Today is Wednesday, April 21, the 112th day of 2004. There are 254 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

On April 21, 1910, author Samuel Langhorne Clemens, better known as Mark Twain, died in Redding, Conn.

On this date:

In 1649, the Maryland Toleration Act, which provided 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 1918, Baron Manfred von Richthofen, the German ace known as the "Red Baron," was killed in action during World War I.

In 1940, the quiz show that asked the $64-question, "Take It or Leave It," premiered on CBS Radio.

In 1960, Brazil inaugurated its new capital, Brasilia, transferring the seat of national government from Rio de Janeiro.

In 1972, Apollo 16 astronauts John Young and Charles Duke explored the surface of the moon.

In 1975, South Vietnamese President Nguyen Van Thieu resigned after 10 years in office.

In 1977, the musical play "Annie" opened on Broadway.

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 teenage boys.

Ten years ago: The U.S. House of Representatives passed a $28 billion get-tough-on-crime bill by a vote of 285-141.

Five years ago: A day after the mass killing at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colo., investigators continued their work, while memorial services were held across the city and dozens of counselors offered support to grieving students, parents, friends and family. Actor and bandleader Charles "Buddy" Rogers died in Rancho Mirage, Calif., at age 94.

One year ago: Military officials in Iraq announced the arrest of Muhammad Hamza al-Zubaydi, a key figure in the bloody suppression of the Shiite Muslim uprising of 1991. State-run media in China reported the government had dismissed Beijing's mayor following the disclosure of a steep increase in SARS cases in the Chinese capital. Scott Peterson pleaded innocent in the deaths of his pregnant wife and unborn son. Robert Cheruiyot became the 12th Kenyan in 13 years to win the Boston Marathon; Svetlana Zakharova of Russia won the women's race. Jazz singer Nina Simone died in France at age 70.

Today's Birthdays: Ice skater Werner Groebli ("Mr. Frick") is 89. Britain's Queen Elizabeth II is 78. Actress-comedian-writer Elaine May is 72. Actor-turned-talk show host Charles Grodin is 69. Singer-musician Iggy Pop is 57. Singer-songwriter Paul Davis is 56. Actress Patti LuPone is 55. Actor Tony Danza is 53. Actress Andie MacDowell is 46. Rock singer Robert Smith (The Cure) is 45. Rock musician Michael Timmins (Cowboy Junkies) is 45. Actor John Cameron Mitchell is 41. Rapper Michael Franti (Spearhead) is 36. Comedian Nicole Sullivan is 34.

Thought for Today: "Don't go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first." - Mark Twain (1835-1910).

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