Trafalgar Day in Great Britain (celebration of the victory won by the Royal Navy, commanded by Vice-Admiral Horatio Nelson, over the combined French and Spanish fleets at the Battle of Trafalgar on 21 October 1805)
2005 – Images of the dwarf planet Eris are taken and subsequently used in documenting its discovery by the team of Michael E. Brown, Chad Trujillo, and David L. Rabinowitz.
1994 – North Korea nuclear weapons program: North Korea and the United States sign an Agreed Framework that requires North Korea to stop its nuclear weapons program and agree to inspections.
1986 – In Lebanon, pro-Iran kidnappers claim to have abducted American writer Edward Tracy (he is released in August 1991).
1973 – Fred Dryer of the Los Angeles Rams becomes the first player in NFL history to score two safeties in the same game.
1959 – In New York City, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, opens to the public.
1959 – U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower signs an executive order transferring Wernher von Braun and other German scientists from the United States Army to NASA.
1945 – Women's suffrage: Women are allowed to vote in France for the first time.
1944 – World War II: Battle of Aachen: The city of Aachen falls to American forces after three weeks of fighting, making it the first German city to fall to the Allies.
1944 – World War II: The first kamikaze attack. A Japanese fighter plane carrying a 200-kilogram (440 lb) bomb attacks HMAS Australia off Leyte Island, as the Battle of Leyte Gulf began.
1940 – The first edition of the Ernest Hemingway novel For Whom the Bell Tolls is published.
1921 – President Warren G. Harding delivers the first speech by a sitting U.S. President against lynching in the deep South.
1912 – First Balkan War: Kardzhali is liberated by Bulgarian forces.
1910 – HMS Niobe arrives in Halifax Harbour to become the first ship of the Royal Canadian Navy.
1879 – Thomas Edison applies for a patent for his design for an incandescent light bulb.
1867 – The Medicine Lodge Treaty is signed by southern Great Plains Indian leaders. The treaty requires Native American Plains tribes to relocate to a reservation in western Oklahoma.
1861 – American Civil War: Battle of Ball's Bluff: Union forces under Colonel Edward Baker are defeated by Confederate troops in the second major battle of the war.
1824 – Joseph Aspdin patents Portland cement.
1797 – In Boston Harbor, the 44-gun United States Navy frigate USS Constitution is launched.
1774 – First display of the word "Liberty" on a flag, raised by colonists in Taunton, Massachusetts in defiance of British rule in Colonial America.
1520 – Ferdinand Magellan discovers a strait now known as Strait of Magellan.
1520 – João Álvares Fagundes discovers the islands of Saint Pierre and Miquelon, bestowing them their original name of "Islands of the 11,000 Virgins".
1097 – First Crusade: Crusaders led by Godfrey of Bouillon, Bohemund of Taranto, and Raymond IV, Count of Toulouse, begin the Siege of Antioch.
1987 – Justin De Fratus, American baseball player. Justin Andrew De Fratus (born October 21, 1987), is an American professional baseball relief pitcher in the Los Angeles Dodgers organization.
1984 – Kenny Cooper, American soccer player. Kenneth Scott "Kenny" Cooper, Jr. (born 21 October 1984) is an American association football player who is currently a free agent.
1984 – Marvin Mitchell, American football player. He played college football at Tennessee.
1984 – Tom Brandstater, American football player. He was drafted by the Denver Broncos in the sixth round of the 2009 NFL Draft.
1983 – Amber Rose, American model. Amber Levonchuck (born 21 October 1983), known professionally as Amber Rose, is an American model and actress.
1983 – Casey Fien, American baseball player. He played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Detroit Tigers, Minnesota Twins, Los Angeles Dodgers, Seattle Mariners, and Philadelphia Phillies.
1983 – Shelden Williams, American basketball player. Shelden DeMar Williams (born October 21, 1983) is an American former professional basketball player and current assistant coach for the College Park Skyhawks of the NBA G League.
1983 – Zack Greinke, American baseball player. Donald Zackary Greinke (born October 21, 1983) is an American professional baseball pitcher for the Houston Astros of Major League Baseball (MLB).
1982 – Hari Kondabolu, American comedian, actor, and podcaster. He was a writer for Totally Biased with W.
1982 – Matt Dallas, American actor. Matthew Joseph Dallas (born October 21, 1982) is an American actor, best known for playing the title character on the ABC Family series Kyle XY.
1982 – Ray Ventrone, American football player. Raymond "Bubba" Ventrone (/vɛnˈtroʊn/; born October 21, 1982) is a former American football safety and current special teams coach for the Indianapolis Colts of the National Football League (NFL).
