Historical Events on October 31

  • 445 BC Ezra reads the Book of the Law to the Israelites in Jerusalem (see Nehemiah 9:1, NLTse).
  • 802 Empress Irene of Byzantium driven out

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1517 Martin Luther posts 95 theses on Wittenberg church - precipitates the Protestant Reformation

Founder of Protestanism Martin Luther
Founder of Protestanism
Martin Luther

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1541 Michelangelo Buonarroti finishes painting The Last Judgement in the Sistine Chapel, Vatican

Painter Michelangelo
  • 1552 Emperor Karel & Markgraaf Albecht strike siege of Metz
  • 1587 Leiden University Library opens its doors after its founding in 1575.
  • 1596 English/French/Dutch delegates sign anti-Spanish "Drievoudig Covenant"
  • 1617 Laurens Reael resigns as governor-general of East-Indies
  • 1759 Earthquake in Safed Palestine kills hundred
  • 1793 Execution of Girondins at Paris during Reign of Terror
  • 1794 John Dalton's first lecture to Manchester Literary/Philosophical Society
  • 1808 Holland Brigade battle at Durango, Spain
  • 1815 Sir Humphrey Davy of London patents miner's safety lamp
  • 1837 Collision of river boat Monmouth & Trement on Miss; 300 die
  • 1846 Donner party, unable to cross the Donner Pass, construct a winter camp
  • 1863 The Maori Wars resumed as British forces in New Zealand led by General Duncan Cameron began their Invasion of the Waikato.
  • 1864 Nevada admitted as 36th state of the Union
  • 1868 Standard uniform approved for US postal carriers
  • 1871 Founding of Netherland Protestant Union in Dokkum
  • 1876 Great Backerganj Cyclone of 1876 ravages British India (Modern-day Bangladesh), over 200,000 killed
  • 1881 Metropolitan club plays its last game of its non-league season They win 80 of 151 games (18-43 versus NL teams)
  • 1887 Nikolai Rimski-Korsakov's "Capriccio Espagnol" premieres in St Petersburg
  • 1888 Scottish vet John Boyd Dunlop patents pneumatic bicycle tyre

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1892 Arthur Conan Doyle publishes The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes

  • 1900 AL pres Ban Johnson writes to NL pres Nick Young seeking peace
  • 1905 Great revolutionary demonstration for amnesty in St Petersburg

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1906 George Bernard Shaw's "Caesar & Cleopatra" premieres in NYC

  • 1907 Calgary City Rugby Football Club's 1st game defeating Strathcona Rugby Foot-ball Club 15-0 at Calgary
  • 1908 4th Olympic games ends in London
  • 1913 1st US paved coast-to-coast highway, the Lincoln Highway is dedicated
  • 1914 Great Britain & France declare war on Turkey
  • 1916 Clare Kummer's "Good Gracious Annabelle" premieres in NYC
  • 1917 Eugene O'Neill's "In the Zone" premieres in NYC
  • 1917 World War I: Battle of Beersheba in southern Palestine- "last successful cavalry charge in history"
  • 1918 Spanish flu-virus kills 21,000 in US in 1 week
  • 1918 Short-lived Banat Republic founded in territory where Romania, Hungary and Serbia meet
  • 1920 Romania annexes Bessarabia
  • 1921 Federation Sportive Feminine International forms (1st woman track & field association)

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1922 Benito Mussolini (Il Duce) becomes premier of Italy

