On This Day

On This Day in History for November 21

Events in History

  • 164 BC During Maccabbean revolt Judas Maccabaeus recaptures Jersusalem and rededicates the Second Temple, commemorated since as Jewish festival Hanukkah
  • 235 St Anterus begins his reign as Catholic Pope, will only rule for 40 days
  • 695 Pope Sergius names Willibrord as Archbishop Clemens of Friezen
  • 1272 Following Henry III of England's death on November 16, his son Prince Edward becomes King of England.
  • 1317 Frederik of Sierck/Zyrick becomes bishop of Utrecht
  • 1620 Pilgrim Fathers reach America: Provincetown Harbor, Mass
  • 1620 Mayflower Compact signed by Pilgrims at Cape Cod [O.S. Nov 11]
  • 1654 Richard Johnson, a free black, granted 550 acres in Virginia
  • 1696 J Vanbrughe's "Relapse or Virtue in Danger" premieres in London
  • 1729 Netherlands signs Treaty of Seville
  • 1759 Battle at Maxen: Prussian army surrenders to Austrians
  • 1783 Jean-François Pilâtre de Rozier and Marquis d'Arlandes make 1st manned free balloon flight in a Montgolfier balloon

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1787 Andrew Jackson admitted to the bar

US President & General Andrew Jackson
US President & General
Andrew Jackson
  • 1789 North Carolina ratifies constitution, becomes 12th US state
  • 1794 Honolulu Harbor discovered

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1806 Decree of Berlin: Emperor Napoleon I bans all trade with Britain

French Emperor Napoléon Bonaparte
French Emperor
Napoléon Bonaparte

  • 1813 Stettin surrenders to allied armies
  • 1818 Russia's Tsar Alexander I petitions for a Jewish state in Palestine
  • 1824 First Jewish Reform congregation forms, Charleston, South Carolina
  • 1834 HMS Beagle anchors at Bay of San Carlos, Chile
  • 1837 Thomas Morris of Australia skips rope 22,806 times
  • 1847 Steamer "Phoenix" is lost on Lake Michigan, kills 200
  • 1848 Alfred de Musset's "Andre del Sarto" premieres in Paris
  • 1848 Cincinnati Turngemeinde founded
  • 1849 Friedrich Hebbel's "Der Rubin" premieres in Vienna
  • 1852 Duke University founded in 1838 as Union Institute, chartered as Normal College
  • 1864 -22] Battle at Griswoldville, Georgia
  • 1865 Shaw University forms in Raleigh NC
  • 1871 Moses F Gale patents a cigar lighter (NYC)
  • 1876 Skirmish between HM Stanley's expedition & natives
  • 1880 Henry Stanley & Pierre de Brazza quarrel about possession of Congo
  • 1902 1st night football game, Philadelphia Athletics beats Kanaweola AC, 39-0
  • 1902 The Canadian government appoints a commission to consider revising, classifying, and consolidating the many public statutes passed over the years
  • 1906 China prohibits the opium trade
  • 1914 Billy Mallett of Hamilton Tigers kicks 9 singles in a game
  • 1914 British army conquers Bazra

  • 1916 HMHS Britannic sinks in the Aegean Sea after a mine explodes, killing 30 people

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1917 Maxim Gorky calls Vladimir Lenin a blind fanatic and unthinking adventurer

Playwright & Author Maxim Gorky
Playwright & Author
Maxim Gorky
Marxist Revolutionary and Soviet Leader Vladimir Lenin
Marxist Revolutionary and Soviet Leader
Vladimir Lenin
  • 1918 2 German ammunition trains explode in Hamont Belgium, 1,750 die
  • 1918 Polish soldiers organize a pogrom against Jews of Galicia, Poland
  • 1918 The German High Seas Fleet of 5 battlecruisers, 9 battleships, 7 cruisers and 49 destroyers surrendered to the British Grand Fleet and were shepherded into the Firth of Forth
  • 1920 Karel Čapek's "Vec Makropulos" premieres in Prague

