Events in History 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

Historic Event

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

Historic Event

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

Historic Event

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)
  • 1889 Exposition Universelle (World's Fair) in Paris closes after 32 million visitors
  • 1905 Great revolutionary demonstration for amnesty in St Petersburg

Theater Premiere

1906 George Bernard Shaw's play "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

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

Historic Event

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

Historic Event

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

Historic Event

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)
  • 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
  • 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 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

Historic Event

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

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

Historic Event

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

  • 1968 Linda Eastman moves to UK permanently
  • 1968 US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site

Historic Event

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

  • 1969 Eastside race riot in Jacksonville, Florida
  • 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
  • 1973 Three Provisional Irish Republican Army volunteers escape from Mountjoy Prison in Dublin using a hijacked helicopter
  • 1974 Dutch Marines end hostage crisis in Scheveningen prison

Historic Event

1974 Ted Bundy victim Laura Aime disappears in Utah

  • 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

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

  • 1983 Ron Grant completes a 217 day, 8,316 mile run around Australia


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

  • 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
  • 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 dive

Historic Event

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

  • 1993 German unemployment hits national record of 3.5 million
  • 1994 American Eagle ATR-72 crash down at Gary, Indiana: 68 killed
  • 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 EgyptAir Flight 990 traveling from New York City to Cairo crashes off the coast of Nantucket, Massachusetts, killing all 217 on-board.
  • 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.
  • 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

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.
  • 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
  • 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 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

Historic Event

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

  • 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]