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Today in History

1822
Independence Day in Brasil
1860
Self taught artist, Grandma Moses born Anna Mary Moses in Greenwich, New York
1934
WC Handy Award winning guitarist and singer, Milton "Little Milton" Campbell, Jr born in Inverness, Mississippi
1936
Rock & Roll legend Buddy Holly born Charles Hardin Holley in Lubbock, Texas
1940
Nazi Germany begins first of 57 consecutive nights of bombing London
1942
8,700 Ukrainian Jews sent by Gestapo to death camp in Belzec
1949
Grammy Award winning singer Gloria Gaynor born in Newark, New Jersey
69
Conquest of Jerusalem by Titus
1151
Death of Geoffrey Plantagenet
1159
Ottaviano de Montecello elected as anti-Pope
1298
Marco Polo captured by Genoese, at Curzola
1303
Pope Boniface VIII seized by agents of Phillip, "the Fair," King of France
1312
Death of Ferdinand IV, King of Castile
1471
Frederik I, king of Denmark and Norway (1523-33) born
1493
Death of Frederick IV, Holy Roman Emperor
1496
Death of Ferdinand II, King of Naples
1497
Sailor Perkin Warbeck becomes English King Richard IV
1502
Amerigo Vespucci returns to Lisbon, Portugal
1533
England's Queen Elizabeth the First was born in Greenwich. She was the daughter of English king Henry VIII & Anna Boleyn. born
1548
Death of Catherine Parr, widow of Henry VIII, King of England
1574
Death of Pedro Menendez de Aviles, founder of St. Augustine, Florida
1630
Boston, Massachusetts, founded and named
1631
Composer Clemens Thieme born
1635
Composer Pal Esterhazy born
1644
Death of Cardinal Guido Bentivoglio
1664
The Dutch governor of New Netherlands--Peter Stuyvesant--surrenders the colony to an English naval force under Colonel Richard Nicolls. The English rename the colony New York.
1703
Composer Jean Monnet, composer born
1707
Writer on natural history George-Louis Leclerc, comte de Buffon born
1737
Italian anatomist and physicist Luigi Galvani born
1741
The London Daily Post reported erroneously that Handel's star singer Francesca Cuzzoni was about to be sentenced to death by beheading for poisoning her husband.
1756
Dutch poet and writer Willem Bilderdijk (Disease of Scientists) born
1778
Shawnee Indians attack and lay siege to Boonesborough, Kentucky.
1813
The earliest known printed reference to the United States by the nickname "Uncle Sam" occurs in the Troy Post.
1819
A cellist who inspired a famous musical witticism died. Jean-Louis Duport and his big stringed instrument prompted Voltaire to say: "You'll force me to believe in miracles when I see that you can turn an ox into a nightingale."
1822
Brazil declared its independence from Portugal.
1829
August Kekule von Stradonitz, discovered structure of benzene ring born
1860
American primitive painter Grandma Moses born
1867
Financier J. Pierpont Morgan Jr. born
1876
The James and Younger gang botches an attempt to rob the First National Bank of Northfield, Minn.
1888
An incubator is used for the first time on a premature infant. Edith Eleanor McLean became the first baby to be placed in an incubator. She weighed 2 pounds, 7 ounces.
1892
James J. Corbett knocked out John L. Sullivan in the 21st round to win the world heavyweight crown in New Orleans in the first major prize fight that called for the use of boxing gloves under the "Queensberry" rules.
1896
A.H. Whiting won the first automobile race ever held on a racetrack this day. A crowd of 40,000 people watched Whiting tear around the track at 24 miles per hour in Cranston, RI.
1900
Author Taylor Caldwell (Dear and Glorious Physician) born
1901
The Peace of Beijing ended the Boxer Rebellion in China.
1908
Paul Brown, coach of Cleveland Browns (1946-62) born
1908
Heart surgeon Dr. Michael DeBakey born
1909
Producer-director Elia Kazan born
1912
French aviator Roland Garros sets altitude record of 13,200 feet.
1913
Actor Sir Anthony Quayle (The Bourne Identity, The Eagle Has Landed, MacKenna's Gold, The Guns of Navarone) born
1914
James Van Allen, discovered Van Allen radiation belts. born
1921
The first Miss America Pageant was held at Atlantic City, New Jersey. The contest was a promotion to keep tourists in the resort town after the Labor Day holiday. Miss Washington, D.C. won the contest and received a golden statue of a mermaid as her prize! She was 16-year-old Margaret Gorman. Miss Gorman was 5'1 with blonde hair, blue eyes, weighing 108 pounds and her vital stats were 30-25-32.
1921
Pianist Arthur Ferrante born
1922
The British composer Arthur Bliss conducted the premiere of his own "Colour Symphony" with movements called purple, red, blue and green.
