2137 - BC 1st recorded total
eclipse of the sun China
310 St Eusebius ends his reign as Catholic Pope
686 Conon begins his reign as Catholic Pope
1512 Martin Luther joins the theological faculty of the University of Wittenberg.
1520 Magellan entered the strait which bears his name - Strait of Magellan.
1553 Volumes of the Talmud are burned
1774 First display of the word "Liberty" on a flag, raised by colonists in Taunton, Massachusetts and which was in defiance of British rule in Colonial America.
1797 In Boston Harbor, the 44-gun United States Navy frigate USS Constitution is launched.
1805 Battle of Trafalgar : A British fleet led by Admiral Lord Nelson defeats a combined French and Spanish fleet off the coast of Spain under Admiral Villeneuve. It signalled the virtual end of French maritime power and left Britain navally unchallenged until the twentieth century
1805 Napoleonic Wars: Austrian General Mack surrenders his army to the Grand Army of Napoleon at Ulm, reaping Napoleon over 30,000 prisoners and inflicting 10,000 casualties on the losers. Ulm was considered to be one of Napoleon's finest hours.
1816 The Penang Free School is founded in George Town, Penang, Malaysia, by the Rev Hutchings. It is the oldest English-language school in Southeast Asia.
1824 Joseph Aspdin patents Portland cement.
1854 Florence Nightingale and a staff of 38 nurses were sent to the Crimean War.
1858 The first performance of the dance, the 'Can Can' in Offenbach's 'Orpheus in the Underworld' in Paris
1861 Battle of Ball's Bluff :Union forces under Colonel Edward Baker are defeated by Confederate troops in the second major battle of the war. Baker, a close friend of Abraham Lincoln, is killed in the fighting.
1867 Manifest Destiny: Medicine Lodge Treaty - Near Medicine Lodge, Kansas a landmark treaty is signed by southern Great Plains Indian leaders. The treaty requires Native American Plains tribes to relocate a reservation in western Oklahoma.
1868 Severe earthquake at 7:53 AM, centered in Hayward, Calif
1869 In US, 1st shipment of fresh oysters arrivres overland from Baltimore to California
1878 Irish politician Charles Parnell becomes the first President of the newly-formed Irish National Land League
1879 Thomas Edison perfects the carbonized cotton filament light bulb
1892 Opening ceremonies for the World's Columbian Exposition were held in Chicago, though because construction was behind schedule, the exposition did not open until May 1, 1893.
1895 The Republic of Formosa collapses as Japanese forces invade.
1902 In the United States, a five month strike by United Mine Workers ends.
1915 1st transatlantic radiotelephone message, Arlington, Va to Paris
1917 1st Americans to see action on the front lines of WW I
1918 Margaret Owen sets world typing speed record of 170 wpm for 1 min
1921 President Warren G. Harding delivers the first speech by a sitting President against lynching in the deep south.
1923 Deutsches Museum, Munchen, 1st Walther Bauersfeld Zeiss Planetarium
1934 In China, Communist leader Mao Tse Tung and 100,000 supporters begin their 12 month 'Long March' - a 6,000 mile trek from southern China where they are being persecuted, to the north of the country
1941 7000 Serbs were shot in Kragujevac, Serbia by Nazi Germans.
1944 The first kamikaze attack: HMAS Australia was hit by a Japanese plane carrying a 200 kg (441 pound) bomb off Leyte Island, as the Battle of Leyte Gulf began.
1944 During WWII, US troops capture Aachen, 1st large German city to fall
1945 Women in France allowed to vote for 1st time
1945 Argentine military officer and politician Juan Perón married actress Evita.
1948 Facsimile high-speed radio transmission demonstrated (Washington DC)
1950 Chinese forces occupy Tibet
1959 Guggenheim Museum, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, opens (NYC)
1959 US President Dwight D. Eisenhower signs an executive order transferring Wernher von Braun and other German scientists from the United States Army to NASA.
1960 JFK and Nixon clashed in 4th and final presidential debate (NYC)
1960 Britain launches its first nuclear submarine - HMS Dreadnaught at Barrow
1964 The world film premiere of 'My Fair Lady'
1966 Aberfan disaster : In Wales, more than 140 people - at least 114 of them children - are killed in the small mining village of Aberfan when tonnes of slush, from a nearby coal slag tip weakened by rain, slides downhill and engulfs the village school, a farm and a row of terraced houses
1967 Thousands opposing Vietnam War try to storm the Pentagon
1969 Bloodless coup in Somalia brings Siad Barre to power
1970 777 Unification church couples wed in Korea
1970 Caledonian Airways takes over British United Airways
1973 John Paul Getty III's ear is cut off by his kidnappers and sent to a newspaper in Rome; it doesn't arrive until November 8.
1975 Mexico City's 1st major subway accident takes 26 lives
1975 The British unemployment figure reaches 1,000,000 for the first time since World War II
1975 Venera 9, first craft to orbit the planet Venus launched
1976 American Saul Bellow wins Nobel Prize for Literature
1977 The European Patent Institute is founded.
1978 Australian civilian pilot Frederick Valentich vanishes in a Cessna 182 over the Bass Strait south of Melbourne, after reporting contact with an unidentified aircraft.
1983 The metre is defined at the seventeenth General Conference on Weights and Measures in terms of the speed of light as the distance light travels in a vacuum in 1/299,792,458 of a second.
