On This Day in History for February 21

Events in History

Events 1 - 100 of 148

  • 362 Athanasius returns to Alexandria.

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1173 Pope Alexander III canonizes Thomas Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury

Archbishop of Canterbury Thomas Becket
Archbishop of Canterbury
Thomas Becket
  • 1245 Thomas, the first known Bishop of Finland, is granted resignation after having confessed to torture and forgery.

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1431 Joan of Arc's first day of interrogation during her trial for heresy

French Soldier and National Heroine Joan of Arc
French Soldier and National Heroine
Joan of Arc
  • 1440 The Prussian Confederation is formed.

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1564 Philip II routes cardinal Granvelle to Franche-Comte

King of Spain Philip II
King of Spain
Philip II
  • 1574 Spanish garrison of Middelburg, Netherlands, surrenders
  • 1583 Groningen, Netherlands, begins using Gregorian calendar
  • 1598 Boris Godunov crowned tsar
  • 1613 Michael Romanov, son of Patriarch of Moscow, elected first Russian Tsar of the house of Romanov
  • 1673 Michiel A de Ruyter appointed lt-admiral-general of Dutch fleet
  • 1675 Prince Willem III appointed viceroy of Gelderland
  • 1746 Jacobite Rising 1745: British forces surrender Inverness Castle to Bonnie Prince Charlie and the Jacobite forces
  • 1764 John Wilkes thrown out of English House of Commons for "Essay on Women"
  • 1777 British ambassador Joseph Yorke demands dismissal of Governor John de Graaff for saluting US flag
  • 1782 US Congress resolves establishment of a US mint
  • 1792 US Congress passes Presidential Succession Act
  • 1795 Freedom of worship established in France under constitution
  • 1797 Trinidad, West Indies, surrenders to British
  • 1804 1st locomotive, Richard Trevithick's, runs for 1st time, in Wales
  • 1828 1st American Indian newspaper in US, "Cherokee Phoenix", published
  • 1842 1st known sewing machine patented in US, John Greenough, Washington, D.C.
  • 1846 1st US woman telegrapher, Sarah G Bagley, Lowell, Mass
  • 1848 Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels publish "The Communist Manifesto" in London

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1852 George Bancroft becomes the American Geographical Society's first president

Father of U.S. History George Bancroft
Father of U.S. History
George Bancroft
  • 1853 US authorizes minting of $3 gold pieces
  • 1857 Congress outlaws foreign currency as legal tender in US
  • 1857 US issues flying eagle cents
  • 1858 Edwin T Holmes installs 1st electric burglar alarm (Boston, Mass)
  • 1861 Steeple of Chichester Cathedral collapses despite the desperate efforts of 70 workmen
  • 1861 Navaho indians elect Herrero Grande as chief
  • 1862 Confederate Constitution & presidency are declared permanent
  • 1862 Texas Rangers win Confederate victory at Battle of Val Verde, NM
  • 1864 -22] Battle at Okolona, Mississippi
  • 1864 1st US Catholic parish church for blacks dedicated, Baltimore
  • 1866 Lucy B Hobbs (Taylor) becomes 1st US woman to earn a DDS degree

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1874 Benjamin Disraeli succeeds William Gladstone as British Prime Minister

British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli
British Prime Minister
Benjamin Disraeli
British Prime Minister William Gladstone
British Prime Minister
William Gladstone
  • 1874 Oakland Daily Tribune begins publication
  • 1878 World's 1st telephone directory issued, 50 subscribers (New Harbor, Connecticut)
  • 1882 NYC's 24 hour race begins, winner with most mileage in 24 hours
  • 1883 2nd French government of Ferry begins
  • 1885 Washington Monument dedicated (Washington, D.C.)
  • 1887 1st US bacteriology laboratory opens (Brooklyn)
  • 1887 Oregon becomes 1st US state to make Labor Day a holiday

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1895 NC Legislature, adjourns for day to mark death of Frederick Douglass

