October 31<<October 2008>>Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa 12345678910111213141516171819202122232425262728293031 MMVIII
October 31 is the 304th day of the year (305th in leap years)
in the Gregorian calendar. There are 61 days remaining until
the end of the year.
This day is internationally known as Halloween, also known as All Hallow's Eve.
- 445 BC - Ezra reads the Book of the Law to the Israelites in Jerusalem (see Nehemiah 9:1, NLTse).
- 475 - Romulus Augustulus was proclaimed Roman Emperor.
- 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 attempted 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 resumed as British forces in New Zealand led by General Duncan Cameron began 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 human deaths.
- 1892 - Arthur Conan Doyle publishes The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes.
- 1912 - The Musketeers of Pig Alley, directed by D.W. Griffith, debuts as the first gangster film.
- 1912 - Dominican Republic becomes a signatory to the Buenos Aires copyright treaty.
- 1917 - World War I: Battle of Beersheba - "last successful cavalry charge in history"
- 1918 - Banat Republic founded
- 1923 - 160 consecutive days of 100 degrees at Marble Bar, Australia begins.
- 1924 - World Savings Day was announced in Milano/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.
- 1936 - The Boy Scouts of the Philippines was formed.
- 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 - World War II: Battle of Britain ends - The United Kingdom prevents Germany from invading Great Britain.
- 1941 - After 14 years of work, drilling is completed on Mount Rushmore.
- 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: F4U Corsair accomplishes the first successful radar-guided interception.
- 1954 - Algerian War of Independence: The Algerian National Liberation Front begins a revolt against French rule.
- 1956 - Suez Crisis: The United Kingdom and France begin bombing Egypt to force the reopening of the Suez Canal.
- 1959 - Lee Harvey Oswald attempted to renounce his American citizenship at the US Embassy in Moscow, USSR.
- 1961 - In the Soviet Union, Joseph Stalin's body is removed from Lenin's Tomb.
- 1963 - Indiana State Fair Coliseum (now Pepsi Coliseum) explosion in Indianapolis kills 74 people during an ice skating show. The mammoth explosion injured 400. A faulty propane tank connection in a concession stand was 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 after a hijacked helicopter landed in the exercise yard.
- 1984 - Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi is assassinated by two Sikh security guards (riots soon broke out in New Delhi and nearly 2,000 innocent Sikhs were killed).
- 1986 - The 5th congress of the Communist Party of Sweden is inaugurated. During the course of the congress the party name is changed to the Solidarity Party and the party ceases to be a communist party.
- 1994 - An American Eagle ATR-72 crashes in Roselawn, Indiana, after circling in icy weather, killing 68 passengers and crew.
- 1996 - The Fokker F100 on TAM Transportes Aéreos Regionais Flight 402 crashes into several houses in São Paulo, Brazil killing 98 including 2 on the ground.
- 1997 - 19-year-old British au pair Louise Woodward, convicted by a Cambridge, Massachusetts, jury of second-degree murder the day before, is sentenced to life in prison.
- 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.
- 1999 - Yachtsman Jesse Martin returns to Melbourne after 11 months of circumnavigating the world, solo, non-stop and unassisted.
- 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 - A chartered Antonov An-26 explodes after takeoff in Northern Angola killing 50
- 2000 - The last Multics machine was 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.
- 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.
- 2004 - Passenger airline service ends at Mirabel International Airport in Montreal, Canada.
