[an error occurred while processing this directive]
[an error occurred while processing this directive]

Today in History

1630
The village of Shawmut, Massachusetts, becomes the city of Boston
1810
Independence Day in Mexico
1893
Cherokee Strip Day in Oklahoma
1914
Producer, director and creator of Candid Camera, Allen Funt born in Brooklyn, New York
1924
Golden Globe and Tony Award winning actress, Lauren Bacall born Betty Joan Perske in New York City
1925
Legendary blues guitarist, singer and songwriter, B.B. King born in Itta Bena, Mississippi
1927
Movie and TV actor, Peter Falk born in New York City
1930
Golden Globe Award winning actress, Anne Francis born in Ossining, New York
258
Death of St. Cyprian
655
Death of St. Martin, Pope
681
Ending of the 6th Ecumenical Council of Constantinople
921
Murder of St. Ludmilla
984
Death of St. Edith of Wilton
1087
Death of St. Victor III, Pope
1226
Death of Pandulph, Papal Legate to England
1380
Death of Charles V "the Wise," King of France
1386
Italian humanist and scientist Traversari Ambrosius born
1387
Henry V, King of England born
1394
Death of Clement VII, Anti-Pope
1400
Owain Glyn Dwr revolts against English and is proclaimed Prince of all Wales
1485
Establishment of the Yeomen of the Guard. bodyguard of the English Crown, popularly known as "Beefeaters"
1498
Death of TomÝs de Torquemada, Inquisitor
1518
Artist Tintoretto born
1547
Persian-Dutch East Indies poet Abu al-Faiz ibn Mubarak Faizi born
1557
Composer Jacques Mauduit born
1574
Dutch physician and playwright Samuel Coster (Polyxena) born
1620
102 passengers and crew set sail on the ocean blue from Plymouth, England.
1638
France's King Louis the 14th born
1668
King John Casimer V of Poland abdicates the throne.
1672
Anne Bradstreet, American poet, dies at about 60
1685
English poet John Gay (Beggar's Opera) born
1736
Philosopher and mathematician Johann N Tetens born
1747
The French capture Bergen-op-Zoom, consolidating their occupation of Austrian Flanders in the Netherlands.
1782
Great Seal of the United States is used for 1st time.
1787
Haydn issued a quartet that included sounds which were so croaky that the whole quartet has been nicknamed, "The Frog."
1789
Jean-Paul Marat sets up a new newspaper in France, L'Ami du Peuple.
1800
Composer Jozef Nowakowski born
1810
Mexicans began their revolt against Spanish rule.
1818
English surgeon and graphic artist Francis Seymour Haden born
1821
Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatamala, Honduras & Nicaragua all gain their independence.
1823
Historian Francis Parkman born
1823
Francis Parkman (author born
1838
Railroad magnate James Jerome "J.J." Hill born
1857
Patent is issued for the typesetting machine.
1875
Department store founder James Cash Penney born
1885
Karen Horney, psychoanalyst who exposed the male bias in the Freudian analysis of women born
1888
British car designer Walter Bentley born
1889
Robert Younger, in Minnesota's Stillwater Penitentiary for life, dies of tuberculosis. Brothers Cole and Bob remain in that prison.
1891
Karl Doenitz, German Admiral who succeeded Hitler in governing Germany born
1893
Albert Szent-Gyorgyi, biochemist who isolated vitamin C born
1893
More than 100,000 people rushed to the Cherokee Strip as a large area of the Indian Territory, now Oklahoma, was opened to homesteaders.
1908
General Motors was founded. The man responsible for the beginning of the huge auto manufacturing company was William Durant.
1914
"Candid Camera" creator Allen Funt born
1919
Marvin Middlemark (inventor born
1919
The American Legion was incorporated by an act of Congress.
1920
Enrico Caruso made his last recording for Victor Records.
