On This Day in History September 21

September 21 – Events:

  • 454 – Roman Emperor Valentinian III assassinates Aëtius in his own throne room.
  • 1217 – An Estonian tribal leader Lembitu of Lehola was killed in a battle against Teutonic Knights.
  • 1745 – Battle of Prestonpans: A Hanoverian army under the command of Sir John Cope is defeated, in ten minutes, by the Jacobite forces of Prince Charles Edward Stuart.
  • 1765 – Antoine de Beauterne announces he had killed the Beast of Gévaudan, but was later proved wrong by more attacks.
  • 1780 – American Revolutionary War: Benedict Arnold gives the British the plans to West Point.
  • 1792 – The French National Convention votes to abolish the monarchy.
  • 1827 – According to Joseph Smith, Jr., the angel Moroni gave him a record of gold plates, one-third of which Joseph translated into The Book of Mormon.
  • 1860 – In the Second Opium War, an Anglo-French force defeats Chinese troops at the Battle of Baliqiao.
  • 1896 – British force under Horatio Kitchener takes Dongola in the Sudan.
  • 1897 – The “Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus” letter is published in the New York Sun.
  • 1898 – Empress Dowager Cixi seizes power and ends the Hundred Days’ Reform in China.
  • 1921 – Oppau explosion, a storage silo at a fertilizer producing plant exploded in Oppau, Germany, 500—600 killed.
  • 1934 – Superpower Muroto Typhoon hit in western Honshu, Japan, Japanese government confirmed 3,036 killed.
  • 1937 – J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit is published.
  • 1938 – The Great Hurricane of 1938 makes landfall on Long Island in New York. The death toll is estimated at 500-700 people.
  • 1939 – Romanian Prime Minister Armand Calinescu is assassinated by ultranationalist members of the Iron Guard.
  • 1942 – On Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur, Nazis sent over 1.000 Jews of Pidhaytsi (west Ukraine) to Belzec extermination camp.
  • 1942 – On the end of Yom Kippur, the Germans ordered Konstantynow Jews (Poland) to permanently evacuate Konstantynow and move to the Ghetto – established in Biala Podlaska, meant to assemble Jews from nearby 7 towns among them: Konstantynow, Janów Podlaski, Rossosz, Terespol, and 3 more.
  • 1942 – In Dunaivtsi, Ukraine, Nazis murder 2,588 Jews.
  • 1942 – The B-29 Superfortress makes its maiden flight.
  • 1950 – George Marshall sworn in as the 3rd Secretary of Defense of United States.
  • 1961 – Maiden flight of the CH-47 Chinook transportation helicopter.
  • 1964 – Malta becomes independent from the United Kingdom.
  • 1964 – The North American XB-70 Valkyrie, the world’s first Mach 3 bomber, made its maiden flight from Palmdale, California.
  • 1965 – Singapore admitted as a part of the United Nations.
  • 1970 – The Cleveland Browns beat the New York Jets at Cleveland Municipal Stadium 31-20 on the first edition of Monday Night Football.
  • 1970 – New York Times starts first modern op-ed page.
  • 1972 – Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos signs Proclamation No. 1081 placing the entire country under martial law.
  • 1976 – Orlando Letelier is assassinated in Washington, D.C. He was a member of the Chilean socialist government of Salvador Allende, overthrown in 1973 by Augusto Pinochet.  
  • 1981 – Belize is granted full independence from the United Kingdom.
  • 1981 – Sandra Day O’Connor is unanimously approved by the U.S. Senate as the first female supreme court justice.
  • 1989 – Hurricane Hugo makes landfall in the U.S. state of South Carolina.
  • 1991 – Armenia is granted independence from Soviet Union.
  • 1993 – Russian President Boris Yeltsin suspends parliament and scraps the then-functioning constitution, thus triggering the Russian constitutional crisis of 1993.
  • 1999 – Chi-Chi earthquake occurs in central Taiwan, leaving about 2,400 people dead.
  • 2001 – Deep Space 1 flies within 2,200 km of Comet Borrelly.
  • 2001 – AZF chemical plant explodes in Toulouse, France, killing 29 people
  • 2001 – University of Roorkee, becomes India’s 7th Indian Institute of Technology, rechristened as IIT Roorkee
  • 2003 – Galileo mission terminated by sending the probe into Jupiter’s atmosphere, where it is crushed by the pressure at the lower altitudes.
  • 2004 – The Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) People’s War and the Maoist Communist Centre of India merge to form the Communist Party of India (Maoist).
  • 2004 – Construction of the Burj Dubai starts.

