It happened today – this day in history – May 21

Mick Ferris

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

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