August 21 in History Events, Birthdays, & News

To know what happened today in history, famous events occurred, famous birthdays, death days, legend quotes, and historical news on August 21.

August 21

Events on August 21

1951 Death of Constant Lambert, English composer and conductor with Sadler’s Wells Ballet, London.

1959 Hawaii became the 50th state of the USA.

1959 Death of Sir Jacob Epstein, American born sculptor who became a British citizen and whose works include St Michael and the Devil.

1961 Britain releases nationalist Jomo Kenyatta, former president of the Kenya African Union who was imprisoned for his part in the Mau Mau rebellion: without him Kenyan politics cannot go forward.

1976 25-year-old Mary Langdon joins the East Sussex fire brigade to become Britain’s first female “fireman”.

1988 British licensing laws were amended to allow pubs to stay open 12 hours a day, except on Sundays.

1989 The American fashion journalist Diana Vreeland dies.

Famous Birthdays on August 21

William Murdoch 1754, Scottish engineer who pioneered the use of coal-gas for lighting in 1792 while working with James Watt and Matthew Boulton on their steam engines.

William IV 1765, English monarch known as “the sailor king” because he joined the Royal Navy at 13 and was a close friend of British admiral Nelson William was renowned for his affairs and had 10 illegitimate children by actress Dorothea Jordan.

Aubrey Beardsley 1874, English illustrator who played a leading part in the Aesthetic movement. Despite ill health and an early death, his output was prodigious and includes illustrations for Pope’s Rape of the Lock.

Princess Margaret 1930, English royal, sister of Queen Elizabeth II.

Usain Bolt 1986, Jamaican sprinter who won triple gold medals at the Beijing Olympics in 2008 and Berlin World Championships in 2009, breaking four world records in the process.

Quotes from Legend

Now we are in a period which I can be characterize as a period of cold peace.

- Trygve Lie, first United Nations secretary general, 1940.

Historical News on August 21

Think Cadillac

Antoine de la Motte Cadillac on August 21
Antoine de la Motte Cadillac

1902 Manufacturer Martin Leland has honoured Detroit’s founding father, Antoine de la Motte Cadillac, by naming his new automobile after the French colonial administrator.

The new Cadillac car is lightweight and has a single cylinder engine designed by A.P. Brush.

Beautifully designed and finished, the Cadillac aims to carve a niche for itself as the Rolls-Royce of the American motor industry.

Ironically, in order to start their venture in the luxury car market, Leland and his partner Faulconer bought the ailing Detroit Automobile Co. from that advocate of “Everyman ” motoring, Henry Ford.

Anti-Gorby Coup Flops

1991 President Mikhail Gorbachev arrived back in Moscow today after the collapse of the attempt by hardliners to depose him.

All but one of the eight ringleaders of the plot have been rounded up.

Gorbachev seems deeply saddened by the fact that several of his closest and most trusted colleagues, including the Kremlin chief of staff and the head of the KGB, were involved in the plot.

Gorbachev’s steadfast refusal to be coerced into resigning was echoed by mass demonstrations against the coup by the peoples of Moscow and Leningrad.

There was also a disinclination on the part of many in authority notably in the armed forces – to behave unconstitutionally.

Russian Federation president Boris Yeltsin has identified the Communist Party as a stumbling block to further reform.

Volcanic Gas Wreaks Havoc

1986 A cloud of toxic gas released from the volcanic Lake Nyos, near Wum in north-west Cameroon, has killed more than 1200 people.

The 300 or so survivors are receiving treatment for gas poisoning in hospital.

The eruption which released the killer gas – probably carbon dioxide – occurred during the night and is thought to have startled the villagers out of their homes and into a night air heavy with toxic fumes.

The governor of the stricken province, Mr Walson Ntuba, said that “the few survivors were those who had the good sense to remain indoors”.

Benigno's Corazon Takes Heart

Benigno's Corazon takes heart on August 21
Benigno's Corazon takes heart

1984 A massive demonstration was held in Manila today to mark the first anniversary of the murder of Benigno Aquino, the leader of the anti-Marcos faction in the Philippines. Aquino was gunned down as he stepped on to the tarmac at Manila airport after returning from a three-year sojourn in the United States.

The chant of “enough is enough” directed at the regime of Ferdinand Marcos is getting louder.

The people of the Philippines are looking to Aquino’s widow, Corazon (“Cory*), for a new champion who will challenge Marcos for the presidency he has held by force since 1972.

1858 British Army officer Sam Browne of the 2nd Punjab Cavalry came up with a novel new belt for sword or pistol.

Browne, 34, lost an arm in action this year, so his design consists of a broad waist belt supported at the left side by a narrow strap crossing the right shoulder.

It is unlikely that the belt will become a general issue in the foreseeable future.

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