September 21 – Birthdays:

  • 1051 – Bertha of Savoy, German queen and Holy Roman Empire Empress (d. 1087)
  • 1328 – Hongwu Emperor of China (d. 1398)
  • 1411 – Richard Plantagenet, 3rd Duke of York, claimant to the English throne (d. 1460)
  • 1415 – Frederick III, Holy Roman Emperor (d. 1493)
  • 1428 – Jingtai Emperor of China (d. 1457)
  • 1452 – Girolamo Savonarola, Dominican priest and ruler of Florence (d. 1498)
  • 1629 – Philip Cardinal Howard, English Catholic cardinal (d. 1694)
  • 1645 – Louis Joliet, Canadian explorer (d. 1700)
  • 1706 – Polyxena Christina of Hesse-Rotenburg, queen of Sardinia (d. 1735)
  • 1756 – John MacAdam, Scottish engineer and road-builder (d. 1836)
  • 1758 – Christopher Gore, 8th Governor of Massachusetts (d. 1827)
  • 1760 – Ivan Dmitriev, Russian statesman (d. 1837)
  • 1819 – Princess Louise Marie Thérèse of France (d. 1864)
  • 1840 – Murad V, Ottoman Sultan (d. 1904)
  • 1842 – Abd-ul-Hamid II, Ottoman Sultan (d. 1918)
  • 1849 – Maurice Barrymore, Indian-born patriarch of the Barrymore family (d. 1905)
  • 1853 – Heike Kamerlingh Onnes, Dutch physicist, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1926)
  • 1863 – John Bunny, American film comedian (d. 1915)
  • 1866 – H. G. Wells, English writer (d. 1946)
  • 1866 – Charles Nicolle, French bacteriologist, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine (d. 1936)
  • 1873 – Papa Jack Laine, American musician (d. 1966)
  • 1874 – Gustav Holst, English composer (d. 1934)
  • 1895 – Sergei Yesenin, Russian poet (d. 1925)
  • 1899 – Frederick Coutts, the 8th General of The Salvation Army (d. 1986)
  • 1902 – Luis Cernuda, Spanish poet (d. 1963)
  • 1902 – Sir Allen Lane, British founder of Penguin Books (d. 1970)
  • 1905 – Robert Lebel, French Canadian ice hockey executive (d. 1999)
  • 1906 – Henry Beachell, American plant breeder (d. 2006)
  • 1912 – Chuck Jones, American animator (d. 2002)
  • 1912 – György Sándor, Hungarian pianist (d. 2005)
  • 1916 – Françoise Giroud, French journalist, writer and politician (d. 2003)
  • 1917 – Phyllis Nicolson, British mathematician (d. 1968)
  • 1918 – John Gofman, American Manhattan Project scientist and advocate (d. 2007)
  • 1919 – Mario Bunge, Argentine philosopher and physicist
  • 1919 – Fazlur Rahman, Pakistani scholar (d. 1988)
  • 1926 – Donald A. Glaser, American physicist, Nobel Prize laureate
  • 1929 – Bernard Williams, English philosopher (d. 2003)
  • 1929 – Sándor Kocsis, Hungarian footballer (d. 1979)
  • 1931 – Larry Hagman, American actor
  • 1933 – Dick Simon, American racing driver
  • 1934 – Leonard Cohen, Canadian singer and songwriter
  • 1935 – Jimmy Armfield, Former English Footballer and Manager
  • 1935 – Henry Gibson, American actor
  • 1936 – Yuriy Luzhkov, Russian politician, mayor of Moscow
  • 1936 – Dickey Lee, American singer and songwriter
  • 1938 – Doug Moe, American basketball player and coach
  • 1940 – Bill Kurtis, American television journalist
  • 1941 – R. James Woolsey, Jr., Central Intelligence Agency director
  • 1941 – Jack Brisco, American professional wrestler
  • 1944 – Fannie Flagg, American actress and novelist
  • 1944 – Hamilton Jordan, U.S. President Jimmy Carter’s original chief of staff
  • 1944 – Steve Beshear, Democratic Governor of Kentucky.
  • 1945 – Jerry Bruckheimer, American film and television producer
  • 1945 – Richard Childress, NASCAR team owner
  • 1945 – Shaw Clifton, the 18th General of The Salvation Army
  • 1946 – Moritz Leuenberger, Swiss Federal Councilor
  • 1947 – Stephen King, American author
  • 1947 – Marsha Norman, American playwright
  • 1947 – Don Felder, American guitarist (Eagles)
