Today in History: Oct. 21

Crew members climb aloft to duty stations as the USS Constitution is carefully guided from its berth at the Charlestown Navy Yard in Boston, early Tuesday morning, July 8, 1997, as it is towed out of Boston Harbor for a day of sea trials in preparation for its 200th anniversary sail July 21, 1997. The July 21st sail celebration will be the ship's first under its own power sail in 116 years.(AP Photo/Isabel Leon)
In 1797, the U.S. Navy frigate Constitution, also known as “Old Ironsides,” was christened in Boston’s harbor. It is seen here in 1997 as it was towed out of Boston Harbor for a day of sea trials in preparation for its 200th anniversary sail July 21, 1997. (AP Photo/Isabel Leon) (Associated Press/ISABEL LEON)
Holding the hand over the heart is the salute to the flag used in New York public schools. The old type military salute has been discontinued by a law passed in 1942.  This is a sixth grade class in P.S. 116 at 33rd street in Manhattan, Oct. 11, 1957. (AP Photo)
In 1892, schoolchildren across the U.S. observed Columbus Day (according to the Gregorian calendar) by reciting, for the first time, the original version of “The Pledge of Allegiance,” written by Francis Bellamy for The Youth’s Companion. The pledge, which has been revised several times, originally went, “I pledge allegiance to my Flag and the republic for which it stands, one nation indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.” (AP Photo) (AP/Anonymous)
SAN DIEGO, CA - JULY 20:  Wonder Woman display at Comic-Con International 2016 preview night on July 20, 2016 in San Diego, California.  (Photo by Matt Cowan/Getty Images)
In 1941, superheroine Wonder Woman made her debut in All-Star Comics issue No. 8, published by All-American Comics, Inc. of New York. (Photo by Matt Cowan/Getty Images) (Getty Images/Matt Cowan)
light bulb in hand
In 1879, Thomas Edison perfected a workable electric light at his laboratory in Menlo Park, N.J. (Thinkstock) (Getty Images/iStockphoto/denphumi)
MISSILE SITE
In 1962, the Seattle World’s Fair closed after six months and nearly 10 million visitors. (President John F. Kennedy, scheduled to attend the closing ceremony, canceled because of what was described as a “head cold”; the actual reason turned out to be the Cuban Missile Crisis.) FILE – In this Oct. 22, 1962, file photo, President John F. Kennedy makes a national television speech from Washington. He announced a naval blockade of Cuba until Soviet missiles are removed. As the U.S. and Russia reached the brink of nuclear war in 1962, Kennedy received top-secret intelligence from the CIA that a new warhead launcher was spotted in Cuba. That report, given to Kennedy a day before the end of the Cuban Missile Crisis, is among roughly 19,000 pages of newly declassified CIA documents from the Cold War released Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2015. (AP Photo/File) (AP)
FILE - In this Dec. 22, 2010, file photo, the "don't ask, don't tell" repeal legislation that will allow gays to serve openly in the military sits on a desk at the Interior Department in Washington prior to President Barack Obama signing. Obama took office in 2009 as a self-described "fierce advocate" for gay rights, yet for much of his first term drew flak from impatient, skeptical activists who viewed him as too cautious, too politically expedient. They were frustrated that he wouldn't endorse same-sex marriage _ Obama cagily said he was “evolving” _ and wanted him to move faster on several other issues. But the pace of Obama's actions steadily accelerated. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)
In 1996, President Clinton’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy on gays in the military survived its first Supreme Court test. FILE – In this Dec. 22, 2010, file photo, the “don’t ask, don’t tell” repeal legislation that will allow gays to serve openly in the military sits on a desk at the Interior Department in Washington prior to President Barack Obama signing. Obama took office in 2009 as a self-described “fierce advocate” for gay rights, yet for much of his first term drew flak from impatient, skeptical activists who viewed him as too cautious, too politically expedient. They were frustrated that he wouldn’t endorse same-sex marriage _ Obama cagily said he was “evolving” _ and wanted him to move faster on several other issues. But the pace of Obama’s actions steadily accelerated. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)
Students return to Sparks Middle School on Monday morning, Oct. 28, 2013, for the first time since Oct. 21, when a 12-year-old student gunned down a teacher and wounded two classmates before killing himself. Friends added a rememberence of the shooter, Jose Reyes, at a makeshift memorial also honoring the fallen math teacher and ex-Marine Michael Landsberry. Police don't know why seventh grader Jose Reyes killed 45-year-old Michael Landsberry and shot two 12-year-old boys before turning the handgun on himself. AP Photo/Scott Sonner)
In 2013, a seventh-grader at Sparks Middle School in Sparks, Nevada, shot and killed a teacher and wounded two classmates before taking his own life. Students return to Sparks Middle School on Monday morning, Oct. 28, 2013, for the first time since Oct. 21, when a 12-year-old student gunned down a teacher and wounded two classmates before killing himself. Friends added a rememberence of the shooter, Jose Reyes, at a makeshift memorial also honoring the fallen math teacher and ex-Marine Michael Landsberry. Police don’t know why seventh grader Jose Reyes killed 45-year-old Michael Landsberry and shot two 12-year-old boys before turning the handgun on himself. AP Photo/Scott Sonner) (AP/Scott Sonner)
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Crew members climb aloft to duty stations as the USS Constitution is carefully guided from its berth at the Charlestown Navy Yard in Boston, early Tuesday morning, July 8, 1997, as it is towed out of Boston Harbor for a day of sea trials in preparation for its 200th anniversary sail July 21, 1997. The July 21st sail celebration will be the ship's first under its own power sail in 116 years.(AP Photo/Isabel Leon)
Holding the hand over the heart is the salute to the flag used in New York public schools. The old type military salute has been discontinued by a law passed in 1942.  This is a sixth grade class in P.S. 116 at 33rd street in Manhattan, Oct. 11, 1957. (AP Photo)
SAN DIEGO, CA - JULY 20:  Wonder Woman display at Comic-Con International 2016 preview night on July 20, 2016 in San Diego, California.  (Photo by Matt Cowan/Getty Images)
light bulb in hand
MISSILE SITE
FILE - In this Dec. 22, 2010, file photo, the "don't ask, don't tell" repeal legislation that will allow gays to serve openly in the military sits on a desk at the Interior Department in Washington prior to President Barack Obama signing. Obama took office in 2009 as a self-described "fierce advocate" for gay rights, yet for much of his first term drew flak from impatient, skeptical activists who viewed him as too cautious, too politically expedient. They were frustrated that he wouldn't endorse same-sex marriage _ Obama cagily said he was “evolving” _ and wanted him to move faster on several other issues. But the pace of Obama's actions steadily accelerated. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)
Students return to Sparks Middle School on Monday morning, Oct. 28, 2013, for the first time since Oct. 21, when a 12-year-old student gunned down a teacher and wounded two classmates before killing himself. Friends added a rememberence of the shooter, Jose Reyes, at a makeshift memorial also honoring the fallen math teacher and ex-Marine Michael Landsberry. Police don't know why seventh grader Jose Reyes killed 45-year-old Michael Landsberry and shot two 12-year-old boys before turning the handgun on himself. AP Photo/Scott Sonner)

