Tuesday, April 21, 2009

This Day in History: April 21

From the New York Times:
1649 The Maryland Toleration Act, which provided for freedom of worship for all Christians, was passed by the Maryland assembly.

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

1816 Charlotte Bronte, author of "Jane Eyre," was born in Thornton, England.

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

1918 Baron Manfred von Richthofen, the German ace known as the "Red Baron," was killed in action during World War I.

1960 Brazil inaugurated its new capital, Brasilia, transferring the seat of national government from Rio de Janeiro.

1975 South Vietnamese President Nguyen Van Thieu resigned after 10 years in office.

1977 The musical "Annie" opened on Broadway.

1980 Rosie Ruiz, the first woman to cross the finish line at the Boston Marathon, was disqualified when officials discovered she had jumped into the race about a mile from the finish.

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. Except for a few bottles and a sign, the vault was empty.

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 teenage boys.

2004 Five suicide attackers detonated car bombs against police buildings in Basra, Iraq, killing at least 74 people.

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