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Today in History

1902
Violinist and comedian, Larry Fine born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
1902
Restaurant entrepenuer and founder of McDonald's, Ray Kroc born in Oak Park, Illinois
1943
Guitarist, singer and songwriter, Steve Miller born in Waukesha, Wisconsin
1962
First James Bond movie, Dr. No, released
1962
The Beatles release first single Love Me Do
1969
Monty Python's Flying Circus debuts on BBC
1970
PBS becomes a television network
1974
Tony Award winning singer Heather Headley born in Trinidad
1991
Linus Benedict Torvald's post to comp.os.minix begins the Linux OS
610
Heraclius attacks Constantinople with his fleet
1056
Death of Henry III "the Black," Holy Roman Emperor
1285
Death of Philip III, "the Bold," King of France
1511
England joins the "Holy League" against France
1553
First Parliament of (Bloody) Mary Tudor, Queen of England convened.
1646
A bounty of 100 pounds of tobacco was offered in the Virginia Colony for evidence of having killed a wolf.
1703
Jonathan Edwards, grandfather of Aaron Burr and the New England preacher of a famous sermon in American history, "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God." born
1713
French philosopher Denis Diderot born
1728
Chevalier d'Eon, French spy who conducted missions for his country disguised as a woman. He was a brilliant fencer. He was fatally wounded in 1810 while giving a fencing exhibition in London. It was not until after an autopsy that it was discovered that "she" was a "he." born
1762
Opera, as we know it today, began when Gluck conducted the premiere of "Orfeo et Euridice."
1762
The British fleet bombards and captures Spanish-held Manila in the Philippines.
1789
The French marched on Versailles to dethrone the monarchy. They sang a revolutionary song written for the occasion by a musician in the King's own opera orchestra.
1813
The Battle of the Thames was fought in Upper Canada during the War of 1812. The British troops were soundly defeated, and their Indian ally, Tecumseh, was killed.
1821
Greek rebels capture Tripolitza, the main Turkish fort in the Pelponnese area of Greece.
1830
Chester A. Arthur in Fairfield, Vermont. He was the 21st president of the United States. born
1840
English poet and art historian John Addington Symonds born
1864
At the Battle of Allatoona, a small Union post is saved from Lt. Gen. John Bell Hood's army.
1877
"From where the sun now stands, I will fight no more forever." With those words, Chief Joseph and the Nez Perce Indians surrendered to the U.S. Cavalry at Bear's Paw, Chinook, Montana, after a 1,700-mile trek to reach Canada falls 40 miles short.
1880
Jacques Offenbach, French composer, dies.
1882
American rocket pioneer Robert Goddard in Worcester, Massachusetts. He is known as the "Father of the Space Age," and possessed over 200 rocketry patents. born
1882
Outlaw Frank James surrenders in Missouri six months after brother Jesse's assassination.
1892
The Dalton Gang, notorious for its train robberies, was practically wiped out while attempting to rob a pair of banks in Coffeyville, Kansas.
1902
Founder of McDonald's Ray Kroc. The one time piano player at WGN radio in Chicago, Illinois, had his start in the hamburger business by selling milkshake machines. born
1908
Director Joshua Logan (Paint Your Wagon, Camelot, Ensign Pulver, Fanny, South Pacific, Sayonara, Bus Stop, Picnic) born
1915
Germany apologized for the sinking earlier in the spring of the HMS Lusitania.
1918
TV host Allen Ludden (Password, The G.E. College Bowl, Liar's Club) born
1919
Actor Donald Pleasence (You Only Live Twice, Fantastic Voyage, Tale of Two Cities, The Adventures of Robin Hood) born
1921
The World Series was broadcast on radio for the first time. This was not a play by play but a posting of events.
1922
"Family Circus" cartoonist Bil Keane born
1923
Actress Glynis Johns (Mary Poppins, The Ref, A Little Night Music, The Sundowners, Coming of Age) born
1923
Political activist and defrocked priest Philip Berrigan born
1924
Comedian Bill Dana born
1925
WSM Radio in Nashville started broadcasting. One of its first programs was "WSM Barn Dance" which was renamed "Grand Ole Opry" two years later. It became the longest running radio show in history.
1929
NASA astronaut Richard Gordon, Jr. born
1930
Laura Ingalls was the first woman to make a transcontinental airplane flight. She flew a Moth bi-plane from New York to California, arriving four days later. She logged 30 hours and 27 minutes of flying time.
1931
Clyde Pangborn and Hugh Herndon complete the first nonstop flight over the Pacific. Their flight, begun October 3, lasted 41 hours, 31 minutes and covered 5,000 miles. They piloted their Bellanca CH-200 monoplane from Samushiro, 300 miles north of Tokyo, Japan, to Wenatchee, Washington.
