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Today in History

1941
Singer Chubby Checker born Ernest Evans in Spring Gulley, South Carolina
1949
Singer and guitarist Lindsey Buckingham born in San Francisco, California
1954
Grammy Award winning blues guitarist, Steve Ray Vaughan born in Dallas, Texas
1955
Captain Kangaroo debuts on CBS, Mickey Mouse Club debuts on ABC
1995
OJ Simpson acquitted of murder charges
959
Death of St. Gerard of Brogne
1190
Richard I, King of England, sacks Messina, Sicily
1226
St. Francis of Assisi, founder of the Franciscan order, died; he was canonized in 1228.
1582
Gregorian Calendar introduced
1605
Li Tzu-ch'eng, Chinese revolutionary who dethroned last Ming emperor born
1613
Marion Delorme, Paris, celebrated French courtesan born
1632
The Massachusetts Bay Colony enacted a tobacco tax
1656
Death of Myles Standish of Plymouth Colony
1692
In Massachusetts, Increase Mather published his "Cases of Conscience Concerning Evil Spirits," which effectively brought an end to the Salem Witch Trials which had begun earlier this year.
1739
Russia sings a treaty with the Turks, ending a three-year conflict between the two countries.
1776
Congress borrows five million dollars to halt the rapid depreciation of paper money in the colonies.
1789
Washington proclaims the 1st national Thanksgiving Day on Nov 26
1790
Cherokee Chief John Ross, who led the opposition to the forced move of his people to what is now Oklahoma born
1800
Historian George Bancroft (historian, known as the "Father of American History" for his 10-volume A History of the United States.) born
1803
John Gorrie, invented cold-air process of refrigeration born
1804
Townsend Harris, 1st Western consul to reside in Japan born
1816
Schubert finished his Symphony No. 5 in B-flat, just a few months after finishing the C minor symphony that he subtitled, "Tragic." We know when Schubert composed most of his music because he was very particular about dating almost everything he wrote.
1832
Hymnwriter Carolina Berg. (Lina Sandell) She was known as the "Fanny Crosby of Sweden," her most enduring songs which survive today are: "Day by Day (And With Each Passing Moment)" and "Children of the Heavenly Father." born
1857
The Rev. Thomas Gallaudet, pioneer in deaf education, held the first church services for the deaf in a chapel at New York University.
1862
At the Battle of Corinth, in Mississippi, a Union army defeats the Confederates. A Rebel battery's first salvo was the prelude to the Battle of Shilo, near Corinth.
1863
President Lincoln declared the last Thursday in November, Thanksgiving Day.
1873
Captain Jack and three other Modoc Indians are hanged in Oregon for the murder of General Edward Canby.
1875
Hebrew Union College was founded in Cincinnati, Ohio under Jewish auspices. It was the first Jewish college in America to train men for the rabbinate.
1876
John L. Routt, the Colorado Territory governor, is elected the first state governor of Colorado in the Centennial year of the U.S.
1899
The patent was issued for the motor-driven vacuum cleaner.
1900
North Carolina author Thomas Wolfe born
1906
The first conference on wireless telegraphy in Berlin adopts SOS as warning signal.
1909
Political cartoonist Herblock (Herbert Block) born
1913
Federal Income Tax is signed into law (at 1%).
1916
English veterinarian and author James Herriot born
1922
Rebecca L. Felton (Democrat, Georgia) became the first woman to be seated in the U-S Senate. (Mrs. Felton had been appointed to serve out the remaining term of Senator Thomas E. Watson.) She attended only two sessions of the Senate before an election was held for her successor.
1925
Novelist Gore Vidal born
1929
The Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes formally changed its name to the Kingdom of Yugoslavia.
1934
Actress Madlyn Rhue born
1936
The American Minimalist Steve Reich was born in New York. He rode transcontinental trains to see both parents during World War II, and later composed "Different Trains" to contrast that experience with the very different trains that took Jews to concentration camps.
1940
Singer Alan O'Day born
1940
U.S. Army adopts airborne, or parachute, soldiers. Airborne troops were later used in World War II for landing troops in combat and infiltrating agents into enemy territory.
1941
Adolf Hitler declared in a speech in Berlin that Russia had been "broken" and would "never rise again."
1941
Rock and Roll star Chubby Checker born
1942
President Roosevelt established the Office of Economic Stabilization and authorized controls on farm prices, rents, wages and salaries.
1942
Germany conducts the first successful test flight of a V-2 missle, which flies perfectly over a 118-mile course. When the anticipated invasion of Britain failed to materialize in 1940, Londoners relaxed, but soon they faced a frightening new threat.
1943
Senator Jeff Bingaman (Democrat, New Mexico) born
1944
German troops evacuate Athens, Greece.
1947
Singer Lindsey Buckingham born
1950
Jazz musician Ronnie Laws born
1951
Former All-star outfielder Dave Winfield born
1952
The Ozzie and Harriet Show premiers on TV.
1955
The children's show, "Captain Kangaroo", with Bob Keeshan in the title role, was broadcast for the first time. The show ran for 29 years.
1955
The Mickey Mouse Club premiers.
1956
Actor Peter Frechette ("Profiler") born
1959
Actor Jack Wagner born
1960
The Andy Griffith Show began on TV and ran until 1968 with Griffith as Sheriff Andy Taylor It then continued three more without him as Mayberry RFD. It was spinoff from the Danny Thomas Show, when Danny is stopped in North Carolina for speeding by Sheriff Taylor.
1961
The Dick Van Dyke Show, one of the most widely watched classic TV sitcoms, premiered. It ran until 1967.
1962
Rock musician Tommy Lee (Motley Crue) born
1962
astronaut Wally Schirra blasted off from Cape Canaveral aboard the "Sigma Seven" on a nine-hour flight.
