This Day In History : June 21

2004 United States

SpaceShipOne becomes the first privately funded spaceplane to achieve spaceflight

SpaceShipOne became the first privately funded spaceplane to achieve spaceflight on June 21, 2004. This historic flight reached an altitude of 100 kilometers (62 miles), the edge of space, qualifying it for the $10 million Ansari X Prize, which aimed to encourage private spaceflight development.

Also on This Day in History June 21

Discover what happened on June 21 with HISTORY's summaries of major events, anniversaries,
famous births and notable deaths.

Births on This Day, June 21
  • 1876 Willem Hendrik Keesom

    Dutch physicist who was the first person to freeze helium gas into a solid

  • 1891 Pier Luigi Nervi

    Italian architect who designed the Nuove Struttura

  • 1955 Tim Bray

    Canadian inventor and software developer who wrote Bonnie, a Unix file system benchmarking tool; Lark, the first XML Processor; and APE, the Atom Protocol Exerciser

  • 1850 Daniel Carter Beard

    American author and illustrator who co-founded the Boy Scouts of America

  • 1811 Carlo Matteucci

    Italian physicist and neurophysiologist (bioelectricity)

Deaths on This Day, June 21
  • 1631 Captain John Smith

    English admiral and explorer who helped to establish Jamestown, the first permanent settlement in North America

  • 1893 Leland Stanford

    American business tycoon (Southern Pacific Railroad), 8th Governor of California and founder of Stanford University

  • 1995 Laurence McKinley Gould

    American Geologist and Polar Explorer who was chief scientist and second-in-command on the first expedition to the interior of Antarctica in 1929

  • 1987 Madman Muntz

    American entrepreneur, businessman, electrical engineer, TV commercial actor

  • 1377 Edward III

    King of England (1327-77) noted for his military success and for restoring royal authority


Foundation stone for London's St. Paul’s Cathedral is laid

The foundation stone for St. Paul’s Cathedral in London was laid on June 21, 1675. This significant event took place nine years after a devastating fire swept through the city. The cathedral, designed by the renowned architect Sir Christopher Wren, stands as one of his greatest architectural achievements.

US Constitution comes into effect when New Hampshire is the 9th state to ratify it

On June 21, 1788, New Hampshire became the ninth state to ratify the U.S. Constitution, marking a significant milestone in American history.

Hawaiian Red Cross forms

The Hawaiian Red Cross was established on June 20, 1917. It was formed in Honolulu, Hawaii, as a chapter of the American National Red Cross. The organization was created to provide support and aid during emergencies and disasters, aligning with the broader mission of the American Red Cross to offer humanitarian assistance both domestically and internationally.

1st stored computer program runs on Manchester Mark I at a laboratory in Manchester University, England

The first stored computer program ran on the Manchester Mark I at a laboratory in Manchester University, England, on June 21, 1948. This event marked a significant milestone in the history of computing, demonstrating for the first time the practical use of a stored-program computer, where instructions to perform computations were stored in the computer's memory.
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