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Wednesday 21 February 2024 Calendar with holidays, observances and special days

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Holidays and observances


  • In 2019 - SpaceIL launches the Beresheet probe, the world's first privately financed mission to the Moon.
  • 1995 – Steve Fossett lands in Leader, Saskatchewan, Canada becoming the first person to make a solo flight across the Pacific Ocean in a balloon.
  • 1975 – Watergate scandal: Former United States Attorney General John N. Mitchell and former White House aides H. R. Haldeman and John Ehrlichman are sentenced to prison.
  • 1972 United States President Richard Nixon visits the People's Republic of China to normalize Sino-American relations.
  • 1971 The Convention on Psychotropic Substances is signed at Vienna.
  • 1965 Malcolm X is assassinated at the Audubon Ballroom in New York City.
  • 1958 The CND symbol, aka peace symbol, commissioned by the Direct Action Committee in protest against the Atomic Weapons Research Establishment, is designed and completed by Gerald Holtom.
  • 1947 In New York City, Edwin Land demonstrates the first "instant camera", the Polaroid Land Camera, to a meeting of the Optical Society of America.
  • 1925 – The New Yorker publishes its first issue.
  • 1921 Constituent Assembly of the Democratic Republic of Georgia adopts the country's first constitution.
  • 1896 – An Englishman raised in Australia, Bob Fitzsimmons, fought an Irishman, Peter Maher, in an American promoted event which technically took place in Mexico, winning the 1896 World Heavyweight Championship in boxing.
  • 1885 The newly completed Washington Monument is dedicated.
  • 1878 – The first telephone directory is issued in New Haven, Connecticut.
  • 1874 – The Oakland Daily Tribune publishes its first edition.
  • 1862 – American Civil War: Battle of Valverde is fought near Fort Craig in New Mexico Territory.
  • 1842 – John Greenough is granted the first U.S. patent for the sewing machine.
  • 1828 Initial issue of the Cherokee Phoenix is the first periodical to use the Cherokee syllabary invented by Sequoyah.
  • 1804 – The first self-propelling steam locomotive makes its outing at the Pen-y-Darren Ironworks in Wales.
  • 1245 – Thomas, the first known Bishop of Finland, is granted resignation after confessing to torture and forgery.


  • 1991 – Devon Travis, American baseball player. Devon Anthony Travis (born February 21, 1991) is an American professional baseball second baseman who is a free agent.
  • 1985 – Jamaal Westerman, American football player. Jamaal Akeem Westerman (born February 21, 1985) is an American football defensive lineman for the Hamilton Tiger-Cats of the Canadian Football League (CFL).
  • 1984 – James Wisniewski, American ice hockey player. James Joseph Wisniewski (born February 21, 1984) is an American professional ice hockey defenseman who is currently an unrestricted free agent.
  • 1983 – Braylon Edwards, American football player. Braylon Jamel Edwards (born February 21, 1983) is a former American football wide receiver in the National Football League (NFL).
  • 1982 – Andre Barrett, American basketball player. Andre Rashawd Barrett (born February 21, 1982) is an American professional basketball player who last played for Obras Sanitarias of the Liga Nacional de Básquet.
  • 1982 – Chantal Claret, American singer-songwriter. She is best known as the lead singer for the rock and power pop band Morningwood.
  • 1980 – Justin Roiland, American animator, writer and voice actor. He is also known for voicing the Earl of Lemongrab on Cartoon Network's Adventure Time and Blendin Blandin on Gravity Falls.
  • 1979 – Jennifer Love Hewitt, American actress and producer. She received her breakthrough role as Sarah Reeves Merrin on the Fox teen drama Party of Five (1995–1999) and rose to fame as a teen star for her role as Julie James in the horror film I Know What You Did Last Summer (1997) and its 1998 sequel, as well as Amanda Beckett in the teen comedy film Can't Hardly Wait (1998).
  • 1979 – Jordan Peele, American actor, producer, and screenwriter. He is best known for his film and television work in the comedy and horror genres.
  • 1978 – Kumail Nanjiani, Pakistani-American stand-up comedian, actor, writer and podcast host. Kumail Ali Nanjiani (born February 21, 1978) is a Pakistani American stand-up comedian, actor, podcast host and writer best known for writing and starring in the romantic comedy The Big Sick (2017) and for being a main cast member on HBO's comedy series Silicon Valley (2014–2019).
  • 1977 – Jonathan Safran Foer, American novelist. He teaches creative writing at New York University.
