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Today in History

1825
First passenger locomotive in England
1840
Caricaturist and editorial cartoonist, Thomas Nast born in Landau, Germany
1920
Actor, director and narrator, William Conrad born in Louisville, Kentucky
1936
Producer and television host, Don Cornelius born in Chicago, Illinois
1943
Guitarist and songwriter, Randy Bachman born in Winnipeg, Manitoba
1947
Grammy Award winning singer, Meat Loaf born Marvin Lee Aday in Dallas, Texas
1954
Author and creator of the Perl programming language, Larry Wall born in Los Angeles, California
1958
Actor, singer and musician, Shaun Cassidy born in Los Angeles, California
1964
Warren Commission concludes Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone in assassinating President John F Kennedy
1972
Singer and Academy Award winning actress, Gwyneth Paltrow born in Los Angeles, California
1987
First NFL player's strike
1009
Church of the Holy Sepulchre at Jerusalem destroyed by Caliph al-Hakim
1066
William of Normandy, "the Bastard," set sail from France
1130
Roger II appointed King of Sicily
1323
Death of St. Elezear
1529
The troops of Suleiman "The Lawgiver" lay siege to Vienna
1540
The Society of Jesus (Jesuits) recognized by the Pope
1601
Louis XIII, King of France born
1669
The island of Crete in the Mediterranean Sea falls to the Ottoman Turks after a 21-year siege.
1674
Thomas Traherne, English mystical writer, poet, dies
1722
Patriot Samuel Adams. He helped to organize the Boston Tea Party
1779
John Adams was named to negotiate the Revolutionary War's peace terms with Britain.
1787
Constitution submitted to the states for ratification.
1791
Jews in France are granted French citizenship.
1792
George Cruikshank, illustrator who did the drawings that accompanied many of Charles Dickens' early works such as Oliver Twist and A Christmas Carol. born
1821
General Iturbide declared himself Emperor Augustn of Mexico.
1825
In England, George Stephenson operated the first locomotive to pull a passenger train.
1827
Franz Schubert, let a friend hear his latest three sonatas. They were to be his last.
1840
Alfred T. Mahan, navy admiral who wrote The Influence of Seapower on History and other books that encouraged world leaders to build larger navies. born
1840
Political cartoonist Thomas Nast born
1854
The first great disaster involving an Atlantic Ocean liner occurred when the steamship "Arctic" sank with 300 people aboard.
1862
Louis Botha, commander-in-chief of the Boers Army against the British and first president of South Africa born
1864
Confederate guerrilla Bloody Bill Anderson and his henchmen, including a teenage Jesse James, massacre 20 unarmed Union soldiers at Centralia, Mo.
1869
Wild Bill Hickok, sheriff of Hays City, Kan., shoots down Samuel Strawhim, a drunken teamster causing trouble.
1885
Composer Joseph McCarthy ("You Made Me Love You") born
1892
Book matches were patentedby Joshua Pusey of Lima, Pennsylvania.
1898
Composer Vincent Youmans ("Tea for Two") born
1916
Constance of Greece declares war on Bulgaria.
1917
American author Louis Auchincloss born
1918
President Woodrow Wilson opens his fourth Liberty Loan campaign to support men and machines for World War I.
1919
Former Illinois Senator Charles Percy born
1920
Actress Jayne Meadows (Born in China, the daughter of missionary parents.) (City Slickers, Murder by Numbers, Lady in the Lake, The Steve Allen Comedy Hour, Medical Center) [Some sources say 1926] born
1920
Eight Chicago White Sox players are charged with fixing the 1919 World Series.
1920
Actor William Conrad (Cannon, Jake and the Fatman, Sorry, Wrong Number, Killers, Naked Jungle; TV narrator: The Bullwinkle Show; radio: Marshall Dillon in Gunsmoke) born
1921
"I have made a discovery that will ensure the superiority of German music for the next 100 years." That's what Arnold Schoenberg said when he developed his 12-tone method of composition. Schoenberg started his first 12-tone work, the Wind Serenade on this day.
1922
Scientists at the Naval Aircraftt Radio Laboratory near Washington, D.C., demonstrated that if a ship passed through a radio wave being broadcast between two stations, that ship could be detected, the essentials of radar.