- 1291 - Philippe de Vitry, French composer (d. 1361)
- 1345 - King Fernando I of Portugal (d. 1383)
- 1391 - King Duarte of Portugal (d. 1438)
- 1424 - King Wladislaus III of Poland (d. 1444)
- 1538 - Caesar Baronius, Italian cardinal and historian (d. 1607)
- 1599 - Denzil Holles, 1st Baron Holles, English statesman and writer (d. 1680)
- 1620 - John Evelyn, English diarist (d. 1706)
- 1622 - Pierre Paul Puget, French artist (d. 1694)
- 1632 - (baptism) Johannes Vermeer, Flemish painter (d. 1675)
- 1636 - Ferdinand Maria, Elector of Bavaria (d. 1679)
- 1692 - Comte de Caylus, French archaeologist (d. 1765)
- 1705 - Pope Clement XIV (d. 1774)
- 1711 - Laura Bassi, Italian scholar (d. 1778)
- 1724 - Christopher Anstey, English writer (d. 1805)
- 1737 - James Lovell, American educator (d. 1789)
- 1795 - John Keats, British poet (d. 1821)
- 1815 - Karl Weierstraß, German mathematician (d. 1897)
- 1825 - Charles Lavigerie, French cardinal (d. 1892)
- 1827 - Richard Morris Hunt, American educator (d. 1895)
- 1831 - Paolo Mantegazza, Italian neurologist (d. 1910)
- 1835 - Adolf von Baeyer, German chemist, Nobel laureate (d. 1917)
- 1835 - Krišjānis Barons, Latvian writer (d. 1923)
- 1838 - King Louis of Portugal (d. 1889)
- 1848 - Boston Custer, brother of George Armstrong Custer (d. 1876)
- 1851 - Lovisa of Sweden, queen of Denmark (d. 1926)
- 1860 - Juliette Low, American founder of the Girl Scouts (d. 1927)
- 1875 - Eugene Meyer, American businessman and newspaper publisher (d. 1954)
- 1875 - Vallabhbhai Patel, Indian freedom fighter and statesman (d. 1950)
- 1879 - Sara Allgood, Irish actress (d. 1950)
- 1883 - Marie Laurencin, French painter (d. 1956)
- 1887 - Chiang Kai-shek, Nationalist Chinese leader, former Republic of China president (d. 1975)
- 1887 - Newsy Lalonde, Canadian ice hockey player (d. 1970)
- 1888 - Napoleon Lapathiotis, Greek poet (d. 1944)
- 1892 - Alexander Alekhine, Russian chess player (d. 1946)
- 1895 - Basil Liddell Hart, British military historian (d. 1970)
- 1896 - Ethel Waters, American singer and actress (d. 1977)
- 1902 - Abraham Wald, Hungarian mathematician (d. 1950)
- 1912 - Dale Evans, American singer and actress (d. 2001)
- 1912 - Ollie Johnston, American animator (d. 2008)
- 1914 - Joe Carcione, American consumer advocate (d. 1988)
- 1914 - John Hugenholtz, Dutch race track designer (d. 1995)
- 1916 - Carl Johan Bernadotte, formerly Prince of Sweden
- 1917 - Thomas Hill, Canadian actor
- 1918 - Ian Stevenson, American parapsychologist (d. 2007)
- 1919 – Magnus Wenninger, American priest, author of Polyhedron models
- 1920 - Dick Francis, Welsh novelist
- 1920 - Joseph Gelineau French composer
- 1920 - Dedan Kimathi, Kenyan rebel leader (d. 1957)
- 1920 - Helmut Newton, German photographer (d. 2004)
- 1920 - Fritz Walter, German footballer (d. 2002)
- 1922 - Barbara Bel Geddes, American actress (d. 2005)
- 1922 - Anatoli Papanov, Soviet actor (d. 1987)
- 1922 - Illinois Jacquet, American saxophonist (d. 2004)
- 1922 - King Norodom Sihanouk of Cambodia
- 1925 - John Pople, English chemist, Nobel laureate (d. 2004)
- 1926 - Jimmy Savile, English entertainer
- 1927 - Lee Grant, American actress
- 1928 - Cleo Moore, American actress (d. 1973)
- 1929 - Eddie Charlton, Australian snooker player (d. 2004)
- 1929 - Bud Spencer, Italian actor
