|January 21 in recent years
January 21 is the 21st day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. There are 344 days remaining until the end of the year (345 in leap years).
- 1189 - Philip II of France and Richard I of England begin to assemble troops to wage the Third Crusade.
- 1287 - The treaty of San Agayz is signed. Minorca is conquered by King Alfons III of Aragon.
- 1525 - The Swiss Anabaptist Movement is born when Conrad Grebel, Felix Manz, George Blaurock, and about a dozen others baptize each other in the home of Manz's mother in Zürich, breaking a thousand-year tradition of church-state union.
- 1643 - Abel Tasman discovers Tonga.
- 1720 - Sweden and Prussia sign the Treaty of Stockholm.
- 1789 - The first American novel, The Power of Sympathy or the Triumph of Nature Founded in Truth, is printed in Boston.
- 1793 - After being found guilty of treason by the French Convention, Louis XVI of France is guillotined.
- 1861 - American Civil War: Jefferson Davis resigns from the United States Senate.
- 1864 - The Tauranga Campaign starts during the Maori Wars.
- 1887 - Brisbane receives a daily rainfall of 465 millimetres (18.3 inches), a record for any Australian capital city.
- 1899 - Opel manufactured its first automobile .
- 1907 - The Kenora Thistles win the Stanley Cup, representing the smallest town (Kenora) ever to win ice hockey's ultimate prize, or any major North American sports title.
- 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.
- 1911 - The first Monte Carlo Rally.
- 1915 - Kiwanis International founded in Detroit.
- 1919 - Meeting of the First Dáil Éireann in the Mansion House Dublin, Sinn Féin adopts Ireland's first constitution. The first engagement of Irish War of Independence, Sologhead Beg, County Tipperary.
- 1921 - The Italian Communist Party is founded at Livorno.
- 1924 - Vladimir Lenin dies and Joseph Stalin begins to purge his rivals to clear way for his leadership.
- 1925 - Albania declares itself a republic.
- 1927 - First live radio commentary of a football match anywhere in the world- Arsenal vs. Sunderland at Highbury. The match ended in a 1-1 draw.
- 1941 - World War II: Australian and British forces attack Tobruk, Libya.
- 1950 - Alger Hiss is convicted of perjury.
- 1954 - The first nuclear-powered submarine, the USS Nautilus, is launched in Groton by Mamie Eisenhower, then the First Lady of the United States.
- 1958 - The last Fokker C.X in military service, the Finnish Air Force FK-111 target tower, crashed, killing the pilot and winch-operator.
- 1968 - Vietnam War: Battle of Khe Sanh - One of the most publicized and controversial battles of the war begins.
- 1969 - An experimental underground nuclear reactor at Lucens Vad, Switzerland, released radiation into a cavern, which was then sealed.
- 1972 - Tripura becomes a full- fledged state in India.
- 1976 - Commercial service of Concorde begins with London-Bahrain and Paris-Rio routes.
- 1977 - President Jimmy Carter pardons nearly all American Vietnam War draft evaders, some of whom had emigrated to Canada.
- 1985 - Because January 20 had fallen on a Sunday, Ronald Reagan's public inaugural ceremony (for his second term as President) was moved to Monday, January 21. Due to bad weather, the ceremony was held indoors in the United States Capital Rotunda.
- 1997 - Newt Gingrich becomes the first leader of the United States House of Representatives to be internally disciplined for ethical misconduct.
- 1999 - War on Drugs: In one of the largest drug busts in American history, the United States Coast Guard intercepts a ship with over 9,500 pounds (4,300 kg) of cocaine on board.
- 2002 - Canadian Dollar sets all-time low against the US Dollar (US$0.6179).
- 2004 - Canada: The residence of reporter Juliet O'Neill is searched by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) investigating leaks concerning the deportation of Maher Arar.
- 2004 - NASA's MER-A (the Mars Rover Spirit) ceases communication with mission control. The problem lies with Flash Memory management and is fixed remotely from Earth on February 6.
- 2005 - In Belize's capital city, the unrest over the government's new taxes erupts into riots.
