On This Day

Historical Events on March 21

  • 630 Byzantine emperor Heraclius restores the True Cross to Jerusalem
  • 717 Battle of Vincy fought in the Cambrai during Frankish Civil War; Charles Martel's forces defeat those of King Chilperic II and his mayor Ragenfrid
  • 1188 Accession to the throne of Japan by emperor Antoku
  • 1413 Henry of Monmouth, Prince of Wales, becomes King Henry V of England

Historic Event

1610 King James I of England and VI of Scotland addresses English House of Commons

  • 1681 3rd Exclusion Parliament meets in London

Historic Event

1702 Queen Anne addresses English parliament

  • 1788 Fire destroys 856 buildings in New Orleans, Louisiana

Historic Event

1788 Olaudah Equiano (aka Gustavus Vassa), a freed slave, petitions King George III and Queen Charlotte, to free enslaved Africans

  • 1791 Captain Hopley Yeaton becomes 1st commissioned officer in the Revenue Marine, later the Revenue Cutter Service, the forerunner of the modern US Coast Guard
  • 1804 Napoleonic Code adopted in France, stresses clearly written and accessible law
  • 1821 First revolutionary act in Monastery of Agia Lavra, Kalavryta, Greek War of Independence.
  • 1824 Fire at Cairo ammunitions dump kills 4,000 horses

Music Premiere

1826 Beethoven's "String Quartet No. 13" in B flat major (Op 130) premieres in Vienna

  • 1844 Origin of Baha'i Era-Baha'i calendar starts here (Baha 1, 1)
  • 1844 The original date predicted by William Miller of Massachusetts for the return of Christ and the end of the world
  • 1859 Scottish National Gallery opens in Edinburgh
  • 1859 Zoological Society of Philadelphia, 1st in US, incorporated
  • 1860 US extradition treaty with Sweden

Historic Event

1860 English novelist George Eliot finishes her novel "The Mill on the Floss" in Wandsworth, London

  • 1863 Naval Engagement at Havana, Cuba: USS Henrick Hudson vs Confederate blokcade runner Wild Pigeon
  • 1864 Battle at Henderson's Hill (Bayou Rapids) Louisiana
  • 1865 Battle of Bentonville ends, last Confederate effort to stop Sherman
  • 1866 US Congress authorizes national soldiers' homes
  • 1868 1st US professional women's club, Sorosis, forms in NYC

Historic Event

1871 Otto von Bismarck elevated to rank of Fürst (Prince)

  • 1871 33rd Grand National: Irish 1868 winner The Lamb claims second GN at 11/2; ridden by Tommy Pickernell
  • 1872 34th Grand National: John Page wins his second GN aboard 20/1 shot Casse Tete
  • 1885 2nd French government of Ferry resigns
  • 1888 Arthur Pinero's "Sweet Lavender" premieres in London
  • 1890 Austrian Jewish communities are defined by law
  • 1899 British & French accord over West Africa
  • 1902 64th Grand National: David Read aboard 20/1 chance Shannon Lass wins by 3 lengths from Matthew
  • 1907 US sends troops to Honduras to halt the Nicaraguan army takeover
  • 1909 Moran & MacFarland (US) wins Europe's 1st 6 day bicycle race (Berlin)
  • 1909 Germany sends Russia a diplomatic notes requesting recognition of the Austrian annexation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and cessation of support to Serbia in the controversy
  • 1913 -26] Flood in Ohio, kills 400
  • 1914 US Ladies' Figure Skating championship won by Theresa Weld
  • 1914 US Men's Figure Skating championship won by Norman M Scott
  • 1916 JP Van Limburg Stirum succeeds AWF Idenburg as Governor-General of the Dutch East Indies
  • 1917 Loretta Walsh becomes US Navy's 1st female Petty Officer
  • 1918 -28] During WW I Germany launches Somme offensive
  • 1921 Walter Kerr Theater (Ritz, CBS, NBC, ABC) opens at 223 W 48th St NYC
  • 1922 KGW-AM in Portland OR begins radio transmissions
  • 1923 US foreign minister Charles Hughes refuses USSR recognition
  • 1924 1st foreign language course broadcast on US radio (WJZ, NYC)
  • 1924 Mass Investors Trust becomes 1st mutual fund set up in US
  • 1925 Edinburgh's Murreyfield Stadium officially opens
  • 1925 Iran adopts Khorshidi solar Hijri calendar
  • 1925 Tennessee governor Austin Peay passes the "Butler Act," making Tennessee the 1st state to outlaw teaching the theory of evolution (repealed 1967)
  • 1927 Guomindang Army conquers Shanghai as British marines flee
  • 1931 KRO-broadcast studio initiated in Hilversum Holland
  • 1931 US Ladies' Figure Skating championship won by Maribel Vinson
  • 1931 US Men's Figure Skating championship won by Roger Turner

