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Today in History

1504
Michelangelo's David unveiled in Florence
1922
Emmy Award winning actor and comedian, Sid Caesar born in Yonkers, New York
1925
RAF airman, radio performer and comedic actor, Peter Sellers born in Portsmouth, England
1932
Country Music Hall of Fame singer, Patsy Cline born in Winchester, Virginia
1944
London hit by German V2 rocket
1957
Actress and screenwriter, Heather Thomas born in Greenwich, Connecticut
1960
Marshall Space Flight Center dedicated
1966
Star Trek debuts on NBC
1974
Gerald R. Ford pardons Richard M. Nixon
1100
Clement III, 1st Anti-Pope, dies
1157
England's King Richard I, "Richard the Lion Hearted" born
1198
Coronation of Philip, King of Germany
1207
Sancho II, king of Portugal born
1227
Frederick II, Holy Roman Emperor, sails on 5th Crusade
1380
Bernardinus of Siena, Italian saint born
1425
Death of King Charles III "the Noble," King of Navarre
1429
Joan of Arc wounded in battle
1474
Poet Ludovico Ariosto, (Orlando Furioso) born
1504
Michaelangelo's "David" first shown
1522
Spanish navigator Juan de Elcano returned to Spain, completing the first circumnavigation of the globe with an expedition that began under Ferdinand Magellan.
1529
The Ottoman Sultan Suleiman re-enters Buda and establishes John Zapolyai as the puppet king of Hungary.
1552
Dr. Ridley, Bishop of London, Protestant, offers to preach before Lady Mary, Catholic, (later Queen of England)
1565
A Spanish expedition established the first permanent European settlement in North America at present-day St. Augustine, Florida. The settlement was established by Spanish admiral, Pedro Menendez de Aviles.
1565
Turkish siege of Malta broken by Maltese & Knights of St. John
1588
Marin Mersenne, mathematician, musician born
1592
Peter Styvesant born
1628
John Endecott arrives with colonists at Salem, Massachusetts, where he will become the governor.
1636
Founding of Harvard College
1664
The Dutch surrendered New Amsterdam to the British, who renamed it New York.
1760
The French surrender the city of Montreal to the British.
1841
Antonin Dvorak was born in a village on the Vlatava (the Moldau) not too far from Prague. Dvorak played and taught, composing in his spare time, until his thirties, when Brahms discovered him and he became famous. born
1866
James and Jennie Bushnell became the proud parents of sextuplets, in Chicago, IL. Three boys and three girls were born. Though two babies died, the surviving four lived long lives. This was the first recorded birth of sextuplets.
1866
Siegfried Sassoon, British author and poet famous for his anti-war writing about World War I born
1873
Stage and film director Max Reinhardt born
1889
Robert A. Taft, U.S. Senator from Ohio who unsuccessfully sought the presidential nomination in 1952 born
1892
A early version of "The Pledge of Allegiance" appeared in "The Youth's Companion." It was written by a former Baptist preacher, Francis Bellamy. It only took Mr. Bellamy three hours to write the original 23 words in honor of the 400th anniversary of Columbus discovering America.
1897
Country music pioneer Jimmie Rodgers, "The Singing Brakeman" born
1900
More than 6,000 people were killed when a hurricane and tidal wave struck Galveston, Texas.
1903
Between 30,000 and 50,000 Bulgarian men, women and children are massacred in Monastir by Turkish troops seeking to check a threatened Macedonian uprising.
1906
Robert Turner invents the automatic typewriter return carriage.
1914
Actress Hillary Brooke born
1920
1st US Air Mail service begins.
1922
Comedian Sid Caesar ("Your Show of Shows," and "The Sid Caesar Show") born
1925
Peter Sellers born
1925
Germany is admitted into the League of Nations while Joseph Avenol was secretary-general
1927
Country singer-songwriter Harlan Howard born
1930
The comic strip Blondie first appeared this day.
1930
Reichard Drew of 3M Company developed the first transparent tape - Scotch Tape.
1934
134 people lost their lives in a fire aboard the liner "Morro Castle" off the New Jersey coast.
1935
Senator Huey P. Long, "The Kingfish" of Louisiana politics, was shot and mortally wounded; he died two days later.
1941
Actor Alan Feinstein born
1944
Germany's V-2 offensive against England begins. On the ground during Hitler's V-weapon offensive.
1945
Korea is partitioned by the Soviet Union and the United States.
1947
Author Ann Beattie born
1949
Richard Strauss died at the age of 85, but not before uttering the comment that dying was, quote, "just the way I composed it in 'Death and Transfiguration.'" Of all Strauss's tone poems, "Death and Transfiguration" is the most affecting, especially if you've had a death in the family.
1951
A peace treaty with Japan was signed by 48 other nations in San Francisco.
1952
Musician Will Lee ("Late Show with David Letterman") born
1952
Ernest Hemingway's novel, "The Old Man and the Sea" was first published.