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1920 Mussolini's squad begins terror, 11 die in Bologna, Italy

Italian Dictator Benito Mussolini
Italian Dictator
Benito Mussolini
  • 1921 The trial of the accused of the Bulhoek Massacre commences in South Africa
  • 1922 Rebecca L Felton (Ga) sworn in as first female US Senator

AgreementContract of Interest

1924 British Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin cancels Labour contract with USSR

British Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin
British Prime Minister
Stanley Baldwin
  • 1933 1st US ambassador to USSR, W.C. Bullitt, begins service
  • 1934 "Uiver" returns from Schiphol in London-Melbourne air race
  • 1935 Jean Giraudoux' "La Guerre de Troie n'Aura" premieres in Paris
  • 1938 -24] Belgian king Leopold III visits Netherlands
  • 1938 Nazi forces occupy western Czechoslovakia and declare inhabitants to be German citizens
  • 1940 Nazi occupiers forbid building schools in Netherlands
  • 1941 German troops occupy Rostov-on-Don, Southern Russia

AppointmentAppointment of Interest

1942 Adolf Hitler names field marshal Erich von Manstein commander of the newly-created Army Group Don (Heeresgruppe Don)

Dictator of Nazi Germany Adolf Hitler
Dictator of Nazi Germany
Adolf Hitler
  • 1943 7 Belgian ministers in London criticise King Leopold III for surrendering to Germany
  • 1944 Personnel & executive staff of Philips demonstrate for more food
  • 1945 General Motors workers go on strike
  • 1946 Georgi Dimitrov elected premier of Bulgaria
  • 1946 Harry Truman becomes 1st US President to travel in a submerged sub
  • 1952 1st US postage stamp in 2 colors (rotary process) introduced

Bare Bones of the Great Ape-Man HoaxBare Bones of the Great Ape-Man Hoax

1953 Authorities at the British Natural History Museum announce the "Piltdown Man" skull, one of the most famous fossil skulls in the world, is a hoax

Read Article
A replica of the Piltdown skull.
A replica of the Piltdown skull.
Read Article
  • 1955 Argentina asks Panama for return of ex-president Peron
  • 1956 Don Newcombe wins NL MVP & 1st-ever Cy Young Award
  • 1962 The Chinese People's Liberation Army declares a unilateral cease-fire in the Sino-Indian War.

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1963 US President John F. Kennedy flies to Texas (assassinated the next day)

35th US President John F. Kennedy
35th US President
John F. Kennedy

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1964 Pope Paul VI signs 3rd sitting of 2nd Vatican council

Pope Paul VI
Paul VI
  • 1964 Verrazano-Narrows suspension bridge opens in New York City, then the world's longest
  • 1965 1st freighter arrives in Ashdod Port, Israel
  • 1965 USSR performs nuclear test at Eastern Kazakh/Semipalitinsk, USSR
  • 1966 Dutch government of Zijlstra forms
  • 1967 Phillip & Jay Kunz fly a kite a record 28,000 feet

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1967 Vietnam War: American General William Westmoreland tells news reporters: "I am absolutely certain that whereas in 1965 the enemy was winning, today he is certainly losing."

  • 1969 US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site

BattleCoup d'état

1970 General Hafez al-Assad becomes Prime Minister of Syria following military coup

General and President of Syria Hafez al-Assad
General and President of Syria
Hafez al-Assad
  • 1971 Richard Baker becomes teacher of San Francisco Zen Center
  • 1971 Battle of Garibpur: Indian troops aided by the Mukti Bahini, Bengali guerrillas, defeat the army of Pakistan

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1973 US President Richard Nixon's attorney, J Fred Buzhardt, reveals presence of 18½ minute gap in a White House tape recording related to Watergate

