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Today In History

October 21, 2014 07:06 GMT

Today in History

Today is Tuesday, Oct. 21, the 294th day of 2014. There are 71 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

On Oct. 21, 1944, during World War II, U.S. troops captured the German city of Aachen (AH'-kuhn).

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 1879, Thomas Edison perfected a workable electric light at his laboratory in Menlo Park, New Jersey.

In 1917, members of the 1st Division of the U.S. Army training in Luneville (luhn-nay-VEEL'), France, became the first Americans to see action on the front lines of World War I.

In 1945, women in France were allowed to vote in parliamentary elections for the first time.

In 1959, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, opened to the public in New York.

In 1960, Democrat John F. Kennedy and Republican Richard M. Nixon clashed in their fourth and final presidential debate in New York.

In 1964, the movie musical "My Fair Lady," starring Audrey Hepburn and Rex Harrison, had its world premiere at the Criterion Theater in New York.

In 1967, the Israeli destroyer INS Eilat was sunk by Egyptian missile boats near Port Said (sah-EED'); 47 Israeli crew members were lost.

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

In 1986, pro-Iranian kidnappers in Lebanon abducted American Edward Tracy (he was released in August 1991).

In 1991, American hostage Jesse Turner was freed by his kidnappers in Lebanon after nearly five years in captivity.

Ten years ago: An Associated Press poll found President George W. Bush and his opponent, Sen. John Kerry, locked in a statistical tie for the popular vote. Emerson College student Victoria Snelgrove, 21, died hours after being shot in the eye with a pepper-spray pellet fired by police trying to control a raucous crowd outside Fenway Park, where the Boston Red Sox had won the American League championship. The St. Louis Cardinals defeated the Houston Astros 5-2 to take Game 7 of the National League championship and advance to the World Series.

Five years ago: Northwest Airlines Flight 188, an Airbus A320, flew past the Minneapolis airport by more than 100 miles before turning around and landing safely; the pilots later said they'd been distracted while talking about their schedules. Authorities found the body of missing Florida 7-year-old Somer Thompson in a Georgia landfill (Jarred Harrell later pleaded guilty to kidnapping, rape and murder, and was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole). Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Jack Nelson of the Los Angeles Times died in Bethesda, Maryland, at 80. The Philadelphia Phillies beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 10-4 in Game 5 of the National League Championship Series to win their second straight NL pennant.

One year ago: A seventh-grader at Sparks Middle School in Sparks, Nevada, shot and killed a teacher and wounded two classmates before taking his own life. Same-sex weddings began in New Jersey, the 14th state to recognize nuptials between gay partners. The San Francisco Bay Area's main commuter train system and its unions reached a tentative agreement on a new contract.

Today's Birthdays: Actress Joyce Randolph is 90. Author Ursula K. Le Guin is 85. Rock singer Manfred Mann is 74. Musician Steve Cropper (Booker T. & the MG's) is 73. Singer Elvin Bishop is 72. TV's Judge Judy Sheindlin is 72. Actor Everett McGill is 69. Musician Lee Loughnane (LAHK'-nayn) (Chicago) is 68. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is 65. Actress LaTanya Richardson Jackson is 65. Musician Charlotte Caffey (The Go-Go's) is 61. Movie director Catherine Hardwicke is 59. Actress-author Carrie Fisher is 58. Singer Julian Cope is 57. Rock musician Steve Lukather (Toto) is 57. Actor Ken Watanabe (wah-tah-NAH'-bee) is 55. Actress Melora Walters is 54. Rock musician Che (chay) Colovita Lemon is 44. Rock singer-musician Nick Oliveri (Mondo Generator) is 43. Christian rock musician Charlie Lowell (Jars of Clay) is 41. Actor Jeremy Miller is 38. Actor Will Estes is 36. Actor Michael McMillian is 36. Reality TV star Kim Kardashian (kahr-DASH'-ee-uhn) is 34. Actor Matt Dallas is 32. Actress Charlotte Sullivan (TV: "Rookie Blue") is 31. Actor Aaron Tveit (tuh-VAYT') is 31.

Thought for Today: "There are different kinds of wrong. The people sinned against are not always the best." -- Dame Ivy Compton-Burnett, English author (1892-1969).

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