1955
The United States, Australia, France, Great Britain, New Zealand, the Philippines, Pakistan, and Thailand sign the mutual defense treaty that established the Southeast Asia Treaty Organization (SEATO).
1957
Actress Heather Thomas born
1960
NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, was dedicated by President Dwight D. Eisenhower. This followed the activation of the facility in July of 1960, when a key element of the U.S. Army's Ballistic Missile Agency was transferred from the Department of Defense to NASA. The Marshall Center is named in honor of General George C. Marshall, who was the Army Chief of Staff during World War II, U.S. Secretary of State, and a Nobel Prize winner for his post-World War II "Marshall Plan."
1960
Pop musician David Steele (Fine Young Cannibals) born
1962
Bobby Boris Pickett's smash "Monster Mash" hit the charts.
1964
Rhythm-and-blues singer Marc Gordon (Levert) born
1966
Star Trek appears on TV for the first time (on NBC)
1966
The situation comedy "That Girl," starring Marlo Thomas, premiered on ABC.
1971
Actor Henry Thomas born
1971
Actor David Arquette born
1971
Peter Furler (Newsboys) born
1971
The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts opened in Washington, D.C. with a performance of Leonard Bernstein's "Mass."
1972
Arab terrorists kill 11 Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympics.
1974
President Gerald Ford granted an unconditional pardon to former President Richard Nixon.
1974
California's Nolan Ryan threw a pitch 100.8 miles per hour against the Chicago White Sox, becoming the first player to break 100-mph.
1975
Boston's public schools began their court-ordered citywide busing program amid scattered incidents of violence.
1975
Actor Larenz Tate born
1981
Actor Jonathan Taylor Thomas ("Home Improvement") born
1983
Secretary of State George P. Shultz met in Madrid with Soviet Foreign Minister Andrei Gromyko to demand that Moscow accept blame for shooting down a Korean Air Lines Boeing 747. Shultz afterward called Gromyko's response "totally unacceptable."
1984
Martina Navratilova battled from behind to defeat Chris Evert Lloyd and defend her women's singles crown at the U.S. Open Tennis Championships.
1985
Pete Rose of the Cincinnati Reds tied Ty Cobb's career record for hits, singling for hit number 4,191 during a game against the Cubs in Chicago.
1986
In Paris, the first of five terror bombings over a 10-day period took place on the ground floor of City Hall, killing one person and wounding 18 others.
1987
Former Democratic presidential candidate Gary Hart admitted during an interview on ABC's "Nightline" that he had committed adultery, and said he had no plans to resume his White House bid.
1988
Two nuclear-missile rocket motors were destroyed at an army ammunition plant in Karnack, Texas; they were the first US weapons to be eliminated under an arms reduction treaty with the Soviet Union.
1988
National League president A. Bartlett Giamatti was named to succeed Peter Ueberroth as Baseball Commissioner.
1989
Former President Reagan underwent surgery at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota to relieve a build-up of fluid in his brain that was apparently caused by a horse-riding accident.
1990
President Bush and Soviet President Mikhail S. Gorbachev arrived in Helsinki, Finland, for a one-day summit sparked by the Persian Gulf crisis.
1990
Gabriela Sabatini won the U.S. Open women's championship and her first grand slam title as she defeated Steffi Graf.
1990
Marjorie Judith Vincent of Illinois was crowned Miss America.
1991
More than 40 people were reported killed in factional fighting around Johannesburg, South Africa.
1991
Stefan Edberg won the U.S. Open in New York, defeating Jim Courier in straight sets, 6-2, 6-4, 6-0.
1992
Senator Quentin Burdick (Democrat, North Dakota) died at age 84.
1992
A case that prompted federal laws against carjacking, Pam Basu of Savage, Maryland, was dragged to her death after being forced from her car.
1992
President George Bush asked Congress to provide more than $7.6 billion dollars to help Hurricane "Andrew" recovery efforts.
1993
German tourist Uwe-Wilhelm Rakebrand was killed by a woman firing from a van as he and his wife were driving away from the Miami airport. (The gunwoman and an accomplice received life prison sentences; the van's driver received 87 years.)
1993
Black gunmen in South Africa launched a series of attacks on black commuters, claiming two dozen lives.
1994
A USAir Boeing 737 crashed as it was approaching Pittsburgh International Airport, killing all 132 people on board.
1995
Bosnia's warring sides reached a compromise in Geneva, agreeing to divide the nation into two states: one for the rebel Serbs and another for the Muslims and Croats.
1996
Okinawans voted more than ten-to-one in favor of a reduction of US military bases on their islands, in a referendum aimed at pressuring Washington to pull out its troops.
1996
At the US Open, Pete Sampras defeated Michael Chang and Steffi Graf beat Monica Seles to win the top prizes.
1996
NBC's "Frasier" won its third consecutive Emmy for best TV comedy; "ER" was named best drama.
1997
America Online acquired CompuServe.
