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Today in History

1886
Geronimo surrenders to General Nelson Miles at Skeleton Canyon, Arizona
1918
Medal of Freedom recipient and radio broadcaster, Paul Harvey born in Tulsa, Oklahoma
1928
Radio, stage, and television actor, Dick York born in Fort Wayne, Indiana
1931
Dancer, singer and actress Mitzi Gaynor born Francesca Marlene de Czanyi von Gerber in Chicago, Illinois
1956
IBM RAMAC 305, first commercial computer to use magnetic disk storage, introduced
1957
Ford introduces the Edsel
2006
'Crocodlile Hunter' Steve Irwin killed by a stingray at the Great Barrier Reef
422
Death of St. Boniface, Pope
476
End of the Reign of Romulus Augustulus, last Roman Emperor of the West
1024
Conrad II the Sailor chosen German king
1187
Ascalon falls to Saladin
1241
Alexander III, King of Scotland. born
1249
Amadeus V de Great, count of Flanders and Savoy born
1260
At the Battle of Montaperto, Tuscan Ghibellines loyal to the emperor defeat the Florentine Guelfs who support papal power.
1383
Amadeus VIII, duke of Savoye and the last antipope (Felix V (1439-48)) born
1479
After four years of war, Spain agrees to allow a Portuguese monopoly of trade along Africa's west coast and Portugal acknowledges Spain's rights in the Canary Islands.
1561
Mary Stuart holds her first interview with John Knox
1567
Elizabeth I, Queen of England, grants a patent for glass-making to two Flemish merchants in England.
1596
Constantijn Huygens, diplomat, musician, poet, scientist (Delightful Folly) born
1609
Navigator Henry Hudson discovered the island of Manhattan.
1618
In Chiavenna, Italy "Rodi" avalanche destroys Plurs Switzerland, 2,400 are killed.
1622
Composer Jacob Hintze born
1645
The first Lutheran church building erected in America was dedicated at Easton (near Bethlehem), Pennsylvania.
1666
Great fire of London destroys St. Paul's Cathedral
1682
English astronomer Edmund Halley discovers his namesake comet
1736
Robert Raikes, Sunday school pioneer born
1768
French novelist and politician Francois Rene de Chateaubriand (French writer and chef who gave his name to a style of steak). born
1781
Los Angeles was founded by Spanish settlers (in the Valley of Smokes as called by the Native Americans).
1787
Louis XVI of France recalls parliament.
1790
Jacques Necker is forced to resign as finance minister in France.
1802
Marcus Whitman, American Presbyterian and pioneer medical missionary. In 1836 his family became the first whites to reach the Pacific coast by wagon train. Whitman and his wife Narcissa were murdered by the Cayuse Indians in present-day Washington state in 1847.
1803
Sarah Childress Polk, 1st lady (1845-1849) born
1807
Robert Fulton begins operating his steamboat
1810
US naval architect Donald McKay. He built fastest clipper ships born
1813
"The Religious Remembrancer" (later renamed "The Christian Observer") was first published in Philadelphia. It was the first weekly religious newspaper in the U.S., and in the world.
1820
Czar Alexander declares that Russian influence in North America extends as far south as Oregon and closes Alaskan waters to foreigners.
1824
Anton Bruckner was born outside of the Austrian city of Linz. In 1865, Wagner let Bruckner conduct the Linz Choral Society in the first public performance of the final scene from "Der Meistersinger." Today Bruckner's music is securely in the repertory. born
1824
American poet Phoebe Cary (Poems of Alice & Phoebe Cary) born
1846
Architect Daniel Burnham, builder of skyscrapers born
1847
Anglican clergyman Henry Francis Lyte, 54, suffering from asthma and consumption, penned the words to his hymn, "Abide With Me," before preaching his last sermon in Devonshire, England. (Lyte died 2-1/2 months later.)
