This Day In History, July 21st

What happened on this day in history: A tsunami strikes the Egyptian city of Alexandria in 365 C.E., Ernest Hemingway is born in 1899, and other noteworthy historical events from July 21st.

365 C.E.: Alexandria Is Hit By A Tsunami

A devastating tsunami strikes the Egyptian city of Alexandria. Triggered by an estimated 8.0 earthquake off the coast of Greece, the tsunami killed 5,000 within Alexandria and as many as 45,000 in surrounding areas. It also left some striking artifacts, like the sunken Roman city of Neapolis.

Michael Romanov Is Crowned Tsar, Beginning The Romanov Dynasty In Russia

Michael Romanov is crowned tsar of Russia, beginning the Romanov Dynasty. After the Tsardom parliament elected Michael Romanov, he began what would be his 49-year rule over Russia. During Michael Romanov’s reign, Russia conquered much of Siberia and ended the Time of Troubles, a period of succession crisis. During his lifetime, Michael Romanov had ten children, including the future tsar, Alexei I.

1865: ‘Wild’ Bill Hickok Fights In The First Known Western Showdown

Hickok-Tutt Shootout

Public DomainThe Hickok-Tutt shootout, as depicted in Harper’s New Monthly Magazine in February 1867.

James Butler ‘Wild Bill’ Hickok shoots Dave Tutt in Springfield, Missouri. In what some consider the first showdown of the American Frontier, Hickok and Tutt agreed to duel after a fight over a card game or a woman. As the men stood on either side of the market square, Hickok shot and killed Tutt.

1899: Ernest Hemingway Is Born

Ernest Hemingway is born in Oak Park, Illinois. Considered one of the finest novelists of the 20th century for his sparse, direct prose, he produced iconic works like The Sun Also Rises (1926), For Whom The Bell Tolls (1940), and The Old Man And The Sea (1952). Hemingway died of suicide in 1961 at the age of 61.

1925: The Scopes Monkey Trial Ends

John Scopes

Public DomainJohn Scopes, the Dayton, Tennessee, teacher at the center of the Scopes Monkey Trial.

John Thomas Scopes is found guilty of violating the Butler Act, which prohibited evolution from being taught in public schools. The so-called “Scopes Trial” captivated the nation, as attorneys Clarence Darrow and William Jennings Bryan argued over teaching evolution in schools. In the end, the Butler Law remained in place until Tennessee repealed it in 1967.