Today In History: May 21, Clara Barton Founds The American Red Cross

Today in History

Today is Tuesday, May 21, the 142nd day of 2024. There are 224 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On May 21, 1881, Clara Barton founded the American Red Cross.

On this date:

In 1471, King Henry VI of England died in the Tower of London at age 49.

In 1542, Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto died while searching for gold along the Mississippi River.

In 1924, in a case that drew much notoriety, 14-year-old Bobby Franks was murdered in a “thrill killing” carried out by University of Chicago students Nathan Leopold Jr. and Richard Loeb (Bobby’s cousin).

In 1927, Charles A. Lindbergh landed his Spirit of St. Louis monoplane near Paris, completing the first solo airplane flight across the Atlantic Ocean in 33 1/2 hours.

In 1932, Amelia Earhart became the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean as she landed in Northern Ireland, about 15 hours after leaving Newfoundland.

In 1941, a German U-boat sank the American merchant steamship SS Robin Moor in the South Atlantic after the ship’s passengers and crew were allowed to board lifeboats.

In 1955, Chuck Berry recorded his first single, “Maybellene,” for Chess Records in Chicago.

In 1972, Michelangelo’s Pieta, on display at the Vatican, was damaged by a hammer-wielding man who shouted he was Jesus Christ.

In 1979, former San Francisco City Supervisor Dan White was convicted of voluntary manslaughter in the slayings of Mayor George Moscone (mahs-KOH’-nee) and openly gay Supervisor Harvey Milk; outrage over the verdict sparked rioting. (White was sentenced to seven years and eight months in prison; he ended up serving five years and took his own life in 1985.)

In 1991, former Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated during national elections by a suicide bomber.

In 2000, death claimed actor Sir John Gielgud at age 96 and author Dame Barbara Cartland at age 98.

In 2017, the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus received its final standing ovation as it performed its last show, at the Nassau County Coliseum in Uniondale, New York, ending its 146-year existence.

In 2020, President Donald Trump visited a Ford Motor Co. plant outside Detroit that had been repurposed to manufacture ventilators; he did not publicly wear a face mask but said he had worn one while out of public view.

In 2021, thousands of Palestinians rallied after a cease-fire took effect in the latest Gaza war; the 11 days of fighting left more than 250 people dead, the vast majority Palestinians, and brought widespread destruction to the Gaza Strip.

Today’s Birthdays: R&B singer Ron Isley (The Isley Brothers) is 83. Musician Bill Champlin is 77. Singer Leo Sayer is 76. Actor Carol Potter is 76. Former Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., is 73. Actor Mr. T is 72. Music producer Stan Lynch is 69. Actor Judge Reinhold is 67. Actor-director Nick Cassavetes is 65. Actor Lisa Edelstein is 58. Actor Fairuza Balk is 50. Rock singer-musician Mikel Jollett (Airborne Toxic Event) is 50. Rapper Havoc (Mobb Deep) is 50. Rock musician Tony LoGerfo (Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real) is 41. Actor Sunkrish Bala is 40. Actor David Ajala is 38. Actor Ashlie Brillault is 37. Country singer Cody Johnson is 37. Actor Scott Leavenworth is 34. Actor Sarah Ramos is 33.