TODAY IN HISTORY
Today is Sunday, April 21, the 111th day of 2013. 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 1509, England’s King Henry VII died; he was succeeded by his 17-year-old son, Henry VIII.
In 1649, the Maryland Toleration Act, which provided 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 1910, author Samuel Langhorne Clemens, better known as Mark Twain, died in Redding, Conn., at age 74.
In 1918, Baron Manfred von Richthofen, the German ace known as the “Red Baron,” was killed in action during World War I.
In 1930, a fire broke out inside the overcrowded Ohio Penitentiary in Columbus, killing 332 inmates.
In 1955, the Jerome Lawrence-Robert Lee play “Inherit the Wind,” inspired by the Scopes trial of 1925, opened at the National Theatre in New York.
In 1960, Brazil inaugurated its new capital, Brasilia, transferring the seat of national government from Rio de Janeiro.
In 1962, the six-month Century 21 Exposition, also known as the Seattle World’s Fair, opened.
In 1972, Apollo 16 astronauts John W. Young and Charles M. Duke Jr. explored the surface of the moon.
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 1992, Robert Alton Harris became the first person executed by the state of California in 25 years as he was put to death in the gas chamber for the 1978 murder of two teen-age boys, John Mayeski and Michael Baker.
Ten years ago: Military officials in Iraq announced the arrest of Muhammad Hamza al-Zubaydi, a key figure in the bloody suppression of the Shiite Muslim uprising of 1991. State-run media in China reported the government had dismissed Beijing’s mayor following the disclosure of a steep increase in SARS cases in the Chinese capital. Scott Peterson pleaded not guilty in the deaths of his pregnant wife, Laci, and their unborn son. Robert Cheruiyot became the 12th Kenyan in 13 years to win the Boston Marathon with a time of 2:10:11; Svetlana Zakharova of Russia won the women’s race in 2:25:20. Jazz singer Nina Simone died in France at age 70.
Five years ago: President George W. Bush opened a two-day summit in New Orleans with Mexican President Felipe Calderon and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper. Robert Cheruiyot of Kenya won the Boston Marathon in 2:07:46 to become the fourth man to win the race four times; Dire Tune of Ethiopia won the women’s race in 2:25:25. 1970s soul singer Al Wilson died in Fontana, Calif., at age 68.
One year ago: Charles W. “Chuck” Colson, 80, described as the “evil genius” of the Nixon administration who served seven months in prison for a Watergate-related conviction, then spent the next 35 years ministering to prison inmates, died in northern Virginia of complications from brain surgery. Phil Humber threw the first perfect game in the majors in almost two years, leading the Chicago White Sox to a 4-0 victory over the Seattle Mariners.
Today’s Birthdays: Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II is 87. Actress-comedian-writer Elaine May is 81. Actor Charles Grodin is 78. Actor Reni Santoni is 75. Singer-musician Iggy Pop is 66. Actress Patti LuPone is 64. Actor Tony Danza is 62. Actress Andie MacDowell is 55. Rock singer Robert Smith (The Cure) is 54. Rock musician Michael Timmins (Cowboy Junkies) is 54.
Actor John Cameron Mitchell is 50. Rapper Michael Franti (Spearhead) is 47. Rock singer-musician Glen Hansard (The Frames) is 43. Actor Rob Riggle is 43. Comedian Nicole Sullivan is 43. Football player-turned-actor Brian White is 40. Rock musician David Brenner (Theory of a Deadman) is 35. Actor James McAvoy is 34.
Actor Christoph Sanders (TV: “Last Man Standing”) is 25.