1851
Irish nationalist and British John Dillon, Lower house member born
1853
Hermann von Wissmann, German explorer of Africa and governor of East-Africa born
1859
Composer Edoardo Mascheroni born
1862
Robert E. Lee's Confederate army invades Maryland, starting the Antietam Campaign. This begins his invasion of the with 50,000 Confederate troops.
1864
Bread riots in Mobile, Alabama.
1869
Frisian theologist and writer Geert A D Wumkes, (Frision Movement) born
1870
A republic is proclaimed in Paris and a government of national defense is formed.
1881
The Edison electric lighting system goes into operation as a generator serving 85 paying customers is switched on.
1886
Elusive Apache leader Geronimo surrenders to General Nelson A. Miles at Skeleton Canyon, Arizona.
1888
George Eastman received a patent for his roll-film camera, and registered his trademark: "Kodak."
1892
Composer Darius Milhaud born
1894
Some 12,000 tailors in New York City went on strike to protest the existence of sweatshops.
1905
Mary Renault (Mary Challans), author who wrote about her wartime experiences in The Last of the Wine and The King Must Die born
1906
Composer Nicolai Rimsky-Korsakov completed his autobiography.
1908
Novelist and essayist Richard Wright (wrote about the abuses of blacks in white society, best known for Native Son). born
1915
The U.S. military places Haiti under martial law to quell a rebellion in Port-au-Prince.
1917
The American expeditionary force in France suffered its first fatalities in World War One.
1917
Henry Ford II (industrialist Co.[1940s-80s]) born
1918
ABC Radio commentator Paul Harvey born
1919
Actor-comedian Howard Morris born
1920
Cooking expert Craig Claiborne born
1920
Maggie Higgins, the first woman to win the Pulitzer Prize (1951) for international reporting, for her work in Korean war zones. born
1931
Actress Mitzi Gaynor born
1941
William Grant Still's "Old California" premiered on the Mutual Broadcasting System.
1941
German submarine U-652 fires at the U.S. destroyer Greer off Iceland, beginning an undeclared shooting war.
1942
Singer Merald "Bubba" Knight (Gladys Knight & The Pips) born
1942
Soviet planes bomb Budapest in the war's first air raid on the Hungarian capital.
1943
Allied troops capture Lae-Salamaua, in New Guinea. When Fred Avey joined "Pappy" Boyington's flock, he found himself among a pack of wolves in Black Sheep's clothing.
1944
Actress Jennifer Salt born
1944
British troops liberate Antwerp, Belgium.
1945
The American flag is raised on Wake Island after surrender ceremonies there.
1948
Queen Wilhelmina abdicated the Dutch throne for health reasons.
1949
Golfer Tom Watson born
1950
Rhythm-and-blues musician Ronald LaPread (The Commodores) born
1951
In the first live, coast-to-coast television broadcast, President Truman addressed the nation from the Japanese peace treaty conference in San Francisco. It is carried by 94 stations.
1951
Actress Judith Ivey born
1952
Rock musician Martin Chambers (The Pretenders) born
1954
The first passage of the fabled Northwest Passage was completed by ice breakers from the U.S. Navy and Coast Guard.
1957
Ford Motor Company began selling its ill-fated Edsel, which proved so unpopular, it was taken off the market in 1959.
1957
Arkansas Governor Orval Faubus called out the National Guard to prevent nine black students from entering Central High School in Little Rock.
1960
Actor-comedian Damon Wayans born
1960
Rock musician Kim Thayil (formerly of Soundgarden) born
1964
The TV sitcom "Gilligan's Island" premiered on CBS.
1965
Albert Schweitzer died in Lambarene.
1967
Michigan Governor George Romney told a TV interview he'd undergone a "brainwashing" by US officials during a 1965 visit to Vietnam -- a comment that apparantly damaged Romney's bid for the Republican presidential nomination.
1971
Actress Ione Skye born
1971
An Alaska Airlines jet crashed near Juneau, killing 111 people.
1972
US swimmer Mark Spitz won a record seventh Olympic gold medal, in the 400-meter relay at the Munich Summer Olympics.
