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

The Protestant Reformation

1517 Martin Luther sends his 95 Theses to Albrecht von Brandenburg, the Archbishop of Mainz, precipitating the Protestant Reformation

Event of Interest

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

  • 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 "Triple Covenant"
  • 1617 Laurens Reael resigns as governor-general of Dutch East Indies

Appointment of Interest

1649 John Wallis, newly appointed Savilian Professorof Geometry at Oxford University, gives his Inaugural lecture

Music Premiere

1724 George Frideric Handel's opera "Tamerlano" premieres at the King's Theatre in London

Event of Interest

1756 Giacomo Casanova escapes from prison in Venice by climbing onto the roof

  • 1759 Earthquake in Safed, Palestine kills hundreds
  • 1793 Execution of Girondins in Paris during Reign of Terror

Event of Interest

1794 John Dalton's first lecture to Manchester Literary/Philosophical Society

  • 1808 Holland Brigade battle at Durango, Spain
  • 1815 Cornishman Sir Humphry Davy patents miner's safety lamp
  • 1837 Collision of river boat Monmouth & Trement on Mississippi; 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
  • 1867 Australia's first royal tour begins as Prince Albert, son of Queen Victoria arrives in Adelaide, South Australia [1]
  • 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 Rimsky-Korsakov's orchestral work "Capriccio Espagnol" premieres in St Petersburg, Russia
  • 1888 Scottish vet John Boyd Dunlop patents pneumatic bicycle tyre
  • 1889 Exposition Universelle (World's Fair) in Paris closes after 32 million visitors

Sports History

1900 AL President Ban Johnson writes to NL President Nick Young seeking peace

  • 1905 Great revolutionary demonstration for amnesty in St Petersburg

Theater Premiere

1906 George Bernard Shaw's play "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 IV Summer (Modern) Olympic Games close 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 play "Good Gracious Annabelle" premieres in NYC

Theater Premiere

1917 Eugene O'Neill's play "In the Zone" premieres in NYC

  • 1917 World War I: Battle of Beersheba in southern Palestine - "last successful cavalry charge in history" performed by the 4th Australian Light Horse
  • 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)

Event of Interest

1922 Fascist leader Benito Mussolini (Il Duce) becomes Prime Minister of Italy

  • 1922 Karel & Josef Čapek's play "World We Live In" premieres in NYC
  • 1923 160 consecutive days of 100 degrees F begin at Marble Bar, Australia
  • 1924 World Savings Day 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
  • 1926 Failed assassination attempt on Benito Mussolini by 15-year-old Anteo Zamboni, who was lynched on the spot

Event of Interest

1932 Greek government of Venizelos falls

  • 1936 The Boy Scouts of the Philippines 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.

'Hitler Will Have to Break Us or Lose the War'

1940 Battle of Britain, fought between the RAF and Luftwaffe over the English Channel and southern England, ends with a British victory

Event of Interest

1940 Deadline for Warsaw Jews to move into the Warsaw Ghetto

  • 1941 Clothing factory fire in Huddersfield, England kills 49
  • 1941 Mount Rushmore Monument is completed in South Dakota, designed by Gutzon Borglum
  • 1941 Prior to US joining WWII, German submarine U-552 torpedoes US destroyer Reuben James near Iceland
  • 1942 9th day of the Battle of El Alamein
  • 1942 U-boats sink and damage 120 allied ships this month (659,457 tons)

Sports History

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

  • 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 Dutch Nazi Henri 'Hakkie' Holdert, director of Amsterdam paper De Telegraaf and member of the SS, sentenced to 12 years imprisonment
  • 1949 Marc Blitzstein's musical drama "Regina", based on Lilian Hellman's play "The Little Foxes" opens at 46th St Theater, NYC; runs for 56 performances, winning 2 Tony Awards
  • 1949 WOC (now KWQC) TV channel 6 in Davenport, IA (NBC) 1st broadcast

Sports History

1950 The Big Cat, Earl Lloyd becomes the first African-American to play a game in the NBA, scoring 6 points on debut for the Washington Capitols

  • 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 KREM TV channel 2 in Spokane, WA (CBS/ABC) begins broadcasting
  • 1955 Mgr Alfrink appointed archbishop of Utrecht
  • 1956 Britain and France join Israeli forces in Egypt and begin to bomb Egypt to reopen Suez Canal
  • 1956 Brooklyn, NY ends streetcar service
  • 1956 Rear Adm GJ Dufek becomes 1st American to land an airplane at South Pole

Music Premiere

1957 Yip Harburg, Fred Saidy, and Harold Arlen's musical "Jamaica", starring Lena Horne, opens at Imperial Theater, NYC; runs for 558 performances

Event of Interest

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

  • 1959 USSR & Egypt sign contracts for building Aswan Dam
  • 1960 Cyclone hits coast of Gulf of Bengal; about 10,000 die
  • 1961 Federal judge rules that laws in Birmingham, Alabama, against integrated playing fields are illegal
  • 1961 Hurricane Hattie kills 400 in British Honduras

Film Release

1962 "What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?" horror film released directed by Robert Aldrich, starring Bette Davis and Joan Crawford, based on novel by Henry Farrell