1922
Movie director Arthur Penn born
1928
The United States said it was recognizing the Nationalist Chinese government.
1929
Actress Sada Thompson born
1933
Actress Kathleen Nolan (The Real McCoys, Jamie, Broadside) born
1934
Sportscaster Dick Schaap born
1934
Actor Greg Morris (Mission Flight) born
1934
Author Barbara Howar born
1934
Actor Wilford Brimley (Cocoon, The Natural, Tender Mercies, The Firm, Absence of Malice, The China Syndrome, The Electric Horseman, Our House) born
1938
Queen Elizabth launched the first Queen Elizabeth liner.
1939
After 19 days of heavy air raids and artillery bombardment, the Polish defenders of Warsaw surrendered to the Germans.
1942
Australian forces defeat the Japanese on New Guinea in the South Pacific.
1942
Glenn Miller and his Orchestra performed together for the last time, at the Central Theater in Passaic, New Jersey, prior to Miller's entry into the Army.
1943
Singer-musician Randy Bachman (Bachman-Turner Overdrive) born
1944
Thousands of British troops are killed as German forces rebuff their massive effort to capture the Arnhem Bridge across the Rhine River in Holland.
1947
Actress Liz Torres born
1950
U.S. Army and Marine troops liberate Seoul, South Korea.
1951
Singer Meat Loaf (Marvin Lee Aday) born
1954
"Tonight!" hosted by Steve Allen, made its debut on NBC TV.
1956
highest-flying plane, crashes, killing the test pilot.
1958
Singer Shaun Cassidy born
1959
A typhoon battered the main Japanese island of Honshu, killing nearly five-thousand people.
1964
The Warren Commission issued a report concluding that Lee Harvey Oswald had acted alone in assassinating President Kennedy.
1970
Singer Mark Calderon (Color Me Badd) born
1972
Actress Gwyneth Paltrow born
1975
Nikki Hassman (Avalon) born
1979
Congress gave final approval to forming the Department of Education, the 13th Cabinet agency in US history.
1982
Rapper Lil' Wayne born
1985
Hurricane "Gloria," having come ashore at North Carolina with winds of 130 miles-an-hour, proceeded to head up the Atlantic Coast toward New England.
1986
The Senate joined the House of Representatives in approving the most sweeping changes in the federal tax code since World War II.
1987
Football fans suffered through their first Sunday without football since players went on strike. (NFL owners then organized games with replacement and non-striking players.)
1987
Mud slides in slum areas of Medellin, Colombia, killed as many as 500 people.
1988
Three days after placing first in the men's 100-meter dash at the Seoul Summer Olympics, Canadian sprinter Ben Johnson left for home in disgrace, stripped of his gold medal by officials who said Johnson had used anabolic steroids.
1990
The deposed emir of Kuwait delivered an emotional address to the UN General Assembly in which he denounced the "rape, destruction and terror" inflicted upon his country by Iraq.
1990
The Senate Judiciary Committee approved the Supreme Court nomination of David H. Souter.
1991
The PLO legislature voted to back U.S. and Soviet-sponsored Middle East peace efforts.
1991
President Bush announced in a nationally broadcast address that he was eliminating all U.S. battlefield nuclear weapons, and called on the Soviet Union to match the gesture.
1991
The Senate Judiciary Committee deadlocked, 7-to-7, on the nomination of Clarence Thomas to the U.S. Supreme Court.
1992
Texas billionaire Ross Perot spoke with his supporters in Dallas on the eve of a meeting with representatives of President Bush and Democrat Bill Clinton, both of whom were hoping Perot would stay on the campaign sidelines.
1993
Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison (Republican, Texas) was indicted on charges that, as Texas state treasurer, she'd misused state facilities and employees. (The indictment was dismissed for technical reasons; Hutchison was reindicted, and later acquitted.)
1993
Retired General James H. Doolittle died in Pebble Beach, California, at age 96.
1994
More than 350 Republican congressional candidates signed the "Contract with America," a ten-point platform they pledged to enact if voters sent a GOP majority to the House.
