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On this day in history - August 21

What Happened On This Day – August 21

  • 1993 NASA loses communication with the Mars Observer almost a year after its launch

    The robotic space probe was tasked with exploring and studying the Red Planet.

  • 1991 Latvia gains full independence from the Soviet Union

    Founded in 1918, the Republic of Latvia was fully incorporated as a Soviet republic after the Second World War. Independence for the Baltic state was achieved after a peaceful revolution known as the Singing Revolution, which began in Estonia.

  • 1986 Limnic eruption in Lake Nyos in Cameroon kills about 1700 people

    A high amount of carbon dioxide was released by the underwater volcanic eruption.

  • 1911 The Mona Lisa is stolen

    The famed Leonardo da Vinci painting was stolen by a Louvre employee. It was recovered 2 years later in Italy.

  • 1879 Oldsmobile is founded by Ransom Eli Olds of Olds Motor Works

    The popular brand of car was first manufactured in Lansing, Michigan. The company was purchased by GM in 1908 and closed its doors in 2004.

Illustration of stork, signifying birth

Births On This Day,
August 21

  • 1986 Usain Bolt

    Jamaican sprinter

  • 1984 Eve Torres

    American wrestler, model, dancer

  • 1952 Joe Strummer

    English singer-songwriter, guitarist, actor

  • 1936 Wilt Chamberlain

    American basketball player

  • 1765 William IV of the United Kingdom

Illustration of tombstone, signifying death

Deaths On This Day,
August 21

  • 1993 Tatiana Troyanos

    American soprano

  • 1983 Benigno Aquino, Jr.

    Filipino politician

  • 1979 Giuseppe Meazza

    Italian footballer

  • 1940 Leon Trotsky

    Russian theorist, politician, founded the Red Army

  • 1762 Lady Mary Wortley Montagu

    English author