On This Day in History June 21

June 21 – Events:

  • 524 – Godomar, King of the Burgundians defeats the Franks at the Battle of Vézeronce.
  • 1582 – Incident at Honno-ji in Kyoto, Japan.
  • 1621 – Execution of 27 Czech noblemen on the Old Town Square in Prague as a consequence of the Battle of White Mountain.
  • 1665 – First soldiers of Le Régiment de Carignan-Salières arrive at Quebec to invade Iroquois territories.
  • 1734 – In Montreal in New France (today primarily Quebec), a black slave known by the French name of Marie-Joseph Angélique, having been convicted of the arson that destroyed much of the city, was tortured and hanged by the French authorities in a public ceremony that involved her disgrace and the amputation of a hand.
  • 1749 – Halifax, Nova Scotia, founded.
  • 1788 – New Hampshire ratifies the Constitution and is thus admitted as the 9th state in the United States.
  • 1798 – Irish Rebellion of 1798: The British Army defeats Irish rebels at Battle of Vinegar Hill
  • 1813 – Peninsular War: Battle of Vitoria
  • 1813 – Laura Secord sets out to warn British forces of an impending U.S. attack on Queenston, Ontario during the War of 1812.
  • 1824 – Greek War of Independence: Egyptian forces capture Psara in the Aegean Sea.
  • 1826 – Maniots defeat Egyptians under Ibrahim Pasha in the Battle of Vergas
  • 1854 – First Victoria Cross won during bombardment of Bomarsund in the Aland Islands.
  • 1864 – New Zealand Land Wars: The Tauranga Campaign ends.
  • 1877 – The Molly Maguires, ten Irish immigrants, are hanged at the Schuylkill County and Carbon County, Pennsylvania Prisons.
  • 1898 – Guam becomes a U.S. territory.
  • 1915 – The U.S. Supreme Court hands down its decision in Guinn v. United States 238 US 347 1915, striking down an Oklahoma law denying the right to vote to some citizens.
  • 1919 – Royal Canadian Mounted Police fire a volley into a crowd of unemployed war veterans, killing two, during the Winnipeg General Strike.
  • 1919 – Admiral Ludwig von Reuter scuttles the German fleet in Scapa Flow, Orkney. The nine sailors killed were the last casualties of the First World War.
  • 1940 – World War II: France surrenders to Germany.
  • 1940 – First successful west-to-east navigation of Northwest Passage begins at Vancouver, British Columbia.
  • 1942 – World War II: Tobruk falls to Italian and German forces.
  • 1942 – World War II: A Japanese submarine surfaces near the Columbia River in Oregon, firing 17 shells at nearby Fort Stevens in one of only a handful of attacks by the Japanese against the U.S. mainland.
  • 1945 – World War II: Battle of Okinawa ends.
  • 1948 – The “Manchester Baby” (SSEM) runs the first ever computer program stored in electronic memory.
  • 1952 – Philippine School of Commerce, through a republic act, was converted to Philippine College of Commerce; later to be the Polytechnic University of the Philippines.
  • 1957 – Ellen Louks Fairclough sworn in as Canada’s first woman Cabinet Minister
  • 1964 – Three civil rights workers, Andrew Goodman, James Chaney and Mickey Schwerner, are murdered in Neshoba County, Mississippi, United States, by members of the Ku Klux Klan.
  • 1973 – In handing down the decision in Miller v. California 413 US 15, the Supreme Court of the United States establishes the Miller Test, which now governs obscenity in U.S. law.
  • 1982 – John Hinckley is found not guilty by reason of insanity for the attempted assassination of U.S. President Ronald Reagan.
  • 2000 – Section 28 (outlawing the ‘promotion’ of homosexuality in the United Kingdom) repealed in Scotland with a 99 to 17 vote.
  • 2001 – A federal grand jury in Alexandria, Va., indicted 13 Saudis and a Lebanese in the 1996 bombing of the Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia that killed 19 American servicemen.
  • 2002 – The World Health Organization declares Europe polio free.
