On This Day

On This Day in History for October 31

Events in History

  • 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

Papal VisitThe Protestant Reformation

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

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1517 copy of Martin Luther's 95 theses, the publication of which began the Protestant Reformation in Europe
1517 copy of Martin Luther's 95 theses, the publication of which began the Protestant Reformation in Europe
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Event of interestEvent of Interest

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

Sculptor and Painter Michelangelo
Sculptor and Painter
  • 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

Event of interestEvent of Interest

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

Mathematician and Cryptographer John Wallis
Mathematician and Cryptographer
John Wallis

Event of interestEvent of Interest

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

Adventurer, Writer and famous Lover Giacomo Casanova
Adventurer, Writer and famous Lover
Giacomo Casanova
  • 1759 Earthquake in Safed, Palestine kills hundreds
  • 1793 Execution of Girondins in Paris during Reign of Terror

Event of interestEvent of Interest

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

Chemist, Physicist and Meteorologist John Dalton
Chemist, Physicist and Meteorologist
John Dalton
  • 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)
  • 1889 Exposition Universelle (World's Fair) in Paris closes after 32 million visitors

Event of interestEvent of Interest

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

Founder of Baseball's American League Ban Johnson
Founder of Baseball's American League
Ban Johnson
  • 1905 Great revolutionary demonstration for amnesty in St Petersburg

Event of interestEvent of Interest

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

  • 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

Music releaseTheater Premiere

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

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

The 1918 Flu PandemicThe 1918 Flu Pandemic

1918 Spanish flu kills 21,000 people in the US in a single week

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1918: A group of Americans in California with a message for their fellow countrymen
1918: A group of Americans in California with a message for their fellow countrymen
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  • 1918 Short-lived Banat Republic founded in territory where Romania, Hungary and Serbia meet
  • 1920 Romania annexes Bessarabia

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1922 Benito Mussolini (Il Duce) becomes premier of Italy

Italian Dictator Benito Mussolini
Italian Dictator
Benito Mussolini
  • 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 interestEvent of Interest

1932 Greek government of Venizelos falls

Greek Prime Minister Eleftherios Venizelos
Greek Prime Minister
Eleftherios Venizelos
  • 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.
  • 1940 Battle of Britain, fought between the RAF and Luftwaffe over the English Channel and southern England, ends with a British victory

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1940 Deadline for Warsaw Jews to move into the Warsaw Ghetto

Leader of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising Mordecai Anielewicz
Leader of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising
Mordecai Anielewicz
  • 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
  • 1941 Clothing factory fire in Huddersfield, England kills 49
  • 1942 U-boats sink and damage 120 allied ships this month (659,457 tons)
  • 1942 9th day of the Battle of El Alamein
  • 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
  • 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
  • 1954 Algerian Revolution against French begins
  • 1955 Mgr Alfrink appointed archbishop of Utrecht
  • 1956 Rear Adm GJ Dufek becomes 1st American to land an airplane at South Pole
  • 1956 Britain and France join Israeli forces in Egypt and begin to bomb Egypt to reopen Suez Canal
  • 1956 Brooklyn, NY ends streetcar service

Event of interestEvent of Interest

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

Former Soldier and Assassin Lee Harvey Oswald
Former Soldier and Assassin
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 laws in Birmingham, Alabama, against integrated playing fields are illegal

Event of interestEvent of Interest

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' in Indiana

Windmill Girls Get Dressed And Leave TownWindmill Girls Get Dressed And Leave Town

1964 London's notorious Windmill Theatre closes

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A queue forms in the 1960s for another Revudeville at the Windmill theatre
A queue forms in the 1960s for another Revudeville at the Windmill theatre
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Event of interestEvent of Interest

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

President of South Vietnam Nguyen Van Thieu
President of South Vietnam
Nguyen Van Thieu
  • 1968 Linda Eastman moves to UK permanently

Event of interestEvent of Interest

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
  • 1969 Eastside race riot in Jacksonville, Florida
  • 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 Three Provisional Irish Republican Army volunteers escape from Mountjoy Prison in Dublin using a hijacked helicopter

