By The Associated Press
Today in History
Today is Thursday, Oct. 21, the 294th day of 2021. There are 71 days left in the year.
Todayís Highlight in History:
On Oct. 21, 1966, 144 people, 116 of them children, were killed when a coal waste landslide engulfed a school and some 20 houses in Aberfan, Wales.
On this date:
In 1797, the U.S. Navy frigate Constitution, also known as ìOld Ironsides,î was christened in Bostonís 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, N.J.
In 1944, during World War II, U.S. troops captured the German city of Aachen (AHí-kuhn).
In 1945, women in France were allowed to vote in parliamentary elections for the first time.
In 1967, the Israeli destroyer INS Eilat (ay-LAHTí) was sunk by Egyptian missile boats near Port Said (sah-EEDí); 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 U.S. 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 Clintonís status as the Democratic front-runner.
Ten years ago: President Barack Obama declared that Americaís long and deeply unpopular war in Iraq would be over by the end of 2011 and that all U.S. troops ìwill definitely be home for the holidays.î
Five years ago: 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.
One year ago: Republican Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah, the partyís 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.