On This Day

Historical Events on July 21

  • 356 BC Herostratus sets fire to the Temple of Artemis in Ephesus, one of the Seven Wonders of the World
  • 230 St Pontianus begins his reign as Catholic Pope

Historic Event

285 Diocletian appoints Maximian as Caesar and co-ruler

  • 365 Crete Earthquake followed by tsunami around the Eastern Mediterranean allegedly destroys Alexandria
  • 905 Holy Roman Catholic emperor Louis III captured
  • 976 Emperor Otto II gives earl Leopold I, East Bavaria

Victory in Battle

1403 Battle of Shrewsbury: Army led by the Lancastrian King of England, Henry IV defeats a rebel army led by Henry "Harry Hotspur" Percy of Northumberland thus ending the Percy challenge to the throne. Also the first battle English archers fought each other on English soil.

  • 1542 Pope Paul III begins inquisition against Protestants (Sactum Officium)
  • 1545 The first landing of French troops onto the coast of the Isle of Wight during the French invasion
  • 1568 Battle at Jemmingen: Alva's troops beat Dutch rebellion
  • 1579 Mechelen surrenders to Duke of Parma
  • 1588 First engagement between the English fleet and the Spanish Armada off the Eddystone Rocks
  • 1595 Spanish explorer Álvaro de Mendaña is the first European to discover the Marquesas Island in Eastern Polynesia
  • 1645 Manchu Prince Grogon issues edict that all Han Chinese men shave front of their head and wear hair in queues in the Manchu style

Historic Event

1669 John Locke's Constitution of English colony Carolina is approved

  • 1718 The Treaty of Passarowitz between the Ottoman Empire, Austria and the Republic of Venice is signed
  • 1730 States of Holland put death penalty on "sodomy"
  • 1749 Pieter Steyn becomes pension advisor of Holland
  • 1773 Pope Clemens XIV bans Jesuits
  • 1774 Russo-Turkish War, 1768-74: Russia and the Ottoman Empire sign Treaty of Kuchuk-Kainarji ending the war

Victory in Battle

1798 Napoleon Bonaparte wins Battle of Pyramids in Egypt (Battle of Embabeh) against Mamluk rulers, wiping out most of the Egyptian army

  • 1825 Java princess Dipo Negoro/Mangkubumi declare war on all non-islamics
  • 1831 Belgium gains independence from Netherlands, Leopold I made king
  • 1836 1st Canadian RR opens, between Laprairie and St John, Quebec
  • 1846 Mormons found 1st English settlement in California (San Joaquin Valley)

Historic Event

1853 Central Park in New York created when New York State Legislature puts aside more than 750 acres of land on Manhattan Island

  • 1861 First Battle of Bull Run [Battle of First Manassas], 1st major battle of the US Civil War is fought near Manassas, Virginia, Confederate victory

Historic Event

1865 In market square of Springfield, Missouri, Wild Bill Hickok shoots and kills Davis Tutt in what is regarded as the first true western showdown

  • 1866 Cholera epidemic kills hundreds in London
  • 1867 City Gardens on Folsom in San Francisco opens

Historic Event

1873 Jesse James and James Younger gang's 1st train robbery at Adair, Iowa

  • 1877 -27] US army breaks railroad strike
  • 1880 Compressed air accident kills 20 workers on Hudson River tunnel, NY
  • 1884 1st Test Cricket match played at Lord's
  • 1888 Wimbledon Women's Tennis: Lottie Dod retains her title beating Blanche Bingley-Hillyard 6-3, 6-3
  • 1896 National Federation of Colored Women established in Washington, D.C.

