Another look into what has happened on this day in the past, historical events of note, famous birthdays or any other points of interest that have occurred on this day.

Following the death of King Henry IV the previous day, he was succeeded to the Throne of England on this day in 1413 by his son Henry V.


Thomas Cranmer, the Protestant Archbishop of Canterbury was burned at the stake on this day in 1556 on the orders of Queen Mary I, a Catholic, on the charges of treason and heresy.


In the year 1800, Pius VII was crowned Pope in Venice using a temporary papal tiara which was made from papier-mache. The leadership of the church had fled Rome after French troops had invaded.


British troops in Egypt defeated a force of French at the Battle of Alexandria on this day in 1801.


Code Napoleon or the Napoleonic Code was adopted into French civil law in 1804. It was a civil legal system that replaced feudal law and is regarded as one of the few documents to have had an influence worldwide.


Austrian troops forced and army of French soldiers under the command of Napoleon to retreat in 1814 at the Battle of Arcis-sur-Aube, during the battle Napoleon narrowly avoided being captured.


On this day in the year 1844 the Baha’I calendar began. The 21st of March each year is seen by the religions members as the Baha’I New Year or Naw-Ruz. 2011 is the beginning of the year 168.


On this day in 1871, Otto von Bismarck was appointed as the first Chancellor of the German Empire. On the same day Stanley set out on his journey to find the missing explorer and missionary David Livingstone.


The first of  the days of heavy rain that contributed to the Great Dayton Flood of 1913 fell on this day in and around Dayton, Ohio.


The German army began its Spring Offensive on this day in 1918 known as Operation Michael, it was designed to split the Allies and push them back to the sea. It failed and the counter offensive launched later led to the end of  WW1.


The Hungarian Soviet Republic was formed on this day in 1919, it was the first government to be formed by the Communists in Europe since the Russian October Revolution. The republic in Hungary ended in August 1919 when the country was invaded by the Romanians during the Hungarian-Romanian War.


In 1928, the Medal of Honor was presented to Charles Lindbergh after he had become the first person to complete a solo crossing of the Atlantic Ocean in flight.


On this day in 1935 the Shah of Persia, Reza Pahlavi, requested to the international community that they begin calling his country by its native name of Iran.


The biggest massacre in the history of Puerto Rico occurred on this day in 1937 when police opened fire on an unarmed peaceful demonstration in Ponce under the orders of US appointed governor Blanton C. Winship. 17 people  were killed and 235 wounded.


Rudolf Christoph von Gersdorff an officer in the German Wehrmacht plotted to assassinate Adolf Hitler on this day in 1943 with a suicide bomb, the plan failed after Hitler had a shorter visit than planned and von Gersdorff was able to defuse the bomb.


The city of Mandalay in Burma (now Myanmar) was liberated from Japanese control by the British in 1945. On the same day in Copenhagen, Denmark, British planes bomb the headquarters of the Gestapo in the city.


The Sharpeville Massacre occurred on this day in 1960 in South Africa when police opened fire on a  mob estimated to be up to 20,000 strong surrounding the police station. 69 people were killed and 180 were injured including many women and children.


The federal penitentiary of Alcatraz in San Francisco Bay closed on this day in 1963.


Namibia gained its independence from South Africa on this day in 1990 after being under that country’s rule for 75 years.


Four people were charged in Pakistan in 2002 with the murder of journalist Daniel Pearl.


Famous birthdays on this day include Johann Sebastian Bach in 1685, Mexican President Benito Juarez in 1806, Michael Heseltine in 1933, Brian Clough in 1935, Rose Stone in 1945, Timothy Dalton in 1946 and Ayrton Senna in 1960.


As you can see over the years this has been quite an eventful day for a number of very different reasons. Check back to see what the next day in the calendar year has to offer tomorrow. 



Liked it
  • voodoobrb on Mar 21, 2011


  • UncleSammy on Mar 21, 2011

    Nice Share

  • lapasan on Mar 21, 2011

    It’s nice to know the names of the people you listed as born this date. This date March 21 is important to me.

  • lapasan on Mar 21, 2011

    It\’s nice to know the names of the people you listed as born this date. This date March 21 is important to me.

  • lapasan on Mar 21, 2011

    It\\\’s nice to know the names of the people you listed as born this date. This date March 21 is important to me.

  • Freethinking on Mar 21, 2011

    As always, another great update John. I have seen Alcatraz and it is a scary place. I never knew about the Puerto Rico massacre.

  • Baijayanti Pradhan on Mar 21, 2011

    Nice information.

  • Farzeela Fee Faisal on Mar 21, 2011

    Thanks for sharing this historical narrative John, I wonder if you really do remember all the dates, you are a genius then!

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