1923
Actor Peter Lawford (Rosebud, Ocean's 11, Mrs. Miniver, The Longest Day, Exodus, The Oscar, Harlow) born
1927
American television pioneer Philo T. Farnsworth, 21, succeeded in transmitting an image through purely electronic means by using a device called an "image dissector."
1928
Basketball Hall-of-Famer Al McGuire was born. He was the winningest coach ever at Marquette University in Milwaukee with a 295-80 record. born
1930
Jazz musician Sonny Rollins born
1934
Blues singer Little Milton born
1936
Rock legend Buddy Holly was born Charles Hardin Holley in Lubbock,Texas. His last name was misspelled on his first recording contract, and he left it that way.
1937
Actor John Philip Law born
1940
Nazi Germany began its initial "blitz" on London during World War Two.
1942
Actor Richard Roundtree (Christmas in Connecticut, Shaft, Young Warriors, Earthquake, A Time to Die, Miami Cops) born
1946
Singer Alfa Anderson (Chic) born
1949
Singer Gloria Gaynor born
1951
Actress Julie Kavner born
1951
Rock singer Chrissie Hynde (The Pretenders) born
1954
Rock musician Benmont Tench (Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers) born
1954
Actor Corbin Bernsen born
1956
Pianist Michael Feinstein born
1957
Singer Margot Chapman (formerly Starland Vocal Band) born
1963
The National Professional Football Hall of Fame was dedicated in Canton, Ohio. (I've always lived in or near Canton. I marched in the HOF Parade several times - never yet been to the Hall of Fame.)
1966
The final episode of the original The Dick Van Dyke Show was seen on CBS-TV
1969
Senate Republican leader Everett M. Dirksen died in Washington DC.
1970
Rock musician Chad Sexton (311) born
1977
Convicted Watergate conspirator G. Gordon Liddy was released from prison after more than four years.
1977
The Panama Canal treaties, calling for the US to eventually turn over control of the waterway to Panama, were signed in Washington.
1978
Actor Devon Sawa born
1979
The Entertainment and Sports Programming Network (ESPN) made its cable TV debut.
1985
President Reagan threatened to retaliate against Japan and the European Common Market for unfair trading practices.
1985
Hana Mandlikova upset Martina Navratilova to win the women's title of the U.S. Open.
1986
Desmond Tutu was installed as the Anglican archbishop of Cape Town, becoming the first black titular head of South Africa's fourth-largest Christian church.
1986
President Augusto Pinochet survived an attempt on his life by leftist guerrillas.
1987
Erich Honecker became the first East German head of state to visit West Germany as he arrived for a five-day visit.
1987
The Reverend Jesse Jackson declared his candidacy for the Democratic presidential nomination.
1988
Vice President George Bush startled an American Legion audience in Louisville, Kentucky, by referring to September seventh as "Pearl Harbor Day," which is actually December seventh. (Realizing his mistake, Bush said, "Did I say September seventh? Sorry about that.")
1989
The Senate approved, 76-8, legislation prohibiting discrimination against the handicapped in employment, public accommodations, transportation and communications.
1990
Kimberly Bergalis of Fort Pierce, Florida, publicly identified herself as the AIDS patient who apparently had apparently been infected by her late dentist. (She died the following year at age 23.)
1990
President Bush left for his one-day Finland summit with Soviet President Mikhail S. Gorbachev.
1991
Monica Seles won the U.S. Open in New York, defeating Martina Navratilova 7-6, 6-1.
1991
The European Community opened a peace conference in the Netherlands aimed at bringing peace to Yugoslavia.
1992
Troops in South Africa fired on African National Congress supporters near the Transkei homeland, killing 28 and wounding 200.
1992
Baseball Commissioner Fay Vincent resigned, four days after a no-confidence vote by club owners.
1993
President Clinton put forth an ambitious plan to "reinvent government" by reducing the federal bureaucracy.
1993
Dr. Joycelyn Elders was confirmed by the Senate to be surgeon general.
1993
Two white laborers were convicted in West Palm Beach, Florida, of burning a black tourist from New York; both were later sentenced to life in prison.
1994
U.S. Marines assigned to a potential Haiti invasion force began training on a Puerto Rican island amid talk in Washington of a U.S.-led intervention.
1994
After a brief meeting, the United States and Cuba temporarily suspended talks on stemming the Cuban refugee exodus.
1995
After 27 years in the Senate, Bob Packwood, R-Ore., announced he would resign, heading off a vote by colleagues to expel him for allegations of sexual and official misconduct.
1995
The space shuttle Endeavour thundered into orbit with five astronauts on a mission to release and recapture a pair of science satellites.
