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Today in History

1776
Colonies renamed the United States
1850
California becomes the 31st state
1922
Award winning stage and screen actress, Ruth Roman born in Lynn, Massachusetts
1935
Theatrical and screen actor, Chaim Topol born in Tel Aviv, Israel
1941
Turing Award winning computer scientist and developer of the C language, Dennis Ritchie born in Bronxville, New York
1941
Grammy Award winning, Rock & Roll Hall of Fame singer, Otis Redding born in Dawson, Georgia
1947
Grace Murray Hopper finds first computer bug
1951
Actor Michael Keaton born in Coraopolis, Pennsylvania
1955
Obie Award winning actor, Edward Hibbert born in Long Island, New York
1966
Singer, musician, actor and comedian, Adam Sandler born in Brooklyn, New York
1969
Swimsuit model and reality TV show host, Rachel Hunter born in Auckland, New Zealand
490
BC
people of Athens know about the Greek victory against the Persians at Marathon.
384
Flavius Honorius, Roman Emperor in the East (395-423) born
1079
Death of John, Archbishop of Rouen
1087
Death of William I, "the Conqueror," King of England
1224
Franciscan friars land in England
1492
Columbus resumes his voyage, from the Canary Islands
1502
The enemies of Caesar Borgia conclude a pact at Mugione
1513
King James IV of Scotland defeated and killed by English at Flodden.
1543
Coronation of Mary, Queen of Scots.
1570
Cyprus surrenders to the Turks.
1583
Composer Girolamo Frescobaldi premier of France (1624-42) born
1583
English explorer Sir Humphrey Gilbert drowns on his return to England together with the entire crew of the frigate Squirrel, which sank off the Azores.
1585
Pope Sixtus V deprives Henry of Navarre of his right to the French Crown
1585
Cardinal Richelieu, Louis XIII's chief minister and the power behind the throne, born
1598
First church in New Mexico completed
1602
John Smith takes control of Virginia Colony
1618
Joan Cererol born
1646
Flemish theologist Zeger B van Espen born
1664
Composer Johann Christoph Pez born
1754
Capt. William Bligh of the H.M.S. Bounty born
1776
The second Continental Congress officially changed the new American nation's name from "United Colonies" to "United States."
1828
Russian author Leo Tolstoy born
1846
Elias Howe patents the first practical sewing machine in the U.S
1850
California, in the midst of a gold rush, enters the Union as the 31st state.
1884
Antione Feuchtwanger invents the hot dog.
1887
Alf Landon, the Kansas Republican who lost the 1936 presidential election to Democrat Franklin D. Roosevelt born
1890
Kentucky Fried Chicken founder Harlan Sanders born
1893
Frances Cleveland, wife of President Cleveland, gave birth to a daughter, Esther, in the White House; it was the first time a president's child was born in the executive mansion.
1901
Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec died following a paralytic stroke brought on by syphilis and alcoholism. The artist was 36 years old.
1912
J. Vedrines first pilot to break 100 m.p.h. barrier.
1923
Oddsmaker Jimmy 'The Greek' Snyder (Demetrios Synodinos) born
1924
Actress Jane Greer born
1925
Actor Cliff Robertson born
1926
The National Broadcasting Company (NBC) was created by the Radio Corporation of America.
1927
Jazz musician Elvin Jones born
1932
Actress Sylvia Miles born
1935
Actor Topol born
1941
Singer/songwriter Otis Redding (Try a little Tenderness, Sittin' on the Dock of the Bay) born
1942
Singer Inez Foxx (Mockingbird) born
1942
Rhythm-and-blues singer Luther Simmons (The Main Ingredient) born
1943
Allied forces landed at Salerno and Taranto during World War Two.
1945
Singer Dee Dee Sharp born
1946
Singer-musician Billy Preston born
1946
Rock singer-musician Doug Ingle (Iron Butterfly) born
1947
Country singer Freddy Weller born
1948
The People's Democratic Republic of Korea (North Korea) was created.
1949
Football commentator Joe Theismann born
1951
Actor-comedian Michael Keaton born
1951
Actor Tom Wopat born
1952
Actress Angela Cartwright (Lost in Space TV series) born
1952
Musician-producer Dave Stewart (Eurythmics) born
1956
Rock `n' roll singer Elvis Presley appeared on national television for the first time, on "The Ed Sullivan Show." He would appear on the Really Big Show two more times.
