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Today in History - April 21

Today is Monday, April 21, the 111th day of 2003. There are 254 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

On April 21, 1918, Baron Manfred von Richthofen, the German ace known as the ``Red Baron,'' was killed in action during World War I.

On this date:

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

In 1910, author Samuel Langhorne Clemens, better known as Mark Twain, died in Redding, Conn.

In 1940, the quiz show that asked the ``$64 question,'' ``Take It or Leave It,'' premiered on CBS Radio.

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

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

In 1975, South Vietnamese President Nguyen Van Thieu resigned after ten years in office.

In 1977, the musical play ``Annie'' opened on Broadway.

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.

Ten years ago: An 11-day siege at the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility near Lucasville ended after rioting inmates reached an agreement with prison officials.

Five years ago: Astronomers announced in Washington they had discovered possible signs of a new family of planets orbiting a star 220 light-years away, the clearest evidence to date of worlds forming beyond our solar system.

One year ago: In a huge upset in French politics, extreme-right leader Jean-Marie Le Pen qualified to face incumbent Jacques Chirac in the runoff for French president. (Chirac ended up winning.)

Today's Birthdays: Ice skater Werner Groebli (``Mr. Frick'') is 88. Britain's Queen Elizabeth the Second is 77. Actress-comedian-writer Elaine May is 71. Actor-turned-talk show host Charles Grodin is 68. Singer-musician Iggy Pop is 56. Singer-songwriter Paul Davis is 55. Actress Patti LuPone is 54. Actor Tony Danza is 52. Actress Andie MacDowell is 45. Rock singer Robert Smith (The Cure) is 44. Rock musician Michael Timmins (Cowboy Junkies) is 44. Actor John Cameron Mitchell is 40. Rapper Michael Franti (Spearhead) is 35. Comedian Nicole Sullivan is 33.

Thought for Today: ``I am a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work the more I have of it.'' - Stephen Leacock, Canadian economist and humorist (1869-1944).
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