Today is Thursday, Oct. 21, the 294th day of 2021. There are 71 days left in the year.

Today 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.

Also 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, N.J.

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

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

In 1967, the Israeli destroyer INS Eilat was sunk by Egyptian missile boats near Port Said; 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.

Fun fact

The yellow-orange flowers that bloom on the pumpkin vine are edible.

Record setters

The largest human DNA helix involved 4,000 participants, achieved April 23, 2016, by the Medical University of Varna in Varna, Bulgaria.

Trending words

“Nomenclature:” noun; (NOH-mun-klay-cher). Definition: A system of names for things, especially in science.

— Merriam-Webster

Today’s birthdays

Actor Joyce Randolph is 97. Rock singer Manfred Mann is 81. Musician Steve Cropper (Booker T. & the MG’s) is 80. Singer Elvin Bishop is 79. TV’s Judge Judy Sheindlin is 79. Actor Everett McGill is 76. Musician Lee Loughnane (Chicago) is 75. Actor Dick Christie is 73. Former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is 72. Actor LaTanya Richardson Jackson is 72. Musician Charlotte Caffey (The Go-Go’s) is 68. Movie director Catherine Hardwicke is 66. Singer Julian Cope is 64. Rock musician Steve Lukather (Toto) is 64. Actor Ken Watanabe is 62. Actor Melora Walters is 61. Rock singer-musician Nick Oliveri (Mondo Generator) is 50. Christian rock musician Charlie Lowell (Jars of Clay) is 48. Actor Jeremy Miller is 45. Country singer Matthew Ramsey (Old Dominion) is 44. Actor Will Estes is 43. Actor Michael McMillian is 43. Reality TV star Kim Kardashian West is 41. Actor Matt Dallas is 39. Actor Charlotte Sullivan is 38. Actor Aaron Tveit is 38. Actor Glenn Powell is 33. Country singer Kane Brown is 28.

The Edge is compiled by Dallas Marshall. She ca be contacted at