Wimbledon Women's Tennis

1896 Wimbledon Women's Tennis: Defending champion Charlotte Cooper beats Alice Simpson Pickering 6-2, 6-3

  • 1897 Tate Gallery opens in England

Catholic Encyclical

1900 Pope Leo XIII encyclical to Greek-Melkite rite

  • 1904 After 13 years, the 4,607-mile Trans-Siberian railway is completed
  • 1904 Camille Jenatzy sets world auto speed record at 65.79 MPH
  • 1913 The Egyptian government announces a new constitutional system and electoral law

Historic Event

1915 Woodrow Wilson sends the third Lusitania note, warning Germany that future infringement of American rights will be deemed 'deliberately unfriendly'

  • 1917 Russian Revolution: Socialist Alexander Kerensky becomes Russian Prime Minister
  • 1918 U-156 shells Nauset Beach, in Orleans, Massachusetts
  • 1919 Anthony Fokker's establishes airplane factory at Hamburg and Amsterdam
  • 1919 Dirigible crashes through bank skylight killing 13 in Chicago, Illinois
  • 1920 Irish Nationalist and Loyalists engage in street fighting over the issue of Irish independence from Britain, though Loyalist are reinforced by 1500 British Auxiliaries and 5800 British troops
  • 1921 Indians (9) & Yankees (7) hit a record 16 doubles
  • 1921 To prove his contention that air power is superior to sea power, US Colonel William Mitchell demonstrates how bombs from planes can sink a captured German battleship
  • 1923 Phillies score 12 in 6th and beat Cubs 17-4

Historic Event

1925 John T. Scopes found guilty of teaching evolution in the “Scopes monkey trial” in Dayton, Tennessee, fined $100 and costs

  • 1930 110°F (43°C) at Millsboro, Delaware (state record)
  • 1930 US Veterans Administration forms
  • 1931 Reno race track, becomes 1st in US to use daily double wagering
  • 1933 Haifa Harbor in Palestine opens
  • 1934 113°F (45°C), near Gallipolis, Ohio (state record)

Music History

1938 Paul Hindemith and Leonide Massine's ballet Nobilissima Visione premieres in London

  • 1940 Soviet Union annexes Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania
  • 1940 VARA-management accepts Rost of Tonningens demands
  • 1941 200 Jewish Torahs are burned in Ukraine

Historic Event

1941 Himmler orders building of Majdanek concentration camp

  • 1942 8 die as coal waste heap slides in river valley near Oakwood, Virginia

Film Premier

1943 "Stormy Weather", directed by Andrew L. Stone, starring Bill Robinson, Lena Horne and Fats Waller (singing "Ain't Misbehavin'") premieres in the US

Meeting of Interest

1944 British premier Winston Churchill flies to France, meets Montgomery

  • 1944 General Koiso becomes Premier of Japan
  • 1944 US forces land on Guam during its recapture from the Japanese (Operation Forager)

Historic Event

1944 Field Marshal Günther von Kluge warns Hitler of impending collapse of front in Normandy

  • 1945 Detroit Tigers and Philadelphia A's play 24 inning 1-1 tie
  • 1946 Jesus T Pinerol becomes 1st native born Puerto Rican governor
  • 1947 Indonesia begins 1st political election
  • 1948 WSPD TV channel 13 in Toledo, OH (NBC) begins broadcasting
  • 1949 US Senate ratifies North Atlantic Treaty by a vote of 82-13 (NATO)

Historic Event

1951 Dalai Lama returns to Tibet

  • 1952 7.8 earthquake shakes Kern County California, 14 killed
  • 1952 Premier Ghavam es-Sultaneh of Persia, resigns

Film Release

1952 "The Quiet Man" film directed by John Ford and starring John Wayne and Maureen O'Hara is released in the UK

  • 1954 Geneva Accords for Indochina signed, dividing French colonial territories into the countries of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (North Vietnam), the State of Vietnam (South Vietnam), Cambodia, and Laos
  • 1955 USS Seawolf launched, 1st submarine powered by liquid metal cooled nuclear reactor
  • 1956 Cincinnati Reds pitcher Brooks Lawrence loses after 13 straight wins
  • 1956 US performs atmospheric nuclear Test at Enwetak

Sports History

1957 1st black to win a major US tennis tournament (Althea Gibson)

  • 1957 PGA Championship Men's Golf, Miami Valley GC: Lionel Hebert wins 2 & 1 from Dow Finsterwald; last time event played under match-play format
  • 1959 1st nuclear powered merchant ship, NS Savannah, named, Camden NJ
  • 1959 Red Sox are last team to use a black player (Pumpsie Green)
  • 1960 Country of Katanga forms in Africa

Election of Interest

1960 Sirimavo Bandaranaike becomes the world's 1st female elected head of government, as Prime Minister of Ceylon (now Sri Lanka)

