On this day in history, October 31
|Updated: 10/30 5:23 pm
||Published: 10/30 5:21 pm
- 475 – Romulus Augustulus is proclaimed Western Roman Emperor.
- 683 – During the Siege of Mecca, the Kaaba catches fire and is burned down.
- 1517 – Protestant Reformation: Martin Luther posts his 95 theses on the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg.
- 1587 – Leiden University Library opens its doors after its founding in 1575.
- 1822 – Emperor Agustín de Iturbide attempts to dissolve the Mexican Empire.
- 1861 – American Civil War: Citing failing health, Union General Winfield Scott resigns as Commander of the United States Army.
- 1863 – The Maori Wars resumes as British forces in New Zealand led by General Duncan Cameron begin their Invasion of the Waikato.
- 1864 – Nevada is admitted as the 36th U.S. state.
- 1876 – A monster cyclone ravages India, resulting in over 200,000 deaths.
- 1913 – Dedication of the Lincoln Highway, the first automobile highway across United States.
- 1913 – The Indianapolis Street Car Strike and subsequent riot begins.
- 1917 – World War I: Battle of Beersheba – "last successful cavalry charge in history".
- 1923 – The first of 160 consecutive days of 100 degrees Fahrenheit at Marble Bar, Australia.
- 1924 – World Savings Day is announced in Milan, Italy by the Members of the Association at the 1st International Savings Bank Congress (World Society of Savings Banks).
- 1926 – Magician Harry Houdini dies of gangrene and peritonitis that developed after his appendix ruptured.
- 1938 – Great Depression: In an effort to restore investor confidence, the New York Stock Exchange unveils a fifteen-point program aimed to upgrade protection for the investing public.
- 1940 – World War II: The Battle of Britain ends – the United Kingdom prevents a possible German invasion.
- 1941 – After 14 years of work, Mount Rushmore is completed.
- 1941 – World War II: The destroyer USS Reuben James is torpedoed by a German U-boat near Iceland, killing more than 100 United States Navy sailors. It is the first U.S. Navy vessel sunk by enemy action in WWII.
- 1943 – World War II: An F4U Corsair accomplishes the first successful radar-guided interception by a USN or USMC aircraft.
- 1944 – Dr. jur. Erich Göstl, a member of the Waffen SS, is awarded the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross, to recognise extreme battlefield bravery, after losing his face and eyes during the Battle of Normandy.
- 1956 – Suez Crisis: The United Kingdom and France begin bombing Egypt to force the reopening of the Suez Canal.
- 1961 – In the Soviet Union, Joseph Stalin's body is removed from Lenin's Tomb.
- 1963 – An explosion at the Indiana State Fair Coliseum (now Pepsi Coliseum) in Indianapolis kills 74 people during an ice skating show. The explosion also injures 400. A faulty propane tank connection in a concession stand is blamed.
- 1968 – Vietnam War October surprise: Citing progress with the Paris peace talks, US President Lyndon B. Johnson announces to the nation that he has ordered a complete cessation of "all air, naval, and artillery bombardment of North Vietnam" effective November 1.
- 1973 – Mountjoy Prison helicopter escape. Three Provisional Irish Republican Army members escape from Mountjoy Prison, Dublin, Republic of Ireland aboard a hijacked helicopter that lands in the exercise yard.
- 1984 – Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi is assassinated by two security guards. Riots break out in New Delhi and nearly 10,000 Sikhs are killed.
- 1998 – Iraq disarmament crisis begins: Iraq announces it would no longer cooperate with United Nations weapons inspectors.
- 1999 – Yachtsman Jesse Martin returns to Melbourne after 11 months of circumnavigating the world, solo, non-stop and unassisted.
- 1999 – EgyptAir Flight 990 crashes into the Atlantic Ocean killing all 217 people on board.
- 2000 – Soyuz TM-31 launches, carrying the first resident crew to the International Space Station. The ISS has been continuously crewed since.
- 2002 – A federal grand jury in Houston, Texas indicts 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 – 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.
- 2011 – The global population of humans reached seven billion. This day is now recognized by the United Nations as Seven Billion Day.
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