On This Day

Historical Events on February 21

Events 1 - 200 of 204

  • 362 Athanasius returns to Alexandria.


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.
  • 1564 Philip II routes Cardinal Granvelle to Franche-Comte
  • 1574 Spanish garrison of Middelburg, Netherlands, surrenders
  • 1583 Groningen, Netherlands, begins using Gregorian calendar
  • 1598 Boris Godunov crowned Tsar of Russia
  • 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

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1746 Jacobite Rising 1745: British forces surrender Inverness Castle to Bonnie Prince Charlie and the Jacobite forces

Pretender to the British throne Bonnie Prince Charlie
Pretender to the British throne
Bonnie Prince Charlie
  • 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 the 1st time, along the tramway of the Penydarren Ironworks in Merthyr Tydfil, Wales
  • 1821 Greek War of Independence against the Ottoman Empire begins
  • 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, Massachusetts

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1848 Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels publish "The Communist Manifesto" in London

Communist Philosopher Karl Marx
Communist Philosopher
Karl Marx

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, Massachusetts)
  • 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

Victory in battleVictory in Battle

1862 Texas Rangers win Confederate victory at Battle of Valverde, Confederate Arizona (now New Mexico)

Frontiersman Kit Carson
Kit Carson
  • 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
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 élégiaque, in New York City
  • 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 to the German 10th Army after being surrounded
  • 1916 World War I: Battle of Verdun begins with a German offensive, leads to an estimated 1 million casualties and becomes the longest battle of the entire war (9 months)
  • 1917 British troopship SS Mendi sinks off Isle of Wight, 646 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 Britain declares Egypt a sovereign state
  • 1922 WHK-AM in Cleveland, Ohio begins radio transmissions

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1922 Irish Nationalist Eamon De Valera calls a convention of the Sinn Fein, declaring the Republican Government the only legitimate one in all Ireland

President of Ireland Éamon de Valera
President of Ireland
Éamon de Valera
  • 1923 Andre Charlot's musical "Rats" premieres in London
  • 1925 1st issue of "New Yorker" magazine published
  • 1925 Mass meeting of SPD's Reichsbanner Black-Red-Gold in Magdeburg
  • 1927 Franz Lehár's opera "Der Zarewitsch" premieres
  • 1930 Marc Connelly's "Green Pastures" premieres in NYC
  • 1931 Alka Seltzer introduced
  • 1931 Chicago White Sox & NY Giants play 1st exhibition night game
  • 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

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1941 Omar Bradley is promoted to the rank of brigadier general

US WWII General Omar Bradley
US WWII General
Omar Bradley
  • 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
  • 1944 "War As It Happens" news show premieres on NBC TV (NYC only)
  • 1945 Dutch Archbishop of Utrecht Johannes de Jong calls for help with war casualties following the Nazi occupation of Netherlands from the allies
  • 1945 Operation Veritable: British Army captures Goch from Germany, forcing German retreat away from the Rhineland
  • 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
  • 1948 NASCAR is incorporated.
  • 1949 US TV soap opera "A Woman to Remember" is 1st broadcast on DuMont Television Network
  • 1950 WOI TV channel 5 in Ames-Des Moines, IA (ABC/PBS) begins broadcasting
  • 1951 SC House urges "Shoeless Joe" Jackson be reinstated
  • 1952 Bangladesh Martyrs Day (martyrs of Bengali Language Movement)
  • 1952 Dick Button performs 1st figure skating triple jump in competition

Film tv awardsGolden Globes

1952 9th Golden Globes: A Place in the Sun, Fredric March, & Jane Wyman win

  • 1952 American defending champion Dick Button becomes first figure-skater to land a triple jump in competition; performs a triple loop in the Olympic free skate in Oslo; wins gold medal ahead of Austria’s Helmut Seibt
  • 1953 "Maggie" closes at National Theater NYC after 5 performances
  • 1953 Longest collegiate basketball game (6 OTs) Niagara beats Siena 88-81
  • 1957 Dodgers (Fort Worth) & Cubs (LA) "trade" minor league franchises
  • 1958 "Portotino" opens at Adelphi Theater NYC for 3 performances
  • 1958 Egypt-Syria as United Arab Republic elect Nasser president (99.9% vote)
  • 1960 Biathlon debuts at the Squaw Valley Winter Olympics; Klas Lestander from Sweden becomes the first Olympic champion ahead of Finland's Antti Tyrväinen and Soviet Aleksandr Privalov
  • 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
  • 1964 UK flies 24,000 rolls of Beatles wallpaper to US

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1965 Rights activist Malcolm X is shot dead by Nation of Islam followers at Audubon Ballroom in New York City

African American Activist Malcolm X
African American Activist
Malcolm X

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1966 Indonesian President Sukarno dismisses General Nasution