  • 1949 – Artis Gilmore, American basketball player
  • 1950 – Charles Clarke, British politician
  • 1950 – Bill Murray, American actor
  • 1951 – Bruce Arena, American soccer coach
  • 1951 – Aslan Maskhadov, Chechen rebel leader (d. 2005])
  • 1952 – Anneliese Michel, Exorcism victim, known from the movie The Exorcism of Emily Rose (d.  
  • 1976)
  • 1953 – Arie Luyendyk, Dutch race car driver
  • 1954 – Shinzo Abe, Former Prime Minister of Japan
  • 1954 – Phil “Philthy Animal” Taylor, British musician (Motörhead)
  • 1955 – Mika Kaurismäki, Finnish director
  • 1955 – Richard Hieb, American astronaut
  • 1956 – Jack Givens, American basketball player
  • 1956 – Marta Kauffman, American television producer
  • 1957 – Ethan Coen, American film director
  • 1957 – Sidney Moncrief, American basketball player
  • 1957 – Kevin Rudd, Australian Labor Party leader and Prime Minister of Australia (2007-)
  • 1957 – Penny Smith, English television presenter
  • 1958 – Bruno Fitoussi, French poker player
  • 1959 – Dave Coulier, American actor
  • 1959 – Danny Cox, baseball player
  • 1959 – Corinne Drewery, British singer (Swing Out Sister)
  • 1960 – David James Elliott, Canadian actor
  • 1961 – Húbert Nói, Icelandic artist
  • 1961 – Nancy Travis, American actress
  • 1962 – Rob Morrow, American actor
  • 1963 – Curtly Ambrose, Antiguan West Indies cricketer
  • 1963 – Cecil Fielder, American baseball player
  • 1963 – Angus Macfadyen, Scottish actor
  • 1964 – Jorge Drexler, Uruguayan singer and composer
  • 1965 – Cheryl Hines, American actress
  • 1965 – David Wenham, Australian actor
  • 1967 – Faith Hill, American singer
  • 1967 – Tyler Stewart, Canadian drummer (Barenaked Ladies)
  • 1968 – Ricki Lake, American actress and talk show hostess
  • 1969 – Jason Christiansen, baseball player
  • 1970 – John Cudia, American actor
  • 1971 – John Crawley, English cricketer
  • 1971 – Alfonso Ribeiro, Dominican-born actor
  • 1971 – Luke Wilson, American actor
  • 1972 – Liam Gallagher, English singer (Oasis)
  • 1972 – Jon Kitna, American football player
  • 1972 – David Silveria, American drummer (Ko?n)
  • 1973 – Oswaldo Sanchez, Mexican footballer
  • 1974 – Jana Kandarr, German tennis player
  • 1974 – Andy Todd, English footballer
  • 1975 – Doug Davis, American baseball player
  • 1976 – Jonas Bjerre, Danish singer and guitarist (Mew)
  • 1976 – Poul Hübertz, Danish footballer
  • 1977 – Brian Tallet, American baseball player
  • 1978 – Doug Howlett, New Zealand rugby union footballer
  • 1979 – Richard Dunne, Irish footballer
  • 1979 – Chris Gayle, Jamaican West Indies cricketer
  • 1979 – Julian Gray, English footballer
  • 1979 – Jaymee Ong, Chinese Australian Model
  • 1980 – Robert Hoffman, American actor
  • 1980 – Kareena Kapoor, Indian actress
  • 1980 – Aleksa Palladino, American actress
  • 1980 – Autumn Reeser, American actress
  • 1980 – Tomas Scheckter, South African racing driver
  • 1981 – Nicole Richie, American socialite
  • 1981 – Meilinda Soerjoko, Indonesian-Australian actress
  • 1982 – Eduardo Azevedo, Brazilian racing driver
  • 1982 – Danny Kass, American snowboarder
  • 1982 – Rowan Vine, English footballer
  • 1983 – Fernando Cavenaghi, Argentinian footballer
  • 1983 – Maggie Grace, American actress
  • 1983 – Joseph Mazzello, American actor
  • 1983 – Anna Meares, Australian cyclist
  • 1985 – Maryam Hassouni, Dutch actor
  • 1987 – Jimmy Clausen, American college football player
  • 1987 – Ashley Paris, American basketball player
  • 1990 – Allison Scagliotti, American actress
  • 1990 – Christian Serratos, American actress
  • 1991 – Jordan Hasay, American track & field athlete
  • 1998 – Brino quadruplets, American actor/actresses