1984 Austrian Formula One Grand Prix driver Niki Lauda becomes world champion for the third time
1985 In one of Britain's worst motorway crashes, 13 people are killed on the M6 motorway in Lancashire
1986 In Lebanon, pro-Iranian kidnappers claim to have abducted American writer Edward Tracy (he was released in August 1991).
1988 Ferdinand and Imelda Marcos indicted on rack eteering charges
1989 Buck Helm found alive after being buried 4 days, in SF earthquake
1989 1st black owners (Betram Lee & Peter Bynoe) to own a major sports team, purchasing Denver Nuggets for $65m
1990 The first Apple Day, is held in Covent Garden, London.
1991 24 die in a fire at Oakland, California
1994 North Korea nuclear weapons program : North Korea and the United States sign an agreement that requires North Korea to stop its nuclear weapons program and agree to inspections.
1994 In Seoul, 32 people are killed when the Seongsu Bridge collapses.
1995 Dayton Agreement : The General Framework Agreement for Peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
1996 In Britain, Frances Lawrence - widow of headmaster Phillip Lawrence who was stabbed to death by a group of teenagers outside his schoolgates - launches a 'better citizenship campaign' to promote good behaviour in schools
1997 'Candle in the Wind '97 ' - the re-working of the hit single Elton John sang live at the funeral of Diana, Princess of Wales, is declared the biggest selling single in music history
2001 "United We Stand" benefit concert for September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks victims, held at RFK Stadium in Washington, DC. Event organized and headlined by Michael Jackson, also featuring pop stars Aerosmith, Mariah Carey, The Backstreet Boys, and others.
2003 Images of the dwarf planet Eris are taken and subsequently used in its discovery by the team of Michael E. Brown, Chad Trujillo, and David L. Rabinowitz.
October 21st 2005
US seeks action against Damascus
Hussein co-defendant's lawyer killed
Hurricane Wilma hits Mexico coast
October 21st 2006
Bush consults top Iraq generals
Georgian anger at Putin war claim
UN retains Liberian diamonds ban
October 21st 2007
Dozens die in Turkey border clash
US raid kills Iraqi 'criminals'
October 21st 2008
Iraq tribal clashes leave 15 dead
Strike-hit Greece at standstill
Human heads sent to Mexico police
October 21st 2009
India train crash leaves 22 dead
Iran nuclear fuel deal 'agreed'
Terror suspect arrested in Boston
1772 Samuel Taylor Coleridge
England, poet (Rime of the Ancient Mariner)
1790 Alphonse-Marie Louis de Lamartine Macon France, writer (Ren‚)
1833 Alfred Bernhard Nobel Stockholm, created dynamite & Peace Prizes
19-- Julie Parrish Middlesboro Ky, actress (Good Morning World, Capitol)
19-- Steve Malone rock bassist (Every Mother's Nightmare-Hard to Hold)
19-- William Bell Sullivan Balt Md, actor (Gary Swanson-Guiding Light)
1908 Alexander Schneider Vilna (Lithuania) Russia, violinist (Budapest String Quartet)
1912 Sir Georg Solti Budapest Hungary, conductor (Fidelio)
1914 Martin Gardner Scientific American math & puzzles columnist
1917 Dizzy Gillespie trumpeter, a creator of modern jazz
1921 Malcolm Arnold Northampton Engld, composer (Bridge over River Kwai)
1925 Joyce Randolph Detroit Mich, actress (Trixie-Honeymooners)
1926 Leonard Rossiter Liverpool England, actor (Britannia Hospital)
1928 Edward "Whitey" Ford hall of fame pitcher (NY Yankees)
1929 Ursula LeGuin American writer (Lathe of Heaven)
1933 Georgia Brown actress (Study in Terror, The Fixer)
1940 Frances FitzGerald NYC, journalist/author (Fire in the Lake)
1940 Manfred Mann rocker (The Mighty Quinn)
1940 Osamu Watanabe Japan, featherweight (Olympic-gold-1964)
1942 Elvin Bishop Okla, rocker (Fooled Around & Fell in Love)
1943 Paula Kelly Jacksonville Fla, dancer/actress (Liz-Night Court)
1945 Kathy Young rocker (Thousand Stars in the Sky)
1950 Ronald E McNair Lake City SC, astr (STS 41B, 51L-Challenger disaster)
1953 Charlotte Caffey singer (GoGos-Our Lips are Sealed)
1956 Carrie Fisher Beverly Hills, actress (Star Wars-Princess Lelia)
1957 Julian Cope rocker (My Nation Underground)
1959 George Bell Dom Rep, outfielder (Blue Jays, 1987 AL MVP)
1971 Jade Jagger daughter of Mick Jagger
1976 Jeremy Miller West Covina Calif, actor (Ben-Growing Pains)
Deaths which occurred on October 21st:
1805 Adm Horatio Nelson dies in the Battle of Trafalgar
1831 Nat Turner 19 associates, hung
1966 Gertrude Hoffman actress (Mrs Odetts-My Little Margie), dies at 95
1967 Ejnar Hertzsprung Danish astrophysicist, dies at 94
1984 Francois Truffaut director, dies at 52 of brain cancer
1987 Ying-Chin Ho Taiwan govt official, dies at 88
Golden Link 1 On this day 21st October
Golden Link 2 On this day 21st October
Golden Link 3 On this day 21st October