Written by Selina

Modified & Updated: 01 Jun 2024

Jessica Corbett

Reviewed by Jessica Corbett

JuThere is only one way to describe July 21st – it is both hot and cold. This day marks the burning of The Temple of Artemis as well as the first female Prime Minister in the Caribbean, leaving behind a trailblazer for women in politics. However, July 21st is also the lowest recorded temperature on Earth. Though contrasting, one thing’s for sure, all the events that occurred on July 21st remain one of the most impactful historical footprints in our world.

Table of Contents

Historical Events

365: The Temple of Artemis, one of the Seven Wonders of the World, was set on fire by arsonist, Herostratus. It was rebuilt afterward, although it was destroyed again in 401 AD by a Christian mob. Today, only a few scattered ruins remain at the site of the temple in present-day Turkey.

1944: American forces landed on the island of Guam in the Pacific Ocean, marking the beginning of the Second Battle of Guam during World War II. The battle also had significant human costs, with over 7,000 American casualties and over 18,000 Japanese soldiers killed. Today, Guam is an unincorporated territory of the United States and is home to several military installations.

1977: The Libyan-Egyptian War, also known as the Libyan-Egyptian Border War occurred and lasted for two days. The conflict ended with a ceasefire on July 24, 1977, after the intervention of Arab countries such as Saudi Arabia and Algeria.

Libya flag on soldiers arm.
Image from Adobe Stock

Scientific Breakthroughs

1983: The lowest temperature ever measured on Earth was -128.6 degrees Fahrenheit (-89.2 degrees Celsius), in Antarctica at the Soviet Union’s Vostok Station. This temperature was recorded using satellite data, and it is even colder than the previous record of -126.9 degrees Fahrenheit (-88.3 degrees Celsius) that was recorded at the same station in 1960.

2011: NASA‘s Space Shuttle program ended, when the final mission, STS-135, landed. The Space Shuttle program had been active since 1981 and completed 135 missions over the course of its 30-year run. The end of the program marked a new chapter in space exploration for NASA, with a renewed focus on deep space exploration and missions to Mars.

space shuttle orbiting earth
Image from Adobe Stock

Political Milestones

1861: The first major battle of the American Civil War took place in Bull Run, Virginia. This battle saw the Confederate army claim a victory over the Union army, making it clear that the Civil War would not be easily won by either side. The Union and Confederate armies clashed near Manassas Junction, Virginia.

1925: The infamous Scopes Monkey Trial concluded in Tennessee, with high school teacher John Scopes found guilty of teaching evolution in violation of state law. This trial brought national attention to the issue of the teaching of evolution in public schools.

1980: Mary Eugenia Charles was elected as the Prime Minister of Dominica, becoming the first female prime minister in the Caribbean. During her time in office, Charles implemented a range of policies to promote economic growth and social development in Dominica.

1994: Tony Blair was elected as the leader of the British Labour Party. This was a significant event in British politics as Blair went on to become one of the longest-serving and most successful British prime ministers of the modern era.

tony blair
Image from Flickr

Cultural Events

1904: The Trans-Siberian Railway, also known as the longest railway line in the world officially opens. It spans over 9,000 kilometers (5,600 miles) and crosses eight time zones. It was a significant engineering feat and played an important role in the development of Siberia and the Far East region of Russia.

2007: The seventh book of the Hary Potter Series, “Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows” was released. The release marked the end of an era for fans of the series and solidified J.K. Rowling’s place as one of the most successful and beloved authors of all time.

close up silver necklace focus deathly hallows.
Image from Adobe Stock

Notable Birthdays

  1. Thomas Pelham-Holles (1693–1768) – 1st Duke of Newcastle. He was an English politician who served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom twice in the mid-18th century. He was also a significant patron of the arts and sciences.
  2. Ernest Hemingway (1899–1961) – An American writer and journalist, known for his novels such as “The Old Man and the Sea,” “A Farewell to Arms,” and “For Whom the Bell Tolls. He won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1954.
  3. Ken Starr (1911–2022) – An American lawyer and judge. He served as the independent counsel for the investigation that led to the impeachment of President Bill Clinton in 1998.
  4. Marshall McLuhan (1911–1980) – A Canadian author and theorist. He is best known for his work in media theory, particularly for his famous phrase “The medium is the message”.
  5. Cat Stevens (1948) – An English singer-songwriter and musician. He is known for hits such as “Wild World” and “Father and Son. He converted to Islam in the late 1970s and changed his name to Yusuf Islam.
  6. Robin Williams (1951–2014) – An American actor and comedian. He is best known for his roles in films such as “Good Morning, Vietnam,” “Dead Poets Society,” “Mrs. Doubtfire,” and “Good Will Hunting.
  7. Jon Lovitz (1957) – An American actor, comedian, and singer. He is best known for his work on the TV show “Saturday Night Live” and films such as “Big,” “A League of Their Own,” and “The Wedding Singer.
  8. Charlotte Gainsbourg (1971) – A French-British actress, and singer, is renowned for her roles in films such as “Jane Eyre,” “Melancholia,” and “Nymphomaniac. In 2009, she won the Best Actress award at the Cannes Film Festival for her role in “Antichrist.
  9. Josh Hartnett (1978) – An American actor and producer. He is known for his roles in films such as “Black Hawk Down,” “Pearl Harbor,” “Lucky Number Slevin,” and “30 Days of Night. In 2002, Harnett was named one of People magazine’s “50 Most Beautiful People”.
  10. Juno Temple (1989) – An English actress who took on roles in films such as “Atonement,” “Maleficent,” “Horns,” and “Wonder Wheel. In 2013, she was nominated for a BAFTA Rising Star Award.
  11. Jamie Waylett (1989) – An English actor, is best known for his role as Vincent Crabbe in the Harry Potter film series. Waylett appeared in six of the eight Harry Potter films but was arrested in 2009 for participating in the 2008 England riots and subsequently sentenced to two years in prison.

Final Word

July 21st is a day filled with historical events and significant milestones. From the first battle of the Civil War to the first female Prime Minister in the Caribbean, this day marks the many “firsts” to come. As the 202nd day of the year, July 21st is indeed all about leaving large imprints in world history.

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