A.D. 834: The evening of Oct. 31 becomes All Hallows' Evening (which would be contracted to Hallowe'en or Halloween over the years) when Pope Gregory IV moves the feast of All Saints from May to Nov. 1, followed by a day in honor of soon-to-be saints, the feast of All Souls.
1517: On the eve of All Saint's Day, Martin Luther posts his 95 theses on the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg, Germany, arguing that Christians were being falsely told that they could find absolution from sin through the purchase of "indulgences" from the Catholic Church. Luther's actions would spark the Protestant Reformation.
1541: Michelangelo finishes painting "The Last Judgment" on the altar wall of the Sistine Chapel in Vatican City. The work, which depicts the second coming of Christ and the final judgment by God of all humanity, took Michelangelo four years to complete, with the Renaissance master beginning work on it some 20 years after having finished the Sistine Chapel ceiling.
1754: Columbia University is founded in New York City as Kings College. The Ivy League college is one of the country's nine Colonial Colleges founded before the American Revolution.
1795: Poet John Keats, whose poems and letters are some of the most popular and most analyzed in English literature today, is born in London, England. Among his best-known works are "Ode to a Nightingale," "Ode to a Grecian Urn," "Bright Star" and "On First Looking into Chapman's Homer," however, he found little success during his lifetime, with his reputation growing only after his death.
1860: Juliette Gordon Low (center), the founder of Girl Scouts of the USA, is born Juliette Magill Kinzie Gordon in Savannah, Ga. Sir Robert Baden-Powell, the founder of the Scouting Movement, asked Low to help form a group of Girl Guides in Scotland in 1911. When Low returned home to Savannah in 1912, she formed a Girl Guide troop there, and when the Girl Guides became the Girl Scouts in 1915, Low became the first president.
1864: Nevada is admitted as the 36th U.S. state.
1911: The practice of Halloween trick-or-treating in North America is first recorded with a newspaper in Kingston, Ontario, reporting children going "guising" around the neighborhood. The tradition of "guising" started as a Halloween custom in the late 1800s in Scotland and Ireland.
1912: Singer and actress Dale Evans, best known as the wife and frequent co-star of singing cowboy Roy Rogers, is born under the birth name Lucille Wood Smith in Uvalde, Texas.
1913: The Lincoln Highway, the first automobile road to cross the entire United States, is dedicated. The highway, America's first national memorial to President Abraham Lincoln, spanned coast-to-coast from Times Square in New York City to Lincoln Park in San Francisco, originally going through 13 states.
1920: Jockey-turned-crime-novelist Dick Francis, who wrote more than 40 international best-sellers, usually centered around horse racing in England, is born in Coedcanlas, Pembrokeshire, Wales.
1922: Benito Mussolini becomes prime minister of Italy. He ruled constitutionally until 1925, when he dropped all pretense of democracy and set up a legal dictatorship that would stand until his ouster in 1943.
1926: Magician Harry Houdini dies of gangrene and peritonitis that developed after his appendix ruptured.
1927: Actress and director Lee Grant, who won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for 1975's "Shampoo," is born Lyova Haskell Rosenthal in New York City. Grant, seen here in a 1961 publicity photo, has also had roles in movies such as "Detective Story," "In the Heat of the Night," "The Landlord," "Plaza Suite," "Voyage of the Damned" and "Mulholland Drive" in a career that was stalled starting in the mid-1950s when she was blacklisted in Hollywood. Her roles in "Detective Story," "The Landlord" and "Voyage of the Damned" also earned her Oscar nominations. She has also directed movies and several documentary films, including 1986's "Down and Out in America," which won the Academy Award for Documentary Feature.
1930: American astronaut Michael Collins, who was as the command module pilot for Apollo 11, is born in Rome, Italy. Before Apollo 11, in which Collins orbited the moon while Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin made the first lunar landing, he also went into space on Gemini 10 in 1966.
1931: Broadcast journalist Dan Rather, who was anchor of the "CBS Evening News" for 24 years until 2005, is born in Wharton, Texas.
1936: Actor Michael Landon, best known for this TV roles on "Bonanza," "Little House on the Prairie" and "Highway to Heaven," is born Eugene Maurice Orowitz in Queens, N.Y.
1940: The Battle of Britain during World War II ends, with the United Kingdom preventing a possible German invasion. The battle, which began in July 1940, was the first major campaign to be fought entirely by air forces, and was also the largest and most sustained aerial bombing campaign to that date.
1941: After 14 years of work, Mount Rushmore is completed. Sculptor Gutzon Borglum began work on the monument on Oct. 4, 1927, leading 400 workers in sculpting the colossal 60-feet-tall carvings of U.S. Presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln. When Borglum died from an embolism in March 1941, his son, Lincoln Borglum, took over the project through its completion.
1941: The destroyer USS Reuben James is torpedoed by a German U-boat near Iceland, killing more than 100 United States Navy sailors. It was the first U.S. Navy vessel sunk by enemy action during World War II.