  • 1960 Francis Chichester arrive in NY aboard Gypsy Moth II, setting record of 40 days for a solo Atlantic crossing
  • 1961 Launch of Mercury 4 (Liberty Bell) with Grissom
  • 1962 160 civil right activists jailed after demonstration in Albany, Georgia
  • 1962 Battles on Chinese & Indies boundary

PGA Championship

1963 PGA Championship Men's Golf, Dallas Athletic Club: Jack Nicklaus wins first of 5 PGA C'ships by 2 shots from fellow American Dave Ragan

  • 1964 Arnold Long takes 11 catches in the match for Surrey v Sussex
  • 1964 Last Dutch whaling ship Willem Barents Sea sold to Japan
  • 1964 Race riots in Singapore between Chinese and Malay groups, 23 killed, 454 injured
  • 1965 Pakistan, Iran and Turkey sign Regional Co-Operation pact
  • 1966 Gemini X returns to Earth
  • 1966 USSR performs nuclear Test at Eastern Kazakh/Semipalitinsk USSR
  • 1968 PGA Championship Men's Golf, Pecan Valley GC: Julius Boros (48) becomes oldest winner of a major; wins by 1 from Bob Charles & Arnold Palmer
  • 1968 55th Tour de France won by Jan Janssen of Netherlands

Apollo 11 Bootprint

1969 Apollo 11: Neil Armstrong becomes the first person to step on the Moon at 2:56:15 AM (GMT)

  • 1969 Russia's Luna 15 impacts moon after 52 lunar orbits
  • 1970 Aswan High Dam opens in Egypt, enables human control of the flooding of the Nile
  • 1970 Libya orders confiscation of all Jewish property
  • 1970 USSR performs nuclear Test at Eastern Kazakh/Semipalitinsk USSR
  • 1970 Clay Kirby has a no-hitter going for 8 inn, but is lifted for a pinch hitter, Reliever Jack Baldschun gives up 3 hits & Padres lose, 3-0
  • 1971 US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site

Historic Event

1971 Sam Giancana returns to the United States after spending seven years of exile in Mexico

  • 1972 2 passenger trains collide head-on killing 76 (Seville, Spain)
  • 1972 27.5 cm rainfall at Fort Ripley, Minnesota (state record)
  • 1972 Los Angeles Dodgers release and end career of knuckleball pitcher Hoyt Wilhelm
  • 1972 In New York 57 murders occur in 24 hours
  • 1972 Bloody Friday: within the space of seventy-five minutes, the Provisional Irish Republican Army explode twenty-two bombs in Belfast; six civilians, two British Army soldiers and one UDA volunteer were killed, 130 injured

Sports History

1973 Braves Hank Aaron hits Philadelphia Phillies Ken Brett's fastball for his 700th HR, in Atlanta

  • 1973 France performs nuclear Test at Mururoa Atoll in the Pacific
  • 1973 USSR launches Mars 4 for fly-by (2600 km) of red planet
  • 1974 US Open Women's Golf, La Grange CC: Sandra Haynie wins by 1 shot from Beth Stone and Carol Mann

Historic Event

1974 US House Judiciary approves two Articles of Impeachment against President Richard Nixon

Sports History

1974 61st Tour de France: Eddy Merckx of Belgium wins 5th Tour that he enters; equals Jacques Anquetil record for Tour victories

Sports History

1975 Billy Martin fired as Texas Rangers manager

  • 1975 NY Met Félix Millán hits 4 singles; erased by Joe Torres 4 double plays
  • 1976 "Guys & Dolls" opens at Broadway Theater NYC for 239 performances
  • 1976 1st outbreak of "Legionnaire's Disease" kills 29 in Philadelphia
  • 1976 Christopher Ewart-Biggs, British Ambassador to the Republic of Ireland, and his secretary Judith Cook are assassinated by a bomb planted by the Provisional IRA in his car in Dublin
  • 1976 9th San Diego Comic-Con International opens at El Cortez Hotel
  • 1977 Libyan-Egyptian border fights
  • 1977 Sri Lankan Prime Minister Sirimavo Bandaranaike loses general election
  • 1977 Sanjiva Reddy is elected sixth President of India unopposed
  • 1978 Bolivian military coup under General Juan Pereda, President Hugo Banzer flees
  • 1978 US Postal Service & unions agree on a contract averting mail strike
  • 1978 World's strongest dog, 80-kg St Bernard, pulls 2909-kg load 27 m