37th US President Richard Nixon
37th US President
Richard Nixon
  • 1974 Freedom of Information Act passed by Congress over President Ford's veto
  • 1974 Birmingham pub bombings: 21 civilians killed when bombs explode at two pubs in Birmingham, England (deadliest attack in England during "the Troubles")
  • 1977 First flight of Concorde (London to New York)
  • 1979 Crowd at Islamabad, Pakistan attack US embassy, 1 dies
  • 1980 Fire at MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas kills 84
  • 1980 "Hi Infidelity" 9th studio album by REO Speedwagon is released
  • 1981 400,000 demonstrate in Amsterdam against cruise missiles
  • 1986 Central African Republic adopts constitution
  • 1986 Suriname army leader Desi Bouterse massacres Moiwana village

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1989 Law banning smoking on most domestic flights signed by US President George H. W. Bush

41st US President George H. W. Bush
41st US President
George H. W. Bush
  • 1989 TV cameras permitted in British House of Commons
  • 1990 Michael Milken is sentenced to 10 years for security law violations

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1990 French President François Mitterrand voices support for a proposed UN resolution that would authorize the use of force in the Persian Gulf

21st President of France Francois Mitterrand
21st President of France
Francois Mitterrand
  • 1991 Poetess Maria Elene Cruz Varela arrested in Cuba

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1992 Oregon Senator Bob Packwood issues apology for unwelcome sexual advances

US Senator Bob Packwood
US Senator
Bob Packwood
  • 1993 Neo-fascist MSI wins 36% of municipal elections in Rome
  • 1995 Dow Jones closes above 5,000 for 1st time
  • 1995 Israel grants jailed US spy Jonathan Pollard citizenship
  • 1996 A propane explosion at the Humberto Vidal shoe store and office building in San Juan, Puerto Rico kills 33.
  • 1999 Elian Gonzalez, Cuban boy at the center of a heated 2000 controversy involving the governments of Cuba and the United States, departs from Cuba with his mother
  • 2002 NATO invites Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia to become members.
  • 2004 The second round of the Ukrainian presidential election is held, unleashing massive protests and controversy over the election's integrity.
  • 2004 Island of Dominica hit by the most destructive earthquake in its history. Damage concentrated in the north and the town of Portsmouth. Also felt in neighboring Guadeloupe, where one person is killed.

Birthdays in History

  • 1495 John Bale, English bishop and anti-catholic playwright (Kynge Johan), born in Cove, Suffolk, England (d. 1563)
  • 1561 Charles Scribani, IFlemish jesuit and author, born in Brussels, Belgium (d. 1629)
  • 1567 Anne de Xainctonge, French saint and founder of the Society of the Sisters of Saint Ursula of the Blessed Virgin, born in Dijon, France (d. 1621)
  • 1637 Catharina Questiers, Dutch poet (Friend of Abandoned Child), born in Amsterdam (d. 1669)
  • 1692 Carlo Innocenzo Fragoni, Italian poet, born in Genoa, Italy (d. 1768)

Person of interestVoltaire

1694 Voltaire [Francois-Marie Arouet], French writer, philosopher and playwright (Candide), born in Paris (d. 1778)

Enlightenment Philosopher Voltaire
Enlightenment Philosopher
  • 1724 Jan Ekels the Elder, Amsterdam painter and cartoonist, born in Amsterdam (d. 1781)
  • 1729 Josiah Bartlett, American physician and statesman (signed US Declaration of Independence), born in Amesbury, Province of Massachusetts Bay (d. 1795)
  • 1768 Friedrich Schleiermacher, German theologist and philosopher, born in Breslau, Prussian Silesia (d. 1834)

Person of interestWilliam Beaumont

1785 William Beaumont, American surgeon and father of gastric physiology, born in Lebanon, Connecticut (d. 1853)

  • 1787 Samuel Cunard, Canadian-British shipping magnate and founder (1st regular Atlantic steamship line), born in Halifax, Nova Scotia (d. 1865)
  • 1817 Richard B. Garnett, American Confederate Brigadier General, born in Essex County, Virginia (d. 1863)
  • 1824 Hieronymus Theodor Richter, German mineralogist and co-discoverer of the element indium, born in Dresden, Saxony (d. 1898)
  • 1828 William McComb, American Brigadier General (Confederate Army), born in Mercer County, Pennsylvania (d. 1918)
  • 1829 Petrus Augustus de Génestet, Dutch vicar and poet, born in Amsterdam (d. 1861)
  • 1831 John Franklin Miller, American lawyer, businessman, and Brevet Major General (Union Army), born in South Bend, Indiana (d. 1886)

