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21 May: On this day in history

What events happened on 21 May in history? We round up the events, births and deaths…

Published: May 21, 2011 at 8:39 am

21 May 1471

Birth in Nuremburg of painter, engraver and mathematician Albrecht Durer. Considered the greatest artist of the Northern Renaissance, his works include Knight, Death and the Devil and Melancholia.

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21 May 1650

After betrayal and capture at Ardvreck Castle, Scottish royalist general James Graham, Marquess of Montrose, was hanged in Edinburgh.


21 May 1799

Birth in Lyme Regis, Dorset, of fossil hunter Mary Anning. In 1823 she will discover the world's first complete Plesiosaurus and in 1828 the first British example of a Pterodactylus.


21 May 1688

Poet, satirist and garden designer Alexander Pope is born in the City of London, the only child of a Roman Catholic draper and his 44-year-old wife.

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21 May 1932

Amelia Earhart becomes the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic, on the fifth anniversary of the first solo crossing by Charles Lindbergh. She landed in a field near Derry/Londonderry after a 15-hour transatlantic flight.

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