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Today in History

122
Building of Hadrian's Wall begun
1759
British defeat the French at Abraham near Quebec City
1851
Physician and yellow fever researcher, Major Walter Reed, MD born in Belroi, Virginia
1911
Singer, musician, composer and developer of bluegrass music, Bill Monroe born in Rosine, Kentucky
1922
136.4 degrees F at el Azizia, Libya
1925
Drummer, songwriter, actor and Grammy Award winning jazz singer, Mel Tormé born in Chicago, Illinois
1928
Artist Robert Indiana born Robert Clark in New Castle, Indiana
1931
Emmy Award winning actress Barbara Bain born in Chicago, Illinois
1943
Chiang Kai-Shek becomes president of China
1951
Emmy Award winning actress, Jean Smart born in Seattle, Washington
533
Romans defeat Vandals near Carthage, Africa
604
Election of Sabinian as Pope
608
Death of St. Eulogius of Alexandria
1125
Coronation of Lothair II as King of Germany
1157
English theologist and encyclopedist Alexander Neckum/de Sancto Albano born
1309
A pair of French Inquisitors arrive in England to prosecute the Templars. They are stopped by English Common Law
1321
Death of Dante Alighieri, author of the Divine Comedy.
1409
Death of Isabella of France, Queen to Richard II of England
1509
Death of Andrea Mantegna
1515
King Francis of France defeats the Swiss army under Cardinal Matthias Schiner at Marignano, northern Italy.
1520
English premier William Cecil 1st baron Burghley born
1549
Pope Paul III closes the first session of the Council of Bologna.
1551
Composer Pandolfo Zallamella born
1564
On the verge of attacking Pedro Menendez's Spanish settlement at San Agostin, Florida, Jean Ribault's French fleet is scattered by a devastating storm.
1583
Albrecht von Wallenstein born
1592
Death of Michel Eyquem de Montaigne, philospher
1594
Composer Francesco Manelli born
1598
Death of Philip II, King of Spain
1635
The Massachusetts General Court banished Separatist preacher Roger Williams, 32, for criticizing the Massachusetts Bay Company charter and for perpetually advocating a separation of church and state.
1673
Composer Hercule Brehy born
1682
Composer Theodor Christleib Reinhold born
1751
Dutch painter and cartoonist Henry Kobell born
1755
Oliver Evans, pioneered the high-pressure steam engine. born
1759
During the final French and Indian War, the British defeated the French on the Plains of Abraham overlooking Quebec City.
1774
Tugot, the new controller of finances, urges the king of France to restore the free circulation of grain in the kingdom.
1782
The British fortress at Gibraltar comes under attack by French and Spanish forces.
1788
The Congress of the Confederation authorized the first national election, and declared New York City the temporary national capital.
1789
Guardsmen in Orleans, France, open fire on rioters trying to loot bakeries, killing 90.
1803
Commodore John Barry, considered by many the father of the American Navy, died in Philadelphia.
1814
During the British attack on Fort McHenry, Md., Francis Scott Key wrote the lyrics of "The Star-Spangled Banner."
1845
William Walford's hymn, "Sweet Hour of Prayer," first appeared in print in the "New York Observer." Walford (1772-1850), a blind lay preacher, had written the poem three years earlier in the village of Coleshill, England.
1846
General Winfield Scott takes Chapultepec, removing the last obstacle to U.S. troops moving on Mexico City.
1851
U.S. Army bacteriologist Walter Reed (discovered a cure for yellow fever) born
1857
Milton S. Hershey, US chocolate manufacturer, philanthropist born
1860
Gen. John "Black Jack" Pershing, He led the campaign against Pancho Villa in Mexico and Commanded the American Expeditionary Force in France during World War I born
1862
Union troops in Frederick, Maryland, discover General Robert E. Lee's attack plans for the invasion of Maryland wrapped around a pack of cigars. They give the plans to General George B. McClellan who does nothing with them for the next 14 hours.
1863
Franz von Hipper, German naval commander at the Battle of Jutland in World War I born
1874
Arnold Schoenberg was born in Vienna. Schoenberg's father died when he was a teenager, giving the future composer something in common with Beethoven. born
1876
Author Sherwood Anderson born
1886
Alain Locke, writer and first African-American Rhodes scholar born
1894
English author J.B. Priestly born
1905
Claudette Colbert, actress who won an Oscar for It Happened One Night born
1905
U.S. warships head to Nicaragua on behalf of American William Albers, who was accused of evading tobacco taxes.
1911
Bill Monroe, the "father of bluegrass" music born
1917
The American composer Robert Ward was born in Cleveland. He studied under Howard Hanson at the Eastman School of Music. His music is mainly tonal with some jazz and military influences. But his Concerto for Saxophone and Orchestra is deliberately UN-jazzy. born
1918
U.S. and French forces take St. Mihiel, France in America's first action as a standing army.
