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Today's quotation...
"Children need models rather than critics."
-- Joseph Joubert [1754-1824]

Electric Incandescent Lamp Anniversary

    October 21 is the anniversary of the invention in 1879 of the first practical electric incandescent lamp. After 14 months of experimentation at his Menlo Park, New Jersey, laboratory, Thomas Alva Edison achieved a workable electric lamp. He said, "The longer it burned, the more fascinated we were.... There was no sleep for any of us for 40 hours."

 Happy Birthday ......
    In 1772, Samuel Taylor Coleridge born. British romantic poet whose works include "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner" and "Kubla Khan."
    In 1833, Alfred Nobel, Swedish chemist, inventor and philanthropist who set aside a large portion of his estate to fund yearly prizes that honor accomplishments in physics, chemistry, medicine, literature and world peace. The awards that he dreamed of came to be know as the Nobel Prizes. Nobel grew up with a profound interest in literature, and frequently wrote poems, novels and plays for his amusement. In 1860, Nobel began experimenting with nitroglycerin in his father’s factory. He wanted to discover a safe way in which the substance could be handled, and a few years later, he created dynamite. Nobel died in 1896. Nobel Prizes have been awarded since 1901.
    In 1912, Sir Georg Solti, British conductor, born in Hungary. He was director at London's Covent Garden from 1961-71 and was best known for his pioneering recording of Wagner's operatic cycle "Der Ring das Nibelungen."
    In 1914, Martin Gardner, Scientific American math and puzzles columnist.
    In 1917, Dizzy Gillespie, jazz musician whose bebop music continues to inspire new generations of brass players. Considered by many to be one of the greatest jazz trumpeters of all time, Gillespie taught himself trombone as a child and switched to trumpet when he was 12. After working with bandleaders including Cab Calloway, Ella Fitzgerald and Duke Ellington, Gillespie broke out on his own to explore his passion for bebop. In 1942, Gillespie wrote his most famous composition, “A Night in Tunisia,” and teamed up with Charlie Parker, a fellow musician who understood his vision, in 1945, to record the hit songs “Groovin’ High” and “Hot House.” Some of his most memorable albums include “Dizzier & Dizzier” (1947), “Bird & Diz” (1950), “Swing Low Sweet Cadillac” (1967), “Summertime” (1980), “Oo Shoo Be Doo Be” (1985) and “Best of Dizzy Gillespie” (1992). Dizzy died in 1993.
    In 1928, Baseball Hall of Famer Whitey Ford.
    In 1949, former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
    In 1956,
Actress-author Carrie Fisher, who rose to fame playing the outspoken Princess Leia in the first Star Wars trilogy. Fisher began acting when she was in junior high, and worked with her mom, Debbie Reynolds, in her Vegas nightclub act. In 1975, Fisher made her big screen debut in Shampoo, opposite Warren Beatty, but it was her second film that changed her life forever. Star Wars was a blockbuster smash that caused a media sensation, and Fisher found her likeness on everything from lunchboxes to action figures. In addition to appearing in the Star War sequels The Empire Strikes Back (1980) and Return of the Jedi (1983), Fisher has become one of the finest script writers in Hollywood. She has leant her writing talents to movie scripts including Sister Act, Lethal Weapon 3, Milk Money, The Wedding Singer, and adapted her novel, Postcards From the Edge, for the silver screen.