Today is Sunday, Oct. 21, the 294th day of 2018.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On Oct. 21, 1971, President Richard Nixon nominated Lewis F. Powell and William H. Rehnquist to the U.S. Supreme Court. (Both nominees were confirmed.)

On this date:

In 1797, the U.S. Navy frigate Constitution, also known as “Old Ironsides,” was christened in Boston’s harbor.

In 1879, Thomas Edison perfected a workable electric light at his laboratory in Menlo Park, N.J.

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 1917, members of the 1st Division of the U.S. Army training in Luneville (luhn-nay-VEEL’), France, became the first Americans to see action on the front lines of World War I.

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 1962, the Seattle World’s Fair closed after six months and nearly 10 million visitors. (President John F. Kennedy, scheduled to attend the closing ceremony, canceled because of what was described as a “head cold”; the actual reason turned out to be the Cuban Missile Crisis.)

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 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 1986, pro-Iranian kidnappers in Lebanon abducted American Edward Tracy (he was released in Aug. 1991).

In 1991, American hostage Jesse Turner was freed by his kidnappers in Lebanon after nearly five years in captivity.

In 1996, President Clinton’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy on gays in the military survived its first Supreme Court test.

In 2001, Washington, D.C., postal worker Thomas L. Morris Jr. died of inhalation anthrax as officials began testing thousands of postal employees.

Ten years ago: Dozens of members of the Mongol motorcycle gang were arrested by federal agents in six states on a variety of charges following a three-year investigation in which undercover agents infiltrated the group. Iraq’s Cabinet decided to ask the U.S. for changes to the draft agreement that would keep American troops there for three more years. The former prime minister of Thailand, Thaksin Shinawatra (TAHK’-sin SHIN’-uh-wah), was convicted in absentia of corruption and sentenced to two years in prison.

Five years ago: A seventh-grader at Sparks Middle School in Sparks, Nevada, shot and killed a teacher and wounded two classmates before taking his own life. Same-sex weddings began in New Jersey, the 14th state to recognize nuptials between gay partners. The San Francisco Bay Area’s main commuter train system and its unions reached a tentative agreement on a new contract.

One year ago: The five living former presidents appeared together for the first time since 2013 at a concert in Texas to raise money for victims of devastating hurricanes. The Houston Astros reached the World Series for just the second time in the team’s history, beating the New York Yankees 4-0 in Game 7 of the American League Championship Series.

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