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On this day in history - September 21

What Happened On This Day – September 21

  • 2013 The Westgate Mall is attacked in Nairobi, Kenya

    In a daring siege, militants of the extremist group al-Shabaab took over the Mall. 63 shoppers were killed during the attack that lasted a few hours, and before the Kenyan security forces rescued the hostages, 4 terrorists were also killed. Al-Shabaab declared that it had undertaken the attack as retaliation for the presence of Kenyan armed forces in Somalia.

  • 1964 Malta gains its independence from the UK

    The southern European island country came under British control in 1814 as part of the Treaty of Paris. The country initially retained the Queen of England as its head of state but declared itself a republic on December 13, 1974.

  • 1961 Boeing CH-47 Chinook takes flight for the first time

    The American-made helicopter has been used by the US military in a variety of conflict-related operations including during the recent wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. It has also been often used for medical evacuation and search and rescue operations during natural disasters around the world.

  • 1942 Boeing B-29 Superfortress flies for the first time

    The bomber was used extensively by the US in World War II and the Korean War. The two planes – Enola Gay and Bockscar – that dropped atomic bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were from the silverplate series of Boeing B-29s.

  • 1937 JRR Tolkien's The Hobbit is published for the first time

    The Hobbit, or There and Back Again is a young adult fantasy novel that follows the adventures of the hobbit Bilbo Baggins as he traverses through Middle Earth to find treasure guarded by a dragon named Smaug.

Illustration of stork, signifying birth

Births On This Day,
September 21

  • 1957 Kevin Rudd

    Australian politician, 26th Prime Minister of Australia

  • 1947 Stephen King

    American author

  • 1902 Luis Cernuda

    Spanish poet

  • 1867 Henry L. Stimson

    American statesman, lawyer, politician

  • 1866 H. G. Wells

    English author

Illustration of tombstone, signifying death

Deaths On This Day,
September 21

  • 2011 Troy Davis

    American murderer

  • 1982 Ivan Bagramyan

    Soviet military leader

  • 1860 Arthur Schopenhauer

    German philosopher

  • 1832 Walter Scott

    Scottish novelist, poet

  • 1558 Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor