On This Day in History January 21

January 21 – Events:

  • 1189 – Philip II of France and Richard I of England begin to assemble troops to wage the Third Crusade.
  • 1287 – The treaty of San Agayz is signed. Minorca is conquered by King Alfons III of Aragon.
  • 1525 – The Swiss Anabaptist Movement is born when Conrad Grebel, Felix Manz, George Blaurock, and about a dozen others baptize each other in the home of Manz’s mother in Zürich, breaking a thousand-year tradition of church-state union.
  • 1643 – Abel Tasman was the first European to reach Tonga.
  • 1720 – Sweden and Prussia sign the Treaty of Stockholm.
  • 1749 – The Verona Philharmonic Theatre was destoyed by fire. It was rebuilt in 1754.
  • 1789 – The first American novel, The Power of Sympathy or the Triumph of Nature Founded in Truth, is printed in Boston, Massachusetts.
  • 1793 – After being found guilty of treason by the French Convention, Louis XVI of France was executed by the guillotine.
  • 1799 – Edward Jenner’s smallpox vaccination is introduced.
  • 1853 – Envelope-folding machine patented by Russell Hawes, Worcester, MA.
  • 1861 – American Civil War: Jefferson Davis resigns from the United States Senate.
  • 1864 – The Tauranga Campaign starts during the Maori Wars.
  • 1887 – Brisbane receives a daily rainfall of 465 millimetres (18.3 inches), a record for any Australian capital city.
  • 1893 – The Tati Concessions Land, formerly part of Matabeleland, was formally annexed to the Bechuanaland Protectorate which is now Botswana.
  • 1899 – Opel manufactured its first automobile.
  • 1908 – New York City passes the Sullivan Ordinance, making it illegal for women to smoke in public, only to have the measure vetoed by the mayor.
  • 1911 – The first Monte Carlo Rally.
  • 1915 – Kiwanis International was founded in Detroit, Michigan.
  • 1919 – Meeting of the First Dáil Éireann in the Mansion House Dublin, Sinn Féin adopts Ireland’s first constitution. The first engagement of Irish War of Independence, Sologhead Beg, County Tipperary.
  • 1921 – The Italian Communist Party was founded at Livorno.
  • 1922 – First slalom ski race run, Murren, Switzerland.
  • 1924 – Vladimir Lenin dies; a lengthy power struggle emerges between Leon Trotsky and Joseph Stalin begins, culminating to the latter’s consolidation of power c. 1928.
  • 1925 – Albania declares itself a republic.
  • 1941 – World War II: Australian and British forces attack Tobruk, Libya.
  • 1948 – The Flag of Quebec is adopted and flown for the first time, over the National Assembly of Quebec. The day is marked annually as Quebec Flag Day.
  • 1950 – Alger Hiss is convicted of perjury.
  • 1954 – The first nuclear-powered submarine, the USS Nautilus, was launched in Groton, Connecticut by Mamie Eisenhower, then the First Lady of the United States.
  • 1958 – The last Fokker C.X in military service, the Finnish Air Force FK-111 target tower, crashed, killing the pilot and winch-operator.
  • 1960 – Rock fall traps 437 at Coalbrook South Africa; 417 die of methane poisoning.
  • 1968 – Vietnam War: Battle of Khe Sanh – One of the most publicized and controversial battles of the war begins.
  • 1969 – An experimental underground nuclear reactor at Lucens Vad, Switzerland, released radiation into a cavern, which was then sealed.
  • 1971 – “Alias Smith & Jones” premiers on ABC TV.
  • 1972 – Tripura becomes a full-fledged state in India.
  • 1974 – Gold hits record $161.31 an ounce in London.
  • 1974 – Silver hits record $3.97 an ounce in London.
  • 1976 – Commercial service of Concorde begins with London-Bahrain and Paris-Rio routes.
  • 1977 – President Jimmy Carter pardons nearly all American Vietnam War draft evaders, some of whom had emigrated to Canada.
  • 1978 – Bee Gees’ “Saturday Night Fever” album goes #1 for 24 weeks.
  • 1979 – Steelers beat Cowboys (35-31), first team to win 3 Super Bowls (XIII).
  • 1980 – Gold hits record $850 an ounce.
  • 1986 – 100 participate in Nude Olympics race in 38 degrees F (3 degrees C), Indiana.
  • 1987 – B.B. King donates his 7,000 record collection to University of Mississippi
  • 1999 – War on Drugs: In one of the largest drug busts in American history, the United States Coast Guard intercepts a ship with over 4,300 kgs (9,500 pounds) of cocaine on board.
  • 2002 – The Canadian Dollar sets all-time low against the US Dollar (US$0.6179).
  • 2004 – Canada: The residence of reporter Juliet O’Neill is searched by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) investigating leaks concerning the deportation of Maher Arar.
  • 2005 – In Belmopan, Belize, the unrest over the government’s new taxes erupts into riots.
  • 2008 – Black Monday in worldwide stock markets. FTSE 100 had its biggest ever one-day points fall, European stocks closed with their worst result since 9/11, and Asian stocks drop as much as 15%.
  • 2008 – The Eyak language in Alaska becomes extinct as its last native speaker dies.

