Historically, August 21st has been a day of some violence. One of the more horrifying assassinations I've ever heard of was attempted on August 20th in 1940, when a hired killer broke in on noted Marxist Leon Trotsky in his Mexico hotel room, tricked him into reading something, and then struck him on the head with an ice pick, which had been concealed in the visitor's coat. Worse yet, Trotsky did not die instantly, but lived until the next day.
Because I teach Crime and Punishment, I'm forced to contemplate the violence of axe murder twice a year, but this one is far more horrifying to me because it actually happened, and in historical mentions the weapon is even called an "ice axe."
And more political violence: on this day in 1983, Benigno S. Aquino Jr., the Phillippine opposition leader, decided to return to Manila from the U.S., and was shot moments after disembarking.
And on this day in 2000, after noble efforts to rescue the sailors on the Russian Submarine Kursk, it was announced that all 118 men had perished.
I prefer my tragic deaths and murders in the pages of good fiction--these events are far too dramatic and horrifying for my bookish sensibilites.