Wikipedia defines history as the discovery, collection, organization, and presentation of information about past events. It came from the Greek word ‘historia’ – which means ‘inquiry, knowledge acquired by investigation’.

Did you know? There are many who claim Herodotus, a fifth century BC Greek historian, as the “father of history”.

This website utilizes pages from Wikipedia to extract historical events from 3761 BC up to the present. There are 105,062 records in the database that include events, births and deaths of popular individuals. The present day Gregorian calendar was adopted to show dates of interest.

Let us begin with today’s history. You may also enter a specific day using the form on the right sidebar.

What are the important events that happened on January 21? Here are historical events, facts, and some myths about this day.

January 21: Facts & Myths About This Day

January 21 is the 21st day of the year 2017 in the Gregorian calendar. There are 344 days remaining until the end of this year. The day of the week is Saturday.

Under the Julian calendar, this day is January 8, 2017 – a Saturday. Both day of the week are the same but did you notice the difference with the Gregorian calendar?

When this day started, 24,749,280 minutes has elapsed since midnight of January 1, 1970 – the Unix epoch.

Strange as it may, if we name this day after a polygon then it will be called ‘icosihenagon’ day.

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Aquarius is the zodiac sign of a person born on this day. Garnet is the modern birthstone for this month. Emerald is the mystical birthstone from Tibetan origin that dates back over a thousand years.

According to the lunisolar Chinese calendar, there are 7 days remaining before the start of the next Chinese New Year.

The ancient Maya civilization believes that the end of the world will happen on December 21, 2012. There are now 1,492 days since this fabled cataclysmic event.

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January 21 Historical Events

  • 1643
    Abel Tasman becomes the first European to reach Tonga.
  • 1908
    New York City passes the Sullivan Ordinance, making it illegal for women to smoke in public, only to have the measure vetoed by the mayor.
  • 1966
    New Year’s Day in Chinese calendar. Start of the year of the Fire Horse in Chinese astrology.
  • 1985
    The inauguration of President Ronald Reagan to a second term, already postponed a day because January 20 fell on a Sunday, becomes the second inauguration in history moved indoors because of freezing temperatures and high winds. The parade is cancelled altogether.
  • 1997
    Newt Gingrich becomes the first leader of the United States House of Representatives to be internally disciplined for ethical misconduct.

Who were born on January 21?

  • 1881
    Arch McCarthy, American baseball player (d. unknown)
  • 1918
    Richard D. Winters, American war hero (d. 2011)
  • 1924
    Benny Hill, English actor, comedian, and singer (d. 1992)
  • 1952
    Cyril and Libbye Hellier, identical-twin sopranos
  • 1983
    Moritz Volz, German footballer

Who died on January 21?

  • 1926
    Camillo Golgi, Italian physician, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine (b. 1843)
  • 1961
    Blaise Cendrars, Swiss writer (b. 1887)
  • 1967
    Ann Sheridan, American actress (b. 1915)
  • 1968
    Will Lang Jr., American magazine executive (b. 1914)
  • 2006
    Bedanand Jha, Nepalese politician

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