It happened today – this day in history – September 21

19BC: Death of Roman poet Virgil aged 50.

1192: Richard I is captured by Leopold V, Duke of Austria.

1327: Death of Edward II aged 43.

1538: The shrine of Saint Swithun in Winchester is smashed up in the middle of the night as part of the English Reformation.

1621: James I gives Sir William Alexander a royal charter for the colonisation of Nova Scotia.

1677: John and Nicolaas van der Heyden patent the fire extinguisher.

1745: Bonnie Prince Charlie beats the government army at the Battle of Preston Pans.

1776: Five days after the British take New York, a quarter of the city burns down.

1792: The National Convention passes a proclamation announcing the formal abolition of the French monarchy.

1860: In the Second Opium War, an Anglo-French force defeats Chinese troops at the Battle of Baliqiao.

1866: Author H G Wells is born in Bromley..

1874: Composer Gustav Holst is born in Cheltenham

1893: Frank Duryea drives the first American-made gas propelled vehicle.

1895: America’s first automotive producer, the Duryea Motor Wagon Company, is founded by Charles and J. Frank Duryea.

1898: Empress Dowager Cixi seizes power and ends the Hundred Days’ Reform in China, imprisoning the Guangxu Emperor.

1903: The first cowboy film “Kit Carson” premieres in the US.

1913: The first aerobatic manoeuvre – sustained inverted flight – is performed in France. On the same day, Turkey and Bulgaria sign a peace treaty in Constantinople.

1915: Cecil Chubb buys Stonehenge for £6,600.

1922: President Warren G Harding signs a joint resolution of approval to establish a Jewish homeland in Palestine.

1930: Johann Ostermeyer patents the flashbulb.

1934: A typhoon strikes Honshu Island Japan, killing 4,000.

1936: The Spanish fascist junta names Francisco Franco Generalissimo and Supreme Commander.

1937: The Hobbit by J R R Tolkien is published.

1938: Winston Churchill condemns Hitler’s annexation of the Sudetenland.

1949: Chinese Communist leaders proclaim the People’s Republic of China. On the same day, England are beaten for the first time on home soil by a foreign country when The Republic of Ireland win 2-0 at Goodison Park.

1955: Britain annexes Rockall, a rocky islet 300 miles west of Scotland to stop the Soviets spying on missile tests. On the same day, in his last fight, undefeated world heavyweight boxing champion Rocky Marciano KOs light heavyweight Archie Moore in Round 9 in New York.

1956: Singles chart:

  1. Lay Down Your Arms – Anne Shelton
  2. Whatever Will Be Will Be (Que Sera Sera) – Doris Day
  3. Rockin’ Through The Rye – Bill Haley and his Comets
  4. The Ying Tong Song – The Goons
  5. The Great Pretender/Only You – The Platters
  6. Walk Hand In Hand – Tony Martin
  7. Sweet Old Fashioned Girl – Teresa Brewer
  8. Bring A Little Water Sylvie – Lonnie Donegan
  9. Mountain Greenery – Mel Torme
  10. The Saints Rock ‘N’ Roll – Bill Haley and his Comets

1957: Olav V becomes king of Norway.

1961: Antonio Abertondo swims the English Channel both ways.


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1964: Malta becomes independent from the UK.

1969: Police raid a 100-room mansion in Piccadilly and evict squatters who have occupied the building for six days.

1971: The first edition of ‘The Old Grey Whistle Test’ is aired on BBC2 presented by Richard Williams. The show includes clips of Jimi Hendrix and Bob Dylan plus Lesley Duncan ‘live’ in the studio.

1972: President Ferdinand Marcos declares martial law in The Philippines.

1973: Jackson Pollock’s painting “Blue Poles” sells for $2,000,000.

1974: Mariner 10 makes a second fly-by of the planet Mercury. On the same day, author Jacqueline Susann dies aged 56 from cancer and actor Walter Brennan dies aged 80..

1976: Chilean politician Orlando Letelier is assassinated in Washington, D.C.

1977: US Minister of Foreign Affairs, Cyrus Vance, is dismissed by President Jimmy Carter.

