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Behind History For February 21 – Today in History

Behind History For February 21

1913 – Ioannina is 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 – German socialist Kurt Eisner is assassinated. His death results in the establishment of the Bavarian Soviet Republic and parliament and government fleeing Munich, Germany.

1921 – Constituent Assembly of the Democratic Republic of Georgia adopts the country’s first constitution.

1921 – Rezā Shāh takes control of Tehran during a successful coup.

1925 – The New Yorker publishes its first issue.

1929 – In the first battle of the Warlord Rebellion in northeastern Shandong against the Nationalist government of China, a 24,000-strong rebel force led by Zhang Zongchang was defeated at Zhifu by 7,000 NRA troops.

1937 – The League of Nations bans foreign national “volunteers” in the Spanish Civil War.

1945 – World War II: During the Battle of Iwo Jima, Japanese kamikaze planes sink the escort carrier USS Bismarck Sea and damage the USS Saratoga.

1945 – World War II: the Brazilian Expeditionary Force defeat the German forces in the Battle of Monte Castello on the Italian front.

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 – The Bengali Language Movement protests occur at the University of Dhaka in East Pakistan (now Bangladesh).

1958 – The CND symbol, aka peace symbol, commissioned by the Direct Action Committee in protest against the Atomic Weapons Research Establishment, is designed and completed by Gerald Holtom.


1965 – Malcolm X is assassinated while giving a talk at the Audubon Ballroom in Harlem.

1971 – The Convention on Psychotropic Substances is signed at Vienna.

1972 – United States 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 Libyan Arab Airlines Flight 114 jet killing 108 people.

1974 – The last Israeli soldiers leave the west bank of the Suez Canal pursuant to 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.

2013 – At least 17 people are killed and 119 injured following several bombings in the Indian city of Hyderabad.

2014 – 11 people are killed after a Libyan Air Force plan crashes in Tunisia.


2014 – 10 words from the 15th C Voynich manuscript have been decoded.

2014 – Police in Kiev open fire on protesters: 27 killed and around 570 injured.

2014 – Canada take the curling double at the Sochi Winter Olympics beating Great Britain, 9-3 in the final; also win women’s gold medal.

2014 – Park Seung-hi wins Olympic women’s 1,000m short track speed skating gold medal in Sochi for her 2nd gold medal of the Games; 3,000m relay winner.

2014 – Viktor An of Russia wins 6th career Olympic short track speed skating gold medal as part of the 5,000m relay team in Sochi; 2nd gold of the day (500m) and 3rd of Games (1,000m).

2015 – 35th Golden Raspberry Awards: “Saving Christmas” wins worst film.

2016 – Bombings in the Syrian cities of Homs and Damascus kill 140 people, Islamic State claims responsibility.

2016 – 58th Daytona 500: Denny Hamlin wins closest finish in race history – by just 0.01s from Martin Truex Jr.

2016 – 66th Berlin International Film Festival: Italian documentary “Fire at Sea” wins the Golden Bear.

2017 – Bodies of 87 African migrants wash ashore at Zawiya, Libya.

2017 – Plane crashes into shopping centre in Essendon, Melbourne, Australia killing the five people on board.


2018 – Indian film star Kamal Haasan launches a new political party – Makkal Needhi Mayyam in Tamil Nadu state.

2018 – Winter Olympics: Jessie Diggins and Kikkan Randall become the first Americans in history to win a cross country gold medal (team sprint).

2018 – Norwegian cross country skiers Martin Johnsrud Sundby, Johannes Høsflot & Klæbo win their 2nd Olympic gold medals in Pyeongchang in the men’s team sprint freestyle; trio also wins gold in 4 x 10k relay.

2019 – Japanese spacecraft Hayabusa-2 touches down on asteroid Ryugu on mission to collect rock samples.

2019 – The Lunar Library, a 30 million page digital library launched on board Israel’s Beresheet Lunar Lander, aiming to be stored on the Moon.

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