  • 1977 – Kevin Rose, American businessman and television host, founded Digg. Robert Kevin Rose (born February 21, 1977) is an American Internet entrepreneur who co-founded Revision3, Digg, Pownce, and Milk.
  • 1977 – Owen King, American author. Owen Philip King (born February 21, 1977) is an American author and the younger son of authors Stephen and Tabitha King.
  • 1977 – Steve Francis, American basketball player. He was a three-time NBA All-Star while playing for the Houston Rockets.
  • 1973 – Brian Rolston, American ice hockey player and coach. Brian Lee Rolston (born February 21, 1973) is an American former professional ice hockey player who most recently played for the Boston Bruins of the National Hockey League (NHL).
  • 1969 – Aunjanue Ellis, American actress and producer. She began her acting career in theater, and made her film debut in Girls Town.
  • 1969 – Cathy Richardson, American singer-songwriter and guitarist. She is the lead singer for the band Jefferson Starship and her own Cathy Richardson Band, and has performed the Janis Joplin parts for Joplin's former band Big Brother and the Holding Company.
  • 1969 – Tony Meola, American soccer player and manager. Antonio Michael "Tony" Meola (/miˈoʊlə/; Italian: ; born February 21, 1969) is an American former soccer goalkeeper who represented the United States national team at the 1990, 1994, and 2002 World Cups.
  • 1967 – Leroy Burrell, American runner and coach. Leroy Russel Burrell (born February 21, 1967) is an American former track and field athlete, who twice set the world record for the 100 m sprint.
  • 1964 – Mark Kelly, American captain, pilot, and astronaut. He also is an author, political activist, as well as aerospace executive and consultant.
  • 1963 – William Baldwin, American actor. He has starred in the films Flatliners (1990), Backdraft (1991), Sliver (1993), Virus (1999), The Squid and the Whale (2005), A Christmas Trade (2015), played himself in Forgetting Sarah Marshall, and currently stars in and produces the Netflix show Northern Rescue.
  • 1962 – Chuck Palahniuk, American novelist and journalist. Charles Michael Palahniuk (/ˈpɔːlənɪk/; born February 21, 1962) is an American novelist and freelance journalist, who describes his work as transgressional fiction.
  • 1962 – David Foster Wallace, American novelist, short story writer, and essayist (d. 2008), was an American writer and university professor in the disciplines of English and creative writing. His novel Infinite Jest (1996) was listed by Time magazine as one of the 100 best English-language novels published between 1923 and 2005.
  • 1961 – Christopher Atkins, American actor and businessman. Christopher Atkins (born Christopher Atkins Bomann, February 21, 1961) is an American actor who became famous following his debut film role in the 1980 film The Blue Lagoon.
  • 1960 – Steve Wynn, American singer-songwriter. Stephen Alan Wynn (né Weinberg; born January 27, 1942) is an American real estate businessman and art collector.
  • 1958 – Alan Trammell, American baseball player, coach, and manager. He currently serves as a special assistant to the General Manager of the Detroit Tigers.
  • 1958 – Mary Chapin Carpenter, American singer-songwriter and guitarist. Carpenter's first album, 1987's Hometown Girl, did not produce any singles, although 1989's State of the Heart and 1990's Shooting Straight in the Dark each produced four Top 20 hits on the Billboard country singles charts.
  • 1955 – Kelsey Grammer, American actor, singer, and producer. Allen Kelsey Grammer (born February 21, 1955) is an American actor, voice actor, comedian, singer, producer, director, writer and activist, best known for his two-decade-long portrayal of psychiatrist Dr.
  • 1953 – Christine Ebersole, American actress and singer. She appeared on Broadway in the musical 42nd Street, winning a Tony Award, and appeared both off-Broadway and on Broadway in the musical Grey Gardens, winning her second Tony Award.
  • 1953 – William Petersen, American actor and producer. He also starred in the films To Live and Die in L.A. (1985), Manhunter (1986), Young Guns II (1990), Fear (1996), The Contender (2000), Detachment (2011), and Seeking a Friend for the End of the World (2012).
  • 1951 – Vince Welnick, American keyboard player (d. 2006), was an American keyboardist, best known for playing with the band the Tubes during the 1970s and 1980s and with the Grateful Dead in the 1990s.
  • 1949 – Frank Brunner, American illustrator. Frank Brunner (born February 21, 1949) is an American comics artist and illustrator best known for his work at Marvel Comics in the 1970s.
  • 1949 – Jerry Harrison, American singer-songwriter, guitarist, and producer. In 2002, Harrison was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of Talking Heads.
