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Today in History: October 21, Thomas Edison perfects a workable electric light

Today in History

Today is Saturday, Oct. 21, the 294th day of 2023. 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.

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 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 2012, former senator and 1972 Democratic presidential candidate George McGovern died in Sioux Falls, South Dakota at age 90.

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.

In 2014, former Washington Post executive editor Ben Bradlee died at age 93.

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.

In 2017, 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.)

In 2021, Actor Alec Baldwin was pointing a gun on a movie set in New Mexico when it went off and killed cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and wounded director Joel Souza.

Today's Birthdays: Actor Joyce Randolph is 99. Rock singer Manfred Mann is 83. Musician Steve Cropper (Booker T. & the MG's) is 82. Singer Elvin Bishop is 81. TV's Judge Judy Sheindlin is 81. Actor Everett McGill is 78. Musician Lee Loughnane (LAHK'-nayn) (Chicago) is 77. Actor Dick Christie is 75. Former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is 74. Actor LaTanya Richardson Jackson is 74. Musician Charlotte Caffey (The Go-Go's) is 70. Movie director Catherine Hardwicke is 68. Singer Julian Cope is 66. Rock musician Steve Lukather (Toto) is 66. Actor Ken Watanabe (wah-tah-NAH'-bee) is 64. Actor Melora Walters is 63. Rock singer-musician Nick Oliveri (Mondo Generator) is 52. Christian rock musician Charlie Lowell (Jars of Clay) is 50. Actor Jeremy Miller is 47. Country singer Matthew Ramsey (Old Dominion) is 46. Actor Will Estes is 45. Actor Michael McMillian is 45. Reality TV star Kim Kardashian (kahr-DASH'-ee-uhn) is 43. Actor Matt Dallas is 41. Actor Charlotte Sullivan is 40. Actor Aaron Tveit (tuh-VAYT') is 40. Actor Glenn Powell is 35. Country singer Kane Brown is 30.