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This Day in History - July 21

July 21

365 – A powerful earthquake off the coast of Greece causes a tsunami, destroying the city of Alexandria, Egypt, killing approximately 5,000 within the city and outside it, approximately 45,000

1403 – Henry IV defeats the Percys in the Battle of Shrewsbury in England

1667 – The Peace of Breda ends the Second Anglo-Dutch War and cedes Dutch New Amsterdam to the English

1693 – Prime Minister of the UK, Thomas Pelham-Holles, First Duke of Newcastle, is born

1711 – Russia and Turkey sign the Treaty of Pruth, ending the year-long Russo-Turkish War

1718 – The Treaty of Passarowitz is signed by Austria, Venice, and the Ottoman Empire

1773 – Pope Clement XIV abolishes the Jesuit order

1775 – Patriot Minutemen in whale boats raid Nantasket Point, also known as Little Brewster Island, in Boston Harbor, Massachusetts

1796 – Scottish poet, Robert Burns, dies

1798 – Napoleon Bonaparte defeats the Arab Mameluke warriors at the Battle of the Pyramids

1861 – In the first major battle of the Civil War, Confederate forces defeat Union Army forces along Bull Run near Manassas Junction, Virginia

1862 – Former President Martin Van Buren slips into a coma when his circulatory system begins to fail

1865 – Wild Bill Hickock kills gunman Dave Tutt in Springfield, Missouri, in what is regarded as the first formal quick-draw duel

1873 – The James Gang robs a train in Adair, Iowa

1881 – Physician, Frederick Dick, is born

1896 – Mary Church Terrell founds the National Association of Colored Women in Washington, DC

1899 – Poet, Hart Crane, is born

1899 – Novelist and short-story writer, Ernest Hemingway, is born

1906 – French Captain Alfred Dreyfus is vindicated of his earlier court-martial for spying for Germany

1911 – Communication theorist, Marshall McLuhan, is born

1911 – David Lloyd George delivers the Mansion House speech, the customary annual address of the British chancellor of the exchequer

1919 – The British House of Lords ratifies the Versailles Treaty

1920 – Russian-born violinist, Isaac Stern, is born

1921 – Jazz pianist, Billy Taylor, is born

1925 – John Scopes is found guilty for teaching evolution in Dayton, Tennessee, and is fined $100

1933 – Poet and novelist, John Gardner, is born

1941 – France accepts Japan’s demand for military control of Indochina

1943 – American writer, Tess Gallagher, is born

1944 – US Army and Marines land on Guam in the Marianas

1944 – German army officer, Claus von Stauffenberg, dies

1944 – Adolf Hitler goes on the radio to announce that he was still alive after the assassination attempt on his life and that “accounts will be settled”

1946 – American lawyer and judge, Ken Starr, is born

1948 – English singer, songwriter, and musician, Cat Stevens, is born

1952 – American comedian and actor Robin Williams is born

1954 – The French sign an armistice with the Viet Minh that ends the war but divides Vietnam into two countries

1955 – President Dwight Eisenhower presents his “Open Skies” plan at the Geneva summit meeting.  While the plan was never accepted, it laid the foundation for President Ronald Regan’s later policy of “trust, but verify” in relations to arms agreements with the Soviet Union

1959 – Elijah Jerry “Pumpsie” Green makes his Boston Red Sox debut, becoming the first black to ever play with the Red Sox

1960 – Sirimavo Bandaranaike becomes the first woman prime minister of Ceylon

1960 – Germany passes the “Volkswagen Law,” a controversial “Law concerning the transfer of the share rights in Volkswagenwerk Limited Liability Company into private hands”

1970 – The construction of the Aswan High Dam across the Nile River in Egypt is completed

1982 – American journalist, Dave Garroway, dies

2001 – Indian actor, Sivaji Ganesan, dies

2004 – American composer and conductor, Jerry Goldsmith, dies

2005 – Terrorists attempt to attack the London transit system by planting bombs on three subways and a bus, but none of them detonate completely

2011 – NASA’s space shuttle program completes its final and 135th mission when the shuttle Atlantis lands at Kennedy Space Center in Florida


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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