 On this day...
    In 1422, Charles VI of France died after 42 years on the throne. First known as Charles the Well-Beloved, his later fits of insanity caused him to be called, Charles the Mad.
    In 1797, U.S. Navy frigate Constitution, Old Ironsides, launched in Boston.
    In 1803, Louisiana purchase ratified.
    In 1805, the Battle of Trafalgar was fought, with the British under Horatio Nelson victorious over the French and Spanish. Nelson signalled his famous message: "England expects that every man will do his duty," but was mortally wounded and died during the four hour battle.
    In 1824, Portland cement, the modern building material, was first patented by Joseph Aspdin of Wakefield in Yorkshire.
    In 1858, the Can-Can was performed for the first time in Paris.
    In 1861, [Civil War] Headline: Battle of Ball’s Bluff
    Union troops suffer a devastating defeat in the second major engagement of the Civil War. The Battle of Ball’s Bluff in Virginia produced the war’s first martyr and led to the creation of a Congressional committee to monitor the conduct of the war.
    After the Battle of Bull Run, Virginia,on July 21, President Abraham Lincoln appointed General George McClellan to organize the defeated Federal Army of the Potomac. McClellan spent the fall assembling and training his force, but he was under pressure from Lincoln, the public, and Congress to take actionagainst the Confederates, who were waiting just across the Potomac River. McClellan ordered General George McCall to make a reconnaissance across the river, and he instructed General Charles Stone to watch the nearby town of Leesburg, Virginia, while McCall’s men were moving.
    Stone sent a detachment across the river on the night of October 20, and the inexperienced soldiers reported seeing a Rebel camp, which turned out to be shadows. Stone decided to move more men over until a force of 1,600, under the command of Colonel Edward Baker, was poised for an attack the next morning. Baker was a close friend ofLincoln, and the president had named his second son after him.
    Baker placed his men in a dangerous position. They were in a clearing with their backs to the edge of Ball’s Bluff, a 100-foot high cliff above the Potomac. They faced a wooded ridge that was rapidly filling with Southerners. The Confederates launched an attackthat afternoon,and Baker’s command was soon in trouble. Baker was killed, and many of his men jumped from the bluff to their deaths or scrambled down a narrow trail only to find their boats swamped in the river. Less than half made it back to the other side of the Potomac. The Union suffered 49 killed, 158 wounded, and 714 missing and captured, while the Confederates suffered 33 killed, 115 wounded, and one missing. Lincoln was stunned by the loss of his friend Baker, who became a Northern martyr despite his ineptitude in conducting the battle. The political fallout was swift. Angry Republicans were highly suspicious of McClellan, a Democrat, and other generals. The Joint Committee on the Conduct of the War was formed in December of that year. This group was stacked with Radical Republicans who favored tougher treatment of the South and slaveholders. The committee’s first investigation was the disaster at Ball’s Bluff, and General Stone became the scapegoat. He was arrested for treason soon after and jailed for six months.

    In 1879, Thomas Edison perfected a workable electric light at his laboratory in Menlo Park, New Jersey.
    In 1897, Yerkes Observatory of the University of Chicago is dedicated.
    In 1908, the Saturday Evening Post magazine carried an ad for a brand new product: a two-sided phonograph record.
    In 1909, Halley's comet sighted from Cambridge observatory.
    In 1913, Camel brand cigarettes introduced to the public by the R.J. Reynolds company.
    In 1915, the first direct trans-Atlantic speech relay by radio telephone was made by the American Telephone and Telegraph Company from Arlington, Virginia to Paris.
    In 1917, the first U.S. soldiers entered combat during World War I, near Nancy, France.
    In 1918, Margaret Owen sets world typing speed record of 170 wpm for 1 minute.
    In 1923, Deutsches Museum, Walther Bauersfeld's first Zeiss Planetarium.
World At War
    World War II, which had begun in Europe on September 1, 1939, with the invasion of Poland by Nazi Germany, ended six years later to the day, September 1, 1945. The final concluding ceremony came the following day, September 2, 1945, with the signing of surrender papers by representatives of Japan, Nazi Germany's Axis partner in the Far East.

