On This Day in History for July 21

Events in History

Events 1 - 100 of 140

  • 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

Event of interestEvent of Interest

285 Diocletian appoints Maximian as Caesar, co-ruler.

Roman Emperor Diocletian
Roman Emperor
  • 365 Crete Earthquake followed by tsunami around the Eastern Mediterranean allegedly destroys Alexandria
  • 866 John appointed bishop of the kingdom
  • 905 Holy Roman Catholic emperor Louis III captured
  • 976 Emperor Otto II gives earl Leopold I, East Bavaria
  • 1403 Battle of Shrewsbury fought by Percys against King Henry IV
  • 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 Alvara Mendana discovers Marquesas Island

Event of interestEvent of Interest

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

Philosopher John Locke
John Locke
  • 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 battleVictory in Battle

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

French Emperor Napoléon Bonaparte
French Emperor
Napoléon Bonaparte
  • 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)
  • 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

Event of interestEvent of Interest

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

Folk Hero of the American Old West Wild Bill Hickok
Folk Hero of the American Old West
Wild Bill Hickok
  • 1866 Cholera epidemic kills hundreds in London
  • 1867 City Gardens on Folsom in San Francisco opens

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1873 Jesse James and James Younger gang's 1st train robbery (Adair Iowa)

Outlaw Jesse James
Jesse James
  • 1877 -27] US army breaks railroad strike
  • 1880 Compressed air accident kills 20 workers on Hudson River tunnel, NY
  • 1896 National Federation of Colored Women established in Washington D.C.
  • 1897 Tate Gallery opens in England
  • 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

Event of interestEvent of Interest

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

28th US President Woodrow Wilson
28th US President
Woodrow Wilson
  • 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
  • 1925 John T. Scopes found guilty of teaching evolution in the “Scopes monkey trial”, Dayton, Tennessee, fined $100 & 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)
  • 1938 Paul Hindemith and Leonide Massine's ballet 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

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1941 Himmler orders building of Majdanek concentration camp

Leading Nazi and Reichsführer of the SS Heinrich Himmler
Leading Nazi and Reichsführer of the SS
Heinrich Himmler
  • 1942 8 die as coal waste heap slides in river valley near Oakwood, Va

Conference meetingMeeting of Interest

1944 British premier Winston Churchill flies to France, meets Montgomery

Soldier, Author and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill
Soldier, Author and British Prime Minister
Winston Churchill
  • 1944 General Koiso becomes Premier of Japan
  • 1944 US forces land on Guam during its recapture from the Japanese (Operation Forager)

Event of interestEvent of Interest

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

Dictator of Nazi Germany Adolf Hitler
Dictator of Nazi Germany
Adolf Hitler
  • 1946 Jesus T Pinerol becomes 1st native born Puerto Rican governor
  • 1947 Indonesia begins 1st political election
  • 1949 US Senate ratifies North Atlantic Treaty by a vote of 82-13 (NATO)

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1951 Dalai Lama returns to Tibet

14th Dalai Lama Tenzin Gyatso
14th Dalai Lama
Tenzin Gyatso
  • 1952 7.8 earthquake shakes Kern County California, 14 killed
  • 1952 Premier Ghavam es-Sultaneh of Persia, resigns
  • 1954 At Geneva, France agrees to independence of North & South Vietnam
  • 1955 USS Seawolf launched, 1st submarine powered by liquid metal cooled nuclear reactor
  • 1956 US performs atmospheric nuclear Test at Enwetak
  • 1959 1st nuclear powered merchant ship, NS Savannah, named, Camden NJ
  • 1960 Country of Katanga forms in Africa

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1960 Sirimavo Bandaranaike becomes the world's 1st female head of state in modern times, as Prime Minister of Ceylon (now Sri Lanka)

World's 1st Female Head of State or Government Sirimavo Bandaranaike
World's 1st Female Head of State or Government
Sirimavo Bandaranaike
  • 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
  • 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

Event of interestEvent of Interest

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

Astronaut & 1st Man on the Moon Neil Armstrong
Astronaut & 1st Man on the Moon
Neil Armstrong
  • 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
  • 1971 US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site

Event of interestEvent of Interest

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

Gangster Sam Giancana
Sam Giancana
  • 1972 2 passenger trains collide head-on killing 76 (Seville, Spain)
  • 1972 27.5 cm rainfall at Fort Ripley, Minnesota (state record)
  • 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
  • 1973 France performs nuclear Test at Mururoa Atoll in the Pacific
  • 1973 USSR launches Mars 4 for fly-by (2600 km) of red planet

Event of interestEvent of Interest

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

37th US President Richard Nixon
37th US President
Richard Nixon
  • 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

