Events, birthdays and anniversaries for 21 February
1613: Michael Romanov, son of the Patriarch of Moscow, was elected Tsar of Russia, thus founding House of Romanov.
1652: Treaty of Hildesheim between Sweden and North German Protestant states.
1795: Dutch surrendered Indian Ocean island of Ceylon to British.
1804: A self-powered railway locomotive was demonstrated in Wales by Richard Trevithick.
1901: First republic of Cuba was founded.
1916: Battle of Verdun in France began, the longest and bloodiest battle of the First World War, with more than one million killed.
1921: Premiere of Charlie Chaplin’s film The Kid.
1922: British protectorate in Egypt ended.
1943: King George VI awarded Sword of Honour to Soviets for defence of Stalingrad.
1951: A Canberra, Britain’s first jet bomber, crossed the Atlantic to Canada in four hours 40 minutes.
1952: Identity cards were abolished in Britain.
1956: The Duke of Edinburgh’s award scheme for enterprising young people was inaugurated.
1965: Malcolm X, American black Islamic militant leader, was murdered in New York, while making a speech.
1963: Soviet Union warned United States that an American attack on Cuba would mean world war.
1972: United States president Richard Nixon arrived in China on historic visit.
1973: Israel shot down a Libyan airliner, killing 74 people, for failing to land after it overflew an Israeli military airfield in the Sinai.
1975: John Ehrlichman, HR Haldeman and John Mitchell were sentenced in United States after the Watergate affair.
1986: South Africa opened “whites only” districts of Johannesburg and Durban to all races – first break with apartheid policy of segregated business areas.
1992: United States Navy said its official farewell to the Holy Loch submarine base.
1994: MPs voted to reduce the age of consent for homosexuals from 21 to 18, rejecting an amendment to reduce it to 16.
2002: Over five million television viewers in Britain watched the all-Scots curling team of Rhona Martin, Fiona Macdonald, Janice Rankin, Debbie Knox and Margot Morton win the gold medal at the Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, Britain’s first gold for 18 years.
Ellen Page, actress, 27; William Baldwin, actor, 51; Kirsty Balfour, Edinburgh-born swimmer, 30; Maurice Bembridge, golfer, 69; James Bradfield, singer (Manic Street Preachers), 45; Charlotte Church, singer, 28; Jilly Cooper OBE, novelist, 77; Tyne Daly, actress (Cagney & Lacey), 68; Hubert de Givenchy, French fashion designer, 87; Kelsey Grammer, actor, 59; Magnus Linklater, journalist, chairman, Scottish Arts Council 1996-2001, editor, The Scotsman 1988-94, 72; Alan Rickman, actor, 68.
Births: 1728 Peter III, Tsar of Russia, grandson of Peter the Great; 1907 WH Auden, poet; 1910 Sir Douglas Bader, Battle of Britain fighter ace who used artificial legs.
Deaths: 1437 James I, King of Scotland (murdered in the Dominican Friary at Perth); 1741 Jethro Tull, agricultural pioneer and inventor; 1851 Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, who wrote Frankenstein at the age of 20; 1987 Andy Warhol, artist; 1991 Dame Margot Fonteyn, prima ballerina; 2002 John Thaw, actor