On History Day – October 31 – Almanac

Retired Boatswain’s Mate Stephen Heald of Georgetown, Maine, (R) blows the call for the Boatswain during a ceremony in Portland, Maine, on November 14, 1998, at the newly installed monument in the honor to the men who died on the first US warship sunk in WWII, the destroyer USS Reuben James. A German submarine torpedoed the destroyer on October 31, 1941. File photo by Lee K. Marriner / UPI | License photo

Today is Sunday, October 31, the 304th day of 2021 with 61 to follow.

It’s Halloween.

The moon is declining. The morning stars are Jupiter, Mercury, Neptune, Saturn, and Uranus. The evening stars are Jupiter, Neptune, Saturn, Uranus and Venus.

People born on this date are under the sign of Scorpio. They include the Dutch painter Jan Vermeer in 1632; Pope Clement XIV in 1705; the English poet John Keats in 1795; Girl Scout founder Juliette Gordon Low in 1860; General Chiang Kai-shek, the first ruler of nationalist China, in 1887; actor / singer Ethel Waters in 1896; actor Lee Grant in 1925 (96 years old); astronaut Michael Collins in 1930; former TV news anchor Dan Rather in 1931 (age 90); actor / director Michael Landon in 1936; folk singer / songwriter Tom Paxton in 1937 (84); actor David Ogden Stiers in 1942; actor Brian Doyle-Murray in 1945 (76); actor Stephen Rea in 1946 (75); actor Deidre Hall in 1947 (74); actor John Candy in 1950; Olympic gold medalist marathon runner Frank Shorter in 1947 (74); presenter Jane Pauley in 1950 (71); architect Zaha Hadid in 1950; actor Brian Stokes Mitchell in 1957 (64); New Zealand director / producer Peter Jackson in 1961 (60); actor Rob Schneider in 1963 (58); rapper Ad-Rock, born Adam Horovitz, in 1966 (55); rapper Vanilla Ice, born Robert Matthew Van Winkle, in 1967 (54 years old); actor Piper Perabo in 1976 (45); actor Eddie Kaye Thomas in 1980 (41); actor Vanessa Marano in 1992 (29 years old); actor Letitia Wright in 1993 (28); the Sydney Park actor in 1997 (24); singer Willow Smith in 2000 (21).

At this date in history:

In 1517, Martin Luther began the Protestant Reformation by nailing a proclamation – the 95 Theses – on the door of a church in Wittenberg, Germany.

In 1864, Nevada was admitted to the United States as the 36th state.

In 1926, renowned magician, illusionist and escape artist Harry Houdini died of peritonitis in a Detroit hospital following a blow to the abdomen.

In 1931, as the Great Depression was in full swing, the US Treasury Department announced that 827 banks had gone bankrupt in the previous two months.

In 1941, more than a month before the United States entered World War II, a German submarine torpedoed and sank an American destroyer, the USS Reuben James.

In 1941, the Mount Rushmore National Memorial in South Dakota, made up of the sculpted heads of US Presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, and Teddy Roosevelt, was completed.

In 1968, US President Lyndon Johnson announced the end of the bombing of North Vietnam.

In 1984 Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi was assassinated outside her home in a salvo of gunfire by Sikh members of her own security force. His son Rajiv succeeded him.

In 1985, rescue divers located the remains of the loot-laden pirate ship Whydah, which sank on February 17, 1717, off Cape Cod, Mass.

In 1993, actor River Phoenix died of a drug overdose outside a West Hollywood, California nightclub, The Viper Room. He played in Support me and My own private Idaho.

In 2004, Iranian lawmakers chanted “Death to America! After a unanimous vote to allow their government to resume uranium enrichment activities.

In 2008, US Army General David Petraeus took over as Head of Central Command, in charge of military operations in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Syria, Iran and other countries.

In 2010, the Brazilians elected Dilma Rousseff as their first female president. Former energy minister and incumbent president’s choice Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva defeated José Serra in the second round with 56% of the vote. Rousseff won a second term on October 26, 2014.

In 2014, SpaceShipTwo, Virgin Galactic’s space flight effort for tourists, crashed during a test flight in the Mojave Desert, killing one pilot and seriously injuring the other.

In 2015, the Russian airliner Metrojet Flight 9268 crashed after taking off from Sharm el-Sheikh International Airport in Egypt, killing all 224 people on board. Investigators suspected a bomb on the plane had caused the crash.

In 2019, ISIS appointed Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurashi as its new leader after the death of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

A thought of the day: “It is futile to tell human beings to be content with tranquility: they must have action; and they will if they don’t find it. – English writer Charlotte Brontë

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