Historic Event

1933 Day of Potsdam in Nazi Germany, a ceremony to open the new Reichstag after the fire in February; Adolf Hitler and Paul von Hindenburg shake hands in public

  • 1934 Fire destroys Hakodate Japan, killing about 1,500

Theater Premiere

1935 Jean Anouilh's play "Y avait un prisonnier" premieres in Paris

  • 1935 Persia is officially renamed Iran
  • 1937 Ponce massacre, police kill 19 at Puerto Rican Nationalist parade
  • 1939 Nazi Germany demands the return of Danzig (Gdańsk) from Poland

Film Premier

1940 "Rebecca" based on the book by Daphne du Maurier, directed by Alfred Hitchcock and starring Laurence Olivier and Joan Fontaine premieres in Miami, Florida (Best Picture 1941)

Boxing Title Fight

1941 In a hard fought 15th title defence Joe Louis KOs Abe Simon in the 13th round at Olympia Stadium, Detroit to retain NYSAC heavyweight boxing crown

  • 1942 Convoy QP9 departs Great Britain to Murmansk

Assassination Attempt

1943 Assassination attempt on Adolf Hitler fails

  • 1943 Massacre of the town of Kalavryta, Greece by German Nazi troops.

Historic Event

1944 General Eisenhower postpones invasion of the south of France until after Normandy

  • 1945 1st Japanese kamikaze "flying bombs" (MXY-7 Ohka) attack Okinawa
  • 1945 During WW II Allied bombers begin 4-day raid over Germany
  • 1945 Dutch Resistance fighter Hannie Schaft arrested by Nazi police
  • 1946 Kenny Washington signs with Rams, 1st black NFLer since 1933
  • 1946 UN set up temporary HQ at Hunter (now Lehman) College (Bronx)

Catholic Encyclical

1947 Pope Pius XII publishes encyclical Fulgens radiatur

Historic Event

1947 US President Harry Truman signs Executive Order 9835 requiring all federal employees to have allegiance to the United States

  • 1947 Test Cricket debut of Bert Sutcliffe, NZ v England at Christchurch
  • 1947 U.S. President Harry Truman signs executive order 9835 requiring "complete and unswerving loyalty to the United States" of Federal employees
  • 1948 "Stop the Music" with Bert Parks premieres on ABC radio
  • 1948 LPGA Titleholders Championship Women's Golf, Augusta CC: Patty Berg wins her 4th Titleholders title by 1 stroke ahead of Babe Zaharias and Peggy Kirk
  • 1949 WTVJ TV channel 4 in Miami, FL (NBC/CBS) begins broadcasting
  • 1951 2,900,000 US soldiers in Korea
  • 1952 "3 Wishes for Jamie" opens at Mark Hellinger Theater NYC for 94 performances
  • 1952 -22] Tornadoes in Arkansas, Tennessee, Missouri, Mississippi, Alabama and Kentucky cause 343 deaths

Music Concert

1952 25,000 attend the 1st rock & roll concert ever when Alan Freed presents Moondog Coronation Ball at old Cleveland Arena

