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Today in History

Labor Day
1698
Russia imposes a tax on beards
1774
First Continental Congress convenes in Philadelphia
1940
Beauty pageant winner, weather announcer and actress, Raquel Welch born Jo Raquel Tejada in Chicago, Illinois
1946
Songwriter, musician and lead singer for Queen, Freddie Mercury born Farrokh Bulsara in Stone Town, Zanzibar
1950
Reuben Award winning cartoonist, Cathy Lee Guisewite born in Dayton, Ohio
1961
President John F Kennedy orders resumption of underground nuclear testing
1093
Anselm of Bec enthroned as Archbishop of Canterbury
1093
Archbishop Anselm served with a writ to answer charges by the King
1187
Louis VII [Coeur-de-Lion], King of France(1223-26) born
1198
Philips van Zwaben Hohenstaufen crowned king of Roman Catholic Germany
1316
Coronation of Pope John XXII
1319
Pedro IV, king of Aragon born
1550
William Cecil appoints himself English minister of foreign affairs
1568
Tommasso Campanella, Italian philosopher and poet, who wrote City of the Sun. born
1569
Death of Peter Bruegel, painter
1596
Dutch fleet commander Cornelis de Houtman taken hostage in Java
1600
Composer Loreto Vittori born
1622
A hurricane sinks the Spanish treasure ship "Atocha"
1622
Richelieu becomes cardinal
1638
Louis XIV, "The Sun King" of France who built the palace at Versailles. (1643-1715) born
1638
Queen Anne (of Austria) gives birth after 23 years of marriage to the King of France, to an heir to the throne: Louis XIV, "the Sun King"
1661
French superintendant of Finance Nicolas Fouquet arrested
1664
After days of negotiation, the Dutch settlement of New Amsterdam surrenders to the British, who will rename it New York.
1666
German theologist, historian and songwriter Gottfried Arnold. born
1682
Last 3 women executed for witchcraft in England
1688
Dutch poet Lukas Fencer Fight of Kings & Mice) born
1694
Composer Frantisek Antonin Mica born
1698
Russia's Peter the Great imposed a tax on beards.
1725
French King Louis XV marries Polish princess Mary Lesczynski
1734
Composer Jean-Benjamin de La Borde born
1735
Johann Sebastian Bach's youngest son, Johann Christian, was born in Leipzig. By the time he was 30, he was John Bach, the English Bach. Soon, John Bach was more important to the British musical scene than either William Boyce or Thomas Arne. born
1750
Scottish poet Robert Fergusson(Scots poems) born
1767
German poet, translator and critic, August Wilhelm Schlegel born
1774
The first Continental Congress convened in secret in Philadelphia.
1792
Robespierre is elected to the National Convention in France.
1804
In a daring night raid, American sailors under Lieutenant Stephen Decatur, board the captured USS Philadelphia and burn the ship to keep it out of the hands of the Barbary pirates who captured her.
1816
Louis XVIII of France dissolves the chamber of deputies, which has been challenging his authority.
1836
Sam Houston was elected president of the Republic of Texas.
1844
Iron ore discovered in Minnesota's Mesabi Mountains
1847
Outlaw Jesse Woodson James born
1859
Harriot E. Wilson's "Our Nig," is published, the first U.S. novel by an African American woman.
1867
The first shipment of cattle leaves Abilene, Kansas, on a Union Pacific train headed to Chicago.
1877
The great Sioux warrior Crazy Horse is fatally bayoneted at age 36 by a soldier at Fort Robinson, Nebraska.
1878
Bat Masterson, Wyatt Earp, Bill Tilghman and Clay Allison, four of the West's most famous gunmen, meet in Dodge City, Kansas.
1882
10,000 workers marched in the first Labor Day parade in New York City.
1885
1st gasoline pump is delivered to a gasoline dealer (Jake Gumper of Ft. Wayne, Indiana).
1897
Marketing research engineer A.C. Nielsen (founder of A.C. Nielsen Co.: radio and TV audience surveys) born
1902
Hollywood producer & motion picture executive Darryl F. Zanuck. born
1905
Arthur Koestler, Hungarian novelist and essayist who wrote about communism in Darkness at Noon and The Ghost in the Machine. born
1905
The Treaty of Portsmouth, ending the Russo-Japanese War, was signed in New Hampshire.
1910
Marie Curie demonstrates the transformation of radium ore to metal at the Academy of Sciences in France.
1912
Inventive composer, writer, philosopher, and artist John Cage born
1913
Serge Prokofiev was the soloist in the premiere of his own Second Piano Concerto. A critic in the St. Petersburg Gazette complained, quote, "My CAT can play like that!" Even today that's not one of Prokofiev's more popular concertos.
1914
The First Battle of the Marne began during World War One.
1921
The president of the Motion Picture Association of America, Jack Valenti. born
1927
Former Federal Reserve Board chairman Paul A. Volcker born
1929
Comedian-actor Bob Newhart born
1939
Actor William Devane born
1939
Singer John Stewart born
1939
The United States proclaimed its neutrality in World War Two.
1940
Actress Raquel Welch (some sources say 1942) born
1944
Germany launches its first V-2 missile at Paris, France.