Event of interestEvent of Interest

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
  • 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

BeatificationPapal Visit

1982 Pope John Paul II becomes first pontiff to visit Spain

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


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

First Canadian Saint Marguerite Bourgeoys
First Canadian Saint
Marguerite Bourgeoys
264th Pope John Paul II
264th Pope
John Paul II
  • 1983 Ron Grant completes a 217 day, 8,316 mile run around Australia
  • 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

Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi
Indian Prime Minister
Rajiv Gandhi


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
  • 1988 19°F lowest temperature ever recorded in Cleveland in Oct
  • 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

Birthdays in History

  • 1345 Ferdinand I, King of Portugal (1367-83), born in Coimbra, Portugal (d. 1383)
  • 1424 Wladyslaw III Warnenczyk, King of Poland and Hungary, born in Kraków, Poland (d. 1444)
  • 1538 Caesar Baronius, Italian cardinal and historian, born in Sora, Italy (d. 1607)
  • 1541 Hendrik van Kinschot, Dutch lawyer
  • 1599 Denzil Holles, 1st Baron Holles, English statesman and writer, born in Houghton, England (d. 1680)
  • 1620 John Evelyn, English writer and diarist (Life of Mrs Godolphin), born in Wotten, England (d. 1706)

Person of interestJan Vermeer

1632 Jan Vermeer [Johannes Vermeer], Dutch painter (Girl with a Pearl Earring, The Astronomer), born in Delft, Netherlands (d. 1675)

Painter Jan Vermeer
Jan Vermeer
  • 1636 Ferdinand Maria, Elector of Bavaria (1651-79), born in Schleissheim Palace, Bavaria (d. 1679)
  • 1638 Meindert Hobbema, Dutch landscape painter, baptised in Amsterdam (d. 1709)
  • 1692 Comte de Caylus, French archaeologist, born in Paris (d. 1765)
  • 1705 Pope Clement XIV [Giovanni Ganganelli], Pope (1769-74), born in Rimini, Italy (d. 1774)
  • 1711 Laura Bassi, Italian physicist and scholar, born in Bologna, Italy (d. 1778)
  • 1724 Christopher Anstey, English poet (The New Bath Guide), born in Brinkley, England (d. 1805)
  • 1737 James Lovell, American educator and statesman, born in Boston, Massachusetts (d. 1789)
  • 1740 William Paca, American judge and signer (Declaration of Independence), born in Abingdon, Maryland (d. 1799)
  • 1750 Leonor de Almeida marquesa de Alorna, Portuguese poet, born in São Jorge de Arroios, Lisbon, Portugal (d. 1839)
  • 1755 Jean Louis van Aelbroeck, Flemish agronomist, born in Zottergem, Belgium (d. 1846)
  • 1761 Rutger Jan Schimmelpenninck, Dutch politician (Grand Pensionary of Batavia), born in Deventer, Overijssel, United Provinces (d. 1825)
  • 1785 George F Kersting, German painter, born in Güstrow, Germany (d. 1847)