1st President of Indonesia Sukarno
1st President of Indonesia
  • 1968 150,000 demonstrate against leftist students in West Berlin
  • 1968 Baseball announces a minimum annual salary of $10,000
  • 1969 1st launching of heavy N-1 rocket at Baikonur Kazakhstan (explodes)

AgreementContract of Interest

1969 Ted Williams signs 5-year contract to manage Washington Senators

Baseball Player Ted Williams
Baseball Player
Ted Williams
  • 1970 Jackson 5 make TV debut on "American Bandstand"

  • 1970 Pathet Lao conquers Xieng Khuang & Muong Suy
  • 1971 Series of tornadoes cuts through Miss & La killing 117
  • 1971 The Convention on Psychotropic Substances is signed at Vienna.
  • 1972 Michael Weller's "Moonchildren" premieres in NYC

Agreement of InterestNixon Meets Mao

1972 Richard Nixon becomes the first US President to visit China, normalizing relations between the countries in a meeting with Chinese leader Mao Zedong in Beijing
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Richard Nixon meets Chairman Mao in Beijing
Richard Nixon meets Chairman Mao in Beijing
  • 1972 The first session of the Widgery Tribunal, investigating the events of 'Bloody Sunday' (30 January 1972), is held in Coleraine, County Derry
  • 1973 Chicago Black Hawks, record 262nd NHL game without being shut-out
  • 1973 Israeli fighters shoot Libyan aircraft down, killing 108
  • 1974 Israeli forces leave western Suez
  • 1974 Silver hits record $5.96½ an ounce in London
  • 1974 Yugoslavia adopts constitution

Music releaseAlbum Release

1975 John Lennon releases "Rock 'n' Roll" album

Musician and Beatle John Lennon
Musician and Beatle
John Lennon
  • 1975 Watergate figures John Mitchell, H. R. Haldeman & John D Ehrlichman sentenced to 2½-8 yrs for conspiracy and obstruction of justice
  • 1976 "Rockabye Hamlet" closes at Minskoff Theater NYC after 7 performances
  • 1976 Cardinal Willebrands installed as Archbishop of Utrecht
  • 1977 74 Unification Church couples wed in NYC
  • 1979 Japan launches Hakucho X-ray satellite & Corsa-B (550/580 km)
  • 1979 2 Iowa girls HS basketball teams play 4 scoreless quarters game was won 4-2 in 4th overtime period
  • 1980 American speed skater Eric Heiden wins 1,500m in Olympic record 1:55.44; 4th of record 5 gold medal sweep of events at Lake Placid
  • 1980 Hanni Wenzel is 1st Liechtensteiner to win Olympic gold, for the giant slalom
  • 1980 Liechtenstein becomes the smallest country to produce an Olympic champion as Hanni Wenzel wins the women's giant slalom at the Lake Placid Winter Games
  • 1980 East German cross country skier Barbara Petzold wins her second gold medal of the Lake Placid Winter Olympics as part of the women's 4 x 5k relay team; also wins 10k gold
  • 1980 British figure skater Robin Cousins wins men's singles gold medal at the Lake Placid Winter Olympics; goes on to pro career, TV analysis and stage performance & production
  • 1981 "Yorkshire Ripper" Peter Sutcliffe, murderer of 13 women, captured

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1981 Charles Rocket clearly says "fuck" on "Saturday Night Live"

Television Producer Lorne Michaels
Television Producer
Lorne Michaels
  • 1981 Japan launches Hinotori satellite to study solar flares (580/640 k)
  • 1981 NASA launches Comstar D-4
  • 1982 "Ain't Misbehavin'" closes at Longacre Theater NYC after 1604 performances
  • 1982 "Little Me" closes at Eugene O'Neill Theater NYC after 36 performances
  • 1983 Donald Davis runs 1 mile backwards in 6 m 7.1 s

  • 1983 NBA San Diego Clippers begin a 29 game road losing streak
  • 1985 Evert van Benthem wins 13th Friese 11 city skateing race
  • 1985 Largest NBA crowd to date 44,970 (Atlanta at Detroit)

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1985 Tim Raines is awarded a $12 million salary for 1985 by arbitrator

MLB Outfielder Tim Raines
MLB Outfielder
Tim Raines
  • 1986 AIDS patient Ryan White returns to classes at Western Middle School
  • 1987 Syrian army marches into Beirut
  • 1988 Gustafson skates world record 10km (13:48.20)
  • 1988 Televangelist Jimmy Swaggert confesses his sins to his congregation

Conference meetingMeeting of Interest

1989 Pete Rose meets with Commissioner Ueberroth to discuss his gambling

MLB Player and Manager Pete Rose
MLB Player and Manager
Pete Rose
  • 1989 US bust Chinese drug smuggling ring, capturing a record 820 lbs of heroin worth $1 billion at street value
  • 1990 32nd Grammy Awards: Wind Beneath My Wings, Nick of Time wins

