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Today in History

1818
Inventor Dr. Richard Jordan Gatling born in Hertford County, North Carolina
1913
Olympic Gold Medalist Jesse Owens born in Lawrence County, Alabama
1914
Soldier, POW, stage hand and screen actor, Desmond Llewelyn born in Newport, Wales
1943
German paratroopers rescue Mussolini from captivity in Rome
1947
US Screen Actors Guild implements anti-Communist loyalty oath
1957
Actress Rachel Ward born in Oxfordshire, England
1962
Actress Amy Marie Yasbeck born in Cincinnati, Ohio
1966
The Monkees premiers
490
Athenian and Plataean hoplites commanded by General Miltiades drive back a Persian invasion force under General Datis at Marathon.
1021
Death of St, Guy of Anderlecht
1213
Simon de Montfort defeats Raymond of Toulouse and Peter II of Aragon at Muret, France.
1294
Mongol paper money introduced in Persia
1494
Francis I, King of France (1515-47) born
1559
Italian painter and architect Lodovico Cardi da Cigoli born
1575
Explorer Henry Hudson (Hudson River) born
1609
English explorer Henry Hudson sailed into the river that now bears his name.
1642
Execution of the Marquis of Cinq Mars, for treason
1654
1st Jewish congregational service in Manhattan held
1655
Composer Sebastien de Brossard born
1662
Governor Berkley of Virginia is denied his attempts to repeal the Navigation Acts.
1683
A combined Austrian and Polish army defeats the Turks at Kahlenberg and lifts the siege on Vienna, Austria.
1687
John Alden, the last Mayflower passenger, died. According to history and Longfellow, he courted Priscilla Mullen in the name of his friend Miles Standish and won her himself.
1722
The Treaty of St. Petersburg puts an end to the Russo-Persian War.
1740
The French philosopher Voltaire and the Prussian enlightened king Frederick the Great first met after corresponding for years. Voltaire spent 1850-52 at Frederick's court at Potsdam.
1761
Composer Georg Friedrich Theodor Wolf born
1764
The philosopher Rameau died. Rameau was also a musician. He fancied himself both a composer and a harpsichordist. One acquaintance said, "His heart was in his harpsichord... when he shut the lid there was no one at home."
1768
Composer Bemnjamin Carr, composer born
1786
Despite his failed efforts to suppress the American Revolution, Lord Cornwallis is appointed governor general of India.
1788
Alexander Campbell, US founder of the Disciples of Christ. born
1803
Composer Frantisek Matej Hilmar born
1818
Richard Jordan Gatling, US inventor of hand-cranked machine gun born
1829
Newspaperman Charles Dudley Warner (With Mark Twain he wrote The Guilded Age) born
1836
Mexican authorities crush the revolt which broke out on August 25.
1851
Francis E. Clark, American Congregationalist clergyman. In 1881, at age 29, Clark organized the world's first church "youth fellowship" in Portland, Maine. Clark's original name for this Christian group concept was "The Young People's Society of Christian Endeavor." born
1852
H.H. Asquith, British prime minister (1908-16) born
1864
The Brownings were secretly married at St Marylebone Church in London. They ran away to Italy together a week later.
1880
Author and journalist H.L. Mencken (The American Language) born
1888
French entertainer Maurice Chevalier born
1892
US publisher, Alfred A. Knopf born
1898
Artist Ben Schahn in Lithuania. born
1910
Mrs. Alice Stebbins Wells becomes the first policewoman with full powers of arrest and wearing a uniform.
1913
U.S. Olympic track star Jesse Owens. He won four medals at the Berlin Olympics in 1936 born
1918
During World War One, US forces led by General John J. Pershing launched an attack on the German-occupied St. Mihiel salient north of Verdun, France.
1919
Adolf Hitler joins German Worker's Party.
1920
Actress Irene Dailey born
1922
The House of Bishops of the U.S. Protestant Episcopal Church voted 36-27 to delete the word "obey" from the vows of their denomination's official marriage service.
1925
Actor Dickie Moore ("Our Gang") born
1927
Actor Freddie Jones born
1928
Katharine Hepburn makes her New York stage debut in "Night Hostess."
1931
Actor Ian Holm born
1931
Country singer George Jones born
1938
In a speech in Nuremberg, Adolf Hitler demanded self-determination for the Sudeten Germans in Czechoslovakia.
1940
Actress Linda Gray born
1940
Italian forces begin an offensive into Egypt from Libya. Italy's Breda Ba.65 was not the best ground-attack plane to see action in World War II--it may well have been the worst.
1943
Singer Maria Muldaur born
1943
German paratroopers took Benito Mussolini from the hotel where he was being held by the Italian government.
1944
Singer Barry White born
1944
During World War Two, US Army troops entered Germany for the first time, near Trier.
1945
French troops land in Indochina.
1951
Actor Joe Pantoliano born
1952
Singer-musician Gerry Beckley (America) born
1952
Rock musician Neil Peart (Rush) born
1953
Khrushchev becomes First Secretary of the Communist Party.
1954
"Lassie" made its television debut on CBS.
