One of the city's best-known schools, Western High -- now known as the Duke Ellington School of the Arts -- has a centennial celebration coming up in October that should bring out some of its most famous alumni. The school's graduates range from astronauts to the first Miss America, Margaret Gorman Cahill, who won the pageant in 1921 when she was a 16-year-old student at Western. She still lives in the District.

The centennial celebration will be the weekend of Oct. 5-7 and will be highlighted by a dinner that Saturday at the Grand Hyatt Hotel. The school's more illustrious graduates include one of the first astronauts to walk in space, Edward White, who later was killed in the Apollo 1 capsule fire with Virgil "Gus" Grissom and Roger Chaffee; astronaut David Scott of Gemini 8; feminist author and editor Gloria Steinem; "The Cosby Show" writer Thad Mumford; and artist Thomas Hart Benton. Actress-dancer Debbie Allen didn't attend Western but was one of the first dance teachers at Ellington. Out and About Marilyn Quayle obviously is recovering fast from her recent operation. She caused a minor traffic jam yesterday in the Spring Valley shopping center by stopping at the Peoples Drug Store there with two of her children to pick up a few things. And like any other customer, with basket in hand, she waited her turn in the checkout line ...

The cast of "Les Miserables" has been enjoying the city since coming to town last month. Every performance has been a sellout, the company celebrated the Fourth of July on the White House lawn, and today the cast and crew will be guests of the Congressional Arts Caucus reception. Tomorrow, the stars have been invited for lunch with Sen. Chris Dodd in the Senate Dining Room, where it will be announced that the National Theatre is extending the run of the production here through Oct. 13 ...

Mary Abigail McCarthy, the 41-year-old daughter of former senator Eugene McCarthy and writer Abigail McCarthy, was buried Tuesday in a small country cemetery in Woodville, Va., near where her father lives and writes poetry. She made a mark on history when she talked her father into running against President Johnson in 1968 to protest the Vietnam War. She died Sunday after a year of battling pancreatic cancer. It was a private graveside service for family and a few friends, including NBC anchor Mary Alice Williams ...

Hospital Report: Sen. William Armstrong is reportedly back at work with a reduced schedule after an angioplasty last Thursday at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. The procedure is used to clear blocked coronary arteries. The 53-year-old Colorado Republican is in the final year of his second term and has announced he will not run again ...

The role of women in movies, in a time of macho action films, has respected actress Meryl Streep concerned. She said yesterday that the Screen Actors Guild has found that men were given more than twice as many roles as women in 1989 movies. If this trend continues, she said at SAG's first National Women's Conference in Los Angeles, "by the year 2000 we will have 13 percent of roles ... and in 20 years we will be eliminated from the movies." The Academy Award-winning actress complained that a growing number of roles cast women as prostitutes, rape victims and needy companions to domineering men ...