August 21, 1991: Return of Gorbachev
Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev returned to Moscow after the coup disintegrated in the face of popular resistance led by Boris Yeltsin. As some of the leaders of the bungled coup flew to Crimea, where Gorbachev had been held prisoner during his holiday, to plead for clemency, others went into hiding. Gorbachev was formally reinstated to an office that leaves him in Yeltsin’s shadow. “The President of the Soviet Union, Mikhail Sergeyevich Gorbachev, made a declaration to the state television and radio that he is in full control of the situation and has restored contact with the country, broken off as a result of the adventurist actions of a group of state officials,” Soviet television news said. Outside the parliament of the Russian Federation, there were jubilant scenes.
Other important events
1808 – British forces defeat French at Vimiero, Portugal.
1917 – German forces attack Russians on the Latvian front in the First World War I.
1936 – The British Broadcasting Corporation makes its first television broadcast.