On This Day … 21 February

Events

  • 1440 – The Prussian Confederation is formed.
  • 1613 – Mikhail I is unanimously elected Tsar by a national assembly, beginning the Romanov dynasty of Imperial Russia.
  • 1797 – A force of 1,400 French soldiers invaded Britain at Fishguard in support of the Society of United Irishmen. They were defeated by 500 British reservists.
  • 1804 – The first self-propelling steam locomotive makes its outing at the Pen-y-Darren Ironworks in Wales.
  • 1808 – Without a previous declaration of war, Russian troops cross the border to Sweden at Abborfors in eastern Finland, thus beginning the Finnish War, in which Sweden will lose the eastern half of the country (i.e. Finland) to Russia.
  • 1848 – Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels publish The Communist Manifesto.
  • 1862 – American Civil War: Battle of Valverde is fought near Fort Craig in New Mexico Territory.
  • 1885 – The newly completed Washington Monument is dedicated.
  • 1913 – Ioannina is incorporated into the Greek state after the Balkan Wars.
  • 1916 – World War I: In France, the Battle of Verdun begins.
  • 1919 – German socialist Kurt Eisner is assassinated. His death results in the establishment of the Bavarian Soviet Republic and parliament and government fleeing Munich, Germany.
  • 1921 – Rezā Shāh takes control of Tehran during a successful coup.
  • 1929 – In the first battle of the Warlord Rebellion in northeastern Shandong against the Nationalist government of China, a 24,000-strong rebel force led by Zhang Zongchang was defeated at Zhifu by 7,000 NRA troops.
  • 1937 – The League of Nations bans foreign national “volunteers” in the Spanish Civil War.
  • 1945 – World War II: During the Battle of Iwo Jima, Japanese kamikaze planes sink the escort carrier USS Bismarck Sea and damage the USS Saratoga.
  • 1945 – World War II: the Brazilian Expeditionary Force defeat the German forces in the Battle of Monte Castello on the Italian front.
  • 1952 – The British government, under Winston Churchill, abolishes identity cards in the UK to “set the people free”.
  • 1973 – Over the Sinai Desert, Israeli fighter aircraft shoot down Libyan Arab Airlines Flight 114 jet killing 108 people.
  • 1974 – The last Israeli soldiers leave the west bank of the Suez Canal pursuant to a truce with Egypt.
  • Armed Forces Day (South Africa).

People (Births)

  • 1609 – Raimondo Montecuccoli, Italian military commander (d. 1680).
  • 1621 – Rebecca Nurse, Massachusetts colonist, executed as a witch (d. 1692).
  • 1705 – Edward Hawke, 1st Baron Hawke, English admiral and politician (d. 1781).
  • 1794 – Antonio López de Santa Anna, Mexican general and politician, 8th President of Mexico (d. 1876).
  • 1887 – Korechika Anami, Japanese general and politician, 54th Japanese Minister of War (d. 1945).
  • 1914 – Ilmari Juutilainen, Finnish soldier and pilot (d. 1999).

People (Deaths)

  • 4 AD – Gaius Caesar, Roman consul and grandson of Augustus (b. 20 BC).
  • 1184 – Minamoto no Yoshinaka, Japanese shōgun (b. 1154).
  • 1543 – Ahmad ibn Ibrahim al-Ghazi, Somalian general (b. 1507).
  • 1824 – Eugène de Beauharnais, French general (b. 1781).
  • 1829 – Kittur Chennamma, Indian queen and freedom fighter (b. 1778).
  • 1846 – Emperor Ninkō of Japan (b. 1800).
  • 1994 – Johannes Steinhoff, German general and pilot (b. 1913).
  • 1999 – Ilmari Juutilainen, Finnish soldier and pilot (b. 1914).
  • 2012 – H. M. Darmstandler, American general (b. 1922).
  • 2015 – Aleksei Gubarev, Russian general, pilot, and astronaut (b. 1931).
  • 2016 – Eric Brown, Scottish-English captain and pilot (b. 1919).
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