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January 21 - the day over the years

On this day in 1521, Pope Leo X excommunicated German reformer Martin Luther.
PTI | By Associated Press, HindustanTimes.com
PUBLISHED ON JAN 21, 2005 11:07 AM IST

Today is Friday, January 21, the twenty first day of 2005.
There are 345 days left in the year.

Highlights in history on this date:

1521 - Pope Leo X excommunicates German reformer Martin Luther.

1606 - England's Parliament imposes severe penalties against Roman Catholics.
1643 - Dutch mariner Abel Tasman discovers Tonga in the Pacific.

1732 - Russia gives up claims to certain Persian territories by Treaty of Riascha.
1793 - France's King Louis XVI, condemned for treason, is executed on the guillotine.

1908 - New York City women are prohibited from smoking in public.

1919 - Sinn Fein Congress in Dublin, Ireland, adopts Declaration of Independence.
1924 - First Nationalist Chinese Congress at Canton admits Communists and welcomes Russian advisers.
1942 - German forces launch new offensive in western African desert in World War II.
1949 - Chiang Kai-Shek resigns from China presidency following Nationalist Party reversals.
1954 - The first atomic submarine, the USS Nautilus, is launched at Groton, Connecticut.
1968 - 31 North Korean commandos attempt to attack South Korea's presidential palace. All but one die in gunfights; 34 South Koreans are killed.
1970 - France's sale of Mirage jets to Libya is announced; Iraq's government foils coup and promptly executes 12 men.
1974 - United States rejects South Vietnam's request for naval support in fighting with Chinese for Paracel Islands.
1976 - The supersonic Concorde jet is put into service by Britain and France.
1977 - US President Jimmy Carter pardons almost all Vietnam War draft evaders.
1993 - A supertanker carrying 296 million litres of crude oil is ablaze and leaking oil after slamming into another ship off Indonesia's northern tip.
1996 - Winning 88 per cent of the vote, Yasser Arafat emerges from the first Palestinian election with a mandate to lead his people to independence.
1998 - Pope John Paul II arrives on a historic five-day visit to communist Cuba.
1999 - Raul Salinas de Gortari, the brother of the ex-president of Mexico, is sentenced to 50 years in prison for having a political opponent murdered.

2001 - US pollution-fighting experts arrive at Ecuador's Galapagos Islands to help clean up a spill from a stricken tanker that dumped some 567,000 liters (147,420 gallons) of fuel oil into the fragile marine environment.
2002 - Israeli troops backed by tanks and helicopter gunships seize Palestinian-controlled West Bank city of Tulkarem, occupying the entire city and imposing a 24-hour curfew on its 45,000 residents
2004 - The World Health Organization says it is seeking a vaccine for the bird flu that has killed five people in Vietnam and millions of chickens across Asia.

Today's Birthdays:
John Fitch, US naval engineer (1743-1798)
Leo Delibes, French composer (1836-1891)
Telly Savalas, US actor (1924-1994)
Benny Hill, English comedian (1925-1992)
Placido Domingo, Spanish tenor (1941--)
Geena Davis, US actress (1957--)
Charlotte Ross, US actress (1968--).

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