Today is the 295th day of 2012 and the 30th day of autumn.
TODAY'S HISTORY: In 1879, Thomas Edison successfully tested a workable electric lamp.
In 1892, the "Pledge of Allegiance" was recited for the first time by schoolchildren across the United States in honor of the 400th anniversary of Columbus' voyage to the New World.
In 1967, following a peaceful demonstration at the Lincoln Memorial, thousands of anti-war protesters stormed the Pentagon, resulting in hundreds of arrests.
In 1983, the meter was redefined as the distance light travels in a vacuum in 1/299,792,458th of a second.
TODAY'S BIRTHDAYS: Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772-1834), poet/essayist; Alfred Nobel (1833-1896), inventor/arms manufacturer; Dizzy Gillespie (1917-1993), jazz musician; Celia Cruz (1924-2003), singer; Whitey Ford (1928- ), baseball player; Ursula K. Le Guin (1929- ), novelist; Judy Sheindlin (1942- ), judge/TV personality; Benjamin Netanyahu (1949- ), Israeli politician; Carrie Fisher (1956- ), actress/novelist; Kim Kardashian (1980- ), TV personality.
TODAY'S SPORTS: In 1975, Red Sox catcher Carlton Fisk hit a home run that glanced off the foul pole at Fenway Park in Boston, giving the Red Sox a 12th-inning victory over the Cincinnati Reds in World Series Game 6.
TODAY'S FACT: Of the seven fundamental units of measure in the International System, only the kilogram is defined by a specific physical object. It is the mass of a platinum-iridium bar kept by the International Bureau of Weights and Measures in France.
TODAY'S QUOTE: "The only thing that makes life possible is permanent, intolerable uncertainty; not knowing what comes next." -- Ursula K. Le Guin
TODAY'S NUMBER: 13.5 -- hours Thomas Edison's first prototype electric light bulb lasted before burning out.
TODAY'S MOON: First quarter moon (Oct. 21).