January 21 – Birthdays:

  • 1338 – King Charles V of France (d. 1380)
  • 1721 – James Murray, British military officer, governor of Quebec (d. 1794)
  • 1804 – Eliza Roxcy Snow, American poet (d. 1887)
  • 1813 – John C. Frémont, American army officer, explorer and presidential candidate (d. 1890)
  • 1815 – John Bingham, American politician and lawyer (d. 1900)
  • 1824 – Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson, American, Confederate army general (d. 1863)
  • 1825 – Imre Madách, Hungarian writer (d. 1864)
  • 1827 – Ivan Mikheevich Pervushin, Russian mathematician (d. 1900)
  • 1829 – King Oscar II of Sweden and Norway (d. 1907)
  • 1848 – Henri Duparc, French composer (d. 1933)
  • 1860 – Karl Staaff, Prime Minister of Sweden (d. 1915)
  • 1867 – Ludwig Thoma, German writer (d. 1921)
  • 1867 – Maxime Weygand, French general (d. 1965)
  • 1882 – Pavel Florensky, Russian mathematician (d. 1937)
  • 1883 – Olav Aukrust, Norwegian poet (d. 1929)
  • 1884 – Roger Baldwin, American social activist (d. 1981)
  • 1885 – Umberto Nobile, Italian politician (d. 1978)
  • 1887 – Georges Vézina, Canadian ice hockey player (d. 1926)
  • 1895 – Cristóbal Balenciaga, Spanish couturier (d. 1972)
  • 1897 – René Iché, French sculptor (d. 1954)
  • 1899 – Alexander Tcherepnin, Russian born American composer (d. 1977)
  • 1901 – Ricardo Zamora, Spanish footballer (d. 1978)
  • 1905 – Christian Dior, French fashion designer (d. 1957)
  • 1905 – Karl Wallenda, German acrobat (d. 1978)
  • 1906 – Igor Moiseyev, Russian choreographer (d. 2007)
  • 1909 – Todor Skalovski, Macedonian composer (d. 2004)
  • 1910 – Eua Sunthornsanan, Thai composer and bandleader (d. 1981)
  • 1912 – Konrad Emil Bloch, German-born biochemist, Nobel laureate (d. 2000)
  • 1918 – Richard D. Winters, American war hero
  • 1921 – Howard Unruh, American mass murderer
  • 1922 – Paul Scofield, English actor
  • 1923 – Lola Flores, Spanish singer (d. 1995)
  • 1924 – Benny Hill, English actor, comedian, and singer (d. 1992)
  • 1924 – Telly Savalas, American actor (d. 1994)
  • 1926 – Steve Reeves, American actor (d. 2000)
  • 1927 – Clive Churchill, Australian rugby league footballer (d. 1985)
  • 1932 – John Chaney, American basketball coach
  • 1933 – Joseph W. Eschbach, American doctor (d. 2007)
  • 1934 – Audrey Dalton, Irish actress
  • 1936 – Koji Hashimoto, Japanese film director (d. 2005)
  • 1937 – Prince Max, Duke in Bavaria
  • 1938 – Wolfman Jack, American disk jockey and actor (d. 1995)
  • 1938 – John Savident, British actor
  • 1940 – Jack Nicklaus, American golfer
  • 1941 – Plácido Domingo, Spanish tenor
  • 1941 – Stathis Giallelis, Greek actor
  • 1941 – Richie Havens, American musician
  • 1941 – Mike Medavoy, American film producer
  • 1941 – Ivan Putski, Polish-born American professional wrestler
  • 1942 – Edwin Starr, American singer (d. 2003)
  • 1942 – Mac Davis, American musician
  • 1946 – Johnny Oates, American baseball player and manager (d. 2004)
  • 1947 – Jill Eikenberry, American actress
  • 1947 – Pye Hastings, English singer and musician (Caravan)
  • 1947 – Michel Jonasz, French singer and composer
  • 1950 – Billy Ocean, West Indian musician
  • 1952 – Marco Camenisch, Swiss environmental activist
  • 1952 – Louis Menand, American writer and critic
  • 1953 – Paul Allen, American entrepreneur
  • 1955 – Jeff Koons, American artist
  • 1956 – Robby Benson, American actor
  • 1956 – Geena Davis, American actress
  • 1957 – Greg Ryan, American soccer coach
  • 1958 – Michael Wincott, Canadian actor
  • 1959 – Alex McLeish, Scottish footballer and manager
  • 1962 – Marie Trintignant, French actress (d. 2003)
  • 1962 – Tyler Cowen, American economist
  • 1963 – Hakeem Olajuwon, Nigerian-born American basketball player
  • 1963 – Detlef Schrempf, German basketball player
  • 1965 – Jam Master Jay, American disc jockey (d. 2002)
  • 1966 – Robert Del Naja, English musician
  • 1966 – Candi Milo, American voice actress
  • 1968 – Ulrica Messing, Swedish politician
  • 1968 – Charlotte Ross, American actress
  • 1969 – Karina Lombard, American actress
  • 1969 – Tsubaki Nekoi, Japanese manga artist
  • 1970 – Ken Leung, American actor
  • 1970 – Mark Trojanowski, American musician (Sister Hazel)
  • 1971 – Alan McManus, Scottish snooker player
  • 1971 – Doug Weight, American ice hockey player
  • 1972 – Alan Benes, American baseball player
  • 1972 – Yasunori Mitsuda, Japanese composer
  • 1972 – Cat Power (Chan Marshall), American musician
  • 1974 – Rove McManus, Australian television host and comedian
  • 1974 – Alex Sperafico, Brazilian racing driver
  • 1975 – Ito, Spanish footballer
  • 1975 – Nicky Butt, English footballer
  • 1975 – Casey FitzRandolph, American speed skater
  • 1975 – Yuji Ide, Japanese racing driver
  • 1976 – Emma Bunton, English singer (Spice Girls)
  • 1977 – Al Baxter, Australian rugby union footballer
  • 1977 – Phil Neville, English footballer
  • 1977 – Rick Ross, American rapper
  • 1978 – Bryan Gilmore, National Football League player
  • 1978 – Tamir “Nokio” Ruffin, American Singer
  • 1978 – Faris al-Sultan, German-Iraqi triathlete
  • 1978 – Phil Stacey, American Idol finalist
  • 1978 – Andrei Zyuzin, Russian ice hockey player
  • 1979 – Byung-Hyun Kim, Korean baseball player
  • 1979 – Spider Loc, American rapper, member of G-Unit
  • 1979 – Brian O’Driscoll, Irish rugby union footballer
  • 1980 – Dave Kitson, English footballer
  • 1980 – Nana Mizuki, Japanese voice actress and singer
  • 1981 – Gillian Chung Yan-tung, Hong Kong singer (Twins)
  • 1981 – Jamie Dalrymple, English cricketer
  • 1981 – Ivan Ergic, Serbian footballer
  • 1981 – Dany Heatley, Canadian ice hockey player
  • 1981 – Andy Lee, Korean rapper (Shinhwa)
  • 1981 – Izabella Miko, Polish-born actress and model
  • 1981 – Alex Ubago, Spanish-Basque singer-songwriter
  • 1982 – Dean Whitehead, English footballer
  • 1983 – Maryse Ouellet, French-Canadian model and professional wrestler
  • 1983 – Moritz Volz, German footballer
  • 1983 – Peter Philipakos, Greek-American soccer player
  • 1985 – Alex Pérez, Spanish footballer
  • 1985 – Sasha Pivovarova, Russian Model
  • 1985 – Matt Unicomb, Australian basketball player
  • 1987 – Joe Ledley, Welsh footballer
  • 1988 – William Johansson, Swedish composer
  • 1990 – Jacob Smith, American actor
  • 2004 – Princess Ingrid Alexandra of Norway

