Today is Thursday, April 22, the 112th day of 2021. There are 253 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On April 22, 2005, Zacarias Moussaoui (zak-uh-REE’-uhs moo-SOW’-ee) pleaded guilty in a federal courtroom outside Washington, D.C. to conspiring with the Sept. 11 hijackers to kill Americans. (Moussaoui is serving a life prison sentence.)

On this date:

In 1864, Congress authorized the use of the phrase “In God We Trust” on U.S. coins.

In 1889, the Oklahoma Land Rush began at noon as thousands of homesteaders staked claims.

In 1898, with the United States and Spain on the verge of war, the U.S. Navy began blockading Cuban ports. Congress authorized creation of the 1st U.S. Volunteer Cavalry, also known as the “Rough Riders.”

In 1915, the first full-scale use of deadly chemicals in warfare took place as German forces unleashed chlorine gas against Allied troops at the start of the Second Battle of Ypres (EE’-preh) in Belgium during World War I; thousands of soldiers are believed to have died.

In 1937, thousands of college students in New York City staged a “peace strike” opposing American entry into another possible world conflict.

In 1952, an atomic test in Nevada became the first nuclear explosion shown on live network television as a 31-kiloton bomb was dropped from a B-50 Superfortress.

In 1954, the publicly televised sessions of the Senate Army-McCarthy hearings began.

In 1970, millions of Americans concerned about the environment observed the first “Earth Day.”

In 1994, Richard M. Nixon, the 37th president of the United States, died at a New York hospital four days after suffering a stroke; he was 81.

In 2000, in a dramatic pre-dawn raid, armed immigration agents seized Elian Gonzalez, the Cuban boy at the center of a custody dispute, from his relatives’ home in Miami; Elian was reunited with his father at Andrews Air Force Base near Washington.

In 2004, Army Ranger Pat Tillman, who’d traded in a multi-million-dollar NFL contract to serve in Afghanistan, was killed by friendly fire; he was 27.

In 2015, a federal judge in Philadelphia approved a settlement agreement expected to cost the NFL $1 billion over 65 years to resolve thousands of concussion lawsuits. A federal appeals court in San Francisco overturned home run leader Barry Bonds’ obstruction of justice conviction, ruling 10-1 that his meandering answer before a grand jury in 2003 was not material to the government’s investigation into illegal steroids distribution.

Ten years ago: Syrian security forces fired at protesters, killing at least 75 people around the country. A tornado ripped through Lambert-St. Louis International Airport, causing significant damage to the C Concourse.

Five years ago: Leaders from 175 countries signed the Paris Agreement on climate change at the United Nations as the landmark deal took a key step toward entering into force years ahead of schedule.

One year ago: Tyson Foods suspended operations at a pork plant in Waterloo, Iowa, that was blamed for fueling a massive coronavirus outbreak in the region; the plant was critical to the nation’s pork supply. (At least three workers at the plant died after contracting the virus, which infected more than 1,000 other workers there.) Federal officials said two pet cats in New York state had tested positive for the coronavirus, marking the first confirmed cases in companion animals in the United States; the cats had mild respiratory illnesses. The Boston Red Sox were stripped of their second-round pick in the 2020 amateur draft for sign-stealing in 2018; former Red Sox manager Alex Cora was suspended through the 2020 postseason for his role in the Astros’ sign-stealing operation. Actor Shirley Knight, a two-time Oscar nominee, died in Texas at the age of 83.

Today’s Birthdays: Actor Estelle Harris is 93. Actor Jack Nicholson is 84. Singer Mel Carter is 82. Author Janet Evanovich is 78. Country singer Cleve Francis is 76. Movie director John Waters is 75. Singer Peter Frampton is 71. Rock singer-musician Paul Carrack (Mike and the Mechanics; Squeeze) is 70. Actor Joseph Bottoms is 67. Actor Ryan Stiles is 62. Baseball manager Terry Francona is 62. Comedian and entertainment executive Byron Allen is 60. Actor Chris Makepeace is 57. Rock musician Fletcher Dragge (DRAH’-guh) is 55. Actor Jeffrey Dean Morgan is 55. Actor Sheryl Lee is 54. Actor-talk show host Sherri Shepherd is 54. Country singer-musician Heath Wright (Ricochet) is 54. Country singer Kellie Coffey is 50. Actor Eric Mabius is 50. Actor Ingo Rademacher (RAH’-deh-mah-ker) is 50. Rock musician Shavo Odadjian (System of a Down) is 47. Rock singer-musician Daniel Johns (Silverchair) is 42. Actor Malcolm Barrett is 41. Actor Cassidy Freeman is 39. Actor Michelle Ryan is 37. Actor Zack Gottsagen is 36. Actor Amber Heard is 35. Singer-songwriter BC Jean (Alexander Jean) is 34. Drummer Tripp Howell (LANCO) is 32. Rapper/singer Machine Gun Kelly is 31.