1980 – Brian Pittman, American bass player, was a founding member. He has also played bass for the Christian metal band Inhale Exhale, and owns a landscaping company called "Lawnsharks." Pittman married on August 30, 2008 and currently resides in Canton, Ohio.
1980 – Kim Kardashian, American reality television personality, actress, model, businesswoman and socialite. Later that year, she and her family began to appear in the E! reality television series Keeping Up with the Kardashians (2007–present).
1979 – Gabe Gross, American baseball player. Gabriel Jordan Gross (born October 21, 1979) is a former American professional baseball outfielder who is currently the hitting coach for the Auburn Tigers.
1979 – Khalil Greene, American baseball player. Louis Cardinals.
1978 – Joey Harrington, American football player and sportscaster. He played college football at Oregon.
1976 – Jeremy Miller, American actor and singer. He also voiced Linus van Pelt in Happy New Year, Charlie Brown!.
1976 – Josh Ritter, American singer-songwriter and guitarist. In 2006 he was named one of the "100 Greatest Living Songwriters" by Paste magazine.
1975 – Toby Hall, American baseball player. Listed at 6 feet 3 inches (1.91 m) and 205 pounds (93 kg), he batted and threw right-handed.
1973 – Charlie Lowell, American pianist and songwriter. Charlie Lowell (born Charles Daniel Lowell on October 21, 1973) is an American pianist most known for being the pianist and keyboardist for Christian alternative folk rock group Jars of Clay.
1973 – Lera Auerbach, Russian-American pianist and composer. Lera Auerbach (Russian: Лера Авербах, born Valeria Lvovna Averbakh, Russian: Валерия Львовна Авербах; 21 October 1973, Chelyabinsk) is a Soviet-Russian-born American classical composer and pianist.
1972 – Matthew Friedberger, American singer-songwriter and guitarist. Matthew Friedberger (born October 21, 1972 in Oak Park, Illinois, United States) is an American singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist best known for his work with the indie rock duo The Fiery Furnaces along his sister Eleanor Friedberger.
1972 – Orlando Thomas, American football player (d. 2014), was an American football defensive back who played in the National Football League (NFL) from 1995 until 2001. He played his entire career with the Minnesota Vikings.
1971 – Nick Oliveri, American singer-songwriter and bass player. Oliveri is also a solo artist and frequent contributor to his friends' albums and tours, including Winnebago Deal, Mark Lanegan Band, Masters of Reality, Turbonegro and Moistboyz, among many others.
1969 – Mo Lewis, American football player. Morris "Mo" Clyde Lewis III (born October 21, 1969) is a former American football linebacker who played in the National Football League for 13 seasons and spent the entirety of his career with the New York Jets.
1965 – Horace Hogan, American wrestler. Michael Allan Bollea (born October 21, 1965) is an American retired professional wrestler.
1964 – Jon Carin, American singer-songwriter, guitarist, and producer. Jon Carin (born October 21, 1964) is a Grammy Award winning musician, singer, songwriter and producer who has been a longtime collaborator with the band Pink Floyd and the solo careers of David Gilmour and Roger Waters, The Who, Pete Townshend, Eddie Vedder, and Kate Bush.
1957 – Steve Lukather, American singer-songwriter, guitarist, and producer. Steven Lee Lukather (born October 21, 1957) is an American guitarist, singer, songwriter, arranger and record producer, best known as the sole continuous founding member of the rock band Toto from its founding in 1976 to its latest hiatus in 2019.
1956 – Carrie Fisher, American actress and screenwriter (d. 2016), was an American actress, writer, and comedian. Fisher is best known for playing Princess Leia in the Star Wars films, a role for which she was nominated for four Saturn Awards.
1956 – Mike Tully, American pole vaulter. He represented the United States twice in the Olympics, earning a silver in 1984, and held the American pole vault record from 1984 to 1985.
1955 – Dick DeVos, American businessman. In 2006, DeVos ran for Governor of Michigan, but lost to the then-incumbent Democrat Jennifer Granholm.
1955 – Fred Hersch, American pianist and composer. He was the first person to play weeklong engagements as a solo pianist at the Village Vanguard in New York City.
1955 – Rich Mullins, American singer-songwriter (d. 1997), was an American contemporary Christian music singer and songwriter best known for his worship songs "Awesome God" and "Step by Step". Some of his albums were also considered among Christian music's best, including Winds of Heaven, Stuff of Earth (1988), The World As Best As I Remember It, Volume One (1991) and A Liturgy, a Legacy, & a Ragamuffin Band (1993).
