November 21st in History

This day in historyNovember 21 is the 325th day of the year (326th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 40 days remaining until the end of the year. One week before Thanksgiving and 33 days till Christmas…..




In 164 BC,  Judas Maccabaeus, son of Mattathias of the Hasmonean family, restores the Temple in Jerusalem. This event is commemorated each year by the festival of Hanukkah.

In 235,  Pope Anterus succeeds Pontian as the nineteenth pope. During the persecutions of emperor Maximinus Thrax he is martyred.

Ly Thai To statue, Hanoi, Vietnam.

In 1009,  Lý Công Uẩn is enthroned as emperor of Đại Cồ Việt, founding the Lý dynasty.

In 1386,  Timur of Samarkand captures and sacks the Georgian capital of Tbilisi, taking King Bagrat V of Georgia captive.

In 1620,  Plymouth Colony settlers sign the Mayflower Compact (November 11, O.S.).

In 1676,  The Danish astronomer Ole Rømer presents the first quantitative measurements of the speed of light.

Nicolas de Largillière, François-Marie Arouet dit Voltaire (vers 1724-1725) -001.jpgIn 1694,  Voltaire, (born 21 November 1694 – d. 30 May 1778), known by his nom de plume Voltaire (pronounced: [vɔl.tɛːʁ]), was a French Enlightenment writer, historian and philosopher famous for his wit, his attacks on the established Catholic Church, and his advocacy of freedom of religion, freedom of expression, and separation of church and state. Voltaire was a versatile writer, producing works in almost every literary form, including plays, poems, novels, essays, and historical and scientific works. He wrote more than 20,000 letters and more than 2,000 books and pamphlets. He was an outspoken advocate, despite the risk this placed him in under the strict censorship laws of the time. As a satirical polemicist, he frequently made use of his works to criticize intolerance, religious dogma, and the French institutions of his day.

In 1695,  Henry Purcell, English organist and composer (b. 1659) dies. He is believed to have been 35 or 36 years old at the time. The cause of his death is unclear: one theory is that he caught a chill after returning home late from the theatre one night to find that his wife had locked him out. Another is that he succumbed to tuberculosis. Purcell is buried adjacent to the organ in Westminster Abbey. He was an English composer. Although incorporating Italian and French stylistic elements into his compositions, Purcell’s legacy was a uniquely English form of Baroque music. He is generally considered to be one of the greatest English composers; no other native-born English composer approached his fame until Edward Elgar.

In 1783,  In Paris, Jean-François Pilâtre de Rozier and François Laurent, Marquis d’Arlandes, make the first untethered hot air balloon flight.

In 1789,  North Carolina ratifies the United States Constitution and is admitted as the 12th U.S. state.

In 1832,  Wabash College is founded in Crawfordsville, Indiana.

In 1861,  American Civil War: Confederate President Jefferson Davis appoints Judah Benjamin secretary of war.

In 1877,  Thomas Edison announces his invention of the phonograph, a machine that can record and play sound.

In 1894,  Port Arthur, Manchuria falls to the Japanese, a decisive victory of the First Sino-Japanese War, after which Japanese troops are accused of the massacre of the remaining inhabitants of the city. Reports conflict on this subject.

Garret Augustus Hobart.jpgIn 1899,  Garret Hobart, American lawyer and politician, 24th Vice President of the United States dies of heart disease at age 55; his place on the Republican ticket in 1900 was taken by New York Governor Theodore Roosevelt.

Born in Long Branch, New Jersey, on the Jersey Shore, and grew up in nearby Marlboro. After attending Rutgers College, Hobart read law with prominent Paterson attorney Socrates Tuttle. Hobart both studied with Tuttle, and married his daughter. Although he rarely set foot in a courtroom, Hobart became wealthy as a corporate lawyer.

Hobart served in local governmental positions, and then successfully ran for office as a Republican, serving in both the New Jersey General Assembly and the New Jersey Senate. He became Speaker of the first, and president of the latter. Hobart was a longtime party official, and New Jersey delegates went to the 1896 Republican National Convention determined to nominate the popular lawyer for vice president. Hobart’s political views were similar to those of McKinley, who was the presumptive Republican presidential candidate. With New Jersey a key state in the upcoming election, McKinley and his close adviser, future senator Mark Hanna, decided to have the convention select Hobart. The vice-presidential candidate emulated his running mate with a front porch campaign, though spending much time at the campaign’s New York City office. McKinley and Hobart were elected.

He was the 24th Vice President of the United States (1897–1899), serving under President William McKinley. He was the sixth American vice president to die in office.

