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.
- 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 was sunk by Egyptian missile boats near Port Said; 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.
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 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 West is 40. Actor Matt Dallas is 38. Actor Charlotte Sullivan is 37. Actor Aaron Tveit is 37. Actor Glenn Powell is 32. Country singer Kane Brown is 27.