Today in History, 21/3

AAP and agencies
2015 - Sierra Leone goes into lockdown in a bid to stem ebola


1556 - Archbishop of Canterbury Thomas Cranmer is burned at the stake as a heretic.

1791 - Bangalore in India is seized by the British under Lord Cornwallis in the Third Mysore War.

1821 - Party leaves Sydney to establish a penal settlement at Port Macquarie, NSW.

1829 - Earthquake in Spain kills 6000.

1834 - Mrs Hordern, of the Anthony Hordern family, runs Australia's first illustrated shop advertisement in the Sydney Monitor, featuring a lady's bonnet.

1917 - Tsar Nicholas II and his family are arrested by revolutionary forces in Russia.

1919 - Soviet Republic is proclaimed; A pro-Soviet coup headed by Bela Kun overthrows the government of Hungary.

1927 - The Nationalist Chinese forces of Chiang Kai-shek take the city of Shanghai.

1933 - The first Reichstag under Hitler's rule is opened in Germany, on the same day the first one of all was opened in 1871.

1945 - British warplanes destroy Gestapo headquarters in Copenhagen, killing more than 70 Nazis but also civilians, including 86 schoolchildren, in Denmark's worst civilian disaster of the war.

1960 - Almost 70 people are killed and more than 180 wounded when South African police fire on a peaceful black demonstration against pass laws at Sharpeville in the Transvaal.

1965 - Martin Luther King leads the start of a 4000-strong civil rights march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama.

1975 - Malcolm Fraser successfully challenges Billy Snedden for the leadership of Australia's Liberal Party.

1977 - India's Prime Minister Indira Gandhi resigns after losing her seat in parliamentary elections.

1985 - Death aged 85 of British actor Sir Michael Redgrave.

1989 - Australian Prime Minister Bob Hawke weeps on television as he admits to having an extra-marital affair.

1994 - Schindler's List, based on Australian author Thomas Keneally's novel Schindler's Ark, wins best picture at the 66th Academy Awards.

1996 - Russian forces launch air and artillery attacks on villages in western Chechnya.

1998 - Australia's cricket team suffers its worst defeat in 60 years, beaten by an innings and 219 runs by India in Calcutta.

2001 - Space shuttle Discovery glides to a predawn touchdown, bringing home the first residents of the international space station.

2002 - Pope John Paul II denounces members of the Roman Catholic clergy who sexually abused minors, saying they betrayed their vows and succumbed to evil.

2009 - Anna Bligh becomes the first woman in Australia to be elected premier when Labor wins the Queensland election.

2014 - Russia formally annexes Crimea and the European Union pulls Ukraine closer into its orbit, deepening the divide between East and West.

2015 - In a bid to stem an outbreak of the deadly Ebola outbreak, Sierra Leone's President Ernest Koroma orders his country's entire population to stay in their homes for three days.

2017 - Four teenagers from Darwin's Don Dale youth detention centre are awarded $53,000 in compensation from the Northern Territory government after they were spit-hooded and shackled.

2018 - Islamist militants free scores of kidnapped Nigerian schoolgirls, but some of the released students say five of their friends have died in captivity and another is still being held.

2019 - Meals on Wheels issues an urgent recall of frozen meals delivered to thousands of customers in South Australia after routine testing found listeria contamination in one of its product lines.


Johann Sebastian Bach, German composer (1685-1750); Florenz Ziegfeld, US theatrical producer (1869-1932); Frank Hardy, Australian author (1917-1994); Keith Potger, founder-member of Australian group The Seekers (1941-); Timothy Dalton, British actor (1944-); Gary Oldman, British actor (1958-); Ayrton Senna, Brazilian Formula One racing driver (1960-1994); Rosie O'Donnell, US talk-show host (1962-); Ronaldinho, Brazilian footballer (1980-).


The heaviest baggage for a traveller is an empty purse. - German proverb.