August 21st

2009
Leaders of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America voted to lift a ban that prohibited sexually active gays and lesbians from serving as ministers.
List of Christian denominational positions on homosexuality ...
2006
British prosecutors announced that 11 people had been charged in an alleged plot to blow up trans-Atlantic jetliners bound for the United States.
2006 transatlantic aircraft plot
2002
A jury in San Diego convicted David Westerfield of kidnapping and killing 7-year-old Danielle van Dam. (He was later sentenced to death.).
Murder of Danielle van Dam
2000
82nd PGA Championship: Tiger Woods become the first golfer since Ben Hogan in 1953 to win 3 majors in a calendar year. He ties the to-par record for the PGA (-18) with Bob May, and wins in a playoff.
2000 PGA Championship
1993
NASA loses communication with the Mars Observer almost a year after its launch. The robotic space probe was tasked with exploring and studying the Red Planet.
Mars Pathfinder
1992
An 11-day siege began at the cabin of white separatist Randy Weaver in Ruby Ridge, Idaho, as government agents tried to arrest him for failing to appear in court on charges of selling two illegal sawed-off shotguns.
Ruby Ridge
1991
Latvia gains full independence from the Soviet Union. Founded in 1918, the Republic of Latvia was fully incorporated as a Soviet republic after the Second World War. Independence for the Baltic state was achieved after a peaceful revolution known as the Singing Revolution, which began in Estonia.
Latvia
1987
Sgt. Clayton Lonetree, the first Marine ever court-martialed for spying, was convicted in Quantico, Va., of passing secrets to the KGB.
1986
Limnic eruption in Lake Nyos in Cameroon kills about 1700 people. A high amount of carbon dioxide was released by the underwater volcanic eruption.
Lake Nyos disaster
1983
Philippine opposition leader Benigno S. Aquino Jr., ending a self-imposed exile in the United States, was shot dead moments after stepping off a plane at Manila International Airport.
Jovito Salonga
1961
Country singer Patsy Cline recorded the Willie Nelson song "Crazy" in Nashville for Decca Records.
Patsy Cline
1959
President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed an executive order proclaiming Hawaii the 50th state of the union.
Statehood Day (Hawaii)
1945
Harry S. Truman announced the end of the Lend-Lease Program.
Lend-Lease
1940
Exiled Russian Communist revolutionary Leon Trotsky died in Mexico City from wounds inflicted by an assassin.
Leon Trotsky
1911
The Mona Lisa is stolen. The famed Leonardo da Vinci painting was stolen by a Louvre employee. It was recovered 2 years later in Italy.
Vincenzo Peruggia
1904
Jazz musician and bandleader William "Count" Basie was born in Red Bank, N.J.
Count Basie
1888
American inventor William Seward Burroughs patents the adding machine.
William Seward Burroughs I
1879
Oldsmobile is founded by Ransom Eli Olds of Olds Motor Works. The popular brand of car was first manufactured in Lansing, Michigan. The company was purchased by GM in 1908 and closed its doors in 2004.
Ransom E. Olds
1878
The American Bar Association was founded in Saratoga, N.Y.
American Bar Association
1858
The first of seven debates between U.S. Senate candidates Abraham Lincoln and Stephen A. Douglas took place in Ottawa, Ill.
Lincoln–Douglas debates
1831
Nat Turner launched a short-lived, violent slave rebellion in Virginia.
Nat Turner
1772
King Gustav III of Sweden completes coup d'etat by adopting a new Constitution and installing himself as an enlightened despot - ends 50 years of parliamentary rule.
August 21
1703
The Edirne Event: Turkish army removes Sultan Mustafa II, lessening the power of the sultans.
Rise of the Ottoman Empire
1680
Pueblo Indians drove out the Spanish and took possession of Santa Fe, N.M.
Pueblo Revolt
1192
Minamoto Yoritomo becomes Seii Tai Shōgun and the de facto ruler of Japan. (Traditional Japanese date: July 12, 1192).
Shogun