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On this day in history - February 21

What Happened On This Day – February 21

  • 1972 U.S. President Richard Nixon embarks on his historic visit to China

    The first visit of a U.S. President in China was an important step in normalizing relations between the two countries.

  • 1958 The peace symbol is designed by Gerald Holtom

    The symbol was commissioned by the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) and combines the semaphore symbols for the letters N and D - an abbreviation of “Nuclear Disarmament”.

  • 1878 The world's first telephone book is issued in New Haven, Connecticut

    The directory consisted of a single piece of cardboard and comprised 50 numbers.

  • 1848 Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels publish “The Communist Manifesto”

    “Das Kommunistische Manifest” outlined the sociopolitical worldview today called “Marxism” and was translated from German into over 100 languages.

  • 1804 The world's first railway journey takes place in Wales

    The first full-scale steam locomotive, built by Richard Trevithick, traveled from the Pen-y-darren ironworks near Merthyr Tydfil to Abercynon.

Illustration of stork, signifying birth

Births On This Day,
February 21

  • 1946 Alan Rickman

    English actor

  • 1933 Nina Simone

    American singer-songwriter, pianist

  • 1924 Robert Mugabe

    Zimbabwean politician, 2nd President of Zimbabwe

  • 1907 W. H. Auden

    English/American poet

  • 1791 Carl Czerny

    Austrian pianist, composer

Illustration of tombstone, signifying death

Deaths On This Day,
February 21

  • 1965 Malcolm X

    American minister, activist

  • 1949 Tan Malaka

    Indonesian educator, activist

  • 1941 Frederick Banting

    Canadian physician, Nobel Prize laureate

  • 1934 Augusto César Sandino

    Nicaraguan rebel leader

  • 1677 Baruch Spinoza

    Dutch philosopher