Today in History: October 21 | HistoryNet MENU

Today in History: October 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.


Today in History
October 21

1096 Seljuk Turks at Chivito slaughter thousands of German crusaders.
1529 The Pope names Henry VIII of England Defender of the Faith after defending the seven sacraments against Luther.
1600 Tokugawa Ieyasu defeats his enemies in battle and affirms his position as Japan’s most powerful warlord.
1790 The Tricolor is chosen as the official flag of France.
1797 USS Constitution, a wooden-hulled, three-masted heavy frigate built for the newly formed U.S. Navy, is successfully launched into Boston Harbor, with Captain James Sever breaking a bottle of Madeira wine on her bowsprit. She will serve in the First Barbary War and will go on to defeat five British warships in the War of 1812; her battle with one of them, HMS Guerriere, earns her the nickname “Old Ironsides.” Constitution will be retired from active service in 1881, but enduring public adoration saves her from the scrap yard and ultimately allows her to become the oldest commissioned warship afloat in the world. [From MHQ—The Quarterly Journal of Military History]
1805 Vice Admiral and Viscount Horatio Nelson wins his greatest victory over a Franco-Spanish fleet in the Battle of Trafalgar, fought off Cape Trafalgar, Spain. Nelson is fatally wounded in the battle, but lives long enough to see victory.
1837 Under a flag of truce during peace talks, U.S. troops sieze the Indian Seminole Chief Osceola in Florida.
1861 The Battle of Ball’s Bluff, Va. begins, a disastrous Union defeat which sparks Congressional investigations.
1867 Many leaders of the Kiowa, Comanche and Kiowa-Apache sign a peace treaty at Medicine Lodge, Kan. Comanche Chief Quanah Parker refuses to accept the treaty terms.
1872 The U.S. Naval Academy admits John H. Conyers, the first African American to be accepted.
1879 After 14 months of testing, Thomas Edison first demonstrates his electric lamp, hoping to one day compete with gaslight.
1904 Panamanians clash with U.S. Marines in Panama in a brief uprising.
1917 The first U.S. troops enter the front lines at Somerville under French command.
1939 As war heats up with Germany, the British war cabinet holds its first meeting in the underground war room in London.
1940 Ernest Hemingway’s novel For Whom the Bell Tolls is published.
1942 Eight American and British officers land from a submarine on an Algerian beach to take measure of Vichy French to the Operation Torch landings.
1950 North Korean Premier Kim Il-Sung establishes a new capital at Sinuiju on the Yalu River opposite the Chinese City of Antung.
1959 The Guggenheim Museum, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, opens in Manhattan.
1961 Bob Dylan records his first album in a single day at a cost of $400.
1967 The “March on the Pentagon,” protesting American involvement in Vietnam , draws 50,000 protesters.
1969 Israel’s Foreign Minister Moshe Dayan resigns over disagreements with Prime Minister Menachem Begin over policies related to the Palestinians.
1983 The United States sends a ten-ship task force to Grenada.
1994 North Korea and the US sign an agreement requiring North Korea to halt its nuclear weapons program and agree to international inspections.
Born on October 21
1760 Katsushika Hokusai, Japanese print-maker.
1772 Samuel Taylor Coleridge, English poet (“The Rime of the Ancient Mariner,” “Kubla Khan”).
1833 Alfred Nobel, inventor of dynamite and founder of the Nobel Prizes.
1917 Dizzy Gillespie, jazz trumpeter.
1929 Ursula K. Le Guin, science fiction writer (The Left Hand of Darkness)
1938 Carl Brewer, Canadian hockey player; won three Stanley Cups (1962-64) as a member of the Toronto Maple Leafs.
1950 Ronald McNair, astronaut; died when the Space Shuttle Challenger exploded shortly after launch on Jan. 2, 1986.
1952 Patti Davis, actress, author; daughter of former US Pres. Ronald Reagan.
1956 Carrie Fisher, actress, author, screenwriter; best known as Prince Leia in the original Star Wars trilogy and the bestselling novel Postcards from the Edge; daughter of singer Eddie Fisher and actress Debbie Reynolds.
1969 Prince Salman bin Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, Crown Prince of Bahrain; presently (2016) First Deputy Prime Minister and Deputy Supreme Commander, he is heir apparent to the Bahrain kingdom.