  • 1953 NBA record 106 fouls & 12 players foul out (Boston-Syracuse)
  • 1953 England beats Scotland, 26-8 at Twickenham, London to clinch their 14th Five Nations Rugby Championship
  • 1954 KFBB TV channel 5 in Great Falls, MT (ABC/CBS/NBC) begins broadcasting
  • 1955 Archbishop Makarios of Cyprus desires Cyprus to join Greece
  • 1955 Brooklyn Bulletin ask Dodger fans not to call their team "Bums"
  • 1956 "The Rose Tattoo" wins 3 Academy awards, including Anna Manini for Best Actress and Cinematography (Black & White)

Historic Event

1957 Tennessee Williams' "Orpheus Descending" premieres in NYC

  • 1958 1st presentation of West Point's Sylvanus Thayer Award
  • 1958 USSR performs atmospheric nuclear test
  • 1959 "Juno" closes at Winter Garden Theater NYC after 16 performances

Sports History

1959 21st NCAA Men's Basketball Championship: California beats West Virginia, 71-70; WV future Hall of Fame point guard Jerry West is named MOP

  • 1959 113th Grand National: Michael Scudamore wins aboard 8/1 second favourite Oxo; only 4 of 32 starters finish the race
  • 1960 Sharpeville Massacre: Police kill 72 in South Africa & outlaws ANC
  • 1961 Art Modell purchases Cleveland Browns for then record sum ($3,925,000)
  • 1961 The Beatles' first appearance at the Cavern Club in Liverpool
  • 1962 Yogi the bear becomes the 1st creature to be ejected at supersonic speeds by the US military testing ejection seats
  • 1962 Dutch RC bishop Beckers declares himself in favor of birth control
  • 1962 Philadelphia Phillies retire pitcher Robin Roberts' # 36
  • 1963 David Hendon & Douglas Cross' musical premieres in London
  • 1964 26th NCAA Men's Basketball Championship: UCLA beats Duke, 98-83; Bruins first title in first title game; undefeated season (30-0)
  • 1964 Beatles' single "She Loves You" goes #1 in the US & stays #1 for 2 weeks
  • 1964 118th Grand National: Willie Robinson aboard American-owned 12-year-old Team Spirit wins at odds of 18/1
  • 1964 9th Eurovision Song Contest: Gigliola Cinquetti for Italy wins singing "Non ho l'eta" in Copenhagen
  • 1964 Wales draws 11-11 with France in Cardiff, whilst Scotland beats England, 15-6 at Murrayfield to leave the Five Nations Rugby Championship shared by Wales and Scotland on 6 competition points
  • 1965 US Ranger 9 launched; takes 5,814 pictures before lunar impact
  • 1966 US Supreme Court reverses Massachusetts ruling that "Fanny Hill" is obscene
  • 1966 American medical drama series "Ben Casey", starring Vince Edwards and Sam Jaffe, ends a five season run on ABC-TV
  • 1968 "Royals" chosen as the name of new KC AL franchise
  • 1968 Hill, Hawkins & Coghill's musical premieres in London
  • 1968 Israeli forces cross Jordan River to attack PLO bases

Historic Event

1968 Portuguese socialist Mário Soares banished to Sao Tomé, having been arrested by secret police under dictator António de Oliveira Salazar

  • 1969 US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site
  • 1970 32nd NCAA Men's Basketball Championship: UCLA beats Jacksonville, 80-69; Bruins' 4th straight title under coach John Wooden
  • 1970 Vinko Bogataj crashes during a ski-jumping championship in Germany; his image becomes that of the "agony of defeat guy" in the opening credits of ABC's Wide World of Sports.
  • 1970 1st San Diego Comic-Con International opens at U.S. Grant Hotel
  • 1970 15th Eurovision Song Contest: Dana for Ireland wins singing "All Kinds of Everything" in Amsterdam
  • 1971 Indian cricket great Sunil Gavaskar scores first of his 34 Test Cricket centuries; 116 in drawn 3rd Test at Georgetown, Guyana
  • 1971 Vermont seasonal snowfall totals 132.2"
  • 1971 WCPB TV channel 28 in Salisbury, MD (PBS) begins broadcasting
  • 1972 US Supreme Court rules states can't require 1-yr residency to vote

