Today in History
Oct. 31 is the 305th day of 2020. There are 61 days left in the year. This is Halloween.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On Oct. 31, 1941, work was completed on the Mount Rushmore National Memorial in South Dakota, begun in 1927.
On this date:
In 1860, Juliette Gordon Low, founder of the Girl Scouts of the USA, was born in Savannah, Ga.
In 1926, magician Harry Houdini died in Detroit of peritonitis resulting from a ruptured appendix.
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.
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 1994, a Chicago-bound American Eagle ATR-72 crashed in northern Indiana, killing all 68 people aboard.
In 1998, a genetic study was released suggesting President Thomas Jefferson did in fact father at least one child by his slave Sally Hemings.
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 died of inhalation anthrax, the fourth person to perish in a spreading wave of bioterrorism.
In 2005, President George W. Bush nominated Judge Samuel Alito to the Supreme Court. Civil rights icon Rosa Parks was honored during a memorial service in Washington, D.C.
Ten years ago: A former teenage al-Qaida fighter, Omar Khadr, was sentenced by a military judge at Guantanamo to eight more years in custody under the terms of a plea agreement.
Five years ago: Four people were killed, including the gunman, following a shooting rampage in Colorado Springs that ended in a gun battle between police and the shooter.
One year ago: The Democratic-controlled House voted 232-196 to pass a resolution setting procedures for the impeachment inquiry as Democrats tried to counter the Trump administration’s criticism of the probe; two Democrats voted against the resolution, joining all of the House’s Republicans.
Today’s Birthdays: Actor Lee Grant is 95. Former astronaut Michael Collins is 90. Former CBS anchorman Dan Rather is 89. Folk singer Tom Paxton is 83. Actor Ron Rifkin is 82. Actor Sally Kirkland is 79. Actor Brian Doyle-Murray is 75. Actor Stephen Rea is 74. Actor Deidre Hall is 73. TV show host Jane Pauley is 70. Actor Brian Stokes Mitchell is 63. Movie director Peter Jackson is 59. Rock musician Larry Mullen is 59. Actor Dermot Mulroney is 57. Rock musician Mikkey Dee is 57. Rock singer-musician Johnny Marr is 57. Actor Rob Schneider is 57. Country singer Darryl Worley is 56. Actor-comedian Mike O’Malley is 55. Rap musician Adrock is 54. Rap performer Vanilla Ice (aka Rob Van Winkle) is 53. Gospel singer Smokie Norful is 47. Actor Piper Perabo is 44. Actor Brian Hallisay is 42. Actor Samaire Armstrong is 40. Actor Scott Clifton is 36. Actor Vanessa Marano is 28. Actor Holly Taylor is 23. Actor Danielle Rose Russell is 21. Actor-singer Willow Smith is 20.
Nov. 1 is the 306th day of 2020. There are 60 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On Nov. 1, 1950, two Puerto Rican nationalists tried to force their way into Blair House in Washington, D.C., in a failed attempt to assassinate President Harry S. Truman. (One of the pair was killed, along with a White House police officer.)
On this date:
In 1512, Michelangelo’s just-completed paintings on the ceiling of the Vatican’s Sistine Chapel were publicly unveiled by the artist’s patron, Pope Julius II.
In 1765, the Stamp Act, passed by the British Parliament, went into effect, prompting stiff resistance from American colonists.
In 1861, during the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln named Maj. Gen. George B. McClellan General-in-Chief of the Union armies, succeeding Lt. Gen. Winfield Scott.
In 1870, the United States Weather Bureau made its first meteorological observations.
In 1945, Ebony, a magazine geared toward Black readers, was first published.
In 1952, the United States exploded the first hydrogen bomb, code-named “Ivy Mike,” at Enewetak Atoll in the Marshall Islands.
In 1973, following the “Saturday Night Massacre,” Acting Attorney General Robert H. Bork appointed Leon Jaworski to be the new Watergate special prosecutor, succeeding Archibald Cox.
In 1989, East Germany reopened its border with Czechoslovakia, prompting tens of thousands of refugees to flee to the West.
In 1991, Clarence Thomas took his place as the newest justice on the Supreme Court.
In 2003, Democratic presidential candidate Howard Dean stirred controversy within his party by telling the Des Moines Register he wanted to be “the candidate for guys with Confederate flags in their pickup trucks.” (The former Vermont governor explained that he intended to encourage the return of Southern voters who had abandoned the Democrats for decades but were disaffected with the Republicans.)
Ten years ago: Marjorie Diehl-Armstrong, 61, was convicted by a jury in Erie, Pa., of participating in a bizarre plot in which a pizza delivery driver was forced to rob a bank wearing a metal bomb collar that later exploded, killing him. (Diehl-Armstrong was later sentenced to life in prison.)
Five years ago: Presiding Bishop Michael Curry was installed as the first Black leader of the U.S. Episcopal Church during a ceremony at the Washington National Cathedral.
One year ago: Former Texas congressman Beto O’Rourke announced that he was ending his Democratic presidential campaign, which had failed to recapture the enthusiasm and fundraising prowess of his 2018 Senate bid.
Today’s Birthdays: World Golf Hall of Famer Gary Player is 85. Country singer Bill Anderson is 83. Actor Barbara Bosson is 81. Actor Robert Foxworth is 79. Magazine publisher Larry Flynt is 78. Actor Belita Moreno is 71. Country singer-songwriter-producer Keith Stegall is 66. Country singer Lyle Lovett is 63. Apple CEO Tim Cook is 60. Actor Helene Udy is 59. Pop singer-musician Mags Furuholmen (a-ha) 58. Rock singer Anthony Kiedis (Red Hot Chili Peppers) is 58. Rock musician Rick Allen (Def Leppard) is 57. Country singer “Big Kenny” Alphin (Big and Rich) is 57. Actor Toni Collette is 48. Rock musician Andrew Gonzales is 48. Actor-talk show host Jenny McCarthy is 48.