  • 1949 – Larry Drake, American actor (d. 2016), was an American actor, voice artist, and comedian, best known as Benny Stulwicz in L.A. Law, for which he won two Primetime Emmy Awards.
  • 1948 – Bill Slayback, American baseball player and singer (d. 2015), was an American professional baseball pitcher. He appeared in 42 games, 17 as a starter for the Detroit Tigers of Major League Baseball (MLB).
  • 1947 – Johnny Echols, American singer-songwriter and guitarist, was co-founder and the lead guitar player of the psychedelic rock band Love.
  • 1947 – Olympia Snowe, American politician, was a United States Senator from Maine from 1995 to 2013. Snowe, a member of the Republican Party, became widely known for her ability to influence the outcome of close votes, including whether to end filibusters.
  • 1946 – Bob Ryan, American journalist and author. Ryan (born February 21, 1946) is an American sportswriter formerly for The Boston Globe.
  • 1946 – Tyne Daly, American actress and singer. She has won six Emmy Awards for her television work and a Tony Award, and is a 2011 American Theatre Hall of Fame inductee.
  • 1943 – David Geffen, American businessman, co-founded DreamWorks and Geffen Records. David Lawrence Geffen (born February 21, 1943) is an American business magnate, producer, film studio executive, and philanthropist.
  • 1938 – Bobby Charles, American singer-songwriter (d. 2010). An ethnic Cajun, Charles was born in Abbeville, Louisiana, and grew up listening to Cajun music and the country and western music of Hank Williams.
  • 1936 – Barbara Jordan, American lawyer and politician (d. 1996), was an American lawyer, educator and politician who was a leader of the Civil Rights Movement. A Democrat, she was the first African American elected to the Texas Senate after Reconstruction and the first Southern African-American woman elected to the United States House of Representatives.
  • 1935 – Richard A. Lupoff, American author. Richard Allen Lupoff (born February 21, 1935) is an American science fiction and mystery author, who has also written humor, satire, non-fiction and reviews.
  • 1934 – Rue McClanahan, American actress (d. 2010), was an American actress and comedian best known for her roles on television as Vivian Harmon on Maude (1972–78), Aunt Fran Crowley on Mama's Family (1983–84), and Blanche Devereaux on The Golden Girls (1985–92), for which she won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series in 1987.
  • 1933 – Nina Simone, American singer-songwriter and pianist (d. 2003), was an American singer, songwriter, musician, arranger, and civil rights activist. Her music spanned a broad range of musical styles including classical, jazz, blues, folk, R&B, gospel, and pop.
  • 1927 – Erma Bombeck, American journalist and author (d. 1996), was an American humorist who achieved great popularity for her newspaper column that described suburban home life from the mid-1960s until the late 1990s. Bombeck also published 15 books, most of which became bestsellers.
  • 1927 – Hubert de Givenchy, French fashion designer, founded Givenchy, was a French fashion designer who founded the house of Givenchy in 1952. He was famous for having designed much of the personal and professional wardrobe of Audrey Hepburn and clothing for Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy.
  • 1925 – Jack Ramsay, American basketball player, coach, and sportscaster (d. 2014). He was best known for leading the Portland Trail Blazers to the 1977 NBA Title, and for his broadcasting work with the Indiana Pacers, the Miami Heat, and for ESPN TV and ESPN Radio.
  • 1925 – Sam Peckinpah, American director and screenwriter (d. 1984), was an American film director and screenwriter who achieved prominence following the release of the Western epic The Wild Bunch (1969). He was known for the visually innovative and explicit depiction of action and violence as well as his revisionist approach to the Western genre.
  • 1924 – Dorothy Blum, American computer scientist and cryptanalyst (d. 1980). She worked for the National Security Agency and its predecessors from 1944 until her death in 1980.
  • 1924 – Thelma Estrin, American computer scientist and engineer (d. 2014), was an American computer scientist and engineer who did pioneering work in the fields of expert systems and biomedical engineering. She was one of the first to apply computer technology to healthcare and medical research.
  • 1921 – John Rawls, American philosopher and academic (d. 2002). Rawls received both the Schock Prize for Logic and Philosophy and the National Humanities Medal in 1999, the latter presented by President Bill Clinton, in recognition of how Rawls' work "helped a whole generation of learned Americans revive their faith in democracy itself."
  • 1921 – Richard T. Whitcomb, American aeronautical engineer (d. 2009), was an American aeronautical engineer who was noted for his contributions to the science of aerodynamics.