Italian Dictator Benito Mussolini
Italian Dictator
Benito Mussolini
  • 1922 Karel & Josef Capék's "World We Live In" premieres in NYC
  • 1923 160 consecutive days of 100 degrees F begin at Marble Bar, Australia
  • 1924 World Savings Day was announced in Milan, Italy, by the Members of the Association at the 1st International Savings Bank Congress (World Society of Savings Banks).
  • 1925 Cossack officer Reza Chan replaces sultan Ahmad as Shah of Persia
  • 1932 Greek government of Venizelos falls
  • 1936 The Boy Scouts of the Philippines was formed.
  • 1937 Spanish government moves from Valencia to Barcelona
  • 1938 Great Depression: In an effort to try restore investor confidence, the New York Stock Exchange unveils a fifteen-point program aimed to upgrade protection for the investing public.
  • 1939 27 U boats sunk this month (135,000 ton)
  • 1940 63 U boats sunk this month (325,000 ton)
  • 1940 Battle of Britain, fought between the RAF and Luftwaffe over the English Channel and southern England, ends
  • 1940 Deadline for Warsaw Jews to move into Warsaw Ghetto
  • 1941 Mount Rushmore Monument is completed
  • 1941 Prior to US joining WW II, Germany torpedoes US destroyer Reuben James
  • 1941 Clothing factory fire in Huddersfield, England kills 49
  • 1942 94 U boats sunk this month (619,000 ton)
  • 1942 9th day of the Battle of El Alamein

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1943 Washington Redskin Sammy Baugh passes for 6 touchdowns vs Bkln (48-10)

American Football Player and Coach Sammy Baugh
American Football Player and Coach
Sammy Baugh
  • 1943 World War II: F4U Corsair accomplishes the first successful radar-guided interception.
  • 1944 Chief of staff Kruls names De Quay chairman of Universal Commission
  • 1949 "Regina" opens at 46th St Theater NYC for 86 performances
  • 1949 Dutch Nazi Henri 'Hakkie' Holdert, director of Amsterdam paper De Telegraaf and member of the SS, sentenced to 12 years imprisonment
  • 1949 WOC (now KWQC) TV channel 6 in Davenport, IA (NBC) 1st broadcast
  • 1950 Collazo & Torresola attempt to assassinate Harry Truman in Washington, D.C.
  • 1951 French Second Chamber accepts the Schuman Plan
  • 1952 1st thermonuclear bomb detonated at Marshall Islands
  • 1953 TV broadcasting begins in Belgium
  • 1954 Algerian Revolution against French begins
  • 1954 Betsy Rawls wins LPGA Texas Golf Open
  • 1954 KREM TV channel 2 in Spokane, WA (CBS/ABC) begins broadcasting
  • 1955 Mgr Alfrink appointed archbishop of Utrecht
  • 1956 Rear Adm GJ Dufek becomes 1st American to land an airplane at South Pole
  • 1956 Britain & France begin to bomb Egypt to reopen Suez Canal
  • 1956 Brooklyn, NY ends streetcar service
  • 1957 "Jamaica" opens at Imperial Theater NYC for 558 performances

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1959 Lee Harvey Oswald announces in Moscow he will never return to USA

Ex-soldier, drifter Lee Harvey Oswald
Ex-soldier, drifter
Lee Harvey Oswald
  • 1959 USSR & Egypt sign contracts for building Aswan Dam
  • 1960 Cyclone hits coast of Gulf of Bengal; about 10,000 die
  • 1961 Hurricane Hattie, kills 400 in British Honduras
  • 1961 Federal judge rules that Birmingham, Alabama, laws against integrated playing fields are illegal
  • 1963 Ed Sullivan witnesses Beatles & their fans at London Airport

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1963 J. Edgar Hoover's last meeting with President John F. Kennedy

First Director of the FBI J. Edgar Hoover
First Director of the FBI
J. Edgar Hoover
35th US President John F. Kennedy
35th US President
John F. Kennedy
  • 1963 Leaking propane gas explodes kills 64 at 'Holiday on Ice' (Indiana)

Music release#1 in the Charts

1964 Barbra Streisand's "People" album goes #1 for 5 weeks

Singer-songwriter & Actress Barbra Streisand
Singer-songwriter & Actress
Barbra Streisand
  • 1967 KIMO TV channel 13 in Anchorage, AK (ABC) begins broadcasting

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1967 Nguyen Van Thieu took oath of office as 1st President of South Vietnam 2nd Rep