Film Premier

1978 "Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" film starring The Bee Gees, based on the Beatles' album of the same name, premieres in NYC

British Golf Open

1979 British Open Men's Golf, Royal Lytham & St. Annes: Spaniard Seve Ballesteros wins by 3 from Jack Nicklaus & Ben Crenshaw; Nicklaus runner-up for record 7th time

  • 1979 National Women's Hall of Fame (Seneca Falls, NY) dedicated
  • 1980 Jean-Claude Droyer climbs Eiffel Tower in 2 hrs 18 mins
  • 1981 Australia set 130 to win, all out 111 at Headingley Willis 8-43
  • 1982 France performs nuclear Test at Mururoa atoll
  • 1983 Polish government ends 19 months of martial law

Music Concert

1983 Thunder storm cuts short Diana Ross' free concert in NY's Central Park

  • 1983 US announces Lebanon freed American hostage David Dodge
  • 1983 World's lowest-ever natural temperature recorded −89.2 °C (−128.6 °F; 184.0 K) at Soviet Vostok Station, Antarctica
  • 1984 Marita Koch of East Germany sets world women's mark for 200m, 21.71s
  • 1984 USSR performs underground nuclear Test
  • 1985 "Leader of the Pack" closes at Ambassador Theater NYC after 120 performances
  • 1985 British Open Men's Golf, Royal St George's GC: Scotsman Sandy Lyle wins his only Open title by 1 stroke from runner-up Payne Stewart; last time event features double cut (after 36 and 54 holes), introduced in 1968
  • 1985 Amina Fakir (Detroit), 23, crowned 18th Miss Black America
  • 1985 72nd Tour de France won by Bernard Hinault of France
  • 1986 Bárbara Palacios Teyde, 22, of Venezuela, crowned 35th Miss Universe
  • 1986 Pleasure Island plans unveiled
  • 1987 Kristi Addis, of Mississippi, crowned 5th Miss Teen USA

Album Release

1987 Guns & Roses debut album "Appetite for Destruction" is released, and becomes the best-selling debut album of all time with more than 30 million copies sold

  • 1988 ESA's Ariane-3 launches 2 communications satellites (1 Indian)
  • 1988 Massachusetts Governor Michael Dukakis accepts Democratic nomination for president
  • 1989 Eastern Airlines submits a reorganization plan to creditors

Boxing Title Fight

1989 Mike Tyson KOs Carl Williams in 1:33 for heavyweight boxing title

  • 1990 Goodwill Games opens in Seattle, Washington

Music History

1990 Pink Floyd's "The Wall" is performed where the Berlin Wall once stood

  • 1991 British Open Men's Golf, Royal Birkdale GC: Australian 1-2 with Ian Baker-Finch winning his only major championship, 2 strokes ahead of runner-up Mike Harwood
  • 1991 Sharmell Sullivan (Gary Indiana), 20, crowned 23rd Miss Black America

Hall of Fame

1991 Ferguson Jenkins, Gaylord Perry, Rod Carew, Tony Lazzeri, & Bill Veeck are elected into the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY

  • 1993 Angela Kennedy swims world record 50 m butterfly stroke (26.93)

Election of Interest

1994 Tony Blair is declared the winner of the leadership election of the British Labour Party, paving the way for him to become Prime Minister in 1997

Sports History

1995 Brian Lara completes a pair for West Indians v Kent

  • 1995 KC Royals set club-record of 22 singles in 15 innings
  • 1996 British Open Men's Golf, Royal Lytham & St. Annes: American Tom Lehman wins his only major championship by 2 strokes from Mark McCumber and Ernie Els; first American to win at Lytham since Bobby Jones 70 years earlier

