This Day in History

September 21


19BC  Roman poet Publius Vergilius Maro (Virgil) dies in Brundisium in southern Italy, age 50   2035
1327      Edward II, King of England, murdered in Berkeley Castle about nine months after being deposed, age 43   690
1576      Italian mathematician Gerolamo Cardano dies in Rome, age 74   441
1595      Juan de Oñate is awarded a contract to settle the area that will become New Mexico   422
1745      Jacobite army led by Bonnie Prince Charlie defeat the British forces in the first significant battle at Prestonpans, Scotland   272
1780      Benedict Arnold gives plans to the fortress at West Point to the British   237
1792      National Covention declares France a republic–abolishes the monarchy   225
1832      Scottish writer Sir Walter Scott dies, age 61   185
1866      English writer Herbert George "H. G." Wells is born in Kent   151
1897      The Sun of New York publishes the editorial with the reply "Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus"   120
1926      French electical engineer Léon Charles Thévenin who developd the circuit analysis theorem Thévenin's theorem, dies in Paris, age 68   91
1933      Salvador Lutteroth Gonzales runs the first ever CMLL wrestling show in Mexico—birth of Lucha Libre   84
1937      'The Hobbit' by J.R.R. Tolkien first published   80
1938      New England Hurricane of 1938 makes landfall on Long Island—kills estimated 800   79
1942      B-29 Superfortress makes its maiden flight   75
1962      first observation of the National Radio Astronomy Observatory's 300-foot radio telescope at Green Bank, West Virginia   55
1964      maiden flight of the XB-70 Valkyrie, mach 3 bomber   53
1964      Malta gains independence from the United Kingdom   53
1968      Zond 5 is recovered—first craft to reach vicinity of the moon and return to Earth   49
1970      Monday Night Football debuts   47
1974      American writer with three consectuive #1 novels Jacqueline Susann dies in New York City, age 56   43
1981      Belize becomes independent from Britain   36
1991      Armenia is granted independence from the U.S.S.R.   26
1999      7.3 earthquake in central Taiwan kills 2415, injures 11,305 others, and leaves 100,000 homeless   18
2001      Deep Space 1 encounters comet 19P/Borrelly   16
2002      American physicist and science fiction writer Robert Lull Forward dies in Seattle, age 70   15
2003      Galileo ends mission with a fiery plunge into the atmosphere of Jupiter   14
2007      American television evangelist Alpha Rex Emmanuel Humbard dies in Atlantis, Florida, age 88   10
2008      last game played in Yankee Stadium, the house that Ruth built, after 85 years   9
2011      president of Brazil Dilma Vana Rousseff becomes the first woman to open the U.N. General Assembly   6
2012      Israeli historian and philosopher Yehuda Elkana dies in Jerusalem, age around 78   5
2012      discovery photograph taken of Comet ISON—Russia's International Scientific Optical Network   5
2013      gunmen open fire in the Westgate Centre shopping mall in Nairobi, Kenya—72 killed   4
2013      Netherlands pastor Guisèle Berkel-Larmonie becomes the first female pastor of the Seventh-day Adventist Church to be ordained in Europe   4
2014      Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution Mission spacecraft, MAVEN, is inserted into orbit about Mars   3
2015      Polish-born Australian producer of children and family entertainment Yoram Jerzy Gross dies in Sydney, age 88   2

Dates are always somewhat ambiguous, the exact date depends on whether local time is used (and local time where) or Universal Time—for events on the surface of the Earth, local time is probably best but for an event that spans across the planet, it is not clear which local time to use!. For events in space it is more ambiguous. Further for dates after the original adoption of the Gregorian calendar but before it became accepted in different countries, the date given may be a Julian date or a Gregorian date depending upon where the event occurred. And, even the year may be different since the first of the year has not always been January 1 in all countries! The attempt is to use a date that is the one that is typically given.

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