1922
Blues singer Charles Brown born
1922
The temperature at El Azizia, Libya, reached 136 degrees F., generally accepted as the world's highest recorded atmospheric temperature.
1925
Mel Torme born
1931
Having recently suffered a nervous breakdown, Foursquare Gospel founder Aimee Semple McPherson, 40, entered an ill-fated marriage to David Hutton. (They divorced four years later.)
1933
Actress Eileen Fulton ("As the World Turns") born
1934
Actress Barbara Bain (Mission Impossible, Space born
1937
TV producer Fred Silverman born
1939
Former White House spokesman Larry Speakes born
1939
Actor Richard Kiel born
1941
Rock singer David Clayton-Thomas (Blood, Sweat & Tears) born
1943
Chiang Kai-shek became president of China.
1944
Singer Peter Cetera (Chicago) born
1944
Actress Jacqueline Bisset born
1945
Iran demands the withdrawal of Allied forces.
1948
Actress Nell Carter born
1948
Republican Margaret Chase Smith of Maine was elected to the US Senate, becoming the first woman to serve in both houses of Congress.
1949
The Ladies Professional Golf Association of America was formed in New York City, with Patty Berg as its first president.
1951
In Korea, U.S. Army troops begin their assault in Heartbreak Ridge. The month-long struggle will cost 3,700 casualties.
1952
Singer Randy Jones (The Village People) born
1959
Actress Jean Smart born
1961
Rock singer-musician Dave Mustaine (Megadeth) born
1961
An unmanned Mercury capsule is orbited and recovered by NASA in a test for the first manned flight.
1963
"The Outer Limits" premieres.
1967
Olympic gold medal runner Michael Johnson born
1967
Rock musician Steve Perkins (Porno For Pyros; Jane's Addiction) born
1969
"Suspicious Minds" became Elvis Presley's first #1 single since "Good Luck Charm" in 1962. It turned out to be his last #1 hit.
1971
Tennis player Goran Ivanisevic born
1971
A four-day inmates' rebellion at the Attica Correctional Facility in upstate New York ended as police and guards stormed the prison; the ordeal and final assault claimed 43 lives.
1975
Actor Scott Vickaryous born
1976
The United States announces it will veto Vietnam's UN bid.
1977
Singer Fiona Apple born
1977
Conductor Leopold Stokowski died in Hampshire, England, at age 95.
1980
Actor Ben Savage ("Boy Meets World") born
1981
John McEnroe defeated Bjorn Borg to win the men's singles title at the U.S. Open tennis championships.
1984
During his tour of Canada, Pope John Paul II told young people at a rally in Nova Scotia it was up to them to "forge the bonds of justice and peace."
1985
The Air Force successfully tested an anti-satellite missile fired from a fighter planeby shooting down a satellite target in space.
1986
Miss Tennessee, Kellye Cash, was crowned Miss America at the pageant in Atlantic City, N.J.
1987
Soviet Foreign Minister Eduard Shevardnadze arrived in Washington for talks aimed at a possible superpower summit; Shevardnadze carried with him a letter from Soviet leader Mikhail S. Gorbachev to President Reagan.
1988
As Hurricane "Gilbert" made its way toward Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula, forecasters reported the barometric pressure of Gilbert's center measured a low of 26.13 inches, making it the strongest hurricane ever recorded in the Western Hemisphere.
1989
Fay Vincent was named commissioner of Major League Baseball, succeeding the late A. Bartlett Giamatti.
1989
In Chicago, Illinois, Jockey Pat Day rode 8 winners on Arlington International Racecourse's 9-race program to set a North American record. His total winning commissions were about $10,000 for the day.
1990
NBC's cop-courtroom drama "Law & Order" premiered on NBC.
1990
The Senate Judiciary Committee opened its first day of confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee David H. Souter, who firmly refused to discuss his views on abortion.
1991
The United States and Soviet Union declared they would cease arms sales to Afghanistan.
1991
Virginia Gov. L. Douglas Wilder declared his candidacy for the Democratic presidential nomination.
1991
President Bush, who had suffered an irregular heartbeat because of a thyroid condition, was pronounced in ''incredible physical condition'' after a check-up by his doctors.
1992
Stefan Edberg defeated Pete Sampras to win the U-S Open title in New York, a day after Monica Seles beat Arantxa Sanchez Vicario to win her seventh Grand Slam title.
1993
In a historic scene at the White House, Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and PLO chairman Yasser Arafat shook hands after signing an accord granting limited Palestinian autonomy.
1993
Sony Classical reissued at lower price an acclaimed cycle of the symphonies of Robert Schumann. Rafael Kubelik conducts the Bavarian Radio Symphony.
1994
President Clinton signed into law a $30 billion crime bill.
1994
Some 180 nations adopted a 20-year blueprint for slowing the world's population growth at a U.N.-sponsored conference in Cairo, Egypt.
