Today in History 21 September: What Happened on this Day

September 21 is the 264th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar; 101 days remain until the end of the year. Numerous remarkable occurrences, both big and small, have shaped our world today.

From historical milestones and scientific discoveries to cultural moments and notable birthdays, this day has a rich tapestry of stories to uncover.

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On This Day In History- Events

Historical Triumphs in Rome

46 BC

On this momentous day in history, Julius Caesar, the eminent Roman leader, orchestrated a grand procession through the heart of Rome. With unparalleled magnificence, Caesar parades his triumphs over Gaul, Egypt, Pontus, and Africa. The defeated Gaulish leader, Vercingetorix, stands in captivity, symbolizing the sheer power of Rome.

Royal Capture of the Lionheart


A pivotal event unfolds as King Richard I, renowned as the Lionhearted, finds himself captured by the Duke of Austria, Leopold V. The capture of this English monarch marks a significant chapter in the annals of history.

Treaty of Arras – A Diplomatic Accord


The Treaty of Arras, signed on this day, stands as a monumental diplomatic achievement. Charles VII of France and Philip the Good of Burgundy put their signatures to this historic document, forging a pivotal accord in the complex political landscape of their time.

James V’s Royal Coronation


In a grand and solemn ceremony, James V ascends to the Scottish throne. The hallowed Chapel Royal at Stirling Castle serves as the venue for his coronation, a remarkable event transpiring when the king is but a mere 17 months old.

Henry IV Triumphs in Battle at Arques


A fierce clash unfolds on this day as French King Henry IV decisively defeats the Catholic League in the Battle at Arques. This resounding victory bears immense significance in the context of the time’s religious conflicts.

Colonial Charter for Nova Scotia


King James I of England granted a royal charter to Sir William Alexander, sanctioning the colonization of Nova Scotia. This landmark charter paved the way for the establishment of a vital colonial outpost.

Nathan Hale’s Espionage and Capture


In an act of unwavering patriotism, Nathan Hale, a courageous American rebel, spies on the British forces. Sadly, he is apprehended, marking a pivotal moment in the American Revolutionary War.

Benedict Arnold’s Infamous Betrayal


Benedict Arnold, infamous for his treacherous actions, hands over strategic plans for West Point to British Major John André. This covert act had far-reaching consequences in the course of the American Revolution.

The French Monarchy’s Formal Abolition


A historic proclamation echoes through the National Convention during the French Revolution. On this day, the formal abolition of the French monarchy was announced, marking a turning point in the revolution’s trajectory.

Mirabeau’s Controversial Legacy


In the wake of revealing double dealings with the court, the French National Convention ordered the removal of Comte de Mirabeau’s remains from the Panthéon. This decision underscores the turbulence of the era.

Marat’s Revered Resting Place


With an eloquent eulogy delivered by the Marquis de Sade, the remains of Jean-Paul Marat are solemnly transferred to the Panthéon in Paris. This event stands as a testament to Marat’s enduring influence.

The Divine Visit of Moroni


According to the account of Joseph Smith, Moroni, a divine figure, makes his initial appearance. This profound event marks a cornerstone moment in the history of the Latter Day Saint movement.

Kitchener’s Occupation of Dongola


British General Kitchener’s army occupied Dongola in Sudan, a significant development in the context of British imperial expansion.

Electoral Upset in Canada


A momentous electoral upset occurs in Canada as Prime Minister Wilfrid Laurier loses the election to Robert Borden of the Conservative Party. This political shift reshapes the course of Canadian history.

Cecil Chubb’s Acquisition of Stonehenge


Cecil Chubb acquired the iconic prehistoric monument, Stonehenge, for £6,600. This transaction captures the imagination of historians and archaeologists alike.

Harding’s Support for a Jewish Homeland


U.S. President Warren G. Harding affirmed his commitment to the establishment of a Jewish homeland in Palestine by signing a joint resolution of approval. This event has far-reaching implications in the realm of international diplomacy.

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Einstein’s Theory Proven in Australia


The Wallal expedition, featuring astronomers and local Nyangumarta people south of Broome, Australia, photographs a total solar eclipse. This groundbreaking observation provides compelling evidence for Albert Einstein’s Theory of Relativity, demonstrating the curvature of space.

