February 21

Events

*362 - Athanasius returns to Alexandria.
*1245 - Thomas, the first known Bishop of Finland, is granted resignation after having confessed to torture and forgery.
*1440 - The Prussian Confederation is formed.
*1543 - Battle of Wayna Daga - A combined army of Ethiopian and Portuguese troops defeats a Muslim army led by Ahmed Gragn.
*1613 - Mikhail I is elected unanimously as Tsar by a national assembly, beginning the Romanov dynasty of Imperial Russia.
*1743 - The premiere of George Frideric Handel's oratorio, "Samson" takes place in London.
*1804 - The first self-propelling steam locomotive makes its outing at the Pen-y-Darren ironworks in Wales.
*1842 - John Greenough is granted the first U.S. patent for the sewing machine.
*1848 - Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels publish the Communist Manifesto.
*1874 - The "Oakland Daily Tribune" publishes its first newspaper.
*1878 - The first telephone book is issued in New Haven, Connecticut.
*1885 - The newly completed Washington Monument is dedicated.
*1893 - Thomas Edison receives two U.S. patents for a "Cut Out for Incandescent Electric Lamps" and for a "Stop Device"
*1912 - Ioannina is incorporated into the Greek state after the Balkan Wars.
*1916 - World War I: In France, the Battle of Verdun begins.
*1918 - The last Carolina parakeet dies in captivity at the Cincinnati Zoo.
*1919 - Kurt Eisner, German socialist, is assassinated. His death results in the establishment of the Bavarian Soviet Republic and parliament and government fleeing Munich, Germany.
*1921 - Constituent Assembly of the Democratic Republic of Georgia adopts the country's first constitution.
*1925 - "The New Yorker" publishes its first issue.
*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.
*1945 - World War II: Japanese Kamikaze planes sink the escort carrier Bismarck Sea and damage the Saratoga.
*1947 - In New York City, Edwin Land demonstrates the first "instant camera", the Polaroid Land Camera, to a meeting of the Optical Society of America.
*1948 - NASCAR is incorporated.
*1952 - The British government, under Winston Churchill, abolishes identity cards in the UK to "set the people free".
* 1952 - In Dhaka, East Pakistan (present Bangladesh) police open fire on a procession of students that was demanding the establishment of Bengali as the official language, killing four people and starting a country-wide protest which led to the recognition of Bengali as one of the national languages of Pakistan. The day was later declared as "International Mother Language Day" by UNESCO.
*1953 - Francis Crick and James D. Watson discover the structure of the DNA molecule.
*1958 - The Peace symbol is designed and completed by Gerald Holtom, commissioned by Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, in protest against the Atomic Weapons Research Establishment.
*1960 - Cuban leader Fidel Castro nationalizes all businesses in Cuba.
*1965 - Malcolm X is assassinated at the Audubon Ballroom in New York City by members of the Nation of Islam.
*1970 - Swissair Flight 330: A mid-air bomb explosion and subsequent crash kills 38 passengers and nine crew members near Zürich, Switzerland.
*1971 - The Convention on Psychotropic Substances is signed at Vienna.
*1972 - President Richard Nixon visits the People's Republic of China to normalize Sino-American relations.
*1972 - The Soviet unmanned spaceship Luna 20 lands on the Moon.
*1973 - Over the Sinai Desert, Israeli fighter aircraft shoot down a Libyan Airlines jet killing 108.
*1974 - The last Israeli soldiers leave the west bank of the Suez Canal pursuant to a truce with Egypt.
*1975 - Watergate scandal: Former United States Attorney General John N. Mitchell and former White House aides H. R. Haldeman and John Ehrlichman are sentenced to prison.
*1995 - Steve Fossett lands in Leader, Saskatchewan, Canada becoming the first person to make a solo flight across the Pacific Ocean in a balloon.
*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.

