On This Day October 21
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1917 – Legendary jazz trumpeter-composer Dizzy Gillespie, who helped develop the “bebop” music style (d. 1993)
1924 – Actress Joyce Randolph, who played Trixie Norton in the 1950s sitcom “The Honeymooners”
1928 – Baseball Hall of Famer Whitey Ford, who was a star pitcher for the New York Yankees
1942 – Judith Sheindlin, better known as TV’s “Judge Judy”
1956 – Actress-author Carrie Fisher, who played Princess Leia in the “Star Wars” movie trilogy and wrote “Postcards From the Edge” (d. 2016)
1959 – Actor Ken Watanabe (“The Last Samurai,” “Batman Begins,” “Inception,” “Godzilla”)
1980 – Socialite and reality TV star Kim Kardashian (“Keeping Up With The Kardashians”)
1879 – Thomas Edison throws the switch on his newly invented incandescent lamp, which burns for nearly 14 hours.
1921 – President Warren Harding delivers a speech in Alabama condemning lynchings that were being committed primarily by white supremacists against African Americans in the Deep South. Harding is the first U.S. president to address the controversial subject.
1941 – Nazi troops massacre thousands of men, women and children across Yugoslavia in retaliation for that country’s rejection of an alliance with Germany.
1959 – The distinctive and world-renowned Guggenheim Museum opens in New York City. Designed by acclaimed architect Frank Lloyd Wright, the museum houses one of the world’s top collections of contemporary art.
1959 – President Dwight Eisenhower signs an executive order transferring renowned rocket engineer Wernher von Braun and his team from the U.S. Army to the newly created National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). Von Braun, who masterminded America’s space program, developed the lethal V-2 rocket for Nazi Germany during World War II, and had been a member of the Nazi Party and an SS officer.
1967 – In Washington, D.C., thousands of Vietnam War protesters stage a peaceful rally at the Lincoln Memorial before attempting to storm the Pentagon. Police arrest 250 of the demonstrators.
2014 – South African Oscar Pistorius, the first double amputee runner to compete at the Olympics, is sentenced to five years in prison after being found guilty of culpable homicide (manslaughter) in the 2013 death of his girlfriend, 29-year-old Reeva Steenkamp. His sentence is later doubled by a higher court.
1958 – Rock and roll legend Buddy Holly’s last recording session takes place in a New York City studio. Among the songs he records is “It Doesn’t Matter Anymore,” which was written by Paul Anka and becomes a No. 13 hit following Holly’s death in a February 1959 plane crash.
1967 – Lulu begins a five-week run at No. 1 on the singles chart with the theme from the movie “To Sir With Love,” starring Sidney Poitier.
1972 – Curtis Mayfield begins four weeks on top of the Billboard album chart with the soundtrack to the movie “Super Fly.” Sales of the album, which contains the hits “Freddy’s Dead” and “Super Fly,” go on to surpass the movie’s box office performance.
1973 – “Angie” begins a week as a No. 1 single for The Rolling Stones. The track is from the band’s “Goats Head Soup” album and becomes their seventh U.S. chart-topper.
1989 – Janet Jackson’s “Miss You Much” is mid-way through a four-week domination of the Billboard Hot 100.
1995 – Mariah Carey holds on to the top spot on the pop chart for a fourth week with “Fantasy.” The track remains there for another four weeks.
2000 – “Come on Over Baby (All I Want Is You)” becomes the third No. 1 single of Christina Aguilera’s music career. This track stays on top for four weeks.
2000 – Radiohead’s fourth album, “Kid A,” debuts at No. 1 on the Billboard album chart.
2006 – Justin Timberlake’s “SexyBack” marks its seventh and final week at No. 1 on the singles chart. The track captures a Grammy Award for Best Dance Recording in 2007.