This Day in History: July 21
Take a look at all of the important historical events that took place on July 21.
On this day, July 21 …
1999: Navy divers find and recover the bodies of John F. Kennedy Jr., his wife, Carolyn, and sister-in-law, Lauren Bessette, in the wreckage of Kennedy's plane in the Atlantic Ocean off Martha's Vineyard.
Also on this day:
- 1861: During the Civil War, the first Battle of Bull Run is fought near Manassas, Va., resulting in a Confederate victory.
- 1925: The so-called “Monkey Trial” ends in Dayton, Tenn., with John T. Scopes found guilty of violating state law for teaching Darwin’s theory of evolution. (The conviction would be later overturned on a technicality.)
- 1969: Apollo 11 astronauts Neil Armstrong and Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin blast off from the moon aboard the ascent stage of the lunar module for docking with the command module.
- 1980: Draft registration begins in the United States for 19- and 20-year-old men.
- 1990: A benefit concert takes place in Germany at the site of the fallen Berlin Wall; the concert, which drew some 200,000 people, is headlined by Roger Waters, a founder of Pink Floyd. (The concert ends with the collapse of a mock Berlin Wall made of styrofoam.)
- 1994: Britain’s Labor Party elects Tony Blair its new leader, succeeding the late John Smith.
The tragedy of Waco.
(Getty Images / Courtesy of the Smithsonian Channel, File)
- 2000: Special Counsel John C. Danforth concludes “with 100 percent certainty” that the federal government is innocent of wrongdoing in the siege that killed 80 members of the Branch Davidian compound near Waco, Texas, in 1993.
- 2008: Former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic, one of the world’s top war-crimes fugitives, is arrested in a Belgrade suburb by Serbian security forces. (He would be sentenced by a U.N. court in 2019 to life imprisonment after being convicted of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes.)
- 2011: The 30-year-old space shuttle program ends as Atlantis lands at Cape Canaveral, Fla., after the 135th shuttle flight.
- 2019: Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló announces he will not seek reelection but refuses to resign amid corruption allegations and widespread protests. (Rosselló would announce his resignation three days later.)
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