Births

*1484 - Elector Joachim I of Brandenburg (d. 1535)
*1556 - Sethus Calvisius, German calendar reformer (d. 1615)
*1675 - Franz Xaver Josef von Unertl, Bavarian politician (d. 1750)
*1705 - Edward Hawke, 1st Baron Hawke, British naval officer (d. 1781)
*1721 - John McKinly, American physician (d. 1796)
*1723 - Louis-Pierre Anquetil, French historian (d. 1808)
*1728 - Tsar Peter III of Russia, husband of Catherine the Great (d. 1762)
*1783 - Princess Catharina of Württemberg, Queen consort of Westphalia (d. 1835)
*1791 - Carl Czerny, Austrian composer (d. 1857)
*1794 - Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna, Mexican president (d. 1876)
*1801 - John Henry Newman, English Catholic cardinal (d. 1890)
*1817 - Jose Zorrilla y Moral, Spanish dramatist (d. 1893)
*1821 - Charles Scribner, American publisher (d. 1871)
*1836 - Léo Delibes, French composer (d. 1891)
*1844 - Charles-Marie Widor, French composer (d. 1937)
*1860 - Karel Matěj Čapek-Chod, Czech journalist (d. 1927)
* 1860 - Goscombe John, Welsh sculptor (d. 1952)
*1865 - John Haden Badley, English school founder (d. 1967)
*1867 - Otto Hermann Kahn, German millionaire (d. 1934)
*1875 - Jeanne Calment, French supercentenarian and longest-lived human on record (d. 1997)
*1876 - Pyotr Konchalovsky, Russian painter (d. 1956)
*1878 - The Mother, Indian spiritual leader (d. 1973)
*1880 - Waldemar Bonsels, German writer (d. 1952)
*1885 - Sacha Guitry, Russian dramatist (d. 1957)
*1888 - Clemence Dane, British novelist and playwright (d. 1965)
*1893 - Celia Lovsky, Russian-born actress (d. 1979)
* 1893 - Andrés Segovia, Spanish guitarist (d. 1987)
*1895 - Carl Peter Henrik Dam Danish biochemist, Nobel laureate (d. 1976)
*1900 - Madeleine Renaud, French theater actress (d. 1994)
*1903 - Fairfax M. Cone, American advertising executive (d. 1977)
* 1903 - Anaïs Nin, French writer (d. 1977)
* 1903 - Raymond Queneau, French poet and novelist (d. 1976)
*1907 - W. H. Auden, English poet (d. 1973)
*1910 - Douglas Bader, British pilot (d. 1982)
* 1910 - Carmine Galante, Italian-born gangster (d. 1979)
* 1910 - Eddie Waring, British sports commentator (d. 1986)
*1913 - Roger Laurent, Belgian racing driver (d. 1997)
*1915 - Ann Sheridan, American actress (d. 1967)
*1917 - Lucille Bremer, American actress (d. 1996)
*1924 - Robert Mugabe, President of Zimbabwe
*1925 - Sam Peckinpah, American director (d. 1984)
*1927 - Erma Bombeck, American humorist (d. 1996)
* 1927 - Hubert de Givenchy, French fashion designer
* 1927 - Pierre Mercure, French-Canadian musician and composer (d. 1966)
*1929 - Roberto "Chespirito" Carlos Bolaños, Mexican actor
* 1929 - James Beck, English actor (d. 1973)
*1933 - Nina Simone, American singer (d. 2003)
*1934 - Rue McClanahan, American actress
*1935 - Mark McManus, Scottish actor (d. 1994)
* 1935 - Jean Pelletier, French Canadian political operative
*1936 - Barbara Jordan, American politician (d. 1996)
*1937 - King Harald V of Norway
* 1937 - Gary Lockwood, American actor
*1940 - John Lewis, American politician and 1960s Civil Rights Movement activist
* 1940 - Peter Gethin, British racing driver
*1941 - James Wong, Hong Kong composer (d. 2004)
*1942 - Margarethe von Trotta, German actress and film director
*1943 - David Geffen, American record producer
*1945 - Paul Newton, British musician
* 1945 - D'Anna Fortunato, American mezzo-soprano
*1946 - Tyne Daly, American actress
* 1946 - Anthony Daniels, British actor
* 1946 - Alan Rickman, English actor
* 1946 - Bob Ryan, Boston sports columnist
* 1946 - Vito Rizzuto, Sicilian-born alleged mafia boss
