Today in History
Today is Wednesday, Oct. 21, the 295th day of 2020. There are 71 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On Oct. 21, 1879, Thomas Edison perfected a workable electric light at his laboratory in Menlo Park, N.J.
On this date:
In 1797, the U.S. Navy frigate Constitution, also known as “Old Ironsides,” was christened in Boston’s harbor.
In 1892, schoolchildren across the U.S. observed Columbus Day (according to the Gregorian date) by reciting, for the first time, the original version of “The Pledge of Allegiance,” written by Francis Bellamy for The Youth’s Companion.
In 1941, superheroine Wonder Woman made her debut in All-Star Comics issue No. 8, published by All-American Comics, Inc. of New York.
In 1944, during World War II, U.S. troops captured the German city of Aachen (AH’-kuhn).
In 1945, women in France were allowed to vote in parliamentary elections for the first time.
In 1960, Democrat John F. Kennedy and Republican Richard M. Nixon clashed in their fourth and final presidential debate in New York.
In 1966, 144 people, 116 of them children, were killed when a coal waste landslide engulfed a school and some 20 houses in Aberfan, Wales.
In 1967, the Israeli destroyer INS Eilat (ay-LAHT’) was sunk by Egyptian missile boats near Port Said (sah-EED’); 47 Israeli crew members were lost. Tens of thousands of Vietnam War protesters began two days of demonstrations in Washington, D.C.
In 1971, President Richard Nixon nominated Lewis F. Powell and William H. Rehnquist to the U.S. Supreme Court. (Both nominees were confirmed.)
In 2001, Washington, D.C., postal worker Thomas L. Morris Jr. died of inhalation anthrax as officials began testing thousands of postal employees.
In 2012, former senator and 1972 Democratic presidential candidate George McGovern, 90, died in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.
In 2014, North Korea abruptly freed Jeffrey Fowle, an American, nearly six months after he was arrested for leaving a Bible in a nightclub. Former Washington Post executive editor Ben Bradlee, 93, died in Washington.
Ten years ago: Eight current and former officials pleaded not guilty to looting millions of dollars from California’s modest blue-collar city of Bell. (Seven defendants ended up being convicted, and received sentences ranging from home confinement to 12 years in prison.) French police used tear gas and water cannon against rampaging youth in Lyon while the French government showed its muscle in parliament, short-circuiting tense Senate debate on a bill raising the retirement age from 60 to 62.
Five years ago: Vice President Joe Biden announced he would not be a candidate in the 2016 White House campaign, solidifying Hillary Rodham Clinton’s status as the Democratic front-runner. Actor-comedian Marty Ingels, 79, died in Los Angeles. The New York Mets finished an NL playoff sweep of the Chicago Cubs to advance to the World Series as the Mets brushed aside the Cubs 8-3. The Blue Jays beat the Kansas City Royals 7-1 to close to 3-2 in the best-of-seven AL Championship Series.
One year ago: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau won a second term in Canada’s national elections; his Liberal party took the most seats in Parliament, but fell short of a majority. Zion Williamson, the NBA’s top overall draft pick, underwent knee surgery to repair a torn meniscus; he would be sidelined for three months and miss the start of the season with the New Orleans Pelicans. The nation’s three biggest drug distributors and a major drugmaker agreed to a $260 million settlement related to the toll from opioids in two Ohio counties; the settlement averted the first federal trial over the opioid crisis.
Today’s Birthdays: Actor Joyce Randolph is 96. Rock singer Manfred Mann is 80. Musician Steve Cropper (Booker T. & the MG’s) is 79. Singer Elvin Bishop is 78. TV’s Judge Judy Sheindlin is 78. Actor Everett McGill is 75. Musician Lee Loughnane (LAHK’-nayn) (Chicago) is 74. Actor Dick Christie is 72. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is 71. Actor LaTanya Richardson Jackson is 71. Musician Charlotte Caffey (The Go-Go’s) is 67. Movie director Catherine Hardwicke is 65. Singer Julian Cope is 63. Rock musician Steve Lukather (Toto) is 63. Actor Ken Watanabe (wah-tah-NAH’-bee) is 61. Actor Melora Walters is 60. Rock musician Che (chay) Colovita Lemon is 50. Rock singer-musician Nick Oliveri (Mondo Generator) is 49. Christian rock musician Charlie Lowell (Jars of Clay) is 47. Actor Jeremy Miller is 44. Country singer Matthew Ramsey (Old Dominion) is 43. Actor Will Estes is 42. Actor Michael McMillian is 42. Reality TV star Kim Kardashian (kahr-DASH’-ee-uhn) West is 40. Actor Matt Dallas is 38. Actor Charlotte Sullivan is 37. Actor Aaron Tveit (tuh-VAYT’) is 37. Actor Glenn Powell is 32. Country singer Kane Brown is 27.
Copyright © 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.