Anniversaries and commemorations come and go daily. Most of us, even the best historians, miss most occasions. If we think of history as events then we are faced with a continually showering in the grains of sand. Nevertheless, we do pick out certain patterns in the remembrance of historical dates. The blog here reminds us of some dates where the local, state, national, and global perspectives entwine.

On 21, Tuesday May 1844, Henri Rousseau, French artist, born (d. 1910)
On 21, Monday May 1894, The Manchester Ship Canal and Docks are opened by Queen Victoria, linking the previously landlocked English industrial city of Manchester to the Irish Sea.
On 21, Wednesday May 1919, Vera Altayskaya, Soviet actress, born (d. 1978)
On 21, Sunday May 1944, Mary Robinson, President of Ireland, born
On 21, Sunday May 1944, Edmund Mortimer, American actor and director, died (b. 1874)
On 21, Thursday May 1959, Gypsy: A Musical Fable, starring Ethel Merman in her last new musical, opens on Broadway and runs for 702 performances
On 21, Thursday May 1959, Brian Lenihan, Irish politician, born (d. 2011)
On 21, Thursday May 1959, Loretta Lynch, United States Attorney General, born
On 21, Wednesday May 1969, Rosariazo: Civil unrest breaks out in Rosario, Argentina, following the death of a 15-year-old student.
On 21, Wednesday May 1969, Georgiy Gongadze, Ukrainian journalist, born (d. 2000)
On 21, Wednesday May 1969, William Lincoln Bakewell, American aboard, died (b. 1888)
On 21, Monday May 1979, Walter Skelton MBE, politician, died (born 1883)
On 21, Monday May 1979, Dan White receives a light sentence for killing San Francisco Mayor George Moscone and Supervisor Harvey Milk. Gay men in the city riot.
On 21, Monday May 1979, Sonja Vectomov, Czech musician/composer, born
On 21, Sunday May 1989, Emily Robins, New Zealand actress and singer, born
On 21, Sunday May 1989, Hal Robson-Kanu, Welsh footballer, born
On 21, Saturday May 1994, Tom Daley, British diver, born
On 21, Saturday May 1994, Giovanni Goria, Italian Prime Minister, died (b. 1943)
On 21, Saturday May 1994, Masayoshi Ito, Japanese politician, died (b. 1913)
On 21, Saturday May 1994, Ralph Miliband, Polish-born British academic, died (b. 1924)
On 21, Saturday May 1994, Johan Hendrik Weidner, Belgian World War II resistance fighter, died (b. 1912)
On 21, Friday May 1999, Eight decaying bodies are found in barrels in a disused bank vault north of Adelaide, marking the beginning of the Snowtown murders case, which were Australia’s worst ever serial killings. More bodies were found underneath a house in Adelaide on 26 May.
On 21, Friday May 1999, Colin Hayes, 75, champion trainer of thoroughbred racehorses, died
On 21, Thursday May 2009, (21– 22) Following 48 hours of torrential rain, Brisbane and other parts of South East Queensland and the Northern Rivers region of New South Wales are affected by major flooding, said to be the worst since the Brisbane River broke its bank in the 1974 Brisbane flood.
On 21, Thursday May 2009, Researchers at Swinburne University of Technology announce the development of an optical disc technology capable of holding 10,000 times as much data as a DVD.
On 21, Wednesday May 2014, Jaime Lusinchi, President of Venezuela, died (b. 1924)

Other On This Day days in history

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Neville Buch (Pronounced Book) Ph.D. is a certified member of the Professional Historians Association (Queensland). Since 2010 he has operated a sole trade business in history consultancy. He was a Q ANZAC 100 Fellow 2014-2015 at the State Library of Queensland. Dr Buch was the PHA (Qld) e-Bulletin, the monthly state association’s electronic publication, and was a member of its Management Committee. He is the Managing Director of the Brisbane Southside History Network.