1922
Actress Janis Paige (Donna Mae Tjaden) (The Pajama Game, Silk Stockings, Please Don't Eat the Daisies, Hero) born
1924
Actress Lauren Bacall born
1925
Musician Charlie Byrd (guitar born
1925
Blues singer B.B. King (Why I Sing the Blues and Stand By Me) born
1925
Jazz musician Charlie Byrd born
1926
Clergyman-author Reverend Robert Schuller born
1927
Actor Peter Falk born
1933
Actor George Chakiris born
1940
President Roosevelt signed into law the Selective Training and Service Act, which set up the first peacetime military draft in US history.
1940
Samuel T. Rayburn of Texas was elected Speaker of the US House of Representatives.
1942
Actress Linda Miller born
1944
Rhythm-and-blues singer Betty Kelly (Martha & the Vandellas) born
1944
Actress Linda Henning ( Petticoat Junction) born
1948
Musician Kenney Jones (Small Faces; Faces; The Who) born
1948
Actress Susan Ruttan born
1949
Actor Ed Begley Junior born
1950
Country singer David Bellamy (The Bellamy Brothers) born
1953
Jazz musician Earl Klugh born
1956
Actor Mickey Rourke born
1956
Magician David Copperfield born
1958
Baseball pitcher Orel Hershiser (Cy Young Award-winner 1988) born
1958
Country singer-songwriter Terry McBride born
1962
Actress Jayne Brook ("Chicago Hope") born
1963
Singer Richard Marx born
1964
Comedian Molly Shannon ("Saturday Night Live") born
1965
The Dean Martin Show debuted on NBC-TV. It was a weekly variety show that continued on the network for nine years.
1966
The Metropolitan Opera opened its new opera house at New York's Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts.
1968
The Andy Griffith Show was seen for the final time this night on CBS-TV.
1972
"The Bob Newhart Show" premiered on CBS.
1974
President Ford offered conditional amnesty to Vietnam draft evaders. He said they could come home if they performed up to two years of public service.
1977
Maria Callas, the American-born prima donna famed for her lyric soprano and fiery temperament, died in Paris at age 53.
1981
Boxer 'Sugar' Ray Leonard, at age 25, knocked out Thomas 'The Hit Man' Hearns.
1982
Actress Madeline Zima ("The Nanny") born
1982
The massacre of hundreds of Palestinian men, women and children by Lebanese Christian militiamen began in west Beirut's Sabra and Chatilla refugee camps.
1986
Fire and fumes in the Kinross mine killed 177 people in South Africa's worst gold mine disaster.
1986
Former Delaware Gov. Pete Du Pont became the first major candidate to announce publicly his bid for the 1988 Republican presidential nomination.
1987
Two dozen countries signed the Montreal Protocol, a treaty designed to save the Earth's ozone layer by calling on nations to reduce emissions of harmful chemicals by the year 2000.
1988
Hurricane "Gilbert" slammed into the Mexico coast for the second time in three days, its center sweeping ashore north of La Pesca, 120 miles south of Brownsville, Texas.
1989
Debbye Turner of Missouri was crowned "Miss America" at the pageant in Atlantic City, New Jersey.
1990
Iraqi television broadcast an eight-minute videotaped address by President Bush, who warned the Iraqi people that Saddam Hussein's brinksmanship could plunge them into war "against the world."
1991
Confirmation hearings began on the nomination of Robert Gates to head the Central Intelligence Agency.
1991
U.S. Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas concluded five days of testimony at his confirmation hearing.
1991
A federal judge in Washington dismissed all Iran-Contra charges against Oliver North.
1992
A proposed debate between President Bush and Democrat Bill Clinton was canceled after the Bush campaign's refusal to negotiate with a bipartisan commission.
1993
A judge in Berlin convicted three elderly former Communist leaders in the shooting deaths of East Germans who had tried to scale the Berlin Wall.
1994
A federal jury ordered Exxon Corporation to pay $5 billion in punitive damages to commercial fishermen, Alaska natives, property owners and others harmed in the 1989 Exxon Valdez spill.
1994
Two astronauts from the space shuttle "Discovery" went on the first untethered spacewalk in ten years.
1995
Shawntel Smith of Oklahoma was crowned Miss America at the pageant in Atlantic City, New Jersey.
1995
President Clinton voiced support for a Senate welfare overhaul plan sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole, R-Kan.