1973
Hip-hop singer JeLana LaFleur (Quad City DJ's) born
1973
The Assemblies of God opened its first theological graduate school in Springfield, MO, making it the second Pentecostal denomination to establish its own school of theology. (The first such school was opened by Oral Roberts in Tulsa.)
1978
Actor Wes Bentley born
1982
Twenty-five people were killed when an arson fire engulfed the 55-year-old Dorothy Mae Apartment-Hotel building on Sunset Blvd. in Los Angeles.
1983
U.S. officials acknowledged an American reconnaissance plane had been in the vicinity of a Korean Air Lines Boeing 747 that was shot down by the Soviet union, leading to speculation the Soviets had confused the two.
1984
Canada's Progressive Conservatives, led by Brian Mulroney, won a landslide victory in general elections over the Liberal Party of Prime Minister John N. Turner.
1986
Security forces in South Africa halted a mass funeral for riot victims in Soweto, then swept through the streets, breaking up other services and battling gatherings of youths.
1987
A Soviet court convicted West German pilot Mathias Rust of charges stemming from his daring flight to Moscow's Red Square, and sentenced him to four years in a labor camp. (Rust was released the following August.)
1988
Officials in Bangladesh reported that floods had inundated three-quarters of their impoverished nation, claiming 882 or more lives.
1989
The Air Force launched its last Titan Three rocket, which reportedly carried a reconnaissance satellite. Since 1964, the Titan Three had sent more than 200 satellites into space.
1990
The air evacuation of Western women and children stranded in Iraq and Kuwait resumed, with 25 Americans among the nearly 300 who made it to Jordan.
1991
South African President F.W. de Klerk proposed a new constitution that would allow blacks to vote and govern; the African National Congress rejected the plan, charging it was designed to maintain white privileges.
1992
The government reported the nation's unemployment rate had edged down to 7.6 percent in August 1992, but also said adult joblessness had worsened slightly and the economy had lost thousands of crucial manufacturing jobs.
1993
The Fatah faction of the PLO endorsed a peace accord with Israel.
1993
Actor Herve Villechaize died in Los Angeles at age 50.
1993
Baseball pitcher Jim Abbott, born without a right hand, pitched a no-hitter. The New York Yankees beat the Cleveland Indians 4-0. This was the first no-hitter for the Yankees in 10 years.
1993
Pope John Paul the Second launched the first papal visit to the former Soviet Union as he began a tour of the Baltic republics.
1994
On the eve of a U.N.-sponsored conference on population in Cairo, Egypt, Vice President Al Gore told NBC the United States was seeking a blueprint for world population growth that rejected abortion as a family planning tool and an international right.
1995
The Fourth World Conference on Women opened in Beijing with more than 4,750 delegates from 181 countries participating.
1995
Attorney William Kunstler, who spoke out for the politically unpopular in a controversial career, died in New York at age 76.
1996
Anti-aircraft fire lit up the skies of Baghdad, hours after the United States fired a new round of cruise missiles into southern Iraq and destroyed an Iraqi radar site.
1996
Whitewater prosecutors had Susan McDougal held in contempt for refusing to tell a grand jury whether President Clinton had lied at her trial.
1997
A triple suicide bombing in the heart of Jerusalem claimed the lives of eight people, including the three assailants. The event was carried out against innocent civilians. Palestinian Hamas claimed responsibility and identified all three suicide bombers.
1997
A trio of Buddhist nuns acknowledged in Senate testimony that their temple outside Los Angeles illegally reimbursed donors after a fund-raiser attended by Vice President Al Gore and later destroyed or altered records to avoid embarrassment.
1998
During a visit to Ireland, President Clinton said "I'm sorry" for the first time about his affair with Monica Lewinsky, describing his behavior as indefensible.
1999
Anti-independence militias in East Timor went on a rampage, hours after the United Nations announced that residents had overwhelmingly voted for independence from Indonesia.
1999
Martin Frankel, a Connecticut money manager accused of cheating insurance companies in five states out of more than $200 million dollars, was arrested in Germany.