Sports History

1973 Montreal Canadiens' left wing Frank Mahovlich becomes 5th NHL player to score 500 goals

  • 1974 Attempt made to kidnap Princess Anne in London's Pall Mall
  • 1975 Ethiopia abolishes its monarchy after 3,000 years
  • 1978 Padres fire Al Dark (2nd manager ever fired during spring training)
  • 1978 San Francisco passes its and the U.S.' most comprehensive homosexual rights bill
  • 1979 Egyptian Parliament unanimously approve peace treaty with Israel

Television Finale

1980 On season finale cliffhanger of TV show "Dallas", villain J.R. Ewing is shot by unknown assailant

  • 1981 France beats England 16-12 at Twickenham, London for it's 7th outright Five Nations Rugby Championship and 3rd Grand Slam title
  • 1981 9-time World Grand Prix motor cycle champion Mike Hailwood along with his 9-year old daughter Michelle are killed when his Rover SD1 collides with a truck near their home in Tanworth-in-Arden in England
  • 1982 "Little Johnny Jones" opens & closes at Alvin Theater NYC
  • 1982 Jerry Pate celebrates golf win by jumping into the water hazard

Film Premier

1982 Movie "Annie" directed by John Huston, starring Aileen Quinn, Albert Finney and Carol Burnett premieres

  • 1982 PGA Tournament Players Championship, TPC at Sawgrass: Jerry Pate shoots a final round 67 to win by 2 strokes over runners-up Scott Simpson and Brad Bryant
  • 1983 Only known typo on Time Magazine cover (control=contol), all recalled
  • 1984 Border scores 100* v WI Trinidad after 98* in 1st cricket innings
  • 1984 NFL owners passed the infamous anti-celebrating rule

Music History

1984 Part of Central Park in New York City is named Strawberry Fields honoring John Lennon

  • 1984 Soviet sub crashes into USS aircraft carrier Kitty Hawk off Japan

Hall of Fame

1985 Arthur Ashe is nominated for the International Tennis Hall of Fame

  • 1985 Bloodbath at Langa (Uitenhage) South-Africa, 19 killed
  • 1986 199.22 million shares traded in NY Stock Exchange
  • 1986 Kania skates ladies world record 500 m (39.52 sec) & 3 km (4:18.02)
  • 1986 Pittsburgh Associates buy Pittsburgh Pirates for $218 million
  • 1987 PSV sells soccer player Ruud Gullit to AC Milan (Ÿ17 million)
  • 1987 France beats Ireland, 19-13 at Lansdowne Road, Dublin the clinch the outright Five Nations Rugby Championship for the 8th time and 4th Grand Slam title
  • 1989 1st sea test of Trident 2 missile self-destructs, Cape Canaveral, Florida
  • 1990 "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" opens at Eugene O'Neill Theater NYC for 149 performances
  • 1990 "Normal Life" starring Moon Unit & Dweezil Zappa premieres on CBS-TV
  • 1990 "Sydney" starring Valerie Bertinelli premieres on CBS-TV
  • 1990 Namibia becomes independent of South Africa, Sam Nujoma becomes president
  • 1991 27 lost at sea when 2 US Navy anti-submarine planes collide
  • 1991 Largest wrestling crowd in Japan (64,500) at Tokyo Dome

Pro Wrestling

1991 Tatsumi Fujinami beats Ric Flair for NWA wrestling championship

  • 1991 UN Security Council panel decided to lift the food embargo on Iraq
  • 1991 Quebec Nordiques goaltender Ron Tugnutt sets NHL modern-day record for most saves in a regular season non-loss game (70 of 73 shots in 3-3 tie with the Boston Bruins
  • 1992 Pakistan scores 6-264 to overhaul NZ in exciting World Cup cricket semi


