We take a trip down memory lane and check out what happened on this day in years gone by by looking back at some Irish Examiner front pages and highlighting other events which went down in history across the world.
August 21 - 50 years ago
By August 21, 1969, the North was not just national news but international news.
As the province descended into the violence which would dog it for decades to come, Ireland appealed directly to the UN to send a peace-keeping force to the North. It was an appeal that fell on deaf ears.
Examiner readers awoke to the news that the UN Security Council had adjourned consideration of Ireland’s request made directly by Minister for External Affairs Patrick Hillery.
Britain had strongly opposed the inclusion of the item on the agenda in the first place.
In what was an “unusual depar ture” from general practice, the 15-nation council heard a statement from Mr Hillery where he appealed for the dispatch of the peacekeeping force.
There was also violence on the streets of Prague as the Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia began.
“The thud of percussion grenades, tear-gas bombs and one stage, what sounded like shots, were heard in Jungamanover Street, which joins Narodny Street, in Prague, as demonstrators clashed with police,” said The Cork Examiner front page.
20 years ago
The aftermath of a major earthquake in Turkey was still dominating the front page of The Examiner on this day in 1999. With a total of 9,000 dead, authorities feared as many as 35,000 were still trapped in the rubble remains of thousands of homes destroyed in the disaster.
Closer to home, it was revealed the demand for the morning-after pill among teenagers had increased 70% in the previous 12 months.
10 years ago
On August 21, 2009, the front page of the Irish Examiner was graced with the figure of the fastest human being to have ever lived — Usain Bolt.
The Jamaican is pictured straining every sinew on his way to breaking his own 200m world record at the World Athletics Championships in Berlin. Just the previous night, he broke his own 100m world record. The records stand to this day.
In Cork, we learned six men who worked on the Haulbowline Irish steel clean up were seeking substantial damages over claims that they were contaminated by toxic chemicals as a result of flawed safety measures at the site.
5 years ago
On this day in 2014, the ice bucket challenge was in full swing. The latest celebrity participant was RTÉ’s Sharon Ní Bheoláin.
Elsewhere, it emerged of draft legislation which would only allow the Garda ombudsman to investigate the Garda Commissioner if it was agreed to by the minister for justice. The ability to investigate the police boss was cited as one of the biggest expansions in the power of the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission following the raft of controversies enveloping the gardaí and the justice system.
On August 21 last year, the Irish Examiner front page led with claims the identities of around 1,000 Irish Catholic clergy against whom credible allegations of child sexual abuse have been made are being kept secret under laws and practices that continue to hurt victims and endanger children.
A Boston-based group established following revelations of abuse and coverups in the city in the early 2000s, delivered the warning while publishing the first database of clergy convicted of abuse in Ireland.
Today in history
Across the world on this day: From ‘Dirty Dancing’ to valleys on Venus
- 1858: Sam Browne of the 2nd Punjab Cavalry invented the belt that bears his name.
- 1858: The famous debates began between senatorial contenders Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas.
- 1904: Jazz musician and band leader (William) Count Basie was born
- 1911: Leonardo da Vinci’s portrait of the Mona Lisa was stolen from the Louvre Museum in Paris by Italian waiter Vicenzo Perruggia. It was recovered in 1913.
- 1942: The Battle of Stalingrad began. The battle raged for six months with total casualties estimated at around 2m, including more than 40,000 civilians, making it the bloodiest battle in human history. The Soviet victory marked a turning point in the Second World War, with the Nazis suffering their first major defeat of the conflict.
- 1944: US, British, Russian, and Chinese representatives met at Dumbarton Oaks near Washington to plan the formation of the United Nations.
- 1965: The US spacecraft Gemini 5 was launched from Cape Kennedy, with Gordon Cooper and Charles Conrad on board.
- 1968: Forces from the Soviet Union and four other Eastern Bloc states marched towards Prague after crossing the Czech border shortly before midnight.
- 1973: Sergey Mikhaylovich Brin, Russian-American computer scientist who co-founded Google with Larry Page in 1998, is born.
- 1982: After three months of fighting in Lebanon, the evacuation of thousands of Palestinians began under a multinational force.
- 1982: One of the world’s longestreigning monarchs, King Sobhuza II of Swaziland, died aged 83; he had been on the throne since 1921.
- 1983: Philippine opposition leader Benigno Aquino was assassinated just moments after he stepped off the plane carrying him home from three years in exile in the US.
- 1986: A cloud of carbon dioxide erupted from volcanic Lake Nyos in Cameroon. The carbon dioxide gas, being heavier than air, descended to ground level, suffocating up to 1,800 people within a 20km range.
- 1987: Dirty Dancing, a low-budget coming of age drama about a teenage girl’s relationship with a dance instructor she meets on a family vacation, was released. It swiftly became a huge box office hit, making stars of its then unknown leads, Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey. It has since over $214m worldwide and its theme song, ‘(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life’ won a Golden Globe, an Academy Award and a Grammy
- 1990: The first pictures of Venus taken from the space probe Magellan showed features similar to valleys and volcanoes on Earth.
- 2000: Norwegian divers opened both outer and inner escape hatches at the rear of the stricken Russian submarine Kursk and confirmed that the vessel was completely flooded and that all 118 crew members were dead.
- 2005: Dr Robert Moog, inventor of the electronic synthesiser that revolutionised music in the 1960s, died of brain cancer aged 71. The Moog synthesiser, used by bands such as the Beatles and the Doors, pioneered the electronic manipulation of sound in pop music.
- 2011: Rebel forces advanced into the Libyan capital Tripoli as foreigners tried to flee the city. With the rebels meeting little resistance from loyalists, residents took to the streets to celebrate the end of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi’s 42 years in power.
- 2013: Several opposition-controlled suburbs of Syria’s capital Damascus were struck by rockets containing toxic sarin gas. Estimates of numbers killed in the attack ranged from 280 to more than 1,700.
- 2013: US soldier Chelsea Manning was jailed for 35 years for leaking 700,000 US government files on military activities to the global whistleblowing service WikiLeaks. She was released in 2017.
- 2014: Albert Reynolds, who served as taoiseach from 1992-94 and played a key role in the advancement of the peace process in the North, died aged 81