Oct 21, 1959: Guggenheim Museum opens in New York City
On this day in 1959, on New York City's Fifth Avenue, thousands of people line up outside a bizarrely shaped white concrete building that resembled a giant upside-down cupcake. It was opening day at the new Guggenheim Museum, home to one of the world's top collections of contemporary art.
Mining tycoon Solomon R. Guggenheim began collecting art seriously when he retired in the 1930s. With the help of Hilla Rebay, a German baroness and artist, Guggenheim displayed his purchases for the first time in 1939 in a former car showroom in New York. Within a few years, the collection—including works by Vasily Kandinsky, Paul Klee and Marc Chagall—had outgrown the small space. In 1943, Rebay contacted architect Frank Lloyd Wright and asked him to take on the work of designing not just a museum, but a "temple of spirit," where people would learn to see art in a new way.
Over the next 16 years, until his death six months before the museum opened, Wright worked to bring his unique vision to life. To Wright's fans, the museum that opened on October 21, 1959, was a work of art in itself. Inside, a long ramp spiraled upwards for a total of a quarter-mile around a large central rotunda, topped by a domed glass ceiling. Reflecting Wright's love of nature, the 50,000-meter space resembled a giant seashell, with each room opening fluidly into the next.
Wright's groundbreaking design drew criticism as well as admiration. Some felt the oddly-shaped building didn't complement the artwork. They complained the museum was less about art and more about Frank Lloyd Wright. On the flip side, many others thought the architect had achieved his goal: a museum where building and art work together to create "an uninterrupted, beautiful symphony."
Located on New York's impressive Museum Mile, at the edge of Central Park, the Guggenheim has become one of the city's most popular attractions. In 1993, the original building was renovated and expanded to create even more exhibition space. Today, Wright's creation continues to inspire awe, as well as odd comparisons—a Jello mold! a washing machine! a pile of twisted ribbon!—for many of the 900,000-plus visitors who visit the Guggenheim each year.
Oct 21, 1941: Germans massacre men, women, and children in Yugoslavia
On this day in 1941, German soldiers go on a rampage, killing thousands of Yugoslavian civilians, including whole classes of schoolboys.
Despite attempts to maintain neutrality at the outbreak of World War II, Yugoslavia finally succumbed to signing a "friendship treaty" with Germany in late 1940, finally joining the Tripartite "Axis" Pact in March 1941. The masses of Yugoslavians protested this alliance, and shortly thereafter the regents who had been trying to hold a fragile confederacy of ethnic groups and regions together since the creation of Yugoslavia at the close of World War I fell to a coup, and the Serb army placed Prince Peter into power. The prince-now the king--rejected the alliance with Germany-and the Germans retaliated with the Luftwaffe bombing of Belgrade, killing about 17,000 people.
With Yugoslavian resistance collapsing, King Peter removed to London, setting up a government-in-exile. Hitler then began to carve up Yugoslavia into puppet states, primarily divided along ethnic lines, hoping to win the loyalty of some-such as the Croats-with the promise of a postwar independent state. (In fact, many Croats did fight alongside the Germans in its battle against the Soviet Union.) Hungary, Bulgaria, and Italy all took bites out of Yugoslavia, as Serb resisters were regularly massacred. On October 21, in Kragujevac, 2,300 men and boys were murdered; Kraljevo saw 7,000 more killed by German troops, and in the region of Macva, 6,000 men, women, and children were murdered.
Serb partisans, fighting under the leadership of the socialist Josef "Tito" Brozovich, won support from Britain and aid from the USSR in their battle against the occupiers. "The people just do not recognize authority...they follow the Communist bandits blindly," complained one German official reporting back to Berlin.
Oct 21, 1967: 100,000 people march on the Pentagon
Demonstrators including radicals, liberals, black nationalists, hippies, professors, women's groups, and war veterans march on the Pentagon.
The rally in front of the Lincoln Memorial started peacefully, though Dr. Benjamin Spock—baby specialist, author, and outspoken critic of the war—did call President Johnson "the enemy." After the rally, the demonstrators, many waving the red, blue, and gold flag of the Viet Cong, began marching toward the Pentagon. Violence erupted when the more radical element of the demonstrators clashed with the soldiers and U.S. Marshals protecting the Pentagon.
