What Happened Today – July 21?

History cannot give us a program for the future but it can give us a fuller understanding of ourselves, and of common humanity so that we can better face the future – Robert Penn Warren

On this day:

356 BC – Herostratus sets fire to the Temple of Artemis in Ephesus, one of the Seven Wonders of the World

365 – Crete Earthquake followed by tsunami around the Eastern Mediterranean allegedly destroys Alexandria

1613 – Michael Romanov was crowned tsar of Russia, founding the Romanov dynasty

1774 – The Treaty of Küçük Kaynarca was signed at the conclusion of the Russo-Turkish War of 1768–74

1798 – Napoleon Bonaparte’s Army of Egypt uses a new military tactic, the massive divisional square, to defeat the Egyptian forces of Murād at the Battle of the Pyramids

1853 – Central Park in New York created when New York State Legislature puts aside more than 750 acres of land on Manhattan Island

1861 – First Battle of Bull Run [Battle of First Manassas], 1st major battle of the US Civil War is fought near Manassas, Virginia, Confederate victory

1873 – Jesse James and James Younger gang’s 1st train robbery at Adair, Iowa

1884 – 1st Test Cricket match played at Lord’s; England won over Australia by an innings and 5 run

1904 – After 13 years, the 4,607-mile Trans-Siberian railway is completed

1943 – “Stormy Weather”, directed by Andrew L. Stone, starring Bill Robinson, Lena Horne and Fats Waller singing “Ain’t Misbehavin'” premieres in the US

1960 – Sirimavo Bandaranaike becomes the world’s 1st female head of state elected in modern times, as Prime Minister of Ceylon (now Sri Lanka)

1967 – Albert John Luthuli, President of the African National Congress, the first African to be awarded a Nobel Prize for Peace, died after being struck by a train

1969 – Apollo 11: Neil Armstrong becomes the first person to step on the Moon at 2:56:15 AM (GMT)

1970 – Aswan High Dam opens in Egypt, enables human control of the flooding of the Nile

1983 – World’s lowest-ever natural temperature was recorded in Antarctica − 89.2 °C (−128.6 °F; 184.0 K) at Soviet Vostok Station

1987 – Guns N’ Roses releases the landmark album Appetite for Destruction, which went to sell more than 17 million copies

1990 – Pink Floyd’s “The Wall” is performed where the Berlin Wall once stood

1996 – “The Daily Show” hosted by Craig Kilborn premieres on Comedy Central in the US

2002 – German Ferrari driver Michael Schumacher clinches his 5th F1 World Drivers Championship with victory in the French Grand Prix at Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours; 3rd straight title win

2007 – Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, the final book in J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series, releases

2011 – U.S. space shuttle program ends, after 135 missions, as the orbiter Atlantis lands at NASA’s John F. Kennedy Space Center at Cape Canaveral, Florida

2014 – “Guardians of the Galaxy”, directed by James Gunn, starring Chris Pratt and Zoe Saldana, premieres in Hollywood, Los Angeles


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