1995
At the O.J. Simpson trial, the prosecution and defense presented dueling summations.
1995
The government unveiled its redesigned $100 bill, featuring a larger, off-center portrait of Benjamin Franklin.
1996
In Afghanistan, the Taliban, a band of former seminary students, drove the government of President Burhanuddin Rabbani out of Kabul, captured the capital and executed former leader Najibullah.
1997
The space shuttle "Atlantis" blasted off, docking hours later with the problem-plagued Russian "Mir" station to drop off American David Wolf and pick up Michael Foale.
1998
Gerhard Schroeder and his Social Democrats won national elections in Germany, following 16 years of conservative rule under Chancellor Helmut Kohl.
1998
St. Louis Cardinal Mark McGwire's record-breaking season ended with his 69th and 70th homers.
1999
Tiger Stadium closed in grand fashion after 87 years as the Tigers beat the Kansas City Royals, 8-2.
1999
Arizona Sen. John McCain officially opened his campaign for the Republican presidential nomination, the same day former Vice President Dan Quayle dropped his White House bid.
2005
Einstein's equation turns 100
2005
Leader of Puerto Rican People’s Army shot, killed by FBI
2005
StarOffice 8 launched
2005
Blair denies Iraq pullout
2005
Blair: "Labour must be the party of change makers" Blair:
2005
Anti-war protestors arrested outside White House
2005
Brazilian football referee admits he frauduently refereed games
2005
Suresh Joachim breaks ironing world record
2006
Interview with Olive Rose Steele, City Council candidate for Ward 6 in Mississauga, Canada
2006
TVNZ wins court battle to screen Rainbow Warrior court footage
2006
New Delhi: Video shows witnesses in the Jessica Lall murder case being bribed
2006
Gunman holding hostages in US high school in Bailey, Colorado killed
2006
Secretly filmed talks prompt corruption allegations against Polish government
2006
Former NHL player Tie Domi alleged to have cheated with Canadian MP Belinda Stronach
2006
NFL star Terrell Owens hospitalized
2006
Wrestler Kid Kash released by employer
2006
Google services not loading for users of some ISPs
2007
Dr Karl to run for Australian senate
2007
Scientists discover 11 new species of life in Vietnam
2007
Law Council of Australia criticises both parties on legal aid
2007
Australian PM rules out economic sanctions against Myanmar
2007
Hundreds of monks arrested in monastery raids; continue protests
2007
17-pound baby born in Russia
2007
Canada posts record $14 billion budget surplus
2007
Jewelry courier robbed in Washington; three men arrested
2007
Media reports: arrest warrant issued for Jackie Selebi, President of Interpol
2007
"Halo 3" creates new opening day record
2008
CanadaVOTES: Liberal Andrew Lang running in Toronto—Danforth
2008
Hawthorn wins AFL Grand Final
2008
Seventeen killed in Syrian car bomb blast
2008
Hollywood legend Paul Newman dies of cancer age 83
2008
At least nine dead after Indonesian ferry burns and sinks
2008
Chinese astronaut walks in space
2008
Felipe Massa takes pole for the first night Formula One race at Singapore
2008
Study suggests oldest rocks are from Quebec
2008
Libricide plans on ice at University of Oslo
2008
UK government's Information Commissioner takes enforcement action against Liberal Democrat party for cold calling voters
2008
CanadaVOTES: CHP candidate Jerome Dondo running in Brandon—Souris
2008
CanadaVOTES: Liberal incumbent Susan Kadis running in Thornhill
2008
CanadaVOTES: Libertarian Kevin Stricker running in Saskatoon—Rosetown—Biggar
2009
Sixteen killed in Pakistan after suicide bombings
2010
Titanic actress Gloria Stuart dies at age 100
2010
Southwest Airlines to purchase AirTran Airways for US$1.4 billion
2010
President of Kosovo Fatmir Sejdiu resigns over breach of constitution
2010
Genetic link to migraines discovered by researchers
2010
Owner of Segway Jimi Heselden dies after scooter cliff fall aged 62
2010
Fernando Alonso wins Singapore Grand Prix
2011
Study: Birds learn nest building

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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