Today's History Trivia for August 21
2006 President Bush When asked what the Iraq had to do with the 9-11 attacks, Bush answered, "Nothing, except for it's part of -- and nobody has ever suggested in this administration that Saddam Hussein ordered the attack. Iraq was a -- the lesson of September the 11th is, take threats before they fully materialize, Ken. Nobody has ever suggested that the attacks of September the 11th were ordered by Iraq." Source: www.whitehouse.gov
1993 Mars Observer NASA loses contact with the $813 million spacecraft, which had been scheduled to arrive at Mars on the 24th. It is believed that a fuel line ruptured causing it to lose power. The most probable cause of the failure was a rupture of the fuel pressurization side of the spacecraft's propulsion system causing the spacecraft to spin and to erode the electrical circuits.
1986 Toxic gases kill 1,700 people in Cameroon. The gases were from a volcanic lake.
1968 First African-American Marine to Receive the Medal of Honor for the Vietnam War PFC James Anderson, Jr. posthumously receives the honor. He was killed when he jumped on an enemy grenade to save his comrades.
1959 Hawaii becomes the 50th state.
1919 Pearl Harbor Dry Dock formally opens.
1888 William Seward Burroughs patents his push-key adding machine.
1878 American Bar Association is founded.
1863 Civil War 450 Confederate raiders attack Lawrence, Kansas killing 150 civilians and destroying the town. The leader of the group had previously been denied a commission in the Confederate Army because of barbaric methods. Source: The Civil War Day by Day
Today's Birthdays for August 21
1936 Wilt Chamberlain d. 1999 American basketball Hall of Famer. Considered the greatest defensive player in history, and holder of numerous pro basketball records, including most points in a game (100 in 1962) - See Event. He also played with the Harlem Globetrotters (1958-59).
1920 Christopher Robin Milne d. 1996 British author. He and his stuffed animals were the inspiration of his father A.A. Milne's Winnie-the-Pooh books. On his first birthday, he received an Alpha Farnell teddy bear, which became the inspiration for the Winnie-the-Pooh character.
1974 Amy Fisher American criminal. "The Long Island Lolita." She shot boyfriend Joey Buttafuoco's wife Mary Jo (1992).
1950 Arthur Herman Bremer American criminal, shot Alabama Gov. George C. Wallace (1972).
1941 Jackie DeShannon American singer, songwriter. Music: Put A Little Love in Your Heart (1969, #4) and wrote Betty Davis Eyes (1975, #1 for Kim Carnes).
1939 Clarence Williams III American actor. TV: The Mod Squad (Lincoln Hayes).
1938 Kenny Rogers American Grammy-winning singer. Music: Lucille (1977, #1), The Gambler (1978), Lady (1980, #1), and Islands in the Stream (1983, #1).
1930 Princess Margaret d. 2002 Countess of Snowdon and sister of Queen Elizabeth II.
1906 Isadore "Friz" Freling d. 1995 Oscar-Emmy winning animator. His works include Bugs Bunny, Porky Pig, Pink Panther, Sylvester and Tweety Bird, Speedy Gonzales, Yosemite Sam, and Krazy Kat.
1904 Count Basie d. 1984 (William Basie), American jazz pianist, bandleader. Music: One O'Clock Jump, Swingin' the Blues, and Tickle Toe.
1895 Blossom Rock d. 1978 (Blossom MacDonald), American actress, Grandmama of The Addams Family.
1765 William IV d. 1837 King of England (1830-37).
1754 William Murdoch d. 1839 Scottish inventor. Invented the oscillating steam engine (c1784). He also made the first practical use of gas lighting (1802).
1643 Alfonso VI d. 1683 King of Portugal (1656-67). He was deposed by his brother and driven into exile.
1165 Philip II d. 1223 King of France (1180-1223) and responsible for building the Louvre in Paris.
Deaths for August 21
(Lev Davidovich Bronstein), Russian revolutionary leader. He and Lenin organized the October Revolution. He was assassinated in Mexico City by Ramón Mercader, a suspected agent of Soviet leader Joseph Stalin. Trotksy had been expelled from the Soviet Union in 1927. Quote: "The end may justify the means, as long as there is something that justifies the end."
1614 Countess Elizabeth Báthory of Hungary b. 1560 (The Blood Countess). According to legend, she killed over 600 virgins so that she could bathe in their blood. She is listed by Guinness World Records as the most prolific female murderer in history.
2005 Robert Arthur Moog b. 1934 American inventor. He created the Moog synthesizer (1964), the first widely-used electronic musical instrument.
1993 Tatiana Troyanos b. 1938 American mezzo-soprano singer, known for her roles as Octavian in Der Rosenkavalier and Cherubino in Le Nozze di Figaro.
1983 Benigno Aquino Jr b. 1932 Philippine politician, dissident. He was assassinated at the Manila airport upon returning to the Philippines.
1940 Ernest Thayer b. 1863 American journalist, author of the poem Casey at the Bat (1888).
1905 Mary Mapes Dodge b. 1831 American author. Writings: Hans Brinker, or the Silver Skates (1865).
1814 Sir Benjamin Thompson b. 1753 American-born British scientist. He proved that heat was not a form of liquid matter. He is also improved stoves and is credited with inventing thermal underwear.