This Day in History - June 21

Today is the 172nd day of 2021. There are 193 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight

2008: The Olympic torch winds through the streets of Tibet's capital Lhasa, the scene of bloody riots in March that helped fuel demonstrations at some of the flame's international stops. Tight security accompanies the flame on its three-hour journey.

Other Events

1788: The United States Constitution goes into effect as New Hampshire becomes the ninth state to ratify it.

1798: British, under Lord Lake, defeat Irish rebels at Vinegar Hill and enter Wexford, stronghold of Irish Rebellion.

1834: Cyrus Hall McCormick receives a patent for his reaping machine.

1887: Britain annexes Zululand, blocking Transvaal's attempts to gain access to Africa's coast.

1913: Georgia “Tiny” Broadwick becomes the first woman to parachute from an aeroplane as she jumps over Los Angeles.

1945: Japanese forces on Okinawa surrender to Americans in World War II.

1955: The David Lean movie Summertime, starring Katharine Hepburn and Rossano Brazzi, opens in New York.

1960: Britain, France, Netherlands and the United States provide for a Caribbean organisation for economic cooperation.

1963: Cardinal Giovanni Battista Montini is chosen during a conclave of his fellow cardinals to succeed the late Pope John XXIII; the new pope takes the name Paul VI.

1964: Civil rights workers Michael H Schwerner, Andrew Goodman and James E Chaney are slain in Philadelphia, Mississippi; their bodies are found buried in an earthen dam six weeks later. (Forty-one years later on this date in 2005, Edgar Ray Killen, an 80-year-old former Ku Klux Klansman, was found guilty of manslaughter; he was sentenced to 60 years in prison.)

1966: Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf ?, Mike Nichols' film version of the Edward Albee play starring Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, has its world premiere in Hollywood.

1970: Indochina war erupts on a dozen fronts in heaviest fighting since Vietnam conflict spread to Cambodia in April.

1971: International Court of Justice in the Hague rules that South Africa's administration of the territory of Southwest Africa is illegal.

1973: The US Supreme Court, in Miller v California, rules that states may ban materials found to be obscene according to local standards.

1976: Rioting breaks out in black townships around Pretoria in South Africa.

1982: A jury in Washington, DC, finds John Hinckley Jr not guilty by reason of insanity in the shootings of US President Ronald Reagan and three other men.

1985: Scientists announce that skeletal remains exhumed in Brazil are those of Nazi war criminal Josef Mengele.

1989: A sharply divided Supreme Court rules that burning the American flag as a form of political protest is protected by the First Amendment, guaranteeing freedom of speech.

1990: Massive earthquake strikes northern Iran, killing as many as 100,000.

1992: Ethiopians vote in their country's first multiparty elections, but balloting is marred by opposition boycotts.

1994: US President Bill Clinton's Administration offers North Korea high-level talks if it will confirm a willingness to halt its nuclear programme.

1996: In Managua, Nicaragua, dozens of election officials who had been kidnapped and held for two days by rearmed Contra rebels are released.

1997: The United States, France and Russia agree to toughen sanctions against Iraq until UN inspectors confirm Baghdad is cooperating in the elimination of its weapons of mass destruction.

2000: Chile's Senate approves a plan aimed at investigating what happened to 1,000 people who disappeared during the dictatorship of General Augusto Pinochet.

2001: A US federal grand jury indicts 13 Saudis and one Lebanese in the 1996 bombing that killed 19 American servicemen in Saudi Arabia.

2003: Iran says it will increase its cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency, but suggests that the country will keep up controversial plans to enrich uranium. The United States accuses Iran of trying to build a nuclear bomb. Iran denies the charge.

2005: An 80-year-old former Ku Klux Klansman is convicted of manslaughter in the slayings of three civil rights workers that shocked the US exactly 41 years before and helped spur the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

2006: The parties behind Ukraine's Orange Revolution agree to form a coalition government, ending talks to preserve a pro-Western Administration that has sought to shed Russia's influence. US President George W Bush, addressing the annual US-European Union summit in Vienna, accuses Iran of dragging its feet on a Western incentive package aimed at getting Tehran to suspend uranium enrichment activity.

2007: International efforts to shut down North Korea's nuclear programme take a surprise turn when the US sends a top American official to Pyongyang for direct talks, the first high-level visit by a US official there in more than 4 1/2 years.

2010: A Pakistani-born US citizen pleads guilty to trying to bomb New York's Times Square and says he is “part of the answer to the US terrorising the Muslim nations and the Muslim people”.

2011: The Food and Drug Administration announces that cigarette packs in the US will have to carry macabre images that includes rotting teeth and gums, diseased lungs and a sewn-up corpse of a smoker as part of a graphic campaign aimed at discouraging Americans from lighting up. Amid street protests, Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou survives a confidence vote.


Monte Markham, actor (1935- ); Don Black, songwriter (1938- ); Mariette Hartley, actress (1940- ); Joe Flaherty, comedian (1941- ); Meredith Baxter, actress (1947- ); Michael Gross, actor (1947- ); Robyn Douglass, actress (1953- ); Sammi Davis , actress (1964- ); Doug Savant, actor (1964- ); Porter Howell, country musician (1964- ); Prince William, UK royalty (1982- ); Michael Malarkey, Briitsh-American actor (1983- ); Maggie Siff, actress (1974- ); Jussie Smollett, actor (1982- ); Jean-Paul Sartre, French existentialist (1905-1980); Benazir Bhutto, former prime minister of Pakistan (1953-2007); Jane Russell, US actress (1921-2011); Francoise Quoirez (Francoise Sagan), French author (1933-2004)

— AP

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