The protesters surrounded and besieged the military nerve center until the early hours of October 23. By the time order was restored, 683 people, including novelist Norman Mailer and two United Press International reporters, had been arrested. This protest was paralleled by demonstrations in Japan and Western Europe, the most violent of which occurred outside the U.S. Embassy in London when 3,000 demonstrators attempted to storm the building.
Here's a more detailed look at events that transpired on this date throughout history:
310 - St Eusebius ends his reign as Catholic Pope
335 - Roman Emperor Constantine the Great rules laws against Jews
686 - Conon begins his reign as Catholic Pope
1096 - Sultan Kilidj Arslan of Nicea defeats 1st Crusaders
1187 - Alberto de Morra elected as Pope Gregorius VIII (12/17/1187)
1512 - Martin Luther joins the theological faculty of the University of Wittenberg.
1520 - Ferdinand Magellen arrives at Tierra Del Fuego (Pacific Ocean)
1553 - Volumes of Talmud are burned
1555 - Emperor Charles V makes Erard of Pallandt earl of Culemborg
1555 - English parliament refuses to recognize Philip of Spain as king
1568 - 2nd Altenburger sermon: Philippisten/Gnesiolutheranen
1591 - Nijmegen surrenders to Earl Mauritius van Nassau
1601 - Memorial service for Daitokuji's Shinju held for Ikkyu Sojun in Kyoto
1639 - Sea battle at Dunes, Lt Admiral Maarten Tromp defeats Spanish armada under De Oquendo
1652 - King Louis XIV returns to Paris
1708 - Dutch & English troops occupy Lille (Rijsel)
1727 - Russian & Chinese accord to correct boundaries
1774 - First display of the word "Liberty" on a flag, raised by colonists in Taunton, Massachusetts and which was in defiance of British rule in Colonial America.
1797 - US Navy frigate Constitution, Old Ironsides, launched in Boston
Founder of Protestanism Martin LutherFounder of Protestanism Martin Luther 1805 - Battle of Trafalgar, British Admiral Nelson defeats French & Spanish fleet but shot and killed
1816 - The Penang Free School is founded in George Town, Penang, Malaysia, by the Rev Hutchings. It is the oldest English-language school in Southeast Asia.
1824 - Joseph Aspdin patents Portland cement (Yorkshire England)
1854 - Florence Nightingale and a staff of 38 nurses were sent to the Crimean War.
1858 - In Paris, the Can-Can is 1st performed
1858 - Jacques Offenbach's opera "Orphée aux Enfers," premieres in Paris
1861 - Battle of Balls Bluff, VA (Leesburg, Harrison's Island)
1864 - Battle of Westport, MO (Kansas City)
1868 - Severe earthquake at 7:53 AM, centered in Hayward, Calif
1869 - 1st shipment of fresh oysters comes overland from Baltimore
1871 - 1st US amateur outdoor athletic games (NY)
1878 - German republic chancellor Bismarck delegates end of "Socialism"
1879 - Thomas Edison perfects carbonized cotton filament light bulb
1887 - Detroit clinches best-of-15 touring World Championship with its 8th victory in Game 11 this afternoon in Baltimore, 13-3
1895 - The Republic of Formosa collapses as Japanese forces invade.
Inventor Thomas EdisonInventor Thomas Edison 1897 - Yerkes Observatory of University of Chicago is dedicated
1899 - Battle at Elandslaagte Natal: (Boers vs British army)
1902 - In the United States, a five month strike by United Mine Workers ends.
