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

Today in History

1774
Itinerant apple orchardist John "Johnny Appleseed" Chapman born in Leominster, Massachusetts
1888
Nobel Prize winning author TS Eliot born in St Louis, Missouri
1898
Composer George Gershwin born Jacob Gershowitz in Brooklyn, New York
1933
Cheerleader, Miss New Orleans, singer, film and television actress, Donna Douglas born in East Baton Rouge Parish, Louisiana
1944
22nd Governor of Arizona, Jan Brewer born in Hollywood, California
1948
Actress and Grammy Award winning singer, Olivia Newton-John born in Cambridge, England
1957
West Side Story opens on Broadway
1969
The Beatles release Abbey Road, their last album together before breaking up
1969
The trial of the Chicago Seven begins.
1991
Home Improvement premieres on ABC
611
Death of St. Colman of Lann Elo
1004
Death of St. Nilus of Rossano
1087
Coronation of William II "Rufus," as King of England
1143
Pope Celestine II took office
1414
The export of gunpowder from England is prohibited
1415
Henry V, King of England, challenges the Dauphin of France to personal combat
1480
First Inquisitors appointed to serve in Spain
1575
Cervantes captured at sea, carried to Algiers for ransom
1580
The Spanish satirical poet Francisco Gómez de Quevedo was baptized.
1580
Sir Francis Drake returns to England with a shipload of loot from the Spanish; 1st circumnavigation of the globe by an Englishman
1687
The Venetians heavily damaged the Athenian Acropolis, which was being held by the Turks.
1774
Frontier nurseryman Johnny Appleseed Chapman
1777
British troops occupied Philadelphia during the American Revolution.
1783
Jane Taylor, children's writer best known as the author of Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star born
1786
France and Britain sign a trade agreement in London.
1789
Thomas Jefferson was appointed America's first secretary of state; John Jay the first chief justice of the United States; Samuel Osgood the first postmaster-general; and Edmund Jennings Randolph the first attorney general.
1820
The legendary frontiersman Daniel Boone dies quietly at the Defiance, Mo., home of his son Nathan, at age 85.
1826
The Persian cavalry is routed by the Russians at the Battle of Ganja in the Russian Caucasus.
1829
Scotland Yard, the official British criminal investigation organization, is formed.
1887
Barnes Wallis, British aeronautical engineer who invented the "Bouncing Bombs" used to destroy German dams during World War II born
1888
Texas folklorist J. Frank Dobie born
1888
My Favorite Poet T.S. Eliot (The Waste Land and Ash Wednesday) born
1892
John Philip Sousa and his newly formed band performed publicly for the first time, at the Stillman Music Hall in Plainfield, New Jersey.
1892
Antonin Dvorak arrived in America. He would spend some time in New York and some time in a Czech community in Iowa before returning to Europe with a symphony "From the New World" that proved to be his most popular composition.
1898
George Gershwin. His parents were immigrants from St. Petersburg. ("I Got Rhythm" and "Rhapsody in Blue") Three of America's most famous composers, Gershwin, Copland and Bernstein, were all the sons of Russian immigrants. born
1901
Leon Czolgosz, who murdered President William McKinley, is sentenced to death.
1913
The first boat is raised in the locks of the Panama Canal.
1914
competition by preventing monopolies in business.
1914
Fitness expert Jack LaLanne born
1926
Actress Julie London born
1930
Actor Philip Bosco born
1931
The keel was laid for the first US aircraft carrier, the USS Ranger, which was commissioned on June 4, 1934.
1934
Winnie Mandela, the former wife of South African president Nelson Mandela born
1934
The liner Queen Mary was launched at the Clydebank shipyards in Scotland.
1941
Country singer David Frizzell born
1942
Actor Kent McCord born
1945
Singer Bryan Ferry born
1945
The Hungarian composer Bla Bartók, one of the major figures of 20th century music, died in New York, in poverty as an emigr from war-torn Europe.
1947
Singer Lynn Anderson born
1948
Singer Olivia Newton-John born
1948
Actress Mary Beth Hurt born
1950
United Nations troops recaptured the South Korean capital of Seoul from the North Koreans.
