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Today in History

1752
England adopts the Gregorian Calendar (September 2nd was followed by the 14th)
1945
Japan signs unconditional surrender aboard the battleship USS Missouri
1946
Grammy Award winning singer and musician, William Everett "Billy" Preston born in Houston, Texas
1948
Teacher, astronaut, and Congressional Space Medal of Honor recipient, Christa McAuliffe born in Boston, Massachusetts
1964
Bass guitarist and actor, Keanu Charles Reeves born in Beirut, Lebanon
1968
Emmy Award winning actress, Cynthia Watros born in Lake Orion, Michigan
1969
First node on ARPANET at UCLA
1976
Actress Erin Hershey Presely born in Seattle, Washington
31
BC
Battle of Actium - Octavian defeats Antony, and becomes Emperor Augustus. The Senate had outlawed Antony and declared war on Cleopatra. The battle occurred at sea, off the promontory of Actium in Greece. Octavian's general was Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa. Antony was hampered by defections among his officers and the presence of Cleopatra on her flagship, which his Roman soldiers deeply resented. Agrippa outmaneuvered Antony, and Cleopatra was the first to flee, taking her sixty Egyptian ships with her. Antony followed her in a single ship, leaving the rest of his fleet to be destroyed.
310
Martyrdom of Habib "the Confessor of Edessa"
490
B. C. Phidippides runs 1st marathon, seeking aid from Sparta vs. Persia
911
Viking-monarch Oleg of Kiev-Russia signs treaty with Byzantines
1022
Death of Maelsechlainn II "the Great," High-King of Ireland
1057
Coronation of Issac Comnenus as Emperor of Byzantium
1192
Peace signed between King Richard I of England "the Lionhearted," and Saladin; end of 3rd Crusade
1231
Death of St. Brocard
1519
1st Battle of Tehuacingo, San Salvador fought against Mexico
1537
Christian III issues a Lutheran Ordinance for the Danish Church
1620
The Mayflower sets sail from Plymouth with 102 Pilgrims.
1634
Prince Ferdinand's army reaches Noerdlingen
1638
A proclaimation is issued revoking the service-book in Scotland
1661
German organist and composer Georg Bohm born
1666
The Great Fire of London began. It eventually destroyed 13,000 houses in four days. Fortunately few lives were lost (an estimated 8 people died).
1716
Composer Johann Trier born
1731
German playwright Johann F von Cronegk (Olint und Sophronia) born
1750
Composer Pehr Frigel born
1758
The first Anglican service of worship to be held on Canadian soil was led by Rev. Robert Wolfall at Frobisher Bay, on Baffin Island.
1763
German author Caroline von Schelling born
1778
Dutch politician Leopold F.J.J.J. van Sassen Ysselt born
1784
English clergyman Thomas Coke, 37, was consecrated, the first bishop of the Methodist Episcopal Church, by founder John Wesley. Coke afterward journeyed to America, where he and Francis Asbury oversaw Methodism in the Colonies.
1789
The United States Treasury Department was established.
1791
A Czech composer named Franz Kotzwara hanged himself in a London brothel. An elliptically-worded account of the event leaves it unclear whether the hanging was an intentional suicide or a bawdy escapade that went too far.
1798
The Maltese people revolt against the French occupation, forcing the French troops to take refuge in the citadel of Valetta in Malta.
1814
German archaeologist and historian Ernst Curtius born
1838
Lydia Kamekeha Liliuokalani, last sovereign (Queen) before annexation of Hawaii by the United States. born
1839
Writer and land reformer Henry George (Progress & Poverty) born
1850
Poet Eugene Field (Little Boy Blue) born
1850
Albert Spaulding baseball player/founded Spaulding sports company born
1853
Wilhelm Ostwald Germany, physical chemist (Nobel 1909) born
1864
During the Civil War, Union General William T. Sherman's forces occupied Atlanta.
1869
Hiram Maxim, inventor of the automobile muffler and firearm silencer born
1877
Frederick Soddy, named an isotope and received 1921 Nobel prize for chemistry born
1885
In Rock Springs, Wyoming Territory, 28 Chinese laborers are killed and hundreds more chased out of town by striking coal miners.
1901
Vice President Theodore Roosevelt offered the advice, "Speak softly and carry a big stick," in a speech at the Minnesota State Fair.
1910
Alice Stebbins Wells is admitted to the Los Angeles Police Force as the first woman police officer to receive an appointment based on a civil service exam.
1916
Dorothy May Bundy-Cheney winner of more than 141 US tennis titles born
1917
Author-conservationist Cleveland Amory born
1918
Author Allen Drury (Advise & Consent-1960 Pulitzer Prize) born
1918
Martha Mitchell wife of Attorney General John Mitchell born
1919
Communist Party of America organized in Chicago
1928
Jazz musician Horace Silver born
1929
An opera, composed by Kurt Weill with a libretto by Berthold Brecht, was in its final minutes when Brecht's wife launched into a speech for Communism from the stage. A riot broke out and the cops had to be called.