The Beatles on Ed Sullivan

1963 Ed Sullivan witnesses Beatlemania firsthand at London's Heathrow Airport as the Beatles are greeted by their fans upon returning from Sweden

  • 1963 Leaking propane gas explodes kills 64 at 'Holiday on Ice' in Indiana

#1 in the Charts

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

Windmill Girls Get Dressed And Leave Town

1964 London's notorious Windmill Theatre closes after 32 years of "Revudeville" programs featuring vaudeville, comic, and nude tableaux vivants

  • 1967 KIMO TV channel 13 in Anchorage, AK (ABC) begins broadcasting

Event of Interest

1967 Nguyen Van Thieu takes oath of office to become the 1st President of the Second Republic of South Vietnam

  • 1967 SF Giants Mike McCormick wins NL Cy Young Award
  • 1968 Milwaukee Bucks win their 1st game beating Detroit 138-118 (6th game)
  • 1968 US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site

Event of Interest

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

  • 1969 Eastside race riot in Jacksonville, Florida

Music Single

1969 George Harrison's "Something" is released by the Beatles as a single in UK, his first "A" side

Music History

1970 Jim Morrison is sentenced to six months in jail and a $500 fine for indecent exposure and open profanity, though remains free on a $50,000 bond pending appeal

Music Premiere

1971 Revival of Leonard Bernstein, Betty Comden and Adolph Green's musical "On the Town" opens at Imperial Theater, NYC; runs for 65 performances

  • 1971 The Irish Republican Army (IRA) explode a bomb at the Post Office Tower in London
  • 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

Sports History

1972 Cleveland Indians pitcher Gaylord Perry wins AL Cy Young award

  • 1973 Three Provisional Irish Republican Army volunteers escape from Mountjoy Prison in Dublin using a hijacked helicopter

Sports History

1973 Tom Seaver wins NL Cy Young Award

  • 1974 Dutch Marines end hostage crisis in Scheveningen prison

Event of Interest

1974 Ted Bundy victim Laura Aime disappears in Utah

Music History

1975 Irish singer-songwriter Bob Geldof's first appearance with The Boomtown Rats

  • 1976 Pakistani cricketer Javed Miandad scores 206 v NZ, aged 19 yrs 141 days (29 fours 1 six)
  • 1978 Iranian oil workers go on strike
  • 1978 People's Democratic Republic of Yemen (South Yemen) 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 Musical revue "Rock 'n Roll!: The First 5,000 Years" closes at St James Theatre. NYC, after 9 performances

Papal Visit

1982 Pope John Paul II becomes first pontiff to visit Spain


1982 Pope John Paul II canonizes Canadian Marguerite Bourgeoys, founder of the Congregation of Notre Dame of Montreal, as a saint

Album Release

1983 Paul McCartney releases "Pipes of Peace" album

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

  • 1984 Puerto Rican tanker 'San Francisco' explodes spilling 2 million gallons of oil as ship caught fire


1984 Rajiv Gandhi takes office as India's 6th Prime Minister succeeding his mother Indira Gandhi who was assassinated

  • 1985 Last day in Test cricket for Pakistan's Zaheer Abbas
  • 1987 A pair in Coventry, England, ties world record for longest singles tennis match at 80 hrs 21 minutes
  • 1987 American jockey Chris Antley becomes first rider to win 9 races in a day (4 at Aqueduct / 5 at The Meadowlands)
  • 1988 19°F lowest temperature ever recorded in Cleveland in Oct
  • 1988 First Monday Night NFL game played in Indianapolis; Colts beat Denver Broncos, 55-23
  • 1988 Journalists demand greater press freedom in Yugoslavia
  • 1989 AR Gurney's play "Love Letters" premieres in NYC
  • 1989 France performs nuclear test at Mururoa atoll
  • 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 Breeders' Cup Horse Racing, Gulfstream Park; winners: A P Indy, Fraise, Gilded Time, Liza, Lure, Paseana, Thirty Slews
  • 1992 Don Keller makes his 18,000th sky dive

Event of Interest

1992 Roman Catholic church apologizes for its treatment of Italian astronomer Galileo Galilei after 359 years

  • 1993 25 people killed during Ghana-Ivory Coast soccer match
  • 1993 Brian Friel's stage drama "Wonderful Tennessee" closes at Plymouth Theater, NYC, after 9 performances
  • 1993 German unemployment hits national record of 3.5 million

Music History

1993 Rapper Tupac Shakur charged with aggravated assault

  • 1994 "Creep" single released by TLC – their 1st US No.1 (Billboard Song of the Year 1995)
  • 1994 American Eagle ATR-72 crash down at Gary, Indiana: 68 killed
  • 1994 American jam band Phish performs The Beatles "White Album" as a musical costume during a show at the Glens Falls Civic Center in Glens Falls, New York.

