April 21st in History

This day in historyApril 21 is the 111th day of the year (112th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 254 days remaining until the end of the year.




In 753 BC,  Romulus founds Rome (traditional date).

In 323, B.C., In more distant Greek history, Alexander the Great was buried at Alexandria, Egypt. The orator Diogenes died the same day.

In 43 BC,  Battle of Mutina: Mark Antony is again defeated in battle by Aulus Hirtius, who is killed. Antony fails to capture Mutina and Decimus Brutus is murdered shortly after.

In 900,  The Laguna Copperplate Inscription: the Honourable Namwaran and his children, Lady Angkatan and Bukah, are granted pardon from all their debts by the Commander in chief of Tundun, as represented by the Honourable Jayadewa, Lord Minister of Pailah. Luzon, Philippines.

In 1092,  The Diocese of Pisa is elevated to the rank of metropolitan archdiocese by Pope Urban II

In 1506,  The three-day Lisbon Massacre comes to an end with the slaughter of over 1,900 suspected Jews by Portuguese Catholics.

In 1509, Henry VIII ascends the throne of England on the death of his father, Henry VII

In 1526,  The last ruler of the Lodi Dynasty, Ibrahim Lodi is defeated and killed by Babur in the First Battle of Panipat

In 1615,  The Wignacourt Aqueduct is inaugurated in Malta.

In 1641, The House of Commons, in defiance of the House of Lords, passes a Bill of Attainder against the Earl of Strafford

In 1782,  The city of Rattanakosin, now known internationally as Bangkok, is founded on the eastern bank of the Chao Phraya River by King Buddha Yodfa Chulaloke.

In 1789, John Adams was sworn in as the first vice president of the United States.

In 1792,  Tiradentes, a revolutionary leading a movement for Brazil’s independence, is hanged, drawn and quartered

In 1794, NYC formally declares coast of Ellis Island publicly owned, so they can build forts to protect NYC from British.

In 1809,  Two Austrian army corps are driven from Landshut by a First French Empire army led by Napoleon I of France as two French corps to the north hold off the main Austrian army on the first day of the Battle of Eckmühl.

In 1815,  Joseph Winston, American soldier and politician (b. 1746) dies. He was an American pioneer, planter and Revolutionary War hero from North Carolina, and the first cousin of statesman and Virginia governor Patrick Henry.  In 1766, Winston moved to the northern part of Rowan County, North Carolina, the area which subsequently became the current Stokes County, North Carolina. During the American Revolutionary War he was a major, leading a company of riflemen in several important battles, including the Battle of Kings Mountain and the Battle of Guilford Court House. Winston later represented North Carolina as a U.S. Congressman and also served in the North Carolina Senate. He is buried in the National Park at the site of the Battle of Guilford Court House, where a monument erected in 1893 notes Winston’s command of the militia forces.The town of Winston, North Carolina (which later became part of Winston-Salem) is named for him.

In 1836, Texas Revolution: The Battle of San Jacinto: Republic of Texas forces under Sam Houston defeat troops under Mexican General Antonio López de Santa Anna.

In 1855, The first rail train to pass over the mighty Mississippi River between Davenport, Iowa and Rock Island, IL, made its journey across a newly completed bridge between the two rail centers. A river pilot damaged it two weeks later and Abraham Lincoln represented the railroad.

In 1857, Alexander Douglas patented the bustle (but all that is behind us now).

In 1862, Congress established the U.S. Mint in Denver, Colorado.

In 1863,  Bahá’u’lláh, the founder of the Bahá’í Faith, declares his mission as “He whom God shall make manifest“.

In 1878, the first firehouse pole was installed in N.Y.

In 1894,  Norway formally adopts the Krag-Jørgensen bolt-action rifle as the main arm of its armed forces, a weapon that would remain in service for almost 50 years.

In 1898,  Spanish–American War: The United States Navy begins a blockade of Cuban ports. When the U.S. Congress issued a declaration of war on April 25, it declared that a state of war had existed from this date.

In 1908, Frederick A Cook claimed to reach the North Pole.

In 1910, Halley’s Comet passes last perihelion at distance of 54.6 million. Was it a coincidence that Mark Twain was born and died with this comet?

Mark Twain, Brady-Handy photo portrait, Feb 7, 1871, cropped.jpgIn 1910,  Mark Twain, American author (b. 1835) dies. Samuel Langhorne Clemens  better known by his pen name Mark Twain, was an American author and humorist. He wrote The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1876) and its sequel, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1885), the latter often called “the Great American Novel.” Twain grew up in Hannibal, Missouri, which provided the setting for Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer. After an apprenticeship with a printer, he worked as a typesetter and contributed articles to the newspaper of his older brother Orion Clemens. He later became a riverboat pilot on the Mississippi River before heading west to join Orion in Nevada. He referred humorously to his singular lack of success at mining, turning to journalism for the Virginia City Territorial Enterprise. In 1865, his humorous story, “The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County,” was published, based on a story he heard at Angels Hotel in Angels Camp, California, where he had spent some time as a miner. The short story brought international attention, and was even translated into classic Greek.  His wit and satire, in prose and in speech, earned praise from critics and peers, and he was a friend to presidents, artists, industrialists, and European royalty.

In 1914, Ypiranga incident: A German arms shipment to Mexico is intercepted by the U.S. Navy near Veracruz, Veracruz.

In 1918, Baron Manfred von Richthofen, the German flying ace known as the “Red Baron,” was shot down and killed in action during World War I after downing 80 enemy planes.

