Today in History: 21 December


2014  'The Battle of the Five Armies', the last film in 'The Hobbit' series, grosses over $90 million in its first five days of release, exceeding box office expectations of $75 million


2014  South Korea bans poultry from the U.S. due to potential bird flu concerns; South Korea is working to contain the spread of the virus among its own avian population

2013  A series of spacewalks are made by two NASA astronauts in an effort to fix the faulty coolant pump on the International Space Station

2013  Author J.K. Rowling announces she is producing a play based on the life of her character Harry Potter; the play tells the previously untold story of life before the boy wizard goes to Hogwarts; the play will premiere in London's West End within the next two years


2012  Voters in Alexandria, Egypt clash during the evening of the second voting session on the highly charged constitutional referendum

2012  Scientists studying the Sutter's Mill meteorite, found near where the Sutter's Mill California Gold Rush site, determine it contains the oldest material in the Solar System

2011  The death toll from Tropical Storm Washi in the Philippines reaches 1,002, and is expected to rise

2011  Health authorities begin slaughtering 17,000 chickens after a carcass infected with H5N1 is found at a poultry market in Hong Kong

2010  The engagement of Queen Elizabeth's granddaughter Zara Phillips to Mike Tindall, a Rugby Union player, is announced

Photo: Queen Elizabeth's granddaughter Zara Phillips and Mike Tindall, Rugby Union player. (



Compiled by Lerato Sebe