Music awardsGrammy Awards

1990 "The Batman Theme" by Danny Elfman wins Grammy Award for Best Instrumental Composition at 32nd Annual Grammy Awards

Composer Danny Elfman
Danny Elfman

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1991 Neil Simon's "Lost in Yonkers" opens at Richard Rodgers Theater NYC for 780 performances

Playwright and screenwriter Neil Simon
Playwright and screenwriter
Neil Simon
  • 1991 USSR announces that Iraq has agreed to a proposal to end the Gulf War, but the US calls the plan unacceptable
  • 1992 Kristi Yamaguchi of US wins Olympic gold medal in women's figure skating

Sport awardNBA All-Star Game

1993 43rd NBA All-Star Game, Delta Center, Salt Lake City, UT: West beats East, 135-132 (OT); MVPs: Karl Malone, Utah Jazz F; John Stockton, Utah Jazz, PG

NBA Point Guard John Stockton
NBA Point Guard
John Stockton
  • 1993 Sergei Bubka pole vaults world record indoor (6.15 m)
  • 1995 CFL's Sacramento Gold Miners become San Antonio Texans
  • 1995 RAF-pilot Jo Salter is 1st woman to fly in a tornado
  • 1996 Soyuz TM-23, launched into orbit
  • 1997 "Empire Strikes Back, special edition" premieres
  • 1997 STS 82 (Discovery 22) lands
  • 1999 Lahore Declaration signed between India's Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Pakistan's Navaz Sharif on use of nuclear weapons
  • 2001 43rd Grammy Awards: Beautiful Day, Shelby Lynne wins
  • 2002 Canadian world champion women's ice hockey team wins first of 4 consecutive Winter Olympic gold medals with a 3-2 win over the United States at Salt Lake City

Appears on tv showTelevision Debut

2003 Bill Maher's political talk show "Real Time with Bill Maher" debuts on HBO

Political Commentator and Comedian Bill Maher
Political Commentator and Comedian
Bill Maher
  • 2004 The first European political party organization, the European Greens, is established in Rome
  • 2007 Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi resigns from office. His resignation is rejected by the President of Italy, Giorgio Napolitano.
  • 2009 29th Golden Raspberry Awards: "The Love Guru" wins

Film tv awardsBAFTA Awards

2010 63rd British Film and Television Awards (BAFTAS): "The Hurt Locker" Best Film, Kathryn Bigelow Best Director

Director Kathryn Bigelow
Kathryn Bigelow

  • 2011 Thailand's GDP rose 3.8% in the fourth quarter of 2010 after a minor recession caused by GDP contractions of 0.4% in the second quarter and 0.3% in the third quarter of 2010, it is reported today
  • 2012 Yemeni voters go to the polls for a presidential election where the only candidate on the ballot paper is vice-president Abd Rabbuh Mansur al-Hadi
  • 2013 83 people are killed and 250 are injured in a series of bombing attacks in Damascus, Syria
  • 2013 21 people are killed and 54 are injured in a bombing in Hyderabad, India
  • 2014 11 people are killed after a Libyan Air Force plan crashes in Tunisia

Conference meetingMeeting of Interest

2014 US President Barack Obama meets with the Dalai Lama

14th Dalai Lama Tenzin Gyatso
14th Dalai Lama
Tenzin Gyatso
44th US President Barack Obama
44th US President
Barack Obama
  • 2014 10 words from the 15th C Voynich manuscript have been decoded
  • 2014 Police in Kiev open fire on protesters: 27 killed and around 570 injured
  • 2014 Canada take the curling double at the Sochi Winter Olympics beating Great Britain, 9-3 in the final; also win women's gold medal
  • 2014 Park Seung-hi wins Olympic women's 1,000m short track speed skating gold medal in Sochi for her 2nd gold medal of the Games; 3,000m relay winner
  • 2014 Viktor An of Russia wins 6th career Olympic short track speed skating gold medal as part of the 5,000m relay team in Sochi; 2nd gold of the day (500m) and 3rd of Games (1,000m)
  • 2015 35th Golden Raspberry Awards: "Saving Christmas" wins worst film
  • 2016 Bombings in the Syrian cities of Homs and Damascus kill 140 people, Islamic State claims responsibility
  • 2016 58th Daytona 500: Denny Hamlin wins closest finish in race history - by just 0.01s from Martin Truex Jr
  • 2016 66th Berlin International Film Festival: Italian documentary "Fire at Sea" wins the Golden Bear
  • 2017 Bodies of 87 African migrants wash ashore at Zawiya, Libya
  • 2017 Plane crashes into shopping centre in Essendon, Melbourne, Australia killing the five people on board
  • 2018 Indian film star Kamal Haasan launches a new political party - Makkal Needhi Mayyam in Tamil Nadu state
  • 2018 Winter Olympics: Jessie Diggins and Kikkan Randall become the first Americans in history to win a cross country gold medal (team sprint)