Today in History: February 21 | HistoryNet MENU

Today in History: February 21

What Happened This Day In History.

A chronological timetable of historical events that occurred on this day in history. Historical facts of the day in the areas of military, politics, science, music, sports, arts, entertainment and more. Discover what happened today in history.


February 21

1595   The Jesuit poet Robert Southwell is hanged for “treason”; being a Catholic.
1631   Michael Romanov, a son of the Patriarch of Moscow, is elected Russian Tsar.
1744   The British blockade of Toulon is broken by 27 French and Spanish warships attacking 29 British ships.
1775   As troubles with Great Britain increase, colonists in Massachusetts vote to buy military equipment for 15,000 men.
1797   Trinidad, West Indies surrenders to the British.
1828   The first issue of the Cherokee Phoenix is printed, both in English and in the newly invented Cherokee alphabet.
1849   In the Second Sikh War, Sir Hugh Gough’s well placed guns win a victory over a Sikh force twice the size of his at Gujarat on the Chenab River, assuring British control of the Punjab for years to come.
1862   The Texas Rangers win a Confederate victory in the Battle of Val Verde, New Mexico.
1878   The world’s first telephone book is issued by the New Haven Connecticut Telephone Company containing the names of its 50 subscribers.
1885   The Washington Monument is dedicated in Washington, D.C.
1905   The Mukden campaign of the Russo-Japanese War, begins.
1916   The Battle of Verdun begins with an unprecedented German artillery barrage of the French lines.
1940   The Germans begin construction of a concentration camp at Auschwitz.
1944   Hideki Tojo becomes chief of staff of the Japanese army.
1949   Nicaragua and Costa Rica sign a friendship treaty ending hostilities over their borders.
1951   The U. S. Eighth Army launches Operation Killer, a counterattack to push Chinese forces north of the Han River in Korea.
1956   A grand jury in Montgomery, Alabama indicts 115 in a Negro bus boycott.
1960   Havana places all Cuban industry under direct control of the government.
1965   El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz (Malcom X) is assassinated in front of 400 people.
1972   Richard Nixon arrives in Beijing, China, becoming the first U.S. president to visit a country not diplomatically recognized by the United States.
1974   A report claims that the use of defoliants by the United States has scarred Vietnam for a century.
Born on February 21
1794   Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna, Mexican Revolutionary.
1801   John Henry Newman, English theologian and writer.
1821   Charles Scribner; founded the publishing firm which became Charles Scribner’s Sons and also founded Scribner’s magazine.
1893   Andrés Segovia, Spanish classical guitarist.
1907   W.H. Auden, Pulitzer Prize-winning poet (The Age of Anxiety).
1920   Robert S. Johnson; an American World War II fighter ace who shot down 27 German planes.
1927   Erma Bombeck, author and humorist (The Grass is Always Greener Over the Septic Tank).