on this day … 4/21 1972 – Apollo 16 astronauts John Young and Charles Duke explored the surface of the moon.


753 BC – Today is the traditional date of the foundation of Rome.

43 BC – Marcus Antonius was defeated by Octavian near Modena, Italy.

1526 – Mongol Emperor Babur annihilated the Indian Army of Ibrahim Lodi.

1649 – The Maryland Toleration Act was passed, allowing all freedom of worship.

1689 – William III and Mary II were crowned joint king and queen of England, Scotland and Ireland.

1789 – John Adams was sworn in as the first U.S. Vice President.

1836 – General Sam Houston defeated Santa Anna at the Battle of San Jacinto. This battle decided the independence of Texas.

1856 – The Mississippi River was crossed by a rail train for the first time (between Davenport, IA, and Rock Island, IL).

1862 – The U.S. Congress established the U.S. Mint in Denver, CO.

1865 – U.S. President Abraham Lincoln‘s funeral train left Washington.

1892 – The first Buffalo was born in Golden Gate Park.

1895 – Woodville Latham and his sons demonstrated their Panopticon. It was the first movie projector developed in the United States.

1898 – The Spanish-American War began.

1914 – U.S. Marines occupied Vera Cruz, Mexico. The troops stayed for six months.

1916 – Bill Carlisle, the infamous ‘last train robber,’ robbed a train in Hanna, WY.

1918 – German fighter ace Manfred von Richthofen, “The Red Baron,” was shot down and killed during World War I.

1940 – “Take It or Leave It” premiered on CBS Radio.

1943 – U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt announced that several Doolittle pilots had been executed by the Japanese.

1953 – In New York, the Sidney Janis Gallery held the Dada exhibition.

1956 – Leonard Ross, age 10, became the youngest prizewinner on the “The Big Surprise”. He won $100,000.

1959 – Alf Dean caught a 16-foot, 10-inch white shark that weighed 2,664 pounds. At the time it was the largest catch with a rod and reel.

1960 – Brasilia became the capital of Brazil.

1961 – The French army revolted in Algeria.

1967 – Svetlana Alliluyeva (Svetlana Stalina) defected in New York City. She was the daughter of Joseph Stalin.

1967 – In Athens, Army colonels took over the government and installed Constantine Kollias as premier.

1972 – Apollo 16 astronauts John Young and Charles Duke explored the surface of the moon.

1975 – South Vietnam president, Nguyen Van Thieu, resigned, condemning the United States.

1977 – “Annie” opened on Broadway.

1984 – In France, it was announced that doctors had found virus believed to cause AIDS.

1985 – Manuel Ortega proposed a cease-fire for Nicaragua.

1986 – Geraldo Rivera opened a vault that belonged to Al Capone at the Lexington Hotel in Chicago. Nothing of interest was found inside.

1987 – Special occasion stamps were offered for the first time by the U.S. Postal Service. “Happy Birthday” and “Get Well” were among the first to be offered.

1989 – The Game Boy handheld video game device was released in Japan.

1992 – Robert Alton Harris became the first person executed by the state of California in 25 years. He was put to death for the 1978 murder of two teen-age boys.

1994 – Jackie Parker became the first woman to qualify to fly an F-16 combat plane.

1998 – Astronomers announced in Washington that they had discovered possible signs of a new family of planets orbiting a star 220 light-years away.

2000 – In Sinking Spring, PA, a man chased his estranged girlfriend through town and then forced her car into the path of an oncoming train. The woman and her 3 passengers were killed.

2000 – North Carolina researchers announced that the heart of a 66 million-year-old dinosaur was more like a mammal or bird than that of a reptile.

2000 – The 1998 Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act went into effect.

2002 – In the city of General Santos, 14 people were killed and 69 were injured in a bomb attack on a department store. The attack was blamed on Muslim extremists.

2003 – North and South Korea agreed to hold Cabinet-level talks the following week.

2009 – UNESCO launched The World Digital Library. The World Digital Library (WDL) is an international digital library operated by UNESCO and the United States Library of Congress.

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