1953 – Keith Green, American singer-songwriter, pianist, and minister (d. 1982), was an American contemporary Christian music pianist, singer, and songwriter originally from Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn, New York. Beyond his music, Green is best known for his strong devotion to Christian evangelism and challenging others to the same.
1952 – Allen Hoey, American poet and author, was an American poet, novelist, and literary critic who received numerous honors during his lifetime, including a Pulitzer Prize nomination for his 2008 collection of poems Country Music.
1952 – Brent Mydland, German-American keyboard player (d. 1990), was an American keyboardist, vocalist, and songwriter. He was a member of The Grateful Dead from 1979 to 1990, a longer tenure than any other keyboardist in the band.
1952 – Patti Davis, American actress and author. She is the daughter of U.S. president Ronald Reagan and his second wife, First Lady Nancy Davis Reagan.
1950 – Ronald McNair, American physicist and astronaut (d. 1986), was an American NASA astronaut and physicist. He died during the launch of the Space Shuttle Challenger on mission STS-51-L, in which he was serving as one of three mission specialists in a crew of seven.
1948 – Allen Henry Vigneron, American archbishop. He is the current Archbishop of Detroit and Ecclesiastical Superior of the Cayman Islands, having previously served as Bishop of Oakland from 2003 to 2009.
1948 – Shaye J. D. Cohen, American historian and academic. He received his undergraduate degree from Yeshiva University, his M.A. from the Jewish Theological Seminary, and his Ph.D. in Ancient History, with distinction, from Columbia University in 1975.
1946 – Lee Loughnane, American singer-songwriter and trumpet player. Lee David Loughnane (pronounced LOCK-nain; born October 21, 1946), is an American trumpeter, flugelhorn player, vocalist, and songwriter, best known for being a founding member of the rock band Chicago.
1946 – Lux Interior, American singer-songwriter (d. 2009), was an American singer and a founding member of the American punk band The Cramps from 1972 until his death in 2009 at age 62.
1942 – Christopher A. Sims, American economist and statistician, Nobel Prize laureate. Sherrerd '52 University Professor of Economics at Princeton University.
1942 – Elvin Bishop, American singer-songwriter and guitarist. Elvin Richard Bishop (born October 21, 1942) is an American blues and rock music singer, guitarist, bandleader, and songwriter.
1942 – Judith Sheindlin, American judge and television host. Judith Susan Sheindlin (née Blum; born October 21, 1942), known professionally as Judge Judy, is an American prosecution lawyer, former Manhattan family court judge, television personality, and author.
1942 – Lou Lamoriello, American ice hockey player, coach, and manager. Louis Lamoriello (born October 21, 1942) is an American professional ice hockey executive who is the president of hockey operations and general manager for the New York Islanders of the National Hockey League (NHL).
1941 – Steve Cropper, American guitarist, songwriter, producer, and actor. He also acted as the producer of many of these records.
1940 – Jimmy Beaumont, American doo-wop singer-songwriter. The Skyliners are an American doo-wop group from Pittsburgh.
1940 – Rhoda Gemignani, American actress. Rhoda Gemignani (born October 21, 1940, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) is an American actress, best known for her recurring role as Mrs.
1929 – Ursula K. Le Guin, American author and critic, was an American author best known for her works of speculative fiction, including science fiction works set in her Hainish universe, and the Earthsea fantasy series. She was first published in 1959, and her literary career spanned nearly sixty years, yielding more than twenty novels and over a hundred short stories, in addition to poetry, literary criticism, translations, and children's books.
1928 – Vern Mikkelsen, American basketball player and coach (d. 2013), was an American professional basketball player. He was one of the National Basketball Association's first power forwards in the 1950s and was known for his tenacious defense.
1928 – Whitey Ford, American baseball player and coach. Edward Charles "Whitey" Ford (born October 21, 1928), nicknamed "The Chairman of the Board", is an American former professional baseball pitcher who played his entire 16-year Major League Baseball (MLB) career with the New York Yankees.
1927 – Howard Zieff, American director and photographer (d. 2009). Zieff (October 21, 1927 – February 22, 2009) (pronounced Zeef) was an American director, television commercial director, and advertising photographer.
1926 – Bob Rosburg, American golfer (d. 2009), was an American professional golfer who later became a sports color analyst for ABC television.
1925 – Celia Cruz, Cuban-American singer (d. 2003), was a Cuban singer and one of the most popular Latin artists of the 20th century. Cruz rose to fame in Cuba during the 1950s as a singer of guarachas, earning the nickname "La Guarachera de Cuba".