*1947 - Johnny Echols, American musician
* 1947 - Olympia Snowe, American politician
* 1947 - Victor Sokolov, Russian journalist (d. 2006)
*1949 - Jerry Harrison, American musician
* 1949 - Ronnie Hellström, Swedish footballer
*1951 - Vince Welnick, American musician (The Grateful Dead) (d. 2006)
*1952 - Jean Jacques Burnel, British musician
*1953 - Christine Ebersole, American actress
* 1953 - William Petersen, American actor
*1954 - Mike Pickering, English disc jockey and musician
*1954 - Ivo Van Damme, Belgian athlete (d. 1976)
*1955 - Sir Steven Fayburgh, British diplomat
* 1955 - Kelsey Grammer, American actor
*1958 - Jake Burns, Irish singer
* 1958 - Mary Chapin Carpenter, American singer
* 1958 - Jack Coleman, American actor
* 1958 - Alan Trammell, baseball player and manager
*1959 - José María Cano, Spanish musician
* 1959 - Emmett McAuliffe, American radio show host and lawyer
*1960 - Steve Wynn, American singer (
*1961 - Davey Allison, American race car driver (d. 1993)
* 1961 - Christopher Atkins, American actor
* 1961 - Martha Hackett, American actress
* 1961 - Bertha Faye, American wrestler (d. 2001)
*1962 - Vanessa Feltz, British television presenter
* 1962 - Chuck Palahniuk, American writer
* 1962 - David Foster Wallace, American writer
*1963 - William Baldwin, American actor
*1964 - Mark E. Kelly and Scott J. Kelly, American astronauts
* 1964 - Jane Tomlinson, British cancer campaigner (d. 2007)
* 1964 - Huw Higginson, British actor
*1967 - Leroy Burrell, American runner
*1969 - James Dean Bradfield, Welsh musician
* 1969 - Tony Meola, American footballer
* 1969 - Eric Wilson, American musician
*1970 - Michael Slater, Australian cricketer
*1971 - Randy Blythe, American musician
*1972 - Seo Taiji, Korean musician
*1973 - Heri Joensen, Faroese musician
* 1973 - Bowie Tsang, Taiwanese singer and TV host
*1974 - Iván Campo, Spanish footballer
* 1974 - Roberto Heras, Spanish cyclist
* 1974 - Wish Bone, American rapper, (Bone Thugs-N-Harmony)
*1976 - Ryan Smyth, Canadian hockey player
*1977 - Steve Francis, American basketball player
* 1977 - Chad Hutchinson, baseball and football player
* 1977 - Kevin Rose, American television host and Internet entrepreneur
*1978 - Park Eun-hye, South Korean actress
* 1978 - Kim Ha Neul, South Korean actress
* 1978 - Nicole Parker, American actress
*1979 - Pascal Chimbonda, French footballer
* 1979 - Carly "Carlito" Colón, Puerto Rican professional wrestler
* 1979 - Lonnie Ford, American football player
* 1979 - Jennifer Love Hewitt, American actress
*1980 - Brad Fast, Canadian ice hockey player
* 1980 - Jim Vandermeer, Canadian ice hockey player
* 1980 - Parthiva Sureshwaren, Indian racing driver
* 1980 - Tiziano Ferro, Italian singer
* 1982 - Bernhard Auinger, Austrian racing driver
* 1982 - Chantal Claret, American musician
*1983 - Braylon Edwards, American football player
* 1983 - Franklin Gutiérrez, Venezuelan baseball player
*1984 - Andrew Ellis, New Zealand rugby union player
* 1984 - David Odonkor, German footballer
* 1984 - Karina, Japanese model and actress
*1985 - Bob Burton, American speedcuber
* 1985 - Georgios Samaras, Greek footballer
*1986 - Charlotte Church, Welsh singer
* 1986 - Prince Amedeo of Belgium, Archduke of Austria-Este
*1987 - Ellen Page, Canadian actress
* 1987 - Burgess Abernethy, Australian Actor
* 1987 - Ashley Greene, American model and actress
*1989 - Corbin Bleu, American actor and singer
* 1989 - Kristin Herrera, American actress
* 1989 - Scout Taylor-Compton, American actress
* 1989 - Josh Walker, English footballer