1996
Space shuttle "Atlantis" blasted off more than six weeks late on a mission to pick up NASA astronaut Shannon Lucid from the Russian space station "Mir."
1996
Former national security adviser McGeorge Bundy died in Boston at age 77.
1996
President Clinton claimed the endorsement of the nation's largest police organization, the Fraternal Order of Police, in his bid for re-election.
1997
Attorney General Janet Reno named Charles La Bella the Justice Department's new lead prosecutor in the campaign fund-raising investigation.
1998
In his first news conference since the release of Kenneth Starr's graphic report, President Clinton said he'd told "the essential truth" about his affair with Monica Lewinsky; as for whether he might resign, Clinton responded that Americans "want me to go on."
1998
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Henry Hyde, responding to a report in an Internet publication, Salon Magazine, admitted to "indiscretions" with a woman in the 1960s at a time when both were married.
1999
up the East Coast, damaging 12,000 homes and claiming more than 50 lives even after it weakened to a tropical storm.
1999
In southern Russia, an explosion described by authorities as the fourth massive terrorist attack in two weeks demolished an apartment building, killing at least 18 people.
2005
Microsoft announces Xbox 360 launch dates
2005
Kay Hull crosses floor in Australian House of Representatives on Telstra legislation
2005
Hurricane Ophelia hits U.S. East Coast
2005
Bushmen given 10 days to leave their reserve in Botswana
2005
Chavez wants UN uprooted from New York
2005
Norway to withdraw troops from Iraq
2005
Bush calls for expanding Federal authority
2005
Blair recognizes Kyoto treaty stopped by its restrictions
2005
Resolution of Inquiry into pre-Iraq war U.S.-U.K. correspondance fails by one vote
2005
MasterCard to debut on NYSE
2005
Musharraf's rape comments spur controversy
2005
Dell to drop Itanium-based servers
2005
Apple may build cameras into Macs
2005
Hiroshima citizens aid radiation exposed people in Kazakhstan
2006
Dixie Chicks show documentary at TIFF
2006
Folk musician Tracy Grammer corrects record on Dave Carter
2006
A fifth of American kids projected to become obese
2006
Princeton report questions electronic voting machine security
2006
PDPC President Rob Levin has died
2006
Pope Benedict apologizes for "sounding offensive" to Muslims
2006
USA beats NZ in the Wheelchair Rugby Championships 2006
2007
Arctic ice levels at record low opening Northwest Passage
2007
Health organisations respond to Ebola outbreak in Democratic Republic of the Congo
2007
ICC World Twenty20: India vs New Zealand
2007
ICC World Twenty20: Australia vs Bangladesh
2007
ICC World Twenty20: South Africa vs England
2007
Litvinenko murder suspect running for MP
2007
France warns of war with Iran
2007
O.J. Simpson arrested for assault and other charges
2007
Colin McRae feared dead in helicopter crash
2007
Kimi Räikkönen wins Belgian Grand Prix
2007
At least 89 dead in Phuket, Thailand air crash
2007
Rugby World Cup: Fiji, Tonga and France win
2008
Economics take over Canadian leaders' talking points
2008
IMF and EU approve aid for Georgia
2008
Lehman Brothers files for bankruptcy
2008
Large particle accelerators to explore the frontiers of physics
2008
TV presenter Vernon Kay has to deny death claims after Wikipedia article claims he is dead
2009
Renault F1's team boss, top engineer quit as team accepts cheating claim
2009
British comedian Eddie Izzard completes 43 marathons in 51 days
2009
UK unemployment rate reaches thirteen-year high
2009
Somali hospital hit by shells after continued unrest
2009
British chef Keith Floyd dies at age 65
2010
Gunman shoots doctor, then kills mother and self at Maryland hospital
2010
Six die in US-Iraqi raid in Fallujah
2011
NSW Supreme Court upholds non-publication order for lawsuit filed against Australia's richest person
2011
Southampton City Council votes against water fluoridation
2012
Chris Moyles departs from BBC Radio 1 breakfast show

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.

Select a section