1954
Actor Peter Scolari born
1957
Actress Rachel Ward born
1958
Little Rock High School in Arkansas was ordered by the U.S. Supreme Court to admit blacks.
1959
"Bonanza" premieres on NBC and ran through 1973.
1959
Luna 1 launched by USSR; first spacecraft to impact on the moon.
1960
Democratic presidential candidate John F. Kennedy addressed the issue of his Roman Catholic faith, telling a Protestant group in Houston, "I do not speak for my church on public matters, and the church does not speak for me."
1965
Rock musician Norwood Fisher (Fishbone) born
1966
Rock singer-musician Ben Folds (Ben Folds Five born
1966
Actor Darren E. Burrows ("Northern Exposure") born
1966
The comedy-musical "The Monkees" made its debut on NBC television and the situation comedy "Family Affair" premiered on CBS television.
1968
Rock musician Larry LaLonde (Primus) born
1969
Heavy bombing of Vietnam resumed under orders from President Nixon.
1972
Rock singer Liam Gallagher (Oasis) born
1974
Military officers deposed Emperor Haile Selassie from the Ethiopian throne he had occupied for more than a half-century.
1976
Chicago White Sox designated hitter Minnie Minoso became the oldest player (age 53) to collect a hit in a regulation game.
1977
South African black student leader Steven Biko died while in police custody, triggering an international outcry.
1977
It was announced that Charles Dutoit would become music director of the Montreal Symphony. The Montrealers had played under Otto Klemperer, Zubin Mehta, Franz-Paul Decker and Rafael Frubeck de Burgos. Charles Dutoit would benefit from that, and build on it.
1978
The critically acclaimed TV sitcom Taxi began and ran through 1982.
1982
Jimmy Connors won his fourth U.S. Open, defeating Ivan Lendl.
1983
The Soviet Union vetoed a U.N. Security Council resolution deploring the shooting-down of a Korean jetliner by a Soviet jet fighter on Sept. 1.
1985
A South African panel proposed the repeal of the country's "pass laws" that kept South Africa's blacks out of white areas.
1986
Joseph Cicippio, the acting comptroller at the American University in Beirut, was kidnapped; he was released in December 1991.
1986
The United States released Soviet physicist Gennadiy Zakharov and the Soviet Union released American journalist Nicholas Daniloff to the custody of their respective countries' embassies, pending their espionage trials.
1987
Reports surfaced that Democratic presidential candidate Joseph Biden had borrowed, without attribution, passages of a speech by British Labor Party leader Neil Kinnock for one of his own campaign speeches. (The Kinnock report, along with other damaging revelations, prompted Biden to drop his White House bid.)
1988
Hurricane "Gilbert" slammed into Jamaica with torrential rains and winds of 145 miles-an-hour, killing 45 people and causing damage estimated at up to $1-billion.
1989
Manhattan Borough President David N. Dinkins won New York City's Democratic mayoral primary, defeating incumbent Mayor Edward Koch and two other candidates on his way to becoming the city's first black mayor.
1990
Representatives of the World War II Allies and West and East Germany signed a treaty in Moscow giving international sanction to German unity.
1991
Saying Middle East peace negotiations might be in jeopardy, President Bush told reporters he would use his veto authority, if necessary, to delay action on Israel's call for $10 billion in housing loan guarantees.
1991
The space shuttle Discovery blasted off on a mission to deploy an observatory designed to study the Earth's ozone layer.
1992
Police in Peru captured Shining Path founder Abimael Guzman.
1992
Monica Seles won her sixth Grand Slam title, beating Arantxa Sanchez Vicario in the U.S. Open final.
1992
The space shuttle "Endeavour" blasted off, carrying with it Mark Lee and Jan Davis, the first married couple in space; Mae Jemison, the first black woman in space; and Mamoru Mohri, the first Japanese citizen to fly on a US spaceship.
1992
Actor Anthony Perkins died in Hollywood at age 60 of AIDS.
1993
PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat arrived in Washington on the eve of the signing of a peace accord with Israel.
1993
Actor Raymond Burr died at his Northern California ranch at age 76.
1993
The space shuttle "Discovery" blasted off from Cape Canaveral on a ten-day mission.
1994
A stolen, single-engine Cessna crashed into the South Lawn of the White House, the pilot, Frank Corder, was killed.
1994
In Canada, the separatist Parti Quebecois won a majority of seats in the province's legislature.
1994
In Poland, NATO soldiers and former Warsaw Pact nations held their first joint maneuvers.
1995
The Belarussian military shot down a hydrogen balloon during an international race, killing its two American pilots.
1996
Last-minute intervention by Republican ptesidential candidate Bob Dole led to Senate postponement of action on a treaty designed to eliminate chemical weapons. President Clinton said the agreement was threatened by "a bitter partisan debate."
1997
With little to show after three days of shuttle diplomacy, Secretary of State Madeleine Albright declared she wouldn't return to the Mideast until Israeli and Palestinian leaders made the "hard decisions" necessary to restart peace talks.
1997
Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Jesse Helms, exercising iron control, prevented any committee hearing on William Weld's nomination to be ambassador to Mexico.