1905 - England Pilgrim Association beats All NY 11, 7-1 in soccer at Polo Grounds
1911 - RS Hichens & M Hudsons "Garden of Allah," premieres in NYC
1911 - Manitoba, Saskatchewan & Alberta Unions form Western Canada Rugby Football Union
1914 - Battle of Warsaw ends with German defeat
1915 - 1st transatlantic radiotelephone message, Arlington, Va to Paris
1917 - 1st Americans to see action on front lines of WW I
1917 - Petrograds garrison accepts Revolutionary Military Committee
1918 - Margaret Owen sets world typing speed record of 170 wpm for 1 min
1921 - Tuschinski Theater opens in Amsterdam
1923 - 1st planetarium opens at Deutsche Museum in Munich
1924 - KLM Fokker's F7 H-NACC departs to Dutch East Indies
1925 - Sidney Howards "Lucky Sam McGarver," premieres in NYC
Baseball Player Hank GreenbergBaseball Player Hank Greenberg 1935 - Hank Greenberg selected AL MVP unanimously
1937 - Dmitri Shostakovitch's 5th Symphony premieres
1937 - Franco-troops occupies Gijon
1938 - Japanese troops occupies Canton
1940 - RAF drops 1st anti-nazi pamphlets on Netherlands
1944 - Canadian troops occupy Breskens
1944 - During WW II, US troops capture Aachen, 1st large German city to fall
1944 - Walter Piston's "Fugue for a Victory Tune," premieres in NYC
1945 - Women in France allowed to vote for 1st time
1947 - Dutch Dakota explodes near Coopenhagen, 16 die
1948 - Beersheba liberated by Israeli army
1948 - Dutch Constellation crashes at Prestwick Scotland (40 murder)
1948 - Facsimile high-speed radio transmission demonstrated (Washington DC)
1948 - UN reject Russian proposal to destroy atomic weapons
1950 - Chinese forces occupy Tibet
1950 - Death penalty abolished in Belgium
1950 - Patty Berg wins LPGA Hardscrabble Women's Golf Invitation
1950 - Tom Powers of Duke scores 6 touchdowns
1952 - Dutch government refuses New-Guinea (West-Irian)
Short Story Writer Dorothy ParkerShort Story Writer Dorothy Parker 1954 - Dorothy Parker/Arnaud d'Usseau's "Ladies of the Corridor," premieres
1954 - Indonesian troops land in New-Guinea
1956 - Betty Dodd wins LPGA Lawton Golf Open
1957 - Giants purchase Class-A Phoenix team
1957 - Jailhouse Rock starring Elvis Presley opens
1957 - Marlene Hagge wins LPGA Lawton Golf Open
1958 - 1st women in British House of Lords
1959 - Contra revolutionaries bomb Havana
1959 - Guggenheim Museum, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, opens (NYC)
1959 - Players Association approves 2 All-Star Games in 1960, to be held in KC & NY
1960 - 1st British nuclear sub HMS Dreadnought launched
1960 - JFK & Nixon clashed in 4th & final presidential debate (NYC)
1961 - Barbra Striesand opens in "Another Evening with Harry Stones"
1961 - USSR performs nuclear test at Sary Shagan USSR
1962 - Mickey Wright wins LPGA Carlsbad Cavern Golf Open
US President John F. KennedyUS President John F. Kennedy 1964 - Abebe Bikila runs Olympic/World record marathon (2:12:11.2)
1964 - Braves ask NL to allow them to leave Milwaukee for Atlanta
1965 - KTWU TV channel 11 in Topeka, KS (PBS) begins broadcasting
1965 - Nobel prize for chemistry awarded to Robert B Woodward
1965 - Vivian Beaumont Theater (NYC) opens
1965 - Comet Ikeya-Seki approaches perihelion, passing 450,000 kilometers from the sun.
1966 - 144 die as a coal waste landslide engulfed a school in Aberfan, South Wales
1967 - Egypt sinks Israeli torpedo boat
1967 - Thousands opposing Vietnam War try to storm Pentagon
1969 - Bloodless coup in Somalia (National Day)
1969 - Leonard Gersh' "Butterflies are Free," premieres in NYC
1969 - Willy Brandt elected chancellor of West Germany
1969 - Maj Gen Mohamed Siad Barre becomes President of Somali
1970 - 777 Unification church couples wed in Korea
1970 - Caledonian Airways takes over British United Airways
1970 - Nobel prize of peace awarded to Norman E Borlaugh
1971 - "To Live Another Summer" opens at Helen Hayes NYC for 173 perfs
1971 - Nobel prize for literature awarded to Pablo Neruda
1971 - USSR performs nuclear test at Eastern Kazakh/Semipalitinsk USSR
1971 - William H Rehnquist & Lewis F Powell nominated to US Supreme Court by Nixon, following resignations of Justices Hugo Black & John Harlan
1972 - "Dude" closes at Broadway Theater NYC after 16 performances
1972 - "Man of La Mancha" closes at Beaumont Theater NYC after 140 perfs
1972 - "Pacific Paradise" closes at Palace Theater NYC after 5 performances
1973 - A's manager Dick Williams quits after A's beat Mets in World Series
1973 - Kathy Whitworth wins LPGA Waco Tribune Herald Ladies Golf Classic
1973 - Fred Dryer of the then Los Angeles Rams becomes the first player in NFL history to score two safeties in the same game.
