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Tuesday, October 21, 2008


Today is Tuesday, Oct. 21, the 295th day of 2008.
There are 71 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

  • On Oct. 21, 1805, a British fleet commanded by Admiral Horatio Nelson defeated a French-Spanish fleet in the Battle of Trafalgar; Nelson, however, was killed.

On this date:

  • In 1797, the U.S. Navy frigate Constitution, also known as "Old Ironsides," was christened in Boston's harbor.
  • In 1879, Thomas Edison perfected a workable electric light at his laboratory in Menlo Park, N.J.
  • In 1917, members of the 1st Division of the U.S. Army training in Luneville, France, became the first Americans to see action on the front lines of World War I.
  • In 1944, during World War II, U.S. troops captured the German city of Aachen.
  • In 1959, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York opened to the public.
  • In 1960, Democrat John F. Kennedy and Republican Richard M. Nixon clashed in their fourth and final presidential debate in New York.
  • In 1966, more than 140 people, mostly children, were killed when a coal waste landslide engulfed a school and several houses in Aberfan, Wales.
  • In 1967, tens of thousands of Vietnam War protesters began two days of demonstrations in Washington, D.C.
  • In 1967, the Israeli destroyer INS Eilat was sunk by Egyptian missile boats near Port Said; 47 Israeli crew members were lost.
  • In 1971, President Nixon nominated Lewis F. Powell and William H. Rehnquist to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Ten years ago:
  • President Clinton signed a $520 billion spending package that was shipped to him just before the 105th Congress slipped into history.
  • A radical environmental group, the Earth Liberation Front, claimed responsibility for fires that caused $12 million in damage at the nation's busiest ski resort in Vail, Colo.
  • Dr. Jane Henney was confirmed as FDA commissioner.
  • The New York Yankees swept the San Diego Padres, winning Game 4 of the World Series, 3-0.

Five years ago:
  • Invoking a hastily passed law, Florida Gov. Jeb Bush ordered a feeding tube reinserted into Terry Schiavo, a brain-damaged woman at the center of a bitter right-to-die battle.
  • The Senate voted to ban the practice that critics call partial-birth abortion.
  • The U.N. General Assembly overwhelmingly approved a resolution demanding that Israel tear down a barrier jutting into the West Bank.
  • Boston antibusing activist Louise Day Hicks died at age 87.
  • Actor Fred Berry died in Los Angeles at age 52.
  • The New York Yankees pulled away from the Florida Marlins for a 6-1 victory and a 2-1 World Series lead.

One year ago:
  • Wildfires driven by powerful Santa Ana winds burned several homes near San Diego and in Malibu, Calif.
  • Vice President Dick Cheney said in a speech the United States and other nations would not allow Iran to obtain a nuclear weapon.
  • The opposition Civic Platform party ousted Prime Minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski's government in Poland's parliamentary elections.
  • The Boston Red Sox won the American League championship in Game 7 of their series with the Cleveland Indians, 11-2.

Today's Birthdays:
  • Actress Joyce Randolph is 83.
  • Rock singer Manfred Mann is 68.
  • Musician Steve Cropper (Booker T. & the MG's) is 67.
  • Singer Elvin Bishop is 66.
  • TV's Judge Judy Sheindlin is 66.
  • Actor Everett McGill is 63.
  • Musician Lee Loughnane (Chicago) is 62.
  • Former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is 59.
  • Musician Charlotte Caffey (The Go-Go's) is 55.
  • Actress-author Carrie Fisher is 52.
  • Singer Julian Cope is 51.
  • Rock musician Steve Lukather (Toto) is 51.
  • Actor Ken Watanabe is 49.
  • Rock musician Che Colovita Lemon is 38.
  • Rock singer-musician Nick Oliveri (Mondo Generator) is 37.
  • Christian rock musician Charlie Lowell (Jars of Clay) is 35.
  • Actor Jeremy Miller is 32.
  • Actor Will Estes is 30.
  • Actress Kim Kardashian is 28.
  • Actor Matt Dallas is 26.

Thought for Today:
"There are three things which the public will always clamor for, sooner or later: namely, Novelty, novelty, novelty."
Thomas Hood, British poet (1799-1845).

"Let's all be careful out there!"