Sports History

1996 Wayne Gretzky signs a 2 year deal with NY Rangers

  • 1996 "The Daily Show" hosted by Craig Kilborn premieres on Comedy Central in the US
  • 1996 83rd Tour de France won by Bjarne Riis of Denmark
  • 1997 NY Yank Mike Whiton held in Milwaukee on charges of sexual assault
  • 1997 The fully restored USS Constitution (aka "Old Ironsides") celebrates her 200th birthday, setting sail for the first time in 116 years
  • 2002 Telecom giant WorldCom files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, the then largest such filing in United States history
  • 2002 British Open Men's Golf, Muirfield: Ernie Els of South Africa wins first of 2 Open titles in a playoff from Australians Stuart Appleby & Steve Elkington, and Frenchman Thomas Levet

Sports History

2002 With a record 6 races remaining, German Ferrari driver Michael Schumacher clinches his 5th F1 World Drivers Championship with victory in the French Grand Prix at Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours; 3rd straight title win

  • 2004 The United Kingdom government publishes Delivering Security in a Changing World, a paper detailing wide-ranging reform of the country's armed forces
  • 2005 Four terrorist bombers target London's public transportation system, exactly two weeks after the July 7 bombings. All four bombs fail to detonate leading to the capture of all the bombers.

Historic Publication

2007 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, the final book in the series by J. K. Rowling is published worldwide. 11 million copies sell in 24 hrs

  • 2007 New Zealand beats Australia, 26-12 at Eden Park, Auckland to win their 3rd consecutive Tri Nations Rugby Series; flyhalf Dan Carter lands 7 penalties for the All Blacks
  • 2008 Bosnian-Serb war criminal Radovan Karadžić is arrested in Serbia and is indicted by the UN's ICTY tribunal
  • 2011 NASA's Space Shuttle program ends with the landing of Space Shuttle Atlantis on mission STS-135
  • 2011 44th San Diego Comic-Con International opens at San Diego Convention Center
  • 2013 15 Egyptian Army soldiers are killed after their bus crashes into a truck on the Mediterranean Coast Highway
  • 2013 12 people are killed in a clash between two Muslim families in Lanao del Sur, Philippines
  • 2013 British Open Men's Golf, Muirfield: Phil Mickelson wins his 5th major, by 3 strokes from Henrik Stenson of Sweden
  • 2013 100th Tour de France won by Chris Froome of Great Britain

Historic Event

2013 Philippe of Belgium becomes King of the Belgiums after his father King Albert II's earlier abdication

  • 2014 After 3 weeks, the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) has struck about 2,800 targets in Gaza, while Gaza has fired 1,497 rockets at Israel

Film Premier

2014 "Guardians of the Galaxy", directed by James Gunn, starring Chris Pratt and Zoe Saldana, premieres in Hollywood, Los Angeles

  • 2015 On This Day changes its domain name and brand from HistoryOrb.com to OnThisDay.com

Music History

2017 Singer Justin Bieber barred from performing in China by Beijing Municipal Bureau of Culture citing his "bad behavior"

  • 2017 White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer resigns after opposing appointment of Anthony Scaramucci
  • 2018 India scraps tax on sanitary products after campaign by activists
  • 2018 Re-boot of TV show "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" announced with creator Joss Whedon as executive producer
  • 2019 Puerto Rico's governor Ricardo Rosselló says he won't seek re-election after widespread protests over misogynistic and homophobic comments in his leaked online chats

Film & TV History

2019 Marvel announces 10 new superhero films at Comic Con including Blade with Mahershala Ali, Natalie Portman as a female Thor and first Asian American super hero film Shang-Chi

  • 2019 British Open Men's Golf, Royal Portrush GC: Playing in torrential rain, Irishman Shane Lowry wins his first major title by 6 strokes from Tommy Fleetwood of England
  • 2020 Former Sudanese leader Omar Hassan al-Bashir goes on trial in Khartoum for the 1989 coup that toppled the government
  • 2020 Russian interference in British politics is 'the new normal' according to report by British Intelligence and Security Committee
  • 2020 European Union agrees huge €750 billion ($859 billion) post-COVID-19 stimulus bill

Historic Event

2020 Stage 1 of the controversial filling of Blue Nile River dam announced completed by Ethiopian PM Abiy Ahmed

  • 2021 Life expectancy in the US falls by 1.5 years (3 years for Hispanic Americans. 2.9 for Black Americans) in largest decline since WWII [1]