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TODAY IN HISTORY

Today is the 294th day of 2019. There are 71 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On Oct. 21, 1892, schoolchildren across the U.S. observed Columbus Day by reciting, for the first time, the original version of “The Pledge of Allegiance,” written by Francis Bellamy for The Youth’s Companion.

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 of World War I.

In 1944, during World War II, U.S. troops captured the German city of Aachen.

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. (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.

Ten 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).

Five years ago: North Korea abruptly freed Jeffrey Fowle, an American, nearly six months after he was arrested for leaving a Bible in a nightclub.

One year ago: Bluegrass and country star Ricky Skaggs, singer Dottie West and fiddler Johnny Gimble were inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville.

Today’s Birthdays: Actress Joyce Randolph is 95. Rock singer Manfred Mann is 79. Musician Steve Cropper (Booker T. & the MG’s) is 78. Singer Elvin Bishop is 77. TV’s Judge Judy Sheindlin is 77. Actor Everett McGill is 74. Musician Lee Loughnane (Chicago) is 73. Actor Dick Christie is 71. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is 70. Actress LaTanya Richardson Jackson is 70. Musician Charlotte Caffey (The Go-Go’s) is 66. Singer Julian Cope is 62. Rock musician Steve Lukather (Toto) is 62. Actor Ken Watanabe is 60. Actress Melora Walters is 59. Rock singer-musician Nick Oliveri (Mondo Generator) is 48. Actor Jeremy Miller is 43. Country singer Matthew Ramsey (Old Dominion) is 42. Actor Will Estes is 41. Reality TV star Kim Kardashian West is 39. Actor Matt Dallas is 37. Actress Charlotte Sullivan is 36.

Thought for Today: “Silence is sometimes the severest criticism.” — Charles Buxton, English writer (1823-1871).

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