1997
Monday commuters in and around San Francisco faced huge traffic jams a day after workers for the Bay Area's commuter rail system went on strike. (An agreement ending the walkout was reached five days later.)
1997
A Haitian ferry, the "Pride of Gonave," capsized, killing about three-quarters of the 200 people aboard.
1998
Mark McGwire of the St. Louis Cardinals broke major league baseball's record for home runs in a single season, hitting number 62 off Chicago Cubs pitcher Steve Trachsel and eclipsing the 37-year-old record held by Roger Maris.
1999
Former New Jersey Sen. Bill Bradley officially kicked off his campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination with a rally in his hometown of Crystal City, Mo.
1999
Economist Herbert Stein, who served as chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers in the Nixon administration, died in Washington, D.C., at age 83.
2005
Blair is first public official to apologize for Hurricane Katrina response
2005
Halliburton's KBR awarded half billion dollar repair contract for Gulf Coast Navy facilities
2005
Samsung to sell dual-standard DVD player
2005
Aerial photos of Katrina's aftermath available
2005
Controversy erupts over German Anarchist Pogo Party's campaign ad
2005
Google hires Vint Cerf, the "father of the Internet"
2005
UN inquiry finds mismanagement and failure of oversight
2005
US FEMA aid site only supports Windows with Internet Explorer
2005
Oil price falls on inventory report
2005
Controversial rapper dethrones Mariah Carey from No. 1
2005
Afghan-Tajik border control transferred from Russia
2005
California state legislature passes same-sex marriage bill
2005
Ukrainian president Yushchenko dismisses PM, cabinet
2005
Death of candidate will delay final results for German federal election by weeks
2006
Bomb blast in Pakistan, "fighters for greater autonomy" responsible, police claim
2006
Inauguration of the 71st Thessaloniki International Fair in Greece
2006
Experts: obesity is a bigger threat than AIDS or bird flu
2006
Canadian PM to make televised address for 5th anniversary of Sept 11. attacks
2006
State Police: New York fugitive Ralph 'Bucky' Phillips cornered
2006
Massive suicide car bomb in Kabul kills 18, including two U.S. soldiers
2006
ABC comes under fire for alleged partisan slant in 9/11 miniseries
2006
38 dead, over 180 injured as blasts rock Maharashtra town
2006
Colombian army officials accused of allegedly faking terrorist attacks
2006
Motor sport legend Peter Brock dies in rally
2007
California lead bullet ban moves forward
2007
APEC countries set "aspirational goals" on climate change
2007
APEC leaders wear Driza-Bones for group photo
2007
Up to 18 arrested, police injured in APEC rally
2007
US military helicopter crashes in Florida
2007
85 Hindu pilgrims killed in India lorry crash
2007
Japanese man retains title at Air Guitar World Championship in Finland
2007
Two confirmed dead after Typhoon Fitow strikes Japan
2007
NFL: Colts, Saints kick off season
2007
Four young girls killed in Zambia wall collapse
2007
Cricket: England defeat India in one-day series decider
2007
US First Lady undergoes neck surgery
2007
Pavarotti receives standing ovation at funeral
2007
Tropical Storm Gabrielle eyes US east coast
2007
Ford offers US$78 million for Romanian auto plant
2007
Immigrant's Festival begins in Argentina
2007
Former Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney to release "Memoirs: 1939-1993"
2007
Transcript of bin Laden message released by ABC
2007
Students promote Thailand's tourism with their paintbrushes - and give proceeds to charity
2007
Rugby World Cup: New Zealand, Australia and England open with wins
2008
Paralympic highlights: September 8, 2008
2008
Silent film actress Anita Page dies at age 98
2008
Hurricane Ike makes landfall on Cuba
2008
Alleged 'rights group' tries to have 4,000 anti-Scientology videos removed from YouTube
2008
Church of Scientology in France accused of fraud; ordered to stand trial
2009
Afghan presidential candidate Karzai wins majority of votes
2009
Lyneham air base in England given all clear after bomb scare
2009
Large bomb defused in Northern Ireland
2009
Large earthquake strikes nation of Georgia
2010
David Cameron misses Prime Minister's Questions after father suffers stroke
2010
A.J. Pierzynski leads Chicago White Sox to narrow 5-4 win against Detroit Tigers
2010
Australian Senate Committee recommends formation of Charities Commission
2010
50 arrested ahead of Swaziland democracy protests
2010
Iraqi TV presenter Riad al-Saray shot dead in Baghdad
2010
UK researchers discover first antibiotics originating from insects
2010
'Daybreak' launches on ITV in UK
2010
Researchers find moonlight influences owl monkeys' nocturnal activity
2010
Scottish FA apologise after fans boo Liechtenstein national anthem
2010
Father of David Cameron dies in French hospital after suffering stroke
2012
Paralympics GB finishes 5-a-side football in seventh place at Paralympics
2012
Human Rights Watch publish documents alleging US cooperated with Libya on torture
2012
Gliders defeat USA in Paralympic semifinals

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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