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21st May

1542 Spanish explorer Hernando De Soto died while searching for gold on the banks of the Mississippi River.

1840 New Zealand was proclaimed a British colony.

1860 * Willem Einthoven, Dutch physiologist who invented the string galvanometer.

1881 Clara Barton founded what became the American Red Cross.

1894 Queen Victoria opened the Manchester ship canal.

1916 * Harold Robbins (Francis Kane), US author of novels including The Carpet Baggers (1961).

1921 * Andrei Sakharov, Soviet physicist and father of the Russian H-bomb.

1927 Charles Lindberg in the monoplane St. Louis flew from New York to Paris non-stop.

1950 Two people died and more were injured as violent storms and a tornado swept through counties around London.

1952 * Mr. T (Lawrence Tero), US TV tough-guy who starred in the TV series The A Team.

1956 The first hydrogen bomb to be dropped by air exploded over the Bikini Atoll in the Pacific.

1958 It was announced that automated telephone connection making calls easier and cheaper will be introduced in December.

1966 American world champ Cassius Clay beat Britain's Henry Cooper in the sixth round at the Arsenal football ground, North London.

1989 In Hong Kong, approximately one million people took to the streets to show their support for students protesting for democratic reforms in China’s Tiananmen Square.

1991 Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated by a woman terrorist suicide bomber in Tamil Nadu.

1998 Indonesian President Suharto resigned.

xxxx * = Date of birth

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