August 21

The Mona Lisa was stolen on this day in 1911The Mona Lisa was stolen on this day in 1911

1680 – Pueblo Indians capture Santa Fe from the Spanish during the Pueblo Revolt.
1831 – Nat Turner leads black slaves and free blacks in a rebellion in Southampton County, Virginia, which will claim the lives of 55 to 65 whites.
1888 – The first successful adding machine in the United States is patented by William Seward Burroughs.
1897 – Oldsmobile, a brand of American automobiles, is founded.

Vincenzo Peruggia

Vincenzo Peruggia

1911 – The Mona Lisa was stolen by a Louvre employee, Vincenzo Peruggia, who had been in trouble with the law before – once for attempting to rob a prostitute and another time for possessing a gun whilst in a fistfight. He was no angel.  As paintings were routinely removed for restoration, the theft wasn’t noticed for a day or two. It is said by one account, he entered the room early in the morning and removed the painting from the wall, went to a worker’s room, removed the painting from its frame, then concealed it and walked out the door.
He kept it hidden in his apartment for two years, after when he contacted an art gallery dealer in Italy expecting a reward for turning over the lost masterpiece but instead was arrested, faced trial and served seven months.
1945 – Physicist Harry Daghlian is fatally irradiated in an accident during an experiment at Los Alamos National Laboratory.
1957 – The Soviet Union successfully conducts a long-range test flight of the R-7 Semyorka, the first intercontinental ballistic missile.
1959 – United States President Dwight D. Eisenhower signs an executive order proclaiming Hawaii the 50th state of the Union.

Aquino assassinated at the Manila airport

Aquino assassinated at the Manila airport

Benigno Aquino, Jr. moments before his assassination

Benigno Aquino, Jr. moments before his assassination

1983 – Philippine opposition leader Benigno Aquino, Jr. is assassinated at the Manila International Airport (now renamed Ninoy Aquino International Airport in his honor).
1991 – Latvia declares renewal of its full independence after the occupation of Soviet Union.
1991 – Coup attempt against Mikhail Gorbachev collapses.
2013 – Hundreds of people are reported killed by chemical attacks in the Ghouta region of Syria.
Births
1754 – William Murdoch, Scottish engineer and inventor, created gas lighting (d. 1839)
1872 – Aubrey Beardsley, English author and illustrator (d. 1898)
1904 – Count Basie, American pianist, composer, and bandleader (d. 1984)
1928 – Art Farmer, American trumpet player and composer (d. 1999)
1936 – Wilt Chamberlain, American basketball player and coach (d. 1999)
1944 – Peter Weir, Australian director, producer, and screenwriter
Deaths
1614 – Elizabeth Báthory, Hungarian countess and serial killer (b. 1560)
1940 – Leon Trotsky, Russian theorist and politician, founded the Red Army (b. 1879)
1988 – Ray Eames, American architect, co-designed the Eames House (b. 1912)

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