Thursday, February 21, 2008

February 21 in History

362 - Athanasius returns to Alexandria.
1245 - Thomas, the first known Bishop of Finland, was granted resignation after having confessed to torture and forgery.
1440 - The Prussian Confederation is formed.
1543 - Battle of Wayna Daga - A combined army of Ethiopian and Portuguese troops defeated a Muslim army led by Ahmed Gragn.
1613 - Mikhail I is elected unanimously as Tsar by a national assembly, beginning the Romanov dynasty of Imperial Russia.
1743 - The premiere in London of George Frideric Handel's oratorio, "Samson".
1804 - The first self-propelling steam locomotive makes its outing at the Pen-y-Darren ironworks in Wales.
1842 - John Greenough is granted the first U.S. patent for the sewing machine.
1848 - Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels publish the Communist Manifesto.
1874 - The Oakland Daily Tribune publishes its first newspaper.
1878 - The first telephone book is issued in New Haven, Connecticut.
1885 - The newly completed Washington Monument is dedicated.
1893 - Thomas Edison receives two U.S. patents for a "Cut Out for Incandescent Electric Lamps" and for a "Stop Device"
1907 - 125 people perish when the S.S. Berlin sinks near Hoek van Holland.
1912 - Ioannina incorporated into the Greek state after the Balkan Wars.
1916 - World War I: In France the Battle of Verdun begins.
1918 - The last Carolina parakeet dies in captivity at the Cincinnati Zoo.
1919 - Assassination of Kurt Eisner, German socialist and organiser of the 1918 revolution in Bavaria (in germany) that overthrew monarchy there. His assassination resulted in the establishment of the Bavarian Soviet Republic and parliament and government fleeing Munich.
1925 - The New Yorker publishes its first issue.
1937 - Initial flight of the first successful flying car, Waldo Waterman's Arrowbile.
1937 - The League of Nations bans foreign national "volunteers" in the Spanish Civil War.
1945 - World War II: Japanese Kamikaze planes sink escort carrier Bismarck Sea and damage the Saratoga.
1947 - In New York City Edwin Land demonstrates the first "instant camera", the Polaroid Land Camera, to a meeting of the Optical Society of America.
1948 - NASCAR is incorporated.
1952 - The British government, under Winston Churchill, abolishes Identity Cards in the UK to "set the people free".
1952 - In Dhaka, East Pakistan (present Bangladesh) police opened fire on a procession of students, who demanded the establishment of Bengali as the official language, killing four people and starting a country-wide protest which led to the recognition of Bengali as one of the national languages of Pakistan. The day was later declared as "International Mother Language Day" by UNESCO.
1953 - Francis Crick and James D. Watson discover the structure of the DNA molecule.
1958 - Peace symbol designed and completed by Gerald Holtom, commissioned by Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, in protest against the Atomic Weapons Research Establishment.
1960 - Cuban leader Fidel Castro nationalizes all businesses in Cuba.
1965 - Malcolm X is assassinated at the Audubon Ballroom in New York City by members of the Nation of Islam.
1970 - Swissair Flight 330: A mid-air bomb explosion and subsequent crash kills 38 passengers and nine crew members near Z├╝rich, Switzerland.
1971 - The Convention on Psychotropic Substances is signed at Vienna.
1972 - President Richard Nixon visits the People's Republic of China to normalize Sino-American relations.
1972 - The Soviet unmanned spaceship Luna 20 lands on the Moon.
1973 - Over the Sinai Desert, Israeli fighter aircraft shoot down a Libyan Airlines jet killing 108.
1974 - The last Israeli soldiers leave the west bank of the Suez Canal in carrying out a truce with Egypt.
1975 - Watergate scandal: Former United States Attorney General John N. Mitchell and former White House aides H. R. Haldeman and John Ehrlichman are sentenced to prison.
1995 - Steve Fossett lands in Leader, Saskatchewan, Canada becoming the first person to make a solo flight across the Pacific Ocean in a balloon.
2004 - The first European political party organization, the European Greens, is established in Rome.
2007 - Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi resigns from office. His resignation is rejected by the President of Italy, Giorgio Napolitano.

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