Vietnamese Politican Nguyen Van Thieu
Vietnamese Politican
Nguyen Van Thieu
  • 1967 SF's Mike McCormick wins NL Cy Young Award
  • 1968 Linda Eastman moves to UK permanently
  • 1968 Milwaukee Bucks win their 1st game beating Detroit 138-118 (6th game)

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1968 US President Lyndon B. Johnson orders a halt to all bombing of North Vietnam

36th US President Lyndon B. Johnson
36th US President
Lyndon B. Johnson
  • 1968 US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site

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1969 George Harrison's "Something" is released in UK

Singer-Songwriter George Harrison
George Harrison
  • 1969 Race riot in Jacksonville Florida
  • 1971 "On the Town" opens at Imperial Theater NYC for 65 performances
  • 1971 The Irish Republican Army (IRA) explode a bomb at the Post Office Tower in London
  • 1972 Gaylord Perry wins AL Cy Young award
  • 1972 2 Catholic children (6 and 4) playing on the street are killed in a Ulster Freedom Fighters (UFF) car bomb attack on a bar in Ship Street, Belfast
  • 1973 Tom Seaver wins NL Cy Young Award
  • 1973 Three Provisional Irish Republican Army volunteers escape from Mountjoy Prison in Dublin using a hijacked helicopter

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1974 Ted Bundy victim Laura Aime disappears in Utah

Serial Killer Ted Bundy
Serial Killer
Ted Bundy
  • 1974 Dutch Marines end hostage crisis in Scheveningen prison

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1975 Bob Geldof's first appearance with Boomtown Rats

Singer-Songwriter and Political Activist Bob Geldof
Singer-Songwriter and Political Activist
Bob Geldof
  • 1976 Javed Miandad, 206 v NZ, age 19 yrs 141 days (29 fours 1 six)
  • 1978 Iranian oil workers go on strike
  • 1978 People's Democratic Republic of Yemen (South) adopts constitution
  • 1979 Mike Flanagan, wins AL Cy Young Award
  • 1979 US DC-10 crashes at Mexico-City, 74 killed
  • 1980 Julian Nott sets world hot-air balloon altitude record (16,806 m)
  • 1980 Polish government recognizes Solidarity trade union
  • 1980 Senegal routes troops to Gambia due to Libyan threat
  • 1981 1st live US radio drama in 25 years (Halloween Story on NBC)
  • 1982 "Rock 'n Roll!: The 1st..." closes at St James NYC after 9 performances

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1982 Pope John Paul II becomes first pontiff to visit Spain

264th Pope John Paul II
264th Pope
John Paul II

Music releaseAlbum Release

1983 Paul McCartney releases "Pipes of Peace" album

Musician & member of the Beatles Paul McCartney
Musician & member of the Beatles
Paul McCartney
  • 1983 Ron Grant completes a 217 day, 8,316 mile run around Australia
  • 1984 Howard Goodall & Melvyn Bragg's musical "Hired Man" premieres in London
  • 1984 Puerto Rican tanker 'San Francisco' explodes spilling 2 million gallons of oil as ship caught fire


1984 Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi is assassinated by her bodyguards, Satwant Singh and Beant Singh at her home in New Delhi

4th Prime Minister of India Indira Gandhi
4th Prime Minister of India
Indira Gandhi
  • 1985 Last day in Test cricket for Zaheer Abbas
  • 1987 1st jockey to win 9 races in 1 day (Chris Antley at Belmont)
  • 1987 A pair in Coventry, England, ties world record for longest singles tennis match at 80 hrs 21 minutes
  • 1988 19°F lowest temperature ever recorded in Cleveland in Oct
  • 1988 1st Monday Night NFL game in Indianapolis, Colts beat Denver 55-23
  • 1988 Journalists demand greater press freedom in Yugoslavia
  • 1989 AR Gurney's "Love Letters" premieres in NYC
  • 1989 France performs nuclear test at Muruora Island
  • 1989 Turgat Ozal elected president of Turkey
  • 1989 US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site
  • 1990 Pakistan make 3-0 drubbing of NZ, Waqar Younis 29 series wkts
  • 1991 Palestinians attend US mideast peace talks in Madrid
  • 1992 Don Keller makes his 18,000th sky diver

