This Day In History- The Spanish-American War Began

April 21st

Today in 753 BC,Rome was founded.

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

Today in 1898,the Spanish-American War began.

Today in 1910,American storyteller/author Mark Twain (real name Samuel Clemens)died at the age of 76 at his home in Redding, Connecticut.

Today in 1918,Baron Manfred Von Richthofen, better known as Germany’s "Red Baron,"was shot down during a WW1 air battle. With a bullet in his chest, he brought the plane to a perfect landing before dying. He was 26 years old.

Today in 1956,Leonard Ross, at the age of 10,became the youngest prize winner on the game show "The Big Surprise."He won $100,000 for knowing about his specialty – stocks.

Today in 1972,John Young and Charles Duke, the astronauts on the Apollo XVI mission,drove an electric car (LEM) on the surface of the moon. The car, along with some tools and film, is still up there.

Today in 1980,at the Boston Marathon, Rosie Ruiz was the first woman to cross the finish line that year with a time of 2:31:56. The problem? She was laterexposed as a fraud(she took a city bus for a majority of the course).

Today in 1983,former first lady Betty Ford,undergoing treatment at Long Beach Memorial Naval Hospital in California,disclosed in a statement that she was addicted to alcohol as well as a drug she had been taking for arthritis.

Today in 1984,it was announced in France that doctors had isolated the virus believed to cause AIDS.

Today in 1986,Geraldo Rivera,along with a camera crew arrived at the once-notorious Lexington Hotel in Chicago. A TV audience watched as the long-sealed vault of racketeer Al Capone was opened during the much-hyped special. In the end, all Geraldo found were broken bottles and no trace that Capone and his gang had ever stashed anything there.

Today in 1992,Robert Alton Harris became the first person executed by the state of California in 25 years. He was executed for the murder of two teenage boys in 1978.

Today in 1994,Jackie Parker became the first woman to qualify to fly an F-16 combat plane.

Today in 1995,theFBI arrested former soldier Timothy McVeigh at an Oklahoma jail where he'd spent two days on minor traffic and weapons charges. He was charged in connection with the Oklahoma City bombing two days earlier.

Today in 1997,the cremated remains of Timothy Leary and "Star Trek" creator Gene Roddenberry were launched from a space shuttle, marking the first "burial in space."

Today in 2000,the 1998 Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act went into effect.

Today in 2012,Philip Humber, the pitcher for the Chicago White Sox,pitched a perfect game against the Seattle Mariners.

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