In 1649, the Maryland Toleration Act, providing for freedom of worship for all Christians, was passed by the Maryland assembly.
In 1836, an army of Texans led by Sam Houston defeated the Mexicans at San Jacinto, assuring Texas independence.
In 1910, author Samuel Langhorne Clemens, better known as Mark Twain, died in Redding, Connecticut, at age 74.
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 1976, clinical trials of the swine flu vaccine began in Washington, D.C.
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 1998, astronomers announced in Washington that they had discovered possible signs of a new family of planets orbiting a star 220 light-years away, the clearest evidence to date of worlds forming beyond our solar system.
In 2015, an Egyptian criminal court sentenced ousted Islamist President Mohammed Morsi to 20 years in prison over the killing of protesters in 2012. (Morsi collapsed and died during trial on espionage charges in June 2019.)
In 2016, Prince, one of the most inventive and influential musicians of modern times, was found dead at his home in suburban Minneapolis; he was 57.
In 2018, Barbara Bush was remembered as the “first lady of the Greatest Generation” during a funeral in Houston attended by four former U.S. presidents and hundreds of others. Actor Verne Troyer, best known for his role as “Mini-Me” in the “Austin Powers” movies, died in Los Angeles at the age of 49; a coroner later ruled that the death was suicide by alcohol intoxication.
In 2020, 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.
Ten years ago: Charles W. “Chuck” Colson, 80, described as the “evil genius” of the Nixon administration who served seven months in prison for a Watergate-related conviction, then spent the next 35 years ministering to prison inmates, died in northern Virginia. Phil Humber threw the first perfect game in the majors in almost two years, leading the Chicago White Sox to a 4-0 victory over the Seattle Mariners.
Five years ago: A San Francisco power outage blamed on the massive failure of a circuit breaker that sparked a fire at a power substation stranded people in elevators and left tens of thousands in the dark.
One year ago: A Black man, Andrew Brown Jr., was shot and killed by sheriff’s deputies in North Carolina while they were serving drug-related warrants at his home in Elizabeth City. (A prosecutor cleared the deputies, saying they were justified because Brown had struck a deputy with his car while ignoring commands to show his hands and get out of the vehicle.) President Joe Biden announced new employer tax credits and other steps to encourage people who were reluctant to be inoculated to get the COVID-19 vaccine. An Indonesian submarine with 53 crew members aboard disappeared after its last reported dive off the resort island of Bali; officials later concluded that the sub sank and broke apart, killing all those on board.
Today’s Birthdays: Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II is 96. Actor-comedian-writer Elaine May is 90. Anti-death penalty activist Sister Helen Prejean is 83. Singer-musician Iggy Pop is 75. Actor Patti LuPone is 73. Actor Tony Danza is 71. Actor James Morrison is 68. Actor Andie MacDowell is 64. Rock singer Robert Smith (The Cure) is 63. Rock musician Michael Timmins (Cowboy Junkies) is 63. Actor-director John Cameron Mitchell is 59. Rapper Michael Franti (Spearhead) is 56. Actor Leslie Silva is 54. Actor Toby Stephens is 53. Rock singer-musician Glen Hansard (The Frames) is 52. Actor Rob Riggle is 52. Comedian Nicole Sullivan is 52. Football player-turned-actor Brian White is 49. Olympic gold medal pairs figure skater Jamie Sale (sah-LAY’) is 45. Rock musician Dave Brenner (Theory of a Deadman) is 44. Actor James McAvoy is 43. Former NFL quarterback Tony Romo is 42. Actor Terrence J is 40. Actor Gugu Mbatha-Raw is 39. Actor Christoph Sanders is 34. Actor Frank Dillane is 31. Rock singer Sydney Sierota (Echosmith) is 25.