1957
President Eisenhower signed into law the first civil rights bill to pass Congress since Reconstruction.
1958
Race riots in London, England. Three nights of race riots in Notting Hill with serious injuries and more than 150 arrests provoked by white teens who beat up 5 blacks.
1960
Actor Hugh Grant born
1963
President John F. Kennedy federalizes Alabama's National Guard to prevent Governor George C. Wallace from using guardsmen to stop public-school desegregation.
1963
John Cage and nine other pianists played Erik Satie's "Vexations," a brief piano piece that Satie directed to be played 840 times without variation or intermission. Cage and confreres cheated: it should have been played by just one person. The performance took almost 19 hours.
1965
Sandy Koufax of the Los Angeles Dodgers pitched a perfect game against the Chicago Cubs, winning 1-0.
1966
Actor Adam Sandler born
1966
Actor David Bennent born
1968
Rock singer Paul Durham (Black Lab) born
1968
Arthur Ashe became the first black U.S. men's singles champion of tennis.
1970
Rapper Dray (Das EFX) born
1971
Actor Henry Thomas (Legends of the Fall, E.T. born
1971
Prisoners seized control of the maximum-security Attica Correctional Facility near Buffalo, New York, beginning a siege that claimed 43 lives.
1976
Communist Chinese leader Mao Tse-tung died in Beijing at age 82.
1978
Eighteen-year-old Czech tennis player Martina Navratilova defects to the West and asks the US for political asylum.
1980
Actress Michelle Williams ("Dawson's Creek") born
1982
A dream was realized when Gilbert Kaplan conducted Mahler's "Resurrection" Symphony. For years Kaplan, an investment publisher, had wanted to do this. He took conducting lessons just to be able to conduct this one work.
1982
"Conestoga I", 1st private rocket, is launched.
1983
The chief of the Soviet General Staff, Marshal Nikolai B. Ogarkov, told a Moscow news conference the decision to shoot down a Korean jetliner within Soviet airspace on Sept. 1 was made by a local commander, and was not an accident or an error.""
1984
Pope John Paul II became the first pontiff to visit Canada as he began a 12-day tour.
1986
A jury in New York indicted Gennadiy Zakharov, a Soviet United Nations employee, on espionage charges three days after the Soviet Union formally charged a U.S. News and World Report correspondent Nicholas Daniloff with spying.
1986
Frank Reed, director of a private school in Lebanon, was taken hostage; he was released 44 months later.
1987
Appearing before President Reagan's special commission on AIDS, Surgeon General C. Everett Koop denounced doctors and other health workers who refused to treat AIDS patients, calling them a "fearful and irrational minority."
1988
The "Stars and Stripes," a catamaran piloted by Dennis Conner, completed a two-nothing washout of a New Zealand monohull for the America's Cup off San Diego. (Conner's victory was eventually upheld in court.)
1989
West German Steffi Graf won the women's title at the U.S. Open in New York City, defeating second-ranked Martina Navratilova.
1990
Pete Sampras defeated Andre Agassi to win the U.S. Open men's title.
1990
The Ellis Island Museum of Immigration opened. More than 12,000,000 people entered the U.S. through the immigration center at Ellis Island when it was open.
1990
President Bush and Soviet President Mikhail S. Gorbachev held a one-day summit in Helsinki, Finland, after which they joined in condemning Iraq's invasion of Kuwait.
1990
Liberian President Samuel K. Doe was killed after being captured by rebels.
1992
Russian President Boris Yeltsin called off a trip to Japan in the face of growing pressure to resolve a dispute over four Kuril islands seized by the former Soviet Union in 1945.
1993
Former Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos was buried in his homeland, four years after his death in exile.
1993
About a hundred Somali gunmen and civilians were killed when US and Pakistani peacekeepers fired on Somalis attacking other peacekeepers.
1993
PLO leaders and Israel agreed to recognize each other, clearing the way for a peace accord.
1994
The United States agreed to accept at least 20,000 Cuban immigrants a year in return for Cuba's promise to halt the flight of refugees.
1994
The space shuttle Discovery blasted off on an 11-day mission.
