Today In History, 21 February: What Happened On This Day

What happened today in history (February 21): Alan Rickman, Robert Mugabe and Suryakant Tripathi were born, Malcolm X and Jethro Tull died, NASCAR was founded, International Mother Language Day was celebrated, the Communist Manifesto was published and further.

This day in history (February 21): International Mother Language Day

This day in history (February 21): International Mother Language Day

Today in History, February 21: As we head into 2023, the month of love, February, draws to a close. Valentine’s Day may have passed, but the glow still remains; But not for long.

Today is February 21st, also known as “Breakup Day.” This day is intended for those looking to close a past relationship or end the current one. Whatever the case, it’s probably the least fun part of Valentine’s events. However, that shouldn’t stop you from learning. It is important to keep moving forward in life. Let’s take a look at the historical significance of February 21. Many critical events occurred today.

Dive in to find out what happened that day (February 21) in sports, politics and art, along with famous birthdays and deaths in world history.

Historical events on this day

  • In 1613, Michael I was elected tsar of Russia, beginning the Romanov dynasty.
  • In 1804, British mining engineer and inventor Richard Trevithick debuted the first self-propelled steam locomotive.
  • In 1916, one of the deadliest and longest battles of World War I, the Battle of Verdun, began with a German offensive.
  • In 1921, an Iranian military officer and politician, Reza Shah, led a successful coup and became the first shah of the House of Pahlavi of the Imperial State of Iran.
  • In 1965, Malcolm X, an American activist, black nationalist, and Islamic leader, was assassinated by members of the Nation of Islam.
  • In 1972, US President Richard Nixon visited the People’s Republic of China, ending the 21-year rift between the countries.
  • In 1995, American businessman and aviator Steve Fossett became the first person to make a solo flight across the Pacific Ocean in a balloon.
  • In 1999, the Lahore Declaration on the use of nuclear weapons was signed between Atal Bihari Vajpayee of India and Nawaz Sharif of Pakistan.

Sports events today

  • In 1948, Bill France Sr. founded the American auto racing operator and sanctioning company NASCAR.
  • In 1980, Liechtenstein became the smallest country to produce an Olympic champion when Hanni Wenzel won the women’s giant slalom at the Lake Placid Winter Olympics.

Art and culture events today

  • In 1848, Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels published “The Communist Manifesto” in London.
  • In 1925, the popular American weekly magazine The New Yorker published its first issue.
  • In 2003, American political commentator Bill Maher’s talk show “Real Time with Bill Maher” debuted on HBO.

Notable deaths on this day

No sir

Year of death




Baruch Spinoza, Dutch philosopher who believed that “the sum of the natural and physical laws of the universe and certainly not an individual entity or creator”



Jethro Tull, English farmer and writer who invented the seeder



Kittur Chennamma, Indian queen of Kittur and folk hero in Karnataka who fought against the British East India Company.



Frederick Banting, Canadian physician and scientist who won the Nobel Prize with John Macleod for discovering insulin.



Malcolm X, American human rights activist and black nationalist who served as spokesman for the Nation of Islam.



Gertrude B. Elion, American biochemist and drug researcher who developed treatments for leukemia and herpes.

Famous birthdays on this day

No sir

Year of birth



1894 Shanti Swaroop Bhatnagar, Indian colloidal chemist who was the first director general of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research and is considered the “father of research laboratories” in India.



Suryakant Tripathi Nirala, Indian poet, essayist and short story writer considered one of the greatest writers of Hindi literature.



Robert Mugabe, Zimbabwean revolutionary and politician who ruled the country as a dictator for almost four decades.



Nina Simone, American singer and civil rights activist who created music in various genres such as classical, folk, gospel, blues, jazz, R&B, and pop.



Alan Rickman, English actor known for his versatility and intense performances as the iconic characters Hans Gruber in Die Hard and Severus Snape in the Harry Potter series.



Abhijit Banerjee, Indian economist and Nobel laureate



David Foster Wallace, American author known for his bestseller and one of the best novels of the century, Infinite Jest.



Chuck Palahniuk, American novelist best known for writing the books Fight Club and Choke.



Jordan Peele, American actor, writer and filmmaker known for his comedic roles and for directing the hit horror films Get Out and Up.



Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck, Druk Gyalpo of the Kingdom of Bhutan, fifth king



Elliot Page, Canadian actor who rose to fame for his performances in Juno, Inception and Hard Candy.


nineteen ninety six

Sophie Turner, English actress best known for playing Sansa Stark in the HBO fantasy series Game of Thrones.

Related | Today in History (February 20)

Related | Today in History (February 19)

Categories: Optical Illusion

Leave a Comment