December 21st

December 21 is the 355th day of the year (356th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 10 days remaining until the end of the year.

In the Northern Hemisphere, December 21st is the first day of Winter and the shortest day of the year. In the Southern Hemisphere, December 21st is the first day of Summer and the longest day of the year.

It is 4 days till Christmas


In 69,  The Roman Senate declares Vespasian as Roman emperor, the last in the Year of the Four Emperors.

In 640,  Muslim Arabs capture Babylon Fortress in the Nile Delta (near Cairo) after a seven-month siege.

In 1140,  Conrad III of Germany besieged Weinsberg.

In 1361,  The Battle of Linuesa is fought in the context of the Spanish Reconquista between the forces of the Emirate of Granada and the combined army of the Kingdom of Castile and of Jaén resulting in a Castilian victory.

In 1598, Battle of Curalaba: The revolting Mapuche, led by cacique Pelentaru, inflict a major defeat on Spanish troops in southern Chile.

Brooklyn Museum - Embarkation of the Pilgrims - Robert Walter Weir - overall.jpg

Embarkation of the Pilgrims

In 1620,  Plymouth Colony: William Bradford and the Mayflower Pilgrims land on what is now known as Plymouth Rock in Plymouth, Massachusetts.

In 1826,  American settlers in Nacogdoches, Mexican Texas, declare their independence, starting the Fredonian Rebellion.

In 1832,  Egyptian–Ottoman War: Egyptian forces decisively defeat Ottoman troops at the Battle of Konya.

In 1844,  The Rochdale Society of Equitable Pioneers commences business at its cooperative in Rochdale, England, United Kingdom starting the Cooperative movement.

In 1861,  Medal of Honor: Public Resolution 82, containing a provision for a Navy Medal of Valor, is signed into law by President Abraham Lincoln.

In 1872,  Challenger expedition: HMS Challenger, commanded by Captain George Nares, sails from Portsmouth, England.

In 1879,  World première of Henrik Ibsen‘s A Doll’s House at the Royal Theatre in Copenhagen, Denmark.

In 1883,  The Royal Canadian Dragoons and The Royal Canadian Regiment, the first Permanent Force cavalry and infantry regiments of the Canadian Army, are formed: .

In 1907,  The Chilean Army commits a massacre of at least 2,000 striking saltpeter miners in Iquique, Chile.

In 1910,  An underground explosion at the Hulton Bank Colliery No. 3 Pit in Over Hulton, Westhoughton, England, kills 344 miners.

In 1913,  Arthur Wynne‘s “word-cross”, the first crossword puzzle, is published in the New York World.

In 1919,  American anarchist Emma Goldman is deported to Russia.

In 1923,  United Kingdom and Nepal formally signed an agreement of friendship, called the Nepal–Britain Treaty of 1923, which superseded the Sugauli Treaty signed in 1816.

Snow White 1937 poster.pngIn 1937,  Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, the world’s first full-length animated feature, premieres at the Carthay Circle Theatre.

In 1941,  World War II: A formal treaty of alliance between Thailand and Japan is signed in the presence of the Emerald Buddha in Wat Phra Kaew, Thailand.

In 1946,  An 8.1 Mw earthquake and subsequent tsunami in Nankaidō, Japan, kills over 1,300 people and destroys over 38,000 homes.

In 1951,  Libya became an independent country.

In 1962,  Rondane National Park is established as Norway‘s first national park.

In 1967,  Louis Washkansky, the first man to undergo a heart transplant, dies in Cape Town, South Africa, having lived for 18 days after the transplant.

In 1968,  Apollo program: Apollo 8 is launched from the Kennedy Space Center, placing its crew on a lunar trajectory for the first visit to another celestial body by humans.

In 1969,  The United Nations adopts the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination.

In 1973,  The Geneva Conference on the Arab–Israeli conflict opens.

In 1979,  Lancaster House Agreement: An independence agreement for Rhodesia is signed in London, England, United Kingdom by Lord Peter Carrington, Sir Ian Gilmour, Robert Mugabe, Joshua Nkomo, Bishop Abel Muzorewa and S.C. Mundawarara.

In 1988,  A bomb explodes on board Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland, killing 270.

In 1992,  A Dutch DC-10, flight Martinair MP 495, crashes at Faro Airport, killing 56.

In 1994,  Mexican volcano Popocatépetl, dormant for 47 years, erupts gases and ash.

In 1995,  The city of Bethlehem passes from Israeli to Palestinian control.

In 1999,  The Spanish Civil Guard intercepts a van loaded with 950 kg of explosives that ETA intended to use to blow up Torre Picasso in Madrid, Spain.

In 2004,  Iraq War: A suicide bomber killed 22 at the forward operating base next to the main U.S. military airfield at Mosul, Iraq, the single deadliest suicide attack on American soldiers.

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