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

Today in History

LOTR...
Frodo and company rescued by Bombadil
1905
Oscar winning film actress Greta Garbo born in Stockholm, Sweden
1939
Actor and singer, Frankie Avalon born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
1954
Shuttle astronaut Takao Doi born in Tokyo, Japan
1971
Olympic Gold Medal cycling champion, Lance Armstrong born in Plano, Texas
1987
Reagan announces joint destruction of nuclear warheads by USA and USSR
1997
Ted Turner donates $1 billion to the United Nations
52
Marcus Ulpius Trajan, Emperor of Rome from AD 98-117.
96
Domitian, Roman emperor, murdered by conspirators (including his wife)
1180
Death of Louis VII, King of France
1426
Death of Hubert van Eyck, Flemish painter
1465
Louis XI, King of France, signs an agreement with the League of the Public Weal
1502
Columbus lands at Costa Rica on his fourth voyage
1574
Italian lawyer and poet Claudio Achillini born
1589
The Duke of Mayenne of France is defeated by Henry IV of France at the Battle of Arques
1634
Anne Hutchinson, a founder of Rhode Island, 1st arrives in Boston from England
1636
Composer Pietro Sanmartini born
1684
Composer and Musicographer Johann Gottfried Walther born
1709
English poet and lexicographer Samuel Johnson, writer of the first English dictionary born
1713
French theologist and natural philosopher Jean Allamand born
1733
US judge George Read He was a signer of the Declaration of Independence born
1752
Mathematician Adrien-Marie Lagendre, he worked on elliptic integrals born
1752
Composer Johann Anton Sulzer born
1758
James Abercromby replaced as supreme commander of British forces after his defeat by French commander the Marquis of Montcalm at Fort Ticonderoga during the French and Indian War.
1759
Quebec surrenders to the British after a battle which sees the deaths of both James Wolfe and Louis Montcalm, the British and French commanders.
1765
Oliver Holden, early Puritan pastor and statesman. He composed the hymn tune CORONATION ("All Hail the Power of Jesus' Name") in 1792 at the age of 27. born
1779
U.S. Supreme Court Justice Joseph Story born
1793
President Washington laid the cornerstone of the US Capitol.
1810
Chile declared its independence from Spain.
1819
French physicist Jean Foucault, inventor of the gyroscope. born
1827
John Towsend Trowbridge, poet and author of books for boys. He wrote the Jack Hazzard and Toby Trafford series. born
1830
A race was held between a horse and an iron horse. The Tom Thumb, the first locomotive built in The United States, was pitted against a real horse in a nine-mile course between Riley's Tavern and Baltimore. Tom Thumb suffered mechanical difficulties including a leaky boiler and lost by a considerable margin.
1837
Robert Schumann wrote his beloved Clara that he had met with her father but failed to get his permission to marry her. In fact, dad told him never to see Clara again. The letter says Clara's father was cold and malicious, humiliating Schumann.
1850
Congress passes the second Fugitive Slave Bill into law (the first was enacted in 1793), requiring the return of escaped slaves to their owners.
1851
The first edition of "The New York Times" was published (goes on sale, at 2 cents a copy).
1874
The Nebraska Relief and Aid Society is formed to help farmers whose crops were destroyed by grasshoppers swarming throughout the American West.
1891
Harriet Maxwell Converse (her Indian name was Ga-is-wa-noh - The Watcher) became the first white woman to be named chief of an Indian tribe. Converse became chief of the Six Nations Tribe at Tonawanda Reservation in New York. She had been adopted by the Seneca tribe 7 years earlier because of her efforts on behalf of the tribe.
1895
John Diefenbacker (Canadian Prime Minister 1957-1963) born
1895
Daniel David Palmer gave the first chiropractic adjustment to Harvey Lillard in Davenport, Iowa -- now the home of Palmer Chiropractic College.
1905
Actress Greta Garbo born
1905
Actor Eddie "Rochester" Anderson (Jack Benny Show, Birth of the Blues, Gone with the Wind, It's a Mad, Mad, Mad,Mad World) born
1908
Satchel Leroy Paige (baseball's oldest player Kansas City A's at age 59 and 80 days 1965) born
1911
Russian Premier Piotr Stolypin dies four days after being shot at the Kiev opera house by socialist lawyer Dimitri Bogroff.
1914
The Irish Home Rule Bill becomes law, but is delayed until after World War I.
1918
Serge Prokofiev, running from revolution in Russia, arrived in the United States. Prokofiev's exile days in Paris and America would see him produce his piano concertos which were premiered with the composer at the keyboard.