Nine Notable Veterans of World War II

    In 1940, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill in a broadcast to the French people, taunted Adolf Hitler in a radio broadcast: "We are waiting for the long-promised invasion. So are the fishes."
    In 1941, Headline: Germans massacre men, women, and children in Yugoslavia
    German soldiers go on a rampage, killing thousands of Yugoslavian civilians, including whole classes of schoolboys.
    Despite attempts to maintain neutrality at the outbreak of World War II, Yugoslavia finally succumbed to signing a “friendship treaty” with Germany in late 1940, finally joining the Tripartite “Axis” Pact in March 1941. The masses of Yugoslavians protested this alliance, and shortly thereafter the regents who had been trying to hold a fragile confederacy of ethnic groups and regions together since the creation of Yugoslavia at the close of World War I fell to a coup, and the Serb army placed Prince Peter into power. The prince-now the king–rejected the alliance with Germany-and the Germans retaliated with the Luftwaffe bombing of Belgrade, killing about 17,000 people.
    With Yugoslavian resistance collapsing, King Peter removed to London, setting up a government-in-exile. Hitler then began to carve up Yugoslavia into puppet states, primarily divided along ethnic lines, hoping to win the loyalty of some-such as the Croats-with the promise of a postwar independent state. (In fact, many Croats did fight alongside the Germans in its battle against the Soviet Union.) Hungary, Bulgaria, and Italy all took bites out of Yugoslavia, as Serb resisters were regularly massacred. On October 21, in Kragujevac, 2,300 men and boys were murdered; Kraljevo saw 7,000 more killed by German troops, and in the region of Macva, 6,000 men, women, and children were murdered.
    Serb partisans, fighting under the leadership of the socialist Josef “Tito” Brozovich, won support from Britain and aid from the USSR in their battle against the occupiers. “The people just do not recognize authority…they follow the Communist bandits blindly,” complained one German official reporting back to Berlin.
     Nantes: 50 French hostages slain in reprisal for assassination of German officer.
    In 1942, Congress passes the largest tax bill in U.S. history at $9 billion including Victory Tax.
    In 1943, Algerian Jews regained French citizenship in de Gaulle decree.
         France: Resistance attack frees 14 leaders, imprisoned in Lyon.
    American Flying Fortresses annihilated an important military-industrial plant at Dueren, Germany, yesterday as the U.S. Air Force completed its seventh bombing mission of the October offensive. Last night's attack pushed the total of Allied bombs dropped on Europe in the last 100 days to 80,270 tons. Half of Germany's cities have been seriously damaged. Two German fighter planes were gunned down in the Dueren raid, bringing the October to 475. Eight U.S. bombers were lost, boosting October downings to 174.
    World War II casualties estimated at between forty and fifty million world-wide, were larger than for any war in history. By the end of the war, the United States had lost 292,100 military personnel, but the totals in other countries were far higher. Military losses claimed 14.5 million Soviets, 2.8 million Germans, 1.5 million Japanese, and 1.3 million Chinese. Because of the intense level of bombing carried out during the war, civilian losses were also high. China suffered ten million civilian deaths; the Soviet Union, seven million; Germany, 2.3 million; and Japan, three hundred thousand. These civilian deaths were in addition to the six million Jews and some three million Slavs killed in the Nazi "Holocaust."
    [Library of Congress,Prints and Photographs]
10/21/2017 1320