1994
Prosecutors in Los Angeles said they would not seek the death penalty against O.J. Simpson.
1995
Bosnian Serbs blamed U.N. forces for a shell that killed 10 people at a Bosnian Serb hospital the day before.
1995
Amtrak's Broadway Limited service between New York and Chicago made its final run.
1996
Keeping her word not to cooperate with Whitewater prosecutors, Susan McDougal was led away to jail for contempt of court, denying she was trying to protect President Clinton with her silence.
1996
Promising safer skies, President Clinton issued orders to tighten airport security and challenged Congress to support a $1.1 billion anti-terrorism crackdown.
1997
Actor Burgess Meredith died in Malibu, California, at age 89.
1997
Sinn Fein, the IRA's political ally, formally renounced violence as it took its place in talks on Northern Ireland's future.
1998
Four tourists who had paid $32,500 each were taken in a tiny submarine to view the wreckage of the "Titanic" two and a-half miles below the ocean surface off Newfoundland.
1998
Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr delivered to Congress 36 boxes of material concerning his investigation of President Clinton.
1999
A massive explosion tore apart a Moscow apartment building, killing about a hundred people.
1999
Israel released 199 Palestinian security prisoners as part of a new peace deal.
1999
Baseball Hall-of-Fame pitcher Jim "Catfish" Hunter died in Hertford, N.C., at age 53.
1999
Actress Ruth Roman died in Laguna Beach, Calif., at age 75.
1999
Former Republican Senator John Danforth opened an independent inquiry into the 1993 siege of the Branch Davidian compound near Waco, Texas.
2005
NASA announces Shuttle delay due to Hurricane Katrina
2005
EBay may acquire VoIP firm Skype
2005
GNOME Project unveils latest version of Linux and Unix desktop
2005
News Corp acquires IGN for US$650 million
2005
How the Army Corps of Engineers closed one New Orleans breach
2005
US ABC network to offer more shows dubbed in Spanish
2005
FEMA head Michael Brown recalled to Washington
2005
New Orleans officials confiscating guns
2005
Malawi food appeal unanswered by world community
2005
Firefox 1.5 beta released to public
2005
Sydney train doors stuck, passengers delayed
2005
New movies, 9 September 2005
2005
Report: Annan failed to fix Oil for Food program
2005
Ford, Fiat to produce small cars together
2005
Israel completing Gaza withdrawal
2006
Bathurst to host Brock tribute
2006
Successful launch of Space Shuttle Atlantis
2006
Kimi Räikkönen on the pole of Italian Grand Prix
2006
Truck crashes through downtown Toronto sink hole
2006
Pope tells Canada to end gay marriage
2006
Eight Californians seriously ill after eating live shellfish
2006
New York fugitive Ralph Bucky Phillips caught
2006
South Africa defeat Australia in final match of the Tri Nations rugby series
2006
Muslims in Gujarat hold anti-Pakistan rally
2006
Child killer Huntley releases confession tape
2007
Sydney thanked for its patience during APEC
2007
100m record beaten in Rieti
2007
Pope appeals for respectful Sundays
2007
20 dead in Hyderabad, India flyover collapse
2007
Fernando Alonso wins Italian Grand Prix
2007
New doubt over Shakespeare's authorship
2007
Vanessa Hudgens publicist makes apology about nude photo incident
2007
New England Patriots Top New York Jets
2007
APEC closes in Sydney
2007
Rugby World Cup: South Africa, Wales, Scotland and Ireland win
2008
50,000 people refuse evacuation after flooding in India caused by river changing course
2008
Alleged 'rights group' involved with removal of anti-Scientology videos from YouTube doesn't exist; says EFF
2008
Records reveal US Senator John Sununu had ties to convicted lobbyist
2008
'Invitational Games for the Deaf, Taipei 2008': Review of soccer preliminaries
2008
US presidential candidate John McCain now leads slightly in the polls
2009
Suspect arrested after hijacking Mexican airliner
2009
Suspected US missile strike kills ten militants in Pakistan
2009
Bosnian war criminal sent to UK
2011
At least four dead and hundreds of homes destroyed after week of wildfires rage throughout Texas
2012
UN's Convention on Domestic Workers expected to take effect in 2013

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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