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Events Throughout History

Historical Events for May 21st

  • Year 293 » Roman Emperors Diocletian and Maximian appoint Galerius as 'Caesar (title) or Caesar' to Diocletian, beginning the period of four rulers known as the Tetrarchy.
  • Year 878 » Syracuse, Sicily, is Muslim conquest of Sicily e.g captured by the Muslim sultan of Emirate of Sicily called Sicily.
  • Year 879 » Pope John VIII gives blessings to Branimir of Croatia and to the Croatian people, considered to be international recognition of the Croatian state.
  • Year 996 » Sixteen-year-old Otto III, Holy Roman Emperor e.g Otto III is crowned Holy Roman Emperor.
  • Year 1085 » The Swedish town of Helsingborg is founded.
  • Year 1403 » Henry III of Castile sends Ruy Gonzáles de Clavijo as Timurid relations with Europe e.g ambassador to Timur to discuss the possibility of an alliance between Timur and Castile against the Ottoman Empire.
  • Year 1502 » The island of Saint Helena is discovered by the Portuguese explorer João da Nova.
  • Year 1554 » Mary I of England called Queen Mary I grants a royal charter to Derby School, as a grammar school for boys in Derby, England.
  • Year 1674 » The szlachta or nobility elect John III of Poland called John Sobieski King of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania.
  • Year 1725 » The Order of St. Alexander Nevsky is instituted in Russia by Empress Catherine I. It would later be discontinued and then reinstated by the Soviet government in 1942 as the Order of Alexander Nevsky.
  • Year 1758 » Ten-year-old Mary Campbell (colonial settler) named Mary Campbell is abducted in Pennsylvania by Lenape during the French and Indian War. She is returned six and a half years later.
  • Year 1809 » The first day of the Battle of Aspern-Essling between the Austrian army led by Archduke Charles, Duke of Teschen known as Archduke Charles and the French army led by Napoleon named Napoleon I of France sees the French attack across the Danube held.
  • Year 1851 » Slavery is abolished in Colombia, South America.
  • Year 1856 » Lawrence, Kansas is Sacking of Lawrence named captured and burned by pro-slavery forces.
  • Year 1863 » Organization of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Battle Creek, Michigan.
  • Year 1863 » American Civil War: The Union Army Battle of Plains Store known as succeeds in closing off the last escape route from Port Hudson, Louisiana, in preparation for the coming Siege of Port Hudson called siege.
  • Year 1864 » Russia declares an end to the Russian–Circassian War and many Circassians are forced into exile. The day is designated the Circassian Day of Mourning.
  • Year 1864 » American Civil War: the Battle of Spotsylvania Court House ends.
  • Year 1871 » French troops invade the Paris Commune and engage its residents in street fighting. By the close of "Bloody Week", some 20,000 communards have been killed and 38,000 arrested.
  • Year 1871 » Opening of the first rack railway in Europe, the Rigi-Bahnen on Mount Rigi.
  • Year 1879 » War of the Pacific: Two Chilean ships blocking the harbor of Iquique (then belonging to Peru) battle two Peruvian vessels in the Battle of Iquique.
  • Year 1881 » The American Red Cross is established by Clara Barton in Washington, D.C.
  • Year 1894 » The Manchester Ship Canal in the United Kingdom is officially opened by Queen Victoria, who later knights its designer Edward Leader Williams named Sir Edward Leader Williams.
  • Year 1904 » The FIFA called Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) is founded in Paris.
  • Year 1911 » President of Mexico Porfirio Díaz and the revolutionary Francisco Madero sign the Treaty of Ciudad Juárez to put an end to the fighting between the forces of both men, concluding the initial phase of the Mexican Revolution.
  • Year 1917 » The Commonwealth War Graves Commission is established through royal charter to mark, record and maintain the graves and places of commemoration of Commonwealth of Nations military forces.
  • Year 1917 » The Great Atlanta fire of 1917 causes $5.5 million in damages, destroying some 300 acres including 2,000 homes, businesses and churches, displacing about 10,000 people but leading to only one fatality (due to heart attack).
  • Year 1924 » University of Chicago students Leopold and Loeb or Richard Loeb and Nathan Leopold, Jr. murder 14-year-old Bobby Franks in a "thrill killing".
  • Year 1932 » Bad weather forces Amelia Earhart to land in a pasture in Derry, Northern Ireland, and she thereby becomes the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean.
