Today is Sunday, Feb. 21, the 52nd day of 2021. There are 313 days left in the year.

Today in history

On Feb. 21, 1965, minister and civil rights activist Malcolm X, 39, was shot to death inside Harlem’s Audubon Ballroom in New York by assassins identified as members of the Nation of Islam. (Three men were convicted of murder and imprisoned; all were eventually paroled.)

Also on this date:

In 1862, Nathaniel Gordon became the first and only American slave-trader to be executed under the U.S. Piracy Law of 1820 as he was hanged in New York.

In 1885, the Washington Monument was dedicated.

In 1916, the World War I Battle of Verdun began in France as German forces attacked; the French were able to prevail after 10 months of fighting.

In 1945, during the World War II Battle of Iwo Jima, the escort carrier USS Bismarck Sea was sunk by kamikazes with the loss of 318 men.

In 1964, the first shipment of U.S. wheat purchased by the Soviet Union arrived in the port of Odessa.

In 1972, President Richard M. Nixon began his historic visit to China as he and his wife, Pat, arrived in Beijing.

In 1995, Chicago adventurer Steve Fossett became the first person to fly solo across the Pacific Ocean by balloon, landing in Leader, Saskatchewan, Canada.

Fun fact

The human skull is made up of 29 different bones.

Just for laughs

My wife just said: “You never listen!” I thought that was a weird way to start a conversation.

Trending words

“Anodyne:” adjective; (AN-uh-dyne). Defintion: Serving to alleviate pain; not likely to offend or arouse tensions: innocuous.

— Merriam-Webster

Today’s birthdays

Movie director Bob Rafelson is 88. Actor Gary Lockwood is 84. Actor-director Richard Beymer is 82. Actor Peter McEnery is 81. Film/music company executive David Geffen is 78. Actor Tyne Daly is 75. Actor Anthony Daniels is 75. Tricia Nixon Cox is 75. Actor Christine Ebersole is 68. Actor William Petersen is 68. Actor Kelsey Grammer is 66. Singer/guitarist Larry Campbell is 66. Country singer Mary Chapin Carpenter is 63. Actor Kim Coates is 63. Actor Jack Coleman is 63. Actor Christopher Atkins is 60. Actor William Baldwin is 58. Rock musician Michael Ward is 54. Actor Aunjanue Ellis is 52. Blues musician Corey Harris is 52. Country singer Eric Heatherly is 51. Rock musician Eric Wilson is 51. Rock musician Tad Kinchla (Blues Traveler) is 48. Singer Rhiannon Giddens (Carolina Chocolate Drops) is 44. Actor Tituss Burgess is 42. Actor Jennifer Love Hewitt is 42. Comedian-actor Jordan Peele is 42. Actor Brendan Sexton III is 41. Singer Charlotte Church is 35. Actor Ashley Greene is 34. Actor Elliot Page (formerly Ellen Page) is 34. Actor Corbin Bleu is 32. Actor Hayley Orrantia is 27. Actor Sophie Turner is 25.

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