By The Associated Press
Today in History
Today is Friday, April 21, the 111th day of 2017. There are 254 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On April 21, 1967, army officers in Greece staged a coup, seizing power and creating a military dictatorship that ruled the country for the next seven years.
On this date:
In 1649, the Maryland Toleration Act, providing 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, Connecticut, at age 74.
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 1955, the Jerome Lawrence-Robert Lee play “Inherit the Wind,” inspired by the Scopes trial of 1925, opened at the National Theatre in New York.
In 1960, Brazil inaugurated its new capital, Brasilia, transferring the seat of national government from Rio de Janeiro.
In 1962, the Century 21 Exposition, also known as the Seattle World’s Fair, began a six-month run.
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 1986, a rediscovered vault in Chicago’s Lexington Hotel that was linked to Al Capone was opened during a widely watched live TV special hosted by Geraldo Rivera; aside from a few bottles and a sign, the vault turned out to be empty.
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, John Mayeski and Michael Baker.
Ten years ago: The Fallujah, Iraq, city council chairman (Sami Abdul-Amir al-Jumaili), a critic of al-Qaida who had taken the job after his three predecessors were assassinated, was killed by attackers in a passing car. American billionaire Charles Simonyi (sih-MOHN’-ee) returned to Earth from a dream voyage to the international space station, riding a Russian capsule to a soft landing in Kazakhstan. Professional sailor Reid Stowe and his girlfriend, Soanya Ahmad, set off from North Hoboken, New Jersey, on a 1,000-day, nonstop globe-girdling cruise. (Ahmad abandoned the cruise in Australia in Feb. 2008, saying she was plagued by seasickness and suspecting she was pregnant; Stowe completed the journey as he arrived in New York on June 17, 2010 and met his toddler son, Darshen, for the first time.)
Five years ago: Charles W. “Chuck” Colson, 80, described as the “evil genius” of the Nixon administration who served seven months in prison for a Watergate-related conviction, then spent the next 35 years ministering to prison inmates, died in northern Virginia.