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Today in History

LOTR...
Black riders enter the Shire
1890
Author Agatha Christie born Agatha Mary Clarissa Miller in Oxfordshire, England
1928
Jazz saxophonist Cannonball Adderley born Julian Edwin Adderley in Gary, Indiana
1929
Nobel Prize winning physicist and elementary particle theoretician, Murray Gell-Mann born in Manhattan, New York
1946
Academy, Emmy, and Golden Globe Award winning actor, Tommy Lee Jones born in San Saba, Texas
1946
Academy Award winning film maker, Oliver Stone born in New York City
1947
ACM founded
1959
Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev begins his 13 day tour of the US
1973
Actress Julie Cox born in Ely, England
1982
First issue of USA Today published
1997
google.com domain name registered
53
Trajan, 13th Roman Emperor (98-117) born
668
Constans II Pogonatus, Byzantine Emperor assassinated, Sicily
863
Iwashimizu Shrine holds its first Festival
1128
Hugh de Payens, Master of the Templars, receives the "Relief des St. Omer' from the father of Geoffrey de St. Omer
1159
Coronation of Alexander III as Pope
1505
Maria, queen of Hungary and wife of Louis II born
1572
Composer Erasmus Widmann born
1584
German poet Georg R Weckerlin (Oden und Ges"nge) born
1586
Composer Cristobal de Isla Diego born
1588
The Spanish Armada, which attempted to invade England, is destroyed by a British fleet.
1596
Cadiz, Spain plundered by the Earl of Essex
1597
Cervantes thrown into Seville jail, where he gets idea for "Don Q"
1613
Sir Thomas Overbury, 32, dies of poison in the Tower of London
1613
Franois, Duc de La Rochefoucald born
1649
Titus Oates, Anglican priest who fabricated the "Popish Plot" of 1678.
1776
British forces occupied New York City during the American Revolution.
1788
An alliance between Britain, Prussia and the Netherlands is ratified at the Hague.
1789
Novelist James Fenimore Cooper 1st major American novelist. born
1789
The US Department of Foreign Affairs was renamed the Department of State.
1821
Independence was proclaimed for Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and El Salvador.
1849
A Bosendorfer grand piano was willed to Bruckner by a family friend, and Bruckner composed his Requiem in D minor in the friend's honor. The work, Bruckner's first major composition, was performed.
1853
In her home state of New York, Antoinette L. Brown, 28, became pastor of the Congregational church in South Butler -- making her the first woman to be formally ordained to the pastorate in the United States.
1857
William Howard Taft, 27th president of the United States born
1858
The Butterfield Overland Mail Company begins delivering mail from St. Louis to San Francisco. The company's motto is: "Remember, boys, nothing on God's earth must stop the United States mail!"
1862
Confederates capture Harpers Ferry, securing the rear of Robert E. Lee's forces in Maryland.
1876
Conductor Bruno Walter born
1881
Ettore Arco Isidoro Bugatti, car builder born
1890
Dame Mystery writer Agatha Christie born
1891
The Dalton gang holds up a train and takes $2,500 at Wagoner, Okla.
1894
The great conductor Bruno Walter made his debut. It was his 18th birthday.
1901
Sir Howard Bailey, British engineer who gave his name to a prefabricated bridge used extensively during World War II born
1903
Country music star Roy Acuff born
1914
President Woodrow Wilson orders the Punitive Expedition out of Mexico. The Expedition, headed by General John Pershing, had been searching for Pancho Villa, a Mexican revolutionary.
1917
Russia was proclaimed a republic by Alexander Kerensky, the head of a provisional government.
1921
Bluesman Snooky Pryor born
1922
Actor-director Jackie Cooper born
1924
Singer-pianist Bobby Short born
1927
Comedian Norm Crosby born
1928
Scottish bacteriologist Alexander Fleming discovers, by accident, that the mold penicillin has an antibiotic effect.
1933
Actor Henry Darrow born
1935
The Nuremberg Laws deprived German Jews of their citizenship and made the swastika the official symbol of Nazi Germany.
1937
Prime Minister of England Neville Chamberlain flies to Germany to discuss the future of Czechoslovakia with Adolf Hitler.
1938
Baseball Hall-of-Famer Gaylord Perry born
1939
The Polish submarine Orzel arrives in Tallinn, Estonia, after escaping the German invasion of Poland.
1940
During the Battle of Britain in World War Two, the tide turned as the Luftwaffe sustained heavy losses inflicted by the Royal Air Force.
1940
Football Hall-of-Famer Merlin Olsen born
1942
Armies of Nazi Germany began their siege of the Russian city of Stalingrad, now called Volgograd.
