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

Today in History

1066
William the Conqueror invades England
1911
Italy declares war on Ottoman Empire.
1931
Pin-up model and actress Anita Ekberg born in Malmö, Sweden
1941
33,771 Jews killed by Nazis at Babi Yar
1942
Theater and film actress Madeline Kahn born in Boston, Massachusetts
1942
Jazz violinist Jean-Luc Ponty born in Avranches, France
1943
Nobel Peace Prize recpient, Lech Wałęsa born in Popowo, Poland
1954
CERN, European Organization for Nuclear Research, is established
1962
Canada launches its first satellite, Alouette 1
440
Death of St. Cyriacus the Recluse
855
Death of Lothair I, Holy Roman Emperor
996
Pope Gregory V driven from the Throne by a revolt
1066
William of Normandy, "the Bastard," occupies Hastings
1197
Emperor Henry VI dies in Messina, Sicily.
1227
Excommunication of Frederick II, Holy Roman Emperor
1273
Election of Rudolph I as King of Germany
1322
"Sir John de Mandeville" flees England
1397
Thomas Mowbray created first Duke of Norfolk
1399
Richard II of England is deposed. His cousin, Henry of Lancaster, declares himself king under the name Henry IV.
1493
Columbus leaves Cadiz, Spain on his second expedition
1513
Spanish explorer Vasco Nunez de Balboa discovers the Pacific Ocean.
1518
Tintoretto born
1547
Spanish poet-novelist Miguel de Cervantes, author of "Don Quixote" born
1560
Death of Gustavus I Eriksson, King of Sweden
1582
Death of St. Theresa
1758
English Admiral Horatio Nelson born
1759
English author William Beckford, whose Orientalist tale Vathek was one of the most popular works of the Gothic school of writing. born
1789
The U.S. War Department organized America's first standing army - 700 troops who would serve for three years.
1803
The first Roman Catholic Church in Boston was formally dedicated. (Catholics had not been permitted any religious freedom within this predominantly Puritan colony prior to the Massachusetts Constitution of 1780.)
1810
The English Victorian novelist Mrs. Elizabeth Gaskell born
1829
The first regular police force in London was started. They were called "bobbies" after Robert Peel, the Home Secretary who began the force. London's reorganized police force became known as Scotland Yard.
1829
There was a meeting of the minds when Paganini met Goethe.
1838
American architect Henry Hobson Richardson, a major figure in the 19th century Gothic revivial. born
1850
Mormon leader Brigham Young is named the first governor of the Utah Territory.
1864
The Spanish philosopher and author Miguel de Unamuno. born
1879
Dissatisfied Ute Indians kill Agent Nathan Meeker and nine others in the "Meeker Massacre."
1901
Pioneer nuclear physicist Enrico Fermi born
1902
The French novelist and journalist Emile Zola died in Paris. His novels are the major works of French naturalism.
1902
Impresario David Belasco opened his first Broadway theater.
1903
Greer Garson. Irish-born actress represented an ideal of courage with her portrayal of a British wartime housewife in Mrs. Miniver (1942). She received an Academy Award for her performance and was nominated for an Oscar a total of seven times throughout her career. born
1907
Former singing cowboy and baseball owner Gene Autry born
1908
Actress Greer Garson (Mrs. Miniver, Sunrise at Campobello, Pride and Prejudice, Little Women, Goodbye, Mr. Chips, The Singing Nun) born
1912
Movie director Michelangelo Antonioni ("Zabriskie Point") born
1913
Movie director Stanley Kramer ("Guess Who's Coming To Dinner") born
1916
On this day John D. Rockefeller's wealth made him the first American billionaire.
1916
Actor Trevor Howard (Superman the Bounty, Ryan's Daughter, The Count of Monte Cristo) born
1918
Allied forces scored a decisive breakthrough of the Hindenburg Line during World War One.
1922
Actress Lizabeth Scott born
1923
Britain began to govern Palestine under a League of Nations mandate.
1924
Actor Steve Forrest born
1931
James Watson Cronin, American nuclear physicist, corecipient with Val Logsdon Fitch of the 1980 Nobel Prize for Physics for an experiment conducted in 1964 that implied that reversing the direction of time would not precisely reverse the course of certain reactions of subatomic particles. born
1931
Actress Anita Ekberg born
1932
A five-day work week is established for General Motors workers.
