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This Day in U.S. History: April 21


1836 – Texas Revolution: The Battle of San Jacinto: Republic of Texas forces under Sam Houston defeat troops under Mexican General Antonio López de Santa Anna.

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.

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.

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.

1965 – The 1964–1965 New York World's Fair opens for its second and final season.

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.

1982 – Baseball: Rollie Fingers of the Milwaukee Brewers becomes the first pitcher to record 300 saves.


1838 – John Muir, Scottish-American environmentalist and author (d. 1914)

1887 – Joe McCarthy, American baseball player and manager (d. 1978)

1915 – Anthony Quinn, Mexican-American actor and producer (d. 2001)

1951 – Michael Freedman, American mathematician and academic


1910 – Mark Twain, American novelist, humorist, and critic (b. 1835)

1918 – Manfred von Richthofen, German captain and pilot (b. 1892)

1948 – Aldo Leopold, American ecologist and author (b. 1887)

1977 – Gummo Marx, American vaudeville performer and agent (b. 1893)

1986 – Marjorie Eaton, American painter and actress (b. 1901)

2015 – M. H. Abrams, American author, critic, and academic (b. 1912)

2016 – Prince, American singer-songwriter, guitarist, producer, and actor (b. 1958)