April 21 Although only used during the last eight months of his career, it is this aircraft that Richthofen was most commonly associated with and it led to an enduring English nickname for the German pilot, the Red Baron. On this day Richthofen penetrated deep into Allied territory in pursuit of a British aircraft. Flying too near the ground, an Australian gunner shoots him through his chest, and his plane crashes into a field alongside the road from Corbie to Bray. British troops recover his body, and he is buried with full military honors. He is only 25 years old. In a time of wooden and fabric aircraft, when 20 air victories ensure a pilot legendary status, Manfred von Richthofen downed an impressive 80 enemy aircraft and is regarded to this day as the ace of aces. Heinrich Himmler In the quest to establish a new world order, Himmler sent his men out to find the Holy Grail and bring it back to the castle—now viewed as the center of the world. The Holy Grail was the chalice from which Christ drank wine during the Last Supper. Supposedly Joseph of Arimathea confiscated it and then used it to collect blood from Christ's wound as he hung on the cross. Joseph then took the cup to England to hide it in a secret place—Avalon—and it became the ambition of King Arthur's knights to find it and make it the center of their enterprise. On one floor of Wewelsburg Castle was a dark mosaic star that marked this center and over which occult rituals were performed by 12 Nazi officers to channel the spirits of the deceased kings. Whenever one of these officers died, his ashes were buried in the floor as a saintly relic. With the idea that blessings from Christ himself enveloped them, the Nazis felt justified to go on a massive killing spree against those who "contaminated" them. Theirs was a holy mission and nothing they could do in its service was wrong. What the world in retrospect deemed as one of the greatest evils perpetrated by human beings was viewed by those involved as divine path that could not be denied. Killing those they deemed inferior was necessary to achieve the ultimate glory of the purification of the planet..."
753BC This is the traditional date of the founding of Rome. "Much of what we know today about the historical foundations of Rome comes to us from ancient writers such as Livy and Herodotus, along with the findings of archeology. The early history of Rome, so deeply rooted in legend and mythology, is a mix of fact, fiction, educated guesses and established notions on the conditions of the ancient Mediterranean world. The earliest evidence of human habitation in the Latium region which included the city of Rome, dates from the Bronze Age (c.1500 BC), but the earliest established, and permanent, settlements began to form in the 8th century BC. At that time archeology indicates two closely related peoples in the area, the Latins and Sabines. These agrarian Italic peoples were tribal in origin, with a social hierarchy that dominated Rome’s early form of government and throughout its claim to power in the region. The date of the founding as a village or series of tribal territories is uncertain, but the traditional and legendary founding of the city dates to 753 BC. Although this date is heavily laden in myth, it is at least roughly supported through archeological evidence. It was in the 8th century BC that two existing settlements, one on the Palatine Hill, the other on the Quirinal, combined to form a single village, corresponding to the same dates as the legend. According to legend, Romans trace their origins to Aeneas, a Trojan who escaped the sack of Troy by fleeing to Italy. The son Aeneas, Iulius (commonly Julius) founded the city of Alba Longa establishing a monarchy. Two descendents of the Alba Longa Kings, the twin brothers Romulus and Remus, would go on to become the founders of Rome. Eventually the two brothers quarreled resulting in the murder of Remus, leaving Romulus as the first King of Rome. The traditional date of Romulus’ sole reign and the subsequent founding of the city, April 21, 753 BC, is still celebrated with festivals and parades today. Continuing development of the city was largely influenced by Rome’s northern neighbors, the Etruscans. The Etruscans, threatened by the growing power and influence of the Latin city to their south, would soon supplant Romulus, and subsequent Latin Kings, with Kings of their own."