Person of interestHetty Green

1834 Henrietta "Hetty" Green, American businesswoman and financier whose wealth and miserliness saw her known as the "Witch of Wall Street", born in New Bedford, Massachusetts (d. 1916)

The Witch of Wall Street Hetty Green
The Witch of Wall Street
Hetty Green
  • 1834 Joseph Jackson Bartlett, American attorney, diplomat and Brevet Major General (Union Army), born in Binghamton, New York (d. 1893)
  • 1840 Victoria, Empress of Germany and Queen of Prussia by marriage to German Emperor Frederick III, born in Buckingham Palace, London (d. 1901)
  • 1851 Désiré-Joseph Mercier, Belgian philosopher and cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church, born in Braine-l'Alleud, Belgium (d. 1926)
  • 1853 Hussein Kamel, Sultan of Egypt (1914-17), born in Cairo, Egypt (d. 1917)
  • 1854 Benedict XV [Giacomo Paolo Giovanni Battista della Chiesa], Italian 258th Pope (1914-22), born in Genoa, Pegli, Kingdom of Piedmont-Sardinia (d. 1922)
  • 1857 Manuel Estrada Cabrera, 13th President of Guatemala (1898-1920), born in Quetzaltenango, Guatemala (d. 1924)

Person of interestTom Horn

1860 Tom Horn, American gunman and outlaw, born in Scotland County, Missouri (d. 1903)

Old West Lawman, Outlaw and Bounty Hunter Tom Horn
Old West Lawman, Outlaw and Bounty Hunter
Tom Horn
  • 1863 Arthur Quiller-Couch, Cornish novelist and editor (The Oxford Book Of English Verse 1250–1900), born in Bodmin, Cornwall (d. 1944)
  • 1867 Vladimir Ipatieff, Russian-American chemist, born in Moscow, Russia (d. 1952)
  • 1878 Gustav Radbruch, German lawyer and jurist, born in Lübeck, Schleswig-Holstein, Prussia (d. 1949)
  • 1880 Franz Hessel, German writer, born in Szczecin, Poland (d. 1941)
  • 1886 Harold Nicolson, English diplomat and author (Good Behaviour), born in Tehran, Persian Empire (d. 1968)
  • 1897 Mollie Steimer, American political prisoner and anarchist agitator, born in Dunaevtsy, Russia (d. 1980)
  • 1898 René Magritte, Belgian surrealist painter (This is Not a Pipe), born in Lessines, Belgium (d. 1967)
  • 1902 Mikhail Suslov, Soviet statesman and party ideologist, born in Shakhovskoye, Russian Empire (d. 1982)
  • 1902 Foster Hewitt, Canadian radio broadcaster (Hockey Night in Canada), born in Toronto, Ontario (d. 1985)
  • 1907 Jim Bishop, American journalist and author (The Day Lincoln was Shot), born in Jersey City, New Jersey (d. 1987)
  • 1907 M Eleonore Lippits, 1st Dutch female missionary doctor (d. 1993)
  • 1908 Elizabeth George Speare, American author (The Witch of Blackbird Pond), born in Melrose, Massachusetts (d. 1994)
  • 1912 Anne Bolt, photo-journalist and trade unionist, born in London (d. 1996)
  • 1917 Sem Presser, Dutch press photographer, born in Amsterdam (d. 1986)
  • 1924 Christopher Tolkien, British author and son of J. R. R. Tolkien, born in Leeds, England (d. 2020)
  • 1924 Milka Planinc, Prime Minister of Yugoslavia (1982-86), born in Drniš, Yugoslavia (d. 2010)
  • 1925 Poncke Princen, Dutch anti-Nazi fighter, colonial soldier and human rights activist, born in The Hague, Netherlands (d. 2002)
  • 1929 Marilyn French, American author (The Women's Room), born in Brooklyn, New York (d. 2009)
  • 1931 Revaz Dogonadze, Georgian scientist (one of the founders of Quantum electrochemistry), born in Tbilisi, Georgia (d. 1985)
  • 1933 Frank Brake, English multi-millionaire
  • 1933 Henry Hartsfield Jr, American astronaut (STS-4, STS 41-D, STS 61A), born in Birmingham Ala, (d. 2014)
  • 1936 Victor Chang, Australian physician (d. 1986)
  • 1937 Marlo Thomas [Mrs Phil Donahue], Detroit Mich (That Girl!, Jenny)
  • 1939 R. Budd Dwyer, American politician who committed suicide on TV (d. 1987)
  • 1940 Richard Marcinko, American author
  • 1942 Heidemarie Wieczorek-Zeul, German politician
  • 1943 Larry Mahan, Oregon, rodeo champ (1967-70)
  • 1943 Phil Bredesen, American politician
  • 1943 Viktor Sidjak, Russian fencer
  • 1944 Marcia "Marcy" Carsey, TV executive/producer
  • 1944 Dick Durbin, American politician (Rep-D-IL, 1983-97, Senator-D-IL, 1997-), born in East St. Louis, Illinois
  • 1948 George Zimmer, American entrepreneur
  • 1953 Tina Brown, British journalist (New Yorker, Tattler), born in Maidenhead, United Kingdom
  • 1964 Liza Tarbuck, British entertainer
  • 1968 Christopher Noxon, American journalist
  • 1975 Chris Moneymaker, American poker player
  • 1977 Yolande James, Quebec politician
  • 1980 Alec Brownstein, American author, director

