On this day in history 21st March

Born on this Day 21st March
1685 Johann Sebastian Bach
1811 Nathaniel Woodard
1835 Thomas Hayward
1869 Florenz Ziegfeld
1925 Peter Brook
1933 Lord Michael Heseltine
1935 Brian Clough
1936 Mike Westbrook
1936 Roger Whittaker
1943 Vivian Stanshall
1946 Timothy Dalton
1946 Ray Dorset
1950 Roger Hodgson
1956 Guy Chadwick
1958 Gary Oldman
1959 Sarah Jane Morris
1960 Ayrton Senna
1962 Matthew Broderick
1967 Adrian Chiles
1967 Maxim Reality
1968 Greg Ellis
1973 Vanessa Branch
1973 Stuart Nethercott
1978 Nick Baines
1988 Lee Cattermole
1989 Rochelle Wiseman
2004 Count Claus-Casimir of Orange-Nassau, Jonkheer van Amsberg

Died on this Day
1971 Don Drummond
1982 Harry H. Corbett
1999 Ernie Wise


1965 The Rolling Stones topped the chart for the first time with one of their own compositions, ‘The Last Time’.

1987 U2’s album ‘Joshua Tree’ reached the top of the charts.

1995 Melody Maker joined forces with the Samaritans to console some of their readers over the loss of two of their idols. Kurt Cobain of Nirvana shot himself in 1994 and Ricky James of Manic Street Preachers had gone missing.


1961 Henry Cooper beat Joe Erskine to win his first Lonsdale title.

People & Showbiz

1413 Henry V becomes King of England.

1871 Journalist Henry Morton Stanley begins his trek to find the missionary and explorer David Livingstone.

1988 ‘The Empire of the Sun’ received its Royal Film Performance in London.

1989 Australian premier Bob Hawke wept on television after admitting marital infidelity.

1995 English actor Stephen Fry returned to London and checked into a clinic for treatment. Mr Fry was said to be suffering from ’emotional turmoil’ after receiving wounding reviews about a West End play in which he appeared.

1965 Martin Luther King Jr. leads 3,200 people on the start of the third and finally successful civil rights march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama.

1980 On the season finale of the soap opera Dallas, the infamous character J.R. Ewing is shot by an unseen assailant, leading to the catchphrase “Who shot J.R.?”

1995 Actress Helen Mirren announced she was set to return to television in three 2 hour episodes of the award-winning ‘Prime Suspect’.

General Events

1950 A study in the UK found that only 46% of British households had a bathroom.

1960 A peaceful demonstration in Sharpeville, South Africa, turned into a massacre when 75 policemen from a local police station lost their composure and opened fire on a crowd of 15,000 people marching towards them, killing 56 and injuring 162.

1963 London’s first automatically controlled tube trains began running.

1963 Alcatraz, the maximum security Federal prison on the island in San Francisco Bay was closed after 29 years as a penitentiary, having been the home of Al Capone and Caryl Chessman, the famous Birdman of Alcatraz.

1968 Figures in the UK showed that road deaths had fallen by 23 %, only 3 months after the introduction of breath tests.

1983 A jumbo jet was damaged when it was struck by lightning over Shannon Airport in the Republic of Ireland.

1983 An armed robber set off a smoke bomb in King’s Cross station during the morning rush hour and as confused staff evacuated, leaving cash and cheques unattended, escaped with over £65,000.

1988 British Petroleum was fined a total of £750,000 following the deaths of three men in separate explosions at a refinery at Grangemouth, near Falkirk.

1999 Bertrand Piccard and Brian Jones become the first to circumnavigate the Earth in a hot air balloon.

1990 In Trafalgar Square a demonstration against the poll tax turned into a riot, with 417 people injured and 341 arrested.

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