It happened today – this day in history – May 21

Subscribe to get your latest local news articles by email each day...

Or click here to subscribe to our weekly digital edition. Your details will be stored to support your experience in line with our privacy policy.

120BC: Aurelia Cotta, mother of Julius Caesar is born in Rome.

1216: French crown prince Louis enters England, having been invited by barons at war with King John.

1281: Kublai Khan’s second invasion of Japan begins with an attack on Tsushima Island but meets fierce resistance and his troops are forced to withdraw.

1471: Edward IV enters London.

1502: Portuguese admiral Da Nova discovers the island of St Helena.

1688: Birth of poet Alexander Pope in London.

1792: Mount Unzen on Japan’s Shimabara Peninsula, erupts creating a tsunami which kills about 15,000.

1904: FIFA forms in Paris.

1922: Eugene O’Neill wins the Pulitzer Prize for his play “Anna Christie”.

1927: Aviator Charles Lindbergh lands in Paris after the first solo air crossing of Atlantic.

1929: Sergei Prokoviev’s ballet “Prodigal Son” premieres in Paris.

1932: Amilia Earhart lands near Londonderry, Northern Ireland, completing the first transatlantic solo flight by a woman.

1945: Nazi SS-Reichsfuhrer Heinrich Himmler is captured.

1950: Ho Chi-Minh’s troops attack Cambodia.

1966: Muhammad Ali defeats Henry Cooper to win the world heavyweight title by a TKO in Round 6 due to a cut above Cooper’s left eye. On the same day, in Northern Ireland, a “loyalist” group calling itself the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) issued a statement declaring war on the IRA.

1969: Senator Robert Kennedy’s assassin Sirhan Sirhan is sentenced to death, later commuted to life imprisonment.

1970: The National Guard mobilizes to quell disturbances at Ohio State University.

1971: Chelsea defeat Real Madrid 2-1 in Athens to win the European Cup Winner’s Cup.

1972: Pietà by Michelangelo in St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome is damaged by a vandal. On the same day, the IRA kidnaps and shoots dead William Best,19, a soldier in the Royal Irish Rangers stationed in Germany, whilst on leave at home.

1975: The trial of the terrorist Baader-Meinhof-group begins in Stuttgart.

1981: Francois Mitterand becomes president of France. On the same day, Bob Marley is given a Jamaican state funeral.

1982: The Hacienda Club opened in Manchester.

1990: “Wild at Heart” directed by David Lynch wins the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival.

1998: Indonesian President Suharto resigns after 31 years in power.

2005: Arsenal beats Manchester United, 5-4 on penalties following a 0–0 draw after extra time to win the FA Cup at the Millennium Stadium, Cardiff.

2007: The Cutty Sark, the last surviving tea clipper, is badly damaged by fire in Greenwich.

2008: Manchester United beats Chelsea, 6-5 on penalties after scores tied at 1-1 after extra time to win the Champions League in Moscow.

2010: U2 singer Bono undergoes emergency spinal surgery in Munich after suffering an injury while preparing for tour dates.

2013: Trevor Boulder, bassist with The Spiders From Mars and later Uriah Heep, died from cancer at the age of 62.

2014: The Thai army declares martial law and closes down several news stations.

2016: Mullah Akhtar Muhammad Mansour, leader of the Afghan Taliban is reportably killed by a US drone in Pakistan. On the same day, Manchester United beats Crystal Palace, 2-1 after extra time to win the FA Cup at Wembley Stadium.

BIRTHDAYS: Ronald Isley, singer (The Isley Brothers), 79; Martin Carthy, folk guitarist, 79; Hilton Valentine, guitarist (The Animals) 77; John Dalton, bassist (The Kinks) 77; Leo Sayer, singer, 72; Andrew Neil, journalist/broadcaster, 71; Mr T (Lawrence Tureaud), actor, 68; Marc Ribot, guitarist, 66; Judge Reinhold, actor, 63; Nadine Dorries, MP, 63; Kevin Shields, musician (My Bloody Valentine) 57; Noel Fielding, comedian/TV presenter, 47; Tom Daley, diver, 26.


Mick Ferris

Editor Email: [email protected]