- 1930 - Michael Collins, American astronaut
- 1931 - Dan Rather, American television journalist
- 1933 - Phil Goyette, Canadian ice hockey player
- 1936 - Michael Landon, American actor (d. 1991)
- 1937 - Tom Paxton, American singer-songwriter
- 1939 - Ron Rifkin, American actor
- 1939 - Tom O'Connor, British comedian
- 1939 - Alui Farka Touré, Malian musician
- 1941 - Derek Bell, British racing driver
- 1941 – Dan Alderson, American scientist
- 1942 - Dave McNally, American baseball player (d. 2002)
- 1942 - David Ogden Stiers, American actor
- 1943 - Paul Frampton, English physicist
- 1943 - Brian Piccolo, American football player (d. 1970)
- 1944 - Kinky Friedman, American musician and novelist
- 1944 - Sally Kirkland, American actress
- 1945 - Brian Doyle-Murray, American comedian and actor
- 1945 - Russ Ballard, English rock singer/songwriter, guitarist (Argent)
- 1946 - Stephen Rea, Irish actor
- 1946 - Norman Lovett, British actor
- 1947 - Deidre Hall, American actress
- 1947 - Frank Shorter, American runner
- 1949 - Bob Siebenberg, American drummer (Supertramp)
- 1950 - John Candy, Canadian comedian and actor (d. 1994)
- 1950 - Jozef Stolorz, polish art painter
- 1950 - Jane Pauley, American news anchor
- 1950 - Zaha Hadid, British architect
- 1950 - Antonio Taguba, US Army Major General
- 1951 - Nick Saban, American college football coach
- 1952 - Bernard Edwards, American bass guitarist (Chic) (d. 1996)
- 1953 - Michael J. Anderson, American actor
- 1953 - John Lucas II, American basketball player and coach
- 1954 - Ken Wahl, American actor
- 1956 - Anders Lago, Swedish Social Democratic politician
- 1957 - Robert Pollard, American rocker
- 1957 - Brian Stokes Mitchell, American singer and actor
- 1958 - Jeannie Longo, French cyclist
- 1959 - Neal Stephenson, American author
- 1959 - Mats Näslund, Swedish ice hockey player
- 1960 - Luis Fortuño, Puerto Rican delegate to Congress
- 1960 - Arnaud Desplechin, French film director
- 1960 - Mike Gallego, American baseball player
- 1960 - Reza Pahlavi, former crown prince of Iran
- 1961 - Peter Jackson, New Zealand film director
- 1961 - Larry Mullen, Irish drummer (U2)
- 1961 - Alonzo Babers, American runner
- 1961 - Kate Campbell, American musician
- 1963 - Mikkey Dee, Swedish musician, drummer for Motörhead
- 1963 - Dunga, Brazilian footballer
- 1963 - Johnny Marr, English guitarist and songwriter (The Smiths)
- 1963 - Fred McGriff, American baseball player
- 1963 - Dermot Mulroney, American actor
- 1963 - Rob Schneider, American actor
- 1964 - Colm O'Ciosoig, Irish drummer (My Bloody Valentine, Hope Sandoval & the Warm Inventions)
- 1964 - Marco van Basten, Dutch footballer
- 1964 - Marty Wright, American professional wrestler
- 1964 - Darryl Worley, American country singer
- 1965 - Annabella Lwin, British singer (Bow Wow Wow)
- 1965 - Rob Rackstraw, voice actor
- 1966 - Adam Horovitz (Adrock), American rapper (Beastie Boys)
- 1966 - Koji Kanemoto, Japanese professional wrestler
- 1966 - Joseph Boyden, Canadian novelist
- 1966 - Mike O'Malley, American actor
- 1967 - Vanilla Ice, American rapper
- 1968 - Antonio Davis, American basketball player
- 1969 - David Coburn, American actor/voice actor
- 1970 - Nicky Wu, Taiwanese actor and martial arts expert
- 1970 - Linn Berggren, Swedish singer (Ace of Base)