1945
Singer Al Stewart born
1946
Actor-director Dennis Dugan born
1946
Drummer Buddy Miles born
1946
Singer Loudon Wainwright the Third born
1950
"Cathy" cartoonist Cathy Guisewite born
1951
Country musician Jamie Oldaker (The Tractors) born
1956
Johnny Cash hit the record charts running, with "I Walk The Line". Cash's debut hit song climbed to number 17 on the pop music charts.
1957
"On the Road," by "beat" author Jack Kerouac, was first published.
1958
Martin Luther King is arrested in an Alabama protest for loitering and fined $14 for refusing to obey police.
1960
Cassius Clay of Louisville, Kentucky, won the gold medal in light heavyweight boxing at the Olympic Games in Rome, Italy. Clay would later change his name to Muhammad Ali and become one of the great boxing champions in the world.
1960
Leopold Sedar Sengingor, poet and politician, is elected president of Senegal, Africa.
1966
Rhythm-and-blues singer Terry Ellis (En Vogue) born
1968
Rock musician Brad Wilk (Rage Against The Machine) born
1969
TV personality Dweezil Zappa born
1972
Terror struck the Munich Olympic games in West Germany as Arab guerrillas attacked the Israeli delegation. Eleven Israelis, five guerrillas and a police officer were killed in the siege.
1974
Actress Rose McGowan ("Scream") born
1975
President Ford escaped an attempt on his life by Lynette "Squeaky" Fromme, a disciple of Charles Manson, in Sacramento, California.
1977
West German industrialist Hanns-Martin Schleyer was kidnapped in Cologne by members of the Baader-Meinhof gang. (Schleyer was later killed by his captors.)
1977
The US launched the "Voyager One" spacecraft two weeks after launching its twin, "Voyager Two."
1978
Egyptian President Anwar Sadat, Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Beginand President Carter began a Middle East peace conference at Camp David in the Maryland mountains.
1979
An All-American from UCLA, Ann Meyers, became the first female to sign a contract with the NBA. She was cut after one week at training camp. She and baseball Hall-of-Famer Don Drysdale were later married.
1983
In a broadcast address, President Reagan denounced the Soviet Union for shooting down a Korean Air Lines Boeing 747 with 269 people aboard, and demanded the Soviets pay reparations.
1984
The space shuttle Discovery completed its maiden flight as it landed at Edwards Air Force Base in California.
1985
Violence continued near Cape Town, South Africa, where rioting against white-minority rule had spilled into white neighborhoods for the first time.
1986
Actor Andrew Ducote ("Dave's World") born
1986
Twenty-one people were killed and dozens wounded after four hijackers who had seized a Pan Am jumbo jet in Karachi, Pakistan, opened fire when the lights inside the plane failed.
1987
After 30 years on television, "American Bandstand," hosted by Dick Clark, was canceled.
1987
Some four dozen people were killed in an Israeli air raid on targets near the southern Lebanese port town of Sidon.
1987
In his weekly radio address, President Reagan urged American workers to shun protectionist legislation and "meet the competition head-on."
1988
On the campaign trail, Republican George Bush continued to link his opponent with "the liberal left," while Democrat Michael Dukakis charged that under a GOP administration, "the rich have become richer, the poor have gotten poorer."
1989
In his first nationally broadcast address from the White House, President Bush outlined a plan to fight illicit drugs, which he called the "quicksand of our entire society.""
1989
Tennis star Chris Evert retired from professional tennis after a successful 19-year career. She stepped down after losing to Zina Garrison, 7-6, 6-2 in the U.S. Open.
1990
In Moscow, Soviet President Mikhail S. Gorbachev met with Iraqi Foreign Minister Tariq Aziz.
1990
Iraqi President Saddam Hussein urged Arabs to rise up in a Holy War against the West and former allies who had turned against him.
1991
Jury selection began in Miami in the drug and racketeering trial of former Panamanian ruler Manuel Noriega.
1991
In Moscow, Soviet lawmakers approved the creation of an interim government to usher in a new confederation.
1992
A strike that had idled nearly 43,000 General Motors Corporation workers ended as members of a United Auto Workers local in Lordstown, Ohio, approved a new agreement.
1993
Seven Nigerian soldiers were killed in a militia ambush in Somalia as they went to the aid of other UN peacekeepers surrounded by a stone-throwing mob.
1994
A U.N.-sponsored population conference opened in Egypt, with Norwegian Prime Minister Gro Harlem Brundtland lashing out at the Vatican and Muslim fundamentalists by defending abortion rights and sex education.
1995
First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton, addressing the United Nations-sponsored Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing, declared it was "time to break the silence" about the abuse of women.
1995
O.J. Simpson jurors heard testimony that police detective Mark Fuhrman had uttered a racist slur, and advocated the killing of blacks.
1995
France ended its three-year moratorium on nuclear tests, setting off an underground blast on a South Pacific atoll.
1996
Russian President Boris Yeltsin acknowledged he had serious health problems, and would undergo heart surgery.
1996
Hurricane "Fran" slammed into the Carolinas.
1997
Conductor Sir Georg Solti died in France at age 84.