Francisco Franco’s Ascension


The Spanish fascist junta bestowed upon Francisco Franco the title of Generalissimo and Supreme Commander, a pivotal moment in the lead-up to the Spanish Civil War.

The Birth of ‘The Hobbit


  1. R. R. Tolkien’s literary masterpiece, ‘The Hobbit,’ is published by George Allen and Unwin in London. This enchanting tale would go on to captivate readers worldwide.

Churchill Condemns Hitler’s Aggression


British statesman Winston Churchill issued a scathing condemnation of Adolf Hitler’s annexation of Czechoslovakia. His words carry significant weight in the face of mounting international tensions.

Heydrich’s Sinister Meeting


Reinhard Heydrich convenes a meeting in Berlin to discuss the final solution for Jews, a sinister gathering that foreshadows the horrors of the Holocaust.

George Marshall’s Swearing-In


George Marshall was sworn in as the 3rd Secretary of Defense of the United States, assuming a pivotal role in shaping the nation’s defence policies.

Martial Law in the Philippines


President Ferdinand Marcos of the Philippines declared martial law, a significant and controversial move that transformed the political landscape of the nation.

Pollock’s Million-Dollar Masterpiece


The iconic painting “Blue Poles” by Jackson Pollock sold for an astounding $2,000,000, marking a milestone in the world of contemporary art.

Assassination in Washington, D.C.


Orlando Letelier, a member of the Chilean socialist government of Salvador Allende, is tragically assassinated in Washington, D.C. This event resonates with the tumultuous history of Chile.

A Paradigm-Shifting Publication


Stephen Jay Gould and Richard Lewontin published a groundbreaking paper titled “The Spandrels of San Marco and the Panglossian Paradigm.” This influential work introduces the concept of “spandrels” into evolutionary biology, reshaping the field.

Mamet’s Theatrical Premiere


David Mamet’s acclaimed play, “Glengarry Glen Ross,” premieres in London, captivating audiences with its compelling narrative and powerful performances.

CIA Officer’s Defection to Russia


American CIA case officer Edward Lee Howard flees to Russia after being exposed as a KGB agent, causing a significant breach in U.S. intelligence.

Crude Prices Soar Amidst Tensions


Reports of refinery issues in the United States, coupled with provocative statements by Saddam Hussein, led to a surge in crude oil prices. This development reverberates across the global economy.

Mbeki’s Resignation in South Africa


President Thabo Mbeki of South Africa tenders his resignation, effective on September 25, marking a pivotal transition in the nation’s leadership.

A Billion-Dollar Pledge for Medical Research


Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, pledged a staggering $3 billion for medical research with the goal of “curing, preventing, or managing all diseases by the end of the century.” This philanthropic commitment holds the promise of transformative advancements in healthcare.

A Remarkable Discovery: The Sleeping Brainless Jellyfish


In a groundbreaking revelation, Caltech scientists publish their discovery of the first brainless animal capable of sleep, the jellyfish Cassiopea. This research, documented in “Current Biology,” expands our understanding of sleep patterns in the animal kingdom.

Global Initiative for Vaccine Distribution


WHO Director Tedros Ghebreyesus announces a significant milestone as countries representing two-thirds of the world’s population join the COVAX vaccine distribution initiative. The goal: is to deliver two billion vaccine doses by the end of 2021, a critical response to the global COVID-19 pandemic.

World Leaders Address Climate Change


At the United Nations, world leaders gather to address the pressing issue of climate change. President Joe Biden pledges to double financial aid to developing countries, while President Xi Jinping commits to halting coal-fired projects abroad, marking pivotal steps toward global environmental sustainability.

Lawsuit Against Donald Trump


New York Attorney General Letitia James filed a lawsuit against former President Donald Trump and three of his children. The lawsuit alleges widespread fraud involving the inflation of Trump’s net worth by billions of dollars, igniting a legal and political firestorm.

Putin’s Mobilization for Ukraine

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In a momentous and contentious move, Vladimir Putin announced a partial mobilization of the Russian population, with plans to draft between 300,000 and 1.2 million men for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. This decision sparked widespread demonstrations both within Russia and across the international community.