Person of interestJohn Keats

1795 John Keats, English Romantic poet (Ode to a Grecian Urn), born in London (d. 1821)

Romantic Poet John Keats
Romantic Poet
John Keats
  • 1815 Karl Weierstrass, German mathematician (theory of functions), born in Ostenfelde, Germany (d. 1897)
  • 1825 Charles Lavigerie, French Catholic cardinal, born in Bayonne, France (d. 1892)
  • 1826 Hugh Boyle Ewing, American diplomat, author, attorney, and Brevet Major General (Union Army), born in Lancaster, Ohio (d. 1905)
  • 1827 Richard Morris Hunt, American architect and educator, born in Brattleboro, Vermont (d. 1895)
  • 1831 Daniel Butterfield, American Major General (Union Army), assistant US Treasurer, born in Utica, New York (d. 1901)
  • 1831 Paolo Mantegazza, Italian neurologist and anthropologist, born in Monza, Italy (d. 1910)
  • 1835 Adelbert Ames, American soldier and politician, Bvt Major General (Union Army), born in Rockland, Maine (d. 1933)
  • 1835 Adolf von Baeyer, German chemist (Nobel 1905), born in Berlin (d. 1917)
  • 1835 Krišjānis Barons, Latvian writer, born in Jaunpils Parish, Latvia (d. 1923)
  • 1838 Luís I, King of Portugal (1861-89), born in Necessidades Palace, Lisbon, Portugal (d. 1889)
  • 1840 Franz Müller, German tailor and first train murderer (killing Thomas Briggs) (d. 1864)
  • 1847 Galileo Ferraris, Italian physicist and electrical engineer, born in Livorno Ferraris, Italy (d. 1897)
  • 1848 Boston Custer, brother of George Armstrong Custer, born in New Rumley, Ohio (d. 1876)
  • 1851 Lovisa of Sweden, Queen of Denmark, born in Stockholm Palace, Stockholm, Sweden (d. 1926)
  • 1852 Mary Eleanor Wilkins Freeman, American writer (Revolt of Mother), born in Randolph, Massachusetts (d. 1930)
  • 1854 Adolf Erman, German Egyptologist (Grammar of Ancient Egypt), born in Berlin (d. 1937)

Person of interestJuliette Gordon Low

1860 Juliette Gordon Low, American activist and founder of the Girl Scouts of America, born in Savannah, Georgia (d. 1927)

Founder of Girl Scouts of the USA Juliette Gordon Low
Founder of Girl Scouts of the USA
Juliette Gordon Low
  • 1875 Seerp Anema, Dutch poet and writer (Dutch Coasts) (d. 1961)

Person of interestSardar Patel

1875 Vallabhbhai Patel, Indian freedom fighter and statesman, born in Gujarat, India (d. 1950)

Indian Freedom Fighter and Politician Sardar Patel
Indian Freedom Fighter and Politician
Sardar Patel
  • 1876 Eduard van Oort, Dutch ornithologist (Ornithology of Netherlands), born in Barneveld, Netherlands (d. 1933)
  • 1883 Marie Laurencin, French painter, born in Paris (d. 1956)

Person of interestChiang Kai-shek

1887 Chiang Kai-shek, Chinese political and military leader who served as the leader of the Republic of China (1928-1975), born in Xikou, Zhejiang, China (d. 1975)

