May 21st

2008
David Cook won the seventh season of 'American Idol.'.
American Idol (season 7)
2004
Stanislav Petrov awarded World Citizen Award for averting a potential nuclear war in 1983 after correctly guessing Russian early warning system at fault.
Talk:1983 Soviet nuclear false alarm incident/Archive 1
2003
Christine Todd Whitman announced her resignation as administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency.
Christine Todd Whitman
1999
Susan Lucci, star of the ABC soap opera 'All My Children,' won her first Daytime Emmy Award for best actress in the 19th straight year she was nominated.
Susan Lucci
1998
A 15-year-old student open fired inside Thurston High School in Springfield, Ore., killing two students and wounding 23, one day after killing his parents.
Thurston High School shooting
1991
Former Prime Minister of India, Rajiv Gandhi, is assassinated. The attacker was a woman believed to be linked the Sri Lankan separatist militant organization, the Tamil Tigers. At least 14 people lost their lives in the suicide bombing.
Assassination of Rajiv Gandhi
1989
In Hong Kong, approximately one million people took to the streets to show their support for students protesting for democratic reforms in China’s Tiananmen Square.
Hong Kong 1 July marches
1980
'The Empire Strikes Back', the second movie in the 'Star Wars' series, was released.
Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back
1979
Violent clashes follow the lenient sentencing for Harvey Milk's murderer. Milk, the first openly gay U.S. politician, had been shot and killed together with San Francisco Mayor George Moscone. The assassin, Dan White, was convicted of voluntary manslaughter only, triggering the White Night Riots.
Portal:San Francisco Bay Area/Selected article/Archive
1959
The musical "Gypsy" starring Ethel Merman opened on Broadway.
Gypsy (musical)
1956
The United States exploded the first airborne hydrogen bomb, over Bikini Atoll in the Pacific.
Pacific Proving Grounds
1951
The 9th Street Show opens in New York. The ground-breaking art exhibition showing works by artists like Jackson Pollock and Willem de Kooning is considered the birth hour of the artistic avant-garde referred to as the New York School.
9th Street Art Exhibition
1932
Amelia Earhart becomes the first woman to fly solo nonstop across the Atlantic. The U.S. aviatress' disappearance on an attempted round-the-world flight five years later is one of the most discussed unsolved mysteries in the history of flight.
Amelia Earhart
1927
Charles Lindbergh became the first person to fly across the Atlantic (from New York to Paris) in his monoplane, The Spirit of St. Louis.
Charles Lindbergh
1924
Nathan Leopold Jr. and Richard Loeb, two students at the University of Chicago, killed a 14-year-old boy in a "thrill killing.".
Leopold and Loeb
1904
FIFA, the world governing body of association football, is founded. The Fédération Internationale de Football Association is responsible for the organization of the World Cup, which is one of the world's most viewed sporting events.
FIFA
1892
The opera "I Pagliacci" by Ruggiero Leoncavallo was first performed, in Milan, Italy.
Pagliacci
1881
Clara Barton founded what became the American Red Cross.
Clara Barton
1871
French regular troops attack Commune of Paris, 17,000 die.
Paris Commune
1840
New Zealand was declared a British colony.
Colony of New Zealand
1832
The first Democratic National Convention got under way, in Baltimore.
1832 Democratic National Convention
1792
Mount Unzen on Japan's Shimabara Peninsula, erupts creating a tsunami, killing about 15,000; Japan's deadliest volcanic eruption.
1792 Unzen earthquake and tsunami
1542
Spanish explorer Hernando De Soto died while searching for gold on the banks of the Mississippi River.
Hernando de Soto