Abolitionist Frederick Douglass
Abolitionist
Frederick Douglass
  • 1901 In Cuba, the constitutional delegates adopt a constitution much like that of the USA
  • 1902 Dr Harvey Cushing, 1st US brain surgeon, performs his 1st brain operation
  • 1903 Cornerstone laid for US army war college, Washington, D.C.
  • 1904 National Ski Association forms in Ishpeming Mich
  • 1907 SS Berlin sinks off the Hook of Holland (142 dead)
  • 1909 John Galsworthy's "Strife" premieres in London
  • 1910 John Galsworthy's "Justice" premieres in London
  • 1911 Gustav Mahler conducts his last concerto (Berceuse élégique)
  • 1914 Bai Lang ("White Wolf") troops attack Zhanjiang, China
  • 1914 In a secret meeting of civil and military leaders, Russian Foreign Minister Sazonov convinces them to support a plan for seizing the straits, controlled by Turkey, that block access to the Mediterranean
  • 1915 Russian 20th Army corps surrenders
  • 1915 World's Fair in SF opens
  • 1916 World War I: Battle of Verdun begins, leads to an estimated 1 million casualties
  • 1917 British troopship SS Mendi sinks off Isle of Wight, 646 die
  • 1917 Train near Chirurcha, Romania, catches fire & explodes; hundreds die
  • 1918 Australians chase Turkish troop out of Jericho, Dutch Palestine
  • 1918 The last Carolina parakeet dies in captivity at the Cincinnati Zoo.
  • 1919 German National Meeting accepts Anschluss: incorporation of Austria
  • 1919 Revolutionary strike in Barcelona
  • 1920 Darius Milhaud & Jean Cocteau's ballet, premieres in Paris
  • 1921 Constituent Assembly of the Democratic Republic of Georgia adopts the country's first constitution
  • 1921 The London Conference on the Near East begins: the issue is the Allies' 1920 Treaty of Sevres, which had given part of Turkish Asia Minor to Greece
  • 1922 Airship "Rome" explodes at Hampton Roads, Virginia; 34 die
  • 1922 Great Britain grants Egypt independence
  • 1922 WHK-AM in Cleveland, Ohio begins radio transmissions
  • 1922 Irish Nationalist Eamon De Valera calls a convention of the Sinn Fein, declaring the Republican Government the only legitimate one in all Ireland
  • 1925 1st issue of "New Yorker" magazine published
  • 1925 Mass meeting of SPD's Reichsbanner Black-Red-Gold in Magdeburg
  • 1930 Marc Connelly's "Green Pastures" premieres in NYC
  • 1931 Alka Seltzer introduced
  • 1932 Andre Tardieu becomes Premier of France
  • 1932 Camera exposure meter patented, WN Goodwin
  • 1934 Nicaraguan patriot Augusto Cesar Sandino assassinated by National Guard
  • 1937 Initial flight of the first successful flying car, Waldo Waterman's Arrowbile.
  • 1937 The League of Nations bans foreign national "volunteers" in the Spanish Civil War.
  • 1939 Belgian government of Pierlot forms
  • 1941 Omar Bradley is promoted to the rank of brigadier general
  • 1942 US female Figure Skating championship won by Jane Vaughn
  • 1942 US male Figure Skating championship won by Bobby Specht
  • 1943 Dutch RC bishops protest against persecution of Jews
  • 1945 Archbishop De Jong calls for help with war casualties
  • 1945 British Army captures Goch
  • 1945 US 10th Armour division overthrows Orscholz line
  • 1946 Anti-British demonstrations in Egypt

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1947 1st instant developing camera demonstrated by Edwin Land in NYC

Scientist and Inventor Edwin Land
Scientist and Inventor
Edwin Land
  • 1947 Whipper Billy Watson beats Bill Longson, to become wrestling champ
  • 1951 SC House urges "Shoeless Joe" Jackson be reinstated
  • 1952 Bangladesh Martyrs Day (martyrs of Bengali Language Movement)

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1953 Francis Crick and James Watson discover structure of DNA-molecule

Molecular biologist Francis Crick
Molecular biologist
Francis Crick
Molecular Biologist James Watson
Molecular Biologist
James Watson
  • 1958 Egypt-Syria as United Arab Republic elect Nasser president (99.9% vote)
  • 1961 Friedrich Durrenmatt's "Die Physiker" premieres in Zurich
  • 1961 Gabon adopts constitution
  • 1961 Mercury-Atlas 2 reentry Test reaches 172 km
  • 1962 Minister De Pous confirms natural gas reserves in Groningen, Netherlands
  • 1963 US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site

