Today in History
Today is Wednesday, April 21, the 111th day of 2021. There are 254 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On April 21, 1836, an army of Texans led by Sam Houston defeated the Mexicans at San Jacinto, assuring Texas independence.
On this date:
In 1649, the Maryland Toleration Act, providing for freedom of worship for all Christians, was passed by the Maryland assembly.
In 1789, John Adams was sworn in as the first vice president of the United States.
In 1816, Charlotte Bronte, author of “Jane Eyre,” was born in Thornton, England.
In 1910, author Samuel Langhorne Clemens, better known as Mark Twain, died in Redding, Connecticut, at age 74.
In 1918, Manfred von Richthofen, 25, the German ace known as the “Red Baron” who was believed to have downed 80 enemy aircraft during World War I, was himself shot down and killed while in action over France.
In 1926, Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II was born in Mayfair, London; she was the first child of The Duke and Duchess of York, who later became King George VI and the Queen Mother.
In 1930, fire broke out inside the overcrowded Ohio Penitentiary in Columbus, killing 332 inmates.
In 1975, with Communist forces closing in, South Vietnamese President Nguyen Van Thieu resigned after nearly 10 years in office and fled the country.
In 1976, clinical trials of the swine flu vaccine began in Washington, D.C.
In 1977, the musical play “Annie,” based on the “Little Orphan Annie” comic strip, opened on Broadway, beginning a run of 2,377 performances.
In 1980, Rosie Ruiz was the first woman to cross the finish line at the Boston Marathon; however, she was later exposed as a fraud. (Canadian Jacqueline Gareau was named the actual winner of the women’s race.)
In 2015, an Egyptian criminal court sentenced ousted Islamist President Mohammed Morsi to 20 years in prison over the killing of protesters in 2012.
Ten years ago: President Barack Obama announced the Justice Department was assembling a team to “root out any cases of fraud or manipulation” in oil markets that might be contributing to $4 a gallon-plus gasoline prices. Sen. John Ensign, R-Nev., announced he would step down amid a developing ethics probe over how he’d handled an admitted extramarital affair with a former staffer and whether he tried to illegally cover it up. (The Senate Ethics Committee referred the case to the Justice Department, which decided not to prosecute Ensign.)
Five years ago: Prince, one of the most inventive and influential musicians of modern times, was found dead at his home in suburban Minneapolis; he was 57. Queen Elizabeth II, Britain’s oldest and longest-reigning monarch, drew crowds of well-wishers and floods of tributes on the occasion of her 90th birthday. Jake Arrieta of the Chicago Cubs pitched his second no-hitter in a span of 11 regular-season starts, shutting down the Cincinnati Reds in a 16-0 rout.
One year ago: The coroner’s office in California’s Santa Clara County received autopsy results showing that a woman who died there on Feb. 6 and a man who died on Feb. 17 had the coronavirus. (It wasn’t until Feb. 29 that the first known U.S. death from the virus was reported in Kirkland, Washington; officials later attributed two Feb. 26 deaths to the virus.) Researchers reported that a malaria drug that had been widely touted by President Donald Trump for treating the coronavirus showed no benefit in large study of its use in U.S. veterans hospitals. In its first-quarter earnings report, Netflix revealed that it had added nearly 16 million global subscribers during the first three months of the year, as stay-at-home orders went into effect.
Today’s Birthdays: Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II is 95. Actor-comedian-writer Elaine May is 89. Actor Charles Grodin is 86. Anti-death penalty activist Sister Helen Prejean is 82. Singer-musician Iggy Pop is 74. Actor Patti LuPone is 72. Actor Tony Danza is 70. Actor James Morrison is 67. Actor Andie MacDowell is 63. Rock singer Robert Smith (The Cure) is 62. Rock musician Michael Timmins (Cowboy Junkies) is 62. Actor-director John Cameron Mitchell is 58. Rapper Michael Franti (Spearhead) is 55. Actor Leslie Silva is 53. Actor Toby Stephens is 52. Rock singer-musician Glen Hansard (The Frames) is 51. Actor Rob Riggle is 51. Comedian Nicole Sullivan is 51. Football player-turned-actor Brian White is 48. Olympic gold medal pairs figure skater Jamie Sale (sah-LAY’) is 44. Rock musician David Brenner (Theory of a Deadman) is 43. Actor James McAvoy is 42. Former NFL quarterback Tony Romo is 41. Actor Terrence J is 39. Actor Gugu Mbatha-Raw is 38. Actor Christoph (cq) Sanders is 33. Actor Frank Dillane is 30. Rock singer Sydney Sierota (Echosmith) is 24.