Wednesday, April 21, the 111th day of 2021. There are 254 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On April 21, 1836, an army of Texans led by Sam Houston defeated the Mexicans at San Jacinto, assuring Texas independence.

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 1816, Charlotte Bronte, author of “Jane Eyre,” was born in Thornton, England.

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 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 1980, Rosie Ruiz was the first woman to cross the finish line at the Boston Marathon; however, she was later exposed as a fraud. (Canadian Jacqueline Gareau was named the actual winner of the women’s race.)

In 2015, an Egyptian criminal court sentenced ousted Islamist President Mohammed Morsi to 20 years in prison over the killing of protesters in 2012.

Ten years ago: President Barack Obama announced the Justice Department was assembling a team to “root out any cases of fraud or manipulation” in oil markets that might be contributing to $4 a gallon-plus gasoline prices. Sen. John Ensign, R-Nev., announced he would step down amid a developing ethics probe over how he’d handled an admitted extramarital affair with a former staffer and whether he tried to illegally cover it up. (The Senate Ethics Committee referred the case to the Justice Department, which decided not to prosecute Ensign.)

Five years ago: Prince, one of the most inventive and influential musicians of modern times, was found dead at his home in suburban Minneapolis; he was 57. Queen Elizabeth II, Britain’s oldest and longest-reigning monarch, drew crowds of well-wishers and floods of tributes on the occasion of her 90th birthday. Jake Arrieta of the Chicago Cubs pitched his second no-hitter in a span of 11 regular-season starts, shutting down the Cincinnati Reds in a 16-0 rout.

One year ago: The coroner’s office in California’s Santa Clara County received autopsy results showing that a woman who died there on Feb. 6 and a man who died on Feb. 17 had the coronavirus. (It wasn’t until Feb. 29 that the first known U.S. death from the virus was reported in Kirkland, Washington; officials later attributed two Feb. 26 deaths to the virus.) Researchers reported that a malaria drug that had been widely touted by President Donald Trump for treating the coronavirus showed no benefit in large study of its use in U.S. veterans hospitals. In its first-quarter earnings report, Netflix revealed that it had added nearly 16 million global subscribers during the first three months of the year, as stay-at-home orders went into effect.

Today’s Birthdays: Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II is 95. Actor-comedian-writer Elaine May is 89. Actor Charles Grodin is 86. Anti-death penalty activist Sister Helen Prejean is 82. Singer-musician Iggy Pop is 74. Actor Patti LuPone is 72. Actor Tony Danza is 70. Actor James Morrison is 67. Actor Andie MacDowell is 63. Rock singer Robert Smith (The Cure) is 62. Rock musician Michael Timmins (Cowboy Junkies) is 62. Actor-director John Cameron Mitchell is 58. Rapper Michael Franti (Spearhead) is 55. Actor Leslie Silva is 53. Actor Toby Stephens is 52. Rock singer-musician Glen Hansard (The Frames) is 51. Actor Rob Riggle is 51. Comedian Nicole Sullivan is 51. Football player-turned-actor Brian White is 48. Olympic gold medal pairs figure skater Jamie Sale (sah-LAY’) is 44. Rock musician David Brenner (Theory of a Deadman) is 43. Actor James McAvoy is 42. Former NFL quarterback Tony Romo is 41. Actor Terrence J is 39. Actor Gugu Mbatha-Raw is 38. Actor Christoph (cq) Sanders is 33. Actor Frank Dillane is 30. Rock singer Sydney Sierota (Echosmith) is 24.

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