On This Day

What Happened on October 21

Important Events

  • 1805 Battle of Trafalgar: British Admiral Horatio Nelson defeats combined French and Spanish fleet. Nelson shot and killed during battle.
  • 1854 Florence Nightingale with a staff of 38 nurses is sent to the Crimean War
  • 1944 World War II: US troops capture Aachen, 1st large German city to fall
  • 1948 UN rejects Russian proposal to destroy atomic weapons
  • 1950 Chinese forces occupy Tibet
  • 1993 Military coup by Burundi President Ndadaye; 525,000 Hutus flee
More Historical Events

October 21 in Film & TV

October 21 in Music

  • 1858 Jacques Offenbach's operetta " Orpheus in the Underworld" (Orphée aux Enfers) premieres in Paris, includes "Infernal Galop" (can-can tune)

October 21 in Sport

  • 1980 Phillies win their 1st World Championship in their 98-year history

Did You Know?

Explorer Ferdinand Magellan and his fleet reach Cape Virgenes and become the first Europeans to sail into the Pacific Ocean

On October 21, 1520


Would You Believe?

Margaret Owen sets world typing speed record of 170 wpm for 1 min

On October 21, 1918

Famous Weddings

  • 1917 Irish poet and playwright William Butler Yeats (52) weds Georgie Hyde-Lees (25)
  • 1929 Bank robber Willie Sutton (28) weds Louise Leudemann
  • 1948 Science fiction pioneering author "Stranger in a Strange Land" Robert A. Heinlein marries 3rd wife Virginia "Ginny" Gerstenfeld
More Weddings & Divorces