This Day in History on 21 January

The historical events hold a lot of value for aspirants who are sitting for UPSC competitive exams including the IAS Exam.

On this page, we will list all historical events that occurred on 21 January. The students can refer to them while preparing for all competitive exams and banking exams.

Important Days

Important Events

1793: King Louis XVI of France was executed on a guillotine for treason.

1805: Holkar and Jat forces defeated the British at Bharalpur.

1908: Gandhiji agrees to settlement on basis of voluntary registration, if Registration Act is repealed.

1924: Labor Party government formed for the first time in Britain, Ramsay Macdonald became the Prime Minister.

1952: Indian National Congress party wins the 1st General Election of India under the ledearship of Jawaharlal Nehru.

1956: Strikes and demonstrations held in Bihar and Orissa in protest of the government’s intention to revise state boundaries.

1961: Queen Elizabeth of England and her husband, the Duke of Edinburgh, paid their first visit to India.

1963: East German party Congress ends; Ulbricht, with Soviet support, condemns Chinese invasion of India at Berlin.

1969: First India built electronic digital computer commissioned.

1972: Manipur and Meghalaya got the independent status of states.

1993: Chander Pal at Bangalore sets record for High Jump in 2.17.

1994: India and Myanmar decide to open border trade.

1997: Delhi was the first city to use propane gas when 50 autorickshaws were started on trial basis.

1999: Bal Thackeray, Shiv Sena chief, suspends his party’s protest against the coming India-Pakistan cricket matches after an urgent meeting with the Union Home Minister in Mumbai.

2000: India successfully tests state-of-the-art anti-tank missile system Fire & Forge.

2008: India launched an Israeli spy satellite and put it in polar orbit.

2009: Israel withdraws from the Gaza Strip, officially ending a three-week war it had with Hamas. However, intermittent fire by both sides continues in the weeks to follow.

2011: Anti-government demonstrations take place in Tirana, Albania. Five people lose their lives from gunshots, allegedly fired by armed police protecting the Prime Minister’s office. To date, no one has been held accountable for the deaths.

2017: Over 400 cities across America and 160+ countries worldwide participate in a large-scale women’s march, on Donald Trump’s first full day as President of the United States.

2018: Rocket Lab’s Electron becomes the first rocket to reach orbit using an electric pump-fed engine and deploys three CubeSats.

Birth/Birth Anniversary

1820: Dalpat Rai, modern Gujrati poet, was born.

Sushant Singh Rajput, Indian actor
Sushant Singh Rajput, Indian actor

1869: Grigori Rasputin, a Russian mystic and self-proclaimed holy man.

1882: Vaman Malhar Joshi, Marathi novelist, was born.

1905: Christian Dior, a French fashion designer, best known as the founder of one of the world’s top fashion houses, also called Christian Dior.

1908: Vaikom Muhammad Basheer, also known as Beypore Sultan, was an Indian independence activist and writer of Malayalam literature.

1910: Ramnath Anandilal Poddar, great industrialist, was born.

1922: Juda Reuben, cricket Test umpire for 10 tests from 1969-77, was born in Mumbai.

1922: V. Rajagopal, cricket test umpire for 1 test in 1969-70, was born in Mumbai.

1924: Professor Madhu Dandavate, former Finance Minister, was born at Ahmednagar.

Rubina Ali, Indian actress
Rubina Ali, Indian actress

1953: Paul Allen, an American business magnate, investor, and philanthropist. He was best known for co-founding Microsoft Corporation with his childhood friend Bill Gates.

1894: Madhav Julian, an Indian Marathi poet.

1986: Sushant Singh Rajput, an Indian actor who is best known for his work in Hindi cinema.

1999: Rubina Ali, Indian actress

Death/ Death Anniversary

1793: Louis XVI, the last king of France.

1870: Alexander Herzen, a Russian writer, and thinker is known as the “father of Russian socialism”.

1924: Vladimir Lenin, a Russian revolutionary, politician, and political theorist.

1926: Camillo Golgi, an Italian biologist, and pathologist knew for his works on the central nervous system.

Rash Behari Bose, Indian soldier and engineer
Rash Behari Bose, Indian soldier and engineer

1943: Hemu Kalani, a Sindhi revolutionary and freedom fighter during the Indian Independence Movement. 

1945: Rash Behari Bose, an Indian revolutionary leader against the British Raj. He passed away at Tokyo, Japan, at the age of 60.

1950: George Orwell, an English novelist, essayist, journalist, and critic.

1963: Acharaya Shivpujan Sahai, famous Hindi writer, poet and novelist, died. He was editor of Hindi journals like “Marwari Sudhar”, “Samanwaya”, “Adarsh” etc. He  wrote 400 short stories and 67 biographies. His novel “Dehati Dunia” is acclaimed as first regional novel in Hindi.

1965: Geeta Bali, an Indian film actress.

1970: Harivinayak Pataskar, former Central Minister and Governor of Madhya Pradesh, passed away.

1978: Nilmoni Phukan, greatest social reformer, prolific writer, poet, editor of ‘Dainik Batori’, journalist and lawyer, passed away. He participated in the Quit India Movement for which he was arrested.

1981: Bishnu Ram Medhi, chief minister of Assam and Governor of Madras, passed away.

1983: Ram Dass Katari, the 3rd Chief of the Naval Staff and the first Indian to hold the office.

1993: Biren Roy, follower of Netaji Subhashchandra Bose, passed away.

Mrinalini Sarabhai
Mrinalini Sarabhai

1997: Surendra Nath Kohli, an Indian Navy admiral who served as the 9th Chief of the Naval Staff of India.

2016: Mrinalini Vikram Sarabhai, an Indian classical dancer, choreographer, and instructor.

2011: E. V. V. Satyanarayana, Indian director, producer, and screenwriter (b. 1958)

2016: Mrinalini Sarabhai, a 1992-Padma Bhushan award winner Indian classical dancer, choreographer and instructor. (b. 1918)

Further Reading

Month-wise This Day in History