    In 1945, women in France allowed to vote for the first time.
    In 1947, the first flight of the Northrop YB-49 flying wing jet bomber is made. The Air Force's Northrop B-2 stealth bomber, when it debuts in 1989, will bear a family resemblance to this airplane.
    In 1950, Chinese troops occupied Tibet.
    In 1957, The Elvis Presley film "Jailhouse Rock" premieres.
    In 1959, Guggenheim Museum opens in New York City designed by Frank Lloyd Wright.
         Rocket designer Wernher von Braun and his team were transferred from the Army to the newly created National Aeronautics and Space Administration.
    In 1960, Democrat John F. Kennedy and Republican Richard M. Nixon clashed in their fourth and final presidential debate in New York.
         HMS Dreadnought, Britain's first nuclear submarine, was launched by Queen Elizabeth.
    In 1967, thousands of demonstrators marched in Washington, D.C., in opposition to the Vietnam War.
         The Israeli destroyer INS Eilat was sunk by Egyptian missile boats near Port Said; 47 Israeli crew members were lost.
    In 1969, Willy Brandt was elected Chancellor of West Germany, at the head of a Social Democrat-FDP coalition.
    In 1971, Pres. Richard Nixon nominated Lewis F. Powell and William H. Rehnquist to the U.S. Supreme Court.(Both nominees were confirmed.}
    In 1975, Venera 9, first craft to orbit the planet Venus launched.
         Fairchild Republic's A-10A Thunderbolt II makes its first flight.
    In 1976, Saul Bellow wins Nobel Prize for Literature.
    In 1977, US recalls William Bowdler, ambassador to South Africa.
    In 1979, Israeli Foreign Minister Moshe Dayan resigned over the government's refusal to negotiate with Palestinians.
    In 1988, Walter Clarke died. So it goes. He was 77. (The Ol'Kunnel's dear old Dad.)
    In 1989, rescue workers in Oakland, Calif., pulled longshoreman Buck Helm alive from the wreckage of the Nimitz Freeway, part of which had collapsed during the Oct. 17 earthquake. (Helm died less than a month later.)
    In 1990, gunmen stormed the home of a key supporter of Lebanese Christian military leader Michel Aoun, killing him, his wife and their two sons.
    In 1991, Jesse Turner, an American hostage in Lebanon, was released after nearly five years of being imprisoned.
    In 1992, "Sex," a book of erotic photographs of Madonna, is released. The first run of 500,000 copies of the $50 book, which is wrapped in Mylar to prevent free peeks, sells out.
     Former New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison, whose investigation into the assassination of President John F. Kennedy became the subject of the movie JFK, died at 71.
    In 1994, the United States and North Korea signed an agreement requiring the communist nation to halt its nuclear program and agree to inspections.
     Thirty-two people were killed when a section of bridge collapsed in Seoul, South Korea.
     Rosario Ames, wife of confessed spy Aldrich Ames, was sentenced to 63 months in prison for her role in collaborating with her husband.
    In 1996, a former executive of EMI Records, Jay Barbieri, announces the official launch of the first Internet record label, J-Bird Records at The record label is the first of its kind, a label that operates almost exclusively on the World Wide Web.
     The Dow Jones Index of 30 major stocks topped the 6,000 mark for the first time.
    In 1998, President Clinton signed a $520 billion spending package that was shipped to him just before the 105th Congress recessed.
     68 people were arrested in Indonesia for the killing spree that left nine suspected murderers dead.
     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, Colorado.
     Cancer specialist, Dr. Jane Henney, became the FDA's first female commissioner.
    In 1999, George Martin, who produced most of the Beatles albums, lends his reputation and four decades of music business experience to a start-up Internet company catering to unsigned bands. Martin announces that he will serve as chairman of the advisory board for
    In 2003, pro basketball star Kobe Bryant was ordered to stand trial in Colorado on a rape charge involving a 19-year-old hotel worker.
    In 2004, the most senior soldier accused in the Abu Ghraib prison abuse scandal in Iraq, Staff Sgt. Ivan Chip Frederick, was sentenced to eight years in prison.
    In 2005, rain and rough surf battered Cancun's white-sand beaches as Hurricane Wilma inched toward a rendezvous with Mexico's famous resort area. Thousands of stranded tourists hunkered down in shelters and hotel ballrooms amid warnings the storm could cause catastrophic damage.
    In 2014, South Africa’s Oscar Pistorius, the first double amputee runner to compete at the Olympics, is sentenced to five years behind bars after being found guilty of culpable homicide, the equivalent of manslaughter, in the February 2013 death of his girlfriend, 29-year-old Reeva Steenkamp. The world-famous track star admitted to fatally shooting Steenkamp, a model and law graduate, at his home in Pretoria, South Africa, but claimed he mistook her for an intruder.
    In 2015,Marty Ingels, an actor and comic whose off-screen antics were long deemed outrageous even by Hollywood’s lofty standards, died in Tarzana, California. He was 79.

 Thought for the day...

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