1954
Rock singer-musician Cesar Rosas (Los Lobos) born
1955
Country singer Carlene Carter born
1955
The New York Stock Exchange suffers $44 million loss, the heaviest one-day loss in history.
1956
Actress Linda Hamilton born
1957
The musical "West Side Story" opened on Broadway.
1960
Country singer Doug Supernaw born
1960
Recording executive Andre Harrell born
1960
The first televised debate between presidential candidates Richard M. Nixon and John F. Kennedy took place in Chicago.
1961
Bob Dylan made his debut at Gerdie's Folk Place in New York City.
1962
Actress Melissa Sue Anderson born
1962
Singer Tracey Thorn (Everything But The Girl) born
1962
The Beverly Hillbillies began its 9-year run on TV. The series debuted on the 27th birthday of Donna Douglas, who played Ellie May.
1965
Rhythm-and-blues singer Cindy Herron (En Vogue) born
1967
Hanoi rejects a U.S. peace proposal. The infamous Pentagon Papers give insights into the Johnson administration's thinking on the Vietnam War
1969
The Beatles last album, Abbey Road, is released.
1972
Singer Shawn Stockman (Boyz II Men) born
1972
Richard M. Nixon meets with Emperor Hirohito in Anchorage, Alaska, the first-ever meeting of a U.S. President and a Japanese Monarch.
1977
Israel announces a cease-fire on Lebanese border.
1979
Actor Mark Famigliett born
1980
The Cuban government abruptly closed Mariel Harbor, ending the "freedom flotilla" of Cuban refugees that began the previous April.
1981
Tennis player Serena Williams born
1981
The twin-engine Boeing 767 made its maiden flight in Everett, Washington.
1983
The yacht Australia II won the America's Cup from the United States, ending the longest winning streak in sports - 132 years.
1984
China and Britain initialed an accord to return Hong Kong to Chinese control when Britain's lease expires in 1997.
1986
Japanese Prime Minister Yasuhiro Nakasone apologized for remarks he'd made about American minorities that were considered racist.
1986
William H. Rehnquist was sworn in as the 16th chief justice of the United States, while Antonin Scalia joined the Supreme Court as its 103rd member.
1987
In his Saturday radio address, President Reagan said he was reluctantly signing legislation restoring the automatic deficit-reducing provisions of the Gramm-Rudman Act.
1988
In a farewell speech to the UN General Assembly, President Reagan said there was "a moment for hope" for peace in the world, and said a new US-Soviet treaty to sharply reduce nuclear arms could be concluded the following year.
1990
The Motion Picture Association of America announced it had created a new rating, ''NC-17,'' designed to bar moviegoers under the age of 17 from certain films without the commercial stigma of the old ''X'' rating.
1991
Four men and four women began a two-year stay inside a sealed-off structure in Oracle, Arizona, called "Biosphere Two."
1991
AIDS patient Kimberly Bergalis pleaded with Congress to enact mandatory AIDS testing for health care workers.
1991
"Home Improvement" premiers on ABC TV.
1992
South African President F.W. de Klerk and African National Congress leader Nelson Mandela held their first meeting in three months, during which they agreed on the urgent need for an interim government. A Nigerian military transport plane crashed shortly after takeoff, killing all 163 people aboard.
1993
Eight people emerged from the glass dome of "Biosphere Two" in the Arizona desert after being sealed inside for two years in an experiment dogged by setbacks and controversy.
1995
The prosecution began its closing argument in the murder trial of O.J. Simpson.
1995
A bond trader at Japan's Daiwa Bank was charged with doctoring records to hide $1.1 billion in losses.
1995
Bosnia's warring factions agreed on guidelines for elections and a future government.
1996
Astronaut Shannon Lucid returned to Earth in the shuttle "Atlantis" after six months aboard the Russian "Mir" space station.
1996
President Clinton signed a bill ensuring two-day hospital stays for new mothers and their babies.
1996
ValuJet received federal permission to fly again three months after it was grounded following a deadly crash.
1996
Richard Allen Davis, the killer of 12-year-old Polly Klaas, was formally sentenced to death in San Jose, California.
1997
An Indonesian Airbus A-300 crashed while approaching Medan Airport in north Sumatra, killing all 234 people aboard.