Birthdays in History

  • 1515 St Philippus Nerius, [Philippo Neri], Italian merchant/priest, born in Florence, Italy (d. 1595)
  • 1620 Jean Picard, French astronomer, born in La Flèche, France (d. 1682)
  • 1664 Matthew Prior, English poet and diplomat, born in London (d. 1721)
  • 1676 Anthony Collins, English philosopher (A discourse on free-thinking), born in Hounslow, Middlesex (d. 1729)

Person of interestThomas Pelham-Holles

1693 Thomas Pelham-Holles, 1st Duke of Newcastle, British Prime Minister (Whig: 1757-62), born in London (d. 1768)

British Prime Minister Thomas Pelham-Holles
British Prime Minister
Thomas Pelham-Holles
  • 1706 Pierre Lyonet, Dutch zoologist and cryptologist (Anatomy of Wilgehoutrups), born in Maastricht, Netherlands (d. 1789)
  • 1710 Paul Möhring, German physician and scientist, born in Jever, Germany (d. 1792)
  • 1802 David Hunter, American Major General (Union Army), born in Troy, New York (d. 1886)
  • 1808 Simion Bărnuţiu, Romanian philosopher and politician, born in Bocșa, Sălaj, Ottoman Empire (d. 1864)
  • 1810 Henri V. Regnault, French physicist and chemist, born in Aachen (d. 1878)
  • 1815 Stewart Van Vliet, American Brevet Major General (Union Army), born in Ferrisburgh, Vermont (d. 1901)
  • 1816 Paul Julius Baron von Reuter, German-born founder of Reuters news service, born in Kassel (d. 1899)
  • 1817 John Gilbert, British artist, illustrator and engraver, born in Blackheath, Surrey (d. 1897)
  • 1817 Joseph K Barnes, American Major General (Union Army), born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (d. 1883)
  • 1821 Vasile Alecsandri, Romanian foreign minister, diplomat and poet, born in Bacau, Moldova (d. 1890)
  • 1826 James Gillpatrick Blunt, American physician, abolitionist, and Major General (Union Army), born in Trenton, Maine (d. 1881)
  • 1828 John Rutter Brooke, American Brevet Major General (Union Army), born in Pottstown, Pennsylvania (d. 1926)
  • 1832 Henrietta Maria Morse King, American rancher and philanthropist, born in Boonville, Missouri (d. 1925)
  • 1851 Sam Bass, American Old West train robber and outlaw, born in Mitchell, Indiana (d. 1878)
  • 1856 Harry A P Eyres, British diplomat (Constantinople, Albania)
  • 1856 Louise Blanchard Bethune, 1st US woman architect
  • 1857 A S C Wallis, [Adele SC von Antal-Opzoomer], Dutch writer
  • 1858 Lovis Corinth, German painter (d. 1925)
  • 1858 Maria Christina of Austria, queen of Spain, born in Židlochovice Castle, Moravia (d. 1929)
  • 1858 Alfred Henry O'Keeffe, New Zealand artist, born in Sandhurst, Victoria (d. 1941)
  • 1864 Frances Folsom Cleveland, 1st lady (1885-89, 93-97)
  • 1870 Emil Orlik, Czech painter (d. 1932)
  • 1880 Milan Rastislav Štefánik, Slovak politician, French general and astronomer (d. 1919)
  • 1882 David Burliuk, Ukrainian artist (d. 1967)
  • 1885 Frances Parkinson Keyes, American novelist (Dinner at Antoine's), born in Charlottesville, Virginia (d. 1970)
  • 1892 Anton Schnack, German writer and poet, born in Rieneck, Germany (d. 1973)
  • 1892 Gijsbert Friedhoff, Dutch architect (Wibautstrat tax office, Amsterdam), born in Haarlem, Netherlands (d. 1892)
  • 1893 Hans Fallada [Rudolf Wilhelm Friedrich Ditzen], German writer, born in Greifswald (d. 1947)

Person of interestErnest Hemingway

1899 Ernest Hemingway, American author (The Old Man and the Sea, Nobel 1954), born in Oak Park, Illinois (d. 1961)

  • 1899 Hart Crane, American poet (The Bridge), born in Garrettsville, Ohio (d. 1932)
  • 1903 Roy Neuberger, American financier
  • 1905 Diana Trilling, writer
  • 1909 Iorwerth Eiddon Stephen Edwards, Egyptologist
  • 1911 Jozef Cyrankiewicz, premier Poland (1947..70)