Sports History

1994 American tennis star Venus Williams makes her professional debut as a 14 year old with a 6-3, 6-4 win over former NCAA champion and world No. 58 Shaun Stafford in the Bank of the West Classic in Oakland, California

  • 1995 American jam band Phish performs The Who's "Quadrophenia" as a musical costume during a show at the Rosemont Horizon in Rosemont, Illinois
  • 1995 NHL NJ Devils agree to stay in NJ
  • 1996 American jam band Phish performs The Talking Heads' "Remain In Light" as a musical costume during a show at the Omni Coliseum in Atlanta, Georgia
  • 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 American jam band Phish performs The Velvet Underground's "Rock and Roll" as a musical costume during a show at the Thomas & Mack Center at the University of Nevada in Paradise, Nevada
  • 1998 Iraq disarmament crisis begins: Iraq announces it would no longer cooperate with United Nations weapons inspectors.
  • 1999 EgyptAir Flight 990 traveling from New York City to Cairo crashes off the coast of Nantucket, Massachusetts, killing all 217 on-board.
  • 1999 Finnish McLaren driver Mika Häkkinen wins season ending Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka to clinch his second straight F1 World Drivers Championship; wins by 2 points from Irishman Eddie Irvine
  • 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.
  • 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
  • 2000 The last Multics (Multiplexed Information and Computing Service) machine shut down
  • 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

Sports History

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

Appointment of Interest

2003 Mahathir 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

  • 2008 Whitepaper "Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System" is published by the pseudonymous Satoshi Nakamoto. It describes a decentralized peer-to-peer network that could track and verify transactions while producing a transparent, verifiable record.

Sports History

2010 Belgian tennis star Kim Clijsters beats Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark 6–3, 5–7, 6–3 for her 3rd season ending WTA Championship in Doha, Qatar

  • 2010 Belgium leaves the recession with 0.5% growth in the third quarter

Television Premiere

2010 Post-apocalyptic zombie TV series "The Walking Dead" premieres, starring Andrew Lincoln, Jon Bernthal and Lauren Cohan on AMC

  • 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
  • 2014 Breeders' Cup Horse Racing, Santa Anita Racetrack; Day 1 winners: Hootenanny, Goldencents, Lady Eli, Untapable

Hall of Fame

2014 Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine, Frank Thomas, Bobby Cox, Tony La Russa and Joe Torre are inducted into Baseball Hall of Fame, Cooperstown, NY

Sports History

2015 8th Rugby World Cup Final, Twickenham, London: All Blacks fly-half Dan Carter lands 4 penalties and 2 conversions as New Zealand defeats Australia, 34-17

  • 2015 Breeders' Cup Horse Racing, Keeneland Racetrack; Day 2 winners: Songbird, Mongolian Saturday, Wavell Avenue, Stephanie's Kitten, Runhappy, Tepin, Nyquist, Found, American Pharoah
  • 2015 Russian airliner crashes killing all 224 on board in Sinai Peninsula, Egypt - Russia's worst air disaster
  • 2016 Lebanon parliament elects Michel Aoun President after 2 1/2 years without a leader
  • 2017 John Kelly, White House Chief of Staff comments in TV interview that “the lack of an ability to compromise led to the Civil War", draws criticism
  • 2017 Judge on Maui, Hawaii orders man to write ex-girlfriend 144 compliments after violating protection order to send 144 nasty text messages
  • 2017 Takahiro Shiraishi arrested in Zama, Japan, a day after nine dismembered bodies found in his apartment
  • 2017 Terrorist attack in New York when a truck mows down people on a cycle lane, killing 8, injuring 10
  • 2017 Two men convicted of raping and impregnating their 10 year old niece in Chandigarh, India
  • 2018 BLACKPINK become the first K-pop girl group to chart on the Billboard Hot 100 with multiple hits
  • 2018 In landmark verdict, Pakistani Supreme Court acquits Christian woman of blasphemy against the prophet Mohammed after eight years on death row
  • 2018 US and Great Britain call for a cease-fire in Saudi-led war in Yemen, in 3-year war that has claimed over 10,000 lives and created famine conditions

Statue of Unity

2018 World's biggest statue, the Statue of Unity at 182m is unveiled of Indian independence leader Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel in Gujarat state

  • 2019 Fire destroys most of historic Shuri Castle, once seat of the Ryukyu Kingdom, on island of Okinawa, Japan
  • 2019 Gas canister explodes on a train in Rahim Yar Khan, Pakaistan killing at least 70 and injuring 30
  • 2019 Jihadist group Islamic State names Abu Ibrahim al-Hashemi al-Qurashi as its new leader after US special forces kill its former leader

Event of Interest

2019 US House of Representatives votes to formalize impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump

  • 2020 England beats Italy 34-5 in Rome to clinch 29th Six-Nations Rugby Championship; halfback Ben Youngs becomes second England player to earn 100th test cap
  • 2020 New Zealand Rugby Union team routs Australia, 43-5 in Sydney to retain Bledisloe Cup (2-1) for 18th straight series; Wallabies' largest ever defeat by All Blacks
  • 2021 World's largest solar farm goes live in Sirindhorn reservoir, Thailand, as a hydro-floating solar hybrid system the size of 70 football fields [1]

Music History

2022 Taylor Swift becomes the first artist in history to claim all top 10 slots on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart, all tracks from her album "Midnights" [1]