  • 1917 – Lucille Bremer, American actress and dancer (d. 1996), was an American film actress and dancer.
  • 1917 – Tadd Dameron, American pianist and composer (d. 1965), was an American jazz composer, arranger, and pianist. Saxophonist Dexter Gordon called him the "romanticist" of the bop movement, while reviewer Scott Yanow wrote that Dameron was the "definitive arranger/composer of the bop era".
  • 1915 – Ann Sheridan, American actress (d. 1967), was an American actress and singer. She worked regularly from 1934 until her death, first in film and later in television.
  • 1914 – Jean Tatlock, American psychiatrist and physician (d. 1944). She was a member of the Communist Party of America and was a reporter and writer for the party's publication Western Worker.
  • 1914 – Zachary Scott, American actor (d. 1965), was an American actor who was most notable for his roles as villains and "mystery men".
  • 1912 – Arline Judge, American actress and singer (d. 1974), was an American actress who worked mostly in low-budget B movies, but gained some fame for marrying and divorcing seven times.
  • 1907 – W. H. Auden, English-American poet, playwright, and composer (d. 1973). Auden's poetry was noted for its stylistic and technical achievement, its engagement with politics, morals, love, and religion, and its variety in tone, form and content.
  • 1903 – Anaïs Nin, French-American essayist and memoirist (d. 1977), was a French-Cuban American diarist, essayist, novelist, and writer of short stories and erotica. Born to Cuban parents in France, Nin was the daughter of composer Joaquín Nin and Rosa Culmell, a classically trained singer.
  • 1893 – Celia Lovsky, Austrian-American actress (d. 1979). She was born in Vienna, daughter of Břetislav Lvovsky (1857–1910), a minor Czech opera composer.
  • 1892 – Harry Stack Sullivan, American psychiatrist and psychoanalyst (d. 1949), was an American Neo-Freudian psychiatrist and psychoanalyst who held that "personality can never be isolated from the complex interpersonal relationships in which person lives" and that "he field of psychiatry is the field of interpersonal relations under any and all circumstances in which relations exist". Having studied therapists Sigmund Freud, Adolf Meyer, and William Alanson White, he devoted years of clinical and research work to helping people with psychotic illness.
  • 1865 – John Haden Badley, English author and educator, founded the Bedales School (d. 1967), was an English author, educator, and founder of Bedales School, which claims to have become the first coeducational public boarding school in England in 1893.
  • 1821 – Charles Scribner I, American publisher, founded Charles Scribner's Sons (d. 1871), was a New Yorker who, with Isaac D. Baker (1819–1850), founded a publishing company that would eventually become Charles Scribner's Sons.
  • 1788 – Francis Ronalds, British scientist, inventor and engineer (d. 1873), was an English scientist and inventor, and arguably the first electrical engineer. He was knighted for creating the first working electric telegraph over a substantial distance.


  • 2015 – Clark Terry, American trumpet player, composer, and educator (b. 1920)
  • 2015 – Robert O. Marshall, American businessman (b. 1939)
  • 2014 – Cornelius Schnauber, German–American historian, playwright, and academic (b. 1939)
  • 2014 – Héctor Maestri, Cuban-American baseball player (b. 1935)
  • 2012 – Barney Rosset, American publisher (b. 1922)
  • 2012 – H. M. Darmstandler, American general (b. 1922)
  • 2011 – Bernard Nathanson, American physician and activist (b. 1926)
  • 2011 – Dwayne McDuffie, American author and screenwriter, co-founded Milestone Media (b. 1962)
  • 2008 – Ben Chapman, American actor (b. 1928)
  • 1999 – Gertrude B. Elion, American biochemist and pharmacologist, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1918)
  • 1999 – Wilmer Mizell, American baseball player and politician (b. 1930)
  • 1996 – Morton Gould, American pianist, composer, and conductor (b. 1913)
  • 1986 – Helen Hooven Santmyer, American novelist (b. 1895)
  • 1985 – Louis Hayward, South African-American actor (b. 1909)
  • 1974 – Tim Horton, Canadian ice hockey player and businessman, co-founded Tim Hortons (b. 1930)
  • 1972 – Bronislava Nijinska, Russian-American dancer and choreographer (b. 1891)
  • 1967 – Charles Beaumont, American author and screenwriter (b. 1929)
  • 1965 – Malcolm X, American minister and activist (b. 1925)
  • 1938 – George Ellery Hale, American astronomer and academic (b. 1868)
  • 1891 – James Timberlake, American lieutenant and police officer (b. 1846)