee Clayton born
1944
Rock musician (Brian Hines) Denny Laine (The Moody Blues) born
1945
The first commercially made ballpoint pens went on sale at Gimbels Department Store in New York City. The pens sold for $12.50 and racked up a tidy profit of $500,000 in the first month!
1945
Singer Melba Moore (You Stepped into My Life) born
1946
Musician Peter Green (Fleetwood Mac) born
1947
Actor Richard Dreyfuss (The Goodbye Girl, Valley of the Dolls, Jaws, Mr. Holland's Opus, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Lost in Yonkers, Nuts, American Graffiti, Down and Out in Beverly Hills, The Graduate, Postcards from the Edge, In Mama's House) born
1947
Former first lady Frances Cleveland Preston died in Baltimore at age 83.
1948
Sandy Sadler surprised the boxing world by knocking out Willie Pep to win the world featherweight boxing title in the fourth round in New York City.
1948
Actress Kate Jackson (Charlie's Angels) born
1956
John Cameron Swayze and "The Camel News Caravan" were replaced by Chet Huntley and David Brinkley on NBC-TV. The "Huntley-Brinkley Report" clicked so well that the respected newsmen reported nightly until July of 1970.
1956
"Goodnight, David" "Goodnight, Chet" heard on NBC for 1st time. (Chet Huntley & David Brinkley, NBC News, team up).
1956
During the Suez Canal crisis, Israel launched an invasion of Egypt's Sinai Peninsula.
1960
A youngster with a mean punch, Cassius Clay, won his first professional fight in a decision over Tunney Hunsaker.
1961
Singer Randy Jackson (The Jackson Five brother of Michael, La Toya, Janet, Jermaine, Tito, etc.) born
1963
Veteran actor, Adolphe Menjou died at the age of 73.
1964
Thieves steal a jewel collection--including the world's largest sapphire, the 565- carat "Star of India," and the 100-carat DeLong ruby--from the Museum of Natural History in New York. (The Star and most of the other gems were recovered; three men were convicted of stealing them.)
1965
Rock musician Peter Timmins (Cowboy Junkies) born
1966
The National Organization for Women (NOW) was founded.
1967
The counter-culture musical "Hair" opened off-Broadway.
1967
Rapper Paris born
1967
Actress Joely Fisher born
1969
The U.S. Supreme Court orders immediate desegregation, superseding the previous "with all deliberate speed" ruling.
1970
Neil Diamond received a gold record for the hit, "Cracklin' Rosie".
1970
Musician Toby Smith (Jamiroquai) born
1970
Rock singer SA (311) born
1971
Actress Winona Ryder (Horowitz) (Little Women, Bram Stoker's Dracula, The Age of Innocence, Beetlejuice, Edward Scissorhands, Lucas) born
1972
Palestinian guerrillas kill an airport employee and hijack a plane, carrying 27 passengers, to Cuba. They force West Germany to release 3 terrorists who were involved in the Munich Massacre.
1973
O.J. Simpson set two NFL records this day. The Buffalo Bills' star running back ran 39 times for 157 yards -- and he rushed for over 1,000 yards in only seven games.
1981
Loretta Lynn, received a gold record for her album, "Greatest Hits, Vol. 2."
1982
Lindy Chamberlain is found guilty of murder of her child in a Darwin Court. She was sentenced to life imprisonment with hard labor. The case is known as The "Dingo Baby Murder Mystery."
1984
Golfing great, Tom Watson, won his sixth PGA Player of the Year title; the most won by any golfer since the award was first given in 1948.
1987
Following the confirmation defeat of Robert H. Bork to serve on the US Supreme Court, President Reagan announced his choice of Douglas H. Ginsburg, a nomination that fell apart over revelations of Ginsburg's past marijuana use.
1987
Jazz great Woody Herman died in Los Angeles at age 74.
1988
The maiden voyage of the Soviet Union's space shuttle was delayed because of problems with ground equipment.
1989
At least 20,000 East Berliners observed a minute of silence for those killed while attempting to flee over the Berlin Wall, the first such public mourning since Communist Party authorities built the wall in 1961.
1990
The U.N. Security Council voted to hold Saddam Hussein's regime liable for human rights abuses and war damages during its occupation of Kuwait.
1992
A New York City jury acquitted 17-year-old Lemrick Nelson of murdering Yankel Rosenbaum, an Australian Hasidic scholar who was killed in rioting that erupted in the Crown Heights section of Brooklyn in August 1991 following the traffic death of a black child who was hit by a Hasidic driver. (In February 1997, a jury convicted Nelson and Charles Price of violating Rosenbaum's civil rights.)