Today In History – Sports

Emil Zatopek’s Record-Breaking Run

September 19, 1951

Explanation: On this memorable day in the annals of sports history, the illustrious Emil Zatopek achieves an extraordinary feat. He completes the 15,000-meter race in a remarkable 44 minutes and 54.6 seconds, setting a new record that will be etched in the annals of track and field history.

Rocky Marciano’s Undefeated Farewell

September 19, 1955

Explanation: In an electrifying boxing title fight, the undefeated world heavyweight champion Rocky Marciano faces off against the renowned light heavyweight Archie Moore. The dramatic bout reaches its climax when Marciano delivers a knockout blow in the 9th round at Yankee Stadium, New York City. This match not only solidifies Marciano’s status as a legend but also marks his final fight before retirement.

Yankees’ Stranded Base and Mantle’s Monumental Homer

September 19, 1956

Explanation: The New York Yankees, a powerhouse in Major League Baseball, experience a bittersweet moment as they set a dubious record by stranding 20 runners on base. The incomparable Mickey Mantle adds to the drama by launching a colossal home run that sails over 500 feet. Despite Mantle’s impressive feat, their rivals, the Boston Red Sox, ultimately emerged victorious with a 13-9 win at Fenway Park.

Vida Blue’s No-Hitter

September 19, 1970

Explanation: In a dazzling display of pitching prowess, Oakland A’s pitcher Vida Blue achieves a no-hitter against the Minnesota Twins, securing a resounding 6-0 victory. Blue’s masterful performance on the mound cements his place in baseball history on this memorable day.

Nate Archibald’s Lucrative NBA Contract

September 19, 1973

Explanation: NBA star Nate Archibald makes headlines by signing a seven-year contract with the Kansas City Kings worth a substantial $450,000. This landmark contract underscores the evolving financial landscape of professional basketball.

Steve Carlton’s Strikeout Milestone

September 19, 1981

Explanation: Left-handed ace Steve Carlton of the MLB’s Philadelphia Phillies achieves a remarkable milestone by recording his 3,118th strikeout, setting a new National League record. His precision and dominance on the pitcher’s mound continue to make baseball history.

Suriname’s Historic Olympic Triumph

September 19, 1988

Explanation: Suriname’s swimmer Anthony Nesty etches his name into the annals of Olympic history by clinching the gold medal in the 100m butterfly event at the Seoul Olympics. Notably, Nesty becomes Suriname’s first Olympic gold medalist and the first black individual swimmer to claim this coveted honour. His victory also thwarts the ambitions of the formidable Matt Biondi, who sought to secure seven gold medals in a single Olympics.

On This Day – TV, Music, And Films

Milton Berle Takes the Spotlight

September 19, 1948

Explanation: The charismatic Milton Berle assumes the role of permanent host for NBC’s iconic television show, “Texaco Star Theater,” cementing his status as a beloved figure in the emerging world of television entertainment.

Perry Mason’s Television Debut

September 19, 1957

Explanation: The television series “Perry Mason,” based on the character created by author Erle Stanley Gardner, makes its debut on CBS-TV. Starring Raymond Burr, this legal drama captivates audiences and becomes a long-lasting fixture in the world of television.

A Legendary Start for “Monday Night Football”

September 19, 1970

Explanation: The groundbreaking sports television program “Monday Night Football” was born, courtesy of visionary producer Roone Arledge. In its inaugural episode, the Cleveland Browns face off against the New York Jets, marking the beginning of a cultural phenomenon.

Bob Marley’s Health Crisis

September 19, 1980

Explanation: Reggae icon Bob Marley experiences a health crisis when he collapses while jogging in New York City’s Central Park. Medical examinations reveal the devastating news that his cancer has metastasized to his brain, lungs, and liver, marking a sombre moment in music history.

Melissa Etheridge’s Breakthrough Album

September 19, 1993

Explanation: Singer-songwriter Melissa Etheridge releases her breakthrough second album, “Yes I Am,” featuring the hit single “I’m the Only One.” This album propels her to new heights of fame and cements her status as a prominent figure in the music industry.

Green Day’s “American Idiot”

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September 19, 2004

Explanation: The renowned rock band Green Day released their album “American Idiot” in the United States. This critically acclaimed and socially relevant album becomes a cultural touchstone and a pivotal moment in contemporary music history.

