This Day in History — October 21

Today is the 294th day of 2022. There are 71 days left in the year.


1967: Tens of thousands of Vietnam War protesters march in Washington, DC.


1797: The US Navy frigate Constitution, also known as Old Ironsides, is launched in Boston’s harbour.

1805: A British fleet commanded by Admiral Horatio Nelson defeats the French and Spanish in the Battle of Trafalgar; Nelson, however, is killed.

1847: The Sonderbund War between Catholics and Protestants begins in Switzerland.

1861: The first South American railroad line is inaugurated in Paraguay.

1879: American inventor Thomas A Edison demonstrates the first electric lamp.

1913: Royalist uprising in Portugal fails.

1916: Austria’s premier, Count Carl Stuergkh, is assassinated by a socialist.

1923: Start of a 160-day heat- wave in Marble Bar, Western Australia, during which the temperature does not fall below 38 degrees Celsius (100 degrees Fahrenheit).

1938: Japanese troops take Canton in China.

1944: US troops capture the German city of Aachen during World War II.

1945: Women vote for the first time in France.

1961: President Gamal Abdel Nasser confiscates property of wealthy Egyptians.

1966: More than 140 people, mostly children, are killed when a coal waste landslide engulfs a school and several houses in South Wales.

1969: Willy Brandt becomes first social democratic chancellor in West Germany’s 20-year history.

1971: North Vietnam’s Premier Phan Van Dong says his Government is ready to accept ceasefire as the first step toward settlement of the Vietnam War.

1973: Four Gulf states cut off oil supplies to the United States to protest US arms shipments to Israel in Middle East conflict.

1988: A federal grand jury in New York indicts former Philippine President Ferdinand E Marcos and his wife, Imelda, on charges of fraud and racketeering. Marcos dies before he could be brought to trial; his widow, Imelda, is acquitted in 1990.

1996: A United Nations envoy arrives in Kabul, Afghanistan, to try to avert an all out war for the shattered city.

1999: A powerful magnitude-7.6 earthquake strikes Taiwan in the pre-dawn hours, killing more than 2,300 people and damaging 82,000 housing units. The quake causes some US$9 billion in damage and noticeably alters the island’s topography.

2001: The Solidarity Electoral Action social movement that Lech Walesa led to victory over Polish communists in 1989 concedes defeat one month after being trounced by ex-communists — the Democratic Left Alliance.

2002: A vehicle packed with explosives slams into a bus near Hadera, in northern Israel, killing 14 Israelis and wounding 50 others.

2004: Japan starts the clean-up from its deadliest typhoon in over a decade, a day after the storm ripped across the country, killing 55 people and leaving 24 missing.

2008: Former Prime Minister of Thailand Thaksin Shinawatra is convicted of corruption in absentia and sentenced to two years in prison.

2011: The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) says it plans to end its seven-month bombing campaign in Libya at the end of the month, leaving the battle-scarred country’s new authorities on their own to ensure security after the death of Moammar Gadhafi and the ouster of his regime.

2013: France joins a growing list of angry allies who are demanding answers from the United States over aggressive surveillance tactics by the National Security Agency.

2014: Syrian President Bashar Assad takes advantage of the US-led coalition’s war against the Islamic State group to pursue a withering air and ground campaign against more mainstream rebels.


Sir Christopher Wren, English architect (1632-1723); Arthur Rimbaud, French author (1854-1891); John Dewey, US philosopher (1859-1952); Don Stephen Senanayake, first prime minister of Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) (1884-1952); Kim Kardashian, American television personality and entrepreneur (1980- )

— AP

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