Today in History


By the Associated Press

Today is Thursday, April 21, the 112th day of 2016. There are 254 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On April 21, 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. Christened Elizabeth Alexandra Mary, the princess became monarch upon the death of her father in 1952, beginning a 64-year-old reign surpassing that of Queen Victoria.

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 1836, an army of Texans led by Sam Houston defeated the Mexicans at San Jacinto, assuring Texas independence.

In 1910, author Samuel Langhorne Clemens, better known as Mark Twain, died in Redding, Connecticut, at age 74.

In 1930, fire broke out inside the overcrowded Ohio Penitentiary in Columbus, killing 332 inmates.

In 1940, the quiz show that asked the “$64 question,” ”Take It or Leave It,” premiered on CBS Radio.

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 1976, clinical trials of the swine flu vaccine began in Washington, D.C.

In 1986, a rediscovered vault in Chicago’s Lexington Hotel that was linked to Al Capone was opened during a widely watched live TV special hosted by Geraldo Rivera; aside from a few bottles and a sign, the vault turned out to be empty.

In 1996, oddsmaker Jimmy “The Greek” Snyder died in Las Vegas at age 77.

Ten years ago: Nouri al-Maliki (NOO’-ree ahl-MAHL’-ih-kee) was nominated by the Shiites as Iraq’s prime minister after outgoing Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari (EE’-brah-heem ahl JAH’-fah-ree) gave up his bid for another term. Chinese President Hu Jintao (hoo jin-tow) wrapped up his U.S. tour with a visit to Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut. Miss Kentucky Tara Elizabeth Conner was crowned Miss USA during the pageant in Baltimore.

Five 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.) Jess Jackson, 81, founder of the Kendall-Jackson winery, died in Geyerville, California.

One year ago: An Egyptian criminal court sentenced ousted Islamist President Mohammed Morsi to 20 years in prison over the killing of protesters in 2012. An Indonesian court found an American couple, Tommy Schaefer and Heather Mack, guilty of premeditated murder and sentenced them to prison in the death of Mack’s mother, Sheila von Wiese-Mack, on the resort island of Bali. The head of the Drug Enforcement Administration, Michele Leonhart, announced her retirement in the wake of allegations that DEA agents had attended sex parties with prostitutes. Pope Francis accepted the resignation of U.S. Bishop Robert Finn, who’d pleaded guilty to failing to report a suspected child abuser. Mary Doyle Keefe, 92, the model for Norman Rockwell’s iconic 1943 Rosie the Riveter painting, died in Simsbury, Connecticut.

Today’s Birthdays: Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II is 90. Actress-comedian-writer Elaine May is 84. Actor Charles Grodin is 81. Actor Reni Santoni (REH’-nee san-TOH’-nee) is 78. Anti-death penalty activist Sister Helen Prejean is 77. Singer-musician Iggy Pop is 69. Actress Patti LuPone is 67. Actor Tony Danza is 65. Actor James Morrison is 62. Actress Andie MacDowell is 58. Rock singer Robert Smith (The Cure) is 57. Rock musician Michael Timmins (Cowboy Junkies) is 57. Actor John Cameron Mitchell is 53. Rapper Michael Franti (Spearhead) is 50. Actor Toby Stephens is 47. Rock singer-musician Glen Hansard (The Frames) is 46. Actor Rob Riggle is 46. Comedian Nicole Sullivan is 46. Football player-turned-actor Brian White is 43. Olympic gold medal pairs figure skater Jamie Sale (sah-LAY’) is 39. Rock musician David Brenner (Theory of a Deadman) is 38. Actor James McAvoy is 37. NFL quarterback Tony Romo is 36. Actor Terrence J is 34. Actress Gugu Mbatha-Raw is 33. Actor Christoph (cq) Sanders is 28. Rock singer Sydney Sierota (Echosmith) is 19.

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