Chinese Military and Political Leader Chiang Kai-shek
Chinese Military and Political Leader
Chiang Kai-shek
  • 1888 George Hubert Wilkins, Australian polar explorer (Flying the Arctic), born in Hallett, Australia (d. 1958)
  • 1888 Napoleon Lapathiotis, Greek poet, born in Athens, Greece (d. 1944)
  • 1892 Ruth Fuller Sasaki, American Zen teacher (1st Zen Institute of America), born in Chicago, Illinois (d. 1967)
  • 1895 B. H. Liddell Hart, English military historian and publicist (The Rommel Papers), born in Paris (d. 1970)
  • 1898 Alfred Sauvy, French statistician (Affluence & Population), born in Villeneuve-de-la-Raho, France (d. 1990)
  • 1902 Charles Drummond de Andrade, Brazilian poet (Claro Enigma), born in Itabira, Minas Gerais, Brazil
  • 1902 Abraham Wald, Hungarian mathematician (field of statistical sequential analysis), born in Cluj-Napoca, Austria-Hungary (d. 1950)
  • 1906 Jo Vis, resistance fighter (Yad Vashem-distinction)
  • 1907 Helen Lessore, English artist, born in London (d. 1994)
  • 1914 Joe Carcione, American consumer advocate (The Green Grocer) (d. 1988)
  • 1914 John Hugenholtz, Dutch race track designer, born in Westerveld, Netherlands (d. 1995)
  • 1916 Carl Johan Bernadotte, formerly Prince of Sweden, born in Stockholm Palace, Stockholm, Sweden (d. 2012)
  • 1917 William H. McNeill, Canadian-born historian (Rise of the West), born in Vancouver, British Columbia (d. 2016)
  • 1918 Ian Stevenson, Canadian-American parapsychologist and reincarnation expert, born in Montreal, Quebec (d. 2007)
  • 1919 Magnus Wenninger, American mathematician and author of Polyhedron models, born in Park Falls, Wisconsin (d. 2017)
  • 1920 Dedan Kimathi, Kenyan freedom fighter, born in Nyeri District, Central Province, Kenya (d. 1957)
  • 1920 Helmut Newton, German photographer, born in Berlin, Germany (d. 2004)
  • 1923 Hicks B. Waldron, Chairman and CEO of Avon Products, Inc., born in Amsterdam, New York (d. 2017)
  • 1925 John Pople, English chemist (Nobel Prize 1998), born in Burnham-on-Sea, Somerset, England (d. 2004)
  • 1926 Jimmy Savile, English entertainer and suspected sexual predator, born in Leeds (d. 2011)
  • 1930 Michael Collins, American Major General USAF/astronaut (Gemini 10, Apollo 11), born in Rome, Italy (d. 2021) [1] [2]
  • 1936 Sergei Nikolayevich Gaidukov, Russian cosmonaut, born in Zhuravka, Voronezh, Russia (d. 2008)
  • 1941 Dan Alderson, American scientist (Jet Propulsion Laboratory) and sci-fi fandom figure, (d. 1989)
  • 1944 Otto Wiesheu, German politician, born in Zolling, Germany
  • 1947 Russ Ballard, English rocker (Argent), born in Waltham Cross, Hertfordshire, England
  • 1949 Dumisa Ntsebeza, South African attorney and anti-apartheid activist, born in Transkei, South Africa
  • 1949 Michael Parker, American businessman and politician (Rep-D-Mississippi), born in Laurel, Mississippi
  • 1949 Terrence W. Wilcutt, United States Marine Corps officer and a NASA astronaut, born in Russellville, Kentucky
  • 1950 Jozef Stolorz, polish painter
  • 1950 Zaha Hadid, British architect (London Aquatic Centre), born in Baghdad, Iraq (d. 2016)
  • 1950 Antonio Taguba, US Army Major General, born in Manila, Philippines
  • 1956 Charles Moore, British editor-in-chief (Sunday Telegraph), born in Hastings, Sussex, England
  • 1956 Anders Lago, Swedish Social Democratic politician, born in Jönköping, Sweden
  • 1959 Neal Stephenson, American author, born in Fort Meade, Maryland
  • 1960 Reza Pahlavi, Crown Prince of Iran, born in Tehran, Iran
  • 1960 Luis Fortuño, Puerto Rican delegate to Congress, born in San Juan, Puerto Rico
  • 1964 Colm Ó Cíosóig, Irish drummer (My Bloody Valentine, Hope Sandoval & the Warm Inventions), born in Dublin, Ireland
  • 1966 Joseph Boyden, Canadian novelist (Three Day Road), born in Willowdale, North York, Ontario
  • 1979 Saaphyri Windsor, American reality TV figure, born in Los Angeles, California
  • 1981 Irina Denezhkina, Russian writer (Give Me [Songs for Lovers]), born in Yekaterinburg, Russia
  • 1981 Selina (Jiaxuan) Ren, member of Taiwanese girl-group S.H.E, born in Shilin, Taipei, Taiwan
  • 2005 Infanta Leonor of Spain, daughter of Felipe, King of Asturias and Letizia, Queen of Asturias, born in Madrid, Spain

