Home   On This Day   On this day in history - June 21

On this day in history - June 21

What Happened On This Day – June 21

  • 2009 Greenland assumes self-rule

    The island had been administered by Denmark (earlier Denmark-Norway) for centuries. The Self-Government Act grants Greenland full responsibility for its inner affairs, while Denmark retains control of foreign policy.

  • 2004 SpaceShipOne completes the world's first manned private spaceflight

    The privately funded spaceplane reached an altitude of just over 100 kilometers (62 miles). Mike Melvill was the pilot and only occupant.

  • 1985 The body of Josef Mengele is identified

    An international team of scientists confirmed that the skeletal remains found in a cemetery in Embu, Brazil are those of the Nazi war criminal. Mengele was a physician in the Auschwitz concentration camp and conducted horrific experiments on some of the inmates.

  • 1963 Cardinal Giovanni Battista Montini becomes Pope Paul VI

    The Italian pontiff is known for completing the Second Vatican Council, addressing the Roman Catholic Church's relationship with the modern world.

  • 1895 The Kiel Canal is opened by German Emperor Wilhelm II

    The 98 km (61 mi) long canal in Northern Germany is one of the world's busiest artificial waterways. It connects the North Sea with the Baltic Sea.

Illustration of stork, signifying birth

Births On This Day,
June 21

  • 1986 Lana Del Rey

    American singer-songwriter, model

  • 1982 Prince William, Duke of Cambridge

  • 1964 David Morrissey

    English actor

  • 1953 Benazir Bhutto

    Pakistani politician, first female Prime Minister of Pakistan

  • 1905 Jean-Paul Sartre

    French philosopher, writer

Illustration of tombstone, signifying death

Deaths On This Day,
June 21

  • 1970 Sukarno

    Indonesian politician, 1st President of Indonesia

  • 1940 Smedley Butler

    American marine general

  • 1908 Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov

    Russian composer

  • 1527 Niccolò Machiavelli

    Italian historian, philosopher

  • 1377 Edward III of England