1999
Prime Minister Ehud Barak of Israel and Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat signed a breakthrough land-for-security agreement during a ceremony in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt.
2005
California's SB 1 Bill Originators' and Supporters Turn Against Bill
2005
Oil spill spotted along Mississippi River
2005
Childhood ibuprofen-triggered asthma a concern
2005
Tempers flare over New Orleans tragedy
2005
India struggles with encephalitis outbreak
2005
Controversy over whether New Orleans Mayor failed to follow hurricane plan
2005
Israelis, Pakistanis watch and wait as ties develop
2005
PayPal freezes $20k in hurricane relief donations
2005
Australia hits new Telstra privatization hurdles
2005
Hurricane Maria forms in Atlantic
2005
Kuwait donates US$500 million to Katrina relief efforts
2005
EU, China fail to agree on textile trade
2005
TV debate between German chancellor Schröder and opposition leader Merkel held
2005
Former US VP Al Gore spearheads transport of hurricane victims to relief in home state
2005
Police shoot eight gunmen on New Orleans bridge, five dead
2006
Over 1000 illegal immigrants arrived at Canary Isles this weekend
2006
American tennis player Andre Agassi retires
2006
Former South African apartheid regime's police minister repents
2006
Israel offers peace treaty with Lebanon
2006
Gunman kills and injures tourists in Jordanian capital
2006
Bomb attack in Iraq kills two British soldiers
2006
Suicide bomber kills British soldier in Afghanistan
2006
Chicago apartment fire kills six children
2006
New Zealand recycles old computers for free
2006
Kofi Annan to appoint secret mediator for Israeli soldier release negotiations
2006
Tropical Depression Six Shows Signs of Organization
2006
Russian President Putin visits Greece to discuss energy issues
2006
Turkey - Two more killed in PKK-related bombings
2006
EU and Iranian leaders to meet over nuclear row
2006
Two-thousand traffic fines laid in Ontario this weekend
2006
Somalia - Peace deal signed to unite government and Islamists
2006
India's Enforcement Directorate issues notice to Natwar Singh
2006
Sri Lankan government announces first significant gain into rebel-held territory
2006
Canadian soldiers killed, wounded by U.S. A-10 Thunderbolts' "friendly fire"
2006
Crocodile Hunter's Steve Irwin dies at 44
2006
Egypt - Rail accident claims five lives
2007
Belgian justice prosecutes Scientology
2007
Woman suffers heart attack at cardiology summit
2007
Band manager Daniel Biechele shown parole support by families of victims of the Station nightclub fire
2007
Adventurer Steve Fossett missing
2007
Large scale gene transfer between single-celled and multicellular organisms reported
2007
Police discover five bodies in Victoria, Canada home
2007
Hurricane Felix makes landfall in Nicaragua
2007
Hualien warm-up of ING Taipei Marathon kicked off
2008
Sony recalls 440,000 laptops due to wiring faults
2008
Dow falls 340 points amid unemployment and retail sales rates news
2008
Pre-election call in Canada, Conservatives start ads, including during kids TV
2008
Google removes ownership claim from Chrome EULA
2008
Tropical Storm Ike upgraded to hurricane status
2008
Fear and loathing on the campaign trail, August 2008
2009
US unemployment rate highest in 26 years
2009
Thousands displaced after heavy flooding in Burkina Faso
2009
Author and playwright Keith Waterhouse dies at 80
2009
Teenagers "wanted to blow up school on anniversary of Columbine massacre"
2010
Rodrigo Ortúzar announces plans to dramatize Chilean miners' stories
2010
GMTV ends broadcasting in UK after 17 years
2010
Cargo plane crashes in Dubai, two dead
2011
Retired Russian policeman charged in journalist Anna Politkovskaya’s murder
2011
Military plane crashes in Chilean Juan Fernández Archipelago; reports say no survivors
2012
Australia women's national goalball team loses 0-3 to United States in pool play in London
2012
Argentina loses to Iran at 7-a-side football in pool play at the London Paralympics

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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