Today In History Spotlights Nov. 21, 1620, Signing of the Mayflower Compact

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Today’s History Spotlight

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Today in 1620, the Mayflower Compact is signed. This was the first governing document of the Plymouth Colony. Signed by Puritans who were fleeing religious persecution, as well as tradesmen and adventurers, there were 41 signers.

One of the primary goals of the pilgrims was to establish a government of their own, while simultaneously pledging allegiance to England. Some have referred to the compact as the first major American document to establish liberty based on law and order.

What Happened On This Day – November 21

  • 1979 Mob burns down US embassy in Pakistan. The mob was allegedly incensed by a rumor that the United States was involved in an attack on a mosque in the holy city of Mecca.
  • 1964 Verrazano Narrows Bridge opens in NYC. The suspension bridge connects Staten Island and Brooklyn in New York City and at the time of its opening, it was the world’s longest suspension bridge, until the Humber Bridge in the UK opened in 1981.
  • 1962 War between China and India ends. The month long war began over a border dispute between the two countries and ended with a unilateral ceasefire by the Chinese.
  • 1941 Tweety Bird makes its debut. The fictional cartoon canary also just called Tweety made his first appearance in A Tale of Two Kitties, a Warner Bros. Merrie Melodies cartoon. Tweety was created by animator Bob Clampett who worked on Loony Tunes cartoons.
  • 1920 Bloody Sunday in Ireland. A key event in the Irish War of Independence, which was a conflict between the British government and Irish revolutionaries in Ireland, Bloody Sunday began with the killings of 14 people by the Irish Republican Army (IRA) under the leadership of Michael Collins. Two other violent incidents against civilian and IRA members during the day added to the death count, which was over 30 by the end of the day.

Births On This Day – November 21

  • 1969 Ken Griffey, Jr. – American baseball player
  • 1965 Björk – Icelandic singer-songwriter, producer, actress
  • 1945 Goldie Hawn – American actress
  • 1854 Pope Benedict XV
  • 1694 Voltaire – French philosopher

Deaths On This Day – November 21

  • 2012 Ajmal Kasab – Pakistani terrorist
  • 1996 Abdus Salam – Pakistani physicist, Nobel Prize laureate
  • 1970 C. V. Raman – Indian physicist, Nobel Prize laureate
  • 1959 Max Baer – American boxer, actor
  • 1899 Garret Hobart – American lawyer, politician, 24th Vice President of the United States

The sections “What Happened On This Day,” “Births On This Day,” and “Deaths On This Day” originally appeared at and is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

Garrett Smith
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