“Into the Wild” Hits the Silver Screen

September 19, 2007

Explanation: The film “Into the Wild,” featuring Emile Hirsch in the lead role, is released. Directed by Sean Penn, this cinematic adaptation of Jon Krakauer’s novel captivates audiences with its poignant exploration of self-discovery and the pursuit of a simpler life.

67th Emmy Awards

September 19, 2015

Explanation: The 67th Emmy Awards take centre stage, hosted by the talented Andy Samberg. The event recognizes outstanding achievements in television, with notable winners including “Game of Thrones,” Viola Davis, and Jon Hamm.

Paul Simon’s Farewell Tour

September 19, 2018

Explanation: Renowned American singer-songwriter Paul Simon concludes his “Homeward Bound – The Farewell Tour” with a memorable performance at Flushing Meadows Corona Park in Queens, New York City. This marks a poignant moment in the career of a music legend.

Today On History – Birthdays

Francis Hopkinson (1737-1791) – American judge, signer of the Declaration of Independence, author, flag designer (first American flag), and composer (“The Battle of the Kegs”). Born in Philadelphia, British America.

  1. G. Wells (1866-1946) – English science fiction author known for works like “War of the Worlds” and “Kipps.” Born in Bromley, Kent.

Howie Morenz (1902-1937) – Canadian Hockey Hall of Fame centre known for his time with the Montreal Canadiens and three-time Stanley Cup wins. Born in Mitchell, Ontario.

Kwame Nkrumah (1909-1972) – First Prime Minister of Ghana (1957-1960) and first President of Ghana (1960-1966). Born in Nkroful, Gold Coast (now Ghana).

Larry Hagman (1931-2012) – American actor known for roles in “I Dream of Jeannie” and as JR in “Dallas.” Born in Fort Worth, Texas.

Leonard Cohen (1934-2016) – Canadian writer and singer-songwriter known for songs like “Hallelujah” and “Suzanne.” Born in Montreal, Quebec.

Stephen King (75 years old) – American author renowned for his works in science fiction and horror, including “Carrie,” “The Shining,” and “Misery.” Born in Portland, Maine.

Bill Murray (72 years old) – American actor and comedian known for his roles in “Saturday Night Live,” “Stripes,” and “Ghostbusters.” Born in Evanston, Illinois.

Shinzō Abe (1954-2022) – Prime Minister of Japan who served two non-consecutive terms from 2006-2007 and 2012-2020. Born in Nagato, Japan.

Curtly Ambrose (59 years old) – Antiguan cricket fast bowler who represented the West Indies in 98 Tests and took 405 wickets at an average of 20.99. Born in Swetes, Antigua and Barbuda.

Faith Hill (55 years old) – American country-pop singer known for songs like “Breathe” and “Cry,” as well as her acting roles. Born in Ridgeland, Mississippi.

Samantha Power (52 years old) – Irish-American author and diplomat who served as the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations. Born in Dublin, Ireland.

Chris Gayle (43 years old) – Jamaican West Indies cricketer known for his powerful batting; represented the West Indies in various formats. Born in Kingston, Jamaica.

Joseph Mazzello (39 years old) – American actor known for his roles in “Jurassic Park” and “The Pacific.” Born in Rhinebeck, New York.

On This Day In History – Deaths

Virgil (70-19 BC) – Roman poet of the Augustan period known for his epic “Aeneid.” He passed away at the age of 50.

Flavius Aetius (c. 390-454 AD) – Roman general known for his role in the Battle of the Catalaunian Plains. He was assassinated by Emperor Valentinian.

Edward II (1284-1327) – King of England from 1307 to 1327. He likely met his end through assassination at the age of 43.

Charles V (1500-1558) – King of Spain from 1516 to 1556 and Holy Roman Emperor from 1519 to 1556. He passed away at the age of 58 due to malaria.

Girolamo Cardano (1501-1576) – Italian mathematician and astrologer known for his work “Ars Magna” (1545). He died at the age of 74.

Jacqueline Susann (1918-1974) – American author famous for her novel “Valley of the Dolls.” She passed away at the age of 56.

Melvin Van Peebles (1932-2021) – American stage and screen actor, director (“Sweet Sweetback’s Badass Song”), composer, and novelist. He died at the age of 89.


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