On March 21:
1188 Accession to the throne of Japan by Emperor Antoku.
1413 Henry V became King of England.
1556 Archbishop of Canterbury Thomas Cranmer was burned at the stake.
1685 Johann Sebastian Bach, German composer, was born.
1788 A fire in New Orleans left most of the town in ruins.
1800 Pius VII was crowned Pope in Venice with a temporary papal tiara made of papier-mâché.
1801 The Battle of Alexandria was fought between British and French forces near the ruins of Nicopolis in Egypt.
1804 Code Napoléon was adopted as French civil law.
1811 Nathaniel Woodard, English educationalist, was born.
1844 The Bahá’í calendar began.
1844 – The original date predicted by William Miller for the return of Christ.
1857 An earthquake in Tokyo killed more than 100,000.
1863 George Owen Squier, American inventor and Major General in U.S. Signal Corp, was born.
1871 Otto von Bismarck was appointed Chancellor of the German Empire.
1871 – Journalist Henry Morton Stanley began his trek to find the missionary and explorer David Livingstone.
1904 Forrest Mars Sr., American candymaker, was born.
1913 Over 360 are killed and 20,000 homes destroyed in the Great Dayton Flood in Ohio.
1918 The first phase of the German Spring Offensive, Operation Michael, began.
1919 The Hungarian Soviet Republic was established becoming the first Communist government to be formed in Europe after the October Revolution in Russia.
1928 Charles Lindbergh was presented the Medal of Honor for his first trans-Atlantic flight.
1933 Construction of Dachau, the first Nazi Germany concentration camp, was completed.
1935 Shah Reza Pahlavi formally asked the international community to call Persia by its native name, Iran, which means ‘Land of the Aryans’.
1937 18 people in Ponce, Puerto Rico were gunned down by a police squad acting under orders of US-appointed PR Governor, Blanton C. Winship.
1943 Vivian Stanshall, English musician, artist, actor, writer, Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band, was born.
1945 British troops liberated Mandalay, Burma.
1945 Operation Carthage – British planes bombed Gestapo headquarters in Copenhagen but also hit a school; 125 civilians were killed.
1945 Rose Stone, American musician (Sly & the Family Stone), was born.
1946 Timothy Dalton, British actor, was born.
1960 Massacre in Sharpeville: Police opened fire on a group of unarmed black South African demonstrators, killing 69 and wounding 180.
1963 Alcatraz closed.
1964 Gigliola Cinquetti won the ninth Eurovision Song Contest for Italy singing “Non ho l’età” (“I’m not old enough”).
1965 NASA launched Ranger 9, the last in a series of unmanned lunar space probes.
1965 – Martin Luther King Jr led 3,200 people on the start of the third and finally successful civil rights march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama.
1968 Battle of Karameh in Jordan between Israeli Defense Forces and Fatah.
1974 Rhys Darby, New Zealand Comedian, was born.
1980 US President Jimmy Carter announced a United States boycott of the 1980 Summer Olympics in Moscow to protest the Soviet Invasion of Afghanistan.
1980 – On the season finale of the soap opera Dallas, the infamous character J.R. Ewing was shot by an unseen assailant, leading to the catchphrase “Who Shot JR?”
2003 Race Relations Day was celebrated in New Zealand for the first time.
2006 Immigrant workers constructing the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, The United Arab Emirates and a new terminal of Dubai International Airport joined together and riot, causing $1M in damage.
Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia