Today in History – April 21

1898 – Spanish–American War: The United States Navy begins a blockade of Cuban ports. When the U.S. Congress issued a declaration of war on April 25, it declared that a state of war had existed from this date.
1914 – Ypiranga incident: A German arms shipment to Mexico is intercepted by the U.S. Navy near Veracruz.
1918 – World War I: German fighter ace Manfred von Richthofen, better known as “The Red Baron”, is shot down and killed over Vaux-sur-Somme in France.
1926 – Al-Baqi cemetery, former site of the mausoleum of four Shi’a Imams, is leveled to the ground by Wahhabis.
1934 – The “Surgeon’s Photograph”, the most famous photo allegedly showing the Loch Ness Monster, is published in the Daily Mail (in 1999, it is revealed to be a hoax).
1945 – World War II: Soviet forces south of Berlin at Zossen attack the German High Command headquarters.
1948 – United Nations Security Council Resolution 47 relating to Kashmir conflict is adopted.
1952 – Secretary’s Day (now Administrative Professionals’ Day) is first celebrated.
1958 – United Airlines Flight 736 collides into a United States Air Force fighter jet near Arden, Nevada in what is now Enterprise, Nevada.
1960 – Brasília, Brazil’s capital, is officially inaugurated. At 09:30, the Three Powers of the Republic are simultaneously transferred from the old capital, Rio de Janeiro.
1962 – The Seattle World’s Fair (Century 21 Exposition) opens. It is the first World’s Fair in the United States since World War II.
1963 – The first election of the Universal House of Justice is held, marking its establishment as the supreme governing institution of the Baháʼí Faith.
1964 – A Transit-5bn satellite fails to reach orbit after launch; as it re-enters the atmosphere, 2.1 pounds (0.95 kg) of radioactive plutonium in its SNAP RTG power source is widely dispersed.
1965 – The 1964–1965 New York World’s Fair opens for its second and final season.
1966 – Rastafari movement: Haile Selassie of Ethiopia visits Jamaica, an event now celebrated as Grounation Day.
1967 – A few days before the general election in Greece, Colonel George Papadopoulos leads a coup d’état, establishing a military regime that lasts for seven years.
1972 – Astronauts John Young and Charles Duke fly Apollo 16’s Apollo Lunar Module to the Moon’s surface, the fifth NASA Apollo Program crewed lunar landing.
1975 – Vietnam War: President of South Vietnam Nguyễn Văn Thiệu flees Saigon, as Xuân Lộc, the last South Vietnamese outpost blocking a direct North Vietnamese assault on Saigon, falls.
1977 – Annie opens on Broadway.
1982 – Baseball: Rollie Fingers of the Milwaukee Brewers becomes the first pitcher to record 300 saves.
1985 – The compound of the militant group The Covenant, The Sword, and the Arm of the Lord surrenders to federal authorities in Arkansas after a two-day government siege.
1987 – The Tamil Tigers are blamed for a car bomb that detonates in the Sri Lankan capital city of Colombo, killing 106 people.
1989 – Tiananmen Square protests of 1989: In Beijing, around 100,000 students gather in Tiananmen Square to commemorate Chinese reform leader Hu Yaobang.
1993 – The Supreme Court in La Paz, Bolivia, sentences former dictator Luis García Meza to 30 years in jail without parole for murder, theft, fraud and violating the constitution.
2004 – Five suicide car bombers target police stations in and around Basra, killing 74 people and wounding 160.
2010 – The controversial Kharkiv Pact (Russian Ukrainian Naval Base for Gas Treaty) is signed in Kharkiv, Ukraine, by Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev; it was unilaterally terminated by Russia on March 31, 2014.