HistoryFile is a resource for editors and artists involved in graphic planning, and also provides a source of additional data for the graphics series On This Day. Search for events by day or keyword using the search bar above.

HistoryFile is collated and monitored by Julie Mullins. Please contact Julie if you have any queries or comments about this service.

Date Event Anniversary
December 21, 2014 Billie Whitelaw, English actress regarded as one of the foremost interpreters of the works of Irish playwright Samuel Beckett, died at age 82. One of her best known film roles was as Mrs Baylock, the demonic nanny in the 1976 horror film The Omen 1 year ago
December 21, 2013 Popular British sports broadcaster David Coleman, who enjoyed a 40-year career at the BBC fronting programmes including Grandstand and A Question of Sport, died after a short illness at the age of 87. He covered the Olympic Games from Rome in 1960 to Sydney in 2000, along with six football World Cups and was awarded the OBE in 1992 for services to broadcasting 2 years ago
December 21, 2011 Mercosur members Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay agreed to close their ports to ships flying the flag of the Falkland Islands, claimed by both Argentina and the United Kingdom. Britain was angered by the decision, fearing that recent oil finds in the area could trigger renewed hostilities 4 years ago
December 21, 2010 Toyota agreed to pay the U.S. government $32.4 million over its handling of car recalls in 2010 where over 10 million cars were recalled worldwide 5 years ago
December 21, 2009 The UN Security Council lifted an arms embargo on Liberia imposed in 2003 during the regime of former President Charles Taylor 6 years ago
December 21, 2008 The Taj Mahal Palace and Oberoi Trident hotels in Mumbai reopened less than a month after the November terrorist attacks that killed at least 170 people 7 years ago
December 21, 2007 Passport checks were scrapped at land and sea borders as nine new countries joined the 15-country Schengen accord, which allowed people to move more freely across borders in most of Europe. The zone was extended to include Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Malta 8 years ago
December 21, 2007 A suicide attacker detonated a bomb at a mosque outside the home of Pakistan’s former interior minister near Peshawar as he received visitors on the Islamic holiday of Eid al-Adha. At least 35 people were killed and dozens more were wounded. It was the second attack in eight months to target the politician, Aftab Khan Sherpao, who escaped unhurt 8 years ago
December 21, 2006 Turkmenistan’s authoritarian president, Saparmurat Niyazov, died aged 66. The self-styled Turkmenbashi, Father of the Turkmen, created a cult of personality during his two decades in power, with statues and portraits of him erected everywhere. Cities, airports and even the months of the year were renamed after himself and his family 9 years ago
December 21, 2006 U.S. military prosecutors charged four marines with the murder of 24 Iraqi civilians in the village of Haditha in 2005. The Marines claimed they were sweeping for insurgents firing on them from inside a house, followed rules of engagement and did not intentionally target civilians 9 years ago
December 21, 2005 Sir Elton John and his partner David Furnish became one of the first gay couples in England to hold a civil partnership ceremony. The “wedding” of Sir Elton, 58, and Mr Furnish, 43, at Windsor Guildhall on the first day of same-sex unions in England and Wales, attracted hundreds of fans and onlookers hoping to catch a glimpse of the celebrity couple 10 years ago
December 21, 2004 The super-sized Boeing Delta IV Heavy blasted off from Cape Canaveral on its maiden flight, launching a new era in heavy lift capability for the U.S. space programme. The heavy-lift booster was powered by the Rocketdyne RS-68, the first large, liquid-fuelled rocket engine developed in the U.S. since the Saturn programme 25 years earlier. The IV Heavy, designed to lift 13 tonnes of payload into geostationary orbit, is the leading contender to launch NASA’s planned Orbital Space Plane 11 years ago

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