February 21st

Eurozone finance ministers reached an agreement on a second, 130-billion bailout for Greece to help with the country's debt crisis.
Greek government-debt crisis
Deep cracks opened in Moammar Gadhafi's regime, with Libyan government officials at home and abroad resigning, air force pilots defecting and a major government building ablaze after clashes in the capital of Tripoli.
Libyan Civil War (2011)
It was confirmed that Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl was dead, allegedly murdered by Islamic militants.
Daniel Pearl
Chicago stockbroker Steve Fossett became the first person to fly solo across the Pacific Ocean in a balloon, landing in Canada.
Steve Fossett
President George H.W. Bush called Ayatollah Khomeini's death warrant against "Satanic Verses" author Salman Rushdie "deeply offensive to the norms of civilized behavior.".
The Satanic Verses controversy
TV evangelist Jimmy Swaggart tearfully confessed to his congregation in Baton Rouge, La., that he was guilty of an unspecified sin, and said he was leaving the pulpit temporarily. (Reports linked Swaggart to a prostitute.).
Jerry Falwell
Former Attorney General John N. Mitchell and former White House aides H.R. Haldeman and John D. Ehrlichman were sentenced to 2 1/2 to 8 years in prison for their roles in the Watergate cover-up.
Watergate scandal
Israeli fighter planes shot down a Libyan Airlines jet over the Sinai Desert, killing more than 100 people.
Israeli Air Force
U.S. President Richard Nixon embarks on his historic visit to China. The first visit of a U.S. President in China was an important step in normalizing relations between the two countries.
1972 Nixon visit to China
Black nationalist leader Malcolm X was assassinated.
Malcolm X
The peace symbol is designed by Gerald Holtom. The symbol was commissioned by the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) and combines the semaphore symbols for the letters N and D - an abbreviation of “Nuclear Disarmament”.
Gerald Holtom
Francis Crick and James Watson discover structure of DNA-molecule.
Francis Crick
Edwin H. Land publicly demonstrated his Polaroid Land camera, which could produce a black-and-white photograph in 60 seconds.
Edwin H. Land
The New Yorker magazine made its debut.
The New Yorker
Great Britain grants Egypt independence.
Unilateral Declaration of Egyptian Independence
Battle of Verdun, the longest and one of the bloodiest engagements of World War I, began.
Battle of Verdun
Poet W.H. Auden was born in York, England.
W. H. Auden
The Washington Monument was dedicated.
Washington Monument
The world's first telephone book is issued in New Haven, Connecticut. The directory consisted of a single piece of cardboard and comprised 50 numbers.
Telephone directory
Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels publish “The Communist Manifesto”. “Das Kommunistische Manifest” outlined the sociopolitical worldview today called “Marxism” and was translated from German into over 100 languages.
The Communist Manifesto
The world's first railway journey takes place in Wales. The first full-scale steam locomotive, built by Richard Trevithick, traveled from the Pen-y-darren ironworks near Merthyr Tydfil to Abercynon.
Richard Trevithick
Michael Romanov, son of Patriarch of Moscow, elected first Russian Tsar of the house of Romanov.
Michael I of Russia
Joan of Arc's first day of interrogation during her trial for heresy.
Trial of Joan of Arc
Pope Alexander III canonizes Thomas Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury.
Thomas Becket