Weddings in History

LoveWedding of Interest

1396 Richard II of England (31) marries Isabella of Valois (6) in a dynastic marriage

King of England Richard II
King of England
Richard II

LoveWedding of Interest

1913 Historian and philosopher Will Durant (27) weds researcher Ariel Kaufman (15) at New York's City Hall

Historian Will Durant
Will Durant

Deaths in History

  • 1147 Robert, 1st Earl of Gloucester, English politician and illegitimate son of King Henry I, dies at about 57
  • 1214 Eleanor of England, Queen of Castile, dies at 53
  • 1448 Johannes VIII Palaeologus, Emperor of Byzantine, dies
  • 1517 Fra Bartolommeo, Italian artist, dies at 45
  • 1556 John Sleidanus, German humanist/historian (Commentary), dies at 50
  • 1641 Cornelis Jol, Dutch admiral and privateer, dies at about 41
  • 1659 John Bradshaw, English judge (b. 1602)
  • 1661 Mehmed Koprulu, Albanian great vizier of Turkey, dies
  • 1664 Willem Frederik of Nassau-Dietz, viceroy of Friesland, dies at 51
  • 1723 Cosimo III de' Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany, monarch of Florence (1670-1723), dies at 81
  • 1732 Victor Amadeus II of Savoy (b. 1666)
  • 1733 Eberhard Ludwig, Duke of Württemberg, dies at 57
  • 1765 Duke of Cumberland, English politician/uncle of George III, dies
  • 1786 Princess Amelia Sophia of Great Britain, second daughter of King George II of Great Britain and Caroline of Ansbach, dies at 75
  • 1793 Pierre-Victurnien Vergniaud, French politician and police leader, guillotined at 40
  • 1806 Sophie Mereau, German writer, dies at 36
  • 1834 Éleuthère Irénée du Pont, French-American chemist and industrialist (E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company), dies at 63
  • 1851 Peter II, prince-bishop of Montenegro (1830-51) and poet (The Ray of The Microcosm), dies at 37
  • 1860 Johannes Nathan, Dutch murderer, the last ordinary execution in the Netherlands, hanged for killing his mother-in-law
  • 1860 Thomas Cochrane, 10th Earl of Dundonald, British admiral, dies at 84
  • 1863 Louis Ludwig Blenker, German/US brigadier general (Union), dies at 51
  • 1865 William Parson, 3rd Earl of Rosse & maker of large telescopes, dies
  • 1879 Big Snake, brother of Ponca chief Standing Bear, dies
  • 1879 Jacob Abbott, American author (b. 1803)
  • 1879 Joseph Hooker, American General (b. 1814)
  • 1881 George Washington De Long, American Arctic Explorer, dies during his disastrous expedition to the North Pole at 37
  • 1883 Swami Dayananda Saraswati, founder of Arya Samaj
  • 1884 Marie Bashkirtseff, Russian diarist and painter, dies at 25
  • 1895 Franz Hedrich, Austria writer, dies at about 62
  • 1913 William Evans-Gordon, British politician (b. 1857)
  • 1916 Charles Taze Russell, American founder of the Jehovah's Witnesses (b. 1852)
  • 1918 Egon Schiele, Austrian painter and graphic artist, dies at 28
  • 1918 [Stephen] István Tisza, Hungarian PM (1903-05, 1913-17), assassinated by soldiers at 57
  • 1920 Alphonse Desjardins, Canadian founder of the Caisses populaires Desjardins, dies at 65

Person of interestHarry Houdini

1926 Harry Houdini [Erich Weisz], magician, dies in Detroit of gangrene and peritonitis that developed after his appendix ruptured

Magician and Escape Artist Harry Houdini
Magician and Escape Artist
Harry Houdini
  • 1929 António José de Almeida, Portuguese politician and 6th President of Portugal (b. 1866)
  • 1939 Otto Rank [Rosenfeld], Austria psychoanalyst (Trauma of Geburt), dies
  • 1941 Herwarth Walden, German art writer and critic, dies in a Soviet prison at 63
  • 1943 Max Reinhardt [Goldmann], Austrian theatrical director (Oedipus Rex) and founder of the Salzburg Festival, dies at 70
  • 1948 Cissy van Marxfield [Setske Beek-de Han], Dutch children's writer, dies at 58
  • 1949 Edward Stettinius Jr. 48th US Secretary of State (1944-45) and diplomat, dies at 49
  • 1950 Carel T Scharten, Dutch poet and writer (Lost Paradise), dies at 72
  • 1950 Jozef C Bittremieux, Flemish theologist, dies at 72
  • 1952 U Chit Hlaing, Burmese politician (b. 1879)
  • 1955 William Woodward Jr., American businessman and horse breeder (Hanover National Bank), is shot by his wife after being mistaken for an intruder at 35
  • 1955 Alban Collignon, Belgian sport journalist, dies at 74
  • 1959 Jean Cabannes, French physicist (b. 1885)
  • 1960 H L Davis, American writer (Honey in the Horn, Pulitzer prize), dies at 64
  • 1964 Theodore Freeman, American astronaut, dies at 34 in a T-38 jet air crash, 1st NASA astronaut fatality
  • 1967 Jan Mens, Dutch writer (Honor to God Alone), dies at 70
  • 1971 Gerhard von Rad, German old testament expert, dies at 70

