On July 21 in …
365 –- A tsunami caused by an earthquake on the Mediterranean island of Crete more than 400 miles away devastates the northern Egyptian metropolis of Alexandria. It later will be estimated to have been magnitude 8.5 or higher. More than 50,000 people in the city and immediate environs will die.
1861 — The first major battle of the Civil War begins, the Battle of Bull Run at Manassas Junction, VA. The Confederate forces will emerge victorious.
1865 –- In the market square of Springfield, MO, James Butler “Wild Bill” Hickok shoots and kills Davis Tutt, a gambler and former Confederate soldier, in what is regarded by many historians as the first western “showdown” gunfight.
1931 — CBS broadcasts the first regularly-scheduled program to be simulcast on radio and television. The show features singer Kate Smith, composer George Gershwin, and New York City Mayor Jimmy Walker.
1983 –- The world’s lowest temperature in an inhabited location is recorded at Vostok Station, Antarctica, of −128.6° Farenheit.