1933
Actress Diane Cilento born
1936
The president of the Czech Republic, Vaclav Havel. Chech dissident dramatist who became the first freely elected president of Czechoslovakia in 55 years born
1937
Saying, "The epidemic of world lawlessness is spreading," President Roosevelt called for a "quarantine" of aggressor nations.
1938
Country singer Johnny Duncan born
1941
Rhythm-and-blues singer Arlene Smith (The Chantels) born
1941
Former Supreme Court Justice Louis D. Brandeis - the first Jewish member of the nation's highest court - died in Washington at age 84.
1942
America's 'Yankee Doodle Dandy', George M. Cohan died at age 64. Cohan was a legendary songwriter whose spirited and star-spangled tunes that lit up Broadway will be a part of Americana forever.
1942
Singer Richard Street (formerly of The Temptations) born
1943
Singer-musician Steve Miller born
1947
In the first televised White House address, President Truman asked Americans to refrain from eating meat on Tuesdays and poultry on Thursdays to help stockpile grain for starving people in Europe.
1950
Actor Jeff Conaway born
1951
Actress Karen Allen (Ghost in the Machine, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Backfire, National Lampoon's Animal House, Starman) born
1952
Writer-producer-director Clive Barker born
1952
After an 11-year run on ABC Radio, "Inner Sanctum", the legendary mystery series, was heard for the final time.
1953
Earl Warren was sworn in as the 14th chief justice of the United States, succeeding Fred M. Vinson.
1954
Rock singer and famine-relief organizer Bob Geldof. He was the organizer of Live Aid, and was nominated for the Nobel Peace prize. born
1955
A stage adaptation of "The Diary of Anne Frank" opened at the Cort Theatre in New York.
1959
Maya Lin, American architect who designed the Vietnam Memorial in Washington, D.C. born
1962
The Beatles' first hit, "Love Me Do," was first released in the United Kingdom.
1962
Auto racer Michael Andretti born
1964
Rock singer-musician Dave Dederer (Presidents of the United States of America) born
1965
Hockey player Mario Lemieux born
1965
Pope Paul VI made an unprecedented 14-hour visit to New York to plead for world peace before the United Nations.
1965
Henry Mancini received a gold record for the soundtrack LP from the movie, "The Pink Panther."
1965
U.S. forces in Saigon receive permission to use tear gas.
1966
A sodium cooling system malfunction causes a partial core meltdown at the Enrico Fermi demonstration breeder reactor near Detroit, Mich. Radiation was contained.
1969
"Monty Python's Flying Circus" made its debut on BBC television.
1970
Anwar Sadat, a colleague of Gamil Abdel Nasar succeeds as president of Egypt following Nassar's death.
1975
Rock musician Brian Mashburn (Save Ferris) born
1975
Actress Kate Winslet born
1975
Actor Scott Weinger born
1975
Sen. Frank Church, D-Idaho, charged that the CIA tried to kill Cuban President Fidel Castro during the administrations of three U.S. presidents.
1978
Yiddish author Isaac Bashevis Singer won the Nobel Prize for literature.
1983
Solidarity founder Lech Walesa was named winner of the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts on behalf of Polish workers.
1984
The space shuttle Challenger, carrying a crew of five men and two women, blasted off from Cape Canaveral, Florida, on an eight-day mission.
1985
seven Israeli tourists were killed by an Egyptian policeman who went on a shooting rampage at a Sinai beach resort. The policeman, convicted of murder, died in prison the following January, an apparent suicide.
1986
American Eugene Hasenfus was captured by Sandinista soldiers after the weapons plane he was flying in was shot down over southern Nicaragua.
1987
Supreme Court nominee Robert H. Bork suffered new setbacks as Senate Democratic Leader Robert Byrd and Republican senators Lowell P. Weicker Junior of Connecticut and John H. Chafee of Rhode Island declared they were opposed to his confirmation.
1988
Republican Dan Quayle and Democrat Lloyd Bentsen clashed in the only vice-presidential debate of the 1988 campaign. (The most memorable moment of the evening was when Bentsen lambasted Quayle, who'd suggested a parallel between himself and John F. Kennedy, by telling him, "Senator, you're no Jack Kennedy.")
1989
TV evangelist Jim Baker was convicted on all 24 counts of fraud and conspiracy for fleecing his PTL flock.
1989
The Dalai Lama, the spiritual and temporal leader of Tibet, was named winner of the Nobel Peace Prize.
1990
A jury in Cincinnati acquitted an art gallery and its director of obscenity charges stemming from an exhibit of sexually graphic photographs by Robert Mapplethorpe.
1990
The U.S. House of Representatives rejected a $500 billion budget agreement forged by congressional leaders and the Bush administration.
1991
Soviet President Mikhail S. Gorbachev announced sweeping cuts in nuclear weapons in response to President Bush's arms reduction initiative.
1992
Both houses of Congress voted to override President Bush's veto of a measure to re-regulate cable television companies.