In 1934,  The “Surgeon’s Photograph”, the most famous photo allegedly showing the Loch Ness Monster, is published in the Daily Mail (in 1999, it is revealed to be a hoax).

In 1945, World War II: Soviet forces south of Berlin at Zossen attack the German High Command headquarters.

In 1954, U.S. Air Force planes began flying French troops to Indochina to reinforce Dien Bien Phu. The city later fell to communist Viet Minh forces.

In 1960,  Brasília, Brazil‘s capital, is officially inaugurated. At 09:30, the Three Powers of the Republic are simultaneously transferred from the old capital, Rio de Janeiro.

In 1962,  The Seattle World’s Fair (Century 21 Exposition) opens. It is the first World’s Fair in the United States since World War II.

In 1964,  A Transit-5bn satellite fails to reach orbit after launch; as it re-enters the atmosphere, 2.1 pounds (0.95 kg) of radioactive plutonium in its SNAP RTG power source is widely dispersed.

In 1972, Apollo 16 astronauts John Young and Charles Duke explored the surface of the moon by driving an electric car called the lunar rover. It’s still up there on the moon along with all the expensive tools and some film.

In 1975, Nguyen Van Thieu resigned as president of South Vietnam after denouncing the United States as untrustworthy. His replacement, Tran Van Huong, prepared for peace talks with North Vietnam as communist forces advanced on Saigon.

In 1983, The former first lady Betty Ford, undergoing treatment at Long Beach Memorial Naval Hospital in California, disclosed in a statement that she was addicted to alcohol as well as a drug she had been taking for arthritis.

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

In 1991, U.S. Marines in northern Iraq began building the first safe-haven settlement for Kurdish refugees. General H. Norman Schwarzkopf arrived at MacDill Air Force Base in Florida to a hero’s welcome.

In 1992, The state of California executed Robert Alton Harris, who had been condemned for the 1978 murder of two teen-age boys. Harris was put to death in the gas chamber in California’s first execution in 25 years.

In 1994, The U.S. House of Representatives passed a $28 billion “Get tough on crime” unconstitutional bill by a vote of 285-141.

In 1995, The FBI arrested former soldier Timothy McVeigh at an Oklahoma jail where he’d spent two days on minor traffic and weapons charges; he was charged in connection with the Oklahoma City bombing two days earlier.

Nina Simone 1965.jpgIn 2003,  Nina Simone, American singer-songwriter, pianist, and activist (b. 1933) died in her sleep at her home in Carry-le-Rouet, Bouches-du-Rhône, on April 21, 2003. She was an American singer, songwriter, pianist, arranger, and civil rights activist. She worked in a broad range of musical styles including classical, jazz, blues, folk, R&B, gospel, and pop. The sixth child of a preacher’s family in North Carolina, Simone aspired to be a concert pianist. Her musical path changed direction after she was denied a scholarship to the prestigious Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, despite a well-received audition. Simone said she later found out from an insider at Curtis that she was denied entry because she was black. So as to fund her continuing musical education and become a classical pianist, she began playing in a small club in Philadelphia where she was also required to sing. She was approached for a recording by Bethlehem Records, and her rendering of “I Loves You, Porgy” was a hit in the United States in 1958. Over the length of her career Simone recorded more than 40 albums, mostly between 1958, when she made her debut with Little Girl Blue, and 1974.

In 2004,  Five suicide car bombers target police stations in and around Basra, killing 74 people and wounding 160.

In 2010,  The controversial Kharkiv Pact (Russian Ukrainian Naval Base for Gas Treaty) is signed in Kharkiv, Ukraine, by Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev; it will be unilaterally terminated by Russia on March 31, 2014.

In 2012,  Two trains are involved in a head-on collision near Sloterdijk, Amsterdam, in the Netherlands, injuring 116 people.

In 2012,  United Nations Security Council Resolution 2043 is adopted. The resolution resulted in the setting up of the United Nations Supervision Mission in Syria to observe the implementation of the Kofi Annan peace plan for Syria on the Syrian Civil War. The United Nations Supervision Mission in Syria was frozen in early June 2012, following an increasingly unstable and violent situation in Syria.

In 2013, Mormon church leaders plan to carefully review the Boy Scouts of America’s new proposal on the organization’s longstanding ban on gays before it takes a position. The Boy Scouts announced a proposal to lift the gay ban for youth members but continue to exclude gays as adult leaders.

In 2013, Senator Harry Reid pulls a gun control bill in the Senate. The motion to proceed to S. 649 (the filibuster vote) failed as did the Toomey-Manchin-Schumer gun owner registry, the Feinstein gun ban, and the Lautenberg magazine limitation. Senator’s Corker and Alexander voted yes to proceed to a floor vote.

In 2014, The Boy Scouts of America revoked the charter of a Seattle church for letting a gay scoutmaster lead a troop. The Scouts don’t allow openly gay leaders, and last month kicked out the scoutmaster, Geoff McGrath, after learning of his sexual orientation. The church — Rainier Beach United Methodist Church — stood by him. The Rev. Monica Corsaro said her church welcomed everyone. [The Chtistian Science Monitor]

In 2015, Colorado man cited by police after shooting his computer. A Colorado man’s frustration with his computer boiled over Monday night, resulting in him shooting the machine eight times and receiving a citation from police. Lucas Hinch, 37, of Colorado Springs, accepted his citation with good humor, police told the Colorado Springs Gazette. According to the paper, Hinch told officers that he hadn’t realized that he was breaking the law when he brought the computer into an alley and blasted away.

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