- 1970 - Rogers Stevens, American guitarist (Blind Melon)
- 1970 - Mitch Harris, American guitarist (Napalm Death, among others)
- 1970 - Johnny Moeller, American blues guitarist
- 1970 - Steve Trachsel, American baseball player
- 1971 - Alphonso Ford, American basketball player (d. 2004)
- 1971 - Ian Walker, English footballer
- 1971 - Toby Anstis, British radio presenter
- 1972 - Shaun Bartlett, South African footballer
- 1972 - Matt Dawson, English rugby union footballer
- 1972 - Eugene Hutz, lead singer of gypsy punk band Gogol Bordello
- 1973 - Tim Byrdak, American baseball player
- 1973 - David Dellucci, American baseball player
- 1973 - Grigorios Georgatos, Greek footballer
- 1973 - Beverly Lynne, American erotic film actress
- 1974 - Muzzy Izzet, Turkish footballer
- 1974 - Natasja Saad, Danish hip hop and reggae artist (d. 2007)
- 1975 - Fabio Celestini, Swiss footballer
- 1976 - Guti, Spanish footballer
- 1976 - Piper Perabo, American actress
- 1977 - Sylviane Félix, French athlete
- 1977 - Séverine Ferrer, French singer
- 1978 - Emmanuel Izonritei, Nigerian boxer
- 1978 - Zachary Knighton, American actor
- 1978 - Martin Verkerk, Dutch tennis player
- 1979 - Saaphyri Windsor, American reality tv figure
- 1979 - Simão Sabrosa, Portuguese footballer
- 1979 - Ricardo Fuller, Jamaican Footballer
- 1980 - Eddie Kaye Thomas, American actor,
- 1980 - Samaire Armstrong, American actress
- 1980 - Alondra de la Parra, Mexican founder and artistic director of the New York-based Philharmonic Orchestra of the Americas
- 1981 - Irina Denezhkina, Russian writer
- 1981 - Frank Iero, American musician (My Chemical Romance, Leathermouth, Pencey Prep; founder of Skeleton Crew)
- 1981 - Selina (Jiaxuan) Ren, member of Taiwanese girl-group S.H.E
- 1981 - Jon Crocker, American songwriter
- 1982 - Tomáš Plekanec, Czech ice hockey player
- 1982 - The Cheeky Girls, British-Romanian singers
- 1982 - Justin Chatwin, Canadian actor
- 1983 - Katy French, Irish model (d. 2007)
- 1986 - Christie Hayes, Australian actress
- 1986 - Chris Alajajian, Australian racing driver
- 1988 - Sébastien Buemi, Swiss racing driver
- 1990 - James Charles Lewis aka Lil' JJ, American actor/singer
- 1991 - Jordan-Claire Green, American actress
- 2000 - Willow Smith, American actress
- 2005 - Infanta Leonor of Spain, daughter of Felipe, Prince of Asturias and Letizia, Princess of Asturias
- 1147 - Robert, 1st Earl of Gloucester, English politician (bc. 1090)
- 1214 - Leonora of England, queen of Alfonso VIII of Castile (b. 1162)
- 1448 - John VIII Palaeologus, Byzantine Emperor (b. 1390)
- 1517 - Fra Bartolommeo, Italian artist (b. 1472)
- 1641 - Cornelis Jol, Dutch admiral and privateer (b. 1597)
- 1659 - John Bradshaw, English judge (b. 1602)
- 1723 - Cosimo III de' Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany (b. 1642)
- 1732 - Victor Amadeus II of Savoy (b. 1666)
- 1733 - Eberhard IV Ludwig, Duke of Württemberg (b. 1676)
- 1744 - Leonardo Leo, Italian composer (b. 1694)
- 1765 - Prince William Augustus, Duke of Cumberland, English military leader (b. 1721)
- 1768 - Francesco Maria Veracini, Italian composer (b. 1690)
- 1860 - Thomas Cochrane, 10th Earl of Dundonald, British admiral (b. 1775)
- 1879 - Jacob Abbott, American author (b. 1803)
- 1879 - Joseph Hooker, American General (b. 1814)