1920
Actor Jack Warden born
1924
A complete Bible translation of the Old and New Testaments was published by American Bible scholar and historian James Moffatt, 54. Moffatt's intention was to make available to the lay reader, in simple language, a current scholarly understanding of the biblical text.
1927
The Columbia Phonograph Broadcasting System (later CBS) made its debut with a basic network of 16 radio stations.
1928
A hurricane that lashed Florida and the West Indies for five days left an estimated 4,000 people dead and $30 million in damage.
1929
Charles Lindbergh takes off on a 10,000 mile air tour of South America.
1933
Actor Robert Blake born
1933
Singer Jimmie Rodgers born
1939
Actor Fred Willard born
1940
Singer Frankie Avalon born
1947
The National Security Act, which unified the Army, Navy and newly formed Air Force into a National Military Establishment, went into effect.
1948
Margaret Chase Smith becomes the first woman elected to the Senate without completing another senator's term when she defeats Democratic opponent Adrian Scolten. Smith is also the only woman to be elected to and serve in both houses of Congress.
1949
Rock musician Kerry Livgen (Kansas) born
1951
Dr. Benjamin Solomon Carson, Sr., African-American neurosurgeon born
1952
Rock musician Dee Dee Ramone born
1959
Baseball player Ryne Sandberg born
1961
United Nations Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjold was killed in a plane crash in northern Rhodesia.
1962
Singer Joanne Catherall (Human League) born
1963
"The Patty Duke Show" premiered on ABC-TV.
1964
Actress Holly Robinson Peete born
1965
Larry Hagman (Captain Tony Nelson) and Barbara Eden (Jeannie) starred in the first episode of "I Dream of Jeannie", on NBC-TV. The show mcontinued weekly until September 1, 1970.
1967
Rhythm-and-blues singer Ricky Bell (Bell Biv Devoe and New Edition) born
1969
Tiny Tim announced his engagement to Miss Vicki Budinger on the "Tonight Show." Johnny Carson, host of "The Tonight Show" was so enthralled with the falsetto voiced singer, he invited the couple to get married on the show. They did (on December 17, 1969) and TV history was made.
1970
Rock star Jimi Hendrix died in London at age 27. Jimi Hendrix died of an overdose of sleeping pills.
1971
Actress Jada Pinkett Smith born
1973
Actor James Marsden born
1975
FBI agents in San Francisco captured heiress Patricia Hearst and two of her Symbionese Liberation Army comrades, William and Emily Harris.
1980
Cosmonaut Arnoldo Tamayo, a Cuban, becomes the first black to be sent on a mission in space.
1981
A museum honoring former President Ford was dedicated in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
1984
The U.N. General Assembly opened its 39th session with appeals for the United States and the Soviet Union to resume arms negotiations.
1985
President Reagan publicly confirmed the release of the Rev. Benjamin Weir, an American held hostage in Lebanon for 14 months. U.S. officials had kept Weir's release secret in hopes that other hostages would also be freed.
1986
In his first public comment on the arrest of American journalist Nicholas Daniloff, Soviet leader Mikhail S. Gorbachev described the reporter as a spy who was caught in the act, and he accused Washington of exploiting the case to damage superpower relations.
1987
President Reagan announced that he and Soviet leader Mikhail S. Gorbachev would meet later in the year to sign a treaty banning medium- and shorter-range nuclear missiles.
1988
The Soviet Union won the first gold medal of the Summer Olympics in Seoul, South Korea, in the women's air rifle event, while US divers picked up silver and bronze medals in women's platform.
1989
Hurricane "Hugo" reached Puerto Rico, causing extensive damage as it continued to barrel toward the US mainland.
1990
The city of Atlanta was named the site of the 1996 Summer Olympics.
1990
Former savings-and-loan chief executive Charles H. Keating was jailed in Los Angeles in lieu of $5 million dollars bail after he was indicted on criminal fraud charges.
1991
Saying he was ''pretty fed up,'' President Bush said he would send warplanes to escort U.N. helicopters searching for hidden Iraqi weapons if Iraqi President Saddam Hussein continued to impede weapons inspectors.
1991
The space shuttle Discovery landed in California, ending a five-day mission.
1992
Ross Perot's name was submitted for the 50th state ballot -- Arizona -- on the same day that Perot hinted on NBC's "Today" show that he might throw his hat into the presidential ring, after all.