1420 The Treaty of Saint Maartens Dike is established.
1453 The Turkish fleet sinks the ship Golden Receiver in Constantinople.
1509 Death: Henry VII, the first Tudor king of England, 1485-1509, at 52. His second son takes the throne as Henry VIII.
1526 Battle at Panipat: The Mongol Emperor Babur defeats sultan Ibrahim Lodi.
1572 France and England sign an anti-Spanish military covenant.
1649 The Maryland Toleration Act, which provides for freedom of worship for Christians, is passed by the Maryland assembly. "...That whatsoever person or persons within this Province and the Islands thereunto helonging shall from henceforth blaspheme God, that is Curse him, or deny our Saviour Jesus Christ to be the son of God, or shall deny the holy Trinity the father son and holy Ghost, or the Godhead of any of the said three persons of the Trinity or the Unity of the Godhead, or shall use or utter any reproachfull speeches, words or language concerning the said Holy Trinity, or any of the said three persons thereof, shall be punished with death and confiscation or forfeiture of all his or her lands and goods to the Lord Proprietary and his heires. And be it also enacted by the authority and with the advise and assent aforesaid, that whatsoever person or persons shall from henceforth use or utter any reproachfull words or speeches concerning the blessed Virgin Mary the Mother of our Saviour or the holy apostles or evangelists or any of them shall in such case for the first offence forfeit to the said Lord Proprietary and his heirs Lords and proprietaries of this province the summe of five pound Sterling or the value thereof to be levyed on the goods and chattells of every such person soe offending, but in case such offender or offenders, shall not then have goods and chattells sufficient for the satisfyeing of such forfeiture, or that the same bee not otherwise speedily satisfyed that then such offender or offenders shalbe publically whipped and be imprisoned..."
1689 William III and Mary Stuart are proclaimed king and queen of England.
1785 Russian tsarina Catharina II ends noble privileges.
1782 Birth: Friedrich Froebel, German educator; will establish the concept of the kindergarten.
1789 John Adams is sworn in as the first vice president of the United States, 9 days before Washington. "On April 21, 1789, John Adams, the first vice president of the United States, began his duties as president of the Senate. Adams' role in the administration of George Washington was sharply constrained by the constitutional limits on the vice-presidency and his own reluctance to encroach upon executive prerogative. He enjoyed a cordial but distant relationship with President Washington, who sought his advice on occasion but relied primarily on the cabinet. Adams played a more active role in the Senate, however, particularly during his first term. As president of the Senate, Adams cast twenty-nine tie-breaking votes—a record that no successor has ever threatened. His votes protected the president's sole authority over the removal of appointees, influenced the location of the national capital, and prevented war with Great Britain. On at least one occasion he persuaded senators to vote against legislation that he opposed, and he frequently lectured the Senate on procedural and policy matters. Adams' political views and his active role in the Senate made him a natural target for critics of the Washington administration. Toward the end of his first term, he began to exercise more restraint in the hope of realizing the goal shared by many of his successors: election in his own right..."
1794 New York City formally declares the coast of Ellis Island publicly owned, thus enabling the city to build forts to protect New York City from the British.
1809 Battle of Landshut: In Germany, Napoleon's army defeats the Austrians.
1828 The American Dictionary of the English Language, compiled by grammarian and editor Noah Webster, is published on this date. The two-volume work, which contains some 38,000 entries and is the result of 20 years' labor by Webster, is the first lexicon to treat distinctly American usage and pronunciation.
1830 Birth: James Starley, English inventor of the geared bicycle.
1836 Battle of San Jacinto: An army of Texans led by Sam Houston defeats the army of Mexican General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna at San Jacinto, Texas, thus ensuring Texan independence. "The Battle of San Jacinto, the decisive battle of the Texas Revolution, took place on April 21, 1836. On that day, Texas forces led by General Sam Houston ambushed General Antonio López de Santa Anna's Mexican forces in the area. Hundreds of Mexican soldiers died, while very few Texan soldiers died. Santa Anna himself was captured after the battle. During the early years of Mexican independence, numerous Anglo colonists had settled in Texas, then a part of the Mexican state of Coahuila y Tejas. In 1835 they rebelled against the Mexican government of General Antonio López de Santa Anna. Besides capturing a number of outposts and defeating the Mexican army garrisons in the area, they formed a provisional government and drafted a Declaration of Independence. Early in 1836, Santa Anna personally led a force of several thousand Mexican troops into Texas to put down the rebellion. First, he entered San Antonio and defeated a Texan force at the Battle of the Alamo, then the right wing of his offensive, under General Urrea, defeated a second Texan force near Goliad. Santa Anna ordered that all prisoners be put to death. Sam Houston, now in command of the main Texan army, retreated. Santa Anna pursued him and he devised a trap, in which three columns of Mexican troops would converge on Houston's force and destroy it. However, he diverted one column to attempt to capture the provisional government, and a second one to protect his supply lines. Meanwhile, he led the only remaining column against Houston. Santa Anna caught up to Houston on April 19. He established positions around the San Jacinto river, and Houston established his positions across a field..."