Deaths in History

  • 496 Pope Gelasius I, Catholic Pope, of Berber extraction
  • 1361 Philip I, Duke of Burgundy (plague) (b. 1346)
  • 1481 Ikkyu Sojun, Zen head of Daitokuji temple, dies in Kyoto, Japan at 87
  • 1555 Georg Agricola [Bauer], German mineralogist (zinc), dies at 61
  • 1566 Annibale Caro, Italian writer and poet (Lettere familiare), dies at 59
  • 1579 Thomas Gresham, English merchant and financier
  • 1580 Willem Van Hoorn, baron of Heze, governor of Brussels, executed
  • 1610 Benedict van Canfield [William Fish], English missionary, dies
  • 1652 Jan Brożek, Polish mathematician, physician, and astronomer, dies at 67
  • 1728 Fjodor M graaf Apraksin, Russian gen-admiral, dies at about 57
  • 1730 François de Troy, French portrait artist
  • 1775 John Hill, British writer
  • 1811 Heinrich W von Kleist, German playwright, dies at 34
  • 1844 Ivan Krylov, Russian fabulist (b. 1769)
  • 1866 Amable-Guillaume-Prosper Brugière, French politician and historian, dies at 84
  • 1870 Karel Jaromír Erben, Czech poet (Ruiker), dies at 69
  • 1875 Friedrich Albert Lange, German philosopher and socialist (Neo-Kantianism), dies at 67
  • 1881 Ami Boué, Austrian geologist (b. 1794)
  • 1882 Sergey Nechayev, Russian Nihilist (Catechism Revolutionary), dies at 35
  • 1899 Garret Augustus Hobart, 24th VP, dies

Person of interestFranz Joseph I

1916 Franz Joseph I, Emperor of Austria, King of Hungary, Croatia and Bohemia (1848-1916), dies of pneumonia at 86 after catching a cold taking a walk

