Today in History, 21 August: What Happened on this Day

The Gregorian calendar designates August 21 as the 233rd day of the year, with a slight alteration in leap years, making it the 234th day.

A canvas of meaning, this day has seen the unfolding of remarkable events and the birth of notable personalities around the world. Join us as we delve into a collection of momentous events and the birthdays of celebrities on this remarkable date.

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1911 – The theft of the Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci

On this day in 1911, a daring heist took place at the Louvre when a trio of Italian operatives stole Leonardo da Vinci’s famous masterpiece, the Mona Lisa. The theft sent the art world into a frenzy and the painting remained missing until 1913. This daring act of art theft propelled the Mona Lisa into the realm of global fame, solidifying its status as one of the world’s most famous paintings.

1931 – The passing of Vishnu Digambar Paluskar

In the annals of Hindustani classical music, this day marked the departure of the legendary Vishnu Digambar Paluskar. A luminary in his field, Paluskar’s profound contributions enriched Indian music. Revered for his role in elevating the stature of musicians and music within Indian society, he was also noted as an accomplished music guru and a vocalist of unparalleled mastery, whose voice resonated with unparalleled devotion. .

1959 – Hawaii joins the Union as the 50th US state.

An important page was added to American history on August 21, 1959, when Hawaii officially became the 50th state of the United States. This unique state, made up entirely of islands, boasts a geological tapestry made up of ancient volcanoes, some of which still hum with activity. Hawaii’s narrative extends well beyond its statehood and goes back to its volcanic origins.

1972 – Promulgation of the Law for the Protection of Wildlife

A turning point in the field of conservation occurred in 1972 with the approval of the Law for the Protection of Wildlife. Championed by former Prime Minister Smt. Indira Gandhi, this legislative milestone marked an outright ban on hunting and trade in wild animals. This law emerged as a formidable protection for endangered species and ecosystems, underscoring its lasting impact.

1986 – The birth of sprint legend Usain Bolt

On this day in 1986 Usain Bolt was born. Dominating the track with unmatched speed, Bolt’s legacy is defined by his triumphant exploits at back-to-back Olympic Games, taking gold in the 100-meter and 200-meter races. The world unanimously considers him the ultimate icon of speed racing.

1987 – The arrival of Sana Khan

August 21, 1987 marked the birth of Sana Khan, hailing from a Pashtun Muslim heritage in Mumbai, India. His birth brought with it the promise of a life that would later make waves in the world of entertainment.

1988 – Earthquake on the India-Nepal border claims a thousand lives

An earthquake catastrophe struck the India-Nepal border in 1988, tragically taking a thousand lives. This powerful earthquake left a stark reminder of the relentless forces of the Earth and the vulnerabilities of the communities in its path.

1991 – Triumph of Latvian Independence

Breaking free from the clutches of the Soviet Union, Latvia celebrated its full independence in 1991. After enduring the tumultuous aftermath of World War II, the nation embarked on a peaceful revolution known as the Singing Revolution, a path that ultimately led them to your precious freedom. .

1995 – Astrophysicist Subrahmanyam Chandrasekhar passes away

On this day in 1995, the world bid farewell to Subrahmanyam Chandrasekhar, an illustrious astrophysicist and winner of the 1983 Nobel Prize in Physics. Hailing from the Presidency College, Chennai, Chandrasekhar’s academic pursuits echoed the brilliance of his uncle, the Nobel laureate Sir CV Raman, when he ventured to the United States to contribute to the scientific frontier.

2006 – Ustad Bismillah Khan’s legacy lives on

Today in history, on August 21, 2006, Indians witnessed the departure of Ustad Bismillah Khan, a virtuoso shehnai who earned himself the esteemed ‘Bharat Ratna’. His melodies graced the world stage, highlighted by accolades such as the ‘Rostom Prize’ at the 1969 Asian Music Conference, furthering the shehnai’s international recognition.

2008 – Reconnecting Srinagar and Muzaffarabad

In 2008, on this day, the Karwan-e-Aman bus service, connecting Srinagar to Muzaffarabad, the capital of Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, resumed. This move toward fostering communication promised greater regional understanding.

2008 – India’s lunar ambitions take off with NASA

The year 2008 saw India embark on a lunar journey along with NASA. Through a mission that includes an orbiter and a lunar impactor, India showcased its space capabilities by launching the spacecraft from the Satish Dhawan Space Center in Andhra Pradesh.

2009 – Tragedy strikes the Indian Navy

In 2009, a grim incident occurred when an Indian Navy fighter jet ‘Sea Harrier’ crashed into the Arabian Sea after taking off from Goa. The loss of Commander Saurabh Saxena underscored the risks faced by those who serve their nation from the skies.


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