Holidays Calendar for February 21, 2016

On February 21, the citizens of Bhutan celebrate the public holiday that honors King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck, the fifth and current Druk Gyalpo (“Dragon King”) of Bhutan. It commemorates his birth anniversary.

February 21 is a public holiday in the People's Republic of Bangladesh, known as Language Movement Day, Language Martyrs' Day, or Language Revolution Day. It coincides with International Mother Language Day as both holidays commemorate the same event.

On February 21, Vanuatu celebrates Father Walter Lini Day. This public holiday is dedicated to the founding Prime Minister of the Republic of Vanuatu.

International Tourist Guide Day is a professional holiday celebrated each year on February 21. This observance was established by the World Federation of Tourist Guide Associations (WFTGA) and has been held since 1990.

Armed Forces Day in South Africa is celebrated on February 21. The holiday commemorates the creation of the South African National Defense Force (SANDF) in 1994.

Birthday of King Harald V of Norway is an official flag flying day in the country. On the occasion, the state flag of Norway must be flown by all branches of government and state agencies.

It's National Sticky Bun Day, that is celebrated annually on February 21. Today you can enjoy your favorite sticky buns for breakfast.

International Mother Language Day is a UNESCO observance that has been annually held on February 21 since 2000. It is aimed at promoting linguistic and cultural diversity and multilingualism.

This Day in History

  • 2008 Died: Sunny Lowry, English swimmer, best known as the first woman to swim the English Channel.
  • 2005 Died: Guillermo Cabrera Infante, Cuban author, best known for the novel Tres Tristers Tigers (published in English as Three Tapped Tigers), which was compared favorable to Ulysses by James Joyce.
  • 2002 Died: John Thaw, English actor, most popular for the titular role of Inspector Morse. Among other Thaw's notable roles are Sergeant John Mann in Redcap and Detective Inspector Jack Regan in The Sweeney.
  • 1999 Died: Gertrude B. Elion, American biochemist and pharmacologist, Nobel Prize laureate. Elion became the developer of multitude new drugs and used innovative research methods, that would lead to the development of the AIDS drug AZT.
  • 1995 Steve Fossett successfully landed in Leader, Saskatchewan, Canada and became the first person who made a solo flight across the Pacific Ocean in a balloon.
  • 1991 Died: Margot Fonteyn, English ballerina, one of the greatest classical ballet dancers of all time. She was appointed as Prima Ballerina Assoluta, a title award to the most notable female ballet dancers.
  • 1987 Born: Ashley Greene, American model and actress. Greene is best known for her role as Alice Cullen in The Twilight Saga movies.
  • 1987 Born: Ellen Page, Canadian actress, best known for her role as Juno. This movie became Page's breakthrough, although she also had notable roles in X-Men: The Last Stand, X-Men: Days of Future Past, Smart People, Inception, Whip It, Super.
  • 1979 Born: Jennifer Love Hewitt, American actress, singer, producer, best known for her roles in Garfield: the Movie, If Only, I Know What You Did Last Summer.
  • 1973 Libyan Arab Airlines Flight 114 jet was shot down by Israeli fighter aircraft over the Sinai Desert. 108 people were killed.
  • 1972 Luna 20, the Soviet unmanned spaceship, landed on the Moon.
  • 1967 Died: Charles Beaumont, American author, best known as a writer of classic Twilight Zone episodes.
  • 1963 Born: William Baldwin, American actor, producer and screenwriter, best known for roles in films Flatliners, Backdraft, Silver, Fair Game, Virus, Double Bang, Art Heist.
  • 1962 Born: Chuck Palahniuk, American journalist and author, best known for his novel Fight Club, that was made into a feature film
  • 1958 The peace symbol was designed and completed by Gerald Holtom. The symbol was commissioned by Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament in protest against the Atomic Weapons Research Establishment.
  • 1952 Identity cards were abolished by the British government under Winston Churchill to "set the people free".
  • 1947 The first instant camera, the Polaroid Land Camera, was demonstrated by Edwin Land at the meeting of the Optical Society of America in New York City.
  • 1946 Born: Alan Rickman, English actor, best known for his role as Sheriff of Nottingham in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves and Severus Snape in the Harry Potter film series.
  • 1943 Born: David Geffen, American film and record producer, co-founder of DreamWorks and Geffen Records.
  • 1941 Died: Frederick Banting, Canadian physician, Nobel Prize laureate. Banting became the first doctor to use insulin for treating diabetes on humans.
  • 1927 Born: Hubert de Givenchy, French fashion designer, founder of Givenchy, a luxury French brand of haute couture clothing, accessories, perfumes and cosmetics (as Parfums Givenchy).
  • 1926 Died: Heike Kamerlingh Onnes, Dutch physicist, Nobel Prize laureate for investigations of cooled to nearly absolute zero materials behavior and production of liquid helium.
  • 1918 The last Carolina Parakeet, a small native to the eastern, midwest and plains states of the USA parrot with a bright yellow head, died in captivity at the Cincinnati Zoo.
  • 1901 Died: George Francis FitzGerald, Irish mathematician, whose work on electromagnetic theory and the Lorentz–FitzGerald contraction became an integral part of Einstein's Special Theory of Relativity.
  • 1895 Born: Henrik Dam, Danish biochemist, Nobel Prize laureate for discovery of vitamin K and description of its role in human physiology.
  • 1848 The Communist Manifesto was published by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels.
  • 1808 Russian troops crossed the border to Sweden at Abborfors in eastern Finland. There was no previous declaration of war, but this action marked the beginning of the Finnish war.
  • 1804 The first self-propelling steam locomotive made its outing at the Pen-y-Darren Ironworks in Wales.
  • 1677 Died: Baruch Spinoza, Dutch philosopher, who laid the groundwork for the 18th-century Enlightenment and biblical criticism, included modern conceptions of the self and the universe. Today Spinoza is considered as one of the great rationalists of the 17th-century philosophy.
  • 1621 Born: Rebecca Nurse, English-American victim of the Salem witch trials. She and her two sisters were hanged during the hysteria over witchcraft in the Massachusetts colony. Nurse has became a central character in many plays and other dramatic treatments of the witch trials.