1945
An American soldier shot Anton Webern dead. There was a curfew in Austria, and Webern, smoking a cigar after dinner, was violating it.
1945
Opera singer Jessye Norman born
1945
Rock musician Lee Dorman (Iron Butterfly) born
1946
Actor Tommy Lee Jones born
1946
Movie director Oliver Stone born
1949
"The Lone Ranger" premiered on ABC television with Clayton Moore as the masked hero and Jay Silverheels as Tonto.
1950
During the Korean conflict, United Nations forces landed at Inchon in the south and began their drive toward Seoul.
1959
Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev arrived in the US to begin a 13-day visit.
1960
Rock musician Mitch Dorge (Crash Test Dummies) born
1961
Football quarterback Dan Marino born
1963
Four children were killed when a bomb went off during Sunday services at a black Baptist church in Birmingham, Alabama. Two black teenage boys were shot to death later that day as city-wide rioting broke out.
1965
The science-fiction series "Lost in Space" (set in the year 1997) premiered on CBS.
1965
"Green Acres" premiered on CBS.
1966
The American Bible Society published the New Testament of its "Today's English Version" (TEV), otherwise known as "Good News for Modern Man." It marked the end of a two-year effort led by chief translator, Robert G. Bratcher. (The complete Good News Bible was published in 1976.)
1968
Actor Danny Nucci born
1969
Rap DJ Kay Gee (Naughty By Nature) born
1969
Ed Sullivan released "The Sulli-Gulli," his first and only rock record.
1971
Actor Josh Charle born
1972
The Watergate indictments began with charges against seven low-ranking perpetrators, including two former White House aides, G. Gordon Liddy and E. Howard Hunt.
1978
Muhammad Ali defeated Leon Spinks in 15 rounds in New Orleans to win an unprecedented 4th World Heavyweight Boxing title.
1982
The first issue of USA Today was published.
1982
Iran's former foreign minister, Sadegh Ghotbzadeh, was executed after he was convicted of plotting against the government.
1983
Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin submitted his formal resignation to President Chaim Herzog.
1983
The U.S. Senate joined the House of Representatives in condemning the Soviet Union for shooting down a Korean jetliner with 269 aboard.
1984
Britain's Prince Harry of Wales born
1985
Bishop James Malone, president of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops, issued a statement saying new emphasis on the teaching of sexual morality was "urgently needed" to fight off the impact of the sexual revolution.
1986
Philippine President Corazon Aquino arrived in the United States for a nine-day visit aimed at winning political and economic support.
1987
On the opening day of his confirmation hearing, Supreme Court nominee Robert Bork told the Senate Judiciary Committee his philosophy was "neither liberal nor conservative."
1988
Thousands of coastal residents from Mexico to Louisiana were fleeing to higher ground, a day after Hurricane "Gilbert" pounded the Yucatan Peninsula.
1989
The Exxon Corp. halted its billion-dollar oil spill cleanup effort in Alaska's Prince William Sound as winter approached.
1989
Pulitzer Prize-winning author Robert Penn Warren, the first poet laureate of the United States, died in Stratton, Vermont, at age 84.
1990
France announced it would send 4,000 more soldiers to the Persian Gulf and expel Traqi military attaches in Paris in response to Iraq's raids on French, Belgian and Canadian diplomatic compounds in Kuwait.
1992
Washington state Senator Patty Murray defeated former Congressman Don Bonker to win the Democratic nomination for the US Senate seat being vacated by Brock Adams.
1992
FBI Director William S. Sessions promised a new national campaign to stem a recent wave of carjackings.
1993
Former 60's radical Katherine Ann Power, who'd spent 23 years in hiding, surrendered to authorities to face charges stemming from a 1970 bank robbery in which Boston police officer Walter Schroeder Senior was killed. (Power received a five-year federal term, to run concurrently with an eight- to 12-year state sentence.)
1994
In a terse ultimatum from the Oval Office, President Clinton told Haiti's military leaders in a prime-time address: "Your time is up. Leave now or we will force you from power."
1995
Hurricane Marilyn, the third major storm to batter the Caribbean in less than a month, hit the Virgin Islands with heavy rains and 100 mph winds.
1995
The U.N. Fourth World Conference on Women, held in Beijing, approved a wide-ranging platform on women's rights, including the promotion of inheritance rights and the condemnation of wartime rape.
1996
Defense Secretary William Perry was making the rounds among American allies in the Persian Gulf region, seeking additional support for the US stance against Iraq. Bahrain agreed to play host to 26 American F-16 jet fighters.
1997
Two of the nation's most popular diet drugs -- dexfenfluramine and fenfluramine -- were pulled off the market because of new evidence they could seriously damage patients' hearts.
1997
Former Massachusetts Governor William Weld gave up his battle to be US ambassador to Mexico.