- 1883 - Swami Dayananda Saraswati, founder of Arya Samaj
- 1884 - Marie Bashkirtseff, Russian painter (b. 1858)
- 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 (b. 1890)
- 1920 - Alphonse Desjardins, founder of the Caisses populaires Desjardins (b. 1854)
- 1925 - Max Linder, French actor, director and screenwriter (b. 1883)
- 1926 - Harry Houdini, Hungarian-born magician (b. 1874)
- 1929 - António José de Almeida, Portuguese politician and 6th President of Portugal (b. 1866)
- 1939 - Otto Rank, Austrian psychologist (b. 1884)
- 1943 - Max Reinhardt, German film director (b. 1873)
- 1952 - U Chit Hlaing, Burmese politician (b. 1879)
- 1959 - Jean Cabannes, French physicist (b. 1885)
- 1972 - Bill Durnan, Canadian ice hockey player (b. 1916)
- 1975 - SD Burman, Indian musician (b. 1906)
- 1983 - George Halas, American football player, coach, and team owner (b. 1895)
- 1984 - Indira Gandhi, Prime Minister of India (b. 1917)
- 1984 - Eduardo de Filippo, Italian actor and screenwriter (b. 1900)
- 1985 - Poul Reichhardt, Danish actor (b. 1913)
- 1985 - Nikos Engonopoulos, Greek painter and poet (b. 1907)
- 1985 - Anton Christoforidis, Greek boxer (b. 1918)
- 1986 - Robert S. Mulliken, American physicist and chemist, Nobel laureate (b. 1896)
- 1987 - Joseph Campbell, American author and expert on mythology (b. 1904)
- 1988 - John Houseman, Romanian-born actor and director (b. 1902)
- 1988 - Alfred Pellan, Québécois painter (b. 1906)
- 1991 - Joseph Papp, American theatrical producer (b. 1921)
- 1991 - Gene Anderson, American professional wrestler (b. 1933)
- 1993 - Federico Fellini, Italian director (b. 1920)
- 1993 - River Phoenix, American actor (b. 1970)
- 1995 - Rosalind Cash, American actress (b. 1938)
- 1996 - Marcel Carné, French film director (b. 1906)
- 1998 - Elmer Vasko, Canadian ice hockey player (b. 1935)
- 1999 - Greg Moore, Canadian race car driver (b. 1975)
- 2000 - Watanabe Kazuki Japanese musician (Raphael) (b. 1981)
- 2000 - Ring Lardner, Jr., American screenwriter (b. 1915)
- 2001 - Régine Cavagnoud, French skier (b. 1970)
- 2002 - Lionel Poilâne, French baker and entrepreneur (b. 1945)
- 2002 - Michail Stasinopoulos, Greek politician, former president of Greece (b. 1903)
- 2002 - Raf Vallone, Italian actor (b. 1916)
- 2003 - Semmangudi Srinivasa Iyer, Indian singer (b. 1908)
- 2003 - Dharmsamrat Paramhans Swami Madhavananda, Indian guru (b. 1923)
- 2003 - Richard Neustadt, American political historian (b. 1919)
- 2005 - Mary Wimbush, English actress (b. 1924)
- 2005 - John "Beatz" Holohan, American drummer (Bayside) (b. 1974)
- 2005 - Hal Anger, American biophysicist (b. 1920)
- 2006 - Pieter Willem Botha, President of South Africa (b. 1916)
- 2007 - Ray Gravell, Welsh rugby union footballer (b. 1951)
Holidays and observances
- R.C. Saints - October 31 is the feast day of the following Roman Catholic Saints:
- Orthodox Church
- Protestant Church, Slovenia - Reformation Day: Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses on the Wittenberg church on this day in 1517
- October 31 is Halloween; also see Samhain (an approximate date)
- Cornwall - Allantide
- Celts - Samhain
- Neopaganism - Samhain in the northern hemisphere, Beltane in the southern hemisphere (or on November 1)
- Nevada Day
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