1998
Sammy Sosa of the Chicago Cubs became the fourth player in major league baseball history to reach 60 homers in a single season.
1998
Lindsay Davenport won the U-S Open, defeating defending champion Martina Hingis, 6-3, 7-5.
1998
The White House responded to Kenneth Starr's graphic report on President Clinton by calling it a "hit-and-run smear campaign."
1998
Leaders of striking pilots at Northwest Airlines ratified a new contract, ending a walkout that began August 28th.
1999
Andre Agassi captured his second U.S. Open title, dominating Todd Martin 6-4, 6-7 (5-7), 6-7 (2-7), 6-3, 6-2.
1999
Under intense international pressure, Indonesia announced it would allow an international peacekeeping force to restore order to the devastated territory of East Timor.
1999
"The Practice" and "Ally McBeal," both created by writer-producer David E. Kelley, were named best drama series and best comedy series at the 51st Emmy Awards.
2005
Hong Kong Disneyland opens to the public
2005
FEMA accused of misusing trained disaster workers as public-relations workers
2005
EBay to acquire Skype
2005
US peace activist to be deported from Australia
2005
Exit Polls: Norway votes for change
2005
Koizumi wins electoral mandate for postal reform
2005
Bush approval rating sinks to 38%
2005
England win the Ashes
2005
NZ opposition leader admits to fundamentalist contacts
2005
Los Angeles undergoing large power outage
2005
Synagogues burn as Palestinians rejoice over Israeli withdrawal from Gaza Strip
2005
Second night of violence in Belfast
2005
Michael Brown, Director of FEMA resigns
2006
Damascus: US embassy attacked
2006
Bermuda hit hard by hurricane Florence
2006
Disneyland pranked overnight by graffiti artist Banksy; ride shut down
2006
Attack on U.S. embassy in Syria halted in progress
2006
Torrential rains huge havoc on Sindh, killing several, heavy rains destroy the crops in Sindh
2006
MySpace to expand to mobile music
2006
Bomb blast in Turkey kills 10 injures 17
2006
European Chess Championship opens in Liverpool
2006
Interview with Vicky Colbourne, Regional Council candidate for Wards 2 & 6 in Brampton, Canada
2006
TADA court begins pronouncing '93 Mumbai blasts verdict
2007
Twenty20 World Championship: Australia vs Zimbabwe
2007
Opposition leader takes early lead in Sierra Leone presidential run-off elections
2007
Twenty20 World Championship: Kenya vs New Zealand
2007
US says Israel hit Syrian targets in airstrike last week
2007
Tunisian swimmer Oussama Mellouli stripped of championship for doping
2007
Twenty20 World Championship: Pakistan vs Scotland
2007
Semicon Taiwan starts with 5 mainstream topics
2007
Massive earthquake strikes Indonesia on September 12
2007
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe resigns
2007
Free-to-air channel sues pay TV operator over rugby screening
2007
Former Philippine President Joseph Estrada found guilty of plunder
2007
Tropical storm Humberto eyes Gulf Coast
2007
US President George Bush may reduce amount of troops in Iraq
2007
Russian prime minister resigns at President Vladimir Putin's request
2007
Scandinavian Airlines System landing gear failures prompt grounding of Bombardier Q400s
2007
Rugby World Cup: Tonga, Fiji and Italy win
2007
Brian Melo crowned winner of Canadian Idol
2008
Controversy spreads over Libertarian U.S. presidential nominee Bob Barr
2009
Former U.S. Senator Norm Coleman diagnosed with Bell's palsy
2009
Violence in Uganda enters second day
2009
Former Taiwanese president jailed for life on corruption charges
2009
Businessman and founder of The Weather Channel Frank Batten dies at 82
2009
Iran's Supreme Leader Khamenei threatens dissenters at Friday Prayers
2009
New York Times reporter rescued in Afghanistan
2009
Road accidents, suicide, pregnancy and violence among top killers of world's youth
2009
Former WWE superstar Jeff Hardy arrested on major drug charges
2009
Renault F1 launch criminal complaint against former driver over race-fixing allegation
2009
Japanese tourist travels through 37 countries on just $2
2009
Reports: North Korea to test third nuclear bomb
2009
Mortar raid kills 15 in Somalia
2009
Alleged ghost hunt in Toronto ends in death
2009
Abu Ghraib prison burns after riot
2009
Israeli President Shimon Peres collapses in Tel Aviv
2009
IEEE approves 802.11n standard after six years
2009
Scientology ties at New Village Leadership Academy stir controversy for Will Smith and Jada Pinkett-Smith
2009
Australian rules football: West Gippsland Latrobe Football League Finals Preliminary Final
2009
Michael Jackson tribute concert postponed until 2010
2009
Bomb explosion in Kashmir kills three
2010
Copenhagen hotel explosion may have been terror attack, say officials
2010
Up to ten reported dead, 50 injured after pipeline blast in Iran
2010
Police may have killed some of the eight tourist victims in Philippines hostage crisis
2010
Nokia appoints Microsoft Business Division Head as chief executive

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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