Person of interestMarshall McLuhan

1911 Marshall McLuhan, Canadian writer (Medium is the Massage), born in Edmonton, Alberta (d. 1980)

Philosopher of Communication Theory Marshall McLuhan
Philosopher of Communication Theory
Marshall McLuhan
  • 1915 Miles Fitzalan-Howard, British army general and peer (Duke of Norfolk), born in London (d. 2002)
  • 1915 Maurice Laing, English contractor/multi-millionaire
  • 1920 Constantly, [A Nieuwenhuys], painter (Uprising of Homo Ludens)
  • 1922 Kay Starr [Katherine Starks], American singer (Wheel of Fortune), born in Dougherty Oklahoma (d. 2016)
  • 1926 Gerald Ian Lacey, architect/town planner
  • 1926 Karel Reisz, director (Everybody Wins, Isadora, Who'll Stop the Rain)
  • 1926 Norman Jewison, director (Moonstruck, ...and Justice For All)
  • 1926 Rahimuddin Khan, Pakistani general
  • 1933 Brigitte Reimann, German writer (Franziska Linkerhand), born in Burg bei Magdeburg (d. 1973)
  • 1933 John C Gardner, scholar/writer (Grendel, Sunlight Dialogues)
  • 1934 Edolphus Towns, (Rep-D-New York, 1983- )
  • 1935 Julian Pettifer, English TV-host
  • 1935 Norbert Blüm, German politician
  • 1938 Janet Reno, first woman US Attorney General (1993-2001), born in Miami, Florida (d. 2016)
  • 1938 Les Aspin, (Rep-D-Wisc, 1971-93)/Minister of Defense (1993-94)
  • 1939 John Negroponte, 1st United States Director of National Intelligence
  • 1940 James E Clyburn, (Rep-D-South Carolina)
  • 1941 Jim Bates, (Rep-D-CA, 1983- )
  • 1944 Buchi Emecheta, Nigerian English writer (Price of Bride), born in Lagos (d. 2017)
  • 1944 Paul Wellstone, (Sen-D-Minnesota)
  • 1944 John Atta Mills, Tarkwa, Gold Coast (Ghana), President of Ghana (2009-2012), (d. 2012)
  • 1945 Alton Maddox, NY African American activist/attorney (Tawana Brawley case)
  • 1946 Barry "Bean" Whitwam, rocker

Person of interestKen Starr

1946 Ken Starr, American lawyer who Investigated Bill Clinton (Starr Report), born in Vernon, Texas

Lawyer Who Investigated Bill Clinton Ken Starr
Lawyer Who Investigated Bill Clinton
Ken Starr
  • 1947 John J Duncan Jr, (Rep-R-Tennessee)
  • 1948 Garry Trudeau, political cartoonist (Doonesbury)
  • 1951 Diana Dennis, body builder (Women Physique World), born in Portland, Oregon
  • 1952 John Barrasso, [John Anthony Barrasso III], American politician, junior senator from Wyoming, born in Reading, Pennsylvania
  • 1956 Michael Connelly, American author
  • 1957 Stefan Lofven, Swedish politician, Prime Minister (2014-18), born in Stockholm, Sweden

Weddings in History

  • 1320 Count Louis of Nevers marries 8-year old daughter of Philips V

HeartWedding of Interest

1871 Suffragette Kate Sheppard (24) weds general merchant Walter Allen Sheppard in Christchurch, New Zealand

Suffragette Kate Sheppard
Kate Sheppard

HeartWedding of Interest

1904 Sinclair Oil founder Harry Ford Sinclair (28) weds Elizabeth Farrell

Founder of Sinclair Oil Harry Ford Sinclair
Founder of Sinclair Oil
Harry Ford Sinclair
  • 1914 Fashion designer Elsa Schiaparelli (23) marries Wilhelm Frederick Wendt de Kerlor (30) in London

Deaths in History

  • 1160 Peterus Lombardus, Italian theologist/bishop of Paris, dies
  • 1425 Manuel Paleologus, Byzantine Emperor (1391-1425)/writer, dies
  • 1540 John I Zapolyai, prince of Transsylvania/king of Hungary, dies
  • 1544 René of Chalon [Renatus of Nassau], prince of Orange, slain in battle
  • 1683 Lord William Russell, English politician and plotter against Charles II, beheaded at 43
  • 1688 James Butler, 1st Duke of Ormonde, English statesman and soldier (b. 1610)
  • 1717 Niccolo Amenta, Italian poet (La Gostanza), dies
  • 1793 Bruni d'Entrecasteaux, French explorer (b. 1739)