  • 2004 – SpaceShipOne becomes the first privately funded spaceplane to achieve spaceflight.
  • 2006 – Pluto’s newly discovered moons are officially christened Nix & Hydra.

June 21 – Birthdays:

  • 1002 – Pope Leo IX (d. 1054)
  • 1226 – King Boleslaus V of Poland (d. 1279)
  • 1528 – Maria of Spain, Holy Roman Empire Empress (1603)
  • 1535 – Leonhard Rauwolf, German physician and botanist (d. 1596)
  • 1639 – Increase Mather, New England Puritan minister (d. 1723)
  • 1646 – Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz, German philosopher and scientist (d. 1716)
  • 1646 – Maria Francisca of Nemours, queen of Portugal (d. 1683)
  • 1676 – Anthony Collins, English philosopher (d. 1729)
  • 1712 – Luc Urbain de Bouexic, comte de Guichen, French admiral (d. 1790)
  • 1730 – Motoori Norinaga, Japanese scholar (d. 1801)
  • 1732 – Johann Christoph Friedrich Bach, German composer (d. 1791)
  • 1736 – Enoch Poor, American general in the Continental Army (d. 1780)
  • 1759 – Alexander J. Dallas, American statesman and financier (d. 1817)
  • 1763 – Pierre Paul Royer-Collard, French philosopher (d. 1845)
  • 1764 – Sidney Smith, British admiral (d. 1840)
  • 1774 – Daniel D. Tompkins, Congressman, Governor of New York, and sixth Vice President of the United States (d. 1825)
  • 1781 – Siméon-Denis Poisson, French mathematician and physicist (d. 1840)
  • 1782 – Pyotr Kotlyarevsky, Russian general (d. 1852)
  • 1788 – Princess Augusta of Bavaria (d. 1850)
  • 1791 – Robert Napier, British engineer (d. 1876)
  • 1798 – Wolfgang Menzel, German writer (d. 1873)
  • 1805 – Charles Thomas Jackson, American scientist, polymath (d. 1880)
  • 1811 – Carlo Matteucci, Italian physicist (d. 1868)
  • 1812 – Moses Hess, Jewish socialist and nationalist (d. 1875)
  • 1823 – Jean Chacornac, French astronomer (d. 1873)
  • 1825 – William Stubbs, English historian and Anglican bishop of Oxford (d. 1901)
  • 1828 – Ferdinand André Fouqué, French geologist (d. 1904)
  • 1839 – Machado de Assis, Brazilian writer (d. 1908)
  • 1850 – Daniel Carter Beard, founder of the Boy Scouts of America (d. 1941)
  • 1858 – Medardo Rosso, Italian sculptor (d. 1928)
  • 1859 – Henry Ossawa Tanner, American painter (d. 1937)
  • 1862 – Damrong Rajanubhab, Thai prince and historian (d. 1943)
  • 1863 – Max Wolf, German astronomer (d. 1932)
  • 1864 – Heinrich Wölfflin, Swiss art historian (d. 1945)
  • 1868 – Edwin Stephen Goodrich, English zoologist (d. 1946)
  • 1870 – Clara Immerwahr, German chemist (d. 1915)
  • 1876 – Willem Hendrik Keesom, Dutch physicist (d. 1956)
  • 1880 – Arnold Gesell, American psychologist and pediatrician (d. 1961)
  • 1880 – Josiah Stamp, 1st Baron Stamp, British civil servant, industrialist, economist, statistician and banker (d. 1941)
  • 1882 – Rockwell Kent, American artist (d. 1971)
  • 1882 – Lluís Companys i Jover, Spanish politician (d. 1940)
  • 1883 – Fyodor Gladkov, Russian writer (d. 1958)
  • 1884 – Claude Auchinleck, British field marshal (d. 1981)
  • 1887 – Norman L. Bowen, Canadian petrologist (d. 1956)
  • 1889 – Ralph Craig, American athlete (d. 1972)
  • 1891 – Pier Luigi Nervi, Italian architect (d. 1979)
  • 1891 – Hermann Scherchen, German conductor (d. 1966)
  • 1892 – Reinhold Niebuhr, Protestant theologian (d. 1971)
  • 1893 – Alois Hába, Czech composer (d. 1973)
