Today in History

Barberini Museum Potsdam x
Barberini Museum Potsdam
February 21st

  • 362 – Athanasius returns to Alexandria.
  • 1245 – Thomas, the first known Bishop of Finland, is granted resignation after confessing to torture and forgery.
  • 1437 – James I of Scotland is assassinated.
  • 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 unanimously elected Tsar by a national assembly, beginning the Romanov dynasty of Imperial Russia.
  • 1804 – The first self-propelling steam locomotive makes its outing at the Pen-y-Darren Ironworks in Wales.
  • 1808 – Without a previous declaration of war, Russian troops cross the border to Sweden at Abborfors in eastern Finland, thus beginning the Finnish War, in which Sweden will lose the eastern half of the country (i.e. Finland) to Russia.
  • 1828 – Initial issue of the Cherokee Phoenix is the first periodical to use the Cherokee syllabary invented by Sequoyah.
  • 1842 – John Greenough is granted the first U.S. patent for the sewing machine.
  • 1848 – Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels publish The Communist Manifesto.
  • 1862 – American Civil War: Battle of Valverde is fought near Fort Craig in New Mexico Territory.
  • 1874 – The Oakland Daily Tribune publishes its first edition.
  • 1878 – The first telephone directory is issued in New Haven, Connecticut.
  • 1885 – The newly completed Washington Monument is dedicated.
  • 1896 – An Englishman raised in Australia, Bob Fitzsimmons, fought an Irishman, Peter Maher, in an American promoted event which technically took place in Mexico, winning the 1896 World Heavyweight Championship in boxing.
  • 1913 – 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 – German socialist Kurt Eisner is assassinated. His death results in the establishment of the Bavarian Soviet Republic and parliament and government fleeingMunich, Germany.
  • 1921 – Constituent Assembly of the Democratic Republic of Georgia adopts the country’s first constitution.
  • 1921 – Rezā Shāh takes control of Tehran during a successful coup
  • 1925 – The New Yorker publishes its first issue.
  • 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 USS Bismarck Sea and damage the USS 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 – The Bengali Language Movement protests occur at the University of Dhaka in East Pakistan (now Bangladesh).
  • 1958 – The peace symbol, commissioned by Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament in protest against the Atomic Weapons Research Establishment, is designed and completed by Gerald Holtom.
  • 1965 – Malcolm X is assassinated at the Audubon Ballroom in New York City.
  • 1971 – The Convention on Psychotropic Substances is signed at Vienna.
  • 1972 – United States 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 Libyan Arab Airlines Flight 114 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.
  • 1986 – Shigeru Miyamoto starts the Legend of Zelda franchise Legend of Zelda
  • 1995 – Steve Fossett lands in Leader, Saskatchewan, Canada becoming the first person to make a solo flight across the Pacific Ocean in a balloon.
  • 2013 – At least 17 people are dead and 119 injured following several bombings in the Indian city of Hyderabad.

All above information obtained from