1974 - 1st Islander shut-out opponent-Billy Smith 5-0 vs Caps
1974 - Sandra Palmer wins LPGA Cubic Corp Golf Classic
1975 - "Treemonisha" opens at Uris Theater NYC for 64 performances
1975 - Coast Guard Academy 1st allows women to enroll
Singer Elton JohnSinger Elton John 1975 - Elton John given a star in Hollywood
1975 - Mexico City's 1st major subway accident takes 26 lives
1975 - Red Sox Carlton Fisk's 12th inning HR beats Reds 7-6 in game 6 of WS
1975 - USSR performs nuclear test at Novaya Zemlya USSR
1975 - Venera 9, 1st craft to orbit planet Venus launched
1976 - 55th weaapon accord signed
1976 - American Saul Bellow wins Nobel Prize for Literature
1976 - Cin Reds sweep NY Yankees, in 73rd World Series
1976 - NY Knicks retire 1st number, # 19, Willis Reed
1976 - NY Yankee Thurman Munson ties World Series mark of 6 straight singles
1976 - Nobel prize for literature awarded to Saul Bellow
1977 - US recalls William Bowdler, ambassador to South Africa
1977 - The European Patent Institute is founded.
1978 - Australian civilian pilot Frederick Valentich vanishes in a Cessna 182 over the Bass Strait south of Melbourne, after reporting contact with an unidentified aircraft.
1979 - 10th NYC Marathon won by Bill Rodgers in 2:11:42
1979 - 9th NYC Women's Marathon won by Grete Waitz in 2:27:33
1979 - Greta Weitz wins woman participation in NYC marathon (02:27:33)
1979 - Israeli minister of Foreign affairs Moshe Dayan resigns
1979 - Ozzie Newsome begins NFL streak of 150 consecutive game receptions
1980 - "Banjo Dancing" opens at Century Theater NYC for 38 performances
1980 - 1st (& only) time Phillies win World Series (in 98 years)
1980 - Mikhail Gorbachev elected member of Politburo
1980 - Phillies win their 1st World Championship in their 98-year history
264th Pope John Paul II264th Pope John Paul II 1983 - Pope John Paul II names 3 new Dutch bishops
1984 - Cleveland Browns' Steve Cox sets club record with a 60-yd field goal
1984 - Niki Lauda becomes 3rd time motor racing world champ
1984 - Steve Jones runs Chicago Marathon in world record 2:08:05
1985 - Qasim Omar (206) & Javed Miandad (203*) make 397 stand v SL
1986 - 1st-class cricket debut of Andy Flower, ZCU Presidents XI v Young WI
1986 - Hugh Whitemore's "Breaking the Code," premieres in London
1986 - IBM re-forms in South Africa
1986 - Republic of Marshall Islands signs Compact of Free Association with US
1986 - US writer Edward A Tracy kidnap in Beirut
1987 - 7th Belgium government of Martens forms
1987 - Nobel prize for economy awarded to Robert M Solow
1987 - Senate debate begins rejecting Robert Bork's Supreme Ct nomination
1988 - Boston Celtics beat Yugoslavia 113-85 in Madrid
1988 - Ferdinand & Imelda Marcos indicted on racketeering charges
1989 - "Dangerous Games" closes at Nederlander Theater NYC after 4 perfs
1989 - Buck Helm found alive after being buried 4 days, in SF earthquake
1989 - Houston becomes 1st major college team to gain 1000 yards in a game
1989 - 1st black owners (Betram Lee & Peter Bynoe) to own a major sports team, purchasing Denver Nuggets for $65m
1990 - Esther Canseco calls Oakland A's manager Tony La Russa a "punk" for not starting husband Jose in the World Series
1990 - The first Apple Day, is held in Covent Garden, London.
