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April 21, 2013

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 (CHEHR'-ee-aht) 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.

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