  • Year 1934 » Oskaloosa, Iowa, becomes the first municipality in the United States to fingerprint all of its citizens.
  • Year 1937 » A Soviet and Russian manned drifting ice stations e.g Soviet station, North Pole-1, becomes the first scientific research settlement to operate on the drift ice of the Arctic Ocean.
  • Year 1939 » The Canadian National War Memorial (Canada) National War Memorial is unveiled by George VI King George VI and Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother Queen Elizabeth in Ottawa.
  • Year 1946 » Physicist Louis Slotin is fatally irradiated in a criticality incident during an experiment with the demon core at Los Alamos National Laboratory.
  • Year 1951 » The opening of the Ninth Street Show, otherwise known as the 9th Street Art Exhibition a gathering of a number of notable artists, and the stepping-out of the post war New York avant-garde, collectively known as the New York School (art) called New York S
  • Year 1961 » African-American Civil Rights Movement (1954–68) e.g American civil rights movement: Alabama Governor John Malcolm Patterson declares martial law in an attempt to restore order after race riots break out.
  • Year 1966 » The Ulster Volunteer Force declares war on the Irish Republican Army (1922–69) or Irish Republican Army in Northern Ireland.
  • Year 1969 » Civil unrest in Rosario, Argentina, known as 'Rosariazo', following the death of a 15-year-old student.
  • Year 1976 » The Yuba City bus disaster occurs in Martinez, California. Twenty-nine are killed making it the deadliest road accident in U.S. history.
  • Year 1979 » White Night riots in San Francisco following the manslaughter conviction of Dan White for the assassinations of George Moscone and Harvey Milk.
  • Year 1981 » The Italian government releases the membership list of Propaganda Due, an illegal pseudo-Freemasonry known as Masonic lodge that was implicated in numerous Italian crimes and mysteries.
  • Year 1982 » Falklands War: A British amphibious assault during Operation Sutton leads to the Battle of San Carlos (1982) called Battle of San Carlos.
  • Year 1991 » Former Indian Prime Minister of India e.g Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi is assassinated by a female suicide bomber near Chennai called Madras.
  • Year 1992 » After 30 seasons Johnny Carson hosted his penultimate episode and last featuring guests (Robin Williams and Bette Midler) of 'The Tonight Show'.
  • Year 1994 » The Democratic Republic of Yemen unsuccessful attempts to secede from the Republic of Yemen; a war breaks out.
  • Year 1996 » The ferry MV or Bukoba sinks in Tanzanian waters on Lake Victoria, killing nearly 1,000.
  • Year 1996 » The Trappist Martyrs of Atlas, kidnapped during the Algerian Civil War and held for two months, are found dead.
  • Year 1998 » In Miami, five abortion clinics are hit by a butyric acid attacker.
  • Year 1998 » President Suharto of Indonesia resigns following the killing of students from Tri Sakti University earlier that week by security forces and growing mass protests in Jakarta against his ongoing corrupt rule.
  • Year 2001 » French Christiane Taubira e.g Taubira law is enacted, officially recognizing the Atlantic slave trade and slavery as crimes against humanity.
  • Year 2003 » An earthquake hits northern Algeria, killing more than 2,000 people.
  • Year 2005 » The tallest roller coaster in the world, Kingda Ka opens at Six Flags Great Adventure in Jackson Township, New Jersey.
  • Year 2006 » The Republic of Montenegro holds a Montenegrin independence referendum, 2006 named referendum proposing independence from the State Union of Serbia and Montenegro. The Montenegrin people choose independence with a majority of 55%.
  • Year 2010 » JAXA, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, launches the solar-sail spacecraft IKAROS aboard an H-IIA rocket. The vessel would make a Venus flyby late in the year.
  • Year 2011 » Radio broadcaster Harold Camping predicted that the 2011 end times prediction or end of the world would occur on this day, a prophecy that would prove incorrect.
  • Year 2012 » A Qafa e Vishës bus accident called bus accident near Himara, Albania kills 13 people and injures 21 others.
  • Year 2014 » A 2014 Taipei Metro attack known as knife attack on a Taipei Metro train leaves at least 4 dead and 21 others injured.
  • Year 2014 » The National September 11 Memorial & Museum or National September 11 Museum opens to the public.

World History for the Month of May