1991 - 24 die in a fire in Oakland Calif
1991 - Former California gov Jerry Brown announce run for presidency
1991 - US hostage Jesse Turner released from 5 years in captivity in Beirut
Pop Star MadonnaPop Star Madonna 1992 - Madonna's book "Sex" goes on sale
1993 - "Twilight of the Golds" opens at Booth Theater NYC for 29 performances
1993 - Gary Kasparov defeats Nigel Short for chess championship
1993 - Military coup by Burundi Pres Ndadaye; 525,000 Hutus flee
1994 - Hana bridge is Seoul Korea crashes, 32+ die
1994 - North Korea signs pact to end their nuclear projects
1995 - Addison Vance, 18, of Hickory NC, crowned 7th Ms Venus Swimwear
1995 - Mario Tremblay, selected 22nd NHL coach of Montreal Canadians
1997 - Elton John's tribute to Diana, Princess of wales, breaks world record, 318 million dist
1997 - Cleve Marquis Grissom hit in his 15th straight World Series game (streak ends at 15, he is 2nd to Hank Baur with 17)
2001 - "United We Stand" benefit concert for September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks victims, held at RFK Stadium in Washington, DC. Event organized and headlined by Michael Jackson, also featuring pop stars Aerosmith, Mariah Carey, The Backstreet Boys, and others.
2003 - Images of the dwarf planet Eris are taken and subsequently used in its discovery by the team of Michael E. Brown, Chad Trujillo, and David L. Rabinowitz.
1797 - "Old Ironsides," the U.S. Navy frigate Constitution, was launched in Boston's harbor. 1805 - The Battle of Trafalgar occurred off the coast of Spain. The British defeated the French and Spanish fleet. 1849 - The first tattooed man, James F. O’Connell, was put on exhibition at the Franklin Theatre in New York City, NY. 1858 - The Can-Can was performed for the first time in Paris. 1879 - Thomas Edison invented the electric incandescent lamp. It would last 13 1/2 hours before it would burn out. 1917 - The first U.S. soldiers entered combat during World War I near Nancy, France. 1918 - Margaret Owen set a typing speed record of 170 words per minute on a manual typewriter. 1925 - The photoelectric cell was first demonstrated at the Electric Show in New York City, NY. 1925 - The U.S. Treasury Department announced that it had fined 29,620 people for prohibition (of alcohol) violations. 1927 - Construction began on the George Washington Bridge. 1944 - During World War II, the German city of Aachen was captured by U.S. troops. 1945 - Women in France were allowed to vote for the first time. 1950 - Chinese forces invaded Tibet. 1959 - The Guggenheim Museum was opened to the public in New York. The building was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. 1966 - In south Wales, 140 people were killed by a coal waste landslide engulfed a school and several houses. 1967 - Thousands of demonstrators marched in Washington, DC, in opposition to the Vietnam War. 1980 - The Philadelphia Phillies won their first World Series. 1983 - The Pentagon reported that 2,000 Marines were headed to Grenada to protect and evacuate Americans living there. 1986 - Pro-Iranian kidnappers in Lebanon claimed that they had abducted American writer Edward Tracy. He was not released until August of 1991. 1986 - The U.S. ordered 55 Soviet diplomats to leave. The action was in reaction to the Soviet Union expelling five American diplomats. 1988 - Former Philippine President Ferdinand E. Marcos and his wife, Imelda, were indicted in New York on fraud and racketeering charges. Marcos died before his trial and Imelda was acquitted in 1990. 1991 - Jesse Turner, an American hostage in Lebanon, was released after nearly five years of being imprisoned. 1993 - The play "The Twilight of the Golds" opened. 1994 - North Korea and the U.S. signed an agreement requiring North Korea to halt its nuclear program and agree to inspections. 1994 - Rosario Ames, the wife of CIA agent Aldrich Ames, was sentenced to five years in prison for her role in her husband's espionage. 1998 - 68 people were arrested in Indonesia for the killing spree that left nine suspected murderers dead. 1998 - The New York Yankees set a major league baseball record of 125 victories for the regular and postseason combined. 1998 - Cancer specialist Dr. Jane Henney became the FDA's first female commissioner. 2003 - The U.S. Senate voted to ban what was known as partial birth abortions. 2003 - North Korea rejected U.S. President George W. Bush's offer of a written pledge not to attack in exchange for the communist nation agreeing to end its nuclear weapons program.
1797 The navy frigate U.S. Constitution, known as "Old Ironsides," was launched in Boston Harbor. 1805 Admiral Horatio Nelson died in the Battle of Trafalgar. 1837 Seminole chief Osceola was captured as he carried a white flag of truce during the Second Seminole War. 1879 Thomas Edison invented a workable incandescent electric lamp. 1959 The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum of modern and contemporary art, designed by architect Frank Lloyd Wright, opened to the public in New York City.
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