1930
1st non-stop airplane flight from Europe to US (37 hrs)
1935
A hurricane slammed into the Florida Keys, claiming 423 lives.
1937
Former Baseball Commissioner Peter Ueberroth born
1939
Rhythm-and-blues singer Sam Gooden (The Impressions) born
1940
Singer Jimmy Clanton born
1943
Rhythm-and-blues singer Rosalind Ashford (Martha & the Vandellas) born
1943
Singer Joe Simon born
1944
During WW II, George Bush ejects from a burning plane
1944
Troops of the U.S. First Army enter Belgium. More than 6,000 trucks of the Red Ball Express kept gasoline and other vital supplies rolling in as American troops and tanks pushed the Germans back toward their homeland.
1944
Anne Frank, is sent to Auschwitz
1945
Ho Chi Minh declared Vietnam an independent republic.
1945
Japan signed an unconditional surrender aboard the U.S. battleship Missouri in Tokyo Bay, formally ending World War II.
1948
Football Hall-of-Famer Terry Bradshaw born
1948
Christa McAuliffe born. The first teacher on a space mission. During that mission, she and the six other crew members on the space shuttle Challenger perished in an explosion shortly after launch
1951
Actor Mark Harmon born
1952
Tennis player Jimmy Connors born
1955
Actress Linda Purl born
1956
Tennessee National Guardsmen halt rioters protesting the admission of 12 African-Americans to schools in Clinton.
1958
Rock musician Jerry Augustyniak (10,000 Maniacs) born
1959
Country musician Paul Deakin (The Mavericks) born
1963
"The CBS Evening News" was lengthened from 15 to 30 minutes.
1963
Alabama Governor George C. Wallace prevented the integration of Tuskegee High School by encircling the building with state troopers.
1964
Actor Keanu Reeves born
1968
Actress Salma Hayek born
1969
Rhythm-and-blues singer K-Ci (Jodeci) born
1969
North Vietnamese president Ho Chi Minh died.
1973
Death of J.R.R. Tolkien, 81, English Christian language scholar and novelist. His 1954-55 "Lord of the Rings" trilogy describes a war between good and evil in which evil is routed through courage and sacrifice.
1974
Singer Tony Thompson born
1975
Joseph W. Hatcher of Tallahassee, Florida, becomes the state's first African-American supreme court justice since Reconstruction.
1983
Israeli Foreign Minister Yitzhak Shamir won the endorsement of the Herut Party in his bid to succeed Prime Minister Menachem Begin, who had announced his resignation.
1985
It was announced that a US-French expedition had located the wreckage of the "Titanic" about 560 miles off Newfoundland.
1985
Hurricane Elena barreled ashore along the Mississippi coast with winds up to 100 mph.
1986
A judge in Los Angeles sentenced Cathy Evelyn Smith to three years in prison for involuntary manslaughter in connection with the 1982 drug overdose death of comedian John Belushi.
1987
West German pilot Mathias Rust, who flew a private plane from Helsinki, Finland, to Moscow's Red Square, went on trial in the Soviet capital. (Rust, who was convicted and given a four-year sentence, was released August third, 1988.)
1988
Democrat Michael Dukakis welcomed back former top aide John Sasso to his presidential campaign, nearly a year after Sasso resigned because of his role in torpedoing the campaign of Democratic Senator Joseph Biden.
1989
In Nicaragua, a 14-party opposition coalition chose Violeta Barrios de Chamorro to be its presidential candidate. (Chamorro went on to win the election the following February.)
1990
Dozens of Americans reached freedom in the first major airlift of Westerners from Iraq during the month-old Persian Gulf crisis.
1990
Dave Stieb of the Toronto Blue Jays hurled a no-hitter against the Cleveland Indians, winning 3-0.
1991
President Bush formally recognized the independence of the Baltic states of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia. In Moscow, the Soviet Congress of People's Deputies opened its first session since the failed coup, taking up proposals aimed at drastically restructuring the country.
1991
In Moscow, the Soviet Congress of People's Deputies opened its first session since the failed coup, taking up proposals aimed at drastically restructuring the country.
1992
Former world chess champion Bobby Fischer defied U.S. warnings and U.N. sanctions against Yugoslavia to begin his first official game in 20 years.
1992
California's 64-day budget deadlock ended with the approval of a compromise plan.
1992
On the campaign trail, President Bush announced nearly two billion dollars in new aid for US farmers and a six billion-dollar jet fighter sale that would largely benefit Texas. Democrat Bill Clinton, meanwhile, charged that Bush would shortchange middle class students to finance tax cuts for the rich.
1993
The United States and Russia formally ended decades of competition in space by agreeing to a joint venture to build a space station.
1993
Kurt Masur and the New York Philharmonic recorded the Brahms Third Symphony for the Teldec label.
1994
The government reported the nation's unemployment rate for August was unchanged from July, at 6.1 percent.
1995
At a military cemetery on a hill high above Honolulu, President Clinton marked the 50th anniversary of the end of World War II, saying it taught Americans that "the blessings of freedom are never easy or free."