1995
The FBI made at least a dozen arrests, capping a nationwide two-year investigation of pedophiles and pornographers using the America Online computer network.
1996
Rapper Tupac Shakur died at a Las Vegas hospital six days after he was wounded in a drive-by shooting; he was 25.
1997
Funeral services were held in Calcutta, India, for Nobel Prize winner Mother Teresa
1998
Former Alabama Governor George C. Wallace died at age 79.
1998
NBC's "Frasier" won a record fifth consecutive award as best comedy series at the 50th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards; ABC's "The Practice" was honored as best drama.
1998
Patrick Rafter won his second straight US Open title, defeating fellow Australian Mark Philippoussis 6-3, 3-6, 6-2, 6-0.
1998
Sammy Sosa of the Chicago Cubs hit his 61st and 62nd home runs of the season to pass Roger Maris and pull into a tie with Mark McGwire.
1999
A suspected bomb devastated an eight-story apartment building in Moscow, killing at least 118 people.
1999
Israelis and Palestinians opened talks on a final peace accord.
2005
Telstra sale legislation debated in Australian House of Representatives, considered "urgent"
2005
Volcanic bulge found in Oregon
2005
Nintendo releases GameBoy Micro in the US
2005
R&B singer D’Angelo sentenced on cocaine charge
2005
Paramilitary group calls for end to rioting in Northern Ireland
2005
Caged children well fed, behaved
2005
Proposed United States doctrine would expand possible use of nuclear weapons
2005
Oracle to acquire Siebel for USD 5.85bn
2006
HP in phone record pretexting scandal
2006
Two small studies indicate mandarin oranges may lower risk of liver cancer
2006
HP Chairman Patricia Dunn to resign
2006
MIT's Emerging Technologies Conference makes selections
2006
US Air Force chief proposes using non-lethal military weapons domestically
2006
Condoleezza Rice makes visit to Nova Scotia
2006
Australia stingray deaths possible revenge for Steve Irwin
2006
US stocks rally to four month highs
2006
20 injured in Montreal college shooting spree
2006
Pope Benedict XVI criticises Prophet Muhammad's teachings
2006
51 killed in Yemen election rally stampede
2006
Explosives found in Malegaon, Nashik, India
2006
NZ business Progressive Enterprises claims rejected offer was fair
2006
Apple unveils new media technology
2006
London Police seize massive gun cache
2006
Belgian terrorism suspects remain in custody as case details emerge
2007
Canadian province receives warning from Exxon
2007
Judge rules against student blogger's First Amendment claim
2007
Microsoft launches BizTalk Server 2006 R2 with RFID integration in Taiwan
2007
Twenty20 World Championship: West Indies vs Bangladesh
2007
Twenty20 World Championship: England vs Zimbabwe
2007
Hurricane Humberto messes with forecasters and Texas
2007
Twenty20 World Championship: India vs Scotland
2007
Massive earthquakes strike Indonesia
2007
One officer killed, three wounded in Miami-Dade County shooting
2007
$20 million prize offered in lunar rover contest
2007
European Commission might impose embargo on Chinese products
2007
Two suspects killed in UK bank robbery
2007
American-born terrorist gets 24 years
2007
Jon Stewart to host 80th Academy Awards
2007
Australian PM will not serve full term if re-elected
2008
Los Angeles commuter train collides with freight train; over two dozen killed
2008
US - India nuclear deal sent for US Congress ratification
2008
Child stabbed in West Bank arson, Israeli settlers retaliate
2008
Channel Tunnel between France and Britain resumes limited service after major fire
2008
Plans set in motion for the removal of Bob Barr as the Libertarian Party's U.S. presidential nominee
2008
New polls show third party U.S. presidential candidates varying radically in popularity
2008
Work on Lehman Brothers’ rescue to continue over weekend
2008
Sebastian Vettel takes pole for Italian Grand Prix
2008
UK's XL Leisure Group enters administration
2009
Israeli F-16 fighter jet crashes, pilot killed
2009
Milestone at world's largest cleanup site: Hanford nuclear basin removed
2009
One killed by suicide bomber in southern Russia, five wounded
2009
BBC to release iPlayer to other broadcasters
2009
Fire at Kazakhstan hospital kills at least 38
2009
Lift accident in Hong Kong skyscraper kills six
2009
Norman Borlaug, father of the Green Revolution, dies at age 95
2009
400 pound python seized by wildlife officials in Florida
2009
Karzai retains lead in Afghan presidential elections
2009
Flash flooding in Greece kills one, dozens of buildings flooded
2010
Australian rules football: Drouin through to Gippsland Football League Grand Final
2011
Copyright on musical recordings extended by twenty years in EU
2012
Australian wheelchair rugby team wins gold at London Paralympics
2012
Northern Ireland police arrest man over 38kg cannabis seizure

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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