Person of interestRobert Burns

1796 Robert Burns, Scottish poet (Auld Lang Syne), dies at 37

  • 1798 François Sébastien Charles Joseph de Croix, Count of Clerfayt, Austrian field marshal, dies at 64
  • 1821 Maurice J M prince de Broglie, bishop of Ghent, dies at about 55
  • 1831 Emil Aarestrup, Danish physician and poet (Ritornellen), dies at 55
  • 1861 Francis Stebbins Bartow, Confederate colonel, dies in battle at 44
  • 1878 Sam Bass, American Old West train robber and outlaw, dies at 27
  • 1880 Hiram Walden, American politician, dies at 79
  • 1888 Matthias J Scheeben, German theologist (Natur und Gnade), dies at 53
  • 1889 Nelson Dewey, American politician, 1st Governor of Wisconsin (b. 1813)
  • 1899 Robert G. Ingersoll, American politician and military officer (b. 1833)
  • 1917 Christopher J Forster, British RAF-pilot/capt, dies in battle
  • 1922 Djemal Pasha, dictator of Turkey, murdered
  • 1924 Dudley Allen Sargent, American physician and educator (Harvard U gymnasium), dies at 74
  • 1938 Owen Wister, American author (b. 1860)
  • 1941 Bohdan Lepky, Ukrainian writer and poet, dies at 68
  • 1944 Gerrit van den Bosch, led illegal Dutch CPN party, dies in Dachau
  • 1944 Henning von Tresckow, Gen-Maj, "July 20th plotter", commits suicide
  • 1946 Gualberto Villarroel, President of Bolivia (b. 1908)
  • 1948 Arshile Gorky, abstract expressionist, dies at 43
  • 1957 Bernard Spooner, US inventor (bulletproof jacket), dies
  • 1962 G. M. Trevelyan [George Macaulay Trevelyan], British historian and academic, dies at 86
  • 1966 Eugeen Calleen, Flemish sculptor, dies at 83
  • 1967 Albert J Luthuli, president South Africa (ANC), dies
  • 1967 Pierre Kemp, Dutch poet (English paint box), dies at 80
  • 1970 Mikhail Gerasimov, Russian anthropologist and sculptor (b. 1907)
  • 1972 Jigme Dori Wangchuck, King of Bhutan, dies
  • 1974 Willem F K Hussem, painter/poet (Steltlopen on Sea), dies at 74
  • 1975 George Petty, American pin-up artist, dies at 81
  • 1976 Christopher Ewart-Biggs, British ambassador to Ireland, assassinated
  • 1977 Lee Miller, American photographer (War correspondent for Vogue in WWII), dies at 70
  • 1979 Ludwig Renn, German writer, dies at 90
  • 1982 Jean J A Girault, French director (Gendarme Saint-Tropez), dies at 58
  • 1986 Paulo Correia, Guinee-Bissaus colonel/putschist, executed
  • 1990 Manuel Puig, Argentine writer (Buenos Aires Affair), dies at 57
  • 1990 Sacha Piteoff, dies of heart failure at 70
  • 1990 Stanley Shapiro, dies of leukemia at 65
  • 1991 Theodore Wilson, dies at 47
  • 1993 Henk Kersting, bureau chef (Associated Press-WW II), dies at 88
  • 1994 John Ernest, constructionist Artist, dies at 72
  • 1995 Elleston Trevor, author, dies
  • 1996 Francis James Claude Piggott, soldier, dies at 85
  • 1996 Gerald McArthur, detective, dies at 70
  • 1996 James Tye, safety expert, dies at 74
  • 1996 John Kevin Moorhouse, test pilot, dies at 50
  • 1996 Macha Louis Rosenthal, critic/poet, dies at 79
  • 1998 Alan Shepard, American astronaut and 1st American in space, dies of leukemia at 74
  • 2002 John Cunningham, British Royal Air Force night fighter ace (WW II), dies at 84
  • 2003 Walter M. "Matt" Jefferies, American film art director (b. 1921)
  • 2004 Edward B. Lewis, American geneticist, Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine laureate (b. 1918)
  • 2004 Julian Ridsdale, British politician (C), Member of Parliament for Harwich (1954-92), dies at 89
  • 2006 Ta Mok, "The Khmer Rouge Butcher", war criminal in Democratic Kampuchea (b. 1926)
  • 2008 Lord Stokes [Donald Stokes], English industrialist, dies at 94
  • 2010 Luis Corvalán, Chilean communist leader (b. 1916)
  • 2012 Alexander Cockburn, Scottish-born American journalist, dies from cancer at 72
  • 2012 James D. Ramage, American Naval Aviator in World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War and the Cold War, dies at 96
  • 2015 E. L. Doctorow, American author (Ragtime, Billy Bathgate), dies at 84