- 2007 - Awashima Marine Park in Japan catches a video tape of the rare frilled shark
- 1338 - King Charles V of France (d. 1380)
- 1721 - James Murray, British military officer, governor of Quebec (d. 1794)
- 1804 - Eliza Roxcy Snow, American poet (d. 1887)
- 1815 - John Bingham, American politician and lawyer (d. 1900)
- 1824 - Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson, American Confederate Army general (d. 1863)
- 1825 - Imre Madách, Hungarian writer (d. 1864)
- 1827 - Ivan Mikheevich Pervushin, Russian mathematician (d. 1900)
- 1829 - King Oscar II of Sweden and Norway (d. 1907)
- 1848 - Henri Duparc, French composer (d. 1933)
- 1855 - John Moses Browning, American inventor (d. 1926)
- 1860 - Karl Staaff, Prime Minister of Sweden (d. 1915)
- 1867 - Ludwig Thoma, German writer (d. 1921)
- 1867 - Maxime Weygand, French general (d. 1965)
- 1882 - Pavel Florensky, Russian mathematician (d. 1937)
- 1883 - Olav Aukrust, Norwegian poet (d. 1929)
- 1884 - Roger Baldwin, American social activist (d. 1981)
- 1885 - Umberto Nobile, Italian politician (d. 1978)
- 1887 - Georges Vézina, Canadian ice hockey player (d. 1926)
- 1895 - Cristóbal Balenciaga, Spanish couturier (d. 1972)
- 1897 - René Iché, French sculptor (d. 1954)
- 1899 - Alexander Tcherepnin, Russian born American composer (d. 1977)
- 1901 - Ricardo Zamora, Spanish footballer (d. 1978)
- 1905 - Christian Dior, French fashion designer (d. 1957)
- 1905 - Karl Wallenda, German acrobat (d. 1978)
- 1906 - Igor Moiseyev, Russian choreographer (d. 2007)
- 1909 - Todor Skalovski, Macedonian composer (d. 2004)
- 1910 - Eua Sunthornsanan, Thai composer and bandleader (d. 1981)
- 1912 - Konrad Emil Bloch, German-born biochemist, Nobel laureate (d. 2000)
- 1918 - Richard D. Winters, American war hero
- 1921 - Howard Unruh, American mass murderer
- 1922 - Telly Savalas, American actor (d. 1994)
- 1922 - Paul Scofield, English actor
- 1923 - Lola Flores, Spanish singer (d. 1995)
- 1924 - Benny Hill, English actor, comedian, and singer (d. 1992)
- 1926 - Steve Reeves, American actor (d. 2000)
- 1927 - Clive Churchill, Australian rugby league footballer (d. 1985)
- 1932 - John Chaney, American basketball coach
- 1934 - Audrey Dalton, Irish actress
- 1936 - Koji Hashimoto, Japanese film director (d. 2005)
- 1937 - Prince Max
- 1938 - Altair, Brazilian footballer
- 1938 - John Savident, British actor
- 1938 - Wolfman Jack, American disk jockey and actor (d. 1995)
- 1940 - Jack Nicklaus, American golfer
- 1941 - Plácido Domingo, Spanish tenor
- 1941 - Richie Havens, American musician
- 1941 - Ivan Putski, Polish-born American professional wrestler
- 1942 - Mac Davis, American musician
- 1942 - Edwin Starr, American singer (d. 2003)
- 1946 - Johnny Oates, American baseball player and manager (d. 2004)
- 1947 - Jill Eikenberry, American actress
- 1947 - Pye Hastings, English singer and musician (Caravan)
- 1950 - Billy Ocean, West Indian musician
- 1952 - Marco Camenisch, Swiss environmental activist
- 1952 - Louis Menand, American writer and critic
- 1953 - Paul Allen, American entrepreneur
- 1955 - Jeff Koons, American artist
- 1956 - Robby Benson, American actor
- 1956 - Geena Davis, American actress
