February 21 is the 52nd day of the year. There are 314 days remaining until the end of the year.
February 21 is International Mother Language Day (UNESCO)
- 1804 – The first self-propelling steam locomotive made its debut in Wales.
- 1842 – John Greenough was granted the first United States patent for the sewing machine.
- 1848 – Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels published the Communist Manifesto.
- 1874 – The Oakland Daily Tribune published its first newspaper.
- 1878 – The first telephone book was issued in New Haven, Connecticut.
- 1885 – The newly completed Washington Monument was dedicated.
- 1918 – The last Carolina Parakeet died in captivity at the Cincinnati Zoo.
- 1925 – The New Yorker published its first issue.
- 1947 – In New York City, Edwin Land demonstrated the first "instant camera,” the Polaroid Land Camera.
- 1952 – The British government, under Winston Churchill, abolished identity cards in the United Kingdom to "set the people free.”
- 1953 – Francis Crick and James D. Watson discovered the structure of the DNA molecule.
- 1965 – Malcolm X was assassinated at the Audubon Ballroom in New York City by members of the Nation of Islam.
- 1972 – US President Richard Nixon visited the People’s Republic of China to normalize Sino-American relations.
- 1974 – The last Israeli soldiers leave the west bank of the Suez Canal pursuant to a truce with Egypt.
- 1995 – Steve Fossett became the first person to make a solo flight across the Pacific Ocean in a balloon.
- 2004 – The first European political party, the European Greens, was established in Rome.