Today in History: October 21, Edison perfects electric light

Today in History

Today is Friday, Oct. 21, the 294th day of 2022. 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 1805, a British fleet commanded by Adm. Horatio Nelson defeated a French-Spanish fleet in the Battle of Trafalgar; Nelson, however, was killed.

In 1917, legendary jazz trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie was born in Cheraw, South Carolina.

In 1944, during World War II, U.S. troops captured the German city of Aachen (AH’-kuhn).

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 1976, Saul Bellow won the Nobel Prize for literature, the first American honored since John Steinbeck in 1962.

In 1985, former San Francisco Supervisor Dan White — who’d served five years in prison for killing Mayor George Moscone (mahs-KOH’-nee) and Supervisor Harvey Milk, a gay-rights advocate — was found dead in a garage, a suicide.

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

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.

In 2015, 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.

Ten years ago: Former senator and 1972 Democratic presidential candidate George McGovern, 90, died in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. A Wisconsin man opened fire at the Brookfield spa where his wife worked, killing her and two others and wounding four other women before turning the gun on himself. Garth Brooks was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame along with trailblazing singer Connie Smith and keyboard player Hargus “Pig” Robbins.

Five years 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. (The Astros would beat the Dodgers in seven games in the World Series.)

One year ago: A gun held by actor Alec Baldwin on a movie set in New Mexico killed cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and wounded director Joel Souza. The House voted to hold Steve Bannon, a longtime ally and aide to former President Donald Trump, in contempt of Congress after he defied a subpoena from the committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection. President Joe Biden, speaking at a forum hosted by CNN, said the U.S. was committed to defending Taiwan if it were to come under attack. Human remains that were found in a Florida nature preserve were identified as those of Brian Laundrie, who’d been a person of interest in the death of girlfriend Gabby Petito when the couple was on a cross-country road trip.

Today’s Birthdays: Actor Joyce Randolph is 98. Rock singer Manfred Mann is 82. Musician Steve Cropper (Booker T. & the MG’s) is 81. Singer Elvin Bishop is 80. TV’s Judge Judy Sheindlin is 80. Actor Everett McGill is 77. Musician Lee Loughnane (LAHK’-nayn) (Chicago) is 76. Actor Dick Christie is 74. Former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is 73. Actor LaTanya Richardson Jackson is 73. Musician Charlotte Caffey (The Go-Go’s) is 69. Movie director Catherine Hardwicke is 67. Singer Julian Cope is 65. Rock musician Steve Lukather (Toto) is 65. Actor Ken Watanabe (wah-tah-NAH’-bee) is 63. Actor Melora Walters is 62. Rock singer-musician Nick Oliveri (Mondo Generator) is 51. Christian rock musician Charlie Lowell (Jars of Clay) is 49. Actor Jeremy Miller is 46. Country singer Matthew Ramsey (Old Dominion) is 45. Actor Will Estes is 44. Actor Michael McMillian is 44. Reality TV star Kim Kardashian (kahr-DASH’-ee-uhn) is 42. Actor Matt Dallas is 40. Actor Charlotte Sullivan is 39. Actor Aaron Tveit (tuh-VAYT’) is 39. Actor Glenn Powell is 34. Country singer Kane Brown is 29.

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