  • 1896 – Charles B. Momsen, American inventor (d. 1967)
  • 1898 – Donald C. Peattie, American botanist and writer (d. 1964)
  • 1902 – Howie Morenz, professional ice hockey player (d. 1937)
  • 1903 – Al Hirschfeld, American cartoonist (d. 2003)
  • 1905 – Jean-Paul Sartre, French philosopher and writer, Nobel Prize laureate (declined) (d. 1980)
  • 1906 – Harold Spina, American composer (d. 1997)
  • 1908 – William Frankena, American philosopher (d. 1994)
  • 1910 – Aleksandr Tvardovsky, Soviet poet (d. 1971)
  • 1912 – Mary McCarthy, American writer (d. 1989)
  • 1912 – Kazimierz Leski, Polish engineer, fighter pilot and officer of the Home Army’s intelligence and counterintelligence (d. 2000)
  • 1914 – William Vickrey, Canadian economist, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1996)
  • 1916 – Joseph Cyril Bamford, English inventor and industrialist
  • 1916 – Buddy O’Connor, Canadian ice hockey player (d. 1977)
  • 1918 – James Clyde Mitchell, English sociologist and anthropologist
  • 1919 – Gérard Pelletier, French Canadian journalist, politician, and diplomat (d. 1997)
  • 1919 – Vladimir Simagin, Russian chess master and teacher
  • 1919 – Paolo Soleri, Italian-born American architect
  • 1921 – Judy Holliday, American actress (d. 1965)
  • 1921 – Jane Russell, American actress
  • 1921 – Jean de Broglie, French politician
  • 1923 – Jacques Hébert, French Canadian author, journalist and politician
  • 1924 – Pontus Hultén, Swedish art collector and pioneering museum director (d. 2006)
  • 1924 – Jean Laplanche, French psychoanalytic thinker
  • 1924 – Max McNab, Canadian ice hockey player and coach (d. 2007)
  • 1925 – Giovanni Spadolini, Italian politician (d. 1994)
  • 1925 – Maureen Stapleton, American actress (d. 2006)
  • 1926 – Conrad Hall, Tahitian-born cinematographer (d. 2003)
  • 1927 – Carl Stokes, Mayor of Cleveland, Ohio (d. 1996)
  • 1929 – Abdel Halim Hafez, Egyptian singer and actor (d. 1977)
  • 1929 – Alexandre Lagoya, Greek-Italian classical guitarist (d. 1999)
  • 1930 – Sir Gerald Kaufman, British politician
  • 1930 – Mike McCormack, American professional football player
  • 1931 – Margaret Mary O’Shaughnessy Heckler, U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services
  • 1932 – O.C. Smith, American singer (d. 2001)
  • 1932 – Lalo Schifrin, Argentine pianist and composer
  • 1935 – Françoise Sagan, French writer (d. 2004)
  • 1938 – Ron Ely, American actor
  • 1939 – Ruben Berrios, Puerto Rican politician
  • 1940 – Mariette Hartley, American actress
  • 1940 – Michael Ruse, Canadian philosopher
  • 1941 – Joe Flaherty, American-Canadian actor
  • 1942 – Togo D. West, Jr., American attorney and public official
  • 1942 – Dan Henning, American football player
  • 1942 – Henry S. Taylor, American writer
  • 1943 – Salomé, Spanish singer
  • 1944 – Ray Davies, English musician (The Kinks)
  • 1944 – Corinna Tsopei, Greek beauty pageant winner, the first Greek Miss Universe
  • 1945 – Adam Zagajewski, Polish philosopher, poet
  • 1946 – Brenda Holloway, American musician
  • 1946- Trond Kirkvaag, Norwegian comedian and author
  • 1947 – Meredith Baxter, American actress
  • 1947 – Michael Gross, American actor
  • 1947 – Shirin Ebadi, Iranian lawyer, Nobel Peace Prize laureate
  • 1947 – Joey Molland, English musician (Badfinger)
  • 1948 – Ian McEwan, English writer
