Today In History: April 21

(AP) — Today is Sunday, April 21, the 111th day of 2019. There are 254 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On April 21, 1789, John Adams was sworn in as the first vice president of the United States.

On this date:

In 1509, England’s King Henry VII died; he was succeeded by his 17-year-old son, Henry VIII.

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, Connecticut, at age 74.

In 1918, Manfred von Richthofen, 25, the German ace known as the “Red Baron” who was believed to have downed 80 enemy aircraft during World War I, was himself shot down and killed while in action over France.

In 1926, Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II was born in Mayfair, London; she was the first child of The Duke and Duchess of York, who later became King George VI and the Queen Mother.

In 1930, fire broke out inside the overcrowded Ohio Penitentiary in Columbus, killing 332 inmates.

In 1942, the first edition of “The Stranger” (L’Etranger), Albert Camus’ (al-BEHR’ kah-MOOZ’) highly influential absurdist novel, was published in Nazi-occupied Paris by Gallimard.

In 1975, with Communist forces closing in, South Vietnamese President Nguyen Van Thieu resigned after nearly 10 years in office and fled the country.

In 1976, clinical trials of the swine flu vaccine began in Washington, D.C.

In 1977, the musical play “Annie,” based on the “Little Orphan Annie” comic strip, opened on Broadway, beginning a run of 2,377 performances.

In 1998, astronomers announced in Washington that 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.

In 2016, Prince, one of the most inventive and influential musicians of modern times, was found dead at his home in suburban Minneapolis; he was 57.

Ten years ago: Calling on Americans to volunteer, President Barack Obama signed a $5.7 billion national service bill tripling the size of the AmeriCorps service program. The sole survivor of a pirate attack on an American cargo ship off the Somali coast was charged as an adult with piracy in federal court in New York. (A prosecutor said Abdiwali Abdiqadir Muse (AHB’-dih-wah-lee AHB’-dih-kah-dir moo-SAY’) had given wildly varying ages for himself before finally admitting he was 18. Muse later pleaded guilty to hijacking, kidnapping and hostage-taking and was sentenced to more than 33 years in prison.)

Five years ago: More than 30,000 people defiantly ran the Boston Marathon a year after the deadly terrorist bombings; American Meb Keflezighi (keh-FLEZ’-gee) won the men’s race in 2:08:37 while Kenya’s Rita Jeptoo successfully defended her title, finishing in a course-record 2:18:57. Win Tin, 85, a prominent journalist who became Myanmar’s longest-serving political prisoner after challenging military rule, died in Yangon.

One year ago: North Korea announced that it would suspend nuclear tests and intercontinental ballistic missile launches ahead of its summits with South Korea and the United States. Barbara Bush was remembered as the “first lady of the Greatest Generation” during a funeral in Houston attended by four former U.S. presidents and hundreds of others. Actor Verne Troyer, best known for his role as “Mini-Me” in the “Austin Powers” movies, died in Los Angeles at the age of 49; a coroner later ruled that the death was suicide by alcohol intoxication.

Today’s Birthdays: Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II is 93. Actress-comedian-writer Elaine May is 87. Actor Charles Grodin is 84. Actor Reni Santoni (REH’-nee san-TOH’-nee) is 81. Anti-death penalty activist Sister Helen Prejean is 80. Singer-musician Iggy Pop is 72. Actress Patti LuPone is 70. Actor Tony Danza is 68. Actor James Morrison is 65. Actress Andie MacDowell is 61. Rock singer Robert Smith (The Cure) is 60. Rock musician Michael Timmins (Cowboy Junkies) is 60. Actor-director John Cameron Mitchell is 56. Rapper Michael Franti (Spearhead) is 53. Actress Leslie Silva is 51. Actor Toby Stephens is 50. Rock singer-musician Glen Hansard (The Frames) is 49. Actor Rob Riggle is 49. Comedian Nicole Sullivan is 49. Football player-turned-actor Brian White is 46. Olympic gold medal pairs figure skater Jamie Sale (sah-LAY’) is 42. Rock musician David Brenner (Theory of a Deadman) is 41. Actor James McAvoy is 40. Former NFL quarterback Tony Romo is 39. Actor Terrence J is 37. Actress Gugu Mbatha-Raw is 36. Actor Christoph (cq) Sanders is 31. Actor Frank Dillane is 28. Rock singer Sydney Sierota (Echosmith) is 22.

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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