1978: The Provisional IRA detonates bombs at the RAF airfield near Eglinton, Co Londonderry; the terminal building, two aircraft hangars and four planes are destroyed.

1979: An RAF Harrier jump jet crashes onto houses in Wisbech after a mid air collision, killing two men and a boy.

1980: Bob Marley collapses while jogging in New York’s Central Park. After hospital tests he is diagnosed with stage 4 cancer.

1981: Belize (British Honduras) gains independence from the UK.

1984: Police and miners clash at Maltby colliery in South Yorks in one of the biggest pickets since the strike began.

1985: Michael Spinks beats Larry Holmes to become World Heavyweight Boxing Champion. On the same day, CIA case officer Edward Lee Howard flees to Russia after being identified as a KGB agent.

1987: Jazz bassist Jaco Pastorius dies from injuries sustained in a fight outside a club in Florida.

1994: Gary Lineker announces his retirement from playing due to an ongoing toe injury suffered while playing in Japan. He joins the BBC.

1998: American athlete Florence Griffith Joyner dies of an epileptic seizure at 38.

2006: Bad Company bassist Boz Burrell dies of a heart attack aged 60.

2007: Snoop Dogg is sentenced to three years probation and 160 hours of community service after pleading guilty to carrying a collapsible baton. On the same day, George Clooney is injured in a motorcycle accident in Weehawken, New Jersey.

2008: President Thabo Mbeki of South Africa resigns from office. On the same day, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert of Israel formally resigns from office, effective as soon as his successor Tzipi Livni has successfully assembled a new government.

2011: A contract revealing that The Beatles refused to perform in front of a segregated audience at the Cow Palace in Daly City, California, on August 31, 1965, sells for $23,033 at an auction in Los Angeles.

2013: Comedy actor Andy Samberg marries singer-songwriter/harpist Joanna Newsom in Callifornia.

2014: Royal Blood

2014: Album chart:

  1. No Sound Without Silence – The Script
  2. Partners – Barbra Streisand
  3. In The Lonely Hour – Sam Smith
  4. X – Chris Brown
  5. X – Ed Sheeran
  6. Wanted On Voyage – George Ezra
  7. World On Fire – Slash
  8. Royal Blood – Royal Blood
  9. Bulletproof Picasso – Train
  10. The Balcony – Catfish & the Bottlemen

2016: A migrant boat carrying 450-600 people capsizes off the Egyptian coast. Only 163 are rescued. On the same day, songwriter John D. Loudermilk dies aged 82.

2017: Andre Ward, unified light heavyweight champion and pound-for-pound the world’s top boxer, announces his retirement.

2019: The skies turn red over Jambi province, Indonesia, as worst illegal forest fires since 2015 burn more than 800,000 acres, creating respiratory problems for a million people.

2022: New York Attorney General Letitia James files a lawsuit against Donald Trump and three of his children, alleging widespread fraud through inflating his personal wealth by billions of dollars. On the same day, Vladimir Putin announce that Russian men are being drafted to fight in the invasion of Ukraine, prompting demonstrations around the country.

Bill Murray

BIRTHDAYS: Don Preston, keyboards (The Mothers Of Invention) 81; Don Felder, guitar/vocals (The Eagles) 76; Stephen King, author, 76; Bill Murray, actor, 73; Ethan Coen, film-maker, 66; Corinne Drewery, singer, (Swing Out Sister) 64; Trevor Steven, footballer, 60; Faith Hill, country singer, 56; Tyler Stewart, drummer, (Barenaked Ladies) 56; Ricki Lake, actress/talk show host, 55; Billy Porter, actor/singer, 54; Alfonso Ribeiro, actor, 52; Luke Wilson, actor, 52; Liam Gallagher, singer, 51; Sam Rivers, bassist, (Limp Bizkit) 46; Richard Dunne, footballer, 44; Nicole Richie, TV personality/socialite, 42; Maggie Grace, actress, 40; Joe Wicks, fitness coach, 38; Jason Derulo, singer, 34; Ben Mee, footballer, 34; Allison Scagliotti, actress, 33.