What Happened On This Day In History: 21st March

March 21st is the 80th day in a calendar year, and the 81st day in a leap year. Throughout the years in history, this day has witnessed a lot of events, some of which are:

In the 1700s:

  • It was on this day in 1788 when almost the entire city of New Orleans was destroyed by a major fire, which also destroyed 856 buildings in its wake. 
  • In 1790, Thomas Jefferson became the new secretary of state of the then President of the United States George Washington. 

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In the 1800s:

  • In the year 1804, the Code Napoleon, also known as the French civil code, was adopted. 
  • In 1824, 4000 horses were killed by a fire at a Cairo ammunition dump. 
  • Later on, in 1826, the Rensselaer School was incorporated in the city of Troy, in New York. It went to become the first engineering college in the United States of America. 
  • In the year 1851, it was on this day that the Christian priests were ordered to be put to death by Emperor Tu Duc. It was in the same year that the Yosemite Valley was discovered in California. 
  • In 1857, Tokyo was hit by a massive earthquake which killed around 107,000 people. 
  • In 1858, the Indian Mutiny was ended when the British forces in India lifted the siege of Lucknow. 
  • In 1859, the first Zoological Society was incorporated in Philadelphia. 
  • In 1871, Journalist Henry M. Stanley began his expedition to Africa. 

In the 1900s:

  • It was on this day in 1904, when the British Parliament vetoed a proposal which would send all Chinese workers to Transvaal. 
  • In 1905, the legislation for sterilization was passed in the state of Pennsylvania. 
  • On this day in 1907, the United States Marines arrived in Honduras to protect American interests while the country was at war with Nicaragua. It was in the same year when the first Parliament of Transvaal met in Pretoria. 
  • In the year 1910, the Senate of the United States of America granted ex-president Teddy Roosevelt a yearly pension of $10,000. 
  • In 1925, the Butler Act was enacted by the state of Tennessee, making it a crime for a teacher in any state-supported public school to teach anything that could be contradictory to the teachings in the Bible.  
  • In 1928, the then U.S. President Calvin Coolidge honoured Charles Lindbergh with the Congressional Medal of Honor for his first trans-Atlantic flight. 
  • In 1934, a fire broke down in Hakodate in Japan, killing around 1,500 people. 
  • In 1935, the incubator ambulance service began in the city of Chicago, in Illinois. 
  • In 1963, the federal penitentiary of Alcatraz Island in San Francisco Bay, California, was officially closed. In the same year, the United States of America launched Ranger 9, which was the last mission in a series of unmanned lunar explorations. 
  • In the year 1972, the Supreme Court of the United States of America ruled that states could not require one year of residency in order to be eligible for voting. 
  • In 1974, Princess Anne was tried to be kidnapped in London.
  • In 1982, the United Kingdom, the United States and other western countries condemned the Soviet intervention in Afghanistan. 
  • In 1990, Alan Bold, an Australian businessman, sold Vincent Van Gogh’s “Irises” to the Gerry Museum. It was in the same year when Namibia became independent of South Africa. 
  • In 1994, Steven Spielberg won his first Oscars, both for his movie Schindler’s List. 

2000s onwards:

  • In 2001, Nintendo released its Game Boy Advance on this day. 
  • In 2002, French inventor Joseph Nicephore Niepce’s 1825 print of a man leading a horse was sold for $443,220 in Paris, becoming the earliest recorded image taken by photographic means. 
  • In 2016, the Kepler Space Telescope captured the visible light of a “shock breakout” when the star KSN 2011a exploded. 

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