1997
Eleven Israeli soldiers were killed during a commando raid into Lebanon.
1997
Mother Teresa died in Calcutta, India, at age 87.
1997
Britain's Queen Elizabeth the Second broke the royal reticence over Princess Diana's death, calling her "a remarkable person" in a televised address.
1998
Relatives of the 229 people who died in the crash of Swissair Flight 111 sent wreaths into the sea off Nova Scotia.
1998
The Million Youth March in New York City ended with a clash between police and the crowd.
1998
President Clinton appealed to the people of Ireland never to allow "the enemies of peace to break your will" as he wrapped up a three-day visit.
1999
Hundreds of Islamic insurgents launched a new offensive in southern Russia, hours after a bomb smashed a building housing Russian military families; the blast was the first of four apartment building explosions blamed by Russian officials on Chechen rebels that killed a total of about 300 people.
1999
The Houston Comets won their third straight WNBA championship, beating the New York Liberty, 59-47.
1999
"Candid Camera" creator Allen Funt died in Pebble Beach, Calif., at age 84.
2005
Australian Health minister makes inappropriate comments about Brogden suicide attempt
2005
Jetliner crashes in Indonesia
2005
Brazilian Vote Buying parliamentary commission present first joint preliminary report
2005
Court rules in favour of record labels, Kazaa found illegal
2005
Islamic political party seeks registration in Australia
2005
Second Paris fire kills 16 in 18-story building
2005
Canada increases oil production to assist U.S.
2005
7 British paratroopers accused of murder begin trial
2005
U.S. classifies record number of documents in 2004
2005
Japan weathers Typhoon Nabi
2005
China, EU reach deal on textile import
2005
At least 200 New Orleans police officers quit force
2005
11 Japanese hospitals receive bomb threats
2005
President Bush nominates John Roberts as Chief Justice of the U.S.
2005
Green Beret tech blogs up-close and personal from New Orleans
2005
Vladimir Putin dismisses head of Russian Navy Admiral Vladimir Kuroyedov
2005
Tsunami nations give relief advice to U.S.
2006
New Zealand woman survives being run over by train
2006
Smart-1 probe ends mission with planned crash into the Moon
2006
Violence continues in Baghdad, suspected al-Quaeda leader arrested
2006
Liberal leadership hopeful Ken Dryden outlines vision for Canada
2006
President of Iran warns universities to stay out of politics
2006
Pentagon report to Congress mentions "conditions that could lead to civil war" in Iraq
2007
Toy maker Mattel recalls more products
2007
New Zealand's anti-spam legislation kicks in – exclusive report
2007
Apple announces new iPod range
2007
German police arrest three in imminent terrorist plot
2007
Ohio congressman dies in apartment
2007
Search for Steve Fossett continues
2007
Felix leaves at least 21 dead in Nicaragua
2007
Proton rocket fails during launch of JCSAT-11 satellite
2007
Forensic results forthcoming in Madeleine McCann case
2007
Source of UK foot-and-mouth outbreak discovered
2007
Mosquitoes test positive for West Nile virus in Rhode Island
2007
British student walks free, after putting feet on trainseat
2007
Opera singer Pavarotti in serious condition
2007
FOX News fares poorly in investigation of media edits to Wikipedia
2007
Cricket: India defeat England in sixth one-day international
2008
Record number of viewers watched McCain's acceptance speech
2008
Much of UK placed on flood alert by Met Office
2008
Françoise Demulder, French war photographer, dies age 61
2009
Ex-US soldier sentenced to life in prison for Iraqi teen rape, four murders
2009
Renault charged with Formula One race fixing
2009
Torrential downpours cause significant flooding in northeastern Scotland
2009
Sophie Reade wins UK's Big Brother series 10
2009
Amazon dips into memory hole to retrieve Orwellian works
2009
At least 15 die after boat sinks in Macedonian lake
2009
Australian rules football: Victorian Football League to be broadcast live around Australia in HD
2010
Two dead after two light aircraft crash in Isle of Wight, England
2010
Four British energy suppliers face investigation into claims of misselling
2011
WikiLeaks: Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati sent jet to collect shoes
2011
Proms performance by Israel Philharmonic Orchestra disrupted
2012
Magnitude 7.6 earthquake strikes Costa Rican coast, tsunami warnings issued
2012
Gliders move into the medal round with victory over Mexico
2012
Release and pardon of killer jeopardises Armenia-Azerbaijan ceasefire
2012
Brazil defeats China in 5-a-side football in group play at London Paralympics
2012
Hungarian Richard Osvath defeats Damien Tokatlian of France for wheelchair fencing bronze
2012
Effect of sanctions 'like war' says Iran's Ahmadinejad
2012
Poland's Makowska takes category B wheelchair fencing bronze at the London Paralympics
2012
Frenchman takes bronze in wheelchair fencing individual foil category B at London Paralympics
2012
Hungarian Zsuzsanna Krajnyak defeats compatriot Veronika Juhasz, taking wheelchair fencing bronze
2012
Internet hackers attack Al-Jazeera website, condemn news service's Syrian civil war coverage
2012
Greece defeats Portugal in boccia match at 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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