1838 Birth: John Muir, naturalist and author.
1856 The first railroad bridge over the Mississippi River opens as the Rock Island locomotive makes the first crossing between Rock Island, Illinois and Davenport, Iowa. The train belongs to the Chicago, Rock Island, and Pacific Railroad Company.
1857 Alexander Douglas patents the bustle.
1862 The US Congress establishes the US Mint in Denver, Colorado.
1864 Birth: Max Weber, German sociologist. "Max Weber is best known as one of the leading scholars and founders of modern sociology, but Weber also accomplished much economic work in the style of the "youngest" German Historical School. Although Weber and Sombart are often lumped together as part of that generation in German economics, no two men could be less alike. The superficial, fanciful and Kaiser-worshipping Sombart was nothing like the thorough, rational and Kaiser-despising Weber. Nonetheless, while Weber was not completely immune from German nationalism, he was just not the military-imperial jingoist Sombart was. Weber firmly believed that the Herrenvolk should circumscribe their ambitions. That personal attitude was reflected in his most famous economic work, The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism (1905). In it, Weber argued that the presumed anti-capitalist Puritanical rhetoric of eschewing earthly acquisitiveness was actually an impetus for that very acquisitiveness. The thesis was novel and well-known. Catholicism, Weber argues, was tolerant towards the acquisition of earthly gain and winked at lavish expenditure, an idea engendered by hierarchical structure of the Church (which required struggling and jockeying for "position") as well as its own tradition of lavish expenditure (the church) and its oft-used earthly powers of forgiveness for sin. This might make one conclude that the Catholic ethic was more predisposed towards capitalism than the Protestant (as others, before and since, have argued). But no, replied Weber. It is true that the Protestant doctrines asked men to accept a humbler station and concentrate on mundane tasks and duties and, without a hierarchical church structure, there was no example of upward-mobility, acquisitiveness and expenditure. Yet it was precisely this that engendered the "work-and-save" ethic that gave rise to capitalism..."
1865 Abraham Lincoln's funeral train leaves Washington.
1878 The ship Azor leaves Charleston with 206 blacks on board, bound for Liberia.
1895 Woodville Latham demonstrates a moving picture projected on a screen in New York City.
1904 Birth: Odilo Globocnik, born in Trieste and trained as engineer; SS major general in Poland in 1942; will establish the extermination camps of Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka and Majdanek as chief of Operation Reinhard (1942-1943). In addition, he will establish the San Sabba concentration camp and killing center in Trieste as Higher SS and Police Leader for the Adriatic Coast (1943-1945). Will be arrested by Allied troops in Austria, and commit suicide in May 1945.
1908 Frederick A. Cook makes a spurious claim to have reached the North Pole.
1910 Death: Samuel Langhorne Clemens, author, better known as Mark Twain, in Redding, Connecticut at the age of 75.
1913 Gideon Sundback of Sweden patents the zipper.
1914 US marines occupy Vera Cruz, Mexico, for a 6 month stay.
1918 Death: Baron Manfred von Richthofen, Germany's top air ace during WW1, is killed in action by Allied fire over Vauz sur Somme, France. Known as the 'Red Baron,' he had shot down 80 enemy aircraft. Richthofen, the son of a Prussian nobleman, switched from the German army to the Imperial Air Service in 1915. By 1916, he was terrorizing the skies over the western front in an Albatross biplane, downing 15 enemy planes by the end of the year, including one piloted by British flying ace Major Lanoe Hawker. In 1917, Richthofen surpassed all flying ace records on both sides of the western front and began using a Fokker triplane, painted entirely red in tribute to his old cavalry regiment.
