A Year In History: 2021

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This Year in History:


Discover what happened in this year with HISTORY’s summaries of major events, anniversaries, famous births and notable deaths.

January 6

U.S. Capitol riot

On the afternoon of January 6, 2021, a mob of President Donald Trump’s supporters descend on the U.S. Capitol, attempting to interfere with the certification of electoral votes from the 2020 presidential election. The rioters assaulted the Capitol police force and ransacked the complex, destroying property and sending members of Congress and their staff into […]

March 15

Deb Haaland sworn in as first Indigenous cabinet secretary

Deb Haaland is sworn in as Secretary of the Interior. She is the first Indigenous person to serve as a cabinet secretary in U.S. history. Incoming President Joe Biden announced his nomination of Deb Haaland, first-term congresswoman from New Mexico, to serve as Secretary of the Interior on December 17, 2020. Three months later, the […]

August 15

Kabul falls to the Taliban after U.S. withdrawal

On August 15, 2021—just two weeks before U.S. troops were set to officially withdraw from Afghanistan—Taliban leaders enter the capital city of Kabul and sweep back into power with little resistance. The Afghan government collapses, the country’s president Ashraf Ghani flees, and many desperate Afghan civilians are left behind. The withdrawal ended a two-decade war […]

August 23

FDA fully approves the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine

On August 23, 2021, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) fully approves the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for people aged 16 and older, following a manufacturing review and analysis of the company’s expanded clinical trial, which included approximately 44,000 participants and found the vaccine to be 91 percent effective in preventing COVID-19.  The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine was […]