This Day in History - October 21

October 21

1096 – Seljuk Turks at Chivito slaughter thousands of German crusaders

1529 – The Pope names Henry VIII of England Defender of the Faith after defending the seven sacraments against Luther

1600 – Tokugawa Ieyasu defeats his enemies in battle and affirms his position as Japan’s most powerful warlord

1760 – Katsushika Hokusai, Japanese print-maker, is born

1772 – Samuel Taylor Coleridge, English poet, is born

1779 – The US Continental Congress elects former congressman Henry Laurens minister to Holland

1790 – The Tricolor is chosen as the official flag of France

1797 – USS Constitution, a wooden-hulled, three-masted heavy frigate built for the newly formed U.S. Navy, is successfully launched into Boston Harbor

1805 – Vice Admiral and Viscount Horatio Nelson wins his greatest victory over a Franco-Spanish fleet in the Battle of Trafalgar, fought off Cape Trafalgar, Spain

1833 – Alfred Nobel, inventor of dynamite and founder of the Nobel Prizes is born

1837 – Under a flag of truce during peace talks, U.S. troops siege the Indian Seminole Chief Osceola in Florida

1861 – The Battle of Ball’s Bluff begins, a disastrous Union defeat which sparks Congressional investigations during the Civil War

1867 – Kiowa, Comanche, and Kiowa-Apache leaders sign a peace treaty at Medicine Lodge, Kansas while more than 7,000 of their Plains Indians tribe members look on, but Comanche Chief Quanah Parker refuses to accept the terms

1872 – The U.S. Naval Academy admits John H. Conyers, the first African American to be accepted

1879 – After 14 months of testing, Thomas Edison first demonstrates his electric lamp, hoping to one day compete with gaslight

1904 – Panamanians clash with U.S. Marines in Panama in a brief uprising

1910 – A massive explosion destroys the Los Angeles Times building in the city’s downtown area, killing 21 and injuring many others

1917 – Jazz trumpeter, Dizzy Gillespie, is born

1917 – The first U.S. troops enter the front lines at Sommerville under French command

1918 – A German U-boat submarine fired the last torpedo of World War I, as Germany ceases its policy of unrestricted submarine warfare

1921 – President Harding delivers a speech in Alabama in which he condemns lynchings

1929 – Ursula K. Le Guin, science fiction writer, is born

1929 – As the 50th birthday of the incandescent light bulb, Henry Ford throws a party to celebrate the dedication of his new Thomas Edison Institute in Dearborn, Michigan. Guests include John D. Rockefeller Jr., Charles Schwab, Otto H. Kahn, Walter Chrysler, Marie Curie, Will Rogers, President Herbert Hoover and the guest of honor, Thomas Edison

1938 – Carl Brewer, Canadian hockey player, is born

1939 – The British war cabinet holds its first meeting n the underground war room in London, in anticipation of war with Germany

1940 – Ernest Hemingway’s novel, For Whom the Bell Tolls, is published

1941 – German soldiers massacre thousands of Yugoslavian civilians, including whole classes of schoolboys. In Kragujevac, 2,300 men and boys were murdered; Kraljevo saw 7,000 more killed by German troops, and in the region of Macva, 6,000 men, women, and children were killed

1942 – A submarine with eight American and British officers lands on an Algerian beach to take measure of Vichy French to the Operation Torch landings

1949 – 9th Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, is born

1950 – North Korean Premier Kim Il-Sung establishes a new capital at Sinuiju on the Yalu River opposite the Chinese City of Antung

1950 – Ronald McNair, astronaut; died when the Space Shuttle Challenger exploded shortly after launch on Jan. 2, 1986, is born

1952 – Patti Davis, actress, author, and daughter of former US President Ronald Reagan, is born

1956 – Carrie Fisher, actress, author, screenwriter who is best known as Princess Leia in the original Star Wars trilogy, and the daughter of singer Eddie Fisher and actress Debbie Reynolds, is born

1959 – President Eisenhower signs an executive order transferring the rocket designer Wernher von Braun and his team from the U.S. Army to the newly created National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). Von Braun, the mastermind of the U.S. space program, had developed the lethal V-2 rocket for Nazi Germany during World War II

1959 – The Guggenheim Museum, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, opens in Manhattan

1961 – Bob Dylan records his first album in a single day at a cost of $400

1966 – An avalanche of mud and rocks buries a school in Aberfan, Wales, killing 148 people, mostly young students. The elementary school was located below a hill where a mining operation dumped its waste

1967 – The “March on the Pentagon,” protesting American involvement in Vietnam, draws 50,000 protesters

1969 – Israel’s Foreign Minister Moshe Dayan resigns over disagreements with Prime Minister Menachem Begin over policies related to the Palestinians

1969 – Prince Salman bin Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, Crown Prince of Bahrain (2016) First Deputy Prime Minister and Deputy Supreme Commander, he is heir apparent to the Bahrain kingdom, is born

1969 – American author and poet, Jack Kerouac, dies

1975 – Boston Red Sox catcher Carlton Fisk hits a homer off the left-field pole to beat the Cincinnati Reds in the sixth game of the World Series

1980 – American actress and model, Kim Kardashian, is born

1983 – The United States sends a ten-ship task force to Grenada

1986 – American missing person, Natalee Holloway, is born

1994 – North Korea and the US sign an agreement requiring North Korea to halts its nuclear weapons program and agree to international inspections

2003 – American singer, songwriter, guitarist Elliott Smith dies

2012 – American author, historian, and politician, George McGovern dies

2014 – South Africa’s Oscar Pistorius, the first double-amputee runner to compete at the Olympics, is sentenced to five years behind bars after being found guilty of culpable homicide, the equivalent of manslaughter, in the February 2013 death of his girlfriend, 29-year-old Reeva Steenkamp

2014 – 21st Prime Minister of Australia, Gough Whitlam, 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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