1967
Folk singer Woody Guthrie died of Huntington's Chorea.
1971
Pop singer Kevin Richardson (Backstreet Boys) born
1972
President Nixon and Soviet Foreign Minister Andrei Gromyko signed strategic arms limitation agreements, putting the first restrictions on the two countries' nuclear weapons.
1973
Actress Neve Campbell ("Party of Five") born
1974
Frank Robinson was named major-league baseball's first black manager as he was placed in charge of the Cleveland Indians.
1981
Irish nationalists at the Maze Prison near Belfast, Northern Ireland, ended seven months of hunger strikes that had claimed ten lives.
1982
Actor Erik Von Detten (movie "Leave It to Beaver") born
1987
Negotiators for the United States and Canada reached agreement in Washington on a framework to eliminate all tariffs between the world's two largest trading partners.
1988
Lebanese kidnappers released Indian educator Mithileshwar Singh, who'd been held captive with three Americans for more than 20 months.
1988
"Discovery" completed a four-day mission, the first American shuttle flight since the "Challenger" disaster.
1989
In a move to stem the flow of refugees to the West, East Germany suspended unrestricted travel to Czechoslovakia.
1989
Panamanian officers launched an unsuccessful coup against Gen. Manuel Antonio Noriega.
1989
Art Shell becomes the first African-American to coach a professional football team, the Los Angeles Raiders.
1990
Iraqi President Saddam Hussein made his first known visit to Kuwait since his country seized control of the oil-rich emirate.
1990
West Germany and East Germany ended 45 years of postwar division, declaring the creation of a new unified country with 78 million citizens.
1991
Arkansas Gov. Bill Clinton entered the race for the Democratic presidential nomination.
1991
South African author Nadine Gordimer was named winner of the Nobel Prize in literature.
1992
Relief flights to Bosnia-Herzegovina resumed with the arrival of an American plane in Sarajevo.
1992
President Bush vetoed a measure to re-regulate cable television (however, Congress overrode the veto two days later).
1993
In Moscow, thousands of anti-government protesters armed with rocks, clubs and machine guns sent police fleeing in battles across the capital.
1993
President Clinton expressed sorrow at the deaths of American soldiers in Somalia, but reaffirmed that US forces would stay in the African nation.
1994
U.S. soldiers in Haiti raided the headquarters of a hated pro-army militia.
1994
Agriculture Secretary Mike Espy announced his resignation because of questions about gifts he'd received.
1994
South African President Nelson Mandela addressed the U.N., urging the world to support his country's economy.
1994
Voters in Brazil elected Fernando Henrique Cardoso their new president.
1995
The jury in the O.J. Simpson murder trial found the former football star innocent of the 1994 slayings of his former wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and Ronald Goldman (however, Simpson was later found liable in a civil proceeding).
1996
Polish poet Wislawa Szymborska won the Nobel Prize for Literature.
1997
Attorney General Janet Reno said Justice Department investigators had no evidence President Clinton violated the law with White House coffees and overnight stays for big contributors. However, Reno did extend a probe of Vice President Al Gore's telephone fund-raising.
1998
Australian Prime Minister John Howard's conservative government was narrowly re-elected.
1998
Pope John Paul II beatified Cardinal Alojzije Stepinac, the World War II archbishop of Zagreb and a controversial figure because many Serbs and Jews accused him of sympathizing with the Nazis.
1999
Sony co-founder Akio Morita, the entrepreneur, engineer and savvy salesman who helped give new meaning to the words "Made in Japan," died in Tokyo at age 78.
2005
Ulcer researchers awarded Nobel Prize
2005
Fatal blasts rock Bangladesh
2005
Bush nominates Harriet Ellan Miers for U.S. Supreme Court
2005
Los Angeles hospital lies, discriminates for Saudi liver transplant patient
2005
US rejects EU proposal to give Internet control to the UN
2006
New Zealand man stopped at border because of unpaid fines
2006
Nobel Prize in physics awarded for microwave map of the universe
2006
Rescue workers search wreckage of Brazilian air crash
2006
North Korea says it will test a nuclear weapon in the future
2006
Hijackers with message for Pope seize Turkish airliner
2006
Ban Ki-moon leads contest for next UN Secretary-General: Poll
2006
Tropical Storm Isaac hits Newfoundland
2007
Vivien Goldman: An interview with the Punk Professor
2007
Third day of NSW fire season sees 46 fires burning
2007
Frank Messina: An interview with the 'Mets Poet'
2007
Patron of Republican Sinn Féin Dan Keating dies at age 105
2007
U.S. Rep. Duncan Hunter introduces bill to cut federal funding for Columbia University
2007
PTS Taiwan holds "Why Democracy?" the Movie Pre-launch Seminar to examine the democratic process in Taiwan
2007
Australian cricket team in India in 2007-08: 2nd ODI
2007
2007/08 UEFA Champions League: Rosenborg vs. Schalke
2009
Six soldiers killed in Senegal after ambush
2009
More bodies recovered from capsized boat in Kerala, India
2009
Typhoon Parma spares Philippines capital
2009
Three aid workers released by Somali gunmen
2009
Top militant in Pakistan killed by suspected US missile drone
2009
Afghan policeman opens fire on US troops, kills two
2009
130 dead after torrential rains in India
2009
Indian Maoists blamed for the deaths of sixteen villagers
2009
U.S. tariffs on Chinese solar panels to be contested
2010
Plane crash in Peru kills all six passengers
2010
Collingwood win AFL Grand Final replay
2010
China launches Chang'e 2 lunar probe
2010
Bomb threat forces Russian jet to land

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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