1935
Singer Jerry Lee Lewis (Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Whole Lot of Shakin' Going On, Great Balls of Fire, Breathless; cousin of singer, Mickey Gilley and evangelist, Jimmy Swaggart) born
1936
In the presidential race between Franklin D. Roosevelt and Alf Landon, both parties used radio for the first time.
1939
Actor Larry Linville (Doctor Frank Burns in MASH) born
1939
Germany and the Soviet Union reach an agreement on the division of Poland.
1942
Actress Madeline Kahn born
1942
Actor Ian McShane born
1942
Jazz musician Jean-Luc Ponty born
1942
Steve Tesich, U.S. screenwriter and playwright who won an Academy Award for Breaking Away and also scripted such films as Eyewitness and The World According to Garp . born
1943
Adolf Hitler's book Mein Kampf is published in the United States.
1943
General Dwight D. Eisenhower and Italian Marshal Pietro Badoglio signed an armistice aboard the British ship Nelson off Malta.
1943
Lech Walesa (Nobel Peace prize-winner Polish solidarity) born
1944
Television-film composer Mike Post born
1948
TV personality Bryant Gumbel born
1948
Rock singer-musician Mark Farner (Grand Funk Railroad) born
1948
Rock musician Mike Pinera (Iron Butterfly) born
1950
General Douglas MacArthur officially returns Seoul, South Korea, to President Syngman Rhee.
1950
Country singer Alvin Crow born
1955
The Arthur Miller play "A View From the Bridge" opened at the Coronet Theatre in New York.
1956
Sebastian Coe, British athlete who won four Olympic medals and set eight world records in middle-distance running. born
1956
Singer Suzzy Roche (The Roches) born
1957
The New York Giants played their last game at the Polo Grounds, losing to the Pittsburgh Pirates, 9-to-1. (The Giants moved to San Francisco.)
1958
Actor-comedian Andrew Clay born
1960
My Three Sons was welcomed into U.S. homes on ABC-TV. Fred MacMurray, who was a movie actor, had a difficult time making the adjustment to the small screen. But adjust he did, and My Three Sons endured so well that CBS bought the successful hit for somewhere between seven and ten million dollars in 1965.
1963
Singer-musician Les Claypool born
1963
The second session of Second Vatican Council opened in Rome.
1966
Actress Jill Whelan born
1969
Rhythm-and-blues singer Devante Swing (Jodeci) born
1970
The New American Bible was published by the St. Anthony Guild Press. It represented the first English version Roman Catholic Bible to be translated from the original Biblical Greek and Hebrew languages. (The Rheims-Douai Version of 1610 had been based on Jerome's Latin Vulgate.)
1970
Actress Emily Lloyd born
1970
Actress Natasha Gregson Wagner born
1976
The 20th century British poet W.H. Auden died Vienna. His Age of Anxiety was to the 1930s what Eliot's The Waste Land had been to the 1920s.
1978
Pope John Paul the First was found dead in his Vatican apartment just over a month after becoming head of the Roman Catholic Church. He had died before midnight durning the night.
1982
Seven people in the Chicago area died after unwittingly taking Exgra-Strength Tylenol capsules laced with cyanide.
1985
The Soviet Union released Nicholas Daniloff, an American journalist confined in Moscow on spying charges.
1986
Designing Women debuted on CBS and ran until 1994.
1987
Henry Ford the Second, longtime chairman of Ford Motor Company, died in Detroit at age 70.
1988
The space shuttle Discovery blasted off from Cape Canaveral, Florida, marking America's return to manned space flight following the Challenger disaster.
1988
Florence Griffith Joyner and Jackie Joyner-Kersee of the US won their second gold medals of the Seoul Olympics, in the 200-meter and the long jump, respectively.
1990
In Washington, DC, the National Cathedral (officially, the Cathedral Church of St. Peter and St. Paul) was completed after 83 years of construction. Begun in 1907, the Gothic edifice had been used in its incomplete form since 1912.
1990
Top leaders of Congress and the Bush administration began closed-door negotiations in an attempt to reach an eleventh-hour budget agreement.
1991
California Gov. Pete Wilson vetoed a bill outlawing job discrimination against homosexuals, saying it could have led to unjustified lawsuits.
1992
Brazil's President Fernando Collor de Mello became the first Latin American leader to be impeached as lawmakers in Brazil voted overwhelmingly to impeach him.
1992
Magic Johnson, infected with the AIDS virus, announced he was returning to basketball (however, he scrapped his comeback attempt the following November).
