Today's History Trivia for February 21
1989 Iran-Contra Affair Trials begin.
1975 Watergate Former U.S. attorney general John Mitchell and former White House aids H.R. Haldeman and John D. Ehrlichman are each sentenced to 30 months in prison for their involvement in the Watergate cover-up.
1972 Journey for Peace Pres. Nixon begins an eight-day visit to China. This was the first time a U.S. President visited China.
1956 The Conqueror The film called the worst film of the 50's is released. It starred John Wayne (as Genghis Khan), Susan Hayward, Agnes Moorehead, and Pedro Armendáriz. Shot downwind of an above-ground nuclear test site, it has been blamed for the cancer deaths of its stars and many of the rest of the cast and crew.
1925 The New Yorker magazine is first published.
1885 Washington Monument Dedication ceremonies are held for the first national monument to honor George Washington.
1853 The minting of three-dollar gold pieces is authorized by congress.
Today's Birthdays for February 21
1961 Christopher Atkins actor. Film: The Blue Lagoon (1980).
1956 Kelsey Grammer American actor. TV: Cheers (Dr. Frasier Crane) and Frasier (title role).
1950 Robert "Bobo" Armstrong American cartoonist, creator of Mickey Rat, and author of The Official Coach Potato Handbook (1983).
1947 Tyne Daly American Emmy-winning actress, Lacey of Cagney & Lacey.
1934 Rue McClanahan American Emmy-winning actress, Blanche of The Golden Girls.
1927 Erma Louise Bombeck d. 1996 American columnist, author. Quote: "Insanity is hereditary. You can catch it from your kids."
1925 Sam Peckinpah d. 1984 American film director. Film: Ride the High Country (1962), The Wild Bunch (1969), Straw Dogs (1971), and The Osterman Weekend (1983).
1907 Wystan Hugh Auden d. 1973 English-born American poet. Quote: "We are all here on earth to help others; what on earth the others are here for I don't know."
1875 Jeanne Louise Calment d. 1997 French centenarian, world's longest confirmed human lifespan. She lived for 122 years and 164 days. Source: Guinness Book of World Records
1866 August von Wassermann d. 1925 German bacteriologist. He developed the Wassermann test for syphilis (1906).
1795 Santa Anna d. 1876 Mexican president (1833-35, 1841-45, 1846-47, 1853-55) and general. He led the Mexican army against the Alamo (1836).
Deaths for February 21
1993 Harvey Kurtzman b. 1924 American Hall of Fame cartoonist. Writings: Mad magazine (creator 1952) and Little Annie Fanny (featured in Playboy 1962-88).
1986 Shigechiyo Izumi b. 1865 Japanese centenarian. At the time of his death he was the world's oldest person, 120 years 237 days. Source: Guinness Book of World Records
1968 Sir Howard Walter Florey b. 1898 Australian-born British physician, won a Nobel prize (1945) for his work with Alexander Fleming in developing penicillin.
1965 Malcolm X b. 1925 (Malcolm Little), American civil rights leader. While in prison he converted to the Muslim Nation of Islam (1946) and preached that all whites were of the devil. He was assassinated by the members of the Nation of Islam after breaking from them in 1964.
1956 Heike Onnes b. 1853 Dutch Nobel-winning physicist, first to liquefy helium (1908), and coined the term "super-conductivity" after discovering the drop in electrical resistance exhibited by solids at extremely low temperatures.
1941 Sir Frederick Grant Banting b. 1891 Canadian Nobel-winning scientist. He and Charles Best discovered insulin (1921) for which he shared the Nobel Prize with Dr. J.J.R. MacLeod.
1941 Frank J. "Fiddler" Corridon b. 1880 American baseball pitcher. He is credited with inventing the spitball (1904).
1919 Mary Edwards Walker b. 1832 American physician, women's rights leader. She was the first female surgeon in the U.S. Army (1864), and the only woman to receive the Medal of Honor (1865); although it was revoked in 1916 and then reinstated in 1977. In 1897 she established a women's colony called "Adamless Eden."
1851 Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley b. 1797 English author. Writings: Frankenstein (1818). She was the wife of poet Percy Bysshe Shelly.
1513 Julius II b. 1443 Italian religious leader, 216th Pope (1503-13). He laid the first stone of St. Peter's and was a supporter of the artists Raphael and Michelangelo.