  • 1948 – Lionel Rose, Australian boxer
  • 1948 – Andrzej Sapkowski, Polish writer
  • 1950 – Anne Carson, Canadian poet
  • 1950 – Joey Kramer, American drummer and percussionist (Aerosmith)
  • 1950 – Vasilis Papakonstantinou, Greek singer and musician
  • 1950 – Gérard Lanvin, French actor
  • 1951 – Nils Lofgren, American musician
  • 1952 – Kôichi Mashimo, Japanese anime director
  • 1953 – Benazir Bhutto, Prime Minister of Pakistan (d. 2007)
  • 1953 – Michael Bowen, American actor
  • 1954 – Müjde Ar, Turkish actress
  • 1954 – Mark Kimmitt, US Army general
  • 1954 – Anne Kirkbride, English actress
  • 1954 – Robert Menasse, Austrian writer
  • 1954 – Augustus Pablo, Jamaican musician (d. 1999)
  • 1954 – Robert Pastorelli, American actor (d. 2004)
  • 1955 – Tim Bray, Canadian computer programmer
  • 1955 – Leigh McCloskey, American actor
  • 1955 – Michel Platini, French footballer
  • 1957 – Berkeley Breathed, American cartoonist and author
  • 1957 – Lucien DeBlois, professional ice hockey player
  • 1958 – Gennady Padalka, cosmonaut
  • 1959 – Tom Chambers, American basketball player
  • 1959 – Marcella Detroit, singer and songwriter (Shakespeare’s Sister)
  • 1959 – Kathy Mattea, American country singer
  • 1961 – Kip Winger, American musician
  • 1962 – Viktor Tsoi, Russian musician
  • 1962 – Takeshi Asami, Japanese racing driver
  • 1964 – Doug Savant, American actor
  • 1964 – Sammi Davis, British actor
  • 1965 – Larry Wachowski, film director
  • 1965 – Yang Liwei, Chinese astronaut
  • 1966 – Rudi Bakhtiar, American journalist
  • 1966 – Mancow Muller, American radio personality
  • 1966 – Nan Woods, American actress
  • 1967 – Jim Breuer, American comedian
  • 1967 – Pierre Omidyar, founder of eBay
  • 1967 – Derrick Coleman, American basketball player
  • 1968 – Sonique, British DJ
  • 1968 – Alisyn Camerota, American journalist
  • 1968 – Gretchen Carlson, American journalist
  • 1969 – Gabriella Paruzzi, Italian skier
  • 1970 – Sindee Coxx, American pornographic actress
  • 1970 – Pete Rock, American rapper/producer
  • 1971 – Marianne Lie Berg, Norwegian philosopher
  • 1971 – Anette Olzon, Swedish singer
  • 1972 – Alon Hilu, Israeli writer
  • 1972 – Neil Doak, former Irish cricketer
  • 1973 – Juliette Lewis, American actress
  • 1974 – Natasha Desborough, British radio personality
  • 1974 – Craig Lowndes, Australian racing driver
  • 1976 – Mike Einziger, American musician (Incubus)
  • 1976 – Nigel Lappin, Australian footballer
  • 1977 – Jochen Hecht, German ice hockey player
  • 1978 – Cristiano Lupatelli, Italian footballer
  • 1978 – Jack Guzman, American actor
  • 1978 – Erica Durance, Canadian actress
  • 1979 – Chris Pratt, American actor
  • 1980 – Sendy Rleal, Dominican baseball player
  • 1980 – Richard Jefferson, American basketball player
  • 1981 – Brandon Flowers, American singer and keyboardist (The Killers)
  • 1981 – Yann Danis, French Canadian ice hockey player
  • 1982 – Prince William of Wales, British prince
  • 1984 – Alicia Alighatti, American pornographic actress
  • 1984 – Franck Perera, French racing driver
  • 1985 – Anthony Morelli, American football player
  • 1985 – Byron Schammer, AFL footballer
  • 1987 – Dale Thomas, AFL footballer

June 21 – Deaths:

  • 1305 – King Wenceslaus II of Bohemia and Poland (b. 1271)
  • 1377 – King Edward III of England (b. 1312)
