Today in History – Thursday, April 21, 2016


Today is Thursday, April 21, the 112th day of 2014. There are 255 days left in the year.

Highlights in history on this date:

1526 – Babur, an Uzbek prince, defeats Sultan Ibrahim Lodi at the Battle of Panipat north of Delhi, leading to Mughal rule over India.

1572 – Britain and France sign defensive treaty.

1649 – The Maryland assembly passes the Maryland Toleration Act, which provides for freedom of worship for all Christians.

1789 – John Adams is sworn in as the first U.S. vice president.

1856 – Australia adopts eight-hour working day.

1898 – United States recognizes independence of Cuba.

1918 – German air ace Baron Manfred von Richthofen, known as the Red Baron, is shot down and killed over the Western Front during a dogfight with Capt. Arthur Roy Brown of Canada.

1928 – France’s Aristide Briand submits his draft treaty for outlawing war. It is later signed as the Kellogg-Briand Pact by most of the world’s countries.

1947 – Crown Prince Frederik is acclaimed King Frederik IX of Denmark by thousands of Danes on parliament square.

1954 – United States flies French battalion to Indochina to defend Dien Bien Phu, which is overrun by Vietnamese forces three weeks later.

1956 – Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Yemen sign military alliance at Jedda.

1960 – Brazil moves its capital from Rio de Janeiro to Brasilia, a modern city built from scratch on the central high plains.

1967 – Army officers led by Col. Georgios Papadopoulos seize power in Greece. The junta rules the country for seven years.

1972 – Two U.S. Apollo 16 astronauts spend seven hours exploring highlands of the Moon.

1975 – South Vietnam’s President Nguyen van Thieu resigns, denounces United States as untrustworthy, and names successor to seek negotiations with Communist forces sweeping across country.

1977 – Pakistan’s Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto assumes emergency powers and imposes martial law on three major cities in crackdown on opponents trying to force his resignation; the musical “Annie” opens on Broadway.

1980 – Rosie Ruiz is the first woman to cross the finish line at the Boston Marathon, but she is disqualified when officials discover she jumped into the race about a mile (1.6 kilometers) from the finish.

1986 – Soldiers attack rebel camp in Philippines, and 41 people are killed; a vault in Chicago’s Lexington Hotel linked to Al Capone is opened during a live TV special hosted by Geraldo Rivera. Except for a few bottles and a sign, the vault is empty.

1987 – Suspected Tamil Tiger separatists explode powerful bomb at height of rush hour near main bus station in Colombo, Sri Lanka, killing as many as 150 people.

1989 – Thousands of students, shouting for democracy and human rights, march from campuses to converge on Tiananmen Square in Beijing, China.

1990 – Moscow expands its energy embargo of Lithuania to include shipments of food, metal and industrial parts, in effort to get the republic to revoke declaration of independence.

1991 – Soviet hard-liners launch a petition drive for a Parliament session to impose a national state of emergency and take President Mikhail Gorbachev to task over worsening ethnic and economic troubles.

1993 – The Supreme Court in La Paz, Bolivia, sentences former dictator Luis Garcia Meza to 30 years in jail without parole for murder, theft, fraud and violating the constitution.

1994 – Bosnian Serb artillery bombards the Muslim enclave of Gorazde in the heaviest assault of a three-week offensive.

1995 – Iran lines up with Egypt and Syria to try to link the future of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty to a dismantling of Israel’s reported nuclear arsenal.

1996 – Rebels in a military complex in Monrovia, Liberia, release more foreigners while African peacekeeping troops fan out in the capital to police a truce.

1997 – The first Chinese Army soldiers march into Hong Kong in preparation for the handover of the British colony to China on July 1.

1998 – South Korea drops efforts to get compensation from Japan for women held as sex slaves during World War II, and says it will pay surviving women.

2001 – Leaders at the 34-nation Americas summit debate whether to criticize Haitian elections that restored President Jean-Bertrand Aristide to power last year and mired the hemisphere’s poorest and most unstable nation in another political morass.

2002 – Bombings in the southern Philippines, where Muslim rebel groups are fighting for a separate homeland, kill 14 people and wound 55 others.

2005 – A blast kills at least 51 people as it rips through an explosives manufacturing plant at a mine in the heart of Zambia’s copper belt.

2006 – Haitians vote in a legislative election billed as the final step in the often-delayed process to bring back democracy to the poorest nation in the Americas.

2007 – Thousands of Bhutanese practice for democracy in mock elections, lining up at polling stations to select dummy political parties in the latest step toward shedding nearly 100 years of absolute monarchy in the secluded Himalayan country.

2008 – Pakistan orders the release of pro-Taliban leader Sufi Muhammad from six years in custody in return for an agreement from his group to renounce

violence. Muhammad had sent thousands to battle the U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan in 2001.

2009 – European researchers say they not only found the smallest planet ever, Gliese 5810 e, but also realize that a neighboring planet discovered earlier, Gliese 581 d, was in the prime habital zone for potential life.

2010 – An explosion rocks a BP offshore oil drilling platform in the Gulf of Mexico, killing 11 workers and eventually leading to the biggest oil spill in U.S. history.

2011 – Japan seals off a wide area around a radiation-spewing nuclear power plant to prevent tens of thousands of residents from sneaking back to the homes they quickly evacuated, some with little more than a credit card and the clothes on their backs.

2012 – An infusion of hundreds of billions of dollars will give the International Monetary Fund a badly needed boost to tackle Europe’s prolonged debt crisis. But global finance officials send a strong message that struggling governments must speed reforms.

2013 — Serbia’s ruling parties pledge to support a landmark agreement to normalize relations with former province Kosovo that could end years of tensions and put both states on a path to European Union membership.

Today’s Birthdays:

Charlotte Bronte, English novelist (1816-1855); Anthony Quinn, Mexican-born actor (1915-2001); Queen Elizabeth II of England (1926–); Elaine May, U.S. entertainer-writer (1932–); Omotoso Kole, Nigerian writer (1943–); Iggy Pop, English punk singer (1947–); Patti LuPone, U.S. actress/singer (1949–); James McAvoy, actor (1979–); Michael Franti, U.S. singer/rapper (1966–).

Thought For Today:

I am a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work the more I have of it — Stephen Leacock, Canadian economist and humorist (1869-1944).

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