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

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.

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. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is 71. AMusician Charlotte Caffey (The Go-Go’s) is 67. Movie director Catherine Hardwicke is 65. Reality TV star Kim Kardashian West is 40. Country singer Kane Brown is 27.