In 1902,  The Philadelphia Football Athletics defeated the Kanaweola Athletic Club of Elmira, New York, 39-0, in the first ever professional American football night game.

In 1905,  Albert Einstein‘s paper, Does the Inertia of a Body Depend Upon Its Energy Content?, is published in the journal “Annalen der Physik”. This paper reveals the relationship between energy and mass. This leads to the mass–energy equivalence formula E = mc².

In 1910,  Sailors onboard Brazil’s most powerful military units, including the brand-new warships Minas Geraes, São Paulo, and Bahia, violently rebel in what is now known as the Revolta da Chibata (Revolt of the Lash).

In 1916,  World War I: Mines from SM U-73 sink the HMHS Britannic, the largest ship lost in the First World War, killing 30 people, in the Aegean Sea.

In 1918,  Flag of Estonia, previously used by pro-independence activists, is formally adopted as national flag of the Republic of Estonia.

In 1918,  A pogrom takes place in Lwów (now Lviv); over three days, at least 50 Jews and 270 Ukrainian Christians are killed by Poles.

In 1920,  Irish War of Independence: In Dublin, 31 people are killed in what became known as “Bloody Sunday“. This included fourteen British informants, fourteen Irish civilians and three Irish Republican Army prisoners.

Stan Musial 1953.jpg

Stan Musial

In 1920,  Stan Musial, born Stanisław Franciszek Musiał; November 21, 1920 – January 19, 2013) was an American professional baseball player and Navy veteran of World War II. He was a Major League Baseball (MLB) outfielder and first baseman on the St. Louis Cardinals for 22 seasons, from 1941 through 1963. Nicknamed “Stan the Man”, Musial is widely considered to be one of the greatest hitters in baseball history. He compiled 3,630 career hits, ranking fourth all-time and first in a career spent with only one team. With 1,815 hits at home and 1,815 on the road, he also is considered to be the most consistent hitter of his era. He hit 475 home runs during his career, was named the National League‘s (NL) Most Valuable Player (MVP) three times, and won three World Series championship titles. He shares the MLB record for the most All-Star Games played (24) with Hank Aaron and Willie Mays.  Musial was a first-ballot inductee into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1969.

In 1922,  Rebecca Latimer Felton of Georgia takes the oath of office, becoming the first female United States Senator.

In 1927,  Columbine Mine Massacre: Striking coal miners are allegedly attacked with machine guns by a detachment of state police dressed in civilian clothes.

Marlow Thomas and Phil Donahue

In 1937,  Marlo Thomas, (born this day) is an American actress, producer, and social activist known for her starring role on the TV series That Girl (1966–1971) and her award-winning feminist children’s franchise, Free to Be… You and Me. For her work in television, she has received four Emmys, a Golden Globe, the George Foster Peabody Award and has been inducted into the Broadcasting and Cable Hall of Fame. She also received a Grammy award for her children’s album Thanks & Giving All Year Long. Ms. Thomas serves as National Outreach Director for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital which was founded by her father, Danny Thomas in 1962. She created the Thanks & Giving campaign in 2004 to support the hospital.

In 1942,  The completion of the Alaska Highway (also known as the Alcan Highway) is celebrated (however, the highway is not usable by general vehicles until 1943).

In 1944,  Harold Ramis was born this day. Ramis is an American actor, producer, writer and director. He died February 24, 2014.

In 1945,  The United Auto Workers Union strikes 92 General Motors plants in 50 cities to back up worker demands for a 30-percent raise.

In 1950,  Two Canadian National Railway trains collide in northeastern British Columbia in the Canoe River train crash; the death toll is 21, with 17 of them Canadian troops bound for Korea.

In 1953,  The British Natural History Museum announces that the “Piltdown Manskull, initially believed to be one of the most important fossilized hominid skulls ever found, is a hoax.

In 1959,  American disc jockey Alan Freed, who had popularized the term “rock and roll” and music of that style, is fired from WABC-AM radio for refusing to deny allegations that he had participated in the payola scandal.

In 1962,  The Chinese People’s Liberation Army declares a unilateral cease-fire in the Sino-Indian War.

In 1964,  The Verrazano-Narrows Bridge opens to traffic (at the time it is the world’s longest suspension bridge).

In 1964,  Second Vatican Council: The third session of the Roman Catholic Church‘s ecumenical council closes.

In 1967,  Vietnam War: American General William Westmoreland tells news reporters: “I am absolutely certain that whereas in 1965 the enemy was winning, today he is certainly losing.”