1942: Actor David Ogden Stiers, best known for his roles as Maj. Charles Emerson Winchester III in the sitcom "M*A*S*H" and as the Rev. Gene Purdy in the TV series "The Dead Zone," is born in Peoria, Ill.
1945: Alfred Hitchcock's psychological thriller "Spellbound," starring Ingrid Bergman and Gregory Peck, premieres in New York City. The movie would go on to earn six Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture and Best Director for Hitchcock, winning for Best Music, Scoring of a Dramatic or Comedy Picture.
1946: Actor Stephen Rea, best known for his roles in "The Crying Game," "V for Vendetta" and "Interview with the Vampire," is born in Belfast, Northern Ireland.
1950: Earl Lloyd becomes the first black man to play in the National Basketball Association when he suits up for the Washington Capitols. Lloyd (seen here meeting with Vice President Joe Biden in 2010) scored six points and grabbed 10 rebounds for the Capitols in a 78-70 loss to the Rochester Royals. Two other black players joined the NBA that season, with the Boston Celtics drafting Chuck Cooper in the second round and the New York Knicks acquiring Nat "Sweetwater" Clifton from the Harlem Globetrotters, but the Knicks and the Celtics didn't start their seasons until November.
1950: Comedian and actor John Candy, best known for his roles in movies such as "Planes, Trains and Automobiles," "Spaceballs" and "Uncle Buck," is born in Toronto.
1950: News anchor Jane Pauley, best known for her 13-year tenure on NBC's "Today" program, followed by 12 years as co-host of "Dateline NBC," is born in Indianapolis.
1951: Football coach Nick Saban, who won a national championship with Louisiana State University in 2003 and three more with the University of Alabama in 2009 and 2011-12, is born in Fairmont, W.Va. Saban has also served as head coach of the National Football League's Miami Dolphins and two other NCAA universities: Michigan State and Toledo. His championship titles make him the first coach in college football history to win a national championship with two different Football Bowl Subdivision schools.
1956: Rear Adm. G.J. Dufek becomes the first person to land an airplane at the South Pole. Dufek, who was the first American to set foot on the South Pole, was part of an advance party to build the first permanent South Pole Station.
1956: The United Kingdom and France begin bombing Egypt to force the reopening of the Suez Canal.
1959: Lee Harvey Oswald attempts to renounce his American citizenship at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow.
1961: In the Soviet Union, Joseph Stalin's body is removed from Lenin's Tomb and buried in the Kremlin Wall Necropolis next to the Kremlin walls as part of the process of de-Stalinization.
1961: Film director and producer Peter Jackson, best known for the "Lord of the Ring" movies and "The Hobbit," is born in Pukerua Bay, New Zealand.
1963: Actor and comedian Rob Schneider, a former "Saturday Night Live" cast member who has gone on to star in movie such as "Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo," "The Hot Chick" and "Grown Ups," is born in San Francisco, Calif.
1964: Barbra Streisand's album "People" goes No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart, knocking The Beatles' "A Hard Day's Night" from the top spot. It would stay on top of the chart for five weeks.
1966: Rapper Adam Horovitz, better known as Ad-Rock from the Beastie Boys, is born in South Orange, N.J.
1967: Rapper Vanilla Ice, whose 1990 song "Ice Ice Baby" would become the first hip hop single to top the Billboard charts, is born under the birth name Robert Van Winkle in Dallas, Texas.
1968: Hoping to sway the election for Democratic nominee Vice President Hubert H. Humphrey, President Lyndon B. Johnson cites progress with the Paris peace talks in announcing to the nation a complete cessation of "all air, naval and artillery bombardment of North Vietnam" effective Nov. 1. In the end, Democrats did not fully unite behind Humphrey, enabling Republican candidate Richard Nixon to win the election.
1969: The Beatles release the single "Something" in the United Kingdom. "Something" was the first Beatles song written by lead guitarist George Harrison to appear as an A-side, and the only song written by him to top the U.S. charts while he was in the band. The song would also make the top five in the United Kingdom.
1969: Wal-Mart Discount City stores are incorporated as Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
1970: Michelle Phillips, formerly of The Mamas & Papas, and actor Dennis Hopper are married in Taos, N.M. The two would end up divorcing eight days later.
1976: Actress Piper Perabo, best known for the TV series "Covert Affairs" and movies such as "Coyote Ugly," "Cheaper by the Dozen" and "Beverly Hills Chihuahua," is born in Dallas, Texas.
1983: Football player, coach and owner George Halas, the iconic longtime leader of the NFL's Chicago Bears who was nicknamed "Papa Bear," dies of pancreatic cancer at the age of 88 in Chicago.
1984: Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi is assassinated by her two security guards in retaliation for ordering Operation Blue Star, a military operation to remove Sikh separatists from the Golden Temple in Amritsar, India. In the wake of her death, riots broke out in New Delhi and nearly 10,000 Sikhs were killed. Gandhi is seen here with first lady Jacqueline Kennedy in 1962.