1998
Grammy-winning jazz singer Betty Carter died in New York at age 69.
1998
The nation's first march on cancer took place on the National Mall in Washington DC.
1999
America won its first Ryder Cup since 1993 after trailing the European team 10-6 going into the final round. (To the anger of the Europeans, U.S. players, along with caddies, officials and wives, stormed the green to congratulate Justin Leonard for a 45-foot putt that all but won the tournament for the Americans.)
2005
Fernando Alonso becomes new Formula One World Champion
2005
Indonesian bird flu death toll rises to six
2005
Microsoft launches MSN adCenter
2005
IRA decommissioning complete - de Chastelain
2005
FDA recalls foreign meat used in aid for victims of Hurricane Katrina
2005
Guantanamo prisoner seeks UK citizenship, asylum
2005
IRA weapons decommissioned
2006
Afghan women's rights official shot dead
2006
Bulgaria and Romania to enter European Union
2006
Oracle's revenue grows 30% in a 'stellar' quarter
2006
Kashmiri militant sentenced to death over 2001 attack on Indian Parliament
2006
Polish Wikipedia reaches 300,000 articles
2006
CoolBrands: New Zealand coolest place in the world
2007
Australian Greens attack government green energy target
2007
Australian government declares support for Burmese protests
2007
Microsoft launches Xbox360 Game "Halo 3" World-wide
2007
Protest in Melbourne against WorkChoices
2007
Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science officially deemed a charity
2007
Students pass out forcing Michigan school to evacuate
2007
Michael Vick placed under tighter restrictions after failing drug test
2007
Bomb-like device attached to Florida bank teller amid robbery
2007
Boy survives flight in wheel well of Boeing 737
2007
Myanmar protesters beaten by police
2007
Torrent tracker Demonoid.com down, possibly shut by Canadian Recording Industry Association
2008
CanadaVOTES: CHP candidate John M. Wierenga running in Yellowhead
2008
Explosion at new shopping centre in Bath, United Kingdom
2008
Seventh Guantanamo Prosecutor resigns over ethical issues
2008
Spies warn of October Al-Qaeda operations
2008
Controversial evangelist leader Tony Alamo arrested in child sex investigation
2008
Swiss man successfully flies in jet pack across English Channel
2008
Controversial Florida attorney Jack Thompson disbarred
2008
More worries of further contamination of food from China
2008
CanadaVOTES: NDP candidate Max Lombardi running in Cambridge
2008
CanadaVOTES: NDP candidate Michael McMahon running in Prince Edward—Hastings
2008
CanadaVOTES: NDP incumbent David Christopherson running in Hamilton Centre
2008
CanadaVOTES: CHP candidate Pastor George D. Campbell running in Dartmouth—Cole Harbour
2008
CanadaVOTES: CHP candidate Henry Zekveld running in Durham
2008
CanadaVOTES: Liberal Sandra Gardiner running in Perth—Wellington
2008
CanadaVOTES: NDP candidate Don Davies running in Vancouver Kingsway
2008
Somalian pirates capture military ship, weapons, tanks
2009
Tesco pricing error in Cambridgeshire, England allows customers to get cheaper fuel
2009
Geelong win Australian Football League Grand Final
2009
Afghanistan begins partial vote recount
2009
US unmanned aircraft crashes into Iraq political office
2009
Scientists confirm new superheavy element
2009
Five boys charged with raping girl in Greater Manchester, England
2009
Iran to conduct missile defense exercise
2009
Second dust storm hits Sydney, Australia
2009
Emergency doctor testifies in NY State Sen. Hiram Monserrate felony assault case
2009
Chechnyan president sues Russian activist over murder claim
2009
Eight children taken to hospital after being hit by car in Suffolk, England
2010
David Beckham arrives in Trinidad and Tobago amid security fears
2010
Documentary suggests nuns were excommunicated for exposing paedophilic priest
2010
Delta flight makes emergency landing at JFK, no injuries
2010
Man released following bomb-scare forced flight diversion, warning a possible hoax
2011
Delhi earns UN carbon credits
2012
Rockets, mortars fired from Syria land in Israel
2012
Maharashtra, India state transport bus falls in river; at least seventeen dead

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