1993
Actors Brandon Porter and Taylor Porter ("Party of Five") born
1993
Kimberlh Clarice Aiken of South Carolina was crowned Miss America at the pageant in Atlantic City, New Jersey.
1994
Haiti's military leaders agreed to an Oct. 15 departure deadline, thereby averting a U.S.-led invasion to force them from power.
1994
Tennis star Vitas Gerulaitis, 40, was found dead in the guest cottage of a friend's home in Southampton, New York, of accidental carbon monoxide poisoning.
1995
President Clinton began a five-day re-election campaign fund-raising tour that got off to a rocky start after a deal to convert the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard to civilian use collapsed at the last minute.
1996
The O.J. Simpson civil trial opened in Santa Monica, California.
1996
The Food and Drug Administration declared the French abortion pill RU-486 safe and effective, but withheld final approval until later.
1996
Republican presidential nominee Bob Dole fell off a stage during a campaign rally in Chico, California, after a railing gave way; he was not seriously hurt.
1997
Two gunmen opened fire on a group of German tourists in front of the Egyptian Museum in downtown Cairo, killing nine of the tourists and a bus driver.
1997
Coopers & Lybrand and Price Waterhouse agreed to merge to create the world's biggest accounting firm.
1997
Voters in Wales narrowly approved a British government offer to set up a Welsh assembly.
1997
Media mogul Ted Turner pledged to spend one billion dollars on United Nations causes.
1998
Mark McGwire hit his 64th home run of the season, pulling out of a tie with Sammy Sosa
1998
Over Democratic objections, the House Judiciary Committee voted to release President Clinton's videotaped grand jury testimony as well as 28-hundred pages of sometimes steamy evidence compiled by Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr.
1999
Sammy Sosa of the Chicago Cubs became the first player in major league baseball history to reach 60 homers twice.
1999
A multinational fleet sailed toward East Timor, the vanguard of a U-N-approved force assigned to bring order to the bloodied Indonesian province.
1999
Heather Renee French of Kentucky was crowned "Miss America" at the pageant in Atlantic City, New Jersey.
2005
Singer Britney Spears gives birth to a healthy boy
2005
Iran determined to continue with nuclear program
2005
Rupert Murdoch: Blair says BBC "hates America"
2005
Science of champagne bubbles explained
2005
Stolen laptop found; had over 98,000 students' personal data
2005
Results of German federal election
2005
Thai media mogul drops newspaper takeover attempt
2006
Opposition alliance wins power in Swedish elections
2006
Two more found guilty in 1993 Mumbai blasts case
2006
US Senate Select Committee on Intelligence finds no link between Saddam Hussein and al-Qaeda
2006
Newspaper photos highlight New Zealand PM's husband's friendship with gay doctor
2006
Comedian pushes talk show host Charlotte Church over the edge, on air
2006
Ethane clouds found on Titan
2006
Germany wins Hockey World Cup
2006
Eva Avila crowned winner of Canadian Idol
2006
Iranian-American woman in space
2007
Britney Spears fired by management company
2007
Germany's minister of defence proposes to shoot down hijacked planes
2007
ICC World Twenty20: England vs New Zealand
2007
Nebraska Senator sues God
2007
Greek Socialist party faces leadership issue
2007
ICC World Twenty20: Australia vs Pakistan
2007
ICC World Twenty20: Bangladesh vs Sri Lanka
2007
Student questioning Senator Kerry is tasered
2007
Rugby World Cup: Scotland 42 - 0 Romania
2007
UEFA Champions League round-up: September 18, 2007
2008
Man pulls a 126,292-pound truck over 137 feet, sets world record
2008
Libertarian U.S. presidential nominee Bob Barr trying to remove running mate Wayne Allyn Root, reports say
2008
Russian markets to remain closed until Friday
2008
New I-35W Minneapolis bridge opens
2008
Two largest known prime numbers discovered just two weeks apart, one qualifies for $100k prize
2008
Markets rally as world's central banks infuse cash
2008
World record set for balloon blowing with nose, on US talk show
2008
Royal Society education chief forced out in creation row
2008
Somali pirates seize Greek freighter, 25 crew in the Gulf of Aden
2008
Flu shots for pregnant women protect newborns after birth
2008
Clearing the air: Positions of Canadian parties vis-à-vis the environment
2009
Suicide bomber kills 30 in northwest Pakistan
2010
200 candles: Chileans celebrate country's Bicentennial
2010
Facebook Places launches in UK
2010
Continental and United Airlines shareholders approve merger

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