January 21 – Deaths:

  • 304 – Saint Agnes (martyred) (b. 291)
  • 917 – Erchanger, Duke of Swabia (c. 880)
  • 1118 – Pope Paschal II
  • 1519 – Vasco Núñez de Balboa, Spanish explorer (b. 1475)
  • 1527 – Juan de Grijalva, Spanish conquistador (c. 1489)
  • 1546 – Azai Sukemasa, Japanese samurai and warlord (b. 1491)
  • 1609 – Joseph Justus Scaliger, French Protestant scholar (b. 1540)
  • 1638 – Ignazio Donati, Italian composer (c. 1570)
  • 1683 – Anthony Ashley-Cooper, 1st Earl of Shaftesbury, British politician (b. 1621)
  • 1699 – Obadiah Walker, English writer (b. 1616)
  • 1706 – Adrien Baillet, French scholar and critic (b. 1649)
  • 1710 – Johann Georg Gichtel, German mystic (b. 1638)
  • 1722 – Charles Paulet, 2nd Duke of Bolton, English supporter of William III of England (b. 1661)
  • 1731 – Thomas Woolston, English theologian (b. 1669)
  • 1766 – James Quin, English actor (b. 1693)
  • 1773 – Alexis Piron, French writer (b. 1689)
  • 1774 – Mustafa III, Ottoman Sultan (b. 1717)
  • 1775 – Yemelyan Pugachev, Russian rebel (b. 1740 or 1742)
  • 1793 – King Louis XVI of France (executed) (b. 1754)
  • 1795 – Samuel Wallis, English navigator (b. 1728)
  • 1809 – Josiah Hornblower, American statesman (b. 1729)
  • 1814 – Jacques-Henri Bernardin de Saint-Pierre, French writer and botanist (b. 1737)
  • 1823 – Cayetano José Rodríguez, Argentine cleric, journalist and poet (b. 1761)
  • 1831 – Ludwig Achim von Arnim, German poet (b. 1781)
  • 1851 – Albert Lortzing, German composer (b. 1801)
  • 1870 – Alexander Herzen, Russian writer (b. 1812)
  • 1872 – Franz Grillparzer, Austrian writer (b. 1791)
  • 1881 – Wilhelm Matthias Naeff, Swiss Federal Councilor (b. 1802)
  • 1891 – Calixa Lavallée, Canadian composer (b. 1842)
  • 1901 – Elisha Gray, American inventor (b. 1835)
  • 1914 – Theodor Kittelsen, Norwegian artist (b. 1857)
  • 1919 – Gojong of Joseon, Emperor of Korea (b. 1852)
  • 1924 – Vladimir Lenin, Russian revolutionary (b. 1870)
  • 1926 – Camillo Golgi, Italian physician, recipient of the Nobel laureate (b. 1843)
  • 1928 – George Goethals, American army engineer (b. 1858)
  • 1931 – Felix Blumenfeld, Russian composer (b. 1863)
  • 1932 – Giles Lytton Strachey, British writer (b. 1880)
  • 1933 – George A. Moore, Irish novelist (b. 1852)
  • 1937 – Marie Prevost, Canadian actress (b. 1898)
  • 1948 – Ermanno Wolf-Ferrari, Italian composer (b. 1876)
  • 1950 – George Orwell, British writer (b. 1903)
  • 1955 – Archie Hahn, American athlete (b. 1880)
  • 1956 – Sam Langford, Canadian boxer (b. 1883)
  • 1959 – Cecil B. DeMille, American director (b. 1881)
  • 1959 – Carl Switzer, American actor (b. 1927)
  • 1961 – Blaise Cendrars, Swiss writer (b. 1887)
  • 1967 – Ann Sheridan, American actress (b. 1915)
  • 1968 – Will Lang Jr., American magazine executive (b. 1914)
  • 1977 – Sandro Penna, Italian poet (b. 1906)
  • 1978 – Freda Utley, British scholar and author. (b. 1898)
  • 1984 – Giannis Skaribas, Greek writer, dramatist, and poet (b. 1893)
  • 1984 – Jackie Wilson, American musician (b. 1934)
  • 1985 – James Beard, American chef and author (b. 1903)
  • 1985 – Eddie Graham, American professional wrestler and promoter (b. 1930)
  • 1987 – Charles Goodell, American politician (b. 1926)
  • 1989 – Billy Tipton, American musician (b. 1914)
  • 1989 – Carl Furillo, American Baseball player (b. 1922)
  • 1993 – Charlie Gehringer, American baseball player (b. 1903)
  • 1996 – René Marc Jalbert, sergeant-at-Arms at the National Assembly of Quebec (b. 1921)
  • 1997 – Colonel Tom Parker, American manager of Elvis Presley (b. 1909)
  • 1998 – Jack Lord, American actor (b. 1920)
  • 1999 – Charles Brown, American blues singer and pianist (b. 1920)
  • 1999 – Susan Strasberg, American actress (b. 1938)
  • 2001 – Byron De La Beckwith, American white supremacist (b. 1921)
  • 2002 – Peggy Lee, American singer (b. 1920)
  • 2003 – Paul Haines, American-born Canadian poet (b. 1933)
  • 2004 – Yordan Radichkov, Bulgarian writer (b. 1929)
  • 2005 – Theun de Vries, Dutch writer (b. 1907)
  • 2005 – John L. Hess, American journalist (b. 1917)
  • 2005 – Parveen Babi, Indian actress (b. 1955)
  • 2006 – Ibrahim Rugova, President of Kosovo (b. 1944)
  • 2007 – Maria Cioncan, Romanian athlete (b. 1977)
  • 2007 – U;Nee, Korean pop artist (b. 1981)
  • 2008 – Pam Barrett, Canadian politician (b. 1953)
  • 2008 – Marie Smith Jones, last native speaker of the Eyak language (b. 1918)

January 21 – Holidays:

  • Flag Day – Quebec
  • International Spicy Food Day
  • Wellington Anniversary – New Zealand
  • Saint Agnes
  • Meinrad of Einsiedeln
  • Dominican Republic – Our Lady of Altagracia
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