Home Today's History Lesson TODAY’S HISTORY LESSON: APRIL 21



1918 – German World War I fighter ace Baron Manfred von Richthofen aka “The Red Baron”, is shot down and killed over Vaux sur Somme in France. Canadian pilot Arthur Roy Brown is credited with the kill.

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

043 BC – Battle of Mutina: Mark Antony is again defeated in battle by Aulus Hirtius, who is killed. Although Antony fails to capture Mutina, Decimus Brutus is murdered shortly afterwards

1486 – Sentencia Arbitral de Guadalupe (Arbitration Sentence of Guadalupe) proclaimed by Spanish King Ferdinand II of Aragon, freeing Catalan remensa peasants

1509 – Henry VIII ascends the throne of England (unofficially) at the death of his father, Henry VII

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

1536 – Thomas Cromwell begins to plot Anne Boleyn’s downfall while feigning illness

1649 – Maryland Toleration Act passed in the American colony, allowing freedom of worship for Christians but sentencing to death anyone who rejected the divinity of Jesus

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

1785 – Catherine II of Russia confers on the nobility the “Charter to the Nobility”, increasing further the power of the landed oligarchs

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

1792 – Tiradentes, a revolutionary who was leading a movement for Brazil’s independence, is hanged and quartered.

1794 – Joséphine de Beauharnais, future Empress of French and first wife of Napoleon Bonaparte, is imprisoned during the Reign of Terror

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

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

1861 – USS Saratoga captures slaver, Nightingale.

1878 – The ship Azor leaves Charleston with 206 blacks for Liberia

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.

1906 – Commander Robert Peary discovered supposed Arctic Continent did not exist

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

1916 – The Aud, carrying a cargo of 20,000 rifles to assist Irish republicans in staging what would become the 1916 Rising, is captured by the British Navy and forced to sail towards Cork Harbour

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

1930 – A fire at a penitentiary in Columbus, Ohio, kills 320 people

1934 – The Surgeon’s photo, allegedly showing the Loch Ness Monster, is published in the Daily Mail

1941 – WWII: Greece surrenders to Nazi Germany

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

1945 – WWII: Soviet army arrives at outskirts of Berlin, Germany

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.

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.

1981 – US furnish $1 billion in arms to Saudi-Arabia

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 – The Tamil Tigers are blamed for a car bomb that explodes in the Sri Lankan capital of Colombo, killing 106 people.

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.

1995 – FBI arrests Timothy McVeigh in the Oklahoma City bombing case; He is indicted on 160 state offenses and 11 federal offenses, including the use of a weapon of mass destruction

1998 – Tiananmen Square Protests of 1989: In Beijing, around 100,000 students gather in Tiananmen Square to commemorate Chinese reform leader Hu Yaobang.

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.

2008 – The United States Air Force retires the F-117 Nighthawk stealth surface-attack aircraft

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.

2013 – 185 people are killed in a conflict between Islamic extremists and the Nigerian military

2017 – Taliban attack army base at Mazar-e-Sharif, Afghanistan, killing more than 100

2019 – Terror attacks on churches and hotels on Easter Sunday in three Sri Lankan cities, Colombo, Negombo and Batticaloa kill at least 253 and injure hundreds

2020 – US President Donald Trump announces new 60-day ban on most green cards for the US

2021 – Manhattan district attorney’s office announces it will no longer prosecute prostitution, dismissing 914 open cases, part of growing movement to change approach to prostitution

2023 – US Supreme Court rules abortion pill mifepristone can remain widely available, blocking ban by Texas U.S. District Judge

REFERENCE: history.net, onthisday.com, thepeopleshistory.com, timeanddate.com, scopesys.com, on-this-day.com