Today in History (Oct. 31st, 2013)
Today is Thursday, Oct. 31, the 304th day of 2013. There are 61 days left in the year.
Today's Highlight in History:
On Oct. 31, 1517, Martin Luther posted his 95 Theses on the door of the Wittenberg Palace church, marking the start of the Protestant Reformation in Germany.
On this date:
In 1795, English poet John Keats was born in London.
In 1864, Nevada became the 36th state.
In 1887, Nationalist Chinese leader Chiang Kai-shek was born in Zhejiang Province.
In 1926, magician Harry Houdini died in Detroit of gangrene and peritonitis resulting from a ruptured appendix.
In 1938, the day after his "War of the Worlds" broadcast had panicked radio listeners, Orson Welles expressed "deep regret" but also bewilderment that anyone had thought the simulated Martian invasion was real.
In 1941, the Navy destroyer USS Reuben James was torpedoed by a German U-boat off Iceland with the loss of some 100 lives, even though the United States had not yet entered World War II. Work was completed on the Mount Rushmore National Memorial in South Dakota, begun in 1927.
In 1959, a former U.S. Marine showed up at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow to declare he was renouncing his American citizenship so he could live in the Soviet Union. His name: Lee Harvey Oswald.
In 1961, the body of Josef Stalin was removed from Lenin's Tomb as part of the Soviet Union's "de-Stalinization" drive.
In 1968, President Lyndon B. Johnson ordered a halt to all U.S. bombing of North Vietnam, saying he hoped for fruitful peace negotiations.
In 1984, Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi was assassinated by two Sikh (seek) security guards.
In 1992, Pope John Paul II formally proclaimed that the Roman Catholic Church had erred in condemning the astronomer Galileo for holding that the Earth was not the center of the universe.
In 1994, a Chicago-bound American Eagle ATR-72 crashed in northern Indiana, killing all 68 people aboard.
In 1999, EgyptAir Flight 990, bound from New York to Cairo, crashed off the Massachusetts coast, killing all 217 people aboard.
In 2001, New York hospital worker Kathy T. Nguyen (nwen) died of inhalation anthrax, the fourth person to perish in a spreading wave of bioterrorism.
Ten years ago: A man angry at a lawyer over the handling of his trust fund was captured on videotape shooting and wounding the attorney by crews covering actor Robert Blake's murder case in Van Nuys, California. (The shooter, William Strier, was later convicted of attempted murder and sentenced to life in prison plus 25 years.) Teen surfing star Bethany Hamilton lost her left arm in a shark attack off Kauai (kuh-WY'-ee), Hawaii. Abdullah Ahmad Badawi (AH'-mehd buh-DAH'-wee) was sworn in as Malaysian prime minister, ending Mahathir Mohamad's (muh-HAH'-thihr moh-HAH'-medz) 22-year reign.
Five years ago: President George W. Bush signed an executive order restoring the Libyan government's immunity from terror-related lawsuits and dismissing pending compensation cases. Pulitzer Prize-winning author Studs Terkel died in Chicago at age 96.
One year ago: President Barack Obama joined Republican New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie for a tour of damage along the New Jersey coast from Superstorm Sandy; Christie said he "can't thank the president enough" for his concern and compassion. Wall Street was back in business after a two-day shutdown caused by the storm; stocks finished mixed. With New York's subways shut down, parts of the city were paralyzed by traffic gridlock; New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that limited subway service would resume the next day. National Guard troops delivered meals and other supplies and evacuated stranded residents in Hoboken, N.J., amid complaints that relief efforts had been slow.
Today's Birthdays: Actress Lee Grant is 88. Former astronaut Michael Collins is 83. Former CBS anchorman Dan Rather is 82. Folk singer Tom Paxton is 76. Actor Ron Rifkin is 75. Actress Sally Kirkland is 72. Actor David Ogden Stiers is 71. Actor Brian Doyle-Murray is 68. Actor Stephen Rea is 67. Olympic gold medal long-distance runner Frank Shorter is 66. Actress Deidre Hall is 65. Talk show host Jane Pauley is 63. Actor Brian Stokes Mitchell is 56. Movie director Peter Jackson is 52. Rock musician Larry Mullen is 52. Actor Dermot Mulroney is 50. Rock musician Mikkey Dee (Motorhead) is 50. Rock singer-musician Johnny Marr is 50. Actor Rob Schneider is 49. Country singer Darryl Worley is 49. Actor-comedian Mike O'Malley is 48. Rap musician Adrock is 47. Songwriter Adam Schlesinger (SHLES'-in-jer) is 46. Rap performer Vanilla Ice (aka Rob Van Winkle) is 45. Rock singer Linn Berggren (Ace of Base) is 43. Reality TV host Troy Hartman is 42. Gospel singer Smokie Norful is 40. Actress Piper Perabo (PEER'-uh-boh) is 37. Actor Brian Hallisay is 35. Actor Eddie Kaye Thomas is 33. Rock musician Frank Iero (My Chemical Romance) is 32. Actor Scott Clifton is 29. Actress Vanessa Marano is 21. Actress-singer Willow Smith is 13.
Thought for Today: "I would venture to guess that Anon, who wrote so many poems without signing them, was often a woman." -- Virginia Woolf, English author and critic (1882-1941).