1928 Aristide Bertrand, for the French government, outlines his proposal for the renunciation of war.
1930 A fire at the Ohio State Penitentiary kills 322.
1933 Holocaust: Germany enacts a law banning all kosher rituals and prohibiting Jewish ritual slaughter (shechita). (Persecution)
1933 Rudolf Hess is named Director of the Political Central Committee and deputy fuehrer of the NSDAP. He is authorized to decide all matters concerning the direction of the Party in Hitler's name. (Missing Years)
1933 Holocaust: April 21/22 Anti-Jewish decrees passed by Germany hit a record, numbering 400.
1934 Holocaust: Himmler again visits Wewelsburg Castle near Paderborn in Westphalia.
1935 Volkishness: Wewelsburg Castle becomes home to the Ahnenerbe, the ancestral heritage branch of the SS; called by some the Nazi Occult Bureau. "...In part, Hitler's program was aided by superstitious beliefs that evolved into an obsession with the occult. The Ahnenerbe, an arm of the SS commissioned in the mid-1930s to research the ancestral heritage of the Aryan race, roamed far and wide to find proof that only one race was meant to rule the world and that the Nazi vision of purification and world domination was supported by mythic forces. They were to provide scientific documentation that would unite their ancient past with their destiny. Heinrich Himmler saw the men in his army as the reincarnation of Teutonic knights and kings, in particular the knights of King Arthur's round table. He designed Wewelsburg Castle to be their Camelot, but Peter Levendra in The Unholy Alliance dubbed it that Satanic Vatican.
1935 King Boris of Bulgaria forbids all political parties.
1941 WW2: Greece surrenders to nazi-Germany.
1945 WW2: The last of the German troops pull out of Bologna, Italy.
1945 Diary of Leon Gladun: "Bologna is taken! And the end of the war for us as shortly the German Army in Italy capitulates."
1945 WW2: The last Western air raid strikes Berlin.
1945 WW2: Russian troops reach the suburbs of Berlin.
1945 WW2: He Shima, Okinawa, is conquered in 5 days with the lose of 5,000.
1946 The SED (Socialistic Einheitspartei Germany) forms in East Germany.
1948 The first Polaroid camera is sold in the US.
1954 The Nam: US Air Force planes begin flying French troops to Indochina to reinforce Dien Bien Phu.
1954 Gregori Malenkov becomes premier of USSR.
1959 The largest fish ever hooked by a rod and reel is landed by Alf Dean, in South Australia. The 16-foot, 10-inch white shark weighs in at 2,664 pounds.
1960 Brazil inaugurated its new capital, Brasilia, in place of Rio de Janeiro.
1961 Holocaust: Adolf Eichmann, the former Nazi SS officer, reluctantly admits on this day that he played a part in 'liquidating' German Jews. His qualified confession comes during his trial at a special Jerusalem court. But the dull, birdlike prisoner also makes lame excuses. He was 'little sausage' in the wartime machine, he claims, 'I was a transport officer'.
1961 A French army revolt led by General Maurice Challe begins in Algeria.
1965 The 114-nation UN Disarmament Commission resumes talks in New York after a five-year interval.
1966 Ethiopian ruler Emperor Haile Selassie visits Kingston, Jamaica.
1967 Svetlana Alliluyeva, the daughter of Josef Stalin, defects to the west.
1967 A military coup in Athens establishes the regime of the Greek Colonels as King Constantine goes into exile in Italy, and Konstantinos Kollias becomes premier.
1972 Apollo 16 astronauts John Young and Charles Duke spend their second day on the moon exploring the surface.
1975 The Nam: After denouncing the United States as untrustworthy, Nguyen Van Thieu resigns after 10 years as president of South Vietnam. His replacement, Tran Van Huong, prepares for peace talks with North Vietnam as communist forces advance on Saigon.
