This Day In History : September 21

1961 United States

Boeing CH-47 Chinook takes flight for the first time

The Boeing CH-47 Chinook helicopter took its first flight on September 21, 1961. This iconic twin-engine, tandem rotor heavy-lift helicopter has been widely used by various military forces and is known for its versatility in transport and logistics operations.

Also on This Day in History September 21

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

Births on This Day, September 21
  • 1866 H.G. Wells

    English novelist, and historian, called the father of science fiction (The Time Machine, The War of the Worlds

  • 1957 Kevin Rudd

    Australian politician, 26th Prime Minister of Australia

  • 1895 Juan de la Cierva

    Spanish aeronautical engineer who invented the autogiro (1923)

  • 1866 Charles-Jules-Henri Nicolle

    French bacteriologist (Nobel Prize in Medicine 1928)

  • 1917 Phyllis Nicolson

    British mathematician (Crank-Nicolson method)

Deaths on This Day, September 21
  • 1998 Florence Griffith Joyner

    American athlete (Olympic gold 100m, 200m, 4x100m relay 1988; WR 100m: 10.49; 200m: 21.34 1988)

  • 1950 Arthur Milne

    English astrophysicist (kinematic relativity)

  • 1954 Kōkichi Mikimoto

    Japanese inventor and entrepreneur (cultured pearls)

  • 2020 Arthur Ashkin

    American scientist (Nobel Prize for Physics 2018 Optical Tweezers)

  • 1743 Sawai Jai Singh II

    Kachwaha Rajput ruler of the Kingdom of Amber (1699-1743), founded Jaipur


Malta gains independence from the United Kingdom

Malta gained independence from the United Kingdom on September 21, 1964. Despite becoming independent, Malta chose to remain a member of the Commonwealth of Nations, which is an association of countries that were mostly former territories of the British Empire. This allowed Malta to maintain diplomatic and economic ties with other Commonwealth member states while enjoying sovereignty as an independent nation.

Belize is granted full independence from the United Kingdom

Belize was granted full independence from the United Kingdom on September 21, 1981. This milestone marked the culmination of a gradual process of decolonization and the establishment of Belize as a sovereign nation.

Bahrain, Bhutan, and Qatar join the United Nations

Bahrain, Bhutan, and Qatar joined the United Nations on September 21, 1971. This marked their official admission into the international organization, allowing them to participate in global diplomacy and collaborate with other member states on matters of international importance.

McDonald's announces plans to drastically reduce plastic in its Happy Meals by 2025

McDonald's announced its plans to "drastically" reduce plastic in its Happy Meals by 2025 on September 21, 2021. This initiative is part of McDonald's broader commitment to sustainability and reducing its environmental impact by decreasing the use of plastic packaging in its products.
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