On this day: Rome founded by Romulus

Ash billows from the Eyjafjoell volcano in Hvolsvoellur, Iceland, causing widespread disruption across Europe in 2010. Picture: Getty
Ash billows from the Eyjafjoell volcano in Hvolsvoellur, Iceland, causing widespread disruption across Europe in 2010. Picture: Getty
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Events, birthdays and anniversaries for 21 April

753BC: Tradition has it that Rome was founded by Romulus on this date.

1898: United States recognised independence of Cuba.

1916: Roger Casement, British diplomat and Irish patriot, landed in Ireland by German submarine to aid Easter Rising.

1948: The first television award, the Television Society Silver Medal, was won by BBC producer George More O’Ferrall, for Hamlet.

1952: BOAC began world’s first jet-liner service, flying Comets between London and Rome.

1954: United States flew French battalion to Indochina to defend Dien Bien Phu.

1960: Brasilia was inaugurated as capital of Brazil.

1964: BBC’s second television channel opened.

1966: The opening of parliament was televised for the first time.

1967: Military coup in Greece resulted in King Constantine II fleeing to exile in Rome.

1967: Stalin’s daughter, Svetlana Alliluyeva, arrived in United States after defecting in India.

1975: South Vietnam president Nguyen van Thieu resigned, denounced US as untrustworthy, and named successor to seek negotiations with Communist forces sweeping across country.

1977: Pakistan’s prime minister, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, assumed emergency powers and imposed martial law on three cities in crackdown on opponents trying to force his resignation.

1983: £1 coins went into circulation, replacing paper notes in England and Wales. Scotland and Northern Ireland retained paper notes.

1985: Chris Bonington, 50, became the oldest climber to reach summit of Mount Everest.

1989: Thousands of Chinese students marched into Tiananmen Square, Peking, demanding an end to the Communist system.

1990: Baroness de Stempel was jailed for seven years, Baron Michael de Stempel was jailed for four years, daughter Sophia Wilberforce was jailed for 30 months, and son Marcus Wilberforce for 18 months, following a plot to steal £500,000 from the senile Lady Illingworth.

1992: Robert Alton Harris, a double murderer, became the first person to be executed in California for 25 years after a series of late appeals failed.

1994: Second World War veterans forced the government to rethink its controversial plans for a D-Day celebration event in Hyde Park, London.

2010: All UK airports reopened after six days of disruption caused by the Icelandic volcano eruption.


James McAvoy, actor, 35; The Queen, 88; Angela Barrett (Angela Mortimer), Wimbledon tennis champion, 82; Tony Danza, actor, 63; Charles Grodin, actor, 79; John McCabe CBE, composer and concert pianist, 75; Andie MacDowell, actress, 56; Iggy Pop (James Osterberg), rock singer, 67; Robert Smith, rock musician (The Cure), 55; Nicole Sullivan, actress, 44; Major-General Sir John Swinton OBE, Lord-Lieutenant of Berwickshire 1989-2000, 89.


Births: 1816 Charlotte Brontë, eldest of the Brontë sisters and author of Jane Eyre; 1838 John Muir, conservationist;1923 Sir John Mortimer CBE QC, barrister, playwright and author.

Deaths: 1509 King Henry VII, founder of the Tudor dynasty; 1918 Manfred von Richthofen, German First World War flying ace (shot down); 1965 Sir Edward Appleton, physicist, principal, Edinburgh University; 2001 12th Duke of Argyll.