1981 The US furnishes $1 billion in arms to Saudi-Arabia.
1982 Dr Michael E. Bakey performs the first successful heart implant.
1982 Dutch Queen Beatrice addresses the US Congress.
1983 The £1 coin goes into circulation in Britain, replacing paper one pound notes in England and Wales, but not in Scotland and Northern Ireland.
1984 The Centers for Disease Control announce that a virus discovered in France causes AIDS.
1987 Special occasion stamps are offered for the first time by the US Postal Service; Happy Birthday, Get Well, etc.
1989 George W. Bush and Edward W. Rose become joint CEO's of the Texas Rangers.
1989 Tens of thousands of students and workers pour into Peking's Tiananmen Square in defiance of official warnings against antigovernment protests.
1990 Pope John Paul II is greeted by hundreds of thousands of people as he visits Czechoslovakia to help celebrate the nation's peaceful overthrow of communist rule.
1992 California carries out its first execution in 25 years when double murderer Robert Alton Harris is put to death in the gas chamber.
1993 Brazil votes against a monarchy.
1993 An 11-day siege at a prison near Lucasville, Ohio, ends with ten casualties.
1993 Bolivia's Supreme Court sentences former military dictator General Luis Garcia Meza to 30 years in jail for crimes ranging from mass murder and torture to wholesale fraud against the state.
1994 The Serbian army bombs a distress clinic in Goradze Bosnia; 28 are killed.
1995 The FBI arrests former soldier Timothy McVeigh at an Oklahoma jail where he had spent two days on minor traffic and weapons charges. He is charged in connection with the Oklahoma City bombing two days earlier.
1996 In the left's first victory since WW2, the center-left Olive Tree coalition, including many former communists, win more than a third of all the seats in the lower house of the Italian parliament.
1997 An advance contingent of Chinese troops enter Hong Kong to prepare garrison facilities for the July 1st handover to Chinese rule.
1997 Inder Gujral is sworn in as India's new prime minister.
1997 The ashes of 1960s LSD guru Timothy Leary and Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry, among others, are blasted into space in the world's first space funeral.
1999 Columbine: A day after the shooting at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado, investigators continue their work, while memorial services are held across the city, and counselors offer support to grieving students, parents, friends and family.
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Although only used during the last eight months of his career, it is this aircraft that Richthofen was most commonly associated with and it led to an enduring English nickname for the German pilot, the Red Baron. On this day Richthofen penetrated deep into Allied territory in pursuit of a British aircraft. Flying too near the ground, an Australian gunner shoots him through his chest, and his plane crashes into a field alongside the road from Corbie to Bray. British troops recover his body, and he is buried with full military honors. He is only 25 years old. In a time of wooden and fabric aircraft, when 20 air victories ensure a pilot legendary status, Manfred von Richthofen downed an impressive 80 enemy aircraft and is regarded to this day as the ace of aces.
In the quest to establish a new world order, Himmler sent his men out to find the Holy Grail and bring it back to the castle—now viewed as the center of the world. The Holy Grail was the chalice from which Christ drank wine during the Last Supper. Supposedly Joseph of Arimathea confiscated it and then used it to collect blood from Christ's wound as he hung on the cross. Joseph then took the cup to England to hide it in a secret place—Avalon—and it became the ambition of King Arthur's knights to find it and make it the center of their enterprise. On one floor of Wewelsburg Castle was a dark mosaic star that marked this center and over which occult rituals were performed by 12 Nazi officers to channel the spirits of the deceased kings. Whenever one of these officers died, his ashes were buried in the floor as a saintly relic. With the idea that blessings from Christ himself enveloped them, the Nazis felt justified to go on a massive killing spree against those who "contaminated" them. Theirs was a holy mission and nothing they could do in its service was wrong. What the world in retrospect deemed as one of the greatest evils perpetrated by human beings was viewed by those involved as divine path that could not be denied. Killing those they deemed inferior was necessary to achieve the ultimate glory of the purification of the planet..."