October 21st

2014
Oscar Pistorius Convicted for 5 Years. The South African Paralympic Champion was on trial for the murder of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp. He was sentenced to a maximum of five years for culpable homicide. He was released on parole for good behavior in October 2015. However, in December 2015, South Africa's Supreme Court of Appeal upgraded the charges to murder and found him guilty of murder.
Trial of Oscar Pistorius
1993
Military coup by Burundi President Ndadaye. 525,000 Hutus flee
Melchior Ndadaye
1983
The 17th General Conference on Weights and Measures Ends. The conference passed a resolution defining a meter as the distance traveled by light in vacuum during a time interval of about three hundred millionth of a second. Before this, the meter or metre was assigned several different definitions. In 1793, it was defined as one ten-millionth of the distance between the Earth's Equator and the North Pole. In 1960, it was once again redefined by the 11th General Conference of Weights and Measures as equal to “1650763,73 wavelengths in vacuum of the radiation corresponding to the transition between the levels 2p10 and 5d5 of the krypton 86 atom.”
General Conference on Weights and Measures
1969
Coup in Somalia. Siad Barre staged a military coup against the government the day after the death of Abdirashid Ali Shermarke, the then president of Somalia.
Siad Barre
1959
The Guggenheim Opens its Doors. The Guggenheim Museum displays works from some of the world’s most celebrated and sought-after contemporary artists. Situated in the Manhattan area of New York, the museum was first opened in 1939 as the Museum of Non-Objective Painting. It was then named the Guggenheim Museum in 1952, after the death of the founder of the foundation that runs it, Solomon R. Guggenheim. The current museum building was designed by American architect Frank Lloyd Wright and was opened to public on this day.
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
1950
Chinese forces occupy Tibet.
Battle of Chamdo
1948
UN rejects Russian proposal to destroy atomic weapons.
United States and weapons of mass destruction
1944
World War II: US troops capture Aachen, 1st large German city to fall.
Battle of Aachen
1943
Provisional Government of Free India Declared by Subhas Chandra Bose. Bose, an exiled Indian nationalist and a key figure in the Indian Independence Movement declared the creation of Azad Hind or Free India during a mass rally in Singapore. Netaji (leader), as he was fondly called by his followers, was unanimously declared as the Head of State, Prime Minister, and Minister for War of the new government. The government-in-exile did not have any territory to govern until Japan gave them the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, occupied by the Japanese in 1942, to run. A few days later after declaring the existence of Azad Hind, the provisional government joined the Second World War by declaring war on the Allies.
Azad Hind
1879
Thomas Edison invented a workable incandescent electric lamp.
Thomas Edison
1854
Florence Nightingale with a staff of 38 nurses is sent to the Crimean War.
Florence Nightingale
1837
Seminole chief Osceola was captured as he carried a white flag of truce during the Second Seminole War.
Osceola
1805
Battle of Trafalgar: British Admiral Horatio Nelson defeats combined French and Spanish fleet. Nelson shot and killed during battle.
Battle of Trafalgar
1797
The navy frigate U.S. Constitution, known as "Old Ironsides," was launched in Boston Harbor.
USS Constitution