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1992 Roman Catholic church reinstates Galileo Galilei after 359 years

Astronomer & Physicist Galileo Galilei
Astronomer & Physicist
Galileo Galilei
  • 1992 Horse Racing Breeders' Cup Champs: A P Indy, Fraise, Gilded Time, Liza, Lure, Paseana, Thirty Slews at Gulfstream Park
  • 1993 "Wonderful Tennessee" closes at Plymouth Theater NYC after 9 performances
  • 1993 25 people killed during Ghana-Ivory Coast soccer match
  • 1993 Germany unemployment hits country record of 3.5 million

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1993 Rapper Tupac Shakur charged with aggravated assault

Rap Musician and Actor Tupac Shakur
Rap Musician and Actor
Tupac Shakur
  • 1993 US wins Nichirei International LPGA Golf Tournament
  • 1994 American Eagle ATR-72 crash down at Gary, Indiana: 68 killed
  • 1995 NHL NJ Devils agree to stay in NJ
  • 1996 Transportes Aéreos Regionais (TAM) Flight 402, a Fokker F100, crashes into several houses in São Paulo, Brazil killing 98 including 2 on the ground.
  • 1997 British au pair Louise Woodward, 19, sentenced to life for the death of Matthew Eappen 8½ months (judge changes to time served)
  • 1998 Iraq disarmament crisis begins: Iraq announces it would no longer cooperate with United Nations weapons inspectors.
  • 1999 Roman Catholic Church and Lutheran Church leaders sign the Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification, ending a centuries-old doctrinal dispute over the nature of faith and salvation.
  • 1999 Yachtsman Jesse Martin returns to Melbourne after 11 months of circumnavigating the world, solo, non-stop and unassisted.
  • 1999 EgyptAir Flight 990 traveling from New York City to Cairo crashes off the coast of Nantucket, Massachusetts, killing all 217 on-board.
  • 1999 50th Formula One WDC: Mika Hakkinen wins by two points
  • 2000 The last Multics (Multiplexed Information and Computing Service) machine was shut down.
  • 2000 A chartered Antonov An-26 explodes after takeoff in Northern Angola killing 50
  • 2000 A Singapore Airlines Boeing 747-400 operating as Flight 006 collides with construction equipment upon takeoff in Taipei, Taiwan killing 79 passengers and four crew members
  • 2002 A federal grand jury in Houston, Texas formally indicted former Enron Corp. chief financial officer Andrew Fastow on 78 counts of wire fraud, money laundering, conspiracy and obstruction of justice related to the collapse of his ex-employer.
  • 2003 A bankruptcy court approves MCI's reorganization plans, essentially clearing the telecommunications company to exit bankruptcy.
  • 2003 Mahathir bin Mohamad resigns as Prime Minister of Malaysia and is replaced by Deputy Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, marking an end to Mahathir's 22 years in power.

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2003 Bethany Hamilton, aged 13, while surfing has her arm bitten of by a shark in Hawaii

Professional Surfer Bethany Hamilton
Professional Surfer
Bethany Hamilton
  • 2010 Belgium leaves the recession with 0.5% growth in the third quarter
  • 2011 The world population reaches 7 billion inhabitants according to the United Nations
  • 2012 The New York stock exchange opens after being closed for two days after Hurricane Sandy

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2014 2014 baseball HOF inductees: Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine, Frank Thomas, Bobby Cox, Tony La Russa and Joe Torre

Baseball Manager Tony La Russa
Baseball Manager
Tony La Russa
MLB Pitching Legend Greg Maddux
MLB Pitching Legend
Greg Maddux
  • 2015 Ruby World Cup Final: New Zealand's All Blacks defeat Australia's Wallabies 34-17 at Twickenham in London
  • 2015 Russian airliner crashes killing all 224 on board in Sinai Peninsula, Egypt - Russia's worst air disaster
  • 2015 Breeders Cup Classic: American Pharoah ridden by Victor Espinoza wins at Keeneland