This Day in History
November 21st: Operation Ivory Coast, the APRANET Is Invented and Other Events of the Date
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November 21st: Operation Ivory Coast, the APRANET Is Invented and Other Events of the Date


A number of important events have taken place on November 21st in U.S. history. Here is our take on the most interesting and valuable of them.

1969 – The APRANET is invented

Not that many people around the globe could tell where the most influential means of communication in the history of humanity, the Internet, came from, and what the roots of it were. Of course, the Internet didn’t appear at once and computer scientists together with military specialists had been working on the creation of such a network for years.

The invention of the APRANET back in 1969 was one of the most important steps taken on the way to the Global Internet. The first permanent ARPANET link was established on this date 49 years ago connecting the IMPs at UCLA and at the Stanford Research Institute.

What was the Advanced Research Projects Agency Network (ARPANET) all about? It was an early packet-switching network and the first network to implement the protocol suite TCP/IP – the key one for the modern days Internet. And ARPANET was initially funded by the Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA) of the United States Department of Defense.

The packet-switching methodology used in the ARPANET was based on the concepts and designs of prominent scientists – Americans Leonard Kleinrock, Paul Baran Lawrence Roberts and a British Donald Davies. In their work they also used the concepts from the French CYCLADES project led by Louis Pouzin, so it’d be just to say the scientists from all over the world put a combined effort to the creation of the APRANET.

1970 – Vietnam War: The Operation Ivory Coast

After five years of severe fighting the U.S. military had been involved during the Vietnam War, the issue of those who were missing in action and captured by the Viet Cong became a key one, especially – considering the fact the society back in the U.S. demanded the return of the captured soldiers as soon as possible. Thus, Operation Ivory Coast which aimed to rescue these prisoners was inevitable.

Yet, not everything went as planned for the Americans, as their intelligence led them to…an empty camp, as it was soon revealed that not a single American POW was present at Son Tay Prisoner-of-War camp located near Hanoi at the time the operation began.

No less than 60 American POW’s were moved out of the camp and transferred to other “facilities” in advance, as the Viet Cong found out that the retaliation was coming. So, after having 42 Vietnamese guards killed during the assault, the Americans retreated having failed in their mission to save their captured brothers in arms.

1980 - The MGM Grand Fire

The tragedy occurred 38 years ago on this date at the MGM Grand Hotel and Casino (present-day Bally's Las Vegas) in Paradise, Nevada. The fire, that is considered to be the worst in the history of Nevada, killed 85 people, most of the victims died through smoke inhalation.

This was also the third-deadliest hotel fire in U.S. history, as only the 1946 Winecoff Hotel fire in Atlanta (119 people killed) and the San Juan (Puerto Rico) Dupont Plaza Hotel fire of 1986 (97 killed) were worse than the tragedy at the MGM. Yet, the death toll could’ve been much worse, since about 5000 people were at the hotel when the fire started at approximately 7 a.m. in a restaurant The Deli.

These are the most notable events in U.S. history that occurred on November 21st, at least in our view.

Author: USA Really