Austro-Hungarian Emperor Franz Joseph I
Austro-Hungarian Emperor
Franz Joseph I
  • 1922 Ricardo Flores Magón, Mexican anarchist (b. 1874).
  • 1924 Florence Harding, American First Lady (b. 1860)
  • 1928 Hermann Sudermann, German author (Frau Sorge), dies
  • 1932 Vito Pardo, Italian sculptor (Columbus monument Argentina), dies
  • 1932 Pietro Bonfante, Italian lawyer (Roman law) and historian, dies at 68
  • 1941 Juanita Spellini, first women executed in Calif
  • 1941 Henrietta Vinton Davis, African-American elocutionist, dramatist, impersonator and public speaker, dies at 81
  • 1941 George Morren, Flemish painter/sculptor, dies at 73

Person of interestJ. B. M. Hertzog

1942 J. B. M. Hertzog [Barry Hertzog], South African General and Prime Minister (1924-39), dies at 76

South African Premier J. B. M. Hertzog
South African Premier
J. B. M. Hertzog

Person of interestAlexander Patch

1945 Alexander Patch, American WWII general (Guadalcanal Campaign, Operation Dragoon), dies of pneumonia at 55

US WWII General Alexander Patch
US WWII General
Alexander Patch
  • 1945 Ellen Anderson Glasgow, American novelist (Ancient Law, Pulitzer-1942), dies at 72
  • 1952 Henriette Roland Holst-de Schalk, marxist author, dies at 82
  • 1952 William Green, union chairman (AFL 1924-52), dies at 79
  • 1954 Werner Elert, German Lutheran theologian, dies at 69
  • 1957 Francis Burton Harrison, American political figure (b. 1873)
  • 1963 Luis Cernuda, Spanish poet (Perfil del Aire), dies at 61
  • 1963 Robert Stroud, American convict "Birdman of Alcatraz", dies at 73
  • 1967 C. M. Eddy, Jr., American writer (b. 1896)
  • 1969 Mutesa II of Buganda, President of Uganda (1924)
  • 1969 Norman Lindsay, Australian artist and novelist (The Magic Pudding), dies at 90 [1]
  • 1970 Chandrasekhara Venkata Raman, Indian physicist (Nobel Prize 1930 for light scattering), dies at 82
  • 1973 Thomas Pelly, American politician, dies at 71
  • 1975 Gunnar Gunnarsson, Icelandic writer (The Church on the Mountain), dies at 86
  • 1982 John Hargrave, British Social Credit advocate (b. 1894)
  • 1987 Jim Folsom, American politician (Alabama-Gov, 1947-51, 1955-59), dies at 79
  • 1991 Daniel Mann [Chugerman], American stage and screen director (The Rose Tattoo; The Teahouse Of The August Moon; Butterfield 8), dies of heart failure at 79
  • 1992 Kaysone Phomvihane, Prime Minister and President of Laos (1975-91), dies at 71
  • 1993 Emile Ardolino, director (Sister Act), dies of AIDS at 50
  • 1993 Jim McLaughlin, Buffalo radio newsman (WKBW), dies at 59
  • 1994 Manfred Longer, Austrian/Dutch gay disco owner, dies at 42
  • 1995 Dorothy Jeakins, costume designer, dies at 81
  • 1995 George Ivan Smith, diplomat, dies at 80
  • 1995 Noel Jones, British diplomat (b. 1940)
  • 1997 Ismail Fahmi, external minister of Egypt in (1973-77), dies
  • 2001 Salahuddin of Malaysia, King of Malaysia (b. 1926)
  • 2005 Alfred Anderson, last Scottish World War I (and Christmas Truce) veteran (b. 1896)
  • 2005 Hugh Sidey, American journalist (b. 1927)
  • 2006 Pierre Amine Gemayel, Lebanese Cabinet minister (assassinated) (b. 1972)
  • 2009 Konstantin Feoktistov, Soviet cosmonaut (Voskhod 1), dies at 83
  • 2010 Margaret Taylor-Burroughs, American visual artist and co-founder of DuSable Museum of African American History, dies at 95
  • 2010 David Nolan, American political activist (b. 1943)
Sci-Fi Author Anne McCaffrey
Sci-Fi Author
Anne McCaffrey