In 1969,  U.S. President Richard Nixon and Japanese Premier Eisaku Sato agree in Washington, D.C. on the return of Okinawa to Japanese control in 1972. Under the terms of the agreement, the U.S. is to retain its rights to bases on the island, but these are to be nuclear-free.

In 1969,  The first permanent ARPANET link is established between UCLA and SRI.

ISonTayPrisonCamp.jpgn 1970,  Vietnam War: Operation Ivory Coast – A joint Air Force and Army team raids the Son Tay prison camp in an attempt to free American prisoners of war thought to be held there.

Operation Ivory Coast was a failed rescue mission conducted in North Vietnam during the Vietnam War by United States Special Operations Forces and other elements of the U.S. military. On 21 November 1970, a joint United States Air Force/United States Army force commanded by Air Force Brigadier General LeRoy J. Manor and Army Colonel Arthur D. “Bull” Simons landed 56 U.S. Army Special Forces soldiers by helicopter in the Sơn Tây prisoner-of-war camp located only 23 miles (37 km) west of Hanoi, North Vietnam. The mission’s objective was the recovery of 61 American prisoners of war thought to be held at the camp, situated in an area where 12,000 North Vietnamese troops were stationed within 5 miles (8.0 km). The mission failed when it was found during the raid that all the prisoners had been previously moved to another camp.

In 1971,  Indian troops, partly aided by Mukti Bahini (Bengali guerrillas), defeat the Pakistan army in the Battle of Garibpur.

In 1972,  Voters in South Korea overwhelmingly approve a new constitution, giving legitimacy to Park Chung-hee and the Fourth Republic.

In 1974,  The Birmingham Pub Bombings kill 21 people. The Birmingham Six are sentenced to life in prison for the crime but subsequently acquitted.

In 1977,  Minister of Internal Affairs Allan Highet announces that ‘the national anthems of New Zealand shall be the traditional anthem “God Save the Queen” and the poem “God Defend New Zealand“, written by Thomas Bracken, as set to music by John Joseph Woods, both being of equal status as national anthems appropriate to the occasion.

In 1979,  The United States Embassy in Islamabad, Pakistan is attacked by a mob and set on fire, killing four.

In 1980,  A deadly fire breaks out at the MGM Grand Hotel in Paradise, Nevada (now Bally’s Las Vegas). 87 people are killed and more than 650 are injured in the worst disaster in Nevada history.

In 1985,  United States Navy intelligence analyst Jonathan Pollard is arrested for spying after being caught giving Israel classified information on Arab nations. He is subsequently sentenced to life in prison.

In 1986,  Iran-Contra Affair: National Security Council member Oliver North and his secretary start to shred documents allegedly implicating them in the sale of weapons to Iran and channeling the proceeds to help fund the Contra rebels in Nicaragua.

In 1989,  Flight attendants celebrate the signing into law a smoking ban on all U.S. domestic flights.

In 1995,  The Dayton Peace Agreement is initialed at the Wright Patterson Air Force Base, near Dayton, Ohio, ending three and a half years of war in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The agreement is formally ratified in Paris, on December 14 that same year.

In 1996,  Humberto Vidal Explosion: Thirty-three people die when a Humberto Vidal shoe shop explodes.

In 2002,  NATO invites Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia to become members.

In 2004,  The second round of the Ukrainian presidential election is held, giving rise to massive protests and controversy over the election’s integrity.

In 2004,  The island of Dominica is hit by the most destructive earthquake in its history. The northern half of the island receives the most damage, especially the town of Portsmouth. It is also felt in neighboring Guadeloupe, where one person is killed.

In 2004,  The Paris Club agrees to write off 80% (up to $100 billion) of Iraq‘s external debt.

In 2006,  Anti-Syrian Lebanese Minister and MP Pierre Gemayel is assassinated in suburban Beirut.

In 2009,  A mine explosion in Heilongjiang province, northeastern China, kills 108.

In 2012,  At least 28 are wounded after a bomb is thrown onto a bus in Tel Aviv.

In 2013,  A supermarket roof collapse in Riga, Zolitude, Latvia killing 54 people

In 2013,  The first of to become massive protests start in Ukraine after President Viktor Yanukovych suspended signing the Ukraine–European Union Association Agreement.

In 2014,  A stampede in the city of Kwekwe in Zimbabwe caused by the police firing tear gas kills at least eleven people and injures 40 others.

In 2015,  The government of Belgium imposed a security lockdown on Brussels, including the closure of shops, schools, public transportation, due to information about potential terrorist attacks.

In 2017,  Robert Mugabe formally resigns as President of Zimbabwe, after thirty-seven years in office.

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