On This Day … 21 June

Events

  • 533 – A Byzantine expeditionary fleet under Belisarius sails from Constantinople to attack the Vandals in Africa, via Greece and Sicily (approximate date).
  • 1529 – French forces are driven out of northern Italy by Spain at the Battle of Landriano during the War of the League of Cognac.
  • 1582 – Sengoku period: Oda Nobunaga, the most powerful of the Japanese daimyōs, is forced to commit suicide by his own general Akechi Mitsuhide.
  • 1621 – Execution of 27 Czech noblemen on the Old Town Square in Prague as a consequence of the Battle of White Mountain.
  • 1749 – Halifax, Nova Scotia, is founded.
  • 1791 – King Louis XVI of France and his immediate family begin the Flight to Varennes during the French Revolution.
  • 1798 – Irish Rebellion of 1798: The British Army defeats Irish rebels at the Battle of Vinegar Hill.
  • 1813 – Napoleonic Wars: Peninsular War: Wellington defeats Joseph Bonaparte at the Battle of Vitoria.
  • 1824 – Greek War of Independence: Egyptian forces capture Psara in the Aegean Sea.
  • 1826 – Maniots defeat Egyptians under Ibrahim Pasha in the Battle of Vergas.
  • 1848 – In the Wallachian Revolution, Ion Heliade Rădulescu and Christian Tell issue the Proclamation of Islaz and create a new republican government.
  • 1864 – American Civil War: The Battle of Jerusalem Plank Road begins.
  • 1898 – Spanish-American War: The United States captures Guam from Spain. The few warning shots fired by the US naval vessels are misinterpreted as salutes by the Spanish garrison, which was unaware that the two nations were at war.
  • 1900 – Boxer Rebellion. China formally declares war on the United States, Britain, Germany, France and Japan, as an edict issued from the Empress Dowager Cixi.
  • 1919 – The Royal Canadian Mounted Police fire a volley into a crowd of unemployed war veterans, killing two, during the Winnipeg general strike.
  • 1919 – Admiral Ludwig von Reuter scuttles the German fleet at Scapa Flow, Orkney.
    • The nine sailors killed are the last casualties of World War I.
  • 1929 – An agreement brokered by US Ambassador Dwight Whitney Morrow ends the Cristero War in Mexico.
  • 1930 – One-year conscription comes into force in France.
  • 1940 – World War II: Italy begins an unsuccessful invasion of France.
  • 1942 – World War II: Tobruk falls to Italian and German forces.
  • 1942 – World War II: A Japanese submarine surfaces near the Columbia River in Oregon, firing 17 shells at Fort Stevens in one of only a handful of attacks by Japan against the United States mainland.
  • 1945 – World War II: The Battle of Okinawa ends when the organised resistance of Imperial Japanese Army forces collapses in the Mabuni area on the southern tip of the main island.

People (Births)

  • 1712 – Luc Urbain de Bouëxic, comte de Guichen, French admiral (d. 1790).
  • 1736 – Enoch Poor, American general (d. 1780).
  • 1764 – Sidney Smith, English admiral and politician (d. 1840).
  • 1882 – Adrianus de Jong, Dutch fencer and soldier (d. 1966).
  • 1884 – Claude Auchinleck, English field marshal (d. 1981).
  • 1889 – Ralph Craig, American sprinter and sailor (d. 1972).
  • 1896 – Charles Momsen, American admiral, invented the Momsen lung (d. 1967).
  • 1903 – Hermann Engelhard, German runner and coach (d. 1984).
  • 1912 – Kazimierz Leski, Polish pilot and engineer (d. 2000).
  • 1942 – Togo D. West, Jr., American soldier, lawyer, and politician, 3rd United States Secretary of Veterans Affairs.
  • 1951 – Mona-Lisa Pursiainen, Finnish sprinter (d. 2000).
  • 1954 – Mark Kimmitt, American general and politician, 16th Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Political-Military Affairs.
  • 1958 – Gennady Padalka, Russian colonel, pilot, and astronaut.
  • 1959 – John Baron, English captain and politician.
  • 1965 – Yang Liwei, Chinese general, pilot, and astronaut.
  • 1972 – Nobuharu Asahara, Japanese sprinter and long jumper.
  • 1985 – Sentayehu Ejigu, Ethiopian runner.
  • 1989 – Abubaker Kaki, Sudanese runner.

People (Deaths)

  • 1421 – Jean Le Maingre, French general (b. 1366).
  • 1558 – Piero Strozzi, Italian general (b. 1510).
  • 1582 – Oda Nobunaga, Japanese warlord (b. 1534).
  • 1621 – Kryštof Harant, Czech soldier and composer (b. 1564).
  • 1631 – John Smith, English admiral and explorer (b. 1580).
  • 1796 – Richard Gridley, American soldier and engineer (b. 1710).
  • 1876 – Antonio López de Santa Anna, Mexican general and politician 8th President of Mexico (b. 1794).
  • 1880 – Theophilus H. Holmes, American general (b. 1804).
  • 1940 – Smedley Butler, American general, Medal of Honour recipient (b. 1881).
  • 1952 – Wop May, Canadian captain and pilot (b. 1896).
  • 1954 – Gideon Sundback, Swedish-American engineer, developed the zipper (b. 1880).
  • 1957 – Claude Farrère, French captain and author (b. 1876).
  • 1985 – Tage Erlander, Swedish lieutenant and politician, 25th Prime Minister of Sweden (b. 1901).
  • 1992 – Li Xiannian, Chinese captain and politician, 3rd President of the People’s Republic of China (b. 1909).
  • 2003 – Leon Uris, American soldier and author (b. 1924).
  • 2006 – Jared C. Monti, American sergeant, Medal of Honour recipient (b. 1975).
  • 2014 – Yozo Ishikawa, Japanese politician, Japanese Minister of Defence (b. 1925).
  • 2015 – Alexander Schalck-Golodkowski, German soldier and politician (b. 1932).
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