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This page exists as a landing page to support the Hiztory WordPress plugin. You may find additional information on our blog by searching the hiztory Tag: hiztory tag.

The hiztory plugin will render historical births, deaths, events, and aviation history in your WordPress website with shortcode. Although Hiztory was originally built for one of our aviation websites , and despite aviation content being a clear focus moving forward, it hasn’t detracted us form building upon the data and adding multiple other modules that relate to various interest groups or countries. Despite not having released too many of these other components into the wild (just yet), many of them are available from the Hiztory API .

Installing Hiztory

Like any plugin that you’ve ever installed into WordPress, it can be installed in a number of different ways.

The easiest method of installation is via the ‘Install Plugins’ menu on your own WordPress blog via  Plugins  ->  Add New  in the left hand menu. Search for “hiztory“. Since it’s essentially a misspelled word, we’re the only result with that keyword. Click Install Now… then Activate.

Of course, you could just download ZIP Image the zip file directly and then either upload it via the Upload option on the ‘Install Plugin’ administration page referenced above, or you could FTP the contents into your wp-content/plugins directory.


Once you click on Activate, you’ll see a Settings menu. Select it. Alternatively, you will now be able to select the History Shortcode option from your Settings menu.

The Hiztory shortcode generator is a form that’ll construct shortcode based on the (non-default) options your select.

By clicking on  Get Shortcode  at this point we’ll just generate default usage by way of nothing other than the [hiztory] shortcode.

The default output provides us with one historical aviation event. You’ll likely want to change this!

Apollo program – Apollo 7 safely splashes down in the Atlantic Ocean after orbiting the Earth 163 times. - 22nd October 1968

Using the shortcode generator, and as an example, we’ll generate three results that’ll be cached locally for two hours. We’ll also change the formatting of the date so it renders as Sun 3rd Dec, 1944… and we’ll apply style to the date with html tags.

[hiztory number="3" datetags="em,strong" dateformat="D jS M, Y" cache="7200"]


You should note that the datetags, or the html formatting for the date, doesn’t include the < or > tag; this is automatically applied with the results.

The shortcode will generate the following result:

  • A Royal Air Force BAE Systems Hawk of 100 Sqn based at RAF Leeming crashed near Shap, Cumbria killing the pilot and navigator. - Fri 22nd Oct, 1999
  • An United States Army Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk Helicopter while on a routine training exercise crashes onto the deck of the USNS Arctic off the coast of Fort Story, Virginia Beach, Virginia. The Black Hawk helicopter from the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (Airborne) was on a joint exercise with the United States Navy SEALs and was practising fast maritime interdiction by rappelling by rope to the ships deck when the accident occurred killing 1 crew and injuring a further 8 service personnel. - Thu 22nd Oct, 2009
  • No. 401 Squadron (Auxiliary) was first of six auxiliary squadrons to be equipped with North American Sabre fighters. - Mon 22nd Oct, 1956

Of course, you can choose not to display results in a list (as is the default case). In the next example, we’ll retrieve three historical events and format them in a block of text. By default, we’ll add the <br> tags after each event (you can change this in the option titled ‘After post HTML‘).

[hiztory number="3" type="events" datetags="strong" returnaslist="0" dateformat="l jS M, Y" cache="7200"]


"Philadelphia, Here I Come" closes at Criterion NYC after 52 performances - Saturday 22nd Oct, 1994
Tony Rominger bicycles world record time (53,832 km) - Saturday 22nd Oct, 1994
Space Shuttle STS 52 (Columbia 13) launches into space - Thursday 22nd Oct, 1992

Retrieving Results for Another Date

By default, we’ll select the date associated with your WordPress installation in making our request to the API. At times, however, it might be necessary to render results for another arbitrary date.

By unticking the option that says “Yes, use WordPress blog time of for data requests?”, a date option appears. Keep in mind that this is a static date reference that won’t change over time.

Other Features

Some other features of the shortcode generation include:

  • Events relating to deaths, births, events and aviation.
  • Results between 1 and 15.
  • Custom separator between the content and date.
  • Defined or custom date format (using PHP’s date() function).

Using Shortcode in a Sidebar?

By default, WordPress doesn’t enable the filter that permits you to use shortcode in a sidebar widget. If you plan on using this plugin, a sidebar widget is probably the most appropriate place to display random history. To enable shortcode in widgets, we’ve create a simple form that’ll activate that function globally; it works outside our plugin as well.

If you’re using our custom functions plugin, this filter is enabled by default, so you don’t have to activate it.

RSS Feeds

There are a number of RSS feeds available that generate random output for each day.

Births: http://www.hiztory.org/rss/birth.rss
Deaths: http://www.hiztory.org/rss/death.rss
Events: http://www.hiztory.org/rss/event.rss
Aviation: http://www.hiztory.org/rss/aviation.rss

The feeds can be consumed by most blogs and other CMS platforms by way of widgets and other types of integrated functionality. Certainly, in WordPress, there are countless plugins that’ll render feeds in different ways – not to mention shortcode, including our own.

The feeds are based on Australian Eastern Standard Time. If you’re elsewhere in the world, you can access a local feed using the following format:


Format is as follows: http://www.hiztory.org/[month]/[date]/[data-type].rss

The Future

We’ll build upon both the API and this plugin based almost exclusively on the feedback we receive. Some of the features that we’ll be including sooner rather than later include the following:

  • Ability to render results beyond the 15 limit currently imposed.
  • The API will shortly permit multiple events from multiple user defined categories (at the moment we only allow one category per request).
  • Geo-specific history queries
  • Additional categories (tech, marine, science, space, rail, country specific etc.).
  • Keyword filtering.

Shortcode Attributes

While the shortcode generator from the Settings menu will create the appropriate string of shortcode, you may choose to build it manually using the following shortcode attributes.


The type relates to the category of history to be returned. For example, type="aviation" or type="deaths". Various categories will be added to the plugin shortly.


The month is a two-digit representation of the month. Used in company with date. Only used when requesting history that isn’t for “today”.


The date is a two-digit representation of the date. Used in company with month. Only used when requesting history that isn’t for “today”.


The number determines how many results are returned. At this stage, anything between 1 and 15 is accepted.


The attribute useblogdate will force the request to be made using your WordPress website timezone. Defaults to true so usually shouldn’t be touched.


By default we’ll return the history in a list (it just looks better). To disable this and return it a block of code, use returnaslist="0".


To return HTML after each history event, use after="
. Replace the <br> with whatever HTML is required.


The datetags relates to the HTML wrapped around the returned date. You should note that the datetags, or the html formatting for the date, doesnt include the < or > tag; this is automatically applied with the results.


The separator is the character that seperates the text from the date.


The dateformat relates to how the date is rendered. For a full list of options see the PHP manual . Defaults to ‘jS F Y’.


If linkify="1" (it’s linkify="0" by default), we’ll attempt to match text in the history to your WordPress website tags. If they match, we’ll link the history text to the appropriate tag link.


By default we’ll cache results locally in your database for an hour (cache="3600"). To alter the time results are cached use, say, cache="1800" (30 minutes). Querying the hiztory API too frequently may result in throttling.

The plugin will continue to be developed so ensure you subscribe to our Facebook page to be updated of changes.

Plugin Title: Hiztory
Description: The hiztory plugin will render historical births, deaths, events, and aviation history in your WordPress website with shortcode.
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