1996
Isabel Correa became the 40th person known to have died in the presence of Dr. Jack Kevorkian, less than a day after police burst into a Michigan motel room, interrupting a meeting between Kevorkian and Correa.
1996
Rapper Tupac Shakur was shot and mortally wounded on the Las Vegas Strip; he died six days later.
1997
Mobutu Sese Seko, the former dictator of Zaire, died in exile in Morocco at age 66.
1998
Russian lawmakers rejected Boris Yeltsin's candidate for prime minister, Viktor Chernomyrdin, for a second time, throwing the country into even deeper political turmoil
1998
St. Louis Cardinal Mark McGwire equaled Roger Maris' single-season home run record as he hit number 61 during a game against the Chicago Cubs.
1999
Indonesia imposed martial law in East Timor, promising to crack down on rampaging pro-Indonesian militias after the territory's vote for independence.
1999
It was announced that Viacom Inc. was buying CBS Corp. for $36 billion -- the richest media merger in history.
1999
An earthquake in Athens, Greece, claimed 143 lives.
2005
Palestinian gunmen assassinate ex-security chief
2005
Massachusetts to set up "village" for Katrina evacs
2005
Astronomers find changes in Saturn's rings
2005
Chopper knocks Austrian gondola off cables, killing nine
2005
New Orleans DirectNIC Offices, 'Outpost Crystal' visited by 82nd Airborne
2005
Celebrities contribute to Katrina relief
2005
Australian PM Howard under fire over AU$1.40/L pump prices
2005
Tunisian ATR-72 plane crash on 6 August caused by incorrect fuel gauge
2005
Australia's ABC head Levy leaves for "Channel Nine"
2005
Award show producers try Emmy Idol
2005
Apple unveils iPod nano
2005
Colleges offering admission to displaced New Orleans graduate students
2005
US carrier Delta Air Lines cuts jobs, sells planes
2005
UN holding recruitment exams in under-represented countries
2005
Wikimedia Commons celebrates first anniversary
2005
Farmers block main road in South Italy
2005
Haiti reschedules November presidential elections
2005
US Department of Defense reports Iraqi Al Qaeda "safe house" hit
2005
U.S. state of Utah begins to accept evacuees from Hurricane Katrina
2006
STS-115 launch delayed
2006
Four more members of the Bali Nine to face death penalty
2006
New Zealand state house worth $2 million
2006
Blair will quit as British PM within a year
2006
Germany, India sign defence accord
2006
Disney Adventures magazine to take on India
2006
MySpace to take on iTunes
2006
Mary Harney resigns as leader of the Progressive Democrats
2006
NASA delays launch of Atlantis
2006
Toronto International Film Festival starts tonight
2006
New al-Qaeda video shows Osama bin Laden meeting with 9/11 hijackers
2006
Six Apart acquires Rojo
2006
17 terrorism suspects arrested in Belgium
2006
Officers and immigrants injured in Canary Isles revolt
2006
Canada's Afghan mission in question
2006
US talk show: Daily Guinness attempts to return on talk show Live with Regis and Kelly
2007
Australian comedians "could have been shot" during APEC prank
2007
Romanian sergeant killed in Afghanistan by makeshift landmine
2007
Syria fires on Israeli fighter planes
2007
Osama bin Laden to release message to US on six year anniversary of 9/11
2007
Rugby World Cup: Argentina shock France in tournament opener
2007
Heavy turbulence during WestJet flight injures nine people
2008
Poland wins the Eurovision Dance Contest
2008
Paralympic highlights: September 7, 2008
2008
UN scientist: Eat less meat to tackle climate change
2008
Papua New Guinea wins Australian rules football International Cup
2008
'Invitational Games for the Deaf, Taipei 2008' Day 2 features martial art events
2008
Asif Ali Zardari elected as President of Pakistan
2008
Early Canadian federal election set for October 14
2009
Sir Terry Wogan announces his departure from BBC Radio 2 breakfast show
2009
Suicide car bomber kills seven in Iraq
2009
Three men convicted by UK court of plotting to bomb airliners
2009
Japan pledges 25% cut in greenhouse gas emissions by 2020
2009
Chris Moyles breaks record for longest running breakfast show on BBC Radio 1
2010
U2 walks over the Bosphorus Bridge before concert
2010
Indian nuclear scientist Homi Sethna dies aged 86
2010
Basque separatist group ETA declares ceasefire
2010
Little Rock Nine member Jefferson Thomas dies aged 67
2010
Resignation of JetBlue flight attendant Steven Slater announced
2011
Bomb blast in Delhi kills 12, injures 62
2011
Drought conditions and high winds lead to wildfires in Texas
2012
Sandra Fluke featured speaker at Democratic National Convention

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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