1993 Pope John Paul II beatifies Duns Scotus, a philosopher-theologian of the Middle Ages

  • 1993 South Africa White Wolves kill 5 year old black girl
  • 1994 Anne P Sidamon-Eristoff named chairwoman of Museum of National History

Music History

1994 English actor Dudley Moore arrested for hitting his girlfriend

NHL Record

1994 Wayne Gretzky ties Gordie Howe's NHL record of 801 goals

  • 1994 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) enters into force after being ratified by the required number of nations

Historic Event

1995 New Jersey officially dedicates the Howard Stern Rest Area along Route 295

  • 1995 NYC agrees to sell its 2 owned radio stations (WNYC AM & FM)
  • 1996 "Night of the Iguana" opens at Criterion Theater NYC for 68 performances
  • 1997 Ice Dance Championship in Lausanne, Switzerland won by Oksana Grishuk & Evgeny Platov (Rus)
  • 1999 Swiss aviator Bertrand Piccard and British aviator Brian Jones become the first to circumnavigate the Earth in a hot air balloon.
  • 2000 NSYNC release their 4th studio album “No Strings Attached” (2000 Billboard Album of the Year)
  • 2002 In Pakistan, Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh along with three other suspects are charged with murder for their part in the kidnapping and killing of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl.
  • 2002 Schoolgirl Amanda Dowler is abducted in broad daylight on her way home from Heathside School in Walton-on-Thames, England
  • 2004 In Malaysia, the 11th Federal and State elections are held, returning the ruling coalition Barisan Nasional to power with an increased majority.
  • 2006 Immigrant workers constructing the Burj Dubayy in Dubai, The United Arab Emirates and a new terminal of Dubai International Airport join together and riot, causing $1M in damage.

Historic Event

2006 First ever tweet sent out by Twitter founder Jack Dorsey "just setting up my twttr"

  • 2009 Ireland completes a Grand Slam with a 17-15 win over Wales at Millennium Stadium, Cardiff to win the Six Nations Rugby Championship
  • 2012 Five former Guatemalan paramilitaries are sentenced to 7,710 years in jail for their role in the Plan de Sanchez massacre in 1982
  • 2012 Greek Parliament votes in favour of an international bailout deal
  • 2012 Sergio Agüero & Samir Nasri score to give Manchester City 2-1 win over Chelsea at City of Manchester Stadium; EPL record 20th consecutive home win; streak ends with 3-3 draw v Sunderland 31/3
  • 2013 12 people are killed and 30 are injured by a car bombing in Peshawar, Pakistan
  • 2013 42 people are killed and 84 are injured by a bombing in a mosque in Damascus, Syria
  • 2013 At least 45 people drown and 60 are missing after a Nigerian boat sinks off the shore of Gabon
  • 2013 24 people are killed and 100 are injured by a tornado and hail storm in southern China
  • 2013 A barter dispute loses control and results in 10 people being killed, 20 injured, and 4 mosques being burnt to the ground in Myanmar
  • 2013 The European Space Agency reveals new data that indicates that the universe is 13.82 billion years old
  • 2013 Martin Gould defeats Ali Carter to win the snooker 2013 Championship League
  • 2014 Russia formally annexes Crimea amid international condemnation

Olympic Gold

2014 Canadian freestyle skier (moguls) and two-time Olympic gold medalist Alexandre Bilodeau retires at 26

  • 2015 Ireland retains Six Nations Rugby Championship with 40-10 win over Scotland at Murrayfield; England needs 26 point win over France for title but can only beat Les Bleus, 55-35 at Twickenham
  • 2017 Singer Wyclef Jean wrongly identified as a suspect, handcuffed and detained by LA county sheriff’s department

Historic Event

2018 Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg admits they "made mistakes" after data on 50 million users is harvested by Cambridge Analytica

  • 2018 Nigerian government confirms 101 out of 110 schoolgirls kidnapped from Dapchi returned