Birthdays in History

  • 1417 Louis IX, Duke of Bayern (University of Ingolstadt)
  • 1484 Joachim I Nestor, elector (Brandenburg, Constitution)
  • 1675 Franz Xaver Josef von Unertl, Bavarian politician (d. 1750)
  • 1684 Justus van Effen, writer/founder (Holland Spectator)
  • 1705 Edward Hawke, 1st Baron Hawke, British naval officer (d. 1781)
  • 1710 Willem van Haren, Frisian nobleman/poet (Human Life)
  • 1723 Louis-Pierre Anquetil, French historian (d. 1808)
  • 1728 Peter III, Kiel Germany, Russian Tsar (1762) and husband of Catherine the Great
  • 1730 Charles L Fournier, Flemish writer/painter
  • 1744 Eise J Eisinga, Frisia, built planetarium Franeker
  • 1779 Friedrich C von Savigny, German lawyer
  • 1783 Princess Catharina of Württemberg, Queen consort of Westphalia (d. 1835)
  • 1785 Karl A Varnhagen von Ense, German officer/author (Die Sterner)
  • 1794 Antonio López de Santa Anna, President of Mexico who dominated Mexican history in the first half of the 19th century, born in Xalapa, Veracruz (d. 1876)
  • 1800 John Henry Winder, Brigadier General (Confederate Army), (d. 1865)
  • 1801 John Henry Newman, England, cardinal/author (Dream of Gerontius)
  • 1802 George Douglas Ramsey, Bvt Major general (Union Army), (d. 1882)
  • 1805 David Tod, US diplomat/(Gov-R-Ohio, 1861-63)
  • 1815 Ernest Meissonier, French painter/sculptor
  • 1817 Jose Zorrilla y Moral, Vallodolid Spain, poet/dramatist (El rey Loco)
  • 1829 Johnson Hagood, Brigadier General (Confederate Army), (d. 1898)
  • 1852 [James] Burner Matthews, US playwright/critic (NY Times)
  • 1855 Alice Freeman Palmer, educator (Hall of Fame)
  • 1856 Hendrik P Berlage, architect (Stock exchange Amsterdam)
  • 1857 Jules de Trooz, baron/premier of Belgium (1907)
  • 1860 Karel Matěj Čapek-Chod, Czech journalist (d. 1927)
  • 1860 Goscombe John, Welsh sculptor (d. 1952)
  • 1865 John Haden Badley, English school founder (d. 1967)
  • 1875 Jeanne Louise Calment, France, world's oldest woman (d. 1997 at 122)
  • 1876 Pyotr Konchalovsky, Russian painter (d. 1956)
  • 1877 Jacob D du Toit [Totius], South African poet/theologist
  • 1878 The Mother, Indian spiritual leader (d. 1973)
  • 1880 Waldemar Bonsels, German writer (d. 1952)
  • 1881 Savilly Tartakower, Austrian/Polish/French chess player
  • 1887 Savielly [Xavier] G Tartakower, Austrian/Polish/French chess player
  • 1888 Willem Banning, Dutch theologist/sociologist (Religious Build Up)
  • 1888 Clemence Dane, British novelist and playwright (d. 1965)
  • 1895 Carl Peter Henrik Dam Danish biochemist, Nobel laureate (d. 1976)
  • 1896 Sylvain Poons, Dutch cabaret performer (Blue Jackets)
  • 1902 Arthur D Nock, English/US historian (St Paul)
  • 1902 John Smallenbroek, Dutch minister of Internal Affairs [or 1909]
  • 1903 Raymond Queneau, [M Presle], French author (Un Enfant a Dit)
  • 1903 Fairfax M. Cone, American advertising executive (d. 1977)
  • 1903 Anaïs Nin, French writer (d. 1977)
  • 1907 Wystan Hugh Auden, US, poet (Age of Anxiety-Pulitzer 1948)
  • 1909 Hans Erni, Switz, painter/sculptor
  • 1909 Helen O Dickens, [Henderson], US physician/gynaecologist
  • 1910 Douglas R S Bader, British pilot (WW II)
  • 1910 Carmine Galante, Italian-born gangster (d. 1979)
  • 1912 Patrick Murphy, English multi-millionaire
  • 1913 Glenn M Anderson, (Rep-D-CA, 1969- )
  • 1914 Arnold S Denker, NY, US chess champion (1944-46)
  • 1914 Hermanus P "Piet" Mulder, Dutch journalist (Parool/VARA)
  • 1917 Victor G M Marijnen, Dutch premier (1963-65)

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1924 Robert Mugabe, Zimbabwean revolutionary, Prime Minister of Zimbabwe (1980-87) and President of Zimbabwe (1988- ), born in Harare, Zimbabwe