1997
The IRA-allied Sinn Fein party entered Northern Ireland's peace talks for the first time.
1998
Nine states and the District of Columbia held primaries. In New York, liberal congressman Charles Schumer won the Democratic nod to challenge Republican Senator Alfonse D'Amato. (Schumer won.) In Washington state, conservative congresswoman Linda Smith won the right to challenge Democratic Senator Patty Murray (Murray won re-election).
1998
Mark McGwire of the St. Louis Cardinals hit his 63rd home run of the seasonl.
1999
Gunman Larry Ashbrook opened fire in a Fort Worth, Texas, Baptist church, killing seven people and himself.
1999
One month after being charged in the United States with laundering suspected drug payoffs, Mexico's former top drug prosecutor, Mario Ruiz Massieu, was found dead in his New Jersey apartment, an apparent suicide.
2005
Sony recalls Playstation 2 power adaptors
2005
Israeli court orders controversial wall rerouted
2005
National plant materials center goes native in Washington, DC
2005
Seven face deportation after UK dawn raids
2005
US state of Texas executes woman convicted of murdering family
2005
Thai political talk show taken off air
2005
Blackwater mercenaries used in New Orleans
2005
US airlines Delta, Northwest file for bankruptcy
2005
Were New Orleanians caught in political crossfire?
2005
Thai political talk show taken off during media buyout attempt
2005
Tauranga bomb threat politically motivated
2005
Telstra sale legislation passed by Australian Senate
2005
Lavalas candidate barred from elections
2005
Imperfect immune systems help avoid autoimmune disease
2006
New Democrats score upset in Ontario's Parkdale-High Park by-election
2006
Astronaut Steve MacLean talks with Canadian PM over phone
2006
Thought-controlled cybernetic arms demonstrated
2006
Canadian Governor General speaks on Montreal shooting
2006
Pupils fed through gates, school criticised
2006
Larry Sanger announces Wikipedia fork
2006
Paris Hilton too costly to ridicule, says Charlotte Church
2006
Nickelodeon to cease broadcasting temporarily in US, to encourage play
2006
Wikimedia sites database locked, takes hour to get back to normal
2006
Muslim world condemns Pope's criticism of Islam
2006
Dell announces revenue and cost actions to halt decline
2006
BT Global Services to double US revenues and cut costs
2006
Planned shooting thwarted in Wisconsin
2006
Statistics say websites with user-generated content are the fastest growing
2006
Virginia bill proposes castration as treatment option for sex offenders
2006
Child abuse case in West Virginia ends in jail time
2006
Microsoft threatens European Vista release delays due EC monopoly regulations
2006
Colombian police rescue kidnapped 2-month old baby
2006
E. coli outbreak kills 1, sickens nearly 100
2007
Xbox 360 console sales surge in America
2007
Finland scrambles fighter jet to respond to Russian aircraft
2007
Aircraft crashes during mock dogfight at Shoreham Airshow, United Kingdom
2007
Twenty20 World Championship: South Africa vs Bangladesh
2007
Rugby World Cup: New Zealand, Australia and Ireland win
2007
Twenty20 World Championship: New Zealand vs Sri Lanka
2007
Foiled HSBC robbers named
2007
Explosion, fire on guided missile cruiser USS Leyte Gulf injures five
2007
Queues form outside struggling UK bank; calm urged
2007
Hamas preparing for Israeli 'incursion' into Gaza
2007
Car bomb kills 15 in Pakistani anti-terror unit
2008
Decade worth of messages, interviews from bin Laden leaked to web
2008
Zimbabwean rivals sign power sharing deal
2008
Helicopter crash in Australia kills four
2008
Libertarian National Committee in fierce deadlock over how to address growing Bob Barr controversies
2008
Oasis star Noel Gallagher assaulted on stage in Toronto
2008
Despite threats, "Alaska Women Reject Palin" rally held
2008
Bank of America attempts takeover of Merrill Lynch
2009
Yale graduate student who went missing before wedding found dead
2009
American actor Patrick Swayze dies at age 57
2009
Humpback whale found dead in River Thames, England
2009
Rubens Barrichello wins Italian Grand Prix
2009
At least 38 killed after flash flooding in Indonesia
2010
Pope Benedict XVI heads to the UK amid protests
2010
Headless man found near suburban Chicago school
2010
Tea Party-endorsed Christine O'Donnell wins Delaware Senate primary election
2010
The Club steering lock inventor James Winner dies in car accident
2011
Australia's Channel Seven breaches children TV standards regulations by broadcasting McDonald's advertisement
2011
Texas wildfires push public resources to the limit
2012
Mass protest grows against Kudankulam nuclear power plant in India

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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