- 1957 - Greg Ryan, American soccer coach
- 1958 - Michael Wincott, Canadian actor
- 1962 - Tyler Cowen, American economist
- 1962 - Marie Trintignant, French actress (d. 2003)
- 1963 - Hakeem Olajuwon, Nigerian-born American basketball player
- 1963 - Detlef Schrempf, German basketball player
- 1965 - Jam Master Jay, American disc jockey (d. 2002)
- 1966 - Robert Del Naja, English musician
- 1968 - Ulrica Messing, Swedish politician
- 1968 - Charlotte Ross, American actress
- 1969 - Tsubaki Nekoi, Japanese manga artist
- 1970 - Ken Leung, American actor
- 1970 - Mark Trojanowski, American musician (Sister Hazel)
- 1971 - Alan McManus, Scottish snooker player
- 1971 - Doug Weight, American ice hockey player
- 1972 - Alan Benes, American baseball player
- 1972 - Yasunori Mitsuda, Japanese composer
- 1972 - Cat Power (Chan Marshall), American musician
- 1974 - Rove McManus, Australian television host and comedian
- 1974 - Alex Sperafico, Brazilian racing driver
- 1975 - Nicky Butt, English footballer
- 1975 - Casey FitzRandolph, American speed skater
- 1975 - Yuji Ide, Japanese racing driver
- 1975 - Ito, Spanish footballer
- 1976 - Emma Bunton, English singer (Spice Girls)
- 1977 - Al Baxter, Australian rugby union footballer
- 1977 - Phil Neville, English footballer
- 1977 - Rick Ross, American rapper
- 1978 - Andrei Zyuzin, Russian ice hockey player
- 1978 - Phil Stacey, American Idol finalist
- 1979 - Byung-Hyun Kim, Korean baseball player
- 1979 - Brian O'Driscoll, Irish rugby union footballer
- 1979 - Spider Loc, American rapper, member of G-Unit
- 1980 - Dave Kitson, English footballer
- 1980 - Nana Mizuki, Japanese voice actress and singer
- 1981 - Gillian Chung Yan-tung, Hong Kong singer (Twins)
- 1981 - Jamie Dalrymple, English cricketer
- 1981 - Ivan Ergić, Serbian footballer
- 1981 - Dany Heatley, Canadian ice hockey player
- 1981 - Andy Lee, Korean rapper (Shinhwa)
- 1981 - Izabella Miko, Polish-born actress and model
- 1981 - Alex Ubago, Spanish-Basque singer-songwriter
- 1982 - Dean Whitehead, English footballer
- 1983 - Maryse Ouellet, French-Canadian model and professional wrestler
- 1983 - Moritz Volz, German footballer
- 1985 - Alex Pérez, Spanish footballer
- 1985 - Matt Unicomb, Australian basketball player
- 1990 - Jacob Smith, American actor
- 2004 - Princess Ingrid Alexandra of Norway
- 304 - Saint Agnes (martyred)
- 917 - Erchanger
- 1118 - Pope Paschal II
- 1519 - Vasco Núñez de Balboa, Spanish explorer
- 1527 - Juan de Grijalva, Spanish conquistador
- 1546 - Azai Sukemasa, Japanese samurai and warlord (b. 1491)
- 1609 - Joseph Justus Scaliger, French Protestant scholar (b. 1540)
- 1638 - Ignazio Donati, Italian composer
- 1683 - Anthony Ashley-Cooper, British politician (b. 1621)
- 1699 - Obadiah Walker, English writer (b. 1616)
- 1706 - Adrien Baillet, French scholar and critic (b. 1649)
- 1710 - Johann Georg Gichtel, German mystic (b. 1638)
- 1722 - Charles Paulet, English supporter of William III of England (b. 1661)
- 1731 - Thomas Woolston, English theologian (b. 1669)
- 1766 - James Quin, English actor (b. 1693)
- 1773 - Alexis Piron, French writer (b. 1689)
- 1774 - Mustafa III, Ottoman Sultan (b. 1717)