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe
Zimbabwean President
Robert Mugabe
  • 1926 Hans Andreus, [Johan W van der Zant], Dutch poet (Animal Language)
  • 1927 Hubert de Givenchy, Beauvais France, fashion designer (Audrey Hepburn)
  • 1930 Elizabeth Adams, madame
  • 1932 Harald V, King of Norway (1991- )
  • 1935 Jean Pelletier, French Canadian political operative
  • 1936 Barbara Jordan, (Rep-D-Tx, 1972-78), born in Houston, Texas
  • 1938 Beryl F Anthony Jr, (Rep-D-CA, 1979- )
  • 1940 John Lewis, (Rep-D-Georgia)
  • 1941 Charlie Shelburne, English earl/large landowner
  • 1943 Roberto Faenza, director (Cop Killers, Corrupt)
  • 1944 Herman de Coninck, Flemish writer/poet (Impossible Work)
  • 1946 Tricia Nixon Cox, Richard Milhaus' daughter (or 0202)
  • 1946 Vito Rizzuto, Sicilian-born alleged mafia boss
  • 1947 Olympia J Snowe, (Rep-R-ME, 1979- )
  • 1947 Victor Sokolov, Russian journalist (d. 2006)
  • 1955 Sir Steven Fayburgh, British diplomat
  • 1958 Jake Steinfeld, exercise expert (Body by Jake)
  • 1962 Chuck Palahniuk, American writer
  • 1962 David Foster Wallace, American writer
  • 1963 Michael Gostigian, Newtown Sq PA, pentathelete (Oly-16th-88, 92, 96)
  • 1964 Mark E Kelly, Lt USN/astronaut, born in Orange, New Jersey
  • 1964 Jane Tomlinson, British cancer campaigner (d. 2007)

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1964 Scott Kelly, American astronaut, born in Orange, New Jersey

Astronaut Scott Kelly
Astronaut
Scott Kelly
  • 1969 Tony Meola, American footballer
  • 1985 Bob Burton, American speedcuber
  • 1986 Amedeo, Belgium, son of princess Astrid/arch duke Lorenz

Weddings in History


HeartWedding of Interest

1807 US President Martin Van Buren (24) weds highschool sweetheart Hannah Hoes (23) in Catskill, New York

8th US President Martin Van Buren
8th US President
Martin Van Buren

Deaths in History

  • 556 Maximianus van Ravenna, bishop (Basilica S Stefano), dies

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1437 James I, King of Scotland (1406-37), dies at 42

King of Scotland James I
King of Scotland
James I
  • 1471 John of Rokycan, Czech Catholic archbishop

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1513 Julius II, Italian Pope (1503-13) and patron of Michelangelo, Bramante and Raphael, dies at 69

The Warrior Pope Julius II
The Warrior Pope
Julius II
  • 1554 Hieronymus Bock, German doctor (founder of modern botany), dies
  • 1595 Robert Southwell, English Jesuit/poet, hanged
  • 1624 Dirck van Baburen, Dutch painter (Sepulture), dies at about 28
  • 1648 Christian IV, king of Denmark/Norway, dies
  • 1653 Adriaen Pauw, master of Heemstede/Dutch Grand Pensionary, dies at 71
  • 1668 John Thurloe, English Puritan spy (b. 1616)
  • 1677 [Benedictus] Baruch Spinoza, philosopher, dies at 44
  • 1684 Pieter van den Abeelen, Dutch medallist/jeweller, dies at about 75
  • 1689 Isaacus Vossius, Dutch [Isaac Vos], librarian, dies
  • 1711 Joan van Hoorn, gov-gen of Neth-Indies (1707-09), dies at 57
  • 1715 Charles Calvert, 3rd Baron Baltimore, Governor of the Province of Maryland (b. 1637)
  • 1730 Benedict XIII, [Pietro F Orsini], Pope (1724-30), dies at 81
  • 1788 Johann Georg Palitzsch, German astronomer (b. 1723)
  • 1803 Edward Despard, last person drawn & quartered in England
  • 1821 Georg Friedrich von Martens, German diplomat (b. 1756)
  • 1824 Eugène de Beauharnais, son of Napoleon's wife, Josephine (b. 1781)
  • 1846 Emperor Ninko of Japan (b. 1800)
  • 1862 Justinus A C Kerner, German family doctor/poet/writer, dies at 75
  • 1864 Jeffery Forrest, US Confederate brig-general, dies in battle
  • 1872 Pavel P Gagarin, Russian monarch/politician, dies at 82
  • 1879 Peter P van Bosse, Dutch liberal minister of Finance, dies at 69
  • 1894 Gustave Caillebotte, French shipbuilding designer/painter, dies at 45
  • 1901 George Francis FitzGerald, Irish mathematician (b. 1851)
  • 1919 Habib Ullah Chan, emir of Afghanistam (1901-19), murdered at 46
  • 1919 Karl von Hohenzollern, Prince of Belgium, dies
  • 1919 Kurt Eisner, premier Bayern (soc), murdered at 51
  • 1919 Mary Edwards Walker, American surgeon and feminist, only woman awarded Medal of Honor (US Civil War), dies at 86
  • 1920 Jacinta Marto, witness of the Blessed Virgin Mary at Fatima (b. 1910)
  • 1926 Heike Kamerlingh Onnes, Dutch physicist (Nobel 1913), dies at 72
  • 1938 George Ellery Hale, astronomer, dies

