On this day in history – Today, June 21

2009 Greenland assumes self-ruleThe island had been administered by Denmark (earlier Denmark-Norway) for centuries. The Self-Government Act grants Greenland full responsibility for its inner affairs, while Denmark retains control of foreign policy.

2004 SpaceShipOne completes the world’s first manned private spaceflightThe privately funded spaceplane reached an altitude of just over 100 kilometers (62 miles). Mike Melvill was the pilot and only occupant.

1985 The body of Josef Mengele is identifiedAn international team of scientists confirmed that the skeletal remains found in a cemetery in Embu, Brazil are those of the Nazi war criminal. Mengele was a physician in the Auschwitz concentration camp and conducted horrific experiments on some of the inmates.

1963 Cardinal Giovanni Battista Montini becomes Pope Paul VIThe Italian pontiff is known for completing the Second Vatican Council, addressing the Roman Catholic Church’s relationship with the modern world.

1895 The Kiel Canal is opened by German Emperor Wilhelm IIThe 98 km (61 mi) long canal in Northern Germany is one of the world’s busiest artificial waterways. It connects the North Sea with the Baltic Sea.

Leave a Reply