Today in History, April 21

AAP and agencies
2016 - US singer-songwriter Prince dies at his Paisley Park home in Minnesota aged 57

HIGHLIGHTS IN HISTORY ON THIS DATE

753 BC - According to legend, the city of Rome is founded by Romulus.

1526 - Babur, an Uzbek prince, defeats Sultan Ibrahim Lodi at the Battle of Panipat north of Delhi, leading to Mughal rule over India.

1809 - Napoleon's army defeats the Austrians at the Battle of Landshut in Germany.

1856 - Stonemasons in Melbourne strike and march on state parliament, demanding an eight-hour day. They soon win their claim.

1861 - Australian explorers Robert Burke, William Wills and John King arrive back at Cooper Creek to find only a few provisions and tree marked "Dig, 21st April, 1861". Base camp party had left seven hours before. Burke and Wills died; King was saved by Aborigines.

1910 - Death of US author Mark Twain.

1918 - Baron Manfred von Richthofen, the German ace known as the Red Baron, is killed in action during World War I, apparently shot down by Australian troops.

1945 - Last German troops leave Bologna, Italy, in World War II; on the same day Russian troops reach suburbs of Berlin.

1954 - US flies a French battalion to Indochina to defend Dien Bien Phu.

1960 - Brazil's capital moves from Rio de Janeiro to Brasilia.

1961 - A French army revolt led by General Maurice Challe begins in Algeria.

1967 - Military coup in Athens establishes the regime of the Greek colonels.

1975 - South Vietnam's President Nguyen van Thieu resigns and names successor to seek negotiations with Communist forces sweeping across country.

1979 - Queensland National Party-dominated Government demolishes Brisbane's historic Belle Vue Hotel.

1989 - Thousands of students, shouting for democracy and human rights, march from campuses to converge on Beijing's Tiananmen Square.

1991 - Soviet hardliners launch a petition drive for a Parliament session to impose a national state of emergency and take President Mikhail Gorbachev to task over worsening ethnic and economic troubles.

1993 - The Supreme Court in La Paz, Bolivia, sentences former dictator Luis Garcia Meza to 30 years in jail without parole for murder, theft, fraud and violating the constitution.

1995 - FBI arrests former soldier Timothy McVeigh in connection with the deadly Oklahoma City bombing two days earlier.

1995 - Australian Rugby League launches Federal Court damages claim against Super League for interference in the game.

1997 - The first Chinese Army soldiers march into Hong Kong, in preparation for the handover of the British colony to China on July 1.

1997 - The ashes of 1960s LSD guru Timothy Leary and Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry are blasted into space in the world's first space funeral.

1998 - France announces an accord on the future of New Caledonia, easing more than a decade of tension between pro and anti-independence forces.

1998 - South Korea drops efforts to get compensation from Japan for women held as sex slaves during World War II, and says it will pay surviving women.

1999 - NATO warplanes attack Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic's party headquarters in Belgrade.

2002 - French far-right leader Jean-Marie Le Pen shocks France and the world by coming second in the first round of a presidential election, qualifying for the run-off with the incumbent Jacques Chirac.

2004 - Nuclear whistleblower Mordechai Vanunu is freed from prison in Israel after 18 years, saying he is proud of revealing secrets that exposed Israel as an atomic power.

2006 - Australian soldier Jake Kovco dies in Iraq after his gun accidentally discharges. The wrong body is sent back to Australia.

2009 - European researchers say they not only found the smallest exoplanet ever, Gliese 581 e, but also realised that a neighbouring planet discovered earlier, Gliese 581 d, was in the prime habital zone for potential life.

2010 - Airlines tote up losses topping $2 billion and struggle to get hundreds of thousands of travellers back home after a week of crippled travel as recriminations erupt over Europe's response to the volcanic ash cloud.

2011 - Japan seals off a wide area around the radiation-spewing Fukushima nuclear power plant to prevent thousands of residents from sneaking back to the homes they had been forced to evacuate.

2012 - An infusion of hundreds of billions of dollars will give the International Monetary Fund a badly needed boost to tackle Europe's prolonged debt crisis.

2013 - Australian singer and Divinyls frontwoman Chrissy Amphlett dies in New York, aged 53, after battling cancer.

2014 - Syria calls for a presidential election June 3 to give President Bashar Assad a veneer of electoral legitimacy in the midst of a civil war that has killed more than 150,000 people and driven a third of the population from their homes.

2015 - As the worst storms in a decade hit NSW, three people die as water surges through the Hunter Valley town of Dungog.

2016 - US singer-songwriter Prince dies at his Paisley Park recording studio and home in Minnesota, aged 57.

TODAY'S BIRTHDAYS

Charlotte Bronte, English novelist (1816-1855); Anthony Quinn, Mexican actor (1915-2001); Queen Elizabeth II (1926-); Russell Boyd, Australian cinematographer (1944-); Iggy Pop, US singer (1947-); Tony Danza, US actor (1951-); Andie MacDowell, US actor (1958-); Michael Franti, US rap singer (1966-); James McAvoy, Scottish actor (1979-); Princess Isabella of Denmark, daughter of Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Mary (2007-).

THOUGHT FOR TODAY

I am a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work the more I have of it. - Stephen Leacock, Canadian economist and humourist (1869-1944).