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1941 Frederick Banting, Canadian physician, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, dies in a plane crash at 49

  • 1946 José Streel, Belgian World War II collaborator (b. 1911)
  • 1961 Blaise Cendrars, [Frederic Sauser-Hall], Switz, poet, dies at 73

MurderAssassination

1965 Malcolm X [Little], African American human rights activist and Muslim minister, assassinated in New York City at 39

African American Activist Malcolm X
African American Activist
Malcolm X
  • 1966 Paul Comtois, French Canadian politician (b. 1895)
  • 1967 Charles Beaumont, American writer (b. 1929)

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1968 Howard Florey, Australian pathologist and pharmacologist who purified penicillin (Nobel 1945), dies at 69

Pathologist and Nobel Laureate Howard Florey
Pathologist and Nobel Laureate
Howard Florey
  • 1972 Eugène Tisserant, French Catholic candinal (b. 1884)
  • 1978 Mieczysław Żywczyński, Polish historian and priest (b. 1901)
  • 1984 Michail A Sholochov, Russian writer (Ocean Don, Nobel 1965), dies
  • 1985 Eric Herfst, Dutch cabaret performer (Floris), dies at 47
  • 1986 Shigechiyo Izumi, Japanese sugarcane farmer, once thought to be the world's oldest man ever but now disputed (b. 1865)
  • 1986 Helen Hooven Santmyer, American writer (b. 1895)
  • 1991 Margot Fonteyn, ballerina (1st lady of British Ballet), dies at 71
  • 1992 Franc Holden, British astronomer (Binary Stars), dies
  • 1992 William S Magginetti, dies at 98
  • 1994 Frederick Edward Nicklin, architect, dies at 68
  • 1994 William Elgin Swinton, child Psychiatrist, dies at 54
  • 1995 Robert Bolt, British playwright (Doctor Zhivago, Bounty), dies at 70
  • 1996 Horace Leonard Gold, sF writer/editor, dies at 81
  • 1996 Jean Burroughs, educationalist, dies at 67
  • 1996 Terence Edward Armstrong, polar geographer, dies at 75
  • 1997 Kenneth Rowntree, painter, dies at 81
  • 1997 Michael Hollings, catholic priest/crusader, dies at 75

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1999 Gertrude B. Elion, American biochemist and drug researcher who developed groundbreaking leukemia and herpes drug treatments (Nobel 1988), dies at 81

Biochemist and Drug Researcher Gertrude B. Elion
Biochemist and Drug Researcher
Gertrude B. Elion
  • 2002 Harold Furth, Austrian-born physicist (b. 1939)
  • 2002 A. L. [Audrey] Barker, English writer, dies at 83
  • 2004 Guido Molinari, Canadian artist (b. 1933)
  • 2005 Gérard Bessette, Quebec novelist and poet (b. 1920)
  • 2005 Guillermo Cabrera Infante, Cuban novelist (b. 1929)
  • 2008 Sunny Lowry, First British woman to swim the English Channel (b. 1911)
  • 2011 Bernard Nathanson, American abortionist turned pro-life activist (b. 1926)
  • 2012 Baron Hooson [Hugh Emlyn], British politician and peer, dies at 86
  • 2012 Colin Ireland, British 'Gay Slayer' serial killer, dies at 57
  • 2012 John Michuki, Kenyan politician, dies from heart attack at 79
  • 2012 Barney Rosset, American publisher and free speech advocate, dies at 89
  • 2012 Eiko Ishioka, Japanese Costume designer, dies from pancreatic cancer at 74
  • 2017 Kenneth Arrow, American economist, (Nobel Prize 1972), dies at 95