1988: Romanian-born American actor and director John Houseman, best known for his role as Professor Charles Kingsfield in the 1973 film "The Paper Chase," for which he won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor, dies of spinal cancer at age 86 in Malibu, Calif.
1992: The Vatican admits erring for more than 359 years in formally condemning Galileo Galilei for entertaining scientific truths such as the Earth revolves around the sun, which the Roman Catholic Church long denounced as anti-scriptural heresy. Pope John Paul II himself met with the Pontifical Academy of Sciences to help correct the record. In 1633, at age 69, Galileo was forced by the Roman Inquisition to repent and spent the last eight years of his life under house arrest.
1993: Italian film director Federico Fellini, one of the most influential filmmakers of the 20th century, dies at age 73 in Rome, Italy. In the months before his death, he had suffered two strokes and fallen into a coma. Fellini, who won five Academy Awards including the most number of Oscars in history for Best Foreign Language Film, is best known for films such as "La Strada," "La Dolce Vita" and "8½."
1993: Actor River Phoenix, best known for roles in movies such as "Stand By Me," "My Own Private Idaho" and "Running on Empty," collapses and dies of drug-induced heart failure on the sidewalk outside the West Hollywood nightclub The Viper Room at the age of 23.
1997: British au pair Louise Woodward, 19, convicted by a Cambridge, Mass., jury of second-degree murder the day before in the death of 8-month-old Matthew Eappen while he was in her care, is sentenced to life in prison. Eappen fell into a coma five days after being admitted to Children's Hospital in Boston and died on Feb. 9, 1997, of a fractured skull and subdural hematoma.
1998: Iraq announces that it is halting all dealings with United Nations arms inspectors. The inspectors were investigating the country's weapons of mass destruction stemming from Iraq's invasion of Kuwait in 1990.
1999: EgyptAir Flight 990 traveling from New York City to Cairo crashes off the coast of Nantucket, Mass., killing all 217 on board. With the crash occurring in international waters, the Egyptian Civil Aviation Authority (ECAA) asked the American National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) to handle the investigation. As evidence began pointing to a deliberate crash, the Egyptian government reversed their earlier decision, and the ECAA launched its own investigation. The two investigations would come to very different conclusions, with the NTSB finding the crash was caused by deliberate action of the Relief First Officer Gameel Al-Batouti and the ECAA finding that the crash was caused by mechanical failure of the airplane's elevator control system. Here wreckage is seen in a hangar at a former U.S. Navy base in Kingstown, R.I., on Nov. 1, 2000.
1999: Yachtsman Jesse Martin returns to Melbourne, Australia, after 11 months of circumnavigating the world, solo, non-stop and unassisted. At 18 years old, he became the youngest person to do so.
2000: Soyuz TM-31 launches, carrying the first resident crew to the international space station. The station has been continuously crewed since.
2000: Screenwriter and journalist Ring Lardner Jr., who was blacklisted by the Hollywood movie studios during the Red Scare of the late 1940s and 1950s, dies at the age of 85 in Manhattan, N.Y. Lardner (far right) was the last surviving member of "The Hollywood Ten," a group of movie screenwriters, directors and producers who were cited for contempt of Congress and blacklisted after refusing to answer questions from the House Un-American Activities Committee about their alleged involvement with the Communist Party. Lardner's screenwriting credits included the films "Laura," "Woman of the Year" and "M*A*S*H," with him winning Oscars for the latter two.
2000: Actress and singer Willow Smith, the daughter of actors Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith, is born in Los Angeles.
2001: Microsoft and the Justice Department reach a tentative agreement to settle the historic antitrust case against the software giant. Pictured is then-CEO Bill Gates' videotaped testimony in the case.
2005: Samuel Alito is nominated by President George W. Bush to fill Sandra Day O'Connor's seat on the U.S. Supreme Court. The Senate would go on to confirm Alito by a 58–42 vote on Jan. 31, 2006.
2006: "The Price is Right" host Bob Barker announces that he will retire in June 2007 after 35 years on the game show and 50 years all together in television.
2006: P.W. Botha, South Africa's apartheid-era president, dies of a heart attack at the age of 90 in Wilderness, South Africa. He's seen here in 1998 arriving at court for judgment in the case brought against him by the country's Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Botha was found guilty of defying a summons from the TRC to appear before it to answer questions relating to human rights violations committed under apartheid and was fined and given a suspended jail sentence.
2008: Author, historian, actor, and broadcaster Louis "Studs" Terkel dies at the age of 96 in Chicago, Ill. Terkel won the Pulitzer Prize for General Non-Fiction in 1985 for "The Good War" and is also known for his oral histories of common Americans and for hosting a long-running radio show in Chicago.
2011: According to the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs' Population Division, the world population reaches seven billion people.
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