This Day in History — February 21


1965: Former Black Muslim leader Malcolm X is shot and killed by assassins as he was about to address a rally in New York City.


1795: Freedom of worship is established in France.

1838: American Samuel Morse gives the first public demonstration of the telegraph in New York.

1866: Lucy B Hobbs becomes the first American woman to graduate from dental school when she does so from Ohio College of Dental Surgery in Cincinnati.

1878: The District Telephone Company of New Haven, Connecticut, issues first US telephone directory.

1922: British protectorate in Egypt ends.

1925: The New Yorker magazine makes its debut.

1963: The Soviet Union warns the United States that an American attack on Cuba will mean world war.

1967: The Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) defeats the People's National Party (PNP) in the sixth general elction; the JLP wins 33 seats and the PNP 20.

1972: US President Richard M Nixon arrives in Beijing for a week-long visit that paves the road for normalised US-China relations.

1986: The South African Government opens the "whites only" downtown districts of Johannesburg and Durban to all races, in the first break with the apartheid policy of segregated business areas.

1989: Playwright Vaclav Havel is convicted for his role in an offically banned rally in Czechoslovakia.

1992: For the first time since the communist revolution of 1949, China welcomes foreigners back to its Shanghai stock market.

1994: Commandos storm the Afghan embassy in Islamabad, Pakistan, freeing five schoolboys and killing three Afghan gunmen who had held them hostage for nearly 40 hours in a demand for money and food.

1996: In Port-au-Prince, Haiti, police fire into a carnival crowd after a man pulls out a gun near a float; two people die, more than 50 are injured.

1999: The party of General Olusegun Obasanjo narrowly wins in Nigeria's legislative elections, giving him the edge in an upcoming presidential election and signalling a return to democracy.

2000: In a clear endorsement of moderate President Mohammed Khatami, voters reject Iran's hardliners, giving reformists the largest number of seats in Parliament.

2001: More than 1,000 people watch as two women convicted of prostitution are hanged in Kandahar, the headquarters of the Taliban in Afghanistan; the women, also convicted of "corrupting society", are executed in the sports stadium.

2002: US and Pakistani officials confirm that Daniel Pearl, correspondent for The Wall Street Journal who was kidnapped a month earlier in Karachi, has been killed by his captors.

2005: Tens of thousands march through Beirut in the biggest anti-Syrian protest in Lebanese history.

2007: Leaders in Britain and Denmark announce plans for the withdrawal of troops from Iraq.

2008: Nearly 200,000 people demonstrate in downtown Belgrade, Serbia, against Kosovo independence, storming the US embassy and setting fire to offices and police guardhouses; firefighters find a charred body inside the embassy, more than 150 are injured.

2009: A few hundred Russian Opposition sympathisers hold an anti-Kremlin rally in central Moscow. Former chess champion Garry Kasparov says only the resignation of Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and his Government will allow Russia to overcome the financial crisis.

2010: Israel's air force introduces a fleet of huge, pilotless planes that can remain in the air for a full day and fly as far as the Gulf, putting rival Iran within its range.

2011: Negotiators for the Philippines Government and communist rebels agree in Norway on a road map for continued peace talks aimed at resolving, by June 2012, one of Asia's longest-running conflicts.

2012: Greece gets a second massive financial bailout when its Eurozone partners stitch together a euro 130-billion (US$170-billion) rescue meant to secure the euro currency and avoid a potentially disastrous default.


John Henry Newman, English cardinal (1801-1890); Hubert de Givenchy, French courtier and fashion designer (1927-2018); Robert Mugabe, president of Zimbabwe (1924-2019); Nina Simone (Eunice Kathleen Waymon), singer and civil rights activist (1933-2003)

— AP/Jamaica Observer

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