MAY 21 ~ ON THiS DAY in History

1085 ~ The Swedish town of Helsingborg was founded on the 21st May 1085.

1502 ~ The island of Saint Helena was discovered by the Portuguese explorer João da Nova on the 21st May 1502.

1851 ~ Slavery was abolished in Colombia, South America on the 21st May 1851.

1864Princess Stéphanie of Belgium the Belgian princess by birth, and Crown Princess of Austria by marriage was born on the 21st May 1864 (died 23rd August 1945 aged 81).

1871 ~ The 1st rack railway in Europe opened on the 21st May 1871, the Rigi-Bahnen on Mount Rigi.

1881 ~ The American Red Cross was established by Clara Barton in Washington, D.C. on the 21st May 1881.

1870Ferdinand Schmutzer the Austrian artist, photographer, painter and engraver was born in Vienna on the 21st May 1870 (died 26th October 1928 aged 58). Ferdinand Schmutzer is well known for his photographic portraits of well known people such as Albert Einstein. Ferdinand’s great-grandfather Jacob Matthias Schmutzer founded the Imperial Engraving Academy. Ferdinand Schmutzer grandfather and his father were sculptors focused on representing animals. At 16 years old, Ferdinand enrolled to study painting at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna in 1886. He first studied with Leopold Carl Müller, and later with Matthias Trenkwald. In 1894 Ferdinand won a Prix de Rome art scholarship… read more about the life of Ferdinand Schmutzer and see the Ferdinand Schmutzer Gallery page featuring Photography | Etchings | Oil paintings | Drawings at the official website: 

Ferdinand Schmutzer Austrian engraver photographer self portrait art studio Vienna 1910 man engraving tools 1900s photo
Austrian engraver and photographer Ferdinand Schmutzer’s self portrait in his studio in Vienna c.1910

1894 ~ The Manchester Ship Canal in England was officially opened by Queen Victoria on the 21st May 1894, who later knighted its designer Sir Edward Leader Williams.

1904 ~ The Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) was founded in Paris on the 21st May 1904.

1917 ~ The Great Atlanta fire of 1917 on the 21st May caused $5.5 million in damages, destroying some 300 acres including 2,000 homes, businesses and churches, displacing about 10,000 people, but only one fatality (due to heart attack).

1927 ~ Charles Lindbergh touched down at Le Bourget Field in Paris on the 21st May 1927, completing the world’s first solo nonstop flight across the Atlantic Ocean.

1932 ~ Bad weather forced Amelia Earhart to land in a pasture in Derry, Northern Ireland on the 21st May 1932, becoming the 1st woman to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean.

1934 ~ Oskaloosa, Iowa, became the first municipality in the United States to fingerprint all of its citizens on the 21st May 1934.

1936 ~ Sada Abe is arrested after wandering the streets of Tokyo for days with her dead lover’s severed genitals in her hand. Her story soon becomes one of Japan‘s most notorious scandals.

1937 ~ A Soviet stationNorth Pole-1, became the 1st scientific research settlement to operate on the drift ice of the Arctic Ocean on the 21st May 1937.

1939 ~ The Canadian National War Memorial was unveiled by King George VI and Queen Elizabeth in Ottawa on the 21st May 1939.

1942John Konrads the Australian world champion freestyle swimmer was born Jānis Konrads in Riga, Latvia on the 21st May 1942. John Konrads won the 1500m freestyle at the 1960 Summer Olympics in Rome. In his career, he set 26 individual world records. When John retired from his swimming career he became the Australasian director of L’Oréal, as well as campaigning for the Sydney Olympics bid. John Konrads was inducted into the Sport Australia Hall of Fame in 1985. John’s sister Ilsa Konrads also set multiple swimming world records, when they were well known as the Konrad Kids. John Konrads official website:

YouTube video: The Konrads Swim Champions: John and Ilsa Konrads were teenage sensations in a golden time for Australian swimming. Here we see them rise through the ranks with the aid of coach Don Talbot and examine their training techniques that led them to achieve multiple world records. It also shows earlier champions Andrew “Boy” Charlton, Bonnie Mealing and Fanny Durack (Made by the National Film Board 1959)…

1946 ~ Physicist Louis Slotin was fatally irradiated in a criticality incident on the 21st May 1946, during an experiment with the Demon core at Los Alamos National Laboratory.

1948 ~ Joe Camilleri the Australian vocalist, songwriter and saxophonist from Jo Jo Zep & The Falcons and The Black Sorrows was born on the 21st May 1948.

1951 ~ The 9th Street Art Exhibition opened on the 21st May 1951, with a gathering of notable artists stepping-out of the post war New York avant-garde, collectively known as the New York School.

1966 ~ Sally Boyden the Australian singer, song writer, and actor was born on the 21st May 1966. Sally began her television career on Young Talent Time (YTT) at the age of 7, from 1973 until 1976. &

1972 ~ Michelangelo‘s Pietà in St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome was damaged by the mentally disturbed Hungarian geologist Laszlo Toth on the 21st May 1972.

1980 – Gotye the Belgian-Australian singer-songwriter was born on the 21st May 1980.

1992 ~ After 30 seasons Johnny Carson hosted his penultimate episode of The Tonight Show on the 21st May 1992.

2005 ~ The tallest roller coaster in the world, Kingda Ka opened on the 21st May 2005 at Six Flags Great Adventure in Jackson Township, New Jersey.

2010 ~ JAXA, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, launched the solar-sail spacecraft IKAROS aboard an H-IIA rocket on the 21st May 2010. The vessel would make a Venus flyby late in the year.

2011 ~ Radio broadcaster Harold Camping predicted that the end of the world would occur on on the 21st May 2011, a prophecy that proved to be incorrect.

2012 ~ SMOOTH FM 91.5 was launched in Melbourne on the 21st day of May in 2012. Smooth FM is a network of two Australian commercial radio stations operated by DMG Radio Australia, in Melbourne and Sydney. Smooth FM was previously known as  Vega (2005 ~ 2010) and Classic Rock (2010 ~ 2012). Smooth is continuing with the soft easy listening ‘More Music and Less Talk’ mantra. The line-up includes Mike Perso, Cathy Dinn, David Reyne, Michael Bublé, David Campbell and Richard Wilkins. 

Richard Wilkins, Jason Donovan, Michael Bublé and David Campbell presenting on Smooth FM 91.5
Richard Wilkins, Jason Donovan, Michael Bublé and David Campbell presenting on Smooth FM 91.5

2013TUMBLR was acquired by Yahoo on the 21st May 2013, for approximately $1.1 billion. is ranked No.32 in the World according to (May 2013).

Today in History for May 21st ~ video presented by the Associated Press

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