Do You Remember? 12 Memorable Events That Happened on September 21—the Internet’s Favorite Day of the Year
“Do you remember the 21st night of September?” Earth, Wind and Fire first asked the question back in 1978. In the years since—with many thanks owed to writer and comedian Demi Adejuyigbe’s viral videos celebrating the song and the day—September 21st has become something like the internet’s birthday or, as some have called it, “the most important day of the year.”
In honor of the ceremonious occasion, here are 12 memorable things that have happened on September 21st. After reading them, not only will you remember the 21st night of September—you’ll remember exactly what makes it worth singing about.
1. The Last Day of Summer
September 21 frequently marks the last official day of summer in the Northern Hemisphere, as the Autumnal Equinox often falls on September 22 (which is the case in 2020).
2. The Ganesha Milk Miracle
In what has become known as the “Ganesha Milk Miracle,” India was briefly brought to a standstill on September 21, 1995, when statues of the elephant deity Ganesha appeared, when offered, to sip milk by the spoonful. Millions of people stood outside the country’s temples, hoping for a glance of this marvel, which stopped as quickly as it started. Milk prices increased by fourfold.
3. Belize Independence Day
After years of diplomacy talks, in 1981 Belize became a nation independent from the United Kingdom.
4. H.G. Wells’s Birthday
H.G. Wells was born on September 21, 1866. His work later influenced and has been referenced by author Stephen King, who was born on the very same day, 81 years later.
5. Mad Men Made Basic Cable TV History
The Academy of Television of Arts and Sciences confirmed what everyone was thinking in 2008 when it named Mad Men the year’s Outstanding Drama Series, making AMC the first basic cable network to ever win the award. Bonus: Bryan Cranston also took home his first Emmy (of an eventually record-breaking four) for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series for Breaking Bad.
6. Benedict Arnold Became a Traitor
General Benedict Arnold committed the act that would make his name synonymous with treason and betrayal. In 1780, he met with British Major John Andre, offering to hand over his command of West Point in exchange for money and a high ranking within the British army.
7. J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit Was Published
J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit—which would eventually go on to sell 100 million copies, be translated into more than 50 languages, and most importantly, introduce the world to the concept of second breakfast—was published in 1937. In its honor, Tolkien Fans everywhere will celebrate Hobbit Day on September 22 (presumably with some second breakfast, amongst other felicitations).
8. Sandra Day O’Connor Confirmed as First Female Supreme Court Justice
On September 21, 1981, Sandra Day O’Connor was confirmed by the U.S. Senate with a vote of 99–0 to become the first female U.S. Supreme Court Justice. Four days later, on September 25, O'Connor was officially sworn in.
9. Jimi Hendrix’s “All Along the Watchtower” Made its Debut
In 1968, Jimi Hendrix released his cover of Bob Dylan’s “All Along the Watchtower.” While this was the first cover of the song, it became the definitive version as well.
10. NASA’s Galileo Mission Concluded
After becoming the first spacecraft to visit an asteroid (visiting two, actually) and successfully completing its mission to gather information about Jupiter and its moons, NASA concluded its Galileo mission in 2003. In order to avoid an unwanted crash between Galileo and the Jupiter moon of Europa—and in a poetic twist, to protect its own discovery of a possible ocean underneath Europa’s icy crust—Galileo was plunged into Jupiter’s atmosphere.
11. Perry Mason Made His Television Debut
Perry Mason premiered in 1957 and with it, we got America’s first weekly, hourlong primetime series to follow one character, which created the DNA for all of your favorite courtroom procedurals to follow (including all the Law & Orders, and then some), and a lawyer with a strikingly high success rate (yes, even for a fictional lawyer).
12. National Pecan Cookie Day
September 21 marks National Pecan Cookie Day, likely because pecan trees become ready to harvest in September. But really, who needs an excuse to eat a pecan cookie?