This Day in History - September 21

September 21

454 – Aetius, the supreme army commander, is murdered in Ravenna, Italy by Valentinian III, the emperor of the West

1327 – Edward II of England is murdered by order of his wife

1520 – Suleiman the Magnificent, son of Selim, becomes Ottoman sultan in Constantinople

1558 – Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor, dies

1589 – The Duke of Mayenne of France is defeated by Henry IV at the Battle of Arques

1673 – James Needham returns to Virginia after exploring land to the west, which would become Tennessee

1745 – The Scottish Jacobite army under Lord George Murray heads off the Royalist army led by General Sir John Cope at Prestonpans

1756 – John Loudon McAdam, engineer who invented and named macadamized roads, is born

1779 – During the Revolutionary War, Louisiana governor, and Spanish military officer Bernardo de Galvez, with the aid of American troops and militia, capture the British post and garrison at Baton Rouge, located in what was then British-controlled West Florida

1780 – During the American Revolution, American General Benedict Arnold commits treason by meeting with British Major John Andre to discuss handing over West Point to the British, in return for a high position in the British army and a large sum of money, forever becoming synonymous with the word “traitor”

1792 – In Revolutionary France, the Legislative Assembly votes to abolish the monarchy and establish the First Republic

1820 – Union General, John Fulton Reynolds, is born

1832 – Scottish novelist and poet, Walter Scott, dies

1860 – German philosopher, Arthur Schopenhauer, dies

1863 – During the Civil War, Union troops defeated at Chickamauga seek refuge in Chattanooga, Tennessee, which is then besieged by Confederate troops

1866 – Bacteriologist who discovered that typhus fever is transmitted by body louse, Charles Jean Henri Nicolle, is born

1866 – Science fiction writer, H.G. Wells, is born

1867 – American statesman, lawyer, and politician, Henry Stimson, is born

1895 – Aeronautical engineer who invented the autogyro, Juan de la Cierva, is born

1902 – Founder of Penguin Books, Allen Lake, is born

1902 – Spanish poet, Luis Cernuda, is born

1904 – Exiled Nez Perce leader Chief Joseph dies, according to his doctor, of a “broken heart”

1912 – Animator and director of Warner Brothers cartoons, Chuck Jones, is born

1915 – Stonehenge is sold by auction for 6,600 pounds sterling ($11,500) to a Mr. Chubb, who buys it as a present for his wife. Three years later, he presents it to the British nation

1917 – During World War I, Austria-Hungary and Germany make separate and declining replies to the proposal issued by Pope Benedict XV, calling for immediate armistice between Allied and Central Powers

1929 – Along the Manchurian border, fighting breaks out between China and the Soviet Union

1936 – The German army holds its largest maneuvers since 1914

1937 – J.R.R. Tolkien’s fantasy novel, The Hobbit, is published

1937 – The women’s airspeed record is set at 292 mph by American pilot Jacqueline Cochran

1938 – A powerful Category 3 hurricane slams into Long Island and southern New England without warning, causing 600 deaths. Also called Long Island Express, the Great New England Hurricane of 1938 was the most destructive storm to hit in that region in the 20th century

1939 – President Franklin Roosevelt appears before Congress and asks that the Neutrality Acts be amended to lift an embargo against sending military aid to countries in Europe facing the onslaught of Nazi aggression during World War II

1941 – The German Army cuts off the Crimean Peninsula from the rest of the Soviet Union during World War II

1942 – The Japanese are attacked in Burma by British forces during World War II

1942 – During World War II, the US B-29 Superfortress makes its debut flight in Seattle, Washington as the largest bomber used in the war by any nation

1944 – US troops of the 7th Army, invading Southern France, cross the Meuse River during World War II

1947 – Author, Stephen King, is born

1947 – Playwright, Marsha Norman, is born

1949 – Mao Zedong announces the new Chinese government will be “under the leadership of the Communist Party of China”

1950 – Emmy-winning actor, Bill Murray, is born

1951 – Chechen rebel leader, Aslan Aliyevich Maskhadov, is born

1957 – Attorney, author, syndicated radio host, Mark Levin, is born

1957 – 26th Prime Minister of Australia, Kevin Rudd, is born

1961 – The US Army’s 5th Special Forces Airborne Group is activated at Fort Bragg, North Carolina during the Vietnam War

1967 – During the Vietnam War, 1,200 Thai troops arrive in Saigon under the welcome of General William Westmoreland, commander of US Military Assistance Command Vietnam

1968 – Grammy Award-winning country pop singer, Faith Hill, is born

1968 – Actress, producer, and tv show host, Ricki Lake, is born

1978 – Two Soviet cosmonauts set a space endurance record after 96 days in space

1981 – Belize is granted full independence from the UK

1981 – Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Steve Carlton strikes out the 3,118th batter of his career to break Bob Gibson’s National League record for career strikeouts

1982 – Soviet military leader, Ivan Bagramyan, dies

1983 – The mutilated body of 13-year old paperboy Danny Joe Eberle is found in his hometown of Bellevue, Nebraska. He had been stabbed multiple times, bound with rope and tortured to death. Later another boy would be found, deep in the woods nearby, covered in snow, and bound with the identical and unusual rope used to bind Eberle. John Joubert was found by chance, when a daycare director called in about a suspicious man cruising the street outside. Investigators found the identical rope in a duffel bag along with a bowie knife and Joubert was convicted of three murders, two in Nebraska and one in Maine, sentenced to death and executed in 1996

1985 – A little-known actor by the name of George Clooney, makes his debut performance in Facts of Life as the handyman

1987 – Twins who played in the Women’s National Basketball Association, Ashley and Courtney Paris are born

1989 – General Colin Powell is confirmed by the US Senate as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff

1991 – Armenia is granted independence from USSR

1993 – The Russian constitutional crisis of 1993 begins when Russian President Boris Yeltsin suspends parliament and invalidates the existing constitution

1999 – An earthquake in Taiwan kills more than 2,400, injures over 11,305 and causes $300 billion New Taiwan dollars or $10 billion US dollars

2003 – Galileo space mission ends, when the probe is sent into Jupiter’s atmosphere where it is crushed

2011 – American murderer, Troy Davis, dies


Written by Crystal McCann

Crystal is the Chief Operating Officer of Lanterns Media Network and the owner of Madisons Media. She lives in Texas with her husband and dogs and is the proud mother of two adult children.

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