Deaths

*1437 - King James I of Scotland (b. 1394)
*1471 - John of Rokycan, Czech Catholic archbishop
*1513 - Pope Julius II (b. 1443)
*1543 - Ahmed Gragn, Sultan of Adal
*1554 - Hieronymus Bock, German botanist (b. 1498)
*1595 - Robert Southwell, English Jesuit priest and poet (executed)
*1668 - John Thurloe, English Puritan spy (b. 1616)
*1677 - Baruch Spinoza, Dutch philosopher (b. 1632)
*1715 - Charles Calvert, 3rd Baron Baltimore, Governor of the Province of Maryland (b. 1637)
*1730 - Pope Benedict XIII (b. 1649)
*1788 - Johann Georg Palitzsch, German astronomer (b. 1723)
*1821 - Georg Friedrich von Martens, German diplomat (b. 1756)
*1824 - Eugène de Beauharnais, son of Napoleon's wife, Josephine (b. 1781)
*1846 - Emperor Ninko of Japan (b. 1800)
*1862 - Justinus Kerner, German poet (b. 1786)
*1901 - George Francis FitzGerald, Irish mathematician (b. 1851)
*1919 - Kurt Eisner, German socialist (assassinated), leader of socialist revolution of 1918 in Bavaria (b. 1867)
*1920 - Jacinta Marto, witness of the Blessed Virgin Mary at Fatima (b. 1910)
*1926 - Heike Kamerlingh Onnes, Dutch physicist, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1853)
*1934 - Augusto Nicolás Calderón Sandino, Nicaraguan patriot (assassinated) (b. 1895)
*1938 - George Ellery Hale, American astronomer (b. 1868)
*1941 - Frederick Banting, Canadian physician, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine (b. 1891)
*1944 - Ferenc Szisz, Hungarian-born race car driver (b. 1873)
*1945 - Eric Liddell, Scottish runner (b. 1902)
*1946 - José Streel, Belgian World War II collaborator (b. 1911)
*1949 - Tan Malaka, Indonesian nationalist activist and communist leader (b. 1894)
*1958 - Duncan Edwards, English footballer (b. 1936)
*1960 - Jacques Becker, French film director and screenwriter (b. 1906)
*1965 - Malcolm X, American black activist (b. 1925)
*1966 - Paul Comtois, French Canadian politician (b. 1895)
*1967 - Charles Beaumont, American writer (b. 1929)
*1968 - Howard Walter Florey, Australian-born pharmocologist, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine (b. 1898)
*1972 - Bronislava Nijinska, Polish-Russian ballet dancer (b. 1891)
* 1972 - Eugène Tisserant, French Catholic candinal (b. 1884)
*1974 - Tim Horton, Canadian hockey player (b. 1930)
*1978 - Mieczysław Żywczyński, Polish historian and priest (b. 1901)
*1980 - Alfred Andersch, German writer
*1982 - Murray the K, American impresario and disc jockey (b. 1922)
*1984 - Michail Aleksandrovich Sholokhov, Russian writer, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1905)
*1985 - Louis Hayward, British actor (b. 1909)
*1986 - Helen Hooven Santmyer, American writer (b. 1895)
* 1986 - Shigechiyo Izumi, Japanese sugarcane farmer, also the world's oldest man ever (b. 1865)
*1989 - Alex Thépot, French footballer (b. 1906)
*1991 - Dame Margot Fonteyn, English ballet dancer (b. 1919)
*1994 - Johannes Steinhoff, German fighter pilot & NATO commander (b.1913)
*1996 - Morton Gould, American composer (b. 1913)
*1999 - Gertrude B. Elion, American scientist, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine (b. 1918)
* 1999 - Wilmer David Mizell, baseball player (b. 1930)
*2000 - Antonio Díaz-Miguel, Spanish basketball coach (b. 1933)
*2002 - Harold Furth, Austrian-born physicist (b. 1939)
* 2002 - John Thaw, English actor (b. 1942)
*2003 - Eddie Thomson, Scottish football player and coach (b. 1947)
*2004 - John Charles, Welsh footballer (b. 1931)
* 2004 - Guido Molinari, Canadian artist (b. 1933)
*2005 - Ara Berberian, American opera singer (b. 1930)
* 2005 - Gérard Bessette, Quebec novelist and poet (b. 1920)
* 2005 - Guillermo Cabrera Infante, Cuban novelist (b. 1929)
* 2005 - Eugene Scott, American religious broadcaster (b. 1929)
*2008 - Sunny Lowry, First British woman to swim the English Channel (b. 1911)
* 2008 - Ben Chapman, American actor (b. 1928)

Holidays and observances

* Language Martyrs' Day - A day celebrated by Bengali speaking people for gaining right of mother tongue.
* International Mother Language Day (UNESCO).
* February 21 (Eastern Orthodox liturgics)In the Roman Catholic Church:
* Saint Peter Damiani
* Saint Pepin of Landen
* Saint Randoald

External links

* [http://news.bbc.co.uk/onthisday/hi/dates/stories/february/21 BBC: On This Day]
*
* [http://www1.sympatico.ca/cgi-bin/on_this_day?mth=Feb&day=21 On This Day in Canada] ----


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