1924 – Joyce Randolph, American actress. Joyce Randolph (born Joyce Sirola, October 21, 1924) is an American actress, best known for playing Trixie Norton on the television sitcom The Honeymooners.
1924 – Julie Wilson, American actress and singer (d. 2015), was an American singer and actress "widely regarded as the queen of cabaret". She was nominated for the Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Musical in 1989 for her performance in Legs Diamond.
1921 – Jim Shumate, American fiddler and composer (d. 2013), was a fiddler that played with Bill Monroe and the Blue Grass Boys from 1943–1945. Shumate's main influences were Fiddlin' Arthur Smith, Curly Fox, and his uncle who played the fiddle while he was growing up.
1918 – Milton Himmelfarb, American sociologist and author (d. 2006), was an American sociographer of the American Jewish community.
1917 – Dizzy Gillespie, American trumpet player, composer, and bandleader (d. 1993), was an American jazz trumpeter, bandleader, composer, and singer.
1914 – Martin Gardner, American mathematician and author (d. 2010), was an American popular mathematics and popular science writer, with interests also encompassing scientific skepticism, micromagic, philosophy, religion, and literature—especially the writings of Lewis Carroll, L. Frank Baum, and G.
1912 – Don Byas, American saxophonist and educator (d. 1972), was an American jazz tenor saxophonist, most associated with bebop. He played with Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Art Blakey, and Dizzy Gillespie, among others, and also led his own band.
1911 – Mary Blair, American illustrator and animator (d. 1978), was an American artist, animator, and designer. She was prominent in producing art and animation for The Walt Disney Company, drawing concept art for such films as Alice in Wonderland, Peter Pan, Song of the South and Cinderella.
1895 – Edna Purviance, American actress (d. 1958), was an American actress of the silent film era. She was the leading lady in many of Charlie Chaplin's early films and in a span of eight years, she appeared in over 30 films with him.
1886 – Eugene Burton Ely, American soldier and pilot (d. 1911), was an aviation pioneer, credited with the first shipboard aircraft take off and landing.
1877 – Oswald Avery, Canadian-American physician and microbiologist (d. 1955), was a Canadian-American physician and medical researcher. The major part of his career was spent at the Rockefeller University Hospital in New York City.
1845 – Will Carleton, American poet and journalist (d. 1912), was an American poet from Michigan. Carleton's poems were most often about his rural life.
1833 – Alfred Nobel, Swedish chemist and engineer, invented dynamite and founded the Nobel Prize (d. 1896), was a Swedish businessman, chemist, engineer, inventor, and philanthropist. He held 355 different patents, dynamite being the most famous.
2015 – Marty Ingels, American actor (b. 1936)
2015 – Sheldon Wolin, American philosopher, theorist, and academic (b. 1922)
2014 – Ben Bradlee, American journalist and author (b. 1921)
2014 – Nelson Bunker Hunt, American businessman (b. 1926)
2013 – Bud Adams, American businessman (b. 1923)
2013 – Colonel Robert Morris, American singer-songwriter and drummer (b. 1954)
2013 – Major Owens, American librarian and politician (b. 1936)
2012 – George McGovern, American historian, lieutenant, and politician (b. 1922)
2006 – Sandy West, American singer-songwriter and drummer (b. 1959)
2003 – Elliott Smith, American singer-songwriter and guitarist (b. 1969)
2003 – Louise Day Hicks, American politician (b. 1916)
1998 – Francis W. Sargent, American soldier and politician, 64th Governor of Massachusetts (b. 1915)
1995 – Maxene Andrews, American singer (b. 1916)
1995 – Nancy Graves, American sculptor and painter (b. 1939)
1995 – Shannon Hoon, American singer-songwriter and guitarist (b. 1967)
1993 – Sam Zolotow, American journalist and critic (b. 1899)
1992 – Jim Garrison, American lawyer and judge (b. 1921)
1985 – Dan White, American sergeant and politician (b. 1946)
1983 – Joseph P. Lordi, American government official (b. 1919)
1975 – Charles Reidpath, American runner and general (b. 1887)
1969 – Jack Kerouac, American novelist and poet (b. 1922)
1965 – Bill Black, American bass player and bandleader (b. 1926)
1940 – William G. Conley, American journalist, lawyer, and politician, 18th Governor of West Virginia (b. 1866)
1938 – Dorothy Hale, American actress (b. 1905)
1907 – Jules Chevalier, French priest, founded the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart (b. 1824)
1775 – Peyton Randolph, American lawyer and politician, 1st President of the Continental Congress (b. 1721)
1096 – Walter Sans Avoir, a leader of the First Crusade