September 21 – Deaths:

  • 19 BC – Virgil, Roman poet (b. 70 BC)
  • 454 – Aëtius, Roman general (bc. 396)
  • 1217 – Lembitu of Lehola, Estonian soldier
  • 1327 – King Edward II of England (b. 1284)
  • 1397 – Richard FitzAlan, 11th Earl of Arundel, English military leader (executed) (b. 1346)
  • 1542 – Juan Boscán Almogáver, Spanish poet
  • 1558 – Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor (b. 1500)
  • 1576 – Gerolamo Cardano, Italian mathematician (b. 1501)
  • 1586 – Antoine Perrenot de Granvelle, French church leader (b. 1517)
  • 1626 – François de Bonne, duc de Lesdiguières, Constable of France (b. 1543)
  • 1719 – Johann Heinrich Acker, German writer (b. 1647)
  • 1743 – Jai Singh II, King of Amber-Juiper (b. 1688)
  • 1748 – John Balguy, English philosopher (b. 1686)
  • 1796 – François Séverin Marceau-Desgraviers, French general (b. 1769)
  • 1798 – George Read, American lawyer and signer of the Declaration of Independence (b. 1733)
  • 1832 – Sir Walter Scott, Scottish writer (b. 1771)
  • 1860 – Arthur Schopenhauer, German philosopher (b. 1788)
  • 1874 – Jean-Baptiste Élie de Beaumont, French geologist (b. 1794)
  • 1897 – Wilhelm Wattenbach, German historian (b. 1819)
  • 1904 – Chief Joseph, Nez Perce leader (b. 1840)
  • 1906 – Samuel Arnold, Lincoln conspirator (b. 1838)
  • 1926 – Leon Charles Thevenin, French telegraph engineer (b. 1857)
  • 1938 – Ivana Brlic-Mazuranic Croatian writer (b. 1874)
  • 1939 – Armand Calinescu Romanian prime-minister (assassinated) (b. 1893)
  • 1954 – Kokichi Mikimoto, Japanese inventor (b. 1858)
  • 1957 – King Haakon VII of Norway (b. 1872)
  • 1963 – Paulino Masip, Spanish playwright (b. 1899)
  • 1966 – Paul Reynaud, French politician (b. 1878)
  • 1971 – Bernardo Houssay, Argentine physiologist, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1887)
  • 1972 – Henry de Montherlant, French writer (b. 1896)
  • 1974 – Walter Brennan, American actor (b. 1894)
  • 1974 – Jacqueline Susann, American novelist (b. 1918)
  • 1976 – Orlando Letelier, Chilean diplomat (b. 1932)
  • 1982 – Hovhannes Bagramyan, Soviet general (b. 1897)
  • 1985 – Gu Long, Taiwanese writer of wuxia novels (b. 1937)
  • 1987 – Jaco Pastorius, American bassist (b. 1951)
  • 1988 – Glenn Robert Davis, member of United States Congress (b. 1914)
  • 1995 – Rudy Perpich, American politician (b. 1928)
  • 1997 – Jennifer Holt, American actress (b. 1920)
  • 1998 – Florence Griffith Joyner, American athlete (b. 1959)
  • 2000 – Bryan Smith, Man who ran over Stephen King (b. 1957)
  • 2002 – Robert L. Forward, American physicist and writer (b. 1932)
  • 2004 – Barry Noble Wakeman, American naturalist and educator (b. 1939)
  • 2004 – Bob Mason, British actor (b. 1952)
  • 2006 – Boz Burrell, English rock musician (b. 1946)
  • 2007 – Hallgeir Brenden, Norwegian Olympic gold medalist (b. 1929)
  • 2007 – Alice Ghostley, American actress (b. 1926)
  • 2007 – Rex Humbard, American television evangelist (b. 1919)

September 21 – Holidays:

  • International Day of Peace
  • Independence Day in Malta (1964), Belize (1981) & Armenia (1991)
  • Mabon – Neopagan festival of Mabon
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