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On this day in history - October 21

What Happened On This Day – October 21

  • 2014 Oscar Pistorius Convicted for 5 Years

    The South African Paralympic Champion was on trial for the murder of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp. He was sentenced to a maximum of five years for culpable homicide. He was released on parole for good behavior in October 2015. However, in December 2015, South Africa's Supreme Court of Appeal upgraded the charges to murder and found him guilty of murder.

  • 1983 The 17th General Conference on Weights and Measures Ends

    The conference passed a resolution defining a meter as the distance traveled by light in vacuum during a time interval of about three hundred millionth of a second. Before this, the meter or metre was assigned several different definitions. In 1793, it was defined as one ten-millionth of the distance between the Earth's Equator and the North Pole. In 1960, it was once again redefined by the 11th General Conference of Weights and Measures as equal to “1650763,73 wavelengths in vacuum of the radiation corresponding to the transition between the levels 2p10 and 5d5 of the krypton 86 atom.”

  • 1969 Coup in Somalia

    Siad Barre staged a military coup against the government the day after the death of Abdirashid Ali Shermarke, the then president of Somalia.

  • 1959 The Guggenheim Opens its Doors

    The Guggenheim Museum displays works from some of the world’s most celebrated and sought-after contemporary artists. Situated in the Manhattan area of New York, the museum was first opened in 1939 as the Museum of Non-Objective Painting. It was then named the Guggenheim Museum in 1952, after the death of the founder of the foundation that runs it, Solomon R. Guggenheim. The current museum building was designed by American architect Frank Lloyd Wright and was opened to public on this day.

  • 1943 Provisional Government of Free India Declared by Subhas Chandra Bose

    Bose, an exiled Indian nationalist and a key figure in the Indian Independence Movement declared the creation of Azad Hind or Free India during a mass rally in Singapore. Netaji (leader), as he was fondly called by his followers, was unanimously declared as the Head of State, Prime Minister, and Minister for War of the new government. The government-in-exile did not have any territory to govern until Japan gave them the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, occupied by the Japanese in 1942, to run. A few days later after declaring the existence of Azad Hind, the provisional government joined the Second World War by declaring war on the Allies.

Illustration of stork, signifying birth

Births On This Day,
October 21

  • 1986 Natalee Holloway

    American missing person

  • 1980 Kim Kardashian

    American model, actress

  • 1956 Carrie Fisher

    American actress, screenwriter, author

  • 1949 Benjamin Netanyahu

    Israeli politician, 9th Prime Minister of Israel

  • 1772 Samuel Taylor Coleridge

    English poet, philosopher

Illustration of tombstone, signifying death

Deaths On This Day,
October 21

  • 2014 Gough Whitlam

    Australian politician, 21st Prime Minister of Australia

  • 2012 George McGovern

    American politician, historian, author

  • 2003 Elliott Smith

    American singer-songwriter, guitarist

  • 1969 Jack Kerouac

    American author, poet

  • 1805 Horatio Nelson, 1st Viscount Nelson

    English Admiral