Today is Thursday, Oct. 21, the 294th day of 2021. There are 71 days left in the year.
Birthdays: Actor Joyce Randolph is 97. Rock singer Manfred Mann is 81. Musician Steve Cropper (Booker T. & the MG’s) is 80. Singer Elvin Bishop is 79. TV’s Judge Judy Sheindlin is 79. Actor Everett McGill is 76. Musician Lee Loughnane (Chicago) is 75. Actor Dick Christie is 73. Former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is 72. Actor LaTanya Richardson Jackson is 72. Musician Charlotte Caffey (The Go-Go’s) is 68. Movie director Catherine Hardwicke is 66. Singer Julian Cope is 64. Rock musician Steve Lukather (Toto) is 64. Actor Ken Watanabe is 62. Actor Melora Walters is 61. Rock singer-musician Nick Oliveri (Mondo Generator) is 50. Reality TV star Kim Kardashian West is 41. Actor Glenn Powell is 33.
In 1797, the US Navy frigate Constitution, also known as “Old Ironsides,” was christened in Boston’s harbor.
In 1805, a British fleet commanded by Admiral Horatio Nelson defeated a French-Spanish fleet in the Battle of Trafalgar; Nelson, however, was killed.
In 1879, Thomas Edison perfected a workable electric light at his laboratory in Menlo Park, N.J.
In 1944, during World War II, US troops captured the German city of Aachen.
In 1945, women in France were allowed to vote in parliamentary elections for the first time.
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 1969, beat poet and author Jack Kerouac died in St. Petersburg, Fla., at age 47.
In 1971, President Richard Nixon nominated Lewis F. Powell and William H. Rehnquist to the US 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.
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 2011, President Barack Obama declared that America’s long and deeply unpopular war in Iraq would be over by the end of 2011 and that all US troops “will definitely be home for the holidays.”
In 2016, cyberattacks on server farms of a key internet firm repeatedly disrupted access to major websites and online services including Twitter, Netflix, and PayPal across the United States.
In 2020, Republican Senator Mitt Romney of Utah, the party’s 2012 presidential nominee, told CNN that he had voted in the Nov. 3 election, but not for Donald Trump. Former President Barack Obama made his first in-person campaign pitch for Joe Biden, urging voters in Philadelphia, especially Black men, not to sit out the election and risk seeing Trump reelected. Spain became the first western European country to reach more than 1 million confirmed coronavirus cases. The Justice Department said drugmaker Purdue Pharma, the company behind the powerful prescription painkiller OxyContin that experts said had helped touch off an opioid epidemic, would plead guilty to federal criminal charges as part of a settlement of more than $8 billion. At least 10 bodies were found in an unmarked mass grave in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where investigators were searching for the remains of victims of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre.