It happened today – on this day in history – February 21

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1173: Pope Alexander III canonises Thomas Becket Archbishop of Canterbury.

1431: Joan of Arc’s first day of interrogation during her trial for heresy.

1437: James I of Scotland is murdered during a coup attempt.

1797: Trinidad surrenders to the British.

1848: Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels publish “The Communist Manifesto” in London.

1874: Benjamin Disraeli succeeds William Gladstone as Prime Minister.

1911: Gustav Mahler conducts his last concerto, Berceuse élégiaque, in New York.

1916: The Battle of Verdun begins.

1922: Britain declares Egypt a sovereign state.

1931: Alka Seltzer introduced.

1945: Eric Liddell, 400m runner (Olympic gold 1924) and Christian missionary in China, dies of an inoperable brain tumor at 43 while interned at the Weihsien Internment Camp in Weifang, Shandong, China.

1947: The first instant developing camera demonstrated by Edwin Land in New York.

1952: Elizabeth Taylor marries Michael Wilding.

1958: Duncan Edwards, Manchester United midfielder, dies from injuries sustained in Munich air disaster aged 21.

1965: Activist Malcolm X is shot dead by Nation of Islam followers at the Audubon Ballroom in New York.

1967: Pink Floyd began recording their debut album The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn at the EMI Studios, Abbey Road St. John’s Wood.

1972: Richard Nixon becomes the first US President to visit China, meeting Chairman Mao in Beijing.

1975: Watergate figures John Mitchell, H. R. Haldeman & John D Ehrlichman sentenced to 2½-8 years for conspiracy and obstruction of justice.

1976: Florence Ballard of The Supremes died of a cardiac arrest, aged 32.

1980: American speed skater Eric Heiden wins 1,500m in Olympic record 1:55.44 at Lake Placid. On the same day, British figure skater Robin Cousins wins men’s singles gold medal.

1981: Yorkshire Ripper Peter Sutcliffe is arrested.

1988: Televangelist Jimmy Swaggert confesses to his congregation about liaison with a prostitute.

1991: Dame Margot Fonteyn, English ballerina, dies aged 71.

2001: Robbie Williams was attacked and thrown from the stage during a concert in Stuttgart.

2004: Mud singer Les Gray died of a heart attack whilst fighting throat cancer, aged 57..

2010: Kathryn Bigelow wins a best director BAFTA for The Hurt Locker

2014: US President Barak Obama meets with the Dalai Lama.

2016: Bombings in the Syrian cities of Homs and Damascus kill 140 people. Islamic State claims responsibility.

2018: Evangelist Billy Graham dies aged 99.

2019: Peter Tork of The Monkees died age 77.

BIRTHDAYS: David Geffen, record label boss, 77; Tyne Daly, actress, 74; Anthony Daniels, actor, 74; Jerry Harrison, musician (Talking Heads), 71; Jean-Jacques Burnel, bassist/singer (The Stranglers) 68; Kelsey Grammer, actor, 65; Mary Chapin Carpenter, singer, 62; Vanessa Feltz, broadcaster, 58; James Dean Bradfield, guitarist/singer (Manic Street Preachers) 51; Jennifer Love Hewitt, actress, 41; Charlotte Church, singer, 34; Ellen Page, actress, 33; Sophie Turner, actress, 24.

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Mick Ferris

Editor Email: [email protected]