1993
President Clinton, speaking at the Kennedy presidential library in Boston, promoted the North American Free Trade Agreement, saying President Kennedy would have supported it.
1993
A group of US luge athletes was attacked by right-wing skinheads in Oberhof, Germany.
1994
A gunman fired more than two-dozen shots at the White House. Francisco Martin Duran was later convicted of trying to assassinate President Clinton and was sentenced to 40 years in prison.
1995
Palestinians burned American and Israeli flags and swore revenge for the assassination of Dr. Fathi Shakaki, the leader of the radical Islamic Jihad and a top architect of terror attacks against Israel. (Shakaki was gunned down three days earlier in Malta, reportedly by Israeli intelligence.)
1996
Hundreds of thousands of New York Yankees fans participated in an enormous blue-and-white ticker-tape parade for the World Series champions.
1997
Chinese President Jiang Zemin met with President Clinton at the White House; the two leaders clashed over China's human rights record, but agreed to end the diplomatic chill between their countries.
1997
The Baghdad government barred Americans from the UN disarmament effort in Iraq -- a move that outraged chief weapons inspector Richard Butler and prompted him to suspend inspections.
1998
The government cleared the powerful drug tamoxifen as a way for healthy women at very high risk of breast cancer to cut their odds of getting a tumor
1998
Senator John Glenn, at age 77, roared back into space aboard the shuttle Discovery, retracing the trail he'd blazed for America's astronauts 36 years earlier.
1998
Sixty-three people were killed when fire broke out during a disco party in Goteborg, Sweden.
1998
South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Commission condemned both apartheid and violence committed by the African National
1999
A panel of European Union scientists ruled that British beef was safe for export, rejecting French scientific arguments to continue a ban because of fears of mad cow disease.
1999
Some 3,000 people attended a memorial service in Orlando, Florida, for golfer Payne Stewart, who was killed along with five other people in the crash of their Learjet.
2004
Osama bin Laden admits responsibility for September 11, 2001 attacks
2005
Lance Armstrong shares criticisms of Tour de France director
2005
Romania switches to Winter Time
2005
Major train wreck in Southern India
2005
Tom Cruise parody site defiant in face of Scientology threats, demands its day in court
2005
Syrian residents claim U.S. bombing, shooting into Syria
2006
Democratic challenger for U.S. Senate seat calls Iraq war 'strategic blunder'
2006
India successfully tests cryogenic rocket engine
2006
Israeli president advised to step down
2006
Report of air crash near Abuja - over 100 feared dead
2006
Missing Los Alamos Laboratory documents found in drug bust
2006
Top U.S. military officer recommends removing all troops from Baghdad
2006
U.S. ranks 53rd in press freedom index
2006
Mother of Californian firefighter calls on arsonist to surrender
2007
Prime Minister Ghedi of Somalia resigns
2007
US turns security for Karbala over to Iraqi forces
2007
Boston Red Sox are World Series Champions once again
2007
Hunter says he caught 'Bigfoot' on camera
2007
$1m offer for NBC to include U.S. presidential candidate Gravel in TV debate
2007
Wikimedia fundraiser highlights webcomic community's frustration with Wikipedia guidelines
2007
ElBaradei says no 'concrete evidence' of Iranian nuclear weapons program
2008
Two men arrested in Tennessee for plot to kill Obama and school children
2008
Mars orbiter finds widespread evidence of water-bearing minerals
2008
Deadly quake hits southwestern Pakistan
2009
State of emergency declared in New York over H1N1 swine flu virus
2009
Date set for Bradfield, Higgins by-elections: Australian Electoral Commission
2009
AFL provides insufficient support for European leagues: Germany
2009
McDonald's restaurant to close all locations in Iceland
2009
UN Security Council votes to extend Ivory Coast sanctions
2009
Two 10-year-old UK boys arrested for alleged rape of girl aged 8
2009
NASA completes successful test flight of new Ares IX rocket
2009
Home demolitions in East Jerusalem continue
2009
Newcastle United's St. James' Park naming rights go up for sale
2009
Mozambique holds presidential and parliamentary elections
2010
University of Missouri Hospital in lockdown after 'violent individual' attempts to gain access to building
2011
No-fly zone demanded by Syrian protesters
2012
U.S. prepares for arrival of Hurricane Sandy
2012
Bremer Freimarkt, oldest fair in Germany, reaches its climax
2013
Fleetwood Mac cancel upcoming Australian and New Zealand tour

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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