Famous Events on this Day in History, 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
834 - 1st All Hallows Eve (Halloween) observed to honor the saints
1517 - Luther posts 95 theses on Wittenberg church-Protestant Reformation
1541 - Michelangelo Buonarroti's paints "last judgement" in 16th Chapel
1552 - Emperor Karel & Markgraaf Albecht strike siege for Metz
1587 - Leiden University Library opens its doors after its founding in 1575.
1596 - English/French/Dutch delegates sign anti-Spanish "Drievoudig Covenant"
1617 - Laurens Reael resigns as governor-general of East-Indies
1714 - Georg Ludwig van Hannover crowned as English King George I
1759 - Earthquake in Safed Palestine kills hundred
1793 - Execution of Girondins at Paris, during Reign of Terror
1794 - John Dalton 1st lecture to Manchester Literary/Philosophical Society
1808 - Holland Brigade battle at Durango, Spain
1815 - Sir Humphrey Davy of London patents miner's safety lamp
1837 - Collision of river boat Monmouth & Trement on Miss; 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
1868 - Standard uniform approved for postal carriers
1871 - Founding of Netherland Protestant Union in Dokkum
1876 - Cyclone hits Bengal, about 200,000 die
1876 - A monster cyclone ravages India, resulting in over 200,000 human deaths.
1881 - Metropolitan club plays its last game of its non-league season They win 80 of 151 games (18-43 versus NL teams)
1887 - Rimski-Korsakov's "Capricio Espagñol," premieres in St Petersburg
1888 - John Boyd Dunlop patents pneumatic bicycle tire
1892 - Arthur Conan Doyle publishes The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes.
1900 - AL pres Ban Johnson writes to NL pres Nick Young seeking peace
1905 - Great revolutionary demonstration for amnesty in St Petersburg
1906 - George Bernard Shaw's "Caesar & Cleopatra," premieres in NYC
1907 - Calgary City Rugby Foot-ball Club's 1st game defeating Strathcona Rugby Foot-ball Club 15-0 at Calgary
1908 - 4th Olympic games ends in London
1914 - Great Britain & France declare war on Turkey
1916 - Clare Kummer's "Good Gracious Annabelle," premieres in NYC
1917 - Eugene O'Neill's "In the Zone," premieres in NYC
1917 - World War I: Battle of Beersheba - "last successful cavalry charge in history"
1918 - Spanish flu-virus kills 21,000 in US in 1 week
1918 - Banat Republic founded
1920 - Romania annexes Bessarabia
1921 - Federation Sportive Feminine Intl forms (1st woman track & field assn)
1922 - Benito Mussolini (Il Duce) becomes premier of Italy
1922 - Karel & Josef Capék's "World We Live In," premieres in NYC
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).
1925 - Cossack officer Reza Chan replaces sultan Ahmad Shah in Persia
1926 - Magician Harry Houdini dies of gangrene and peritonitis that developed after his appendix ruptured.
1932 - Greek govt of Venizelos falls
1936 - The Boy Scouts of the Philippines was formed.
1937 - Spanish govt 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.
1939 - 27 U boats sunk this month (135,000 ton)
1940 - 63 U boats sunk this month (325,000 ton)
1940 - Battle of Britain: Germany & Britair control of English Channel, ends
1940 - Deadline for Warsaw Jews to move into Warsaw Ghetto
1941 - 13 U boats sunk this month (62,000 ton)
1941 - Mount Rushmore is completed
1941 - Prior to US in WW II, Germany torpedoes US destroyer Reuben James
1941 - Clothing factory fire in Huddersfield, England kills 49
1942 - 94 U boats sunk this month (619,000 ton)
1942 - 9th day in battle at El Alamein
1943 - Wash 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 - "Regina" opens at 46th St Theater NYC for 86 performances
1949 - Amsterdam Telegraph-director/SS'er Henri Holdert sentenced to 12 years
1949 - WOC (now KWQC) TV channel 6 in Davenport, IA (NBC) 1st broadcast
1950 - Collazo & Torresola attempt to kill Truman in Washington, DC
1951 - Second Chamber accept plan-Schuman
1952 - 1st thermonuclear bomb detonated-Marshall Islands
1953 - TV broadcasting begins in Belgium
1954 - Algerian Revolution against French begins
1954 - Betsy Rawls wins LPGA Texas Golf Open
1954 - KREM TV channel 2 in Spokane, WA (CBS/ABC) begins broadcasting
1955 - Mgr Alfrink appointed archbishop of Utrecht
1956 - 1st American to land an airplane at South Pole-Rear Adm GJ Dufek
1956 - Britain & France begin to bomb Egypt to reopen Suez Canal
1956 - Brooklyn, NY ends streetcar service
1957 - "Jamaica" opens at Imperial Theater NYC for 558 performances
1959 - Lee Harvey Oswald announces in Moscow he will never return to US
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 Birmingham, Alabama, laws against integrated playing fields are illegal
1963 - Ed Sullivan witnesses Beatles & their fans at London Airport
1963 - J Edgar Hoover last meeting with president John F Kennedy
1963 - Leaking propane gas explodes, kills 64 at "Holiday on Ice" (Indiana)
1964 - Barbra Streisand's "People," album goes #1 for 5 weeks
1967 - KIMO TV channel 13 in Anchorage, AK (ABC) begins broadcasting
1967 - Nguyen Van Thieu took oath of office as 1st pres of S Vietnam 2nd Rep
1967 - SF's Mike McCormick wins NL Cy Young Award
1968 - Linda Eastman moves to UK permanently
1968 - Milwaukee Bucks win their 1st game beating Detroit 138-118 (6th game)
1968 - President Johnson orders a halt to all bombing of North Vietnam
1968 - US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site
1969 - George Harrison's "Something" is released in UK
1969 - Race riot in Jacksonville Florida
1971 - "On the Town" opens at Imperial Theater NYC for 65 performances
1972 - Gaylord Perry wins AL Cy Young award
1973 - Tom Seaver wins NL Cy Young Award
1974 - Ted Bundy victim Laura Aime disappears in Utah
1974 - Marines terminate gijzelingsactie in strafgevangenis Scheveningen
1975 - Bob Geldof 1st appearance with Boomtown Rats
1976 - Javed Miandad, 206 v NZ, age 19 yrs 141 days (29 fours 1 six)
1978 - Iranian oil workers go on strike
1978 - People's Democratic Republic of Yemen (South) 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
1980 - Senegal routes troops to Gambia due to Libyan threat
1981 - 1st live radio drama in 25 years (Halloween Story on NBC)
1982 - "Rock 'n Roll!: The 1st..." closes at St James NYC after 9 perfs
1982 - Pope John Paul II becomes 1st pontiff to visit Spain
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 - Puerto Rican tanker, San Francisco explodes spilling 2 million gallons of oil as ship caught fire
1985 - Last day in Test cricket for Zaheer Abbas
1987 - 1st jockey to win 9 races in 1 day (Chris Antley at Belmont)
1987 - A pair in Coventry, England ties world record for longest singles tennis match at 80 hrs 21 minutes
1988 - 19°F lowest temperature ever recorded in Cleveland in Oct
1988 - 1st Monday Night NFL game in Indianapolis, Colts beat Denver 55-23
1988 - Journalists demand greater press freedom in Yugoslavia
1989 - AR Gurney's "Love Letters," premieres in NYC
1989 - France performs nuclear test at Muruora Island
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 diver
1992 - Roman Catholic church reinstates Galileo Galilei after 359 years
1992 - Horse Racing Breeders' Cup Champs: A P Indy, Fraise, Gilded Time, Liza, Lure, Paseana, Thirty Slews at Gulfstream Park
1993 - "Wonderful Tennessee" closes at Plymouth Theater NYC after 9 perfs
1993 - 25 people killed during Ghana-Ivory Coast soccer match
1993 - Germany unemployment hits country record of 3.5 million
1993 - Rapper Tupac Shakur charged with aggravated assault
1993 - US wins Nichirei International LPGA Golf Tournament
1994 - American Eagle ATR-72 crash down at Gary, Indiana: 68 killed
1995 - NHL NJ Devils agree to stay in NJ
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 - British au pair Louise Woodward, 19, sentenced to life in 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 - 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.
1999 - EgyptAir Flight 990 traveling from New York City to Cairo crashes off the coast of Nantucket, Massachusetts, killing all 217 on-board.
2000 - The last Multics machine was shut down.
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
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.