1996
Muslim rebels and the Philippine government signed a pact formally ending a 26-year insurgency that killed more than 120,000 people.
1997
In London, a grieving human tide engulfed St. James's Palace, where Princess Diana's body lay in a chapel closed to the public, as the British monarchy and government prepared for her funeral.
1998
President Clinton concluded his Moscow summit with Russian President Boris Yeltsin.
1998
A Swissair MD-11 jetliner crashed off Nova Scotia, killing all 229 people aboard.
1998
Pilots for Air Canada began a two-week strike, the first in the carrier's history.
1999
It was announced that President and Mrs. Clinton had signed a contract to purchase a $1.7 million house in Chappaqua, New York, ending a months-long guessing game over where the couple would live after leaving the White House.
2005
Guantanamo prisoners stage hunger strike
2005
US Senate approves $10.5 billon in aid for Hurricane Katrina victims
2005
Louisiana officials accused of blocking rescue volunteers
2005
Coroner finds that Australian Prime Minister Holt drowned in 1967
2005
California Senate votes to allow gay marriages
2005
Ivorian rebels say South African mediators ‘discredited’
2005
Bomb in Dagestan explodes Russian military truck
2005
Briton to fly hang glider across the UK
2005
Intel responds to AMD antitrust suit
2005
Controversy over New Orleans photos captions
2005
Oil prices fall as reserves are released
2005
King of Swaziland seeks thirteenth bride, continues to cause ire
2005
Microsoft Office dropped by Massachusetts, USA
2005
Did human remains cause mad cow disease?
2005
Scientists debate whether Hurricane Katrina was aggravated by global warming
2005
Minnesota 2% biodiesel mandate becomes effective September 29
2005
US Department of Housing and Urban Development to provide housing for Katrina refugees
2005
Woman torches own house, attempting to kill spiders
2005
Gas prices surge in Northeast US
2005
Broadband users kicked off service for constant questioning
2005
New South Wales Liberal leader attempts suicide
2005
Crime in New Orleans sharply increases after Hurricane Katrina
2005
Explosions hit waterfront in New Orleans, Louisiana
2006
Ghana bans gay and lesbian conference
2006
South Africa end All Blacks' 15-game winning streak
2006
NATO plane crashes in southern Afghanistan, killing 14 British troops
2006
Mexican presidential address stopped by protests
2006
Former Israeli PM Ariel Sharon moved out of ICU
2006
European Union gives Iran two more weeks to comply with UN resolution
2006
41st Jerry Lewis telethon to run Sunday, Monday
2006
"Low pathogenic" H5N1 Bird Flu virus found in wild ducks in Maryland and Pennsylvania
2006
New Democrat MP disagrees with Layton's call to withdraw from Afghanistan
2006
Football: England beat Andorra in their first Euro 2008 qualifier
2007
Cricket: India defeat England in fifth one-day international
2007
Felix becomes Category 1 hurricane as it threatens Aruba
2007
Two pilots killed in head-on collision at Radom Air Show, Poland
2007
19 South Koreans return home after release from Taliban captivity
2007
WHO investigates outbreak of unidentified illness in Democratic Republic of the Congo
2007
Two die after passenger ship and cargo ship collide near Haifa, Israel
2007
Report claims UK might withdraw from Iraq as early as October
2007
North Korea to dismantle nuclear facilities this year
2007
Minor earthquake strikes California
2007
Republican leaders accused of double standard after Larry Craig's resignation
2007
Hurricane Felix strengthens to Category 4
2007
Canadian National Exhibition takes place in Toronto
2007
Six killed in bridge collapse in Pakistan
2008
Intel acquires mobile Linux developer, OpenedHand
2008
Illinois budget cuts to close historic sites and parks
2008
Google launches web browser, dubbed Chrome
2008
UK government sued over deaths in 2006 Nimrod crash in Afghanistan
2008
Burj Dubai becomes world's tallest tower
2008
Sinkhole reported in Buffalo, New York
2009
Hurricane Jimena approaches Baja California
2009
UK denies pressuring Scotland into Lockerbie release
2009
California wildfires continue to spread
2009
Fiji fully suspended from the Commonwealth after failure to call election
2009
Television appeal for 1984 murder in Bath, England
2009
"Donkey" bloggers facing jail sentence in Azerbaijan
2010
Two thousand people use bodies to create message on Pichilemu beach
2010
Race to save Chilean miners trapped underground from spiralling into depression continues
2010
No oil spillage after platform explodes in the Gulf of Mexico
2010
Welsh TV pioneer Owen Edwards dies at age 76
2010
Apple unveils new iPods, Apple TV; updates iOS, iTunes
2010
Four die in Papua New Guinea plane crash
2010
Hurricane Earl threatens eastern US
2011
Documents regarding post-9/11 prisoner transport flights released
2012
IPC inducts new members into its Hall of Fame
2012
Canada women's national wheelchair basketball team gets its first win of London Paralympics
2012
Australian Jayme Paris wins bronze in the London Paralympics Women's Individual C1-2-3 500m Time Trial

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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