MurderIndira Gandhi

1984 Indira Gandhi, 4th Prime Minister of India (1966-77, 1980-84), assassinated by two of her bodyguards at 66

4th Prime Minister of India Indira Gandhi
4th Prime Minister of India
Indira Gandhi
  • 1985 Nikos Engonopoulos, Greek painter and poet (b. 1907)
  • 1986 Robert S. Mulliken, American chemist and physicist (Nobel 1966), dies at 90
  • 1987 Joseph Campbell, American professor of comparative mythology (Mythic Image), dies at 83
  • 1988 Alfred Pellan, Québécois painter (b. 1906)
  • 1990 Graig Russel, Canadian travel expert/transvestite, dies
  • 1990 Hugh McPhillips, dies at 70
  • 1991 Joseph Papp, Broadway producer (A Chorus Line), dies of cancer at 70
  • 1993 Adriaan Venema, Dutch journalist/art dealer, commits suicide at 52
  • 1993 Edwin A Walker, US Maj-Gen, dies of lung cancer at 84
  • 1994 John Wyndham Pope-Hennessy, English art historian and director of British Museum (1974-76), dies at 80
  • 1994 William John Readings, literary theorist, dies at 34
  • 1995 Derek Anthony Enright, British Labour politician, dies at 60
  • 1995 Henry A Walter Richard Percy, 11th Duke of Northumberland, dies at 42
  • 1995 Leonard Ernest John Chant, social worker, dies at 57
  • 1995 Wallace Edward Rowling, Prime Minister of NZ (1974-1975), dies at 68
  • 1996 Andrew Hutchings, British trade union leader, dies at 88
  • 1996 John Gorman, printer and socialist historian, dies at 66
  • 1996 Peter Doig, British Labour Party politician, dies at 85
  • 1997 Wilfrid Oulton, British Royal Air Force officer, dies at 86
  • 1998 Bernard J. Dwyer, American politician (Rep-D-NJ 1981-93), dies at 77
  • 1998 Kenneth Darling, British Army Commander-in-chief Allied Forces, dies at 89
  • 2001 Régine Cavagnoud, French skier (b. 1970)
  • 2002 Lionel Poilâne, French baker and entrepreneur, dies at 57
  • 2002 Michail Stasinopoulos, Greek politician and 1st President of Greece, dies at 99
  • 2003 Richard Neustadt, American political historian (b. 1919)
  • 2005 Hal Anger, American biophysicist and electrical engineer who invented the gamma camera, dies at 85

Person of interestP. W. Botha

2006 P. W. Botha, President of South Africa (1984-89) and Prime Minister (19778-84), dies at 90

President of South Africa P. W. Botha
President of South Africa
P. W. Botha
  • 2009 Qian Xuesen, Chinese scientist who worked on the Manhattan Project and who pioneered engineering cybernetics, dies at 97
  • 2010 Theodore Sorenson, American presidential advisor to JFK and author (Kennedy), dies at 82
  • 2011 Manfred Mayrhofer, Austrian Indo-European philologist (Indo-Iranian languages), dies at 85
  • 2015 Gus Savage, American politician (Rep-D-IL, 1981- 93), dies at 90
  • 2016 James Galanos, American fashion designer (Coty Hall of Fame 1959), dies at 92
  • 2016 Natalie Babbitt, American children's writer (Tuck Everlasting), dies of lung cancer at 84