1993
Army General John Shalikashvili was confirmed by the Senate to head the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
1993
China set off an underground nuclear blast, ignoring a plea from President Clinton not to do so.
1994
48 people were found dead in an apparent murder-suicide carried out simultaneously in two Swiss villages by members of a secret religious doomsday cult; five other bodies were found in an apartment owned by the sect in Montreal, Canada.
1995
Seamus Heaney of Ireland won the 1995 Nobel Prize in literature.
1995
Bosnia's combatants agreed to a 60-day cease-fire and new talks on ending their 3 -1/2 years of battle.
1996
Already under fire for his drug policies, President Clinton revealed that a secret FBI memorandum said the government's anti-drug strategy "had never been properly organized." Clinton argued that the problems predated his administration.
1997
The White House released videotapes of President Clinton greeting supporters at 44 coffee klatches; Republicans seized on the tapes as proof that Clinton had raised campaign donations at the White House in violation of the law.
1998
Michael Carneal pleaded guilty but mentally ill to shooting to death three fellow students and wounding five other people at Heath High School in West Paducah, Ky. (Carneal was later sentenced to life in prison without the chance of parole for 25 years.)
1998
The House Judiciary Committee voted along hardened partisan lines to investigate whether President Clinton should be removed from office.
1999
It was announced that MCI WorldCom Inc. had agreed to pay $115 billion for Sprint Corp. Two packed commuter trains collided near London's Paddington Station, killing 31 people.
2005
Scientists recreating the 1918 flu virus say 'it came from birds'
2005
F. Scott Fitzgerald house struck by lightning
2005
UK cable TV operator NTL acquires Telewest
2005
Cool front to bring lasting relief for Texas
2005
U.S. Government ordered to release more images related to Abu Ghraib case
2005
Jefferson to face forward on new nickel
2005
Tom DeLay faces two new indictments for money laundering
2005
Python pops after eating gator
2005
Open source game Wesnoth reaches version 1.0
2005
Wings over Houston Airshow comes to town
2005
Seabrook city councilman takes heat for words
2005
Broadcasters push for new layer of intellectual monopoly at WIPO
2005
Dock worker killed by snapped cable
2006
IRA disbands military structure
2006
Singapore Airlines to be compensated for A380 delays
2006
Interview with Mathew Njenga, City Council candidate for Wards 2 & 6 in Brampton, Canada
2006
US government 'can continue' eavesdropping
2006
First plane arrival for more than 10 years to renewed airport in Grozny, Russia
2006
Possible eruption at Ruapehu Volcano in New Zealand
2006
Halloween faces pumpkin shortage
2006
Child pornography case against John Mark Karr dropped
2006
13 hour bank robbery ends with no injuries in Setúbal, Portugal
2006
Parents kidnap daughter to stop marriage in U.S.
2006
Al-Qaeda leader in Iraq 'killed'
2006
Sarasota doctor heading to prison
2006
Rocket launcher found near Pakistani parliament
2007
German trains halted by strike
2007
Woman attempting suicide rescued by Western Bulldogs players
2007
New Zealand police to charge sitting MP
2007
Spain arrests entire leadership of the Basque Separatist Party: 22 detained
2007
W.A.S.P. announce 'The Crimson Idol' 15th-anniverary world tour
2007
Survey: Finland is the world's greenest country
2007
Construction on massive radio telescope array to begin in 2012
2007
Dr. Joseph Merlino on sexuality, insanity, Freud, fetishes and apathy
2007
Ann Coulter: Take away women's votes because "women are voting so stupidly"
2007
Oral Roberts University president accused of illegal political donations and financial misappropriation
2007
Biohazard lab supervision an issue says US investigation
2007
Ig Nobel Prize winners announced
2007
Family of Chile's former leader Augusto Pinochet arrested on embezzlement charges
2008
Ralph Nader calls out Democrats for financial bailout
2008
Despite passage of bailout bill, two US states may need loans
2008
Thai PAD protest leader arrested while voting
2008
Zimbabwean unity talks fail
2008
18 illegal Afghan and Burmese immigrants killed in truck crash in Turkey
2008
Law firm tries to ban new book by Cambridge Press
2008
Soldier dies as military helicopters collide in Iraq
2008
Fannie Mae forgives mortgage debt of 90-year-old woman who shot herself
2008
Crowd in Derbyshire, UK, encourages teenager to commit suicide
2008
VP candidate Palin accuses Obama of terrorist links
2008
Man uses home-made flamethrower to set relatives on fire
2009
Greek Socialist party wins general elections
2009
Suicide bomber at Iraqi funeral kills at least six
2009
Rebels in Nigeria surrender weapons under amnesty
2010
Two Chicago schools evacuated as suspicious package found
2010
British actor and comedian Sir Norman Wisdom dies aged 95
2010
Rare 1856 Double Eagle gold coin sells for US$345,000 in California
2011
Australian news network under investigation over pokie reform comments
2012
Obama, Romney spar in first 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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