- 1793 - King Louis XVI of France (executed) (b. 1754)
- 1795 - Samuel Wallis, English navigator (b. 1728)
- 1809 - Josiah Hornblower, American statesman (b. 1729)
- 1814 - Jacques-Henri Bernardin de Saint-Pierre, French writer and botanist (b. 1737)
- 1823 - Cayetano José Rodríguez, Argentine cleric, journalist and poet (b. 1761)
- 1831 - Ludwig Achim von Arnim, German poet (b. 1781)
- 1851 - Albert Lortzing, German composer (b. 1801)
- 1870 - Alexander Herzen, Russian writer (b. 1812)
- 1872 - Franz Grillparzer, Austrian writer (b. 1791)
- 1881 - Wilhelm Matthias Naeff, Swiss Federal Councilor (b. 1802)
- 1891 - Calixa Lavallée, Canadian composer (b. 1842)
- 1901 - Elisha Gray, American inventor (b. 1835)
- 1914 - Theodor Kittelsen, Norwegian artist (b. 1857)
- 1919 - Gojong of Joseon, Emperor of Korea (b. 1852)
- 1924 - Vladimir Lenin, Russian revolutionary (b. 1870)
- 1926 - Camillo Golgi, Italian physician, recipient of the Nobel laureate (b. 1843)
- 1928 - George Goethals, American army engineer (b. 1858)
- 1931 - Felix Blumenfeld, Russian composer (b. 1863)
- 1932 - Giles Lytton Strachey, British writer (b. 1880)
- 1933 - George A. Moore, Irish novelist (b. 1852)
- 1948 - Ermanno Wolf-Ferrari, Italian composer (b. 1876)
- 1950 - George Orwell, British writer (b. 1903)
- 1955 - Archie Hahn, American athlete (b. 1880)
- 1956 - Sam Langford, Canadian boxer (b. 1883)
- 1959 - Cecil B. DeMille, American director (b. 1881)
- 1959 - Carl Switzer, American actor (b. 1927)
- 1961 - Blaise Cendrars, Swiss writer (b. 1887)
- 1967 - Ann Sheridan, American actress (b. 1915)
- 1968 - Will Lang Jr., American magazine executive (b. 1914)
- 1977 - Sandro Penna, Italian poet (b. 1906)
- 1978 - Freda Utley, British scholar and author. (b. 1898)
- 1984 - Jackie Wilson, American musician (b. 1934)
- 1984 - Giannis Skaribas, Greek writer, dramatist, and poet (b. 1893)
- 1985 - James Beard, American chef and author (b. 1903)
- 1985 - Eddie Graham, American professional wrestler and promoter (b. 1930)
- 1987 - Charles Goodell, American politician (b. 1926)
- 1989 - Billy Tipton, American musician (b. 1914)
- 1989 - Carl Furillo, American Baseball player (b. 1922)
- 1993 - Charlie Gehringer, American baseball player (b. 1903)
- 1996 - René Marc Jalbert, sergeant-at-Arms at the National Assembly of Quebec (b. 1921)
- 1997 - Colonel Tom Parker, American manager of Elvis Presley (b. 1909)
- 1998 - Jack Lord, American actor (b. 1920)
- 1999 - Susan Strasberg, American actress (b. 1938)
- 1999 - Charles Brown, American blues singer and pianist (b. 1920)
- 2001 - Byron De La Beckwith, American white supremacist (b. 1921)
- 2002 - Peggy Lee, American singer (b. 1920)
- 2003 - Paul Haines, American-born Canadian poet (b. 1933)
- 2004 - Yordan Radichkov, Bulgarian writer (b. 1929)
- 2005 - Parveen Babi, Indian actress (b. 1955)
- 2005 - John L. Hess, American journalist (b. 1917)
- 2005 - Theun de Vries, Dutch writer (b. 1907)
- 2006 - Ibrahim Rugova, President of Kosovo (b. 1944)
- 2007 - Maria Cioncan, Romanian athlete (b. 1977)
Holidays and observances
118 Familypedia people were born on January 21
142 Familypedia people died on January 21
106 Familypedia people were first married on January 21