This Day in History: Namibia, formerly known as South West Africa, became independent from South Africa

The following are some of the major events to have occurred on March 21:

1917 – Russian revolutionary forces arrested Tsar Nicholas II and his family.

1919 – Short-lived Communist government established in Hungary.

1960 – South African police fired on peaceful demonstrators in Sharpeville in the Transvaal, killing 69 unarmed black protesters.

1963 – Alcatraz Prison in San Francisco Bay closed when the last 27 prisoners were transferred.

1990 – Namibia, formerly known as South West Africa, became independent from South Africa.

1999 – Breitling Orbiter 3 balloon lands after record flight around the world.

2003 – Eight British soldiers and four U.S. airmen were killed in a helicopter crash on the Iraqi border, the first known allied casualties of the Iraq war.

2004 – Afghanistan’s civil aviation minister Mirwais Sadiq, son of the governor of Herat province, was killed in an ambush in Herat.

2005 – A U.S. high school student shot dead nine people and then killed himself at Minnesota’s Red Lake Indian Reservation.

2008 – Alain Bernard breaks men’s 100m freestyle swimming world record.

2016 – U.S. President Barack Obama, Cuban President Raul Castro hold historic joint news conference in Havana.


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