  • 1527 – Niccolò Machiavelli, Italian historian and political author (b. 1469)
  • 1529 – John Skelton, English poet
  • 1547 – Sebastiano del Piombo, Italian painter (b. 1485)
  • 1582 – Oda Nobunaga, Japanese warlord (b. 1534)
  • 1591 – Aloysius Gonzaga, Italian saint (b. 1568)
  • 1621 – Kryštof Harant, Polish soldier, writer, and composer (b. 1564)
  • 1652 – Inigo Jones, English architect (b. 1573)
  • 1738 – Charles Townshend, 2nd Viscount Townshend, English statesman (b. 1674)
  • 1796 – Richard Gridley, American Revolutionary soldier (b. 1710)
  • 1824 – Étienne Aignan, French writer (b. 1773)
  • 1865 – Frances Adeline Seward, wife of United States Secretary of State William H. Seward (b. 1824)
  • 1874 – Anders Jonas Ångström, Swedish physicist (b. 1814)
  • 1893 – Leland Stanford, American business tycoon and founder of Stanford University
  • 1908 – Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, Russian composer (b. 1844)
  • 1914 – Bertha von Suttner, Austrian writer and pacifist, recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize (b. 1843)
  • 1934 – Thorne Smith, American author (b. 1892)
  • 1940 – Smedley Butler, American Marine general (b. 1881)
  • 1951 – Charles Dillon Perrine, American astronomer (b. 1867)
  • 1952 – Wilfrid ‘Wop’ May, Canadian aviation pioneer (b. 1896)
  • 1954 – Gideon Sundback, invented the zipper (b. 1880)
  • 1957 – Johannes Stark, German physicist, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1874)
  • 1964 – James Chaney, American civil rights activist (b. 1943)
  • 1964 – Andrew Goodman, American civil rights activist (b. 1943)
  • 1964 – Michael Schwerner, American civil rights activist (b. 1939)
  • 1969 – Maureen Connolly, American tennis player (b. 1934)
  • 1970 – Sukarno, President of Indonesia (b. 1901)
  • 1976 – Margaret Herrick, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences director (b. 1902)
  • 1979 – Angus Maclise, American mystic, shaman, musician, and composer (b. 1938)
  • 1980 – Bert Kaempfert, German orchestra leader and songwriter (b. 1923)
  • 1985 – Tage Erlander, Prime Minister of Sweden (b. 1901)
  • 1986 – Assi Rahbani, Lebanese composer and author (b. 1923)
  • 1993 – Ticho Parly, Danish tenor (b. 1928)
  • 1997 – Shintaro Katsu, Japanese entertainer (b. 1931)
  • 1997 – Fidel Velázquez Sánchez, Mexican labour leader (b. 1900)
  • 1998 – Al Campanis, American baseball executive (b. 1916)
  • 1999 – Kami, Japanese drummer (Malice Mizer) (b. 1973)
  • 2000 – Alan Hovhaness, American composer (b. 1911)
  • 2001 – John Lee Hooker, American musician (b. 1916)
  • 2001 – Carroll O’Connor, American actor (b. 1924)
  • 2003 – Roger Neilson, Canadian ice hockey coach (b. 1934)
  • 2003 – Leon Uris, American writer (b. 1924)
  • 2004 – Leonel Brizola, Brazilian politician (b. 1922)
  • 2005 – Jaime Cardinal Sin, Filipino Catholic Archbishop of Manila (b. 1928)
  • 2007 – Bob Evans, American restaurateur (b. 1918)

June 21 – Holidays:

  • Summer solstice (Northern Hemisphere) and winter solstice (Southern Hemisphere) celebrations
  • National Aboriginal Day in Canada (starting in 1996)
  • Midsummer – Neopagan festival – Litha
  • National Day of Greenland
  • Fête de la Musique World Music Day, since 1982.
  • National Go Skateboarding Day
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