1993
Roger Bell was the soloist at New York's Avery Fisher Hall in the world premiere of the first Violin Concerto of Nicholas Maw. Maw is the British composer who lives in Washington DC and whose "Odyssey" is the longest symphony ever recorded.
1993
Bosnia's parliament spurned an international peace plan, voting overwhelmingly to reject it unless Bosnian Serbs returned land taken by force.
1993
27th Country Music Association Award
1993
"Grace Under Fire," starring Brett Butler debuts on ABC-TV
1995
The O.J. Simpson trial was sent to the jury.
1995
Indians break 1902 Pirates record for largest lead over 2nd-place
1995
US space probe Ulyssus completes 2nd passage behind Sun
1995
California Govenor Pete Wilson abandoned his bid for the 1996 Republican presidential nomination.
1995
Three U.S. servicemen were indicted in the rape of a 12-year-old Okinawan girl and handed over to Japanese authorities.
1996
The organization that supervised Bosnia's first post-war elections officially certified the results -- with victories by nationalist parties and the country's Muslim president, Alija Izetbegovic.
1996
Nintendo 64 video game system debuts in USA (3 months after Japan)
1997
Oklahoma City bombing defendant Terry Nichols went on trial in the same courtroom in Denver where Timothy McVeigh was convicted and sentenced to die. (Nichols was later convicted of involuntary manslaughter and conspiracy, but acquitted of murder and weapons-related counts; he was sentenced to life in prison.)
1998
The Federal Reserve cut the federal funds rate a quarter-point, to 5.25 percent.
1998
Former Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley died at age 80.
1999
The Associated Press reported on the alleged mass killing of civilians by U.S. soldiers in the early days of the Korean War, beneath a bridge at a hamlet called No Gun Ri.
1999
Vice President Al Gore abruptly moved his presidential campaign headquarters from Washington to Nashville to get "out of the Beltway and into the heartland."
2005
US military to buy anthrax and bioweapons production systems
2005
MTV, Warner Music agree on licensing deal
2005
Colorado parents burn books
2005
John Roberts sworn in as Chief Justice of the United States
2005
US Treasury Department unveils new ten-dollar bill
2005
Demosphere.net launches new Wiki
2005
Arctic ice cap shrank sharply this summer
2006
Filmmaker Peter Jackson to make Xbox games
2006
5-year old American girl dies after visiting the dentist
2006
Sony plans global replacement of laptop batteries
2006
Indian Air Chief Marshal warns of impending Pakistani air superiority
2006
Ex-Liberal president declares for Toronto mayoralty
2006
Bomb kills soldier in Afghanistan
2006
Protesters block day-care centres in Denmark
2007
Rugby World Cup: England 36 - 20 Tonga
2007
Hostage situation at California high school ends peacefully
2007
Geelong wins AFL Grand Final against Port Adelaide
2007
Mead Cup Soccer Tournament Results
2007
Support strong to bring back 1980 Soviet mascot for the 2014 Olympics
2007
American Airlines MD-80 engine fire prompts emergency landing
2007
Survey: Denmark, Finland are world's least and Myanmar, Somalia are world's most corrupt countries
2007
Rugby World Cup: Scotland and Fiji qualify for quarter finals
2007
Major League Soccer: DC United vs. Toronto FC
2007
"PGR4" pre-launch in Taiwan: TOP Drivers' Derby
2007
Lawsuit: Hernandez vs IGE
2007
31 killed in Afghanistan bus bombing
2007
Creation Science Evangelism removes section of copyright controversy in Wikipedia article
2008
SpaceX rocket successfully orbits on fourth attempt
2008
US House of Representatives rejects bail out bill in vote
2008
Anti-Scientology protest material removed from YouTube following threats of legal action
2009
At least 50 killed in clashes in Guinea
2009
Murder charge dropped against US Marine who admitted killing Iraqi detainee
2009
Officials report 29 rebels killed in Yemen after clashes
2009
Typhoon Ketsana leaves over 140 dead in the Philippines after heavy flooding
2009
Apple and Orange pair up in UK iPhone deal
2010
5.9 magnitude aftershock strikes Lolol, Chile area
2010
Chef who appeared on Gordon Ramsay's 'Kitchen Nightmares' commits suicide
2012
Canberra Capitals beat Chinese women's national B basketball team in pre-season
2012
Iranian news agency reproduces The Onion article

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