31st October, on this day

445 BC Ezra reads the Book of the Law to the Israelites in Jerusalem (see Nehemiah 9:1, NLTse).
475 Romulus Augustulus was proclaimed Western Roman Emperor.
1517 Luther posts 95 theses on Wittenberg church-Protestant Reformation
1587 Leiden University Library opens its doors after its founding in 1575.
1759 Earthquake in Safed, Palestine kills hundred
1793 Execution of the Girondins at Paris, during the Reign of Terror
1815 Sir Humphrey Davy of London patents miner's safety lamp
1822 Emperor Agustín de Iturbide attempted to dissolve the Mexican Empire.
1861 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 admitted as 36th state
1876 A monster cyclone ravages India, resulting in over 200,000 human deaths.
1888 Scottish inventor John Boyd Dunlop patents pneumatic bicycle tyres
1892 Arthur Conan Doyle publishes The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes.
1908 4th Olympic games end in London
1913 Dedication of the Lincoln Highway, the first automobile road across America.
1915 For the first time during World War I, British troops wear steel helmets
1917 Battle of Beersheba – "last successful cavalry charge in history"
1918 Banat Republic founded
1918 Assassination of Hungarian Prime Minister Count Tisza
1922 At the invitation of the King of Italy, Fascist leader Benito Mussolini forms an Italian Government of Fascists, Liberals and Nationalists
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).
1925 Reza Khan deposes the existing Shah of Persia (now Iran)
1926 Magician Harry Houdini dies of gangrene and peritonitis that developed after his appendix ruptured.
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 The official end of the 'Battle of Britain' - the six month fight to control the skies over Britain during World War II. The Royal Air Force lost 915 aircraft, the German Luftwaffe lost 1,733. Losing the battle, would have left Britain open to a full invasion by German forces who had already over-run most of continental Europe
1940 Deadline for Warsaw Jews to move into the Warsaw Ghetto
1941 After 14 years of work, drilling is completed on Mount Rushmore.
1941 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.
1941 Clothing factory fire in Huddersfield, England kills 49
1950 Collazo and Torresola attempt to kill Truman in Washington, DC
1952 United States of America detonates its first hydrogen bomb at Eniwetok Atoll in the Pacific Ocean
1954 Algerian Revolution against French begins
1956 1st American to land an airplane at South Pole-Rear Adm George J. Dufek
1956 Britain and France begin to bomb Egypt to reopen the Suez Canal
1959 Lee Harvey Oswald announces in Moscow he will never return to US
1963 Ed Sullivan witnesses the Beatles and their fans at London Airport
1963 During a Holiday on Ice show at Indiana State Fair Coliseum (now Pepsi Coliseum) a mammoth explosion killed 74 people and injured 400. A faulty propane tank connection in a concession stand was blamed.
1964 Barbra Streisand's "People," album goes to number 1 for 5 weeks
1967 Nguyen Van Thieu took oath of office as 1st pres of S Vietnam 2nd Rep
1968 Linda Eastman moves to UK permanently
1968 President Johnson orders a halt to all bombing of North Vietnam
1969 Race riot in Jacksonville, Florida
1971 A terrorist bomb explodes at the top of the Post Office Tower in London
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.
1974 Ted Bundy victim (?) Laura Aime disappears in Utah
1980 Julian Nott sets world hot-air balloon altitude record (16,806 m)
1982 Pope John Paul II becomes 1st pontiff to visit Spain
1983 Ron Grant completes a 217 day, 8,316 mile run around Australia
1984 Puerto Rican tanker, San Francisco explodes spilling 2 million gallons of oil as the ship caught fire
1984 Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi is assassinated by a Sikh member of her bodyguard in New Delhi - riots soon broke out in New Delhi and nearly 2,000 innocent Sikhs were killed.
1987 1st jockey to win 9 races in 1 day (Chris Antley at Belmont)
1987 A pair in Coventry, England ties the world record for the longest singles tennis match at 80 hrs 21 minutes
1988 Journalists demand greater press freedom in Yugoslavia
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 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.

October 31st 2005

U.N. passes resolution on Syria

Quake 'claimed 17,000 children'

Fourth night of riots in Paris

October 31st 2006

Bomb strikes Iraq wedding party

Rally condemns Pakistan air raid

Hubble telescope will get upgrade

October 31st 2007

Madrid bombers get long sentences

US giving Turkey PKK intelligence

Toilet conference opens in Delhi

October 31st 2008

DR Congo refugee camps 'burned'

'US strikes' on Pakistan villages

Austrian hostages freed in Mali

October 31st 2009

Fifteen shot dead at Mexico ranch

Bodies found at US rapist's house

Leaders recall Berlin Wall's fall

Birthdates which occurred on October 31st:

1620 John Evelyn British diarist (Life of Mrs Godolphin)
1632 Jan Vermeer Holland, painter (Procuress, The Astronomer)
1795 John Keats London, England, romantic poet (Ode to a Grecian Urn)
1815 Karl Weierstrass Germany, mathematician (theory of functions)
1860 Juliette Gordon Low Girl Scout founder
1887 Chiang Kai-shek Chekiang Province, China, pres of Nationalist China
1887 Edouard Lalonde Canada, NHLer (Mont Candiens)/lacrosse player
1888 Sir George Hubert Wilkins Aust, polar explorer (Flying the Arctic)
1893 Sara Allgood Dublin Ireland, actress (Jane Eyre, Spiral Staircase)
1896 Ethel Waters Chester Pa, actress (Beulah)/singer (Stormy Weather)
1897 Wilbur (Pete) Henry NFL tackle (Canton, NY Giants, Pottsville)
19-- Bobby Ellerbee Upson County Ga, actor (In the Beginning)
19-- Brian Mitchell Seattle Wash, actor (Trapper John MD)
19-- Lynda Goodfriend Miami Fla, actress (Lori Beth-Happy Days)
1902 Eduard Franz Milwaukee Wisc, actor (Zorro)
1902 Willie Shaw race car driver (Indy 500-1937, 39, 40)
1906 Louise Talma Arcachon France, composer (Summer Sounds)
1912 Dale Evans Uvalde Tx, cowgirl (Roy Rogers Show)
1920 Dick Francis Wales, jockey/novelist (Whip Hand, High Stakes)
1922 Barbara Bel Geddes NYC, actress (Vertigo, Miss Ellie-Dallas, Caught)
1923 Hicks B Waldron Amsterdam NY, CEO (Avon)
1926 Shirley Dinsdale SF Calif, ventriloquist (Judy Splinters)
1927 Lee Grant [Lyova Haskell Rosenthal], NYC, actress (Shampoo, Landlord)
1928 Andrew Sarris movie critic (Village Voice)
1930 Michael Collins Rome, Mjr Gen USAF/astronaut (Gemini 10, Apollo 11)
1931 Dan Rather Wharton Tx, news anchor (CBS Evening News, 60 Minutes)
1937 Michael Landon Forest Hills NY, actor (Bonanza, Highway to Heaven)
1937 Tom Paxton Chicago, folk singer/songwriter (Forest Lawn)
1942 David Ogden Stiers Peoria Ill, actor (Winchester-M*A*S*H, Doc)
1944 Kinky Friedman Palestine Tx, country rocker (Ride 'em Jewboy)
1944 Sally Kirkland NYC, actress (Anna, Sting, Pvt Benjamin, Big Bad Mama)
1947 Deidre Hall Milwaukee, actress (Days of our Life, Our House)
1947 Frank Shorter US, marathon runner (Olympic-gold-1972)
1949 Terrence W Wilcutt Russellville Ky, Major USMC/astronaut
1950 Jane Pauley Indianapolis Indiana, newscaster (Today, NBC Weekend)
1950 John Candy Ontario Canada, comedian (SCTV, Uncle Buck)
1953 John Lucas NBA guard (Houston Rockets, Milwaukee Bucks)
1960 Reza Pahlavi Iran, son of Shah of Iran
1961 Larry Mullen Jr drummer (U2-I Will Follow)
1963 Johnny Marr rocker (The Smiths-Ask, Girl Afraid)
1964 Amanda Sandrelli Rome Italy, actress (The Key)
1966 Ad-Rock [Adam Horowitz], rocker (Beastie Boys-You Gotta Fight)
1968 Vanilla Ice [Robert Van Winkle], rapper (Ice Ice Baby)


Deaths which occurred on October 31st:
1865 William Parson 3rd Earl of Rosse & maker of large telescopes, dies
1918 Count Stephen Tisza Hungarian PM assassinated by soldiers
1926 Erich Weiss better known as magician Harry Houdini, dies in Detroit
1963 Henry Daniell actor (Camille, Body Snatchers), dies at 69
1964 Theodore C Freeman astronaut, dies at 34 in a T-38 jet air crash
1965 Rita Johnson actress (All Mine to Give), dies at 53
1975 Joseph Calleia actor (Jungle Book, Gilda), dies at 78
1983 George Halas NFLer, dies at 88
1984 Indira Gandhi PM of India assassinated by 2 of her Sikh bodyguards
1987 Joseph Campbell